Will the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM II replacement for the RF mount be a zoom?

Canon Rumors Guy

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Canon has done a great job of filling out the supertelephoto options for the RF mount, but there is one glaring omission in the line-up thus far, and that’s an RF version of the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM II. Canon has historically upgraded the 400mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4 lenses at the same time,

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Jul 21, 2010
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Size and weight will be similar to the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, which is about a pound lighter than the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM 1.4x.
A 200-500/4 with built-in 1.4x would be a nice upgrade to the EF 200-400/4 + 1.4x. I'm not sure I believe that such a lens would be the size/weight of the EF 500/4 II. The RF 100-300/2.8 is 7.5 cm / 3" longer and 240 g / 0.5 lb heavier than the EF 300/2.8 II, so I really don't see how they could make a 200-500/4 with a built-in TC and end up at the same size as the EF 500/4 II.

Personally, I will stick with the 600/4 over the 500/4 (practically for my typical use, it's really 840/5.6 vs. 700/5.6), though if the R1 comes in with a pixel density high enough to obviate the extra 140mm (which is reasonably likely), I may consider swapping my 600/4 II for this rumored lens if it becomes a product).
 
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entoman

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A zoom is quite possible, given that Canon have replaced the 300/2.8 with a zoom. A very exciting prospect for those who can afford it.

On the other hand, they could opt for a compact and lightweight 500/4 prime, and throw in a couple of marketing "features", although I'm not sure what they would be.

Either way, Canon has shown that it wants to offer features that "lift" RF lenses above their EF nearest equivalents, so we can be sure of something exciting.
 
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I have a feeling the swap would not be an even trade. You might have to kick in another $10k to get there.
I expect you’re right. I meant swap as in get rid of one and get the other (though realistically it will be the opposite order), as opposed to the 100-300/2.8 that I’m simply adding to my kit.

At this point I’ve gotten over a decade of use from the 600/4 II, and as yet there’s nothing to swap it for.
 
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My guess at a price tag would be closer to $20K, given the price hikes for the other Big Whites.
$14-15K seems more likely. The 100-300/2.8 is ~50% more than the 300/2.8 (current street price, 35% more than the launch price). The 500/4 launched at $10,300 and is $9K today, by analogy to the the 300 that means the 200-500 lands at $14K. The EF 200-400 + 1.4x launched at $11,800.

When you say 'price hikes for the other Big Whites', what do you mean? The RF 400/2.8 and 600/4 are the exact same price as the EF MkIII versions (which makes sense since they're basically the same lens with a bolted-on adapter). The RF 800/5.6 launched at ~40% more than the EF 800/5.6, that's in line with the 100-300 vs 300/2.8 II, but the EF 800/5.6 is a really old lens that never got the MkII/MkIII improvements the EF Big Whites received.

I think your estimate of $20K is way too high. Not that $14-15K is a bargain...
 
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docsmith

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This has long been rumored and makes a lot of sense. You are replacing two EF lenses, the 500 f/4 II and 200-400 f/4 TC with a single new RF lens. Assuming it has the image resolution of the 500 f/4 II or better (which is hard to imagine, but I like to dream) this would be a winner of a lens.

I currently shoot the 500 f/4 II. This lens would end up in my bag. Now or later depends on price point and how rich I feel at the moment.
 
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Chiphadzuwa

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$14-15K seems more likely. The 100-300/2.8 is ~50% more than the 300/2.8 (current street price, 35% more than the launch price). The 500/4 launched at $10,300 and is $9K today, by analogy to the the 300 that means the 200-500 lands at $14K. The EF 200-400 + 1.4x launched at $11,800.

When you say 'price hikes for the other Big Whites', what do you mean? The RF 400/2.8 and 600/4 are the exact same price as the EF MkIII versions (which makes sense since they're basically the same lens with a bolted-on adapter). The RF 800/5.6 launched at ~40% more than the EF 800/5.6, that's in line with the 100-300 vs 300/2.8 II, but the EF 800/5.6 is a really old lens that never got the MkII/MkIII improvements the EF Big Whites received.

I think your estimate of $20K is way too high. Not that $14-15K is a bargain...
"Not that $14-15K is a bargain..."

Indeed.
 
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john1970

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A 200-500/4 with built-in 1.4x would be a nice upgrade to the EF 200-400/4 + 1.4x. I'm not sure I believe that such a lens would be the size/weight of the EF 500/4 II. The RF 100-300/2.8 is 7.5 cm / 3" longer and 240 g / 0.5 lb heavier than the EF 300/2.8 II, so I really don't see how they could make a 200-500/4 with a built-in TC and end up at the same size as the EF 500/4 II.

Personally, I will stick with the 600/4 over the 500/4 (practically for my typical use, it's really 840/5.6 vs. 700/5.6), though if the R1 comes in with a pixel density high enough to obviate the extra 140mm (which is reasonably likely), I may consider swapping my 600/4 II for this rumored lens if it becomes a product).
My thoughts agree with yours. I do not see how they keep the weight and dimensions similar to the EF 500 mm f4 II lens.

I also recall rumors of a 500 mm f4.5/f5 DO lens being test as well and wonder if Canon is going to use DO in this lens to keep weight and dimensions down. A 200-500 mm f4.5 DO lens with 1.4x TC built-in would be a very interesting addition to Canon's lineup.
 
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john1970

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I am speculating that this could be announced in the late summer/early fall of 2023 along with a development announcement of the R1. In typical Canon fashion they are releasing the lenses before the bodies. For reference, Canon released the RF 70-200 mm f2.8 lens in November 2019 and the R5 was released in July 2020.
 
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Chiphadzuwa

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I really wish that Canon would pay more attention to the prosumer market segment. I'm a wildlife photographer, I travel the world, need the build and image quality of L-series long lenses, and would love the f/4 apertures of same. But I can't possibly justify the cost of Canon's new lenses. Nikon makes middle-ground lenses that compromise just a stop (from f/4 back to f/5.6), in a price range in between consumer quality- and "professional" quality lenses. Alas. Would that Canon followed suit.
 
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I am speculating that this could be announced in the late summer/early fall of 2023 along with a development announcement of the R1. In typical Canon fashion they are releasing the lenses before the bodies. For reference, Canon released the RF 70-200 mm f2.8 lens in November 2019 and the R5 was released in July 2020.
The 1D X came after the 500 and 600 MkII, but only by a few months.
 
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A 200-500 f/4 would really be the upgrade of the 200-400, and not a replacement for the already-skipped-over 500mm f/4 II. That would signal to me that Canon doesn't think that focal length deserves a big white prime slot.

I recall on the failure for the 500mm III to appear, the reasoning cited was that the weight improvements weren't enough of a difference for the smaller lens. The primary benefit of the 600mm III over the II was the weight loss (coincidentally, I took delivery of a 600mm III this afternoon to replace the Mark II I'm about to list. I'm, of course, making the upgrade for the weight.)

I'd be disappointed if we didn't see a new 500 f/4 prime, as that was our hope that we'd actually get a new optical design in a big white. We haven't had a fresh design that improved optical performance in more than a decade. I appreciate the Mark IIIs did improve things significantly from a usability perspective. Perhaps I ask too much for IQ improvements. Seeing as Nikon and Sony's more recent designs have roughly equivalent image quality as Canon's probably means they're all designing toward a common set of limits in physics.

Neuro and I have been rocking the same Mark II lens for a long while, both not seeing a good reason to change. I finally fell to the Mark III this week because I found a really good deal on a used one, and I figure now's the time from a depreciation curve perspective. Interesting that he's considering the theoretical 200-500 f/4 as his path. If light enough, that could make sense, especially if it had the internal TC.
 
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