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Thread: RF 600mm f/4 L IS USM

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  1. #1
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    RF 600mm f/4 L IS USM

    The new lens arrived today.

    Reading all the reviews I knew that the weight had shifted to the back of the lens changing the balance.
    This IMO is a huge change, it is easier to hand hold than the EF 500mm F/4 II which is about the same weight.
    My opinion for my use this makes it worth the upgrade.

    I knew they had done away with the carrying case, but they really missed an opportunity with the new soft case.
    An extra few inches to accommodate a body on the lens would have made it much more useful.

    My office has the new big prime smell now, interesting odor but enjoying it while it lasts. For those that have never had one, especially new they put off an interesting smell.

    Just a point is that the RF lens is the EF 600mm III with a built in adapter.
    Looking at the IQ charts Bryan did the EF 600mm II was sharper than the new EF 600mm III.
    Looking at the RF 600mm vs the EF 600mm II that difference isn't really noticeable, granted you have just a few MP less. Perhaps there is improvement and balance with the new R5, or the EF 600mm III when it was released had the R bodies in mind.

    RF Comparison
    https://www.the-digital-picture.com/...mp=0&APIComp=0

    EF 600 II vs III
    https://www.the-digital-picture.com/...mp=0&APIComp=0

    EF 600 III vs RF 600
    https://www.the-digital-picture.com/...mp=0&APIComp=0

    As always I worry about such things but shouldn't
    Tomorrow I will be comparing the 500mm II to the RF 600mm.
    I am optimistic that the new RF 600 should be stellar.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Congratulations Rick!

    I hadn't picked up on it, but you are right, there is definitely something better about Bryan's tests with the RF compared to the EF 600 III. It doesn't seem to be as simple as adding a built in adapter.

    And, the RF version seems better, just look at with the 2x TC.

    Looking forward to your impressions.

  3. #3
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    I just finished checking it out and am ready to find something to use it on. Here is my impression.

    My cave man version of checking IQ is to set up a printed target, checked the 500mm at 15 feet and 18 feet for the 600mm. There is no noticeable difference for the average laymen between the two lens when it comes to IQ. There is no reason to buy this lens if you are trying to get better IQ only.

    I have checked the IS, it is makes no noise at all. I started wondering if it even works. I checked by turning it on and off hand held and it does work. I am hearing no clicking or whirling noises. If this is normal it is not as noisy as the older versions.

    Unlike the other RF lenses I recently bought, the 24x70, 70x200 and 100x500 I had said and think the upgrade is very marginal. I do not think it is true for the 600mm. I am overly impressed by the weight redistribution, reduction and the ability to hand hold.

    Edit: And the carrying case is a miss for Canon. A few dollars more put into the bag could have made it useful. As it is I still need a bag to carry it with camera on.
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 02-12-2022 at 05:21 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    1/6th of a sec?

    Nothing like 7-8 stops of IS

    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post

    My cave man version of checking IQ is to set up a printed target, checked the 500mm at 15 feet and 18 feet for the 600mm. There is no noticeable difference for the average laymen between the two lens when it comes to IQ. There is no reason to buy this lens if you are trying to get better IQ only.
    Good to hear. But also good to hear that the ergonomic changes may be worth it. As crazy as it is, I often handhold the 500 II. Someday having that be easier would be welcome.


    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    Edit: And the carrying case is a miss for Canon. A few dollars more put into the bag could have made it useful. As it is I still need a bag to carry it with camera on.
    I use the Mindshift Firstlight 40L. Bryan did a review here. I very much like the bag, but do not love it. It is basically a large padded cube that can fit 500 or 600 mm lenses. But, I tend to use the cubed area. All the side pouches have limited use. There is zero padding in the computer sleeve, so I have never used it except to store a rain jacket. I also wish the belt was removable.

    All that said, never had an issue at an airport. Fits easily in the overhead bins. And it is comfortable.

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    Autofocus speed? Function with1.4 or 2.0 TC.

    When I ponder a 600 other than the occasional lion or bear, most times focus speed is going to be important.

    With lions and bears I am thinking TC function may be important and tigers. Oh my!

    Any findings on these items?

    Thanks.

    Mike
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
    Autofocus speed? Function with1.4 or 2.0 TC.

    When I ponder a 600 other than the occasional lion or bear, most times focus speed is going to be important.

    With lions and bears I am thinking TC function may be important and tigers. Oh my!

    Any findings on these items?

    Thanks.

    Mike
    There has always been a speed penalty with the old versions of the TC and the big whites.
    I will bet this lens is the same.
    Regardless I have them in the B&H basket to order later tonight.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Fast Glass's Avatar
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    @HD

    Congrats! That is a seriously awesome lens. I have debated between the minor IQ loss compared to the II and the weight savings of the Mark-III/RF version before. But both are simply excellent and among the best 600mm available. And seems by your testing you are quite happy with it.

    But yes, I agree with Kayaker. It is definitely better the RF version based on Bryan's crops. Which is strange to me since I thought that both are optically the same? Just a different mount.

    Not sure, someone smarter than me might be able to chime in.

    Just spending some time at a local park birding as we speak. Beautiful day here in the PNW, life is good.

  8. #8
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    The TCs are different optical formula. Post vs pre adapter
    If you see me with a wrench, call 911

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    Quote Originally Posted by Busted Knuckles View Post
    The TCs are different optical formula. Post vs pre adapter
    As Brant pointed out the 1200mm RF 2x is is much better that the EF 1200 EF 2x III.

    If Canon holds true to form I bet the performance (including speed) is equal or better with the new than it was with the old.

    One thing that concerned me was the lack of noise from the IS system. Bryans review said there is an audible click and noise that you can hear. I haven't been able to hear it at all, even with my ear against the barrel. So I keep retesting it. I saw a video on the internet where the reviewer was talking about shooting at a shutter speed of 1/6 hand held and could read the print on the target. I gave it a try on the wife's shampoo and sure enough hand held I could read the print with IS, and no go without. I wonder if this one point is a carry over from the EF III review that didn't get updated.

  10. #10
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    Congrats on the lens!

    RE extender performance, I tested the EF MkIII and the RF extenders head to head on my EF 600/4 II.

    https://www.canonrumors.com/forum/th...l-is-ii.41215/

    I found the 1.4x versions functionally equivalent. For the 2x, in my hands the EF III was sharper than the RF. The RF 2x was actually similar to the two 1.4x TCs stacked. The RF also added noticeable barrel distortion.

    For bags, I use a LowePro Lens Trekker 600 AW II (there’s now a vIII, I don’t know what changed). It does a great job, it’s basically dedicated to the 600/4 with no space inside for other lenses, but there is sufficient space for the mounted 2x TC + 1D X. A tripod attaches to one side, the attachment is robust enough for my RRS TVC-33. There are strap attachment points for LowePro’s lens cases on the sides as well. The only one I usually use is the Lens Case 1N, which they unfortunately discontinued a long time back, when they switched from their relative size numbering with a letter suffix (like 1N) to the metric measurements (e.g., Lens Case 11x14). In that transition several sizes were lost, notably the 1W which is perfect for many ‘standard-sized’ lenses with a hood reversed, like the 24-105/4, 16-35/2.8 or /4, TS-E 17 or 24, etc. Also lost was the 1N, which was designed specifically to hold both the 1.4x and 2x TCs, and even came with a little padded disc to go between them.

    Enjoy the new lens!!

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