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Thread: R5 @ 500 mm versus 1DXIII @ 700 mm

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    R5 @ 500 mm versus 1DXIII @ 700 mm

    I found a sleepy owl in a tree today, so I had time to take a variety of shots. I used the R5 with the spiffy 100-500 lens handheld, and then I set up my 1DXIII with the 500 f/4 and 1.4 TC on a tripod to get a bit more reach and take advantage of the wider aperture. When I looked at the results at home, I was rather stunned to see how much sharper the images are from the R5. Is this camera and lens combo really that good? Here are a couple examples, both cropped to about the same dimension. Neither image is post-processed at all.

    From the R5: 1/2000 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 1600 (I was using a fast shutter speed in case it decided to fly)




    From the 1DXIII: 1/800 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 320




    Maybe it's a focus calibration issue? Or the different aperture? I really thought my 1DXIII was sharper than that, but I don't use the 1.4 TC all that often. I wish now that I had brought my RF lens adapter, then I could have tried the R5 on the same setup to see the difference.

    But really, I'm becoming incredibly impressed with what the R5 can do. Even when connected to a 500 mm lens, I can get better results than I can with the 1DXIII at 700 mm.

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    The test would be the 500mm with an adapter on the R5 and the 1DX III without.
    You sure it isn't the difference in resolution that you are noticing?
    I was looking at other points in the picture and comparing, like the tree.
    500mm at f/7.1 versus 700mm f/5.6 different DOF and that can be an issue.

    The 100-500mm shot isn't to shabby at all. The owl looks good. If you had the R5 with its higher resolution and the 500mm F/4 and a lower aperture could it have improved.

    I have the 100-500mm and really haven't played with it much yet. I need to get it out and give it a good test drive.

    I am starting to arrive at an opinion on the R5 and it isn't in line with many of the great things I hear. First I can notice the difference in resolution from the 5DsR even though it is slight. The AF of the R5 is not on par with even my old 1D IV for the tough shooting and finding targets when hunting. The eye tracking is great, the flippy screen is great and in general it focuses really well. It is more convenient to get shots when you don't have to have the camera on your face. Last night I went to my sons wedding and took the R5 and used the 35mm F/1.4. He had a photographer but I wanted a few shots from my perspective and a few shots with that special Bokeh you can get when shooting at f/1.6. Generally shooting almost wide open is tough for the DSLR's and I have to say my keeper rate was really no better than I would have gotten with the 5DsR. There were several sets it didn't achieve focus as it should.

    I am waiting on Canon to bring out a R1 that they believe has an AF equal to the 1D series.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hi Jonathan,

    I wonder if DoF may have played a role in what you are seeing, perhaps also a slightly different position of the owl and light. Just playing around with a DoF calculator, but 100 ft 500 f/7.1 would have a DoF of 5.13 ft and 100 ft 700 f/5.6 would have a DoF of 2.06 ft.

    As for the numbers, a 1DX III with a 1.4 x TC is pretty equivalent to the R5, but slightly lower. Just using the 1.4x 5,472 x 3648 * 1.4 = 7,661 x 5,107 H, which is still a bit lower than the R5's 8,192 x 5,464. Throw in slight image degradation of the 1.4x TC (usually very minor) and the 1.4x really being more like 1.36x, and there is a difference, but I would expect it to require some serious pixel peeping to identify. Is this an extreme crop? Maybe it is enough to start seeing a difference in actual resolution?

    If DoF is the issue, it would imply the 1DXIII set up missed focus a bit.

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    I have been generally very impressed with the sharpness of the RF100-500 lens.

    Good explanations have already been given for the variance in your images.....I think there is a good possibility that your 500 + 1.4 TC is front focusing a bit and may well need a bit od AF micro adjustment.

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    Look at the talons and the branch it is sitting on. To Joel's comment front focus might be a little of it.

    It looks like the Owl bobbed his head back in the 1Dx III pic and leaned more forward in the R5 pic.

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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    First I can notice the difference in resolution from the 5DsR even though it is slight.
    Yep. While I have never shot the 5DsR, here they are carefully compared and they came to the same conclusion.

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    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback! Yes I'm going to have to go with the conclusion that the lens is front-focusing a bit. I calibrated it at 500 mm but not at 700 mm --- I guess I should do that. So score another point for mirrorless systems --- they don't need AFMA.

    With regards to the DOF calculator, I have to say that I think it is a bit optimistic when it comes to the standards we want for wildlife. Rather than the 2 feet of depth that it says I should have, I'd say I have maybe 2 inches of depth that is truly "sharp" to my liking. Maybe the DOF calculator is more appropriate for landscape photos? With wildlife, if you don't get the eye tack sharp then you pretty much want to throw out the image. And there is so little margin for error. So when I have an owl on a perch like that, I'm always taking a lot of photos just to make sure that at least one of them is sharp.

    Here is the original R5 shot at 500 mm:




    And here is the original 1DXIII shot at 700 mm:


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    I agree completely with your comments about DOF and the eye.

    For what is worth I would have done the same thing you did. Pixel peeped and tried to see if I could have cropped.

    But I have to say I prefer the 1Dx III for the uncropped photos, and I preferer the uncropped over the cropped. The tree appears to be in sharper focus in the 1Dx III. The eye isn't that much of a factor other than for pixel peeping. The bokeh is much better and gives good separation. The owl is bushed out and puffed up. The small tree on the right is in focus and gives it some character. The f/4 500mm and 1.4x uncropped for the win IMO.

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    A possible solution for this image is Topaz Sharpen AI.

    Don't know if you have tried it but .... it is amazing sometimes what it can do for a slightly out of focus image.

    I would select the bird and only apply it there

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    If you do what Joel suggested I would like to see the "after" results of the 1Dx III uncropped picture.
    Maybe it will give it more kick.

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