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Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM evaluate – NEWPAPER24




Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM evaluate

2021-01-15 00:16:48


Two-minute evaluate

A telephoto lens is a vital a part of a photographer’s digital camera equipment however, till just lately, there was no native choice for Canon’s RF mount. And that’s the place the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-71 L IS USM is available in. It’s the primary super-telephoto zoom lens for the EOS R-series cameras, including an additional 100mm attain over the very talked-about EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L Mark II DSLR zoom.

Regardless of that further attain, the RF 100-500mm doesn’t take up any more room in a bag than its older DSLR counterpart, whereas additionally being marginally lighter as properly. And, because of in-lens stabilization, it makes it a lot simpler to make use of handheld for lengthy durations of time, particularly when paired with the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 our bodies. That, in flip, means you may probably depart your tripod behind to maintain weight down when you’re going walkabout. 

Furthermore, being an L-series lens, the RF 100-500mm is solidly constructed, with weather-proofing, a detachable tripod collar, a customizable management ring and a rubber-tipped lens hood that includes a facet window so you may regulate variable filters. 

One other enchancment the RF 100-500mm brings over its EF different is barely sooner autofocus efficiency. Nevertheless, there’s a bit caveat right here: AF velocity is disappointing when paired with the older Canon EOS R and EOS RP our bodies, however the lens takes wonderful benefit of the R5 and R6’s up to date AF techniques.

You’ll must needless to say teleconverters will solely work with the RF 100-500mm for focal lengths 300mm and 500mm, because the in-between focal distances are already obtainable. And even with a teleconverter added on for much more attain, picture high quality and efficiency – as we’ve come to count on from Canon – is outstanding. Shade rendition is great, with wonderful middle and edge sharpness.

Should you don’t have already got the EF 100-400mm Mark II lens, which you should use on an R-series physique with a lens adaptor and nonetheless get attractive outcomes, it’s price contemplating upgrading if in case you have the money to spare. 

The bodily and AF benefits the RF 100-500mm brings over the EF different means you’re paying a hefty  $2,699 / £2,899 / AU$4,999 for it, which makes it far dearer than the RF 600mm f/11 and RF 800mm f/11 telephoto primes collectively. Regardless of that eye-watering price ticket, we are able to’t advocate the RF 100-500mm super-telephoto zoom extremely sufficient, notably to sports activities and wildlife photographers already utilizing the newer EOS R system cameras.

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM telephoto zoom lens

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM: value and availability

As talked about above, the RF-mount super-telephoto zoom is an costly beast, carrying a whopping price ticket of $2,699 / £2,899 / AU$4,999. In case your price range doesn’t stretch that far, you may go for the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Mark II telephoto zoom, add an adaptor and nonetheless save a packet. To not point out the cheaper (and brand-new) RF 600mm and 800mm primes, though with a set focal size and f/11 aperture, they’re not as vivid or versatile because the 100-500mm.

The RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM is in the stores proper now both immediately from Canon (in case your area has a web-based Canon Retailer) or from main digital camera retailers in your nation.

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM telephoto zoom lens

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)


  • Stabilized lens
  • Variable focal lengths
  • 20 components in 14 teams

There are at present three native telephoto lenses for the EOS R system, however just one is an L-series optic, which additionally occurs to be the one native zoom choice as properly. And that makes the RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM particular, regardless of its hefty value.

The variable 100-500mm focal size means there’s numerous flexibility in relation to picture composition. The outcomes it produces are helped by the six UD (ultra-low dispersion) and one Tremendous UD lens components inside the building, which ship robust distinction and sharpness whereas additionally lowering chromatic aberrations and fringing all through the zoom vary. Furthermore, Canon’s Air Sphere Coating (ASC) helps forestall flare and ghosting.

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM sample shots

Fringing and flare is properly managed because of the premium glass and coatings within the RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM  (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Whereas it is perhaps lighter and smaller than its EF counterpart, it’s nice that the RF 100-500mm is stabilized, with as much as 5 stops of compensation for digital camera shake, which will get boosted to 6 stops when paired with the IBIS system within the EOS R5/R6 our bodies.

It additionally makes use of a Twin Nano USM autofocus motor for clean, quick and silent operation, whereas a customizable management ring on the barrel offers you extra management over capturing parameters like ISO, aperture and shutter velocity.

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM telephoto zoom lens

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Construct and dealing with

  • Compact and lightweight for a telephoto zoom
  • Sturdy, weather-sealed barrel
  • Premium optics

For a lens that gives a big zoom vary, the RF 100-500mm is comparatively light-weight and compact. Weighing in at 1,530g and measuring 207.6mm when retracted to its ‘saved’ place, it’s lighter (by 200g) and ever-so-slightly longer (by about 14mm) than its EF 100-400mm DSLR cousin. The lens extends an additional 9cm when utterly zoomed out to its most focal size (500mm), and continues to be properly balanced when used handheld with an R-series physique.

As with all L-series lenses, a big, lockable hood ships within the field that includes a facet window to entry rotating variable filters. There’s a totally detachable and rotatable tripod collar as properly, whereas climate sealing ensures you may safely use the lens in most climate circumstances.

Like all different RF lenses, there’s a slender, textured management ring on the base of the lens that can be utilized to regulate capturing parameters like ISO, aperture and shutter velocity, but it surely needs to be famous that the ring is clean, missing the small click on in non-L collection lenses to point a setting choice. The guide focusing ring (the textured white one) can also be clean, with no laborious stops to point both minimal or most focal distances.

Between these two rings are the 4 switches, situated inside straightforward attain of your left thumb when the lens is in use. Proper up prime is the main target limiter, beneath which is the AF and MF swap, adopted by the picture stabilization on/off and, lastly, the swap to decide on between three stabilization modes.

Specializing in the RF 100-500mm is inside, that means the entrance aspect doesn’t transfer whereas zooming out and in, making it splendid to make use of with filters with a hoop diameter of 77mm.

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM telephoto zoom lens

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)


  • Quick AF velocity (with R5/R6 our bodies)
  • Slim max aperture
  • 5 stops of picture stabilization

It ought to come as no shock that Canon launched the RF 100-500mm alongside the EOS R5 and R6 our bodies. This lens was meant to be paired with these newer R-series cameras so customers can benefit from their superfast AF techniques. We examined the lens with the R5 and capturing birds was a breeze. Virtually all our photographs had been in focus, with the one exceptions being after we weren’t capable of sustain with the velocity of a fowl on the wing ourselves.

And contemplating the comparatively slender aperture vary of the lens (f/4.5-7.1) at any focal distance, lighting could be a problem, particularly when you’re capturing indoors. That’s when the brand new R-system cameras additionally assist, because of their superior ISO efficiency.

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM sample shots

1/1250 sec at f/14, ISO 8000 (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

You may, in fact, use the lens with the older EOS R or RP fashions, however autofocus efficiency goes to be sluggish compared. This may be improved through the use of the cameras’ high-speed burst mode, but it surely’s nonetheless not going to match the AF velocity when utilizing the R5/R6.

If you are going to be utilizing this lens with the older Canon mirrorless cameras, you’ll be glad for the 5 stops of picture stabilization the lens gives (because the our bodies haven’t any IBIS). Whereas it is perhaps a contact lighter than the EF 100-400mm, it’s nonetheless a big lens and having built-in stabilization helps when you’re capturing handheld. In our case, we used the lens with the R5 solely handheld and, whereas we did discover it tiring after about half-hour of capturing, a complete of six stops of compensation for digital camera shake meant we had much more usable frames than we had been anticipating.

Let’s simply say that the EOS R5 + RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L is a match made in action-photography heaven.

Picture high quality

  • Lovely colours
  • Chromatic aberrations properly managed
  • Very good edge and middle sharpness

The EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L Mark II DSLR zoom isn’t any slouch – it produces completely impeccable outcomes – and the brand new RF 100-500mm follows in those self same footsteps. Paired with the EOS R5, we discovered virtually nothing to complain about. Pictures are remarkably sharp (even with the aperture absolutely open), with stunning, true-to-life coloration rendition.

Nook and edge sharpness does cut back marginally on the longer focal lengths of 400-500mm however you’ll be laborious pressed to note and, when you do, can simply right it in publish. 

Heart sharpness, however, is ideal all through the focal vary at virtually any aperture, with completely no proof of pincushion distortion (the place the middle of a picture seems pinched inwards, notably the place strains are concerned).

Chromatic aberrations – blue and purple fringing typically seen in high-contrast edges – are properly managed in any respect focal lengths and apertures in real-world outcomes.

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM sample shots

Handheld at 123mm; 1/60 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100, EV +1 (Picture credit score: TechRadar)

And, regardless of the sluggish max aperture of f/7.1, depth-of-field results are literally fairly good. Bokeh is agreeable, because of the lens’ 9 aperture blades.

Ought to I purchase the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM lens?

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM telephoto zoom lens

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Purchase it if…

You utilize the EOS R5 or R6

This lens is finest when paired with Canon’s latest R system cameras. So when you’ve already upgraded to the R5 or R6 (or are planning to) then investing within the RF 100-500mm makes numerous sense. You’ll be capable to benefit from not solely the speedy AF system on the newer our bodies, but in addition their superior excessive ISO efficiency when you’re capturing in low-light circumstances.

You’re primarily a sports activities or wildlife photographer

It goes with out saying {that a} telephoto zoom just like the RF 100-500mm is supposed for sports activities and wildlife photographers due to its lengthy attain. However this can be a versatile lens. Should you’re adventurous, you should use all the focal vary for panorama pictures too, and regardless of a slender aperture, it does properly in portraiture, nonetheless life or product pictures too.

You have got the money to spare

As we talked about earlier, the RF 100-500mm is an efficient funding, offered you may abdomen its premium value. Should you can, then we are able to’t advocate this lens extremely sufficient.

Do not buy it if…

You want one thing reasonably priced

Needless to say the EF 100-400mm Mark II lens is a good different that produces stunning outcomes. Even when you purchase a model new EF 100-400 and add on an RF lens adaptor, you’ll save your self some cash. Should you’re cash-strapped, you may at all times decide up a secondhand EF 100-400 Mark II lens and an RF lens adaptor. Should you actually need to persist with native RF lenses, you may take into account getting your self the brand new RF 600mm and 800mm primes – when you’re positive with these mounted focal distances and f/11 apertures – and nonetheless save over $1,000 after shopping for each.

You’re an EOS R or EOS RP consumer

Admittedly, you’ll get nice outcomes with the older Canon R our bodies, but it surely’s potential you might discover the efficiency of the lens missing and irritating. Autofocus velocity is sluggish at finest with the EOS R/RP, whereas the lens’ aperture vary and digital camera’s ISO efficiency will not be the best choice for capturing in low-light circumstances.



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