Chasing ether . . .

A heavy cloud cover prompted me to choose the EOS R over the 90D this morning. About a mile into my six-mile stroll, clouds broke and light was abundant. Of course.

The EOS R, I learned, is not as apt to outrightly balk on focusing when the limiter is engaged. But with the extender on the 100-400mm, which is the only way the combo is long enough to be useful, AF is painfully slow even with the limiter on.

Reading some users’ experiences with the R taught me that it’s generally not thought of as a good choice for birding, but that it can pinch-hit on occasion. Further, it was claimed that Servo in tracking works at no faster than 3 FPS.

Using recommended settings for about eighty shots, some burst **cough, cough** and some single shots, I got less than twenty percent focused with critical accuracy. Failure to acquire cost a number of opportunities.

But that wasn’t the real downer. On still and foraging birds, using the smaller square focus “point,” accuracy wasn’t much better. I recall having the same issue with the RP. These issues don’t exist using the much slower RF 600mm f/11.

Out again in the sunny afternoon with the 90D, 100-400mm, and 1.4X, I now see clearly that the 1.4X adds nothing while slowing down the otherwise snappy AF. The lens alone is spectacular, and has enough relative reach on the 90D to capture almost all of what I’m interested in.

As for the R, well, it’ll see some fair weather use with the 600mm f/11, next time with the limiter on; and I may even add the 800mm. The upcoming 100-400mm is not an L lens, so it’s a wait-and-see possibility.

Not exactly the way I planned things, but right now I just thank my lucky stars that the 90D came with perfectly-calibrated AF. The R? It’s a bit of a head-scratcher.

And if I hear and see good things from the Sigma, some of the above could change . . .

EOS R/100-400mm IS II/1.4X Extender III
Masked Lapwing
EOS R/100-400mm IS II/1.4X Extender III
Egret