Ok, got the picture . . .

. . . literally . . .

The other day I mentioned something about users of the RF 100-500mm putting up with the limitations in order to get the results. Those results were something I hadn’t seen—until today.

After reading about a workaround for the occasional balk issue, I headed into the field for what seemed like the fourth or fifth “one last try.” The first thing I noticed was that the startup lag occurs with spot focus, but not at all with eye AF. Weird.

After nailing some spectacular shots of a pair of fledgling bulbuls (below), spot AF just couldn’t accurately latch on to a brightly-colored flowerpecker. Even when the eye is turned down or away, eye AF does a better job of finding the critter.

Which it did with a sunbird (second shot below), this time not letting go. Twenty or so clicks while the tiny critter quickly flitted about, and it missed but one.

The afternoon gave me a chance to compare the lens directly with its predecessor, with and without extender. Believe it or not, in addition to the greater reach, it actually has a bit more resolving power and crisper edges on fine details. But . . .

. . . even though I was expecting a bit of a headache mounting, carrying, and removing the extender in the field, it still struck me as an extreme pain in the rear when I actually had to do it. Looks as though that’ll be deployed only in open-field critter chasing, and grudgingly even then. The bare lens looks that good.

Out of the outbound bin and back to the dry cabinet . . .

R5/RF 100-500mm
R5/RF 100-500mm