. . . over the past many years of chasing critters of all kinds, but mainly birds: it’s not about which pieces of the latest, fanciest gear you head out into the field with, it’s about the pictures you come back with.
After a morning stop at the local Canon offices to pick up an RF 600mm f/11, the afternoon was spent putting it to the test, both on targets and in the field, with and without the 1.4X extender, under spectacular lighting but poor air quality. My raptor friends were generous with their time, especially my dear friend of seven years, the White-Bellied Sea Eagle, who even did a nice fly-by.
After reading some more about issues with the RF 100-500mm, I tried to pick the brain of the Canon service rep this morning. While he was tightlipped about service issues he’s seen with the lens (“mostly drops”), I learned that he, by coincidence also a bird photographer and a CL shooter, also chose the RF 100-400mm over the bigger zoom. He mentioned that the consensus among his fellow birders is that the EF 100-400mm IS II is Canon’s best zoom to date. I agree.
Having read of some issues with cracked elements and poorly seated elements in the 100-500mm, I figure mine may be afflicted by the latter. It’s similar to my first 280mm f/2.8 APO-Telyt-R, which arrived with a broken retaining ring in back of the front element. Some shots were perfect, others were just enough off to be infuriating.
Anyway, with the RF 600mm + 1.4X, I’ve already gone beyond what can be shot in these parts without also recording “air,” some of which was present in today’s shots.