A rare sunny Sunday morning gave me a chance to try the RF 600mm f/11 with the 1.4X extender on targets, something I’ve wanted to do for some time. The idea was that if f/16 is practical, there’d be no need to source an RF 800mm.
The combo was pretty unbelievably good for “enthusiast” glass, as can be seen in the first shot below, taken under shade at ISO 10,000. Sharpness, contrast, details and effective stabilization were all there. In quite a few pics, so was high ISO. To make a long story short, the 600’s departure has been arranged and coordinated with the arrival of an 800mm tomorrow. That lens is just too good not to try on the R5, which felt like shooting with a real camera again after several days with Sony.
To assure myself that the RF 100-400mm + extender can do as well with feathers, I headed out under mostly middling light in the afternoon. Yup, ISO soared on some shots, as can be seen in the second shot below (ISO 40,000). But the quality was there even in light where I’d normally shoot only the bare lens.
A longer look at yesterday’s disappointing shots with the 100-400mm GM and 1.4X has me thinking that stabilization is also an issue when the extender is attached. Wouldn’t be the first time for this issue with Sony, especially where their Achilles heel is concerned. It obviously limits the usefulness of the lens, but at least there’s the comfort of knowing that what it can do, it does extremely well.
Sure, I joke about Sony not feeling like a “real camera,” but the a7 IV is changing that perception . . .