Winner!

Only two outings were needed to know that the RF 100-500mm, about which I was initially skeptical, is a superb lens—near prime quality with the versatility of a zoom.

Still can’t figure what was the exact problem with the first copy, but this one solves all the gripes, niggles, and inadequacies of the first. The one residual issue is slow wake-up time with the R5 when I use spot focus in a custom profile. But even that is faster than with the previous copy.

I agree with reviewers who wrote that it’s not a big leap from the EF 100-400mm IS II. But the extra reach, for me, makes a difference, as does the slightly better handling. On the R5, it’s a better overall user experience than the older lens with a DSLR body, or on a mirrorless with the EF-RF adapter.

Icing on the cake is news that Canon will soon announce a high-MP APS-C mirrorless. Diffraction and noise might make it a challenge to get good images with one of the DO lenses, but with a good de-noise software, it should pair nicely with the two RF zooms.

. . . which brings up (again): where will the Leica gear fit in? I hate to say it, but the Z fc is on par with the CL in IQ, and is a good bit more versatile and robust overall. Cross the bridge when I get to it, or jump off? 😉

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