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Are RF lenses better than EF lenses in terms of sharpness and colors?

ceaser333
Apprentice

I recently bought an R6. The other day, I took some portrait pictures with kit lens 24-105 F4-7.1 and 50mm f 1.8. the results were tack sharp colors were so rich and it was really impressive. I was eyeing RF 70-200 f2.8 for so long but eventually I decided to buy EF version MK II with adaptor due to cost. instead of paying almost $3k I ended up paying $950 for EF 70-200 IS USM MK ii. So I took my new EF lens to the test it melts the background wide open at 200mm and it has a nice bokeh. But when I compared the results I got surprised since the kit lens produced sharper and richer photos! The EF 70-200 F2.8 II seems soft a little and colors are slightly washed out compared to those 2 other one! I was planning to buy more EF lenses due to their affordability but now I dont know why it seems RF lenses even kit lens produces better results than hugh end EF lens! I'm thinking maybe I didnt use my new EF lens much and I need give it more chances and then judge it. But what yall think? Are RF lenses have really better IQ and color?

5 REPLIES 5

Waddizzle
Legend

Many users report better results with EF glass on an R body compared to their DSLRs.

I am not aware of any reviews that have done a direct comparison of the two lens lines.  Some RF lens may have been adapted from EF designs.  But there are many RF zooms with focal ranges and aperture values that are clearly new designs, made expressly for the RF mount.  These new designs have been generally met with highly favorable reviews.

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ebiggs1
Legend

"Are RF lenses have really better IQ and color?"

One would expect newer tech to be better than older. So, yes, I expect the RF lens are better. However that doesn't mean that EF series are not good. They are very good and you may need to become a pixel peeper to tell the difference.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I've been using the R6 for about a year and a half and the R5 for about a year. Before that I was using a 7D mark II and 5D mark IV with quite a few quality EF lenses from the EF 24mm f/2.8 to the EF 100-400mm L II. I originally planned on using all of my EF glass with the R's utilizing both the plain adapter and the ring adapter. After I bought the RF 100-500mm L, I could see that RF glass had a little better IQ compared to the closest EF (the 100-400mm L II) that I had. Since then, I have bought the RF 100mm L macro (I have the EF 100mm L macro) and the RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L. My wife bought the RF 100-400mm to use on the R6 and compared to the the EF 70-300mm II which she used for a while with the adapter, the RF is noticeably better on the R6, and not just because of the extra FL.

In my photography, I do notice a small improvement in IQ from EF/adapter to RF, however, that isn't why I would recommend going native with the RF glass. Without getting technical, they are newer designs and match up better with the R series cameras, they focus faster, have better IS, and personally, I like the ring. You might say they are the next step up from their EF counterparts.

Newton

AtticusLake
Rising Star

It's going to vary by lens.  But generally, I would expect most RF lenses to be at least as good as their EF equivalent, because the RF lens designs basically start as copies of the EF version, and go from there.

Many RF lenses will be better, by some amount, because of improvements across the board in lens tech, and in some cases because the RF lens can take advantage of the shorter flange distance.  Just how much better will vary.  My general impression is that there's usually an improvement, but it can be slight, as in a little better sharpness in the corners.

There are reviews that compare EF and RF lenses directly.  Here's an interesting example from Gordon Laing:

https://www.cameralabs.com/canon-rf-70-200mm-f4l-is-usm-review/

ebiggs1
Legend

"I do notice a small improvement in IQ from EF/adapter to RF, ..."

 

Any perceived IQ improvement has to come from the camera not the lens. A lens is as sharp as it will ever be the day it is born.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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