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Slowly migrating from my EF lenses to RF Lenses- Recommendations for indoor lens?

Zaphod
Contributor

Hello,

I’ve had Canon EF cameras back  to the Canon 20D. I purchased my R5 last year and love it.  I’m normally an outdoor photographer so the first lens I migrated was my EF 100-400 to the RF 100-500. I recently was asked to shoot an indoor event without a flash (it involved birds or prey so the flash would cause issues) and none of my lenses cut it with a EF/RF adapter.  What do others use for lower light situations using a R5 body?

Thanks in advance

Bill

3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

rs-eos
Elite
Elite

What other EF lenses do you have?

For work in low light where you cannot add lighting, you can also slow the shutter speed and /or raise ISO.  Though both will have implications.

If the resultant images are too noisy and/or contain motion blur above what you want, then moving to a wider aperture lens would be required.  I'm assuming that the indoor event wouldn't require very long focal lengths?  If so, at least look at a constant aperture f/2.8 zoom lens.   Though this may only lead to giving you around two stops of wiggle room (i.e. reduce ISO by two stops, increase shutter speed by 2 stops, or a mix-and-match of 1 stop each).

If that's not going to cut it, you can look at even wider apertures.  However, these are typically only found in the world of prime lenses.  e.g. the RF 135mm f/1.8 would add another 1 1/3 stop of wiggle room over an f/2.8 lens.   Any lens with f/1.2 would then be 2 1/3 stops of wiggle over an f/2.8

However, do note that primes will not be as versatile if you're going to need multiple focal lengths and cannot move around as much.  And, the narrow depths of field with the wider apertures can be challenging.  Typically not an issue though if your subjects wouldn't be super close the camera.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

View solution in original post

I think whatever lens you used on the Great Horned Owl worked pretty well. There is no EXIF data in the posted shot, so we can't tell what settings you used. Still, if you were shooting Raw, that is a very usable image IMO.

Thank you for posting a sample, it makes me more inclined to suggest the 50mm f/1.8. I have the EF version of the 50mm f/1.8 and can only assume the RF version is way better.

Newton

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.

View solution in original post


@Zaphod wrote:

Thanks for the your opinion on that shot, it’s a good camera and lens combination but I find that if I use an adapter to put that same lens on the R5 I loose some flexibility.  Are you referencing the “Canon RF50mm F1.8 STM“? It looks very reasonable.  


You are welcome, and yes, the RF 50mm f/1.8 STM.

Newton

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.

View solution in original post

10 REPLIES 10

rs-eos
Elite
Elite

What other EF lenses do you have?

For work in low light where you cannot add lighting, you can also slow the shutter speed and /or raise ISO.  Though both will have implications.

If the resultant images are too noisy and/or contain motion blur above what you want, then moving to a wider aperture lens would be required.  I'm assuming that the indoor event wouldn't require very long focal lengths?  If so, at least look at a constant aperture f/2.8 zoom lens.   Though this may only lead to giving you around two stops of wiggle room (i.e. reduce ISO by two stops, increase shutter speed by 2 stops, or a mix-and-match of 1 stop each).

If that's not going to cut it, you can look at even wider apertures.  However, these are typically only found in the world of prime lenses.  e.g. the RF 135mm f/1.8 would add another 1 1/3 stop of wiggle room over an f/2.8 lens.   Any lens with f/1.2 would then be 2 1/3 stops of wiggle over an f/2.8

However, do note that primes will not be as versatile if you're going to need multiple focal lengths and cannot move around as much.  And, the narrow depths of field with the wider apertures can be challenging.  Typically not an issue though if your subjects wouldn't be super close the camera.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Thank you for the quick response and good information.  Yes, the RF 135mm f/1.8 is a bit pricy so I’ll have to determine if it’s worth the investment for the amount of indoor shooting I do. I’ve tried he Lume Cube Bicolor Mountable LED Light but some rooms have a lot of glass and shiny wood. Add that to the fact you can’t make birds pose ..well.

Regards

Bill

What distances would you typically be shooting from?

Newton

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.

Newton, typically 1.5 to 2 meters.  


@Zaphod wrote:

Newton, typically 1.5 to 2 meters. 

Hello, Bill, and welcome to the forum.

At those distances and the subject being birds of prey, which I assume are hawks, eagles, falcons, etc., which are fairly large birds. A good choice would be the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro. It may well be in your budget and would also allow you to dip your toes into the world of macro photography, so it would be useful when you aren't doing indoor events. Although it is a fixed focal length lens, it's still quite versatile in the types of subjects you can capture, so don't let "macro" in the name put you off. Also at those distances, the RF 50mm f/1.8 might also work and would allow you to get a little closer as the 100mm would require you to step back a bit if the birds are really large. The drawback being a much shallower DOF at f/1.8, if forced to shoot wide open. I don't normally shoot with a wide open aperture and stop down a bit thanks to the way the R5 handles higher ISO, however, these new RF lenses seem to be a little sharper wide open than my EF lenses but the DOF is still very shallow.

These were shot with the EOS R5 and RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro. 1/400th, f/8, ISO 4000, late evening (poor light), hand held. The first image is the entire frame and the second is cropped (same image). This is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird shot from roughly 4 feet away and he is under 3 inches in length.

Entire Frame From 4 FeetEntire Frame From 4 FeetCropped From Previous ImageCropped From Previous Image

One of the reasons I love the R5 is the detail I can retain when cropping these small birds, which I shoot a lot of using the RF 100-500mm, particularly warblers. I also shoot raptors of various species at long distance with the RF 100-500L, and the same detail retention applies with them as well.

*Edit* Sorry for the poor examples, but it's the only shot I have using the RF 100mm at a distance over 8 inches 🙂

Newton

 

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.

Newton,

Thank you, the RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro certainly look like a reasonable price solution. The RF 135mm f/1.8 suggested by Ricky is great lens but as he noted, it is a “prime” lens.  I think I’ll start low and if I find myself shoot more indoor events, I’ll move up.  
I’m so glad I reached out to folks in this forum, what an education in just one question being asked.

Bill

PS this is what is what I shoot indoors. I had to use my D90 and Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II SLR Lens.

IMG_2307.jpeg

 

I think whatever lens you used on the Great Horned Owl worked pretty well. There is no EXIF data in the posted shot, so we can't tell what settings you used. Still, if you were shooting Raw, that is a very usable image IMO.

Thank you for posting a sample, it makes me more inclined to suggest the 50mm f/1.8. I have the EF version of the 50mm f/1.8 and can only assume the RF version is way better.

Newton

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.

Thanks for the your opinion on that shot, it’s a good camera and lens combination but I find that if I use an adapter to put that same lens on the R5 I loose some flexibility.  Are you referencing the “Canon RF50mm F1.8 STM“? It looks very reasonable.  


@Zaphod wrote:

Thanks for the your opinion on that shot, it’s a good camera and lens combination but I find that if I use an adapter to put that same lens on the R5 I loose some flexibility.  Are you referencing the “Canon RF50mm F1.8 STM“? It looks very reasonable.  


You are welcome, and yes, the RF 50mm f/1.8 STM.

Newton

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.
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