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Legacy Lenses with the Canon EOS R5 - 1: EF 70-300L

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

Since this seems to have become a thing that some folks believe that legacy Canon native EF lenses are not working with the Canon EOS R5, I thought I would go and shoot with a couple of my own to deal with the issue that this might be systemic, rather that specific to the users or their gear. The complaints I have encountered so far seem to suggest that these lenses would not focus with the R5.

For this exercise I went to the local zoo on an overcast, occasionally showery day. I took my EOS R5 with the EF 70-300L f/4.5-6L lens, released in 2010. I deliberately tried to find images that would challenge the focusing system, so I chose a range of conditions including moving animals, very small subjects in very dim conditions, some at minimum focusing distance and others using maximum magnification with the 1.6 crop factor enabled. So, these are not necessarily works of art, but they do challenge the focusing system.

Overall, I had very few that were not keepers: of the 96 that I shot, 8 were not good - 2 were me shooting the ground as I handled the camera awkwardly, and one was absolutely massively out of focus - user error. The other 5 were very slow shutter speed resulting in movement by the subject or me being knocked by the many visitors.

All shots were taken hand-held, in available light, shot in both RAW and JPG.  Since the files are enormous relative to the maximum allowed here, I have downsized them in Photoshop and allowed some basic exposure and colour correction, none of which should impact on whether the focus was correct. 

So here goes:

1A: 300mm, f/7.4, 1/320sec, ISO-64001A: 300mm, f/7.4, 1/320sec, ISO-6400             1B: 100% crop of  1A1B: 100% crop of 1A

Looking at the front eye and the area around it, it looks like focus was bang on to me

2A: 155mm, f/160sec, ISO-25002A: 155mm, f/160sec, ISO-2500    2B: 100% crop of 2A2B: 100% crop of 2A    3A: 229mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO-25003A: 229mm, f/8, 1/320sec, ISO-2500

This series was shot through a fairly grubby thick glass window. I was particularly interested to see if the camera would latch onto the bright plant, but no...

4A: 214mm f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO-6404A: 214mm f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO-640

This baby orang was right by an extremely grubby window, at minimum focusing distance and very low light, and I was in a bit of a melee to get a photo as it was very cute and attracted a lot of attention.

5A: 188mm, f/5, 1/250sec, ISO-32005A: 188mm, f/5, 1/250sec, ISO-3200    6A: 300mm, f/13, 1/500sec, ISO-32006A: 300mm, f/13, 1/500sec, ISO-3200

These two were taken of an Auckland Green (AKA Elegant) Gecko, in EXTREMELY dim overhead light, at min focusing distance, also through glass.  This animal is barely 125mm (5" long) from nose to end of tail.  Initially I had to use manual focus to gauge the minimum focus distance (since there was a pane of glass in the way), but once I went back enough, despite the extremely dim conditions, the focus locked on the eyes.

7A: 300mm, f/8, 1/400sec, ISO-16007A: 300mm, f/8, 1/400sec, ISO-1600

This leopard was shot through thick glass.

Please click on the files to view in them in full size, as uploaded.

I would welcome your conclusions at to the effectiveness of this lens with the R5 body.

 


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
12 REPLIES 12

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

I shall follow up with a post using the EF 100-400MkII on the EOS R6 body, taken at the same time, under the same conditions.  The R5 and R6 have essentially the same focusing system.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

ata
Enthusiast

Hi trevor, thanks for the examples. I'm sure it will be informative for many users. I'm also an R5 user and have a 1997 Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L USM lens. Despite being such an old model, the dedication system of the camera works very satisfactorily, I am happy.

Thank you for your comments, I am glad that you are able to use your venerable optic with the R5.  The oldest lens I have so far used is a EF 28-105 IS USM from about 1995. 

To me there are four likely causes of focus not working:
A systemic incompatibility - which I hope I have addressed here.
A particular, but not common or systemic hardware error specific to a user
A specific configuration issue with the otherwise functional system
User error


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Yes i agree with you.

I'm wondering if Canon has reported any feedback on how many different ef lenses the bodies in the mirrorless system have had incompatibility or issues with. For example, have these bodies been tested with the lenses you and I have? There are so many lenses that I think this is not possible.

There are also strange phenomena. While the same body and the same lens group work smoothly for one user, another user may experience problems.

Cheers, ATA

With the same body and lens combo, I would suggest it is how the camera is set up, especially for focus.  These units are very different and potentially more complicated than DSLRs and to me that is most likely the source of variation


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Definitely, it's much more complex and delicate. In addition, the software part is much more involved than before. This is evident from the size of the update files. While the update file was 5mb in Canon 5D 15 years ago, today it varies between 50-80mb (depending on the camera model).

Cheers, ATA

Absolutely!   The days when a lens' optics were purely responsible for generating the image are long gone.  Now, more and more it is a combination of optics and firmware - the latter to provide increasing degrees of correction for distortion and vignetting to deliver images that would have been impossible with a similar lens of an earlier era.  Two examples are the RF 14-35L and 24-240STM.  At their widest focal lengths, uncorrected, they exhibit significant distortion and vignetting.  They are corrected in camera for JPGs and RAW is corrected in PP software like PS and LR.  The lenses actually capture a FoV a couple of degrees wider than their rated values and then use that extra space to engineer the corrections, resulting in a pretty good image!  These lenses can achieve results, particularly at the short FL end that were virtually impossible previously.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

ata
Enthusiast

Cameras are smarter now. They recognize the attached lens and make all kinds of improvements for that lens for you.

Lens Aberration Correction
Peripheral Illumination Correction
Distortion Correction
Digital Lens Optimizer
Chromatic Aberration Correction
Diffraction Correction. More in the future. All this is a huge workload reduction for the photographer.I am satisfied that all this is available on my camera.

Cheers, ATA

Exactly.  In the area of focus it is just as complicated, and that can get very tricky, depending on how one has previously operated.  I have an impression that those who try to shoot in Manual modes, as they did with DSLRs are struggling a bit with the technologies and techniques of MILCs.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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