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Trying out the RF 24-240 on Wildlife with the R5

Tronhard
Authority

The R5, at 45MP is a fairly unforgiving unit as regards being used with poor technique or lens technology.   I have the Rf 24-105L and 100-500L units and have used them to great effect with R5 and R5 bodies.  On the R6, the RF24-240 worked well enough in the situation in which I used it - more static object.  I wanted to 'stress test' this lens on the R5 to see what the lens would, and would not handle.

 

So, I took myself to my local gannet colony, which is very busy with new birds arriving, pairing up, mating and nesting: it's too early for hatchlings yet.   When arrived I was treated to a coast swathed in sea mist, and that was an easy shot for the lens to deal with.

_5011172 LR copy.jpg

 

So I began by photographing relatively static birds as they paired and nested.

R5010794 LR copy.jpg

 

For those sitting on an egg, the boredom of the whole thing is relieved by frequent preening - much like some humans under lockdown!   This image is heavily cropped from the original, which was in landscape more and had the whold bird.

R5010510  P copy.jpg

 

As a general-purpose walk around lens, it does not have the blazing speed of the RF-L units, so my keeper rate from the birds on the wing, moving fast and unpredictably, was not a high as the high-end ones.  That said, with the animal eye tracking and great focusing of the R-series bodies, it did a great job!

 

R5010976 LR copy.jpg

 

I deliberately chose this shot to see how the system would cope with a cluttered and almost identical background - and again, I think it did OK.

R5010961 LR copy.jpg

 

In summary: while this would not be my go-to combination, it did get reasonable results, albeit with a higher attrition rate.  Certainly for it zoom range, the lens does an OK job.  These images have all been significantly downsized and, in some cases, cropped to fit with the 5MP image limit.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me
9 REPLIES 9

Tintype_18
Mentor

Very nice photos. The camera did a good job. I take it that you are saying the camera is not "top of the line." The photos show the colors in a realistic way to me.


@Tintype_18 wrote:

Very nice photos. The camera did a good job. I take it that you are saying the camera is not "top of the line." The photos show the colors in a realistic way to me.


Thank you for your comments. 

 

Certainly I am NOT saying the camera is 'not top of the line' far from it!  You will observe that I said I was stress-testing the lens.  I chose the R5 because cameras with very high MP count, in my experience, are brutal in showing any flaw in technology (i.e. the lens) and technique - I say this with experience using the EOS 5DsR at 52MP.  The camera is top knotch but it demands a high level of performance from both the lens and the photographer to do it justice.

 

The test in question was not of the body, but of the combination of the lens with the body.  The 24-240 is not an L-series unit, and inevitably with such super zoom lenses that go from moderate wide angle to long telephoto, there are compromises.  For example, in the case of the Rf 24-240, when one looks at images where lens correction has not been applied (either in camera or via PP), then at its widest aperture there is massive vignetting and distortion.  However, this is one of the new breed of units that utilize software correction to allow lenses to achieve outstanding results.  In other words the lens no longer stands on its own, it is used in partnership with optical correction software to produce its results.

 

I have used the venerable EF 28-300L from back in 2004 - and I use it still.  It is a beast of a lens: massively heavy and all-metal, with a push/pull design.  It does, however, take amazing images and as a walk-around all-around unit it has been hard to beat in the Canon lineup.  The closest competitor was the much lighter Nikon FX 28-300 N VR lens (which I also have) that is made of composites rather than all metal.

 

So the market at which the 24-240 is aimed is not likely to normally be associated with the uber-expensive R5 unit. More with the R, RF and even R6.  I have a couple of the latter units and the 24-240 has done an ok job with them, but has not been used in the context of capturing fast moving birds in flight at a wide range of focal lengths.  This combination of elements was what my 'stress test' was all about.

 

For your reference HERE is an article evaluating the RF 24-240, and even comparing it to the RF 24-105 units.

THIS is Gordon Laing's You Tube evaluation of the unit: so much higher in images.

Finally HERE is the definitive review, in depth by Dustin Abbott.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me


Post Deleted, Sorry 🙂

 

Beatiful shots!

 

Newton

 

Edward1064
Enthusiast

Trevor,

 

Thank you for your beautiful photos. What kind of birds are they? And I am curious about what editing software you are using.

 

Ed

California


@Edward1064 wrote:

Trevor,

 

Thank you for your beautiful photos. What kind of birds are they? And I am curious about what editing software you are using.

 

Ed

California


Hi Ed, and think you for you response.

 

These birds are Australasian Gannets.  They generally move between NZ and Australia at different times in their lifecycle, mostly coming to NZ to breed after about four years.  In Auckland, we are fortunate to have arguably the most accessible colony in the world: being on the mainland, very close to our largest city (about 34km from the city centre) and with easy access from parking and with good pathways.  There is even a really good cafe around 500m away!  See THIS MAP 

 

I do very little editing, and although I have and use Photoshop, I don't use layers or masks etc.  What I do use it for is to provide lens and camera corrections, colour corrections and downsize images for sites like this one.  I learnt to photograph in the film eara, using predominently Ektachrome transparency film, so images were judged straight out of camera - a habit I still connect with to some extent today.  I respect those who can, and do significant PP (after all Ansel Adams was a master in this area), it's more a reflection of my own comfort zone.


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Tronhard,

 

I checked your map and, while I didn't see the cafe, I saw that you can also get a tattoo near the parking lot😃. Perhaps one of a gannet?

 

I should also say that those faces on the gannets are striking, and just magnificent.

 

Ed

Hi Ed:

 

well we can't have that! Smiley Wink Here is a page with a map showing the location of the Sand DuNZ Cafe.  The gannets are located on the Otakamiro Headland - so about a 5-10 minute walk, really.  The viewing platforms are located where the black semi-circular symbols are shown.

 

Here are a couple of other images from the same shoot.  BTW these are big birds with wingspans in the region of 2-3m.

R5010546 LR copy.jpg

 

R5011043  C copy.jpg


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

Thanks for the clarification of the lens and not the camera.  Misread your post.


@Tintype_18 wrote:

Thanks for the clarification of the lens and not the camera.  Misread your post.


No worries!  Glad you asked for clarification. Smiley Happy


cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"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
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me
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