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Comparing Lenses is Darn Challenging: Canon RF Zooms

I shot a bunch of comparisons with the Canon RF 14-34mm f/4L, Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L and the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L.

Canon EOS R5

Woe to me: in spite of using AF at 100% magnified Live View, the zone of focus is obviously different for each, with an untenable difference.

It’s going to be difficult to compare them; I am going to have to be really careful to examine near-far zone of focus and make sure it matches. That is really tedious and time consuming to do well.

But it looks even more confounding, what with field curvature and focus shift in play also.

I’ll have to go re-shoot everything tomorrow. But the variability together with focus shift and field curvature makes me question the viability for landscape use of the 24-70/2.8L in particular.

UPDATE: I reshot everything, with somewhat better results. The Canon EOS R5 autofocus is about as troubled as I have seen in a mirrorless camera, with a propensity to focus too far rearward( by quite a bit and with more than one lens) for no reason I can discern. Total disaster. And its electronic manual focus is a disaster too, occassionally glitching focus wildly blurry. And the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM switch for AF/MF doesn’t work at all. Canon R5 Live View is a noisy mess in not very dim conditions (3PM in a canyon)—total crap compared to the A1. OMG, do I really have to shoot this turd instead of my Sony A1? Looks like I’m in for some weeks of aggravation.

David S writes:

With regard to the RF 50mm f1.8 AF/MF switch not working – with the switch set to MF, you need to half depress the shutter button for the MF ring to work.  But even then, you need to enable the MF switch position as follows in the menus: <AF>, <3>, <Lens electronic MF>, <One-Shot…>.  That’s a design feature of this lens and the 16mm f2.8.  It is also a design inconsistency in the system.  Probably done out of concern that customers of these lenses may not realize that the lens is in MF mode and then think that the lens is not working when it doesn’t AF.  By forcing the customer to enable the MF switch position in the menus, it makes them “conscientious” of the AF/MF switch being there.  Oh, the irony of that logic because it causes users who expect the AF/MF switch to work in a consistent manner across the system to think that MF switch position is not working on those two lenses.

I have only seen focus accuracy problems with my R5 when using a very old “unsupported” EF lens (35-350 L).  It will not AF accurately, ever, even when shot wide open, so it’s not a focus shift issue.  Seems odd to me since focusing off of the sensor should be accurate, regardless, but apparently not.  Leads me to wonder if you were using the latest version of firmware for the R5 when testing the new RF wide zooms?  The only RF lens that has so far been widely reported to suffer from focus shift is the new 100mm f2.8 Macro (shifts rearwards as the lens is stopped down up to f8 and when at macro distances, not farther distances).  Needless to say, I will be hanging on to my trusty old EF 100 macro.

I have been using the R5 for 11 months and mostly with the EF 400mm f2.8L Mk2 and 600mm f4L Mk2 and then mostly with the EF 1.4x Mk3 and EF 2x Mk3 in Animal Eye AF (for birds) and it works a treat.  Haven’t had focus problems.  The only RF lens that I own is the RF 85 f2 and found AF to be spot on so far.  Haven’t seen any funky behavior with R5 AF other than with the old EF 35-350 L.

DIGLLOYD: talk about confusing and in violationg of all other camera operation (the manual focus thing for the 50/1.8)!

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