Canon has just announced the exhibition of prototypes of both the brand new Canon EF 500mm F/4L IS II USM and Canon EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM at Photokina 2010. The updated lens are predicted to be a must have lens for sports and bird photographers. I have been hesitating for a long time whether the Nikon or Canon products I will stand by.
Brands are taking over each other all the time. Today Canon, tomorrow Nikon brings out something spectacular. The availability of updated AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II tele zoom was the mean reason to think about system change from Canon to Nikon not talking about the sick performance of the Canon’s EOS-1D Mark III a few years back. Things are changing fast and there are new winners all the time. This is a mess if one wants to follow the race.
By the new announcements and predictions I made a rough comparison with the weight of the new 600mm lenses by both of Nikon and Canon. At this point I don’t see a reason to make full analysis as other big blogs will do it anyway.
The just announced Canon EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM will be about 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) lighter that the updated AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR II lens (announced almost exactly 3 years ago). It means it could be fine even for handholding for photographing birds in flight. Many bird photographers uses the recent Canon EF 500mm F/4L IS USM lens for BIF which has the weight equal with the new Canon EF 600mm F/4L IS II USM telephoto lens. That is a nice improvement.
This image of a Great White Pelican was taken in the Danube Delta from a boat by the Canon’s 600mm lens with 1D Mark IIN handheld the approximately 6kgs gear. © Gyorgy Szimuly
The new Canon 600mm lens is supposed to be 1.2 kg lighter than the Nikon’s 600mm VR II which means Canon lens with a pro body will be as heavy as the Nikon 600mm VR II lens alone. Knowing how fatiguing carrying the 600mm lens with all the stuff could be, this tiny factor cannot be ignored. Of course this is just the last of the lists of the excellent improvements what Canon has announced.
Looking at my best bird photographer friend, Jan’s images taken recently in Australia I cannot imagine how these could be any better by any future killer lens (I had a luck to see higher resolution images as well). Those images simply rock. One factor however is very important while on the trails: the weight of the gear you carry for miles.
Chestnut Teal. © Jan C. Wegener