The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens has a rattle?
A couple of months ago, I helped a friend source a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens.
Oddly, a day or two later he found that his order had been canceled.
Another day later, the retailer contacted him with an explaination for canceling his order.
While packing the lens for shipping, they heard a rattle inside the box, determined that the lens was damaged, and instead of risking a damaged lens being sent to a customer, they returned the lens to Canon.
After a brief conversation with my contacts at Canon USA, it was expected that the image stabilization unit not being parked was the source of the rattle sound.
It was not thought that the unparked state was a damage risk to the lens and it was thought that mounting the lens on a camera would resolve the problem.
I just took delivery of a new 600mm f/4L IS III lens and upon removing the lens from the packaging, an obvious rattle could be heard.
It sounded like this:
Hands-on Demonstrations of Canon’s Latest Digital Imaging Products Including the EOS C700 FF, EOS C200 and EOS R
MELVILLE, NY, May 30, 2019 – At the 2019 Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, will showcase its latest cinema offerings in Booth #12.
Visitors to the Canon booth will have the opportunity to experience the recently announced Sumire Prime Lenses, Canon’s first PL-Mount cinema prime lenses.
Additional cinema solutions in the booth will include the EOS C700 FF and EOS C200 cinema cameras, CINE-SERVO lenses and 4K Reference Displays.
Also on display in the booth will be Canon’s groundbreaking EOS R series of full-frame mirrorless cameras and complementary RF series of lenses.
“Each year, Cine Gear Expo provides Canon with a unique opportunity to interact with one of our most vital customer bases – working cinema professionals, right in their backyard of Hollywood,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
“Similar to past Cine Gear shows, we are not only excited to showcase our latest products, but also to listen and engage with this audience in order to best serve them not just today, but in the future.”
In addition to showcasing professional products and service offerings, Canon will host a series of educational seminars and panel discussions.
On Friday, May 31st from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.
in Screening Room 5, Canon Senior Trainer Charles Zablan will provide attendees with a technical overview and in-depth, hands-on opportunities with the Sumire Prime Cinema Lensesi.
Canon will also host two panels during the expo as follows:
Friday, May 31st
Opening Up About Canon’s New Sumire Prime Lenses
Announced earlier this year, Canon’s new Sumire Prime lenses are full frame, PL-mount cinema lenses that offer a unique, artistically pleasing look with gentle and beautiful skin tones and smooth bokeh. In this panel discussion, cinematographers discuss their first impressions after their recent experiences shooting with the lenses.
Saturday, June 1st
Canon’s cinema cameras and lenses have had a substantial impact throughout TV and film since the company first entered the market in 2011.
In this panel, leading cinematographers will discuss the Canon gear that they’ve used on their recent projects, and how it has helped them capture their vision.
Cine Gear attendees will also be able to learn more about Canon’s CarePAK PRO Accidental Damage Protection Plan, which covers professional cinema and video products.
Canon CarePAK PRO offers coverage from accidental damage such as drops, spills and power surges, protecting customer investments from unforeseen repair costs and excessive downtime.
Follow Canon’s Cine Gear activities on Twitter at @CanonUSApro or on Instagram at @CanonUSAprovideo.
While these image quality results may appear simple, they have a background.
Keeping the story short, my first copy of this lens took forever to arrive and when it did, the performance was not as expected with damage sustained in transit being strongly suspected.
The second lens also took a long time to acquire and the results being shared here are from this lens.
Before announcing these results, I did some sanity checking including with my Canon USA technical rep.
My concern (always) is ensuring that this lens' performance is representative of what buyers should expect from their own lens.
The MTF charts suggest that the version III lens should perform nearly equally to the version II lens.
While I'm not absolutely 100% confident that a better copy of this lens is not available (and will likely test at least one more copy of this lens to be sure), I have enough confidence that this lens is representative of the model, showing what we should expect, to share these results.
That said, let's jump right into the comparison that most will be interested in, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III vs. II Lens image quality comparison.
The version III lens produces very impressive image quality wide open.
My only cause for concern about this lens copy was that the version II lens is very slightly sharper in the center of the frame with the difference primarily noticeable when extenders are being used.
With less lateral CA, the version III lens produces better peripheral image quality, even with the 2x extender in place.
Unmistakably better is the version III's weight.
As I was creating this post, I grabbed the lens from my desk and ran to attempt to catch a pileated woodpecker on a tree just outside the studio.
That effort reminded me how amazingly light this lens is for its specs.
Credentialed access to a 4 hour concert in a 15,000-seat indoor stadium seemed like the perfect opportunity to give the Canon EOS R and
Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM Lens a workout while the mostly high-energy performers also got a workout.
When photographing low light action, one historically had to choose between a moderately wide aperture (f/2.8) in a zoom lens and an ultra-wide aperture (f/1.4 for example) in a prime lens.
With the RF 28-70, you can have both a wide aperture and a zoom focal length range.
While some prime lenses still have the wide aperture advantage, the RF 28-70 f/2 L lens bridges the divide and, especially from an image quality perspective, is an outstanding option for low light needs including concert photography.
The spot lights happened to be on the singer (Ledger) in this image, allowing a very clean ISO 800 with a shutter speed adequate to stop most of the motion at f/2.
Other images were captured at ISO settings as high as 6400 where the 1-stop advantage this zoom lens has over most other zooms makes a considerably bigger difference in image quality.
At concerts, the location of the action is often unpredictable and changing fast and that means focal length changes are required, ideally fitting for a zoom lens.
Yes, some prime lenses could have given me another 1-stop lower ISO setting, but I would have minimally needed multiple cameras to cover the same range and often the performers were moving so fast that the shot would have been long gone by the time the cameras were swapped.
Shooting wider and cropping later is an option, but lower resolution images are the result.
Also great for fast moving subjects was the R's touch and drag AF.
With the left hand adjusting the focal length and the right thumb moving the focus point as needed for ideal framing, the EOS R was an ideal choice.
Every shoot teaches new lessons and here are a few concert photography tips from that night.
First, if photographing with a media pass, know without a doubt which gate you are supposed to enter through and be ready to politely ask for a additional opinions when the first person(s) thinks they know the different gate you are required to enter through.
This saves walking half way around a stadium to the shipping and receiving area and waiting for a security guard to make a series of phone calls to figure out what you already knew and send you back to the other side of the stadium.
If opting to ignore this advice, strongly consider arriving at least 1 hour early.
Also if photographing with a media pass, make sure that you have a signed copy of that pass (minimally on your phone) with you because the media reps for some reason may not have your name on the list.
If offered a label with your name handwritten on it, request a lanyard because your camera strap is going to peel the label off within 10 minutes of your arrival, leaving you without the pass.
Minimally attach the label to something that avoids the peel-off risk.
While your media pass may specify where you are supposed to photograph from, the media pass may not have been updated since the 360° stage was implemented.
The specified locations may not exist and those working the show may have no clue about the topic or even how to get to the floor from the entrance level.
Arrive early enough that if the instructions do not align with reality there is time to figure out where you are permitted to go without negatively impacting the show (it is probably not being performed for you).
Oh, if the tour is promoting a 360° stage, just get a ticket and leave the camera at home.
Within seconds, the performer can be a basketball court distance away and even two cameras with complementing zoom lenses are not adequate.
Compounding the problem is that you will have backs toward you for at least 270° of the stage.