EyeSpyEagle wrote in post #18935479
Hey Chris, I know you were talking to Matt but I figured I'd offer an "opinion" too.
While some (typically more expensive and/or newer) lenses definitely "focus faster" than others and "faster" (F1.x, F2.x, F4) lenses allow more light to the sensor which will also help the camera focus better, they do not necessarily dictate focus acquisition speed & retention. Those are attributes of the body (sensor design & implementation, processor, & control software).
I previously had 70D, 80D, 7D2, 5DIV, & 1DXII bodies in the Canon world and decent Canon glass as well (100-400 VII, 500F4 VI, 600F4 VII) and I thought what I had worked quite well. I studied, read, & tried all sorts of Case settings on the 7d2, 5d4, & 1DXII but when I shot with my Nikon buddy he would invariably get shots I would hit or miss, when setup right next to each other. I know there are variables other than hardware (experience, settings, timing, and luck to name a few) that could explain it - at least until I bought a D500 & 200-500 F5.6 for my wife, knowing that the 500PF was on the horizon. The very first time I took that combo out to set it up for her, I KNEW there was a major difference - specifically in the focus acquisition & retention of anything I pointed the camera at. It was that day that I knew I was gonna have to sell off ALL of my Canon gear & jump ship to "the dark side".
I got really lucky & found someone that bought everything I had, so I was able to make the change in one pass.
I started by getting myself a D500 & Z7, several lenses including the latest 600F4. I traded the Z7 for a D850 after just a couple days because it did not have that "killer focus system" that I was lusting after. I have since added a Z6 & have grown to like it a lot.
In all honesty, the light & nimble 500PF was what made me get the 1st D500 fro my wife but the lens wasn't available at that time. The 200-500 we get her to start is of the same caliber as the 100-400 VII you have been shooting with. It's also a max aperture of F5.6. It is heavy know when I pick it up as I'm used to the 500PF. Despite being much slower to focus than the 500PF or 600F4, combined with the D500, it was still better at the two things that matter to me - Focus Acquisition & Focus Retention than anything I had previously used. The 500PF is in a whole different league. It's super fast focus and it's small & LIGHT!
If you can, try renting a D500 & decent lens (500PF may be a challenge to rent). I believe you will discover what I've tried to describe. Beware - it could change your future! Lol!
FWIW, I shoot the 500PF probably 90+% of the time. The 600F4 often sits next to me on a spare body, but it really sees little action.
Sorry for butting in & potentially rambling, but "for me" it has been an excellent experience that I do not regret one bit!
Edit: If you were closer, I'd be happy to take you out let you shoot one of mine.