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Teleconverters/extenders

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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Neil Crawford
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Unread post by Neil Crawford » Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:55 pm

About teleconverters, for birds your range is nearly never enough, so I nearly always have the Tamron1.4X on my Canon 400 lens. In the Kruger we found the 70-300DO worked well, but the 400x1.4 was even better.
I have now got myself a Tamron 2x converter, and am a little disappointed, like Texasboer say's image quality is a little degraded, one hardly notices the degradation on the
1.4, but on the 2x I think you can see it. Another disadvantage with the 2x is that autofocus doesn't work very well. Even so I still use the 2x converter, and I've got some good photos with it.
An interesting trick you can do with converters is to stack them, and if I put on both converters I get a focal length corresponding to 1800mm. No autofocus of course
but still (with luck) you can get photos of far-off birds that are fine for an id. and much better than nothing.
I hope to try out the new 2X converter in SA this February. I have some examples of 1.4X , 2X and 1.4+2X from Iceland this summer, I presume I can't post these here but perhaps I can do a set in flickr, and a link?
/Neil

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Peter Betts
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Unread post by Peter Betts » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:25 pm

If you have a Canon system and lenses then it makes sense to spend a little more and get the Canon 1.4 convertor. I use the Nikon pro wildlife system and have a 1.4 x convertor which literally lives on my 70-200 f2.8 Nikkor lens ..there is no degradation of Image Quality to this sharpest lens I have ever owned. Luckily Nikon is unique in having a marvellous 1.7x convertor where you only loose 1.5 stops and also no image degradation. I hardly use this convertor and its only use is really to go on the 200-400f4 lens for 680mm f6.3 once in awhile because I am a great believer in getting close to your subject and then closer still. Even with Nikon's superior optics I dont have a 2x convertor as all 2x convertors degrade ..some more than others but I guess its second prize if your system hasnt got a 1.7x and no doubt if I had Brand x I would probably get a same brand 2x convertor never 3rd party as you want as high image quality as possible
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Neil Crawford
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Unread post by Neil Crawford » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:06 pm

Peter, Usually you would be correct, but there is a special case with the canon 400L f5.6. Because it's a f5.6 aperture lens the camera will try and switch off autofocus with a canon teleconverter, there is a rule in the software
that says's autofocus will only work on a lens that is f4.0 or better. The trick with the cheap Tamron is that it doesn't report it's presence to the camera, so the camera will try and do autofocus anyway, and in fact it succeeds really well. So that is the reason to accept the Tamrons marginal drop in image quality for the sake of keeping autofocus. And yes it does sometimes dither around while trying to focus, but if there is a clear sky behind it's still very good.
/Neil

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Neil Crawford
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Unread post by Neil Crawford » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:08 pm

Heres some photos from Iceland (sorry I haven't been able to do this comparison yet in SA). I think they show fairly typical quality when I use the different teleconverters

1.4x : here it's difficult to see any difference to the 400 lens, you lose a step, but you can get closer
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22594688@N ... 658668904/

2X: feather detail begins to get softer, but I wouldn't have got the shot without it.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22594688@N ... 658668904/

Stacked 1.4x + 2x: This was taken at ridiculous range, and sure it's not great, but much better than nothing.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22594688@N ... 658668904/


And to make this on-topic heres our South Africa gallery as far as I've got.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22594688@N ... 650728077/
/Neil

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oddesy
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Unread post by oddesy » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:48 pm

Does anyone know wether a sigma 1.4x teleconverter will fit onto a tamron lens?? :D
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Unread post by j-ms » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:37 am

oddesy5466 wrote:Does anyone know wether a sigma 1.4x teleconverter will fit onto a tamron lens?? :D

It depends on which Tamron lens you are referring to. The Sigma 1.4 (just like the Canon) has a protruding front element. This means it can only be used with lenses that have a recessed rear element. In practice this means that they can only be used with professional quality lenses (in the case of Canon their "L" range and in the case of Sigma their "EX" range and in the casew of Tamron their "SP" range). In particular, I doubt if the Sigma 1.4 will fit any of Tamron Di-II lenses (their lenses meant for crop factor digital cameras) because generally the rear element protrudes as well. The best is to check the 1.4 against the actual lenses you want to use it with.

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bucky
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Unread post by bucky » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:01 am

The golden rule when using teles is not to shoot wide open, and at least drop by 1 aperture to retain clarity.

I have gotten good results with my 70-200 F4 converter with 1.4 times on it.
It is not as clear with a 2x though.

my 400 F5.6 happily takes clear shots with a 2x convertor but it becomes really slow as you shoot at f11.

The 300 F2.8 I used lately worked superbly with either converter.

The 500F4 worked well with a 1.4 and you had to take care with a 2x, but I managed some decent shots from it when the light was good enough, and the subject still.

wingman
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Converters for Canon which make

Unread post by wingman » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:01 pm

Hi Im looking for 1.4x and 2x converters to go with canon 70-300mm IS USM lens can anyone give me some idea of which is the best make if canons own converters are not used.

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DuQues
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Unread post by DuQues » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:20 pm

Kenko or Sigma.

But! The quality is quite a bit less than the TC's made by Nikon and Canon, which you'll notice in your photos, especially with the 2x converter!
The Kenko's do not tell your camera that they are there, so you can use the 2x converter. (Your camera will stop with Autofocus after f/5.6....)

Test first I'd say, then decide to go for the Canon 1.4....
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DuQues
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Unread post by DuQues » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:43 pm

It depends which camera you have.

If you have a EOS 1 or 3 series they will AF up to f/8, above that and you're on manual focus. All other cameras (350D, 30D, 40D and so on) AF up to f/5.6.
The 1.4 TC will cost you 1 stop, the 2x 2 stops....
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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DuQues
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Unread post by DuQues » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:22 pm

Your lens is f/4 - f/5.6, so at the long end, with TC will not autofocus.

I'm not sure if it'll take a Canon TC, is the back lens well inside your lens? The TC has a protruding bit that enters your lens...
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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NightOwl
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Unread post by NightOwl » Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:43 pm

The 70-300 IS USM is not compatable with the canon converters.
Only the white L lenses are compatable with the Canon converters. Something to do with a protruding lens element

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Unread post by j-ms » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:57 pm

Nightowl is correct. The Canon and Sigma EX teleconverters have protruding front elements which means they can only be used with lenses that have sufficiently recessed rear elements. With few exceptions (none that I am aware of) these are only Canons L range of lenses (ie professional grade lenses) or Sigma's EX lenses (also professional grade lenses) and then not all of the L or EX lenses have recessed rear elements. With lenses like the Canon 70-300 you might want to try Kenko's teleconverters but be prepared for poor performance in terms of image quality.

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Neil Crawford
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Unread post by Neil Crawford » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:23 pm

I have a Canon prime, the 400L 5.6, and it works very well with a non-reporting
Tamron 1.4x teleconverter, this one:

I see no reduction in sharpness, although I'm sure you can if you really try. It loses
one stop, that's the only disadvantage. Autofocus works well on the Canon 300D
(and the 350D), and I can still take photos of bird in flight, and get a good deal closer.
I also have a Tamron 2X teleconverter, I can see poorer image quality but I suspect
a lot of it is due to camera shake and exposure issues. The 2X teleconverter will
autofocus but rather badly, so I switch to manual focus. Daniella on dpreview
reports that the 2X converter works much better on the Canon 40D.
I don't use the 2X much, but the 1.4X converter is more or less on the camera all the time.
Nearly all the bird and animal photos here are taken with this combo.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22594688@N08/
Best regards Neil

Luma
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adding 2 x convertor and micro lens to my kit

Unread post by Luma » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:34 pm

Good day,
Could any one give me advise on adding a Sigma 2x convertor to a 50 x 500mm telephoto lens please.

I would also like to add a macro lens to take pictures of insects and flowers close up.

We have a Canon EOS 350D and EOS 1000D cameras. 50 x 500 Telephoto lens and 70 x 300mm lens.

We only got these recently, and would like the "experts" to let us know if getting the above, is a good idea. :?

Thank you
Luma


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