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Converters & Extenders

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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KGB
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Converters & Extenders

Unread post by KGB » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:09 pm

Hi,

I have recently bouight my first dslr camera (the canon 450d) and the sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM lens. I used a panasonic fz50 before and thought it was time to take the plunge (so to speak).
I just need some general advice on converters (is it worth getting converters 1.4x EX DG APO or 2x EX DG APO Tele Converters produce a 210-700mm F7-9 MF ultra-telephoto zoom lens or a 300-1000mm F10-13 MF ultra-telephoto zoom lens respectively) - , and a macro lens for the setup - mostly insects, flowers etc), or what else would be recomended to start a fairly complete wildlife photography setup.
Here are some examples of some of the shots I have taken (from both camera's)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24469970@N08/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks

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richardharris
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Re: Starting out

Unread post by richardharris » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:34 pm

Its been said several times before - if you really need a convertor, go for the 1.4. 2x loses quality and light. Remember two things; you already have an effective 1.6x because of sensor size, and both convertors will lose autofocus with your camera/lens combo.

Do you really need such a powerful lens? Very hard to get good photos from a 1000mm; dust and heat haze become real issues, as does holding it steady! Useful if you want to photograph small birds that are fairly close.

I would spend the money on a good macro lens and possibly a ring flash.

Richard

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DuQues
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Re: Starting out

Unread post by DuQues » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:13 pm

As Richard says, I would not go for any teleconverter. You obviously know you'll loose autofocus, but not only that, teleconverters also point out the flaws in your lens. And frankly, Sigma isn't the top quality you can get, so...

500 mm should in most cases be enough, unless you are birding. If not, it's quite simple, you are too far away, and either need to wait till the animal approaches, or just sit back and enjoy the sighting.

For insects and such a 100 mm macro is the lens to go for! That is if money and travel weight isn't too big an issue. If it is you might want to have a look at the Canon 500D, which is a close-up lens you screw onto a lens like a filter. Not real macro, but really handy.

Just in case, my 'long' lense is the Canon 100-400.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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KGB
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Re: Starting out

Unread post by KGB » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:58 am

thanks for all the help....was just interested in what your thoughts were on teleconverters and probably just confirmed what i already knew.
any suggestions on the macro lens??? the one i have heard mentioned or recommended before was the canon ef 100 mm f/2.8 usm macro??
thanks again....

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bazzlewazzle
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Prime Lenses + converters (canon 40D)

Unread post by bazzlewazzle » Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:09 am

Hi all

I'm really looking for an (affordable) option for some more reach, I don't completely undrestand when I will lose auto focus with my 40D. I have a 2xTC and am thinking about getting a prime lens 300 or 400mm to put it on. eg. 300mm f4; 400mm f5.6

Would either of these work with TC's?

Any other suggestions?
Thanks

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Re: Prime Lenses + converters (canon 40D)

Unread post by DuQues » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:04 am

Easy answer, your camera has AF up to f/5.6.
A 1.4 TC will cost you 1 stop of light, the 2.0 two stops.
So a 300 f/2.8 can be used with both, a 500 f/4 will only keep AF with the 1.4, and lose it with the 2.0 (f/8).

Now if you were to buy a camera of the 1 series... They have AF up to f/8....
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Johann
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Re: Prime Lenses + converters (canon 40D)

Unread post by Johann » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:34 am

Just to add a little bit to what DQ said:
The 300mm f/4 will become f/8 and the 400mm f/5.6 will become f/11 according to Canon's lens chart, which means no autofocus for either of them on a 40D. Even with a 1-series camera you would only have autofocus with the center focusing point.
If you can't get a different camera you would have to get lenses of f/2.8 or better for autofocus on the 40D.
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madach
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Re: Prime Lenses + converters (canon 40D)

Unread post by madach » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:46 am

When you say that you have a 2x converter do you mean that you have a 3rd party converter or the Canon 2x converter?

I own both the Canon 1.4x and 2x converter and I find that I don't use the 2x converter a lot on my 300 f/2.8 or 500 f/4 because in my opinion the 2x converter degrades the images quality too much. Images get a bit soft and they lose contrast. I will use it when necessary, but I tend to avoid it. The 1.4x converter I use without even thinking about it as it hardly degrades the image quality. I use the Canon converters which are expensive, but also high quality. If you use a 3rd party converter then loss of image quality might even be more pronounced. Have you tried your converter on a prime lens?

If you're buying a non-Canon prime then you'll need a non-Canon converter because the Canon converters are designed specifically for Canon lenses.

M.

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bazzlewazzle
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Re: Prime Lenses + converters (canon 40D)

Unread post by bazzlewazzle » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:09 am

all canon Kit, have been thinking about getting a 1.4TC, maybe I'll have to include that in the budget when looking at the lens. but even so that leaves me essentially with one option a 300mm f4 + 1.4TC which only gets me an extra 20mm.

So it's time to think about selling some vital organs to either get something longer at f2.8 or f4 or getting a 1D. :big_eyes:

Just out of shear curiosity what would the story be with the Canon 50D and 5D?

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DuQues
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Re: Prime Lenses + converters (canon 40D)

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:49 pm

Both the 5D and 50D are f/5.6 AF systems.
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Neil Crawford
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Re: Prime Lenses + converters (canon 40D)

Unread post by Neil Crawford » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:02 am

I use a Canon 40D with 400/5.6 and non-reporting 1.4x converter. Autofocus works very well, even for birds in flight. The 2x converter never worked well with the 300D, but even that autofocuses with the 40D.
The 40D has much better autofocus than the old camera, and so long as it doesn't know there is a teleconverter on, it will do a very good job. So it's important to get a non-reporting converter like Tamron or tape the connecting pins. I rarely take off the tele-converter as I always need the extra reach. Most of the bird photos on our flickr site are taken with the
old Canon 300D, 400/5.6 and and Tamron 1.4X teleconverter (and autofocus)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22594688@N08/
/Neil

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Re: Prime Lenses + converters (canon 40D)

Unread post by NightOwl » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:11 pm

Might I add that the 1D series only auto focusses upto f/8 on the "MIDDLE" focus point and not all of them. So be careful of that...

Your best solution for the 2X converter is also the most expensive and that would be the 300 f/2.8
But then you have the absolute PRIME of wildlife lenses :dance:

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Shidzidzii
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Re: Help please, which camera and lens to buy?

Unread post by Shidzidzii » Thu May 27, 2010 9:21 am

I'me also doing research and here is my selection :-

Canon D550 body only - 18 Megapixel so lots of scope to crop and enlarge .

Sigma 18-250 f3.5 - f6.3 , Internal Stabilizer , Hypersonic motor , Internal focusing elements , large 72 mm front lens but compact for handholding , minimum focus 45 mm through the range .
Chosen for it's all round hand-held versatility without changing lenses in dusty conditions .

Extras are a close-up lens set , polarizing filter and a monopod .

I would also like a 2X teleconverter for economic reasons and realizing it will be manual focus only.
I am not 100% sure that the exposure metering will still be compatable , if there is anyone who could comment ?
If not then the other option would be 2nd hand Sigma 150-500 zoom but I have used this before and found it too heavy for hand-held shots .

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DuQues
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Re: Help please, which camera and lens to buy?

Unread post by DuQues » Thu May 27, 2010 9:29 am

In Kruger, KTP etc you won't have hand-held shots.... It's all from the beanbag of course. ;)

Sigma 18-250 f3.5 - f6.3 + 2x TC. :hmz:
You'd get a f/8 - f/11 non-AF lens, meaning you need a lot of light to get the shutterspeeds you need.
And that's with a lesser image quality, as the TC will degrade it, and enlarge the faults in your lens.

I'd rather not.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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Re: Help please, which camera and lens to buy?

Unread post by Shidzidzii » Thu May 27, 2010 11:29 am

Thanks DQ .
I agree many shots you can use a bean bag especialy in the vehicle . But I also like to put on the knee-pads and snap the insects , snails and flowers even with close-up attachments . Sure there is a fall-off in quality many times but the moment is captured . And birds in tree don't wait for you to set up a bean bag - that's why I want to try a monopod with a swivel head.

I see a 2x teleconverter in the same way as digiscoping - it's not perfect but it extends your range (economicaly) .

What I realy need to establish is that the TC 's electronics are compatable with the Sigma lens' electronics and that they will not damage each other ?
Also that the exposure metering will be functional ?
I can live with manual focus as these will be long shots with time to focus .

In 1980 I used a 75-275 mm Sigma zoom with 2(two) by 2X teleconverters on a tripod wedged between the car seat and door and a remote release .
The viewfinder was darkened a lot even making focus difficult but I got some memorable shots and enjoyment .


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