Jump to content




See all Safaritalk Special Offers

Message to Guests.

Welcome to Safaritalk where we have been talking Safaris and wildlife conservation since 2006. As a guest you're welcome to read through certain areas of the forum, but to access all the facilities and to contribute your experience, ask questions and get involved, you'll need to be a member - so register here: it's quick, free and easy and I look forward to having you as a Safaritalker soon. Matt.


Photo

Teleconverters / extenders


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Big_Dog

Big_Dog

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 685 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Great Britain
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 08 December 2016 - 09:54 AM

Hello all!

Something I was wondering about are teleconverters / extenders, whichever you call them. As far as I know, these add a bit of extra zoom to your lens without the need of shelling out all the money to bump up to the next 100mm up from what your current zoom is.

However...I wondered if they were as useful as they sounded? Does picture quality remain with a teleconverter or does it decrease at longer range, effectively making it better to stick with your current lens then just crop it post production? And do they have any other downsides (or positives) buyers may be unaware of? Are there any especially good models? In short...discuss! :)


"What, no hyaena pictures?"


#2 JulieM

JulieM

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 346 posts
  • Local time: 08:03 PM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 08 December 2016 - 11:31 AM

I used a Canon 1.4x version 3 teleconverter on my new Canon 100-400mm version 2 lens on my last trip to Africa, and I wouldn't be able to tell, purely by the quality of the image, which images were taken with the teleconverter on and which were taken with it off.  It made the lens a 140-560mm lens, but it is only centre point focus (which I almost always use anyway) and f/8.  I am very happy with mine, but I do believe you need to get a top quality one, like the canon version mentioned above.  I think the 1.4x are better than the 2.0x, from what I've read.


Edited by JulieM, 08 December 2016 - 11:31 AM.

  • Big_Dog likes this

"Don't cry because it is over.  Smile because it happened" - Dr Suess

 

https://www.facebook...roughJuliesLens


#3 pomkiwi

pomkiwi

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 572 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 08 December 2016 - 02:05 PM

The biggest drawback is probably that they reduce the maximum aperture of the lens - 1.4x coverter by one stop and 2x converter by 2 stops. This obviously makes the lens 'slower' but can also produce problems with some cameras in that the autofocus system may not work well (or at all) with lens apertures around or below f/8 (I have experienced this with some Nikon DSLRs). Any issues withlens quality are also likely to be magnified. As @JulieM mentions above they really work best if you have a top quality lens and top quality teleconverter.


  • JulieM and Big_Dog like this

#4 Peter Connan

Peter Connan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,987 posts
  • Local time: 12:03 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gauteng, South Africa
  • Category 1:Resident in Africa/Former resident
  • Category 2:---

Posted 08 December 2016 - 05:42 PM

The better quality (and faster maximum aperture) the lens is, the better it will work with teleconverters.

 

I have heard that (in the Nikon stable anyway) only the 200mm f2, and 300 and 400mm f2.8's work at all well with the 2x converter.

 

Most cameras would, untill recently only AF reliably with lenses of f5.6 or better, but now the better cameras can handle f8 with reasonable ease.

 

Also, remember that they only fit on certain lenses. And lots of people recommend that the lens and converter should always be of the same brand.

 

Thus, my contention is that if all you have is a typical 70-300mm f5.6 zoom, then it's not even worth looking at teleconverters, but if you have high-quality lenses it may be worth it.

 

I have a 1.4 converter that I use on 300mm and 500mm f4 lenses. On the 300, it works a treat, as long as I stop down to f7.1. On the 500, I sometimes get stunning results, but it seeems as if the results are not consistent. Some days I just don't get sharp pictures with it. I suspect it could be related to atmospheric haze. 


  • JohnR, Big_Dog, Alexander33 and 1 other like this
Ek oefen skelm.

#5 Big_Dog

Big_Dog

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 685 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Great Britain
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 08 December 2016 - 08:04 PM

Thanks for the responses all :)

I'd be thinking of a Canon converter if I did get one, to match my current set. They don't seem too expensive happily.
Although, @Peter Connan : I have a 100 - 400mm Canon telephoto. Would you suggest a teleconverter or not worth it?


"What, no hyaena pictures?"


#6 JulieM

JulieM

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 346 posts
  • Local time: 08:03 PM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Brisbane, Australia
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 08 December 2016 - 08:54 PM

I've used one on both the version 1 and version 2 Canon 100-400 lens and have been very happy with it.
  • Big_Dog likes this

"Don't cry because it is over.  Smile because it happened" - Dr Suess

 

https://www.facebook...roughJuliesLens


#7 Geoff

Geoff

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,686 posts
  • Local time: 08:03 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Victoria, Australia
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 08 December 2016 - 09:25 PM

@Big_Dog  If you have version 1 of the 100-400mm i would not use it with a teleconverter. If you have version 2 of the 100-400mm make sure you get the version 3 of the 1.4x teleconverter.


  • Wild Dogger, JohnR and Big_Dog like this
Geoff.

#8 The_Norwegian

The_Norwegian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 81 posts
  • Local time: 01:03 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norway
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 09 December 2016 - 12:00 AM

As the other have said, it works best on lenses of the higher price range, and with a fast aperture, f2.8-f4. I bought the newest version of the 1.4tc for my africa trip now in november, and didn`t take it off once with my 200-400 f4 and d4s. It worked really well, with very little loss to sharpness and focus-speed. However, the autofocus may have suffered a little bit in low contrast scenes, it hunted a little bit sometimes if i closed down the aperture. So that may be the downside, not that i have scientifically tested it ;-) On my backupcamera/camera nr 2, my D3, the autofocus was still on point, but the speed suffered a great deal, so i wont be using the tc on the D3. I also once tested it on the newest version of the nikon 80-400, and for me at least, it didnt work at all. Some people say it works well, but i wouldnt count on it. You can see a lot of pictures taken with the tc in use in my namibia trip report. 


  • Big_Dog likes this

#9 madaboutcheetah

madaboutcheetah

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 10,095 posts
  • Local time: 10:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Coimbatore, India
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:Tourist (regular visitor)

Posted 09 December 2016 - 02:35 AM

Nikon - I routinely use my 300mm f2.8 with a 1.4x converter.  Like the results!!!  


  • Big_Dog likes this

www.facebook.com/madaboutcheetah

Botswana in my blood .......


#10 pault

pault

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 4,147 posts
  • Local time: 05:03 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bangkok
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 09 December 2016 - 04:29 AM

Based on my own experience the main thing is that a teleconverter will magnify weaknesses as well as the picture. Auftofocus can take a particularly big hit, especially in challenging conditions, and stuff like CA and off-center softness may become more noticable  Your OS system might not work as well either - has that been tested?  I would add bokeh to the list of things to consider there -I've  seen the pleasantness of OOF areas take a dive with a TC). Cropping will also exaggerate any effect of the TC (and if you only have center spot focus you are more likely to crop). It also depends on what you expect as a result and what you want to do.  

 

Certain TCs and certain lenses seem to work bettter together.

 

You need to microadjust for your TC separately from the lens only. Otherwise you might get very unwelcome results. I have found  the variation in adjustments needed at different focal lengths is greeater with a TC too - but that probably doesn't matter too much as you will be using it at the long end I guess?

 

Not based on experience but if you want my opinion......

 

Sounds from Julie that a TC can work quite well with your lens (I can attest it works very well with the new version Canon 70-200/2.8) so  the answer then is of course, yes it would be useful. It is an F8 center focus lens then though -  and F8 is wide open too. You may need to stop down to F9 or F11 to get reuslts you like. Moreover, if you use a TC on a zoom lens you are getting more reach at the long end, but you are also probably degrading performance and quality through the middle oif the range (especially if you need to microadjust) and you have lost the wider end completely. So if the results of cropping are pretty close to the results from use of a TC it might not be smart to opt for a TC. There are a number of lenses I never use a TC with.

 

So it might not quite be a "no-brainer" like popping a TC on the 70-300/2.8 occasionally (rather then buying a 70-300 lens as well).  It's a greyer area. I would still say go for it given that the (probably better) alternative is a serious expenditure on a longer lens and maybe second body, but be sceptical and don't go around thinking you really do have a Canon L quality 150-600mm or something now. I;'d treat the combo like it was a slightly dodgy old model Sigma 150-600 f/8 lens that you saw some people on a photo forum get surprisingly good pictures with . That's just me personally and results may be much better than expected - as I found with the 70-200.


Edited by pault, 09 December 2016 - 04:30 AM.

  • Big_Dog likes this

Waiting again... for the next time again


#11 KaingU Lodge

KaingU Lodge

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 520 posts
  • Local time: 01:03 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Kafue National Park Zambia
  • Category 1:Lodge Owner/Manager
  • Category 2:Lodge Owner/Manager

Posted 09 December 2016 - 04:59 AM

@Big_Dog  If you have version 1 of the 100-400mm i would not use it with a teleconverter. If you have version 2 of the 100-400mm make sure you get the version 3 of the 1.4x teleconverter.

 

This is my feeling.  I have a 1.4x V2 and a cheaper Kenko.  On my 100-400II the Kenko outperforms the canon!  But with both TCs I can certainly tell the difference.  The Kenko also allows AF with all points (and not just the center) and seems to allow snappier focus. 

 

On B&H the 1.4xIII is listed at $429.  The kenko is $149.  If I was doing this over again I would be plumping for the Kenko and sticking with it.  The cost/benefit of an expensive TC for me is just not worth it.


  • Big_Dog likes this

#12 xelas

xelas

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,250 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Slovenia
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 09 December 2016 - 09:06 AM

The best 1.5 TC is ... a DX (crop sensor) body!

 

From my Nikon experiences: 70-300 VR does not take any TC. 300f4 and TC14 are "glued" together, I haven't noticed any IQ degradation when stopped down to f6.3. 300f4 + TC 17 still works well but I dislike being at f8.

Using both TCs on 200-500f5.6 ... not happy at all.

 

My advice: use TC only on prime lenses. If you need the reach, and you don't have enough money to buy a longer FL lens, get a TC. With zoom, if you stay at the long end all the time ... get a new = longer fL lens, or a longer FL prime.


  • Big_Dog and Alexander33 like this

#13 Big_Dog

Big_Dog

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 685 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Great Britain
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 09 December 2016 - 07:29 PM

Thanks for the advice all! The reviews seem mixed bordering on don't...I may try out a rental just to decide, but right now slanting on maybe not. But we'll have to see from results!
I also hope this may answer queries for others...even if I'm probably the least experienced. :lol:


  • Alexander33 likes this

"What, no hyaena pictures?"


#14 Dave Williams

Dave Williams

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 461 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Wales
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:52 AM

Thanks for the advice all! TThe reviews seem mixed bordering on don't...I may try out a rental just to decide, but right now slanting on maybe not. But we'll have to see from results!
I also hope this may answer queries for others...even if I'm probably the least experienced. :lol:

I haven't spotted a post where you state what camera body you use but not all will allow you to use auto focus at f8 which your lens becomes when extended to 400mm. If you have any 1d bodies, 5d3 or 4, or a 7d mk2 then it isn't a problem. Not sure about other more recent models, you need to ask. Likewise the TC won't fit on some lenses either.
I have a 100-400 mk 2 and it produces really sharp images right through the zoom range. I do have a flagship 1DX2 but it is just as good with a less expensive 7dmk2 and would make a perfect safari combination in the good light you are likely to get on safari.
I would think a zoom lens is extremely beneficial when photographing large mammals, Canon do make the hugely expensive 200-400 f4 which has a built in TC but it's pretty heavy too.
IMO optical magnification always gives sharper results than cropping the shot in post processing when you are just magnifying the pixels.I regularly use a 2x TC on my f4 lenses with very little loss in image quality but as also already mentioned the further you are from your subject, particularly in hot conditions the more light distortion so a small bird close by can become a sharp frame filler but an elephant at half a mile might fill the frame but it won't necessarily be sharp in detail.
  • pault and Peter Connan like this

#15 Dave Williams

Dave Williams

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 461 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Wales
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:Wildlife Photographer/Artist

Posted 11 December 2016 - 07:11 AM

I should also have pointed out that you can improve auto focus speed by limiting the search using the provided switch on your lens. You can also use " live view" to focus which is pretty accurate, I just tried mine with a 2x tc and it works, albeit slowly, at f11. You can also use manual focus too of course.
Optically I found little difference between Mk 2 and Mk3 versions of the TC's but AF speed performance is better on the newer 2.0x. Both versions of the 1.4 are fast.
Unless you own a 1DX2 you will also be limited to centre and expanded centre point focussing which can make framing your shot awkward.

#16 surfmom

surfmom

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Local time: 05:03 AM
  • Gender:Female
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 December 2016 - 08:00 PM

this is helpful.  based on others experiences, I *may* be ok... I have a 7dm2 (great body!) and i live with my 70-200 2.8.  I am taking a 1.4 tc with me - planning on leaving it on and just using it all the time.  I don't want to deal with taking two bodies, but am taking an Olympus EM10 with a 14-150 as the "second body".  Just much easier and lighter to deal with (although now requiring two sets of batteries... ugh!)

 

few questions:

1)  should I even take my 24-70?  I am feeling like I won't use it.  I have that range covered with the Olympus.

2)  I am used to shooting indoors and sports ... so shoot wide open at 2.8.  I know I will lose a stop with the 1.4 tc, but people talk about shooting at f/8.  Should I really step down that far?

 

thanks all.



#17 Tdgraves

Tdgraves

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,820 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cambridge, uk
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 December 2016 - 08:56 PM

@surfmom t's not that you have to shoot at f8, but adding the extenders loses aperture, so on the 100-400 at max zoom, f8 is the max possible (instead of 5.6). On your lens, it looks like you would have a max aperture of 4. You haven't mentioned where you are going on Safari, but unless you are going to be parked right next to a large mammal, you are likely to need more zoom than 200mm. I think that a narrow aperture like 2.8 on large animals is unlikely to be used, unless you are in very low light.

#18 surfmom

surfmom

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Local time: 05:03 AM
  • Gender:Female
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:13 PM

@td, thanks for the quick reply.

 

We will be going to Kenya - Samburu, Maasai Mara, and one other place that escapes me right now.  All Kenya though. I agree that I will probably need more zoom than 200 - which is why I am taking a 1.4 tc.  I could probably use a longer lens even then, but I used a 200-400 recently and it was too big.  I'd rather deal with my "little" 70-200 with a tc and crop as needed.  (my camera does have a 1.6 crop factor, so that also should be factored in technically).  As much as I want good photos, I also need to be nimble and dragging the 200-400 just isn't worth it for me.  (although I did think about renting it).  

 

Although, I guess I could rent a 100-400 or a 70-300...  I'm so used to needing the 2.8 that I have never considered anything like that.  hmmmmm, now you have me thinking....



#19 surfmom

surfmom

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Local time: 05:03 AM
  • Gender:Female
  • Category 1:Tourist (first-time visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:14 PM

I guess I should clarify the 200-400 that I used recently was a 2.8.  So, it is a bit of a monster.  In this case, I don't need the aperture, so I might be able to go with something else?



#20 xelas

xelas

    Order of the Pith

  • Members
  • 2,250 posts
  • Local time: 11:03 AM
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Slovenia
  • Category 1:Tourist (regular visitor)
  • Category 2:---

Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:27 PM

this is helpful.  based on others experiences, I *may* be ok... I have a 7dm2 (great body!) and i live with my 70-200 2.8.  I am taking a 1.4 tc with me - planning on leaving it on and just using it all the time.  I don't want to deal with taking two bodies, but am taking an Olympus EM10 with a 14-150 as the "second body".  Just much easier and lighter to deal with (although now requiring two sets of batteries... ugh!)

 

few questions:

1)  should I even take my 24-70?  I am feeling like I won't use it.  I have that range covered with the Olympus.

2)  I am used to shooting indoors and sports ... so shoot wide open at 2.8.  I know I will lose a stop with the 1.4 tc, but people talk about shooting at f/8.  Should I really step down that far?

 

thanks all.

 

 

@surfmom

 

ad1) leave your 24-70 at home. exchanging lenses is better to be avoided, and Olympus is a big little camera anyway.

ad2) with 1,4 you will get to f/4; and as your lens is an excellent one there is no need to stop it down further, so just leave it at f/4, if more depth of field will not be needed.

 

200 x 1,6 x 1,4 = 450 mm and that reach would be OK for most of the wildlife. If not huge on birding, you will be OK. If not, a bit of a cropping never hurts.







© 2006 - 2016 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.

Welcome guest to Safaritalk.
Please Register or Login to use the full facilities.