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  • lens converters, how good are they?

    I am wondering, how good are lens converters?
    Which are better, 1.4x, 1.7x, 2.0x?

    The purchase of a 400mm lens is beyond my financial reach, but I was thinking of combining my 70-300 lens with a converter.

    I have read some reviews. Some users hate it because quality gets worse, yet others are very pleased with it.

    Do some of you use it, or are you all rich folks that can afford proper lenses?

  • #2
    70-300 are usually 5.6 at the long end. A tele-converter will reduce the maximum open aperture by between 1-2 f-stops. So you end up with a 420 8.0 or worse. Many cameras can not reliable focus using the AF with an maximum aperture of 8.0.

    So even if you get a very good converter the result is crappy.
    Last edited by seahawk; 2012-01-16, 16:48.
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    • #3
      I use a 1.4x with a 70-200 f4. It is a really nice tool but it can slightly decrease the sharpness. The main advantage is when traveling, as it allows me to carry just one lens. A 2x with a 70-200 f2.8 would be far more useful, but that lens is usually more expensive.

      Many cameras won't even autofocus at f8.

      The only thing I can suggest is to see if you can use a Nikon TC on one of the older 80-200 f2.8 (the non-G one) and try to find one used for a decent price.
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      • #4
        A TC will only provide results based on how good the lens it is attached to.
        Don't expect miracles to occur on there own. A TC on a big prime is great apart from a slowing in AF response(except Canons latest primes combined with version 3 TCs) and slight softening of an already razor sharp image. However on consumer lenses you really need everything stacked in your favor to get results.
        If you have a nice sharp lens to start with you should get usable images.
        However remember to stop it down to regain sharpness say F9-10 or so..

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        • #5
          Thanks for your answers guys.

          My lens is the Canon EF70-300mm F4-5.6 IS USM.
          I suppose this is what you call a consumer lens?

          I feel that 300 is sometimes not good enough for me, I want to go to 400. But those lenses are too expensive for me.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hinkelbein View Post
            Thanks for your answers guys.

            My lens is the Canon EF70-300mm F4-5.6 IS USM.
            I suppose this is what you call a consumer lens?

            I feel that 300 is sometimes not good enough for me, I want to go to 400. But those lenses are too expensive for me.
            A 1.4TC on this lens will give you a max aperture of 5.6-8 (roughly). I'm not sure but I doubt, that autofocus would still work there. I will have to test it at home.

            I use a TC on my 70-200/2.8 IS L lens, when I am on holidays. That way I still have my 300mm when needed without having to carry along the 100-400 or another lens above the 200mm. It saves me weight and I can carry my beloved 70-200/2-8 lens with me.
            My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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            • #7
              How about 300mm F/4 L with a 1,4 extender ?

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              • #8
                That would work technically, and according to a fellow spotter works very well in practice, at least with his Canon 300 F4 and Canon 1.4TC.
                My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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                • #9
                  I probably know who that spotter is

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                  • #10
                    You most probably don't know who that spotter is . At least I would be very surprised.
                    My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bjorn1979 View Post
                      How about 300mm F/4 L with a 1,4 extender ?
                      Nope GD wasn't thinking about me

                      and like I told you on FB Björn, 300mm + 1.4 does indeed give GREAT results. I'm afraid the AF could be a tad slow for fast moving fighters during airshows but that's something I need to test. and just like uncle Gerardo, I just love using my 70-200 f2.8 with the 1.4 converter.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Omar Alex Saffe View Post
                        Nope GD wasn't thinking about me

                        and like I told you on FB Björn, 300mm + 1.4 does indeed give GREAT results. I'm afraid the AF could be a tad slow for fast moving fighters during airshows but that's something I need to test. and just like uncle Gerardo, I just love using my 70-200 f2.8 with the 1.4 converter.
                        I have tried the 70-200 f4 with the 1.4x at airshows and it feels to me like the lack of IS and reach (only 280mm) are more limiting than the AF speed itself.

                        I have yet to try the 300 f4 with a 1.4x, but from what I've heard the sharpness is way better than the 70-200 f4 (which is quite sharp).

                        And nobody has mentioned it, but Canon's TC's can't be physically mounted to consumer lenses due to the design, in fact, they won't even mount to the 80-200 f2.8L. Supposedly the Sigma and Kenko ones will mount to most lenses with no issues.
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                        • #13
                          I bought a Kenko 1.4TC exactly for these reasons: I can attach it to far more lenses, than the Canon TC. I can even use it on my 24-105, which is not possible with the Canon TC.
                          My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Omar Alex Saffe View Post
                            Nope GD wasn't thinking about me

                            and like I told you on FB Björn, 300mm + 1.4 does indeed give GREAT results. I'm afraid the AF could be a tad slow for fast moving fighters during airshows but that's something I need to test. and just like uncle Gerardo, I just love using my 70-200 f2.8 with the 1.4 converter.
                            It's my purpose to use it mainly at AMS/EHAM, both along the Polderbaan runway and at the Panorama Terrace, where you mostly see slowly taxiing planes.
                            There's no way I'll take pictures of fast flying jets on air shows, since I'm not really interested in fighter jets nor air shows. (I prefer civil aviation, and I'm not too fond of over-crowded happenings like air shows.)

                            So, may I conclude from all your answers that:
                            - Sigma or maybe Tamron converters are to be preferred over those of Canon because they can be connected to more lenses;
                            - 1.4 is preferred over 2.0;
                            - that a converter (be it 1.4 or 2.0) combined with my EF70-300 F4-5.6 IS USM could produce good pictures?

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                            • #15
                              Just to make sure: one MAJOR drawback of any TC on a EF70-300 F4-5.6 IS USM ist the lack of autofocus. I doubt, you can live with manual focussing, even on taxiing jets. I tried it ... and can't .
                              My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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