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I've really got away from photography for the past couple of years and plan to get myself back into it this year.  I just purchased a one year provincial park day pass permit, so I can venture out to the parks and do some nature photography during this Covid semi-lockdown.  There are a number of parks not too far away so could manage in a day out (be it a long one as some driving times would total about 5 hours).

 

I have a 70-200 EF IS lens and am considering upgrading to an L 70-200 IS.  There are some decently priced used ones at the moment.

 

I am also considering an Extender.  Way back when my son was taking Video Production at college, I used to be able to borrow the lenses from the college (through him) and got some of my best wolf shots with the 200-400 L lens with the 2x extender.  Of course if I had known at the time it was a $12,000 lens, I might not have borrowed it. 😀

 

I have read that there are some non-Canon extenders I can use with my EF lens but not sure how good the images would be at 2x.

 

Anyone use an extender that isn't a Canon on a non L lens?  Wondering if I could same some money to start with by going with a non Canon extender and sticking with my EF lens.

 

Jill

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I have looked into this as well Jill, but been put off by quality issues reported for many non-Canon extenders. The Canon products are very expensive for what is an empty tube!

I'll be interested to hear from anyone who has any recommendations.

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18 minutes ago, Tony ALS said:

I have looked into this as well Jill, but been put off by quality issues reported for many non-Canon extenders. The Canon products are very expensive for what is an empty tube!

I'll be interested to hear from anyone who has any recommendations.

I think Jill is talking about a teleconverter, which has a lens in it, not an extension tube, which doesn't. Calling it an "extender" as Canon does is a bit confusing for us old folks.

Edited by spacecadet
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When I was using Canon equipment I bought a 1.4x "extender" but found the images using it and telephoto lens where sub-standard in my opinion. I might have had a poor example though.

It was some time ago now but Canon may have improved them over time.

 

Allan

 

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Not a Canon user but have used a 1 x 4 converter on a 70/200mm 2.8 with my Nikon, still have it in fact.  It's fine and I should imagine a Canon one would be also....  I wouldn't go with either a 1 x 7 or a 2 x.  I know a lot of folks use the 100-400mm Canon, may be worth considering......

 

Carol

 

 

 

 

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I have a Canon 1.4 II extender to use on my 70-200 f4 L lens. I find the lens very good, not that I use my Canons that much any more. However I think any extender is going to compromise the quality somewhat, magnify the faults if you like, so I didn't tend to use it that often, when I did I made sure I was using the optimum aperture. That said I know that many bird photographers use extenders (tele-converters) routinely on their already very long lenses and produce amazing results.

 

Edit:

It's occurred to me that I was mainly using it for landscapes so was concerned to have sharpness right to the corners, I didn't have a problem with the centre sharpness with the tele-converter/extender. Bird photographers obviously couldn't care less about the corners generally.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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Asking about extenders without specifying the camera it is intended to be used on? If using a high MP camera, it may be totally unnecessary to use an extender which will always cut out light and cause some or a lot of image deterioration. On the other hand ....

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2 hours ago, MDM said:

Asking about extenders without specifying the camera it is intended to be used on? If using a high MP camera, it may be totally unnecessary to use an extender which will always cut out light and cause some or a lot of image deterioration. On the other hand ....

Canon 650D and Canon 7D.  Both 18mp.  Below is example of pic taken using extender with the 200-400 L lens set at 400, so 800 with the 2x converter.  I believe I used the 7D for this one.

 

arctic-wolf-white-wolf-sleeping-on-a-rock-DWKB80.jpg

 

To buy a new lens, I can't really afford anything longer than the 70-200, although I would love a 300 prime. There isn't enough money in photography anymore to warrant a large expense. unless there is endless money, and of course I don't have that.

 

Jill

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Just to clarify, the built-in extender in the 200-400mm is 1.4x, not 2x, so that would be 560mm. 1.4x extenders degrade image quality less than 2x, and the latter are usually best reserved for use with primes, although the results may be acceptable if used with a very high quality zoom like the 70-200mm 2.8 L IS. If possible, I would suggest hiring a lens and converters before you commit to a purchase, so you can assess the actual image quality of the combination. 

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6 minutes ago, DJ Myford said:

Just to clarify, the built-in extender in the 200-400mm is 1.4x, not 2x, so that would be 560mm. 1.4x extenders degrade image quality less than 2x, and the latter are usually best reserved for use with primes, although the results may be acceptable if used with a very high quality zoom like the 70-200mm 2.8 L IS. If possible, I would suggest hiring a lens and converters before you commit to a purchase, so you can assess the actual image quality of the combination. 

 

I did not use a built in extender.  I used a 2x extender on the 200-400 for the image above and many others. I was pleased with the results, but again, I was using a $12,000 lens.  I doubt I will get my hands on one of those again. If only.

 

Jill

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28 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

I did not use a built in extender.  I used a 2x extender on the 200-400 for the image above and many others. I was pleased with the results, but again, I was using a $12,000 lens.  I doubt I will get my hands on one of those again. If only.

 

Jill

Ah, sorry. I thought you were using the extender in the lens.

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Example:

Asuncion, Paraguay. 24th June, 2016. A Glittering-bellied emerald (Chlorostilbon lucidus) hummingbird hovering in Stock Photo

^ Canon 5D Mark III + Canon EF 2x II Extender (Discontinued) + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

^ Image cropped to 4060x2707

 

I noticed important degradation in image quality when using the 2x II and reduction in autofocus speed. In the aforementioned combination, my experience is that the quality is better when focusing manually (I don't use a tripod). Even so, most photos would not pass the QC for Stock. When I was allowed to upload to the Live News, I have used this combination a few times. Now, I could use for reportage, and news through other agencies.

It is important to see which lens combination to use to improve the quality. IMHO

 

Stay safe,
andre

Edited by AM Chang
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I like wildlife and to be honest could not think of coping without the 1.4. It's a god send. In wildlife you can never have enough length. The 2 for me is something I can only use if I am attempting to photograph something within say 15 meters (small birds) and on a tripod, handheld it makes everything slow down and affects quality IMHO (I use Nikon BTW).

As you are starting out at 200 mm I would just say go and use it a few trips and then come to your own conclusion whether you need it for the type of photograph you are wanting to take. If you do then the 1.4 is good with most lens but keep in mind 200 x 1.4 is still only 280, you can achieve that for free with a crop. 

If its birds you are interested in photographing then 280 will not cut it, you need a lot more length for birding IMHO. To be honest if you like wildlife I would just get one of the big zooms - in the last few years theres been a raft of zooms that can 500 and even 600 and have excellent quality. I use primes but if I were to start again a big zoom would be my personal choice on usability, quality and price.

 

Edited by Panthera tigris
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39 minutes ago, Panthera tigris said:

I like wildlife and to be honest could not think of coping without the 1.4. It's a god send. In wildlife you can never have enough length. The 2 for me is something I can only use if I am attempting to photograph something within say 15 meters (small birds) and on a tripod, handheld it makes everything slow down and affects quality IMHO (I use Nikon BTW).

As you are starting out at 200 mm I would just say go and use it a few trips and then come to your own conclusion whether you need it for the type of photograph you are wanting to take. If you do then the 1.4 is good with most lens but keep in mind 200 x 1.4 is still only 280, you can achieve that for free with a crop. 

If its birds you are interested in photographing then 280 will not cut it, you need a lot more length for birding IMHO. To be honest if you like wildlife I would just get one of the big zooms - in the last few years theres been a raft of zooms that can 500 and even 600 and have excellent quality. I use primes but if I were to start again a big zoom would be my personal choice on usability, quality and price.

 

I would love a prime, preferably a 300mm, but too expensive.  I am debating on what to get, so trying to be patient so I don't buy something that I won't be happy with.  Trying to keep my spending below $1000 for new lens, that is why I am looking at used.  There are a few that don't have IS, and I suppose if I was using a tripod most of the time, the IS wouldn't be as important, but do want to be able to use hand held, which is tough as the lens is heavy as is my 7D Camera. so the IS would be very useful then.

 

I can put off the extender for awhile.  I would love to rent, but there are no rental places near me and none will ship for rentals. One of the problem of living way out in the country. There is an open box 70-200 f4 L IS for $800 brand new I can get, but would prefer a longer lens than the one I already have.

 

I don't think I'll bother with trying for an extender for my current lens as it is a cheaper lens in itself, better to invest in one with a quality lens.

 

Jill

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Decades ago, I bought an old 400mm 5.6 manual focus Nikkor which was great for deer and some larger birds.  Ran it mostly on a tripod.  On my Nikon D300, it was a 600mm equivalent.  And I don't think anything shorter works for birds, and having a higher MP camera that allowed for cropping would be useful.  Can't remember if it was ai or ais, but it didn't focus by push pull.  Canon has a 400mm lens that is also supposed to be quite good.

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While I have a very old 600 f4 NIKKOR, it is old enough to order its own drinks.  I do not use it much, really heavy

REALLY.  One of my favorite lenses has become my SIGMA 120-300 f2.8 DX, the version before IS.  It is about the same

size and weight as my old 80-200 AF NIKKOR f2.8 and it is sharper.  I have tried it with a matched 1.4 extender and

it is still very good.  I picked the 120-300 up used in perfect condition for less than $500 and it has served me well

for years.  SIGMA support has become very good on their higher end glass.

 

Chuck

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If you want to photograph birds, you need a lens with serious reach and a camera which allows for cropping while retaining good details.   For the North American raptor book I have, the photographers used a Nikkor ED 400mm f/3.5 lens which was manually focused on a F3 or F4 body, occasionally with a teleconverter.  For smaller birds, 600mm, sometimes with a teleconverter seems to be more commonly used, along with some judicious cropping.  Raptors tend to be bolder than songbirds, though not bolder than magpie-jays. 

 

If you're not photographing birds, a good 70 or 80 to 200 or 300 should handle almost anything else.

 

 

 

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I have the Canon 70-200 L IS II and the 2X II extender it is a combination that works well together.  I use the combination on a 5D Mk IV and a 90D.  I did discover that you need a fast shutter speed to ensure sharp photos 1/1600 is normal.  I thought I might be missing out with this combination until I watched this video. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have decided on getting a Canon 100-400 4.5-5.6 L IS Lens.  They also have an original 1.4 extender for $100.  Auto focus is slower than the new extender, but I won't have a decent range for auto focus anyway on that lens, so figure for tripod shots, it should be all right.

 

Looking forward to heading out to the parks this year.  So tired of not really going anywhere over the winter.  Spring is peeking out this week, along with sunshine, so will take a couple of days and test out the new lens.

 

The guy at the store suggested the Tamron 100-600 if I was trying to save a few dollars, but I know it can not be tack sharp at the 600 end. I'll check it out when I go in to the big bad city tomorrow.

 

Jill

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