Teleconverters and 70-300mm (600 35mm equiv) Olympus lens

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by padrepaul77, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. padrepaul77

    padrepaul77 TPF Noob!

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    Just getting into SLR photography, having ordered the Olympus E620 and a few lenses, including the 70-300mm one. It has a 35mm equivalent of 600mm.

    I saw Olympus has two teleconverters one can get, the E14 and E20. Were I to get one and use it with this lens, seemingly that would be a lot of zoom.

    The lens already has a very nice zoom, so would this be a waste of money? What I would use it for would be shooting pictures of birds or animals when walking around on area trails. But you need a lot of light for the thing, so I'm not sure if I want to spend 300 to 500 just to get one. I've shot with a powershot sx10is from Canon, and this lens would take me even just beyond what I get with that superzoom (20x) lens. When I asked the guy at National Camera, he said with that lens I'm getting I'm already in "private detecitve" range and it is quite nice.

    This will be my first SLR, and I can get a TC for as low as $300 off of ebay, used. Should I just save my money?

    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For wildlife you will never have enough focal range - more is always nice to have!
    But when you use a teleconverter you do have limitations - firstly it will take away image quality, the greater the power the teleconverter the more image quality you will lose. Also the greater the power of the TC the more light it will take away from your lens.
    a 1.4TC generally has little effect on image quality and will take away one stop of light
    A 2*TC will have a far more noticable effect on image quality and will take away 2 stops of light

    Now the zoom lens you have is already a slower lens with regard to stops of light - start taking those away and your going to need to shoot in better and better lighting to get the shutter speeds that you need (this is especailly true of wildlife photography). Also the 70-300mm zooms tend to start getting softer on their own once you go past around 200mm - so if you start adding a TC for even more reach your going to get even more softness. ITs somthing that some people might tollerate and others not, so a try before you buy is important.
    Also not all TCs will fit all lenses - I don't know about compatability in the Olympus range however.
     
  3. gjtoth

    gjtoth TPF Noob!

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    I heartily agree... you can never have enough reach.

    You can also try a TCON-17. I use one with my Sigma 55-200mm and it works great. I have a friend that uses it with his 70-300mm and he's quite pleased with the results.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    gah I typed all that and missed out the bit I meant to give as well!

    Ahem -- with wildilfe more reach is always nice to have, but what does work a lot better is fieldcraft. Learning how to get closer to the wildlife (either by moving yourself closer or having it come closer to you) is a key part of getting good shots. A long lens is good to have as well of course, but at the end of the day no matter how long you go fieldcraft is what will help you get shots. This could be anything from learning to track and wearing camo gear; to using hides in key locations; using food or water lures to attract the animals to a controled location (water lures is more of a dry environment aspect and is mostly based around natural waterholes)
     
  5. padrepaul77

    padrepaul77 TPF Noob!

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    I read some good reviews and got the 1.4 one on Amazon...I was torn between that and the 2 as I was fearful of its effect on image quality. I think it'll come in handy for birding, and will use it under good lighting conditions.

    Thanks!
     
  6. padrepaul77

    padrepaul77 TPF Noob!

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    That looked good, but it only supported the E14 or the E20 for the four-thirds e-series. I called tech at Olympus and they were quite helpful. The E14 seems a little better option as the larger one would need a heck of a lot of light to function properly, and will get me plenty close I think for my needs.

    Spent a lot on my gear but I think it's a good investment. Quite the addictive hobby.
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I can't agree with Overread enough about fieldcraft. I have 1.4 and 2X TCs and use them with my Sigma 100-300mm f4 (I also prefer the 1.4), but the images are always better if I get close.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As a general rule, I avoid teleconverters. 1.4s cost you 1 stop, 1.7s a bit more than 1.5 stops and a 2.0 a touch over 2 stops of light. On top of that, if you start off from a slow lens (any lens that is not capable of a constant F/2.8 at all focal lengths is a slow lens), you are handicapping a handicap right from the start.

    Under those conditions a lens that, lets say, can do F/4 at it's maximum focal length with a 1.4 you start off at F/5.6 and that same lens on a 2X you are starting off with an F/8 aperture... which is basically all but useless on all but the brightest of days and that is still even worse on a lens that does F/5.6 at the long end without a teleconverter, where you end up start off at around F/11!

    We're not even talking about the marginal quality of lenses at the long end, and how it drops with a poor quality TC.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The lens will give the same Field Of View (FOV) that a 140-600 mm lens would give on a full frame (35 mm) image sensor.

    Remember, the longer the focal length, the harder it is to keep camera shake under control and make nice sharply focused images.

    Teleconverters, as mentioned, introduce various technical issues.
     
  10. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Yes, there are issues with teleconverters. On the other hand, a good quality teleconverter matched to a lens for which it is designed (such as the Canon or Sigma EX series) can be used to make outstanding images. One only has to remember the limitations (e.g. reducing your lens effective speed). Of course the camera shake increases with increased focal length from the TC, but it also increases if you just buy a longer tele too. I would not write off TC's.
     
  11. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As a life long hunter as well as a photographer, and a member of P.E.T.A. (People Eating Tasty Animals) I would generally agree with you.

    I would caution however that when shooting things like the Grizlzy, or even black or brown bears, you want reach. Lots of reach. I have always maintained that with bears, if one fills the viewfinder and you are shooting anything shorter than 400mm ( an that's pretty D@^& short to me) then you are no longer a photographer, your dinner. :lmao:
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    LOL ....

    I was shooting Grizzly with my 100-300 f4 and 1.4X TC on my recent trip to Denali NP. I was in a bus and they were probably about 300 yards from me. Unfortunately with my 8MP 30D, they are too noisy when they are blown up to reasonable size (and that's a shame because I had about 15 minutes of watching 2 cubs wrestling and about 50 images). I would have loved a 600mm with that TC. Mom was standing next to them and would have thought nothing of serving us to her cubs for a snack.
     

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