Testing 2x TC thoughts on sharpness

coastalconn

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Do these look sharp enough? I keep going back and forth on whether or not I should shoot the Tokina lens as a poor mans 600 or stick with the 1.4x and keep it at 420mm The other set of snowy egrets were with the 1.4x TC http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/nature-wildlife/328868-fun-snowy-egrets.html . I know there are some blown highlights, but this is just about sharpness.. Please let me know what you think...

1

Snowy Egret 2x testing 1 by krisinct, on Flickr

2

Snowy Egret 2x testing 2 by krisinct, on Flickr

3

Snowy Egret 2x testing 3 by krisinct, on Flickr

4

Snowy Egret 2x testing 4 by krisinct, on Flickr
 

Aloicious

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they look decently sharp at this resolution, but how does the fine detail look at 100%? if you're shooting anything for enlargement or print, thats where I'd start to question it's IQ, or just severe crops. but for most web stuff I'd say its probably just fine as long as it doesn't cripple the AF performance too much (mainly for BIF stuff).
 
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coastalconn

coastalconn

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That's why I posted, I feel they are a little mushy. But i needed some other eyes to see it. I keep being wishy washy about it... But I think i'm going to stick with the 1.4x... Especially on the D300 being a little limited in cropping as is...
 

Derrel

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I have to say, the first one looks pretty good...there is not very much DOF at that magnification, but to me, these look as good, or better, than what I remember the 300 + 1.4x was giving you...so many things enter into that though. Is it my imagination,or does the 2x have lower CA than the 1.4x does?
 
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coastalconn

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I have to say, the first one looks pretty good...there is not very much DOF at that magnification, but to me, these look as good, or better, than what I remember the 300 + 1.4x was giving you...so many things enter into that though. Is it my imagination,or does the 2x have lower CA than the 1.4x does?

Derrel, I'm not sure if you saw my other Snowy Egret thread, but stopping down the CA's do go away to certain degree.. The 2x gave me a white halo even befor sharpening.. Here are 2 more test shots with the 2x...

It seems to do ok if I can fill the frame, but the DOF is very thin...

Red WInged Black bird test by krisinct, on Flickr

Squirrel test by krisinct, on Flickr
 

Derrel

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These latest two look good on the web. And yes, the DOF at 600mm and close-in is VERY thin...focus placement is super critical. I think you're the one who can best evaluate the lens and its converter performance, for both your shooting conditions, and your software processing. You get the see the RAW, uncorrected files, as well as work with them along the way, optimizing them. Converter results might be quite acceptable on "good light" days, where you can be stopped down say 1.5 to 2 f/stops, or when the subject is mostly in the center of the frame, or whatever. Of course, with an effective f/stop of around f/11, that would be limited to the good-weather months during full daylight hours. But we have July and AUgust coming up soon, so let's hope for f/9 at 1/1000 weather.
 

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I must admit they look significantly better than I'd expected them to, even at websize. If websize is what you want them for then it would seem that you can get a "poor mans" 600mm out of the deal! Maybe read a few articles on sharpening and adjust your process there a little to pull a little bit more out of the shots.

It's at larger sizes that you'll see the weakness of the combo - show some 100% crops (I suspect after seeing these others on limited budgets will want to get a look)
 

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I think Overread's suggestion about optimizing the sharpening routine is very good advice. Also...are you doing any software chromatic aberration correction?
 
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coastalconn

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I generally use lr4.1 default sharpening. Lately I've been playing with PSPx4 to mask the bird and sharpen the bird then invert for BG noise reduction. I use the fringe color selector in LR4 for PF. I did 100% crops at 1600x900.. As Overead mentioned, here are some 100% crops for anyone interested...

NO TC 100% F5.6


1.4x F8


2x f8


2x f8 this actually has some motion blur, I was hanging out my window, ss was only 1/200th
 

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hmm the short of the bird at 600mm almost looks like the focus missed and caught the water behind.

Just an idea (and I know they sound really dead boring) but maybe try getting some test shots together to show the lens off a bit:

Something like a wall or other textured flat surface - shoot at 45degrees to it (to show the clear band of sharpness and fall off to blur - and to eliminate slight focus adjustments from messing up) - on a tripod in good light.
You could shoot a series going from wide open to around f8 bare - with the 1.4TC and with the 2*TC at the long end.

I think it would be worth it for people to just see the bare tech results and for yourself to see its raw capabilities without any blur from motion or handholding.
 
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coastalconn

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Aloicious

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at 100% the 2x is performing about how I would expect it to in a real life situation, though I agree on image #3 in post #11 it looks like it missed focus....but I'd be interested in some boring test shots like was mentioned as well since there are a plethora of variables that come into play with birds that aren't really the fault of the TC/lens.
 

bc_steve

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for a 100% crop this is sharper than I thought it would be with a 2x teleconverter.

as for the images in your original post, at that size the quality doesn't appear degraded at all. I like the first one by the way. Because you seem to be at a lower angle when taking that picture the egret stands out a lot better against the blurred background.
 

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