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The Truth about Canon 2x extenders

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RyanLilly

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I realize that with any extender there is some loss of quality, BUT...

Just yesterday I saw some amazing shots from someone's recent trip to Africa, Some of the pictures were unreal, Like 5 zebras lined up just waiting for there picture to be taken.

Anyway this guy is a very good photog, and a enjoy his work. So I was picking his brain about how he liked different lenses and what not, and found out, that he was using a Canon D1s MkII, a 40D, a 400mm prime, a 70-200L 2.8 and an EF 2x extender.

I could not tell the difference between the 400, and the 70-200 with extender.

I did not know what lens he used when I was looking at the photos, I guessed probably around 400mm,(ive been to South Africa and lions always stay a good distance from the road, probably just to spite photographers.)
The point is The shots were great, and the quality of 8x12 prints was fantastic, and I was viewing them while holding the prints in my hand.

I know that people often say that the quality of the 2x is only acceptable but not great, I would like to say that the quality is VERY GOOD, and now that I have seen the results I can reassure anyone who is on the fence about buying one.
 
THANKS Ryan, Thats a great FYI for those of us considering the 2X. :thumbup:
 
the quality difference isn't that bad...
But you lose tonnes of light, and in less than ideal conditions...that might have an impact on what shots you can get.

Sunny desert, sure you can do it...
other places, maybe not.
 
The quality of the extender has everything to do with the quality of the image it produces. Also, many extenders are matched to ranges of lenses. Nikon had a series of extenders for AI MF glass that were for either tels to about 200mm, and another series for longer glass. My 400 3.5 with it's TC-301 2X makes for one very sharp 800mm f/7.1. Ya, it's slow, but tack sharp if your tripod can hold it still enough. Cheap extenders are where tele-converters got there bad name. Don't waste any money on third party extenders IMO.
 
Yeah the Canon extenders are matched to L series lenses and the quality shows (or doesn't show.)

yeah, but starting with a 2.8 you get a 4.0 with a 1.4x, or a 5.6 with a 2x, and shooting in the cloudless south african winter(dry season), it is not a problem.
 
The other thing is images look much sharper with the realistic 8x12 print than they do if you crack it open on the computer screen and zoom to 100%.

I don't know about you but I prefer looking at photos in their entirety, and don't understand the mentality of those who insist on pixel counting and zooming to 100% and then complaining about a bit of softness.
 
I've been telling people on here for ages that the Canon extenders are good but having a good lens to start with does help. But saying that the Canon Extenders only work with their good lenses.


opened via Adobe raw with sharpening OFF and saved to JPG

2x extender mkII + 70-200 F2.8 IS
F10 or in real terms stopped down to F5 from F2.8

70200282x.jpg


100% crop
70200282x100pc.jpg



2x Extender mkII + 300mm F2.8 IS
F8 or in real terms stopped down to F4 from F2.8
300282x.jpg


100% crop
300282x100pc.jpg


The quality is good enough for me
 
was waiting for this from The Otter King ;)

btw, did you stop down the lens/TC combo a bit?, or is this all wide open?
 
was waiting for this from The Otter King ;)

btw, did you stop down the lens/TC combo a bit?, or is this all wide open?

added the apertures above pics, both stopped by a small amount

will look for some fully open later on
 
from his post they are stopped down..

which also helps a lot when using extenders. I've seen photos of people stacking extenders.. some are definitely acceptable.

We have to realize a few points...
* it is not they are bad.. it is all about getting an acceptable photo which in of itself is subjective. Pixel peepers for example will be far more disappointed than the photographer that took a photo of an African lion knowing that the shot would have been impossible other wise.
* discussions on the internet regarding the extender are almost always comparing some lens+extender to something else. (70-200 f2.8+2x versus 100-400mm). They zoom in 100% which greatly exaggerates the lose in image quality when using such extender. Rarely do they discuss what is acceptable because frankly that is best looking at prints.
* The other argument is against lens performance (AF, max aperture). Alex_B brought this up in a recent thread stating that it is practically unusable to use the 100-400 with 1.4x extender. I've tried it.. I think it is totally useable but I'm sure nothing compare to a 600mm lens. Perhaps our differences in opinion is subject to personal experience (i have never shot with a 600mm).
 
* The other argument is against lens performance (AF, max aperture). Alex_B brought this up in a recent thread stating that it is practically unusable to use the 100-400 with 1.4x extender. I've tried it.. I think it is totally useable but I'm sure nothing compare to a 600mm lens. Perhaps our differences in opinion is subject to personal experience (i have never shot with a 600mm).

Or it depends on the shooting situations / subjects.

The term "unuseable" in this case was a bit biased maybe because the 1.4x with 100-400 on full frame ombination was meant for shooting surfers at the beach (rather fast motion).
 
70-200 2.8 + 2x wide open
70200282x56.jpg


100% crop
70200282x56crop.jpg



300 2.8 + 2x wide open
300282x56.jpg


100%
crop
300282x56crop.jpg
 
I'll throw in a useless opinion for the Sigma crowd.

I use a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8. I also purchased a Sigma 2x converter for it, and later returned it because the images I got from it were hardly ever sharp, if ever. However, from everything I hear, the Sigma 1.4x works a lot better with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8.

All this to throw in for the Sigma crowd.. if you have the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, you'll have a lot better results going with the 1.4x rather than the 2x.
 
The quality of the lens makes a big difference...and as mentioned, Canon extenders only work with top quality Canon lenses anyway.

During the Alberta Meet-up, CyberSurfer, was using a 70-200 F2.8 L IS, on a 20D with a 1.4X and a 2X TC, stacked. The results were better than I thought they would be.
 
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