Monthly Archives: March 2013

In a nutshell: Is a 2x or 1.4 tele-extender a good idea?

 

First of all is the cost. If you are a Canon user they don’t give these extenders away. The 2x converter lists for $449 on amazon.com. Tamron offers their SP AF Pro 2x extender for $249 on the same website. One customer review maintains that the Tamron unit works just as good as the Canon one.
The primary reason you buy a 2x extender is to double your focal length, but this comes at a cost. First of all you will lose two f/stops of light and unless you have a very fast lens the autofocus will not work. Secondly you will give up some image quality, sharpness will not be as good.
Switching to a 1.4 extender may allow you to have a functional autofocus as long as your functional aperture does not exceed f 5.6. You lose only one stop with a 1.4 extender. Most camera bodies cannot autofocus at less than f 5.6. One exception is the can 1x series.
Teleconverters tend to work best with prime lenses also. It most case you also have a faster lens than with a zoom.
I use a 100-400 canon L lens for wildlife photos and am very happy with the results. I purchased the lens for $1400. Comparing that to the cost of a good quality 300 mm Canon lens which is a little over $1000 plus a $449 extender it seems a no brainer to buy the 100-400.

Below are 2 images taken with the canon 2x extender on a 100-400mm lens.

Canon 100-400 with 2x extender

Canon 100-400 with 2x extender

Canon 100-400 with 2x extender

Canon 100-400 with 2x extender

This image was taken with the canon 100-400 with no extender.

Canada goose taken with 100-400 canon lens

Canada goose taken with 100-400 canon lens

The image below was taken with a canon 85 mm 1.8 lens and a Kenko 2x extender. I was satisfied with the sharpness and the autofocus and exposure worked properly. At least I know this prime lens can handle a 2x extender. Other fast prime lenses will probably do as well.

85mm 1.8 canon lens and Kenko 2x extender

85mm 1.8 canon lens and Kenko 2x extender

With photography there is always something new to learn

This blog will introduce you to useful tips as well as listing links to forums and blogs that will be helpful in your quest for photographic knowledge. Also there will be a number of photo examples posted in galleries. The image below was taken near Gibbon Nebraska where 100,000’s of sandhill cranes congregate. I got plenty of crane pictures but all were against a gray sky.This image combines 2 layers using the overlay mode. The rising sun ¬†was produced in photoshop. Once the layering was completed and flattened I reopened the image in camera raw and increased the vibrance,saturation, and contrast. The first two images were the originals, the last is the combination of both files.

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Early morning Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes over the Platte River