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Is it pointless to buy a 1.4x teleconverter for 400mm f/5.6 lens?

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Thread started 16 Apr 2012 (Monday) 14:05   
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chrisd999
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SVTmaniac wrote in post #14289172external link
Most birders shoot with a 1.6 crop body anyway.

This might be true, but I wonder why. I was contemplating picking up a used crop body to use with my new-to-me 400 5.6. Then I borrowed a 60D from a friend, and did some comparison shots with his 60D and my 5D2, and after cropping in on both (much more heavily on the 5D2 obviously) at the same subject framing, there was no apparent difference in IQ right up to nearly 100% magnification on the 5D2 shots. The only difference was there was about 50% more pixels on the 60D shot than the 5D2 at the same subject framing. Here are my findings on crop body versus full frame with the 400 5.6

Based on IQ: tie
Based on Resolution: crop body wins
Based on minimum shutter speed: full frame wins
Therefore, IMO, no need to downgrade from the 5D2 to crop body based on picture quality for same subject framing.

Now here is my question no-one answered with a lot of detail in this thread:
Assuming accurate focus could be had (either manual or auto), is the picture quality better for the 400 5.6 with 1.4x better than 400 5.6 with no 1.4x cropped (assume same framing)?

Post #46, Jul 09, 2012 22:10:36


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ScubaDude
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I have the Canon 1.4x III and the 400mm f/5.6. Tried the tape-the-pins method once, but autofocus was way too slow (like 15-20 seconds, if it would lock focus at all). I can't change the focus screen in my T1i for one made for manual focus, but I get by. Here's a few shots with the 400-1.4x combo.

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm8.staticfli​ckr.com ...00549917_069b707426​_z.jpgexternal link
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Black-bellied Ploverexternal link by ScubaDude1960external link, on Flickr

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm8.staticfli​ckr.com ...16534887_429f7aea0a​_z.jpgexternal link
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Female House Sparrowsexternal link by ScubaDude1960external link, on Flickr

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm8.staticfli​ckr.com ...96482124_56353bdc68​_z.jpgexternal link
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Red-Headed Woodpecker in flightexternal link by ScubaDude1960external link, on Flickr

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://farm6.staticfli​ckr.com ...96767336_3f43aa9ccd​_z.jpgexternal link
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Red-Headed Woodpecker in flightexternal link by ScubaDude1960external link, on Flickr

Post #47, Jul 10, 2012 01:32:41


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IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8157/7526096242_3068cce24e.jpg
Falcon with Mouse.

Another recent example with the Kenko 1.4 and 100-400.

Post #48, Jul 10, 2012 06:58:51


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wayne.robbins
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^^^ It's not a falcon with a mouse; it's a mouse catching a ride on Falcon Airways.

Post #49, Jul 10, 2012 08:02:22


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watt100
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pyro1 wrote in post #14502256external link
QUOTED IMAGE

shot with my 100-400L + 1.4x Kenko Pro3oo @ 560mm

AF seems to working fine with that teleconverter

Post #50, Jul 10, 2012 08:09:38




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John ­ Sheehy
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chrisr09 wrote in post #14275630external link
Since I will lose an f stop and autofocus, I'm wondering if I'm wasting my money in buying the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter for my 400mm f/5.6 lens? I can shoot in bright light if that makes a difference. I would like the added reach but not at the cost of IQ. Talk me into it our out of it! Thanks.

What do you mean by IQ?

Certainly, a TC will give lower IQ if you stand 1.4x times as far from the subject with it, but if the alternative is shooting at the same distance with and without it, then you are comparing the full image with the TC to a crop, and the full image with the TC is potentially better.

Of course, you will not have the swift, accurate AF of the bare lens if you trick it into AF on a camera that does not AF at f/8, so manual focus will be required or contrast-detect AF in Live-view mode, on a tripod.

If you use a tripod and need more magnification, go for it. If you hand-hold, realize that this will be a labor of love (I manually focus a 100-400 at 800mm; it can give much better results but it is no picnic!).

Post #51, Jul 10, 2012 08:17:59




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Billginthekeys
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chrisd999 wrote in post #14694648external link
This might be true, but I wonder why. I was contemplating picking up a used crop body to use with my new-to-me 400 5.6.

Lets see:

  • So you don't have to crop every shot
  • More pixels on target
  • More FPS, and generally larger buffers for those FPS
  • Better AF systems (at least when the 7D/1D3/4 had better AF than the 5D2 for instance. That has of course changed with the 5D3)
  • Less money spent on body, more to spend on a good tele lens and/or support system (7D quite a bit less than 5D2, WAY less than 5D3)
Probably something else I am missing.

Post #52, Jul 10, 2012 08:29:06


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gocolts
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These shots at 560mm are reminding me why I'm still wondering if I made the right decision selling my 400mm f/5.6L to pick up a Sigma 120-300 OS to use with my 7D.... :)

Post #53, Jul 18, 2012 07:33:36




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KenjiS
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1Tanker wrote in post #14275821external link
I would definitely go for it. As ejenner noted, any other option for more reach will cost you over a $1000(Sigma 150-500OS) or the next-cheapest route being a 300L f/2.8 with 2x TC. You can also use the TC on your macro lens, if you want.. i often use the 1.4x on mine. Gives you 1.4:1 mag. ;)

And the 150-500 is not as good optically as the 400 prime to begin with...

your next "real" option is the Sigma 120-300 OS + 2x TC....

As for crop VS full frame, For wildlife where reach is important i'd take having the crop camera over the full frame, Puts more pixels on target, Once you start talking adding teleconverters to the FF body to get the same equivalent reach you start eroding the advantages of a full frame body (Because you'll be slowing the lens down, thus having to increase your ISO anyways) Keep in mind that using the same area of the sensor on a 5D II as a 7D you have 8mp versus 18mp... thus you can crop a lot harder on the 7D, and you wont lose as much detail and the noise will be less apparent, The only time full frame is "superior" is if you manage the same framing as the cropper by either getting closer or using a longer lens (Lets keep this simple folks..) so that you are using the full sensor in the 5DII...

Full frame =/= always superior to APS-C....

Post #54, Jul 18, 2012 10:15:10


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Silverfox1
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KenjiS wrote in post #14734570external link
And the 150-500 is not as good optically as the 400 prime to begin with...

your next "real" option is the Sigma 120-300 OS + 2x TC....

As for crop VS full frame, For wildlife where reach is important i'd take having the crop camera over the full frame, Puts more pixels on target, Once you start talking adding teleconverters to the FF body to get the same equivalent reach you start eroding the advantages of a full frame body (Because you'll be slowing the lens down, thus having to increase your ISO anyways) Keep in mind that using the same area of the sensor on a 5D II as a 7D you have 8mp versus 18mp... thus you can crop a lot harder on the 7D, and you wont lose as much detail and the noise will be less apparent, The only time full frame is "superior" is if you manage the same framing as the cropper by either getting closer or using a longer lens (Lets keep this simple folks..) so that you are using the full sensor in the 5DII...

Full frame =/= always superior to APS-C....

Below is an example of using the 5D MKII + 400/f5.6 + Kenko 2X MC4 + Monopod @ 800mm :

http://photography-on-the.net ...p=12549321&postcoun​t=1850

Not very good but a whole lot cheaper then a 500/f4 IS + 1.4TC :lol:

Regards, Ron ;)

Post #55, Jul 18, 2012 11:22:28


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modchild
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I've got a Pro 300 DGX 1.4x and I used it extensively with a Canon 100-400 f4-5.6 and it AF'd on all the bodies I tried it on which were a 550D, 60D, 7D, 5D2 and a 5D3 (none of which claim to AF beyond f5.6) and it worked really well. It only started to struggle for AF in very low light, it was fine in normal daylight and I didn't tape any pins on the TC at all. I can't see why it wouldn't work on a 400 f5.6 as well.

Post #56, Jul 18, 2012 15:45:05


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KenjiS wrote in post #14734570external link
Full frame =/= always superior to APS-C....

I should have that statement in my signature :D.

Post #57, Jul 18, 2012 15:54:18


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mileslong24
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modchild wrote in post #14736051external link
I've got a Pro 300 DGX 1.4x and I used it extensively with a Canon 100-400 f4-5.6 and it AF'd on all the bodies I tried it on which were a 550D, 60D, 7D, 5D2 and a 5D3 (none of which claim to AF beyond f5.6) and it worked really well. It only started to struggle for AF in very low light, it was fine in normal daylight and I didn't tape any pins on the TC at all. I can't see why it wouldn't work on a 400 f5.6 as well.


This is my experience as well. I use the Kenko on my 400 5.6 and it works really well, actually much better than I expected it would. You will struggle when light starts to go away and sometimes with fast flying subjects, but in the end it was well worth it. Only time is has struggled to the point of being unusable was with an egret aganist an overcast sky one time.

Post #58, Jul 18, 2012 16:25:13




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modchild wrote in post #14736051external link
I've got a Pro 300 DGX 1.4x and I used it extensively with a Canon 100-400 f4-5.6 and it AF'd on all the bodies I tried it on which were a 550D, 60D, 7D, 5D2 and a 5D3 (none of which claim to AF beyond f5.6) and it worked really well.

Any example shots of birds in flight, or other fast-moving subjects. Or does it just work 'really well' for well-lit static subjects?

Post #59, Jul 18, 2012 16:50:56


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wayne.robbins
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chrisd999 wrote in post #14694648external link
This might be true, but I wonder why. I was contemplating picking up a used crop body to use with my new-to-me 400 5.6. Then I borrowed a 60D from a friend, and did some comparison shots with his 60D and my 5D2, and after cropping in on both (much more heavily on the 5D2 obviously) at the same subject framing, there was no apparent difference in IQ right up to nearly 100% magnification on the 5D2 shots. The only difference was there was about 50% more pixels on the 60D shot than the 5D2 at the same subject framing. Here are my findings on crop body versus full frame with the 400 5.6

Based on IQ: tie
Based on Resolution: crop body wins
Based on minimum shutter speed: full frame wins
Therefore, IMO, no need to downgrade from the 5D2 to crop body based on picture quality for same subject framing.

Now here is my question no-one answered with a lot of detail in this thread:
Assuming accurate focus could be had (either manual or auto), is the picture quality better for the 400 5.6 with 1.4x better than 400 5.6 with no 1.4x cropped (assume same framing)?

Unless you are shooting and saving as something other than Large- there is a lot of things that don't seem right in this post. And perhaps it's my understanding of terminology..
For one thing- the difference between a 7D/60D and a 5D2 - is about 2.2 times as many pixels- on target- when focal length limited/constrained. If your subject- as an image on the sensor is occupying 5mm by 5mm on a 5D2 sensor, it also will occupy 5mm by 5mm on a 60D's sensor as well, for instance. Because of the pixel density- the image will be comprised of about 2.2 times as many pixels on the 60D. My understanding looking at a crop at 100% view- is one pixel in the picture is one pixel on the monitor. So a 100% crop of a 60D - using large- will have 2.2 times as many pixels as the same image shot with the same lens on a 5D2- thus features/patterns, etc at 100% should be larger- and not the same- noticeably larger. that's my understanding of a 100% crop- so you should actually be seeing about 120% more pixels ( 2.2 x as much ) . If you reduce the magnification on the 60D image, to that of the 5D2, ie zoom out- it will look similar. However, if you take a 100% crop of the 60D, and then zoom your 5D2 so that features are similar size- you will see the 5D2 image starting to fall apart. IF you needed to crop both pictures. ONLY if you can fill the frame with the full frame- does full frame have more resolving power- i.e. if you gotta crop a lot- you'd be better off with a crop. Sorry.. I've taken pictures of the moon with a 7D followed by a 5D3- using the same lens and results are similar- much more detail - pixels on target - with the 7D.

Another thing- with such a long lens, without moving- you cannot get the same framing on a 5D2 and a 60D - using the same lens. While you can crop to similar framing- the picture from the crop camera will have more pixels supporting the picture. Don't believe it- borrow that 60D again- with the 400mm, and the 5D2, and shoot a full moon- and then crop each so that the picture is just the moon- and look at the two.. And then do a 100% view of each. There's no way the 5D2 will pull ahead.. Another thing you can do is to note the final sizes of each crop- the dimensions- and see how much more you have with the crop.

As far as your question about using a TC with your 400 f/5.6- mostly- you will have to try to see if the IQ is good enough or not. Mostly- how good the TC works is a matter of which TC, and how sharp your lens is in the first place - and how good the combo is together.. Only you really can decide if it is acceptable. I certainly would give it a try though. Heck, I'd even try a 2x TC with it as well.

Post #60, Jul 18, 2012 20:49:06


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