Any Good 2X Teleconverter to Recommend?


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Ice

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I'm thinking of getting a teleconverter to go with my 100-300mm usm. The Canon ones seem very expensive. Is it compulsory to get the Canon one or is there a better and more affordable recommendation?
 

Simon

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Originally posted by Ice
I'm thinking of getting a teleconverter to go with my 100-300mm usm. The Canon ones seem very expensive. Is it compulsory to get the Canon one or is there a better and more affordable recommendation?
Kenko 2X TC is good.
 

zhoufang

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Originally posted by Ice
I'm thinking of getting a teleconverter to go with my 100-300mm usm. The Canon ones seem very expensive. Is it compulsory to get the Canon one or is there a better and more affordable recommendation?
It seems u don't know that the canon extenders can only be used with some L lens. ie telephoto L prime from 135/2 onwards and all white L zoom. If you buy one it just cannot fix onto your lens because of the protruding front element of the canon extender.

U can't really blame canon for this doing because to use a eXtender and yet get good quality the original lens must be of very high quality. The long end of the 100-300 is already rather soft and adding a extender don't really help you to get extra details. With a 1.4X or 2X extender you lost 1 or 2 stop of light, so the AF will hunt a lot and shutter speed will not allow handheld unless its sunnyday outdoor. If you just need more zoom in a rare occasion you may consider just shooting at 300mm and ask the lab to crop it for you during printing. Anyway the resolutiong of the lens will be the limiting factor here, not the film.

If after all u still want to get a extender then get yourself a 3rd party one (ONLY 3RD PARTY) . the kenko one are not bad but make sure u get the Pro 300 series and not the lousy consumer ver. the optical qulity is very close to canon original, price much cheaper and most important of all it can be fixed onto your lens.
Another even better way is to get yourself a olympus B300. cos it is a front add-on you will not loss the precious light so AF and shutter speed will be maintained. You may need to zoom out a bit to get a full frame but that should not be much of a problem. 2nd hand price should be around $200-250. Go SLS and see alan photo have new one or not. (if the 100-300 have 58mm mount you will need a 55-58mm step-up ring)
 

Adam Goi

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Originally posted by Ice
I'm thinking of getting a teleconverter to go with my 100-300mm usm. The Canon ones seem very expensive. Is it compulsory to get the Canon one or is there a better and more affordable recommendation?
You'll have to use 3rd-party TCs from Sigma, Kenko and such...Kenko's the better one but don't expect it to work wonders...you may get the longer range but not a sharper pic simply because of the quality of your telephoto zoom lens!
 

Edmund

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Ok.. with what the rest have said so far, let me just try to fill in the blanks.

Since you mentioned looking for Canon TCs, I shall assume that you have a Canon SLR & are looking in that direction.

Canon Teleconverters
Canon EF 1.4x TC
Probably one of the highest quality TCs around that should give you a quality that is very close (this of course becomes less so as the original image is blown up bigger) to the original unextended focal length. You lose 1 stop of light with this.

Canon EF 2x TC
Reasonable performance. Due to its protruding lens element, this TC doesn't allow for stacking with 1.4x TCs without the addition of an extender (typically 12mm) in between the 2 TCs to be stacked. You lose 2 stops of light with this.

Canon EF 1.4x II TC
Retains the optical performance of its predecessor with added internal anti-reflection construction (improves contrast in heavily back-lit situations, etc) but most noticeably, the provision of rubber seals for improved environmental protection when used with L-classed lenses & pro-level bodies (EOS 1 series & EOS 3).

Canon EF 2x II TC
Has been completely redesigned (read: pretty different from its predecessor). The lens barrel is now longer to allow for stacking of 1.4x (both versions) TCs with it. Optical performance has been improved (7 lens elements in 5 groups) with the same internal anti-reflection construction & environmental seals as its EF 1.4x II TC cousin. Probably one of the best performing 2x TCs at the moment.

Note: It is NOT impossible to use Canon TCs with other non-L or not specified L lenses. All that is required is the addition of an extender (what size depends on the lens in use). However, do note that usage with the non-recommended lens WILL result in AF hunting in less than well lit situations. Also note that this relies on a large extent to what kind of camera body you are using with. Don't expect an EOS 300 to give you similar performance to a Pro body like the EOS 1V (which AFs better under low light).

3rd Party TCs
Before I start on this section, let me just say that from the user reviews that I have read off the web, it would seem like the Kenko Pro 300 series & Tamron Pro series (which are essentially the same product with a different label) are possibly the best performing 3rd party teleconvertors.

Kenko Pro 300 1.4x & Tamron 1.4x SP Pro
Performance widely claimed to be almost on par with the Canon 1.4x (& mark II version) TCs except that it doesn't have the added environmental seals.

Kenko Pro 300 2x & Tamron 2x SP Pro
This TC has performance that is comparable to the Mark I (original version) Canon 2x TC. As with its 1.4x cousin, it doesn't come with any environmental seals.

Since 3rd part TCs are not designed to stop you from using them with non-recommended lenses, they are usually stackable by default but do take note that substantial reduction in the amount of available light will cause AF hunt and even AF failure (read: fail to focus, nothing on your camera is damaged).

I shall not elaborate on the other 3rd party TCs as I regard the rest to be of less than acceptable performance especially when going beyond 1.4x (read: 1.4x is not too bad but 2x is out of the question). This is of course subjective and is what I feel and have seen in the results shown & talked about from the web.
 

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Ice

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Thanks guys for all your helpful and insightful comments and recommendations. Thank you especially to Edmund and ZhouFang for your wite ups. It's really been useful.

Well after reading all your comments it seems that it's better to save for a 100-400 L series than getting a TC. Anyone know how much it costs?
 

megaweb

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Originally posted by Ice
Thanks guys for all your helpful and insightful comments and recommendations. Thank you especially to Edmund and ZhouFang for your wite ups. It's really been useful.

Well after reading all your comments it seems that it's better to save for a 100-400 L series than getting a TC. Anyone know how much it costs?
how abt 70-200mm f2.8 L and a TC 2x ?
 

Adam Goi

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Originally posted by Ice
Thanks guys for all your helpful and insightful comments and recommendations. Thank you especially to Edmund and ZhouFang for your wite ups. It's really been useful.

Well after reading all your comments it seems that it's better to save for a 100-400 L series than getting a TC. Anyone know how much it costs?
It should retail @ about $24XX to $26XX depending where you ask...for the lower end of the range, you can try TCW; be warned though...its grey...meaning warranty is honoured by TCW only...not by Canon International
 

Shadus

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Consider a 400mm prime as its cheaper. And for the purpose of telephoto, i notice most end up using 400mm on the 100-400L lens.
 

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Ice

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Hmmm......I think I'll probably go for the grey. No matter what looks like i'm gonna have to do some major saving ;)

Thanks for the help guys......:)
 

zhoufang

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Originally posted by Ice
Thanks guys for all your helpful and insightful comments and recommendations. Thank you especially to Edmund and ZhouFang for your wite ups. It's really been useful.

Well after reading all your comments it seems that it's better to save for a 100-400 L series than getting a TC. Anyone know how much it costs?
If you can accept the price of the lens this will be a much better solution. While the best things in life are free many other good things never come cheap, telephoto lens is one of then. Anyway after the pain of paying $$$ for a lens, u forget the cost pretty fast and will live happily with your L lens for years to come.

for the 100-400 you have to consider its weight as well for 1.5KG some ppl will tend to keep them at home.
 

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Ice

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Thanks for the post Ckiang.....the writeup is very helpful indeed...now just need to save very hard and start hunting for a secondhand one :)
 

zapp!

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Originally posted by Edmund
Ok.. with what the rest have said so far, let me just try to fill in the blanks...

Ed, how about a write up of Sigma TCs?? They are quite cheap as compared to Canon ones...
 

Edmund

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Originally posted by zapp!


Ed, how about a write up of Sigma TCs?? They are quite cheap as compared to Canon ones...
I'm not too enthusiastic about Sigma's TCs for a couple of reasons (in no particular order):
- Sigma's 1.4X and 2X APO Tele Converters are designed to match specific Sigma tele and tele-zoom lenses only, thus it comes with that protruding lens element again. Not worth the trouble IMHO, I'd much rather go for the Kenko Pro 300 with is only US$20 more at current B&H prices.
- Their TCs don't seem to be as popular as the Kenko Pro 300 or the Tamron SP Pro series which are recommended by most people who have used them.
- I'll have to admit I haven't seen much photos taken with the Sigma TCs, but this is back to the first point again, if I am going to get a 3rd party TC, I'd much rather go for the Kenko Pro 300/Tamron SP Pro ones which have seen widespread acclaim on performance, stackability & value for money.

Some more points which I seem to have left out in my earlier post:
Setting proper aperture on your camera
With the Canon matched TCs, you'll just need to snap on the TCs and shoot as per normal. However, with the 3rd party TCs, no information about the TC is passed to the camera and it therefore doesn't take into account its existence. With such TCs, you'll have to make sure you set the maximum aperture correctly. For example, if you put a 3rd party 2x TC on a EF 400 f/4 lens, you should get 800mm with a max aperture of f/8. However, this would most likely not be recognised by your camera (you can check the readout on the camera to verify this) and therefore your camera will allow an aperture setting that is bigger than f/8. Do remember to change to the max of f/8 (in this case) or your exposure will most likely be wrong.

AF capability of your camera
All the cameras in the EOS range can only AF when the lens is capable of a max aperture of f/5.6 or more. The only exceptions here are the EOS 1D, 1V & 3, which can AF with lenses down to a max aperture of f/8. What this means is, if you use 3rd party TCs, or use a "quick fix" on the Canon TCs (to prevent the camera from seeing the existence of the TCs), while AF is possible under good lighting, hunting invariably occurs when the max aperture of the lens goes below what the camera is specified to be capable of.
 

NaturePhotoG

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Originally posted by megaweb


how abt 70-200mm f2.8 L and a TC 2x ?
If new, both items would cost about the same as the 100-400 IS, you gain f2.8(between 70-200 range ), but lose IS. Its a matter of choice.

I use 2X with 70-200 f2.8L extensively and now 2XII with 70-200 f2.8L IS. In real world terms, its comparable and hard to distinguish the difference between those 2 combo with the 100-400. Note I do use the 70-200's larger aperture to double as portrait/events lens.
 

YSLee

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How much are they anyway?
 

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