Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Canon 1.4 teleconverter on 100-400 L IS USM?  (Read 13902 times)
digitaldog
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8108



WWW
« on: January 06, 2010, 09:36:42 AM »
ReplyReply

I'm going to the Galapagos next month, this time (unlike the trip with Michael on the Amazon), I've got myself the Canon 100-400. A buddy suggested the Canon 1.4 teleconverter and I'm wondering if this would be a good purchase and combo with this lens (I'll take a monopod too) or over kill. Last trip I only had (ugh) the 80-300 which wasn't up to snuff. FWIW, this will be on a 5DmII. Opinions welcome and thanks.
Logged

Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
francois
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6461


« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 10:28:29 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: digitaldog
I'm going to the Galapagos next month, this time (unlike the trip with Michael on the Amazon), I've got myself the Canon 100-400. A buddy suggested the Canon 1.4 teleconverter and I'm wondering if this would be a good purchase and combo with this lens (I'll take a monopod too) or over kill. Last trip I only had (ugh) the 80-300 which wasn't up to snuff. FWIW, this will be on a 5DmII. Opinions welcome and thanks.
Andrew,
I used one on my 1D Mark 2 and it gave a slight advantage (vs no-extender and uprezzing in Photoshop) in resolution but it was not like day & night. I haven't used it on my 1Ds Mark 3.
I would try to borrow one for a few tests to see if it's worth it on a 5D Mark 2. The 5D Mark 2 already tests the limit of the 100-400.

One thing to consider is AF. Does the 5D Mark 2 can autofocus with a f/8 lens? FWIW, AF is very slow with that combo on a 1D body.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 10:30:28 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
NoahJackson
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 11:50:03 AM »
ReplyReply

I have had very good results with the 100-400 handheld and with a tripod on the 5d2. With the 1.4, however, as you know, you'll need a very solid tripod and good technique. Without a tripod and a 1.4x but with good technique, I have found a can easily shoot using the 1/focal length with this lens. I'm making 36-inch prints from a 5d2.

If you do use the 1.4 and do substantial tests, do let us know your results. I echo the poor focusing of the 5d2 and 100-400 combo. I'm using mostly manual and live-view aided focus. Interesting to hear about the no-extender and upressing combo.

Has anyone tried using something such as the 300 + 1.4 on the 5d2 and comparing that (in terms of resolution)? Other than the differences in fstops, I'm assuming that the real world print differences would be relatively minor.

Thanks,
Noah

Quote from: francois
Andrew,
I used one on my 1D Mark 2 and it gave a slight advantage (vs no-extender and uprezzing in Photoshop) in resolution but it was not like day & night. I haven't used it on my 1Ds Mark 3.
I would try to borrow one for a few tests to see if it's worth it on a 5D Mark 2. The 5D Mark 2 already tests the limit of the 100-400.

One thing to consider is AF. Does the 5D Mark 2 can autofocus with a f/8 lens? FWIW, AF is very slow with that combo on a 1D body.
Logged
Daniel Browning
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 142


« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 11:58:15 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: digitaldog
I'm going to the Galapagos next month, this time (unlike the trip with Michael on the Amazon), I've got myself the Canon 100-400. A buddy suggested the Canon 1.4 teleconverter and I'm wondering if this would be a good purchase and combo with this lens (I'll take a monopod too) or over kill.

Not overkill at all. It will be vital for wildlife photography. I would highly recommend a 2X TC instead. If you'll be birding, 800mm is not overkill at all, and the 100-400 is more than sharp enough for it on a 5D2.

Be aware that with any TC you'll have to focus manually. If you don't shoot the 100-400 in manual focus very often, I suggest spending some time working on your technique to get your speed and accuracy up before you leave.

You might also consider improving your post processing with some form of chromatic aberration correction and distortion correction. That will greatly help to reduce the aberrations added by the TC itself.

Quote from: francois
One thing to consider is AF. Does the 5D Mark 2 can autofocus with a f/8 lens?

I agree - this is important to consider. In the case of the 5D2, it will not autofocus at f/8. (Even taping off the pins will not make it work.)

Quote from: francois
The 5D Mark 2 already tests the limit of the 100-400.

I disagree. On a 1.4X TC, the 100-400 is awash in aliasing artifacts:

100-400 + 1.4X TC @ 560mm f/8

That proves it has plenty more resolution. Even with a 2X TC, the 100-400 still results in aliasing artifacts in the center:

100-400 + 2X TC @ 800mm f/11

Both of these sharpen up by stopping down. Even a 2X and 1.4X stacked (1120mm!) still yield better resolution than cropping the 5D2.

I remember some tests out there with the 100-400 on the 50D with a 1.4X that shows improvement from the TC, and the 50D is equivalent to a 38.4 MP full frame camera, which is much higher than the 5D2.

Furthermore, even if the 100-400 was so soft that 2X TC did not help resolution, it would still help with noise. ISO 400 f/5.6 with no TC has more noise than ISO 1600 f/11 with 2X TC.
Logged

--Daniel
Daniel Browning
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 142


« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2010, 12:00:51 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: NoahJackson
Has anyone tried using something such as the 300 + 1.4 on the 5d2 and comparing that (in terms of resolution)? Other than the differences in fstops, I'm assuming that the real world print differences would be relatively minor.

You're right - it's pretty minor:
300mm+1.4X @ 420mm f/5.6 vs 100-400 @400mm f/5.6

The 100-400 is better in the center, but the 300+1.4X is better in the corners.
Logged

--Daniel
digitaldog
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8108



WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 12:05:23 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks everyone, very valuable info.

I don't see a tripod in the cards for this trip. Monopod is doable. I'll also start messing around with manual focus too (like the old days).
Logged

Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
fike
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1372


Hiker Photographer


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2010, 02:23:25 PM »
ReplyReply

I didn't find the quality with the 1.4x teleconverter on the 100-400 to be very good.  As a matter of fact, on my 50D, I couldn't discern any substantial increase in detail resolution between the two. This may not be the case with a 5DMKII, but I felt like the decrease in ease of use that results from the loss of auto focus (particularly for wildlife and birds) combined with very marginal increase in resolution, if any, made the 1.4X teleconverter a waste of time for me.

The naked 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L is the best compromise for travel photography on foot.  Anything longer or better is 3X the cost and at least 2X the size and weight.  The only lens that comes close would be the Canon 300 F/2.8 L IS with a 1.4 Teleconverter.  That lens is almost packable for hiking and takes VERY good shots.  The only downer is that you are only getting an effective 420MM compared to the 100-400. But, on the other hand, that 420mm is substantially superior to the 100-400 quality.
Logged

Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
marcshaffer.net
TrailPixie.net

I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
Marlyn
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 253


« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 02:24:46 PM »
ReplyReply

A little further outside the box, but consider one of the Sigma Lenses, such as the 150-500 OS   (Optically Stabilized).

It is a little slow, out to 6.3 at 500mm,  but it may suit what you need for this trip.



Now, if only Canon would make a 200-400 F4



Regards

Mark.

Logged
Mike Boden
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 124


WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2010, 09:31:45 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Daniel Browning
Be aware that with any TC you'll have to focus manually.

Not sure why you're saying this, because my experience proves otherwise. I've used a Canon 2x extender on Canon's 500mm f/4L IS USM and used auto-focus just fine. The only caveat is that because you lose two stops of light with the extender, you're at f/8 and that only allows auto-focus to work on the center focus point. To compensate for this for subjects not composed in the center of the frame, I changed custom menu C.Fn-04 on my Canon 1DS-MKii. This allows me to use the * button on the back of the camera for auto focus and the shutter button for exposure and capture.  Thus, press * to achieve focus lock with your thumb, recompose, and then shoot with your index finger. Easy!
Logged

Marlyn
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 253


« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 09:52:49 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Mike Boden
Not sure why you're saying this, because my experience proves otherwise. I've used a Canon 2x extender on Canon's 500mm f/4L IS USM and used auto-focus just fine. The only caveat is that because you lose two stops of light with the extender, you're at f/8 and that only allows auto-focus to work on the center focus point. To compensate for this for subjects not composed in the center of the frame, I changed custom menu C.Fn-04 on my Canon 1DS-MKii. This allows me to use the * button on the back of the camera for auto focus and the shutter button for exposure and capture.  Thus, press * to achieve focus lock with your thumb, recompose, and then shoot with your index finger. Easy!


Only the 1-series cameras focus lenses with an effective maximum appeture of f8.   5D mk II, and other EOS camoeras can only focus up to f5.6

I am not positive about the 5DmkII, but my 5D can't focus at f8,  were as my 1DsIII can.

Regards

Mark

Logged
Mike Boden
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 124


WWW
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 09:56:42 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Marlyn
Only the 1-series cameras focus lenses with an effective maximum appeture of f8.   5D mk II, and other EOS camoeras can only focus up to f5.6

I am not positive about the 5DmkII, but my 5D can't focus at f8,  were as my 1DsIII can.

Regards

Mark


Didn't know that. Thanks for the heads up.
Logged

Daniel Browning
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 142


« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2010, 10:47:13 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Mike Boden
Not sure why you're saying this, [...]

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I only meant to refer to the specific case of the 5D Mark II and 100-400 that the OP was asking about. Other lenses and bodies do autofocus with TC, as you mentioned.
Logged

--Daniel
Mike Boden
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 124


WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2010, 10:52:36 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Daniel Browning
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I only meant to refer to the specific case of the 5D Mark II and 100-400 that the OP was asking about. Other lenses and bodies do autofocus with TC, as you mentioned.

Thanks Daniel. I pretty much figured that out after Mark's post, and I think we're all on the same page.

Now what's interesting to me is that non- "1-series" cameras only autofocus up to f/5.6. I'm wondering why this is so...
Logged

francois
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6461


« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2010, 04:47:28 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: fike

The naked 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L is the best compromise for travel photography on foot.  Anything longer or better is 3X the cost and at least 2X the size and weight.  The only lens that comes close would be the Canon 300 F/2.8 L IS with a 1.4 Teleconverter.  That lens is almost packable for hiking and takes VERY good shots.  The only downer is that you are only getting an effective 420MM compared to the 100-400. But, on the other hand, that 420mm is substantially superior to the 100-400 quality.
Exactly, I don't see myself hiking in the Alps for 6-8 hours with something like a 500 f/4 or even the relatively light EF 400 f/4.0 DO. The 100-400 is without any doubt not at the same level of performance as the big guns (300 f/2.8, 400 f/4 & f/2.8 and 500 f/4). But its versatility, reasonable price and weight are good reasons to own it.
Logged

Francois
Ray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8812


« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2010, 06:44:28 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: digitaldog
I'm going to the Galapagos next month, this time (unlike the trip with Michael on the Amazon), I've got myself the Canon 100-400. A buddy suggested the Canon 1.4 teleconverter and I'm wondering if this would be a good purchase and combo with this lens (I'll take a monopod too) or over kill. Last trip I only had (ugh) the 80-300 which wasn't up to snuff. FWIW, this will be on a 5DmII. Opinions welcome and thanks.

Andrew,
When I bought my first Canon DSRL many years ago, I also bought the 100-400 and 1.4x converter at the same time. I've carried out many tests during those years, comparing images at 400mm cropped to the same FOV as the 560mm shot with extender, then rezzed up to the same file size as the 560mm shot.

The best I can say is that it is possible, if the subject is contrasty in very strong light, to get a very marginal, pixel-peeping advantage in detail and resolution using the 1.4x extender with the 100-400 at 400mm. However, often there seems to be no advantage whatsoever, and sometimes the results with the converter seem to be marginally worse.

Investigating how this could be, that the image using the converter could actually be worse, I came to the conclusion that the quality of the lens at the real aperture (ie. the aperture through which the light passes before reaching the converter at the other end) was the determining factor.

I believe that my copy of the 100-400 is at least of average quality, and perhaps better than average. At 400mm it's sharpest at F8, very marginally less sharp at F11, but quite noticeably less sharp at F5.6.

When you fix a 1.4x converter to the lens, the maximum aperture becomes F8 but the aperture blades in the lens are still wide open at F5.6. To get the sharpest result with a 1.4x extender you therefore have to stop down to F11. Even at F16, with extender, you will get a sharper result than you will get at F8, if your copy of the 100-400 is like mine.

When you consider the disadvantages of loss of autofocus capability and the slower shutter speeds required (or higher ISO), the use of an extender with the 100-400 is simply not worth the hassle.

In my opinion, you'd be far better off getting the longer reach by using a 7D.

Below are some comparisons showing the noticeably sharper results at F11 compared with F8, at 560mm with the 5D and the 20D. These were taken several years ago. The 20D has the same pixel density as the 5D2, yet still shows slightly better resolution at F11.

However, if your copy of the 100-400 is actually sharpest at F5.6, then it could be worthwhile using an extender.

[attachment=19268:full_scene.jpg]  [attachment=19269:F8_v_F11_at_560mm.jpg]  [attachment=19270:20D_F11_...at_560mm.jpg]
Logged
stever
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1046


« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2010, 10:55:19 AM »
ReplyReply

i'm pretty much with ray on this one

i've used the 100-400 and 1.4x on the 40D and tried it on the 5D2 with contacts taped.  it sort of focuses.  if you use the extender, you really need a 100-400 that has decent performance at f5.6 (this has historically been an issue which i think has improved with more recent production - but maybe not) - i spent some time and money finding one

in terms of image quality, forget the Tamron 200-500 and Sigma alternatives

i really don't think you stand a chance of decent manual focus without a sturdy tripod and a cooperative subject

i find that a crop from the 100-400 with 5D2 is virtually identical to a 40D image.  i tried a 50D and didn't see a noticeable improvement.  i hope the 7D is a noticeable improvement but haven't tested one yet

the good thing about the Galapagos is that there's a lot of stuff, including birds that are pretty close.  i'd say go with the 5D2 and 100-400 for overall image quality and high iso performance.  adding a 7D for the high speed capability and (hopefully) longer focal effective focal length is not a bad idea.  you can take the 1.4x for emergency, but i'll bet you won't use it much

i do not recommend the 400DO unless you REALLY need f4 -- it's only marginally sharper than a good 100-400.  in the Galapagos you will be hiking around and sometimes in zodiacs and a long fixed lens likd the 400DO means that you need a 100-400 as well which means a 2-camera setup -- too much to deal with unless you have an assistant.

i think you'll be fine with the 5D2 and 100-400
Logged
digitaldog
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8108



WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2010, 11:32:41 AM »
ReplyReply

Ray, your post was invaluable, thanks for taking the time to provide the info!
Logged

Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
digitaldog
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8108



WWW
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2010, 11:35:48 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: stever
the good thing about the Galapagos is that there's a lot of stuff, including birds that are pretty close.  i'd say go with the 5D2 and 100-400 for overall image quality and high iso performance.  
i think you'll be fine with the 5D2 and 100-400

Thanks, that's the approach I'm going towards. The $300 I save, I can now spend on those nice new Bose noise canceling headphones I saw here at the Denver airport. Oh boy, too many toys, too little time.
Logged

Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
NoahJackson
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2010, 01:29:41 PM »
ReplyReply

Good question and great response, Ray. Thanks for sharing your test results. So, now that this issue is finished, what will your backup be?

Logged
tokengirl
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 360



« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2010, 02:02:36 PM »
ReplyReply

Save your money.  I have the 100-400L and the 1.4X TC.  My lens is very sharp when used alone, but adding the 1.4X TC was a big disappointment.  Better to use the lens alone and crop.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad