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Thread: Changing Lens

  1. #1
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    Default Changing Lens

    My current set up is

    Canon 100-400mm
    550D
    1.4x TC (taped over to get AF!)

    I find the AF with the TC is pretty dodgy at the best of times and without it I find i struggle with just the 400mm focal length. I am always at 400mm so dont need the flexibility of the zoom.

    I'm considering whether its worth swapping over to a Canon 300mmF4L ISM with a 2x TC ( I think with the 2x TC i will get AF? ) or my existing 1.4x TC.

    Budget is an issue and I reckon I can sell my 100-400 and TC and get the 300mm and 2xTC without having to pay an extra arm and a leg.

    Most of my birding is coastal (waders) and bush walking.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    The 300mm f4 works well with the 1.4x, I don't have the 2x but all reports suggest that the quality is not as good and the AF (with a taped TC) certainly won't be any better. Without taping the 2x on a 300mm f4 reverts to MF, you are still at f8.

    The reason that Canon disables AF with lenses (and lens /TC combos) slower than f5.6 on all other than the 1D series is that the AF gets iffy, basically because there is not enough light to get a good signal on the AF sensor. So any combo at f8 is likely to be similar, you may get a marginal improvement on a lens with better optical quality than the 100-400.

    If you are keen on upgrading Ebay prices for the 100-400, 300mm f4 and 400mm f5.6 are all pretty similar. The 1D series cameras will AF at f8 but it will be slower than an f5.6 lens but better than what you are getting now with the taped converter. 100-400 lenses probably come up more often, with 300mm f4 next then 400mm f5.6. Your other option is a 1DMkIIn, but you lose the crop factor and gain AF at f8, which can be a bit slow, probably get one for about $1500 on Ebay??

    MF is not really an option particularly on the XXXD series as the viewfinder is not that great, but live view will work.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  3. #3
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    Default

    It's a tough one that's for sure, I'm not sure what the IQ would be like with a 300 f4 and 2x tc. I don't think you will get AF with this combo on your 550D either. You will with the 300 f4 and 1.4x tc, but the IQ wont be any better than the 100-400mm.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Guys. Sounds like the benefits of swapping are probably borderline at best if the 2x tc will not have AF. Might have to be patient and keep plugging away with my current set up until I save up for a BIG lens and upgraded camera!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Blyth View Post
    It's a tough one that's for sure, I'm not sure what the IQ would be like with a 300 f4 and 2x tc. I don't think you will get AF with this combo on your 550D either. You will with the 300 f4 and 1.4x tc, but the IQ wont be any better than the 100-400mm.
    The consensus seems to be that a 300m f4 + 1.4x will beat a 100-400 at 400mm. not exactly the comparison you want but here's a link to a test site comparing the 300 with the 100-400 both at 300mm and f5.6, the 300mm wins and the 100-400 image quality drops away at >300mm. Unfortunately they don't have a test image for the 300 plus 1.4x. I have this combo and the quality with the 1.4x is really very good. This doesn't take into account the versatility of the 100-400 of course and it certainly takes good images, though the quality with a 1.4x does drop away significantly.

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...mp=5&APIComp=0

    BTW definitely no AF at f8 on any Canon camera apart from the 1D series.

    Sounds like the best thing to do is work on your stalking skills, you still need them with a 500mm plus 1.4x, though it is a little easier.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
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  6. #6
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    Probably stick with what you have I think mate. If anything you might want to consider the 300mm f2.8 which allows the use of the 1.4 and 2 x convertors. Other than that...keep saving

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    I could simply say that the 2x is perfectly useable, but I would like to add a few valid (I feel) points. I can't say I have 20 years experience with the 300/4L IS and Canon TCs, but have nearly 4 years and 100,000 shots to create my own opinion of the lens and converters. So here goes.......

    Needless to say a 2x degrades IQ more than a 1.4x, by some 28% and if you want to zoom into 200% and peep at every single pixel then I think it's best to buy an 800mm lens and not get any converters. However, using a 2x also gets you more magnification. Put a Canon 2x onto your 300/4L IS and you will get an image four times the size at 300mm. I know I have gotten many shots because I don't worry about a small degradation in image quality, but get out and shoot images instead of reading pixel peeping reports. And if your technique is good and your exposures as well and you use it in GOOD light, then you can get excellent quality images! Believe me! It has a lot to do with the users as well in my opinion; a bit like people complaining about how BAD 1D MkIII AF is in comparison to another 1D body. Maybe it is, but people still use 1D MkIII bodies and get killer images. At the end of the day if one's out shooting and learning then one can create great images with some limitations. If the converters were that bad, Canon and Nikon would not be making them. I didn't mind MF (and stacked 1.4x and 2x converters) on a 30D and 300/4L IS and will not hesitate to use a 2x even on my newly aquired 500mm f/4L IS lens. I like to get the shot period. Yet many people cringe about converters. I guess not everyone will agree, but I will happily find a medium between IQ, reach and getting a shot!

    For me personally, the 100-400 was never a choice as I can count on one hand where I needed less than 400mm. Pretty much.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!

  8. #8
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    A 2x on one of the primes mentioned will certainly give good shots, but noticeably degraded from the lens alone particularly if you don't stop down at least one stop. Generally the quality drops away quite a bit with most of the zooms. A caveat on MF is that the viewfinders on the xxxD cameras such as the 550D are not real flash, they use a pentamirror rather than a pentaprism and the focusing screen is just not designed for MF so telling when the camera is in focus is difficult.

    Back to the original question, you will still not get AF with a 2x/300mm f4. With the 1.4x it will AF quite well, but is effectively the same Focal length (420mm). What you will get with the 300mm f4 is a very versatile little prime lens, it focuses close and will also act as a long macro, in fact with a 1.4x on it can AF on dragonflies in flight with a 1D body, not sure if it would be that good on a 550D unfortunately.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  9. #9
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    Keep the 100-400 and get the 300 f2.8 even a used one. If you ditch one you will later find times when you wished you'd kept it. Keep in mind that they look easier to use than they really are. The super teles are bl**dy heavey to hand hold

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the feedback guys. Yes, it was pretty overcast but I was able to get very close - they were too busy getting stuck into the lawn to notice me Next time I will know to use a flash.

  11. #11
    Tony Hansford Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian de Leiros View Post
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Yes, it was pretty overcast but I was able to get very close - they were too busy getting stuck into the lawn to notice me Next time I will know to use a flash.
    What ???????

  12. #12
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    Whoops, this was a reply to my other thread!!!! Still getting the hang of the site ( which is great by the way! )

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