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600/800MM lenses vs RF 2x Extender for Kenya Safari


Hi community, 

I'm new here, I'm glad to join this community. I just bought a Canon R8 with new Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM and used Canon RF 24-105 mm f/4-7,1 IS STM. I would say that I'm somewhere between beginner and intermediate level in photography. Being doing it for years and years, but basic stuff. I travel 2x times a year. It's not always wildlife photography, but when I got the occasion, I really like doing wildlife and bird photography. 

I will be going in Kenya for a 14 days safari in one month. I'm afraid that 400mm won't be enough for reach for far away animals. I don't have a huge budget so I can't afford 100-500mm lense or the new 200-800mm lense. So I'm hesitating between the 600MM F11 (400$ used) and/or 800MM F11 (625$ used) VS. Using a Canon RF 2x Extender on my RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS (550$ used). 

Your advices would be really appreciated and thanks in advance for your generosity



I would buy the 600mm, not the 800mm and I would never use a tel-con. All these choices are slow lenses and a tel-con will make them even slower. Perhaps not a huge issue if you have bright sunshine all the time but what if you don't?

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Many thanks!

I agree with Ernie and the 2X is particularly bad.  I have some of the sharpest fast primes that Canon builds and even with those the image quality takes a huge hit with the 2X.  I guess the images aren't that bad with the 2X UNTIL you compare the quality of the image from the bare lens.

With a high quality fast lens, the 1.4X is useful but I have yet to capture an image with the 2X that I really liked. 


EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Is this where I chime in and quip that the two happiest days in a photographers life are, first, the day when he gets his 2X teleconverter and the second when he sells it?

Many Thanks Rodger. With the other advices too, I’ll drop the 2x TC project


+1 What Ernie said.  

You are correct the RF 100-400 will not reach far away animals.  Other considerations.  The RF 600 is not weather sealed and is slightly more susceptible to dust and moisture.  If you want a lens hood, the ET-88B is what fits.  A lens collar is not included.  The lens has to be extended to take images.  Its not very heavy, but you may not want to hang it off the front of your R8, so a bracket or monopod might come in handy while you are waiting for animals to appear.  Its also a good stabilizer.  

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

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Many thanks Rick, those are great advices too!


You can look into renting a lens (I also suggest the 600 mm!) for the trip. Lens Rentals is an excellent company to work with, just make sure to tell them you are taking it out of the country.

Thanks. Never thought about rentals since I’m going for 14 days and the used price is quite good but I’ll check for sure! 

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