Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Teleconverter Pros and Cons


I have a Canon Eos 80D and a Canon 100 - 400 mm F4.5 - 5.6 L IS USM lens and use them mostly for bird photography.  I think the 400 mm is not enough to capture small birds that tend to be skittish of humans.  Admittedly, I have lens envy when I see birds photographed with a 600 or 800 mm lens.  In generally, I really like the lens that I have but want to consider getting a teleconverter, at least a 1.4X.  I know about giving up an F stop but it's less clear to me about the effects of the teleconverter on focus points (I have 1, 9 and 45 on the camera) and on autofocus.  I would also like to know your thoughts on the pros and particularly the cons of using one.  Appreciate your feedback but if I'm asking a question that's already been asked, please let me know and I'll try to find the discussion.  Thanks.


Thanks for these comments.  I do want BIF so I guess I need to start thinking about the Sigma 150 - 600 which I have seen images from.  Those that have it seem to like it.  It seems like an affordable solution for me. 

View solution in original post


I wanted to report back on the use of the 1.4X teleconverter added to my 100 - 400 mm telephoto zoom lens.  I'm attaching three images, a perched belted kingfisher, two burrowing owls and a wood stork coming in to land.  Note that all three images were taken at the maximum zoom, namely, 560 nm (with the extender).  One of the three images represents a bird in flight.  Admittedly, autofocus was slowed with the extender but I've kind of learned how to deal with it.  Harder to lock on a bird quickly with the extender particularly when the bird is closeby when I first recognize the photo opportunity.  Easier if I spot the bird somewhat far away and can prepare for it.  As for image quality, I think it's still pretty good as long as lighting is good.  As for specifications, I used a Canon EOS 80D, an EF 100 - 400 mm f/4,5 - 5,6 IS II USM zoom lens plus the 1.4X III extender.  Overall, I'm very happy with it and generally use it unless it's a cloudy day.  I also purchased a Canon Powershot SX60 for more reach but, frankly, I don't like it as much as my 400 mm zoom lens with the extender. It's terrible for birds in flight or for warblers moving quickly through a tree because autofocus is much slower than the 80D setup. Burrowing Owls in South Florida.jpgFemale Belted Kingfisher (3-21-2017).jpgWood Stork at Circle B.jpg

As long as you are satisfied all is good.  Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


Nice Shot, TTMartin. 8^) Mine was taken in the Rio Grande Bosque with my Tamron 150-600.



@kvbarkley wrote:

Nice Shot, TTMartin. 8^) Mine was taken in the Rio Grande Bosque with my Tamron 150-600.


Watching and hearing a Sand Hill Crane in flight is an experience straight out of Jurassic Park.  

Yes, It was amazing. This was taken during the migration. There were dozens milling around and flying where I was.

I've shot the Sigma 150-600 C all of last season & it has benched my 100-400 L IS Ver 1 which is quite sharp. I finally got a shot I've been after for the last 2 seasons because for once I decided to use the right shutter speed because I really wasn't after prop blur. I have come very close at getting this result at 1/500 a few times but I think this confirms that the Sigma is sharp enough for most hand holders. Wing span is 88 inches & it's flying right to left doing rolls, I've turned it for the crop. (note slight prop blur even at this setting so likely at full power). First the full frame then a crop to the autographs of the Snowbird pilots 3 years ago & ISS Commander  Chris Hadfield.  Shot hand held with a 1D mark 4, Sigma 150-600 C @468 mm, f 6.3, 1/2000. At the end of the season I started shooting that lens on my 7D2 with excellent results & I plan on using it together next year along with the Canon 28-300 L IS on the 1D4.


"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

"I've shot the Sigma 150-600 C all of last season & it has benched my 100-400 L IS Ver 1 ..."


It does show that real world shooting and data from testing sites can be very different and misleading.  I own, or rented, and use all of the lenses mentioned in this thread.  For most people I still maintain there isn't a nickels worth of difference between them.

However, in the hands of certain people there can be quite a difference.  Also it depends on how much cropping  is done or required.  For most people, they will see a degrading of the IQ with a teleconverter with any of them.  It is my belief and experience that a lens without a converter is better than one with it.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@TTMartin wrote:

Green Heron, Ollie's Pond, Port Charlotte, FL 1/9/2017


Canon 7D Mk II, EF 100-400 IS II with 1.4X III, 560mm, 1/1250, f/8, ISO 640

I like the eyeball for some reason.


"The right mouse button is your friend."
Enter for a chance to win