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Teleconverter Pros and Cons

mjschocken
Enthusiast

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.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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. 

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38 REPLIES 38

Waddizzle
Legend

@mjschocken wrote:

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.



Use just the center AF point.  I'm pretty sure that the center AF point in the 80D can focus to f/8.  I would strongly advise only using a Canon teleconverter, though, if any. . 

Image quality with the 1.4x is a whole other conversation.  The 150-600mm lenses out there are pretty popular.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

jrhoffman75
Legend

Remember that your 80D is a so-called "crop camera" with a 1.6x crop ratio.

 

So, if you are looking at photos taken with a Canon 1D X or a 5D, which are popular professional birding cameras, with a 600mm lens, you will get the same effective view (actually a liitle more) with your 80D and a 400mm lens. (400*1.6=640).

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

You may get by with stationary birds but will have lots of trouble (slow to no AF lock) on birds in flight. Highly recommend considering a 150-600 C from Sigma or maybe the newer version Tamron has out now. It's a lot of magnification on a crop body.

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

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. 

"... recommend considering a 150-600 C from Sigma or ... the newer version Tamron ..."

 

This is the correct answer.  Smiley Happy  Your choice.  They are nearly identical in IQ.  Either will work well on an 80D.

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

A word of warning.  Even a 600mm lens is not going to make a tiny bird, ... large!  Even with a 600mm lens you need to be very close to the bird.  Generally under 50 feet. 

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

TTMartin
Authority

Deleted

Thanks much for your comments and for an illustrative image with the lens and extender.  You've told me everything I wanted to hear as I do have the second, more recent version of the Canon telephoto zoom lens.  I also know a few guys who have the Sigma 150 - 600 mm lens and so I was also interested in your comments about the Canon versus Sigma/Tamron lens and their image quality.  Again, thanks.

"The EF 100-400 L IS II with the 1.4X III extender still bests the image quality of the Sigma or Tamron 150-600s."

 

Of course this is wrong.  Even if you take published data on the three lenses mentioned, they are nearly identical in IQ.  Actually owning and using all three confirms it.  Adding a teleconverter to any one of them vs one without one, will degrade its IQ.

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