11-01-2020 02:51 PM
"Sounds like a good reason to simply remove the filter, and go without one"
The filter did not remain on it for long. Two of my closer friends had the same lens and filter issues. We all sold it and bought, in my case bought another, the 400mm f5.6L. Even without a filter the 100-400mm is not as sharp as the prime. Besides the first 100-400mm has additional problems not just not liking filters. It really soured me and probably why I never bought the current version of the 100-400mm which I am told is much better. No first hand experience with it.
I have not used the 400mm f/5.6 nor the original 100-400mm. The 100-400mm II is razor sharp, even wide open.
11-01-2020 05:24 PM
"The 100-400mm II is razor sharp, even wide open."
That is what I have heard. However, not interested. Two reasons and they both begin with Sigma.
11-03-2020 09:18 PM
Thank you everyone for your input and sample photos. It gives me some good points to look further into. And to see if I know someone who has a mark III that I can try out.
11-04-2020 11:29 AM - edited 11-04-2020 11:53 AM
Doing a test with the version iii extender would be the best way for you to decide if the upgrade is worth it for you.
With current sensors, you really have to decide whether you are better off cropping versus using an extender. I am going to be shooting some outside stuff later today and for fun shot the same subject from the same distance using an EF 400 f2.8 IS II with and without the version II 1.4X extender. Here are a couple of comparison shots below with the bare lens cropped to basically the same subject size for both conditions.
The EF 400 f2.8 is one of optically sharpest lenses Canon makes so even with the degradation via the extender it is still sharp but the results are noticeable. This was using my 1DX III, the same setup with my 5DS R would likely bias the results even more towards cropping.
Just a little more data to help you decide whether it is worthwhile to upgrade from an early to later version of an extender. The better high ISO performance of newer bodies helps offset the old problem of losing a stop with the 1.4X but with the denser/higher MP sensor it makes cropping a much more viable option also.
First image is bare EF 400 f2.8 IS II, the second with the 1.4X and both were shot from exactly the same location. The last image shows why the loss of depth of field is a drawback to the use of the extender, only about a 3" loss for this combination at the distance I was shooting but if I had used the extender with the last image it would have been an issue.
11-05-2020 09:50 AM
You are welcome Wanda and I hope it helps you with your decision making.
My first digital was an EOS 1D Mark II with an 8.2 MP sensor and I found the 1.4X extender to be very useful. With my 1DX II and III and 5DS R bodies I find that the difference in final quality between heavier cropping with a bare lens and using an extender is far closer and this is with very sharp primes, generally the drop in sharpness is going to be more significant when pairing a zoom lens with an extender making a 1.4X vs cropping an even closer decision.
There are certainly cases where a 1.4X will work quite well, particularly if the loss of one stop and the slowing of AF speed is acceptable. In really good lighting, a converter can produce very nice results but under less optimal conditions the 1.4X makes them even less optimal.
With a high pixel count sensor, cropping works very well if you can keep the ISO in the lower range. The slight increase in depth of field can save you at times because if shooting sports or wildlife the AF point isn't always exactly where you would have liked it and a little extra DoF gives you a sometimes image saving fudge factor. With landscapes and portraiture you can take the time to get the shot perfectly set up but trying to do that in other environments often means you missed a killer shot by 100 milliseconds which means you completely missed the opportunity.
I believe any image quality improvement between your current 1.4X and the new one would require extreme pixel peeping to see. I would put these to the same test as those who try to sell expensive audio patch cables, if the difference isn't readily apparent then your money is probably better spent towards another useful lens or other item that will give you greater benefits for the work that you do.
11-07-2020 10:47 AM
I was using single point spot AF and I shifted the camera right before that shot so the focus point is just inward of the leading edge of the roof, basically the vertical plane would be the middle of the head of the bird sitting on the left edge of the feeder.
I was using a 1DX III which has no problem doing AF with the 1.4X. Since this is the EF 400 f2.8, the 1DX III will AF with both the 1.4X and 2X extenders and PROBABLY could do with both in use simultaneously since the AF will work at f8 but I have never tried that combination.
These are a couple of shots taken with the EF 400 f2.8 with 2X and heavily cropped, still usable but the extender takes a toll. The cat photo has the AF point at the bottom corner of the image and is at ISO 1250 which has a very minor impact upon detail, the moon has the AF point on the center of the moon and is at ISO 400.
The final image is with the EF 800 f5.6, same focal length and aperture as the EF 400 f2.8 plus 2X combination. Image quality wise it performs a bit better than the 400 plus 2X. Some lenses do take a converter well but not all of them and especially the 2X. I used a 400 f5.6 for many years and I as much as I tried I could never capture what I felt was a really good image using it with a 2X converter while the 400 f2.8 plus 2X is a fairly usable combination as long as you don't critically compare it to the bare 400 lens.
Extenders do work and provide usable images but when you directly compare an image with the bare lens versus the extended version, the loss of quality is there. There are times that the extender is definitely useful but I think with the higher res sensors we have now, many of us who relied upon them a lot in the past will need to re-evaluate. I don't think the choice is as clear or easy a decision as it was 10 years ago.
11-09-2020 10:29 AM
The house sparrows were all shot with a tel-con? I ask but wasn't going to say anything as they are not up to your usual outstanding work.
The cat and the finch are very nice, indeed. BTW, the little finch is pretty red. Ours are not that brilliant.
11-09-2020 02:35 PM
Those sparrows were heavily cropped shot from too far away hand held in a strong wind so one word for those conditions would be sub-optimal but in reality they were pretty typical. I was curious how the setup would do with and without a telecon in pretty typical conditions where you aren't as close as you would like to be.
And I think I am entering my sub-optimal photography phase. I have been stalking an extremely shy woodpecker who refuses to let me get anywhere close and he also loves to be strongly backlit, maybe the bugs are closer to the surface on the shaded side of a tree. These were shot with a 5DS and EF 800 and cropped from about 10% of the sensor area. I am sure that at some point he will decide to actually pose for me. At least my washing machine transmission repair went well today so maybe I can take that up as my new calling