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Author Topic: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds  (Read 3235 times)

danski0224

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Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« on: March 18, 2012, 12:17:04 PM »
Is there a next step without breaking the bank?

If I want more reach than a 7D + 1.4xIII + 300 f4L IS, what is next?

How does the 2x TC fare?

Stacking TC's? Does that work, or turn the images to mush?

Thanks.


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Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« on: March 18, 2012, 12:17:04 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 12:31:30 PM »
How does the 2x TC fare?

Stacking TC's? Does that work, or turn the images to mush?

Soft images, no AF with the 2x TC.

Going beyond 400/420mm is either very expensive (300/2.8L + 2x, 500/4L) or requires other tradeoffs (you can get an old Minolta 600mm f/6.3, adapt it and manually focus, for example).
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 01:30:09 PM »
Is there a next step without breaking the bank?

If I want more reach than a 7D + 1.4xIII + 300 f4L IS, what is next?

How does the 2x TC fare?

Stacking TC's? Does that work, or turn the images to mush?

Thanks.

A 400mm f/5.6 is popular for bif, but has a long minimum focus.  The 100-400mm L is the next step up as far as focal length.
 
Beyond that, $$$$ and huge heavy lenses that are difficult to use without a tripod.
 
This is where a 1D MK IV comes in handy, it will increase AF speed due to the higher voltage driving the AF motor, as well as allow f/8 autofocus, so you can autofocus with a TC.
 
Canon TC's do not physically fit on the 70-300mmL.

AJ

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 01:42:28 PM »
Well there are a few options.  All involve tradeoffs.

There are cheap 500/8 manual-focus mirror lenses.  They are reasonably sharp, but have very bad bokeh.  Expect lots of frustration trying to focus.

There's a Tamron 200-500/5-6.3.  It had a decent reputation.  Not sure if they still make 'em.  No stabilization, of course.

Sigma has 150-500/5-6.3 OS.  About $1100 or so.  The next step up is Sigma 50-500/4-6.3 OS (Bigma) which, even though it has a larger range, is supposed to be optically better.  About $1600 I believe.  Next comes Sigma 12-300/2.8, which will net you 600/5.6 with a 2x TC.  But it's $3200.

If you want to stick with Canon then things get very expensive at 500 mm.

marekjoz

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 01:59:53 PM »
I stacked TC 1.4II with TC 2.0II on 70-200 f4 LIS on 7d. I wouldn't say the IQ is outstanding but it's not awful as well. The problem is, that without AF, its max effective almost 900 mm is really difficult to work with. DOF from 20m to subject at F11 is sth like 20cm. When it's on tripod, shot with mirror up and remotely, I'd say quality is not a mess. The problem is, that:
1. it's really difficult to set a proper manual focus in real life situation
2. it's really difficult to find a place with enough light - there are 32 lenses in the way of light - it becomes really really dark and effective minimum apperture becomes F11. The best IQ achievable somewhere from F13.
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Harley

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 02:26:56 PM »
Another option on a budget is to find a reasonably priced FD supertele and get an EDMika adapter to make it EF.
http://www.canonrumors.com/tech-articles/fd-fl-lenses-on-your-ef-body/
Great IQ, great build quality (albeit heavier).  No AF or IS, but also at a total cost of 15-30% of the equivalent EF lens.  Ed's newest version of the 0.75mm adapter in the article, the 0.5mm bi-rotational adapter, works on crop or full-frame cameras. 
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frisk

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 04:15:34 PM »
One more "budget" option:



Vivitar 800 mm pre-set lens (not mine, just a photo I snatched off flickr, but I have one just like it). 

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 04:15:34 PM »

AJ

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 06:53:56 PM »
Another possibility I just thought of.  There are some EF 300/2.8 non-IS lenses on the used market.  Some of these have been heavily used by pros, are rough-looking, but still work fine.  Add converters and you're in the 400-600 mm realm.

Note, these lenses aren't serviced by Canon anymore so if anything fails you'll have to look for 3rd party repair.

Harley

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2012, 06:54:48 PM »
One more "budget" option:



Vivitar 800 mm pre-set lens (not mine, just a photo I snatched off flickr, but I have one just like it).

Nice!  That's a bazooka!
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Mencho(22)

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2012, 07:02:49 PM »
How does the 2x TC fare?

Stacking TC's? Does that work, or turn the images to mush?

Soft images, no AF with the 2x TC.


Yes... if you don't have a 1D camera you won't have AF.... but Soft Images??

These photos were taken with a 300mm F4L IS + 2X III (In manual focus) on an EOS 7D.



















































I usually use a carbon fiber monopod to help me. Let me tell you once you get used to manual focus you will find it easy.

wickidwombat

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2012, 07:16:43 PM »
I got a 600mm f4.5 FD lens and the edmika adaptor lens was about $1500 now i'm just on the lookout for and FD TC because my kenko one wont fit this setup, but it produces lovely sharp images for a great price

manual focus only obviously and no IS
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Michael_pfh

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2012, 07:34:05 PM »
From my experience I do not recommend stacking TCs - the IQ goes down a lot if you do so. However, I can recommend the 2x TC but you should not expect the same IQ that you get using the 1.4x.

I got an older version of the 400 F2.8L for a reasonable price, it lacks IS but I seldom handhold it so it does not really matter. The IQ is great and it takes TCs well...
1DX | 14 2.8L II | 16-35 2.8L II | 24 1.4L II | 24-70 2.8L II | ZE 35 2.0 | ZE 50 2.0 | 85 1.2L II | 100 2.8L IS | 135 2.0L | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 200 F2.0L IS | 300 2.8L IS II | 400 2.8L | 500 4.0L IS

danski0224

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2012, 07:42:31 PM »
Hmmm.

Might be worth trying a 2x extender for now.

The new 500 f4 sure looks appealing, but the $$ is a bit much.

Or the used market in that mm range...

Or a 1D IV...

Decisions, decisions...

Might need a winning lottery ticket.


 

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2012, 07:42:31 PM »

dr croubie

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2012, 08:20:49 PM »
I've got a 70-300L with a Kenko 1.4x TC on it. IQ is surprisingly good (or maybe those who say "teleconverters make images mush" have a lot higher standards than me), but the AF is practically non-existant on my 7D. It tries to AF, because the camera thinks that it's only f/5.6, but doesn't succeed very well because the aperture is too narrow.
Still, for $100 it doesn't make a bad Manual Focus 420mm f/8 IS lens.

Mirror lenses are hit and miss, some are razor sharp, some may as well be made from old coke bottles. You can get a lot in the ranges of 400-600mm, to 1000mm, even 2000mm. That needs a truck-mount more than a 1200 f/5.6L though.

Other Manual Focus options are Pentacon 500mm f/5.6, made for Medium Format and built like a tank (looks not unlike the vivitar 800 above), and Takumar 500mm f/4.5. No idea how well they perform, but they're both good brands who make other razor-sharp lenses, so they shouldn't be too bad...

And FD/FL Manual Focus lenses with EdMika adapters, I haven't seen real reviews of them, but seeing as they're canon brand they shouldn't be too bad...
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weixing

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2012, 09:05:43 PM »
Hi,
    I had try the TC 2x III on my EF 400mm F5.6 and it's a lot better than the older version. No Phase detection AF, but still can AF in live view... good for birds that not so active under good lighting.

   Anyway, I think an old 300mm F2.8L IS or non IS or even 400mm F2.8L non-IS will be a good choice...

   Have a nice day.

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Re: Going Beyond 300mm... for the birds
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2012, 09:05:43 PM »