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Thread: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

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    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Dear all,

    Currently I have 5D Mark II and two lenses: 16-35mm f/2.8L II and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS.
    During my recent trip in a mountainous area in Guizhou (China), I found that sometimes my 70-200mm lens is not long enough to isolate particular subject I am interested. Considering I probably have more trips to mountain areas this year and next year, now I am wondering
    whether I should buy a new lens 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L, or just buy a Canon 2x II extender. I do not consider 1.4x extender since it is not long enough.

    I know 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L is a very good lens. But it has a similar weight of 70-200f/2.8L IS. If I buy this lens, then I will carry two heavy lenses (plus other stuff) during my mountain trip, which may be a difficulty.

    So I like to know: if anyone has ideas whether Canon 2x II extender + 70-200mm f/2.8L IS will give good image quality?

    Many thanks,

    Yan

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Hi Yan,

    Yes - I've used a 2x Extender on a EF70-200mm F2.8L IS USM. In back to back tests against an EF100-400mm, the EF100-400 is slightly sharper until about F8 - and then after that (F11, F16 etc) there's nothing in it.

    It's possible to get great results out of this combination, but you have to be very careful with sharpening.

    Here's a 100% crop (taken with the 70-200 + 2.0x TC) to give you an idea ...

    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Colin
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    It's possible to get great results out of this combination, but you have to be very careful with sharpening.
    Could you expand on that, as this was/is the route I'm saving my pennies for?
    Donald

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Colin

    Could you expand on that, as this was/is the route I'm saving my pennies for?
    Donald
    Sure. Which ever way you look at it, the 2.0x teleconverter adds a degree of unsharpness. When sharpening a regular image there's usually a bit of leeway ... you can use a variety of settings and still get a good result, but when using a 2.0x TC you HAVE to sharpen more agressively - and there can be a fine line between "theraputic" (just right) and "toxic" (too much).

    For example, typically you'd capture sharpen at 250-300% with a radius of 0.3 whereas with the converter on you may have to go up to 0.5 or higher - but that in turn might mean you break parts of the image - so you might have to roll back parts with the history brush etc.

    Does that help?

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Colin

    Many thanks. Will file that response away in the 'Valuable Notes' folder. Am working with the GIMP, so am still trying to work out the formulae for converting PS %ages; e.g. "250-300% with a radius of 0.3", which is obviously what most people and tutorials speak about, into GIMP figures. But am getting there!

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Colin

    Am working with the GIMP, so am still trying to work out the formulae for converting PS %ages; e.g. "250-300% with a radius of 0.3", which is obviously what most people and tutorials speak about, into GIMP figures.
    Of course the easy option is to just buy Photoshop

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Dear Colin,

    Thanks very much for your help. This is really important to me: not only saves money but also
    greatly simplifies things for my photography practice.

    Yan
    Last edited by Yan Zhang; 1st May 2009 at 10:45 AM.

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    I concur with Colin. I have 70 to 200F/2.8 and both the Canon tele-converters. I use the 70 to 200 + x2.0 when weight / space is an issue.

    Although outside the scope of this question, I add that 70 to 200 + x1.4 at around FL = 250 to 280, gives the 100 to 400 a run for the money, wide open at F4, and is a stop faster than the 100 to 400.

    Note Colinís sharpening stuff - I read his details a few years ago, elsewhere: I thought I was getting OK results, with his info I get much better.

    WW

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Also the 70 to 200 + 2.0 is no slouch sub F8, either. A sample from yesterday.

    NOTE: This is NOT sharpened, just a conversion from the RAW file Full Frame (cropped to 7x5).

    Tech: 20D + 70 to 200 + x2.0MkII + Monopod (Effective FL = 320mm)

    Shooting: F7.1 @ 1/1250s @ ISO400, Manual Exposure, Burst, AIFocus, Centre AF.

    It is important to nail the exposure, to get the best results from later sharpening (and obviously nailing the Focus, too, helps).

    jockey.jpg

    WW
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10

    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Also worth noting is that if you use the Canon 2x II extender coupled to the 70-200 f2.8L IS you will retain the weather sealing properties of the combination, whereas the 100-400 is not weather sealed. May be worth considering if you are up mountains in inclement weather. I believe I am right in thinking the 5D II is weather sealed.

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Canon View Post
    I believe I am right in thinking the 5D II is weather sealed.
    Hi Bobby,

    I think Canon are trying to be a bit "crafty" with how they're presenting the 5D2 weather sealing issue. Best we've heard is that it's got better sealing than the original 5D, but still short of the 1D3 or 1Ds3.

    I like to think of it this way ... this year at the Malasian F1 GP the race was abandoned about 1/2 way through due to torrential rain. For quite some time there was a lot of confusion as to whether or not the race would restart - and so they had cars on the grid - support crew all around - people in discussions - lots of rain (bucket loads in fact) - and of course, lots of photo opportunities for those who are lucky enough to shoot those kinds of events. Those are the conditions that owners of 1D series cameras and weather sealed lens like the EF70-200/F2.8L IS USM will be laughing, and I suspect those with a 5D2 and / or EF100-400 or other non-weather sealed lens would shortly be crying ...

  12. #12

    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Returned the 100-400 as I didn't like the pull push zoom. Replaced it with a 70-200 2.8 w/ 1.4x II and never regret. Anyways, here's a sample taken with an AV settings @ f5.6, ISO200, SS 1/800.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Quote Originally Posted by patrickf117 View Post
    Returned the 100-400 as I didn't like the pull push zoom. Replaced it with a 70-200 2.8 w/ 1.4x II and never regret. Anyways, here's a sample taken with an AV settings @ f5.6, ISO200, SS 1/800.
    Hi Patrick,

    Welcome to CiC - Great to have you with us.

    Unfortunately, this thread is well over a year old

    For what it's worth, Canon have just announced version III of both extenders - also, I use my version II extenders on the new EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM II lens with great results.

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    I have a Version One 1.4x TC which I use on my 300mm f/4L IS lens and ocasionally on my 70-200mm f/4L IS. In fact when I am traveling with my 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses, I often pack the 1.4x TC, just in case...

    However, I have used the 2x TC (again Version One) and a 70-200mm f/2.8L (non-IS) lens and thought that the image quality was degraded below what I normally expect from a bare 70-200mm (series) L lens and even from the combination of 1.4x TC and my 70-200mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC.

    70-200mm f/4L IS with 1.4x Mark-I TC:

    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Here is a gallery of images most of which, if not all, were shot with a 70-200mm (probably Nikon) and a 2x TC (again probably Nikon). These images are really nice but, don't really have the crispness that is produced by a Canon (and I also expect by a Nikon) lens of a longer focal length (100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS and the Nikon versions). IMO this is really a shame because the photographer obtained some great images...

    http://www.dthorp.com/Travel/2010-SF...43550369_XXXiN

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    Re: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS or 70-200mm + 2X extender

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    However, I have used the 2x TC (again Version One) and a 70-200mm f/2.8L (non-IS) lens and thought that the image quality was degraded below what I normally expect from a bare 70-200mm (series) L lens and even from the combination of 1.4x TC and my 70-200mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC.
    Hi Richard,

    What I found with the original Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM and EF 2.0x TC is that it was possible to get a good result - but - correct sharpening was essential (and somewhat difficult). With the new Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM II (and same converter) it's a LOT better ... and with Canon's new v3 converters (announced, but not shipping), I've heard that they're sharper again.

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