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Thread: Canon 1Dx + Kenko 2.0X PRO 300 Teleconverter DGX + Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II

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    Default Canon 1Dx + Kenko 2.0X PRO 300 Teleconverter DGX + Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II

    More interesting information following Artie's discovery on the Kenko converters focusing at f/8 on the canon 1dx.

    I just got my Kenko 2.0X PRO 300 Teleconverter DGX a few minutes back.

    AF works perfectly well with the 1dx and 600 II. Here is a summary of my observations on AF with this combo:

    - AF is very fast. Af fast as with the canon 1.4x vesrion III, as far as i can tell. Much faster than with the canon 2x on the 1dm4. The AF can go from infinity to MFD in a jiffy and vice versa. Snaps in focus with no hesitation. (Of course this is a little subjective, I do not have a way to measure this that is compatible with my laziness).
    - The AF appears precise, but this requires more usage to confirm.
    - The AF works with all the individual sensors I have tried, all types, including at the border.
    - All AF modes work (single sensor, all 61 and all the other modes).
    - IS mode 3 works, did not test the other modes.

    Unsurprisingly, given the prior observations with the 800 and 1.4.x, the 600 and 2x requires at least a 2 stops exposure compensation. Maybe a little more than 2, not sure 100% about that yet.

    Oddly though, the 5D mark III DOES FOCUS with this combo (600 II and Kenko 2x). It is a little slow though and and I did not spend much time on this.

    I do not know yet about image quality, will follow up on this in the next couple days.

    Hope this helps,

    /martin

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    Thanks a stack Martin. I am looking forward to some images. An important comparison for me will be the sharpness and image quality of the 600II/Kenko 2X/1DX (at 1200mm) as compared to the 800/Kenko 2X/1DX (at 1120mm). The 600 II weighs 1.21 pounds less then the 800. MFDs are 14.77 feet for the 600, 19.68 feet for the 800--a huge advantage to the 600 II. And the 600 II is far more versatile. So the IQ question above is a huge one....
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    ps: And yes, very odd that the 5D III does focus with the 600 II.... The differences in the speed of AF is likely due to the batteries in the two cameras...
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    Ill make some images Friday, I am tied indoors today. I have seen images with great IQ with the canon 2x III and the 600 II... There are still 3 possibilities, in order of desirability.

    1) The Kenko 2X IQ might be good. I have not found much info about that on the web so we will have to figure it out ourselves.
    2) Those of us with good relationship with Canon could send a wake up call that could possibly result in a SW upgrade of the Canon TCs and/or the 1Dx to support F/8 AF with the Canon TCs. It is obvious that AF at f/8 works enough to be useful for us on the 1Dx.
    3) I am pretty sure I can get the Kenko electronics in a Canon TC (I am a system engineer with vast technical resources :-) ). Question is, how difficult it is to do at scale.

    More Friday,

    /martin

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    All interesting... 1-I hope so. 2-Not very likely--the Japanese engineers do not change their minds easily. 3-Talk to Patrick Sparkman. He has some knowledge in that area. 3 would be the optimal solution unless the answer to the $64,000 is a resounding yes on the IQ of the Kenko 2X....
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    Good findings Martin. Unless there is a dramatic difference between the Pro and the lower end model that I tested, I think the IQ of the Kenko 2x will be somewhat disappointing compared to the Canon 2x. You can look at my teleconverter post from July. The Kenko 2x is not sharp, especially in the corners, and it has a significant amount of vignetting. Hopefully I am wrong, and the 600 might work well with the Kenko tele 2x.
    Best

    Patrick Sparkman

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    Thanks Patrick. I am no expert in lens testing, but I just ran a simple sharpness test. The results we so bad with the Kenko 2X that I had to run the test twice. Bear with me, I will post 4 pictures...

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    Default 1Dx + Canon 2x III + 600mm II

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    1Dx + Canon 2x III + 600mm II
    Center of the frame.
    Lightroom, default sharpening, default everything. 1:1 exported to highest quality JPEG

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    Default 1Dx + Canon 2x III + 600mm II - Corner

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    1Dx + Canon 2x III + 600mm II
    Corner of the frame.
    Lightroom, default sharpening, default everything. 1:1 exported to highest quality JPEG

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    Default 1Dx + Kenko 2X + 600mm II - Center

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    1Dx + Kenko + 600mm II
    Center of the frame.
    Lightroom, default sharpening, default everything. 1:1 exported to highest quality JPEG

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    Default 1Dx + Kenko 2X + 600mm II - Corner

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    1Dx + Kenko + 600mm II
    Corner of the frame.
    Lightroom, default sharpening, default everything. 1:1 exported to highest quality JPEG

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    This speaks for itself, the Kenko 2X in not the Canon 2X III ! The corner results with the Kenko are quite abysmal, I'll triple check this Friday.
    I am still going to take the Kenko for a spin at the marsh Friday, but this has dented my enthusiasm somewhat...

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    Wow, that is bad!! The centre may be useable but in comparison to the Canon it is night and day. The Kenko corner is just mush.

    Thanks for the testing though.

    I'm waiting on my 600II order and have been keeping close watch on these teleconverter discussions over the past week. I think I will stick to my 1D4 and 2.0IIICanon vs try any of this on my 5D3!!

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    Thanks Martin. Bad news Barnes for sure. To my eye the image in Pane 9 looks a bit sharper than the image in Pane 8....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sparkman View Post
    Good findings Martin. Unless there is a dramatic difference between the Pro and the lower end model that I tested, I think the IQ of the Kenko 2x will be somewhat disappointing compared to the Canon 2x. You can look at my teleconverter post from July. The Kenko 2x is not sharp, especially in the corners, and it has a significant amount of vignetting. Hopefully I am wrong, and the 600 might work well with the Kenko tele 2x.
    Thanks for stopping by Patrick. Is there any chance of getting the electronics/chip (???) from the Kenko 2X to work inside the Canon 2X?
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    BPN Member Patrick Sparkman's Avatar
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    Those test results echo what I saw with the Kenko 2X in the 800. Fortunately the 1.4X is much better. The chip from the Kenko could possibly be made to work inside the Canon TC, but it is not going to be easy. The Kenko is a simple design that uses pins from the camera contacts to make the connection to the circuit board. The Canon uses a plastic ribbon cable to connect from the contacts to the circuit board, so it will require some major surgery to make the change. Also, I am not sure if the Kenko board is small enough to even fit in the Canon. Hopefully Martin can take a look as he could be a much better Engineer than I.
    Best

    Patrick Sparkman

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    Default Posible Bad News

    See the question by Tim Kuhn and my response here: http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2012/...canon-eos-1dx/

    I have written Chuck Westfall and Rudy Winston.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris
    See the question by Tim Kuhn and my response here: http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2012/...canon-eos-1dx/

    I have written Chuck Westfall and Rudy Winston.
    I think that if canon have a new 7D II to release soon for people that want more reach, they might have change the 1Dx firmware, this way will sell both...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Sparkman View Post
    Those test results echo what I saw with the Kenko 2X in the 800. Fortunately the 1.4X is much better. The chip from the Kenko could possibly be made to work inside the Canon TC, but it is not going to be easy. The Kenko is a simple design that uses pins from the camera contacts to make the connection to the circuit board. The Canon uses a plastic ribbon cable to connect from the contacts to the circuit board, so it will require some major surgery to make the change. Also, I am not sure if the Kenko board is small enough to even fit in the Canon. Hopefully Martin can take a look as he could be a much better Engineer than I.

    unfortunately it would be impossible to take out the chip from the Kenko TC and install it inside a Canon TC. These are surface mount PGA packages, they are totally different in terms of number of pins, address, etc. it's not like soldering a resistor.

    The new canon TCs have a CPU unit as well as which you cannot touch.
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    Arash, I have not opened the converters yet so I do not know what I am talking about yet :-) My original thoughts were that the electronics in the Canon TC do not really control anything in the TC as there is nothing to control. So the whole think could be yanked out. Then if the Kenko electronics can be yanked out of the Kenko, and fit in the Canon TC, the only surgery is to hook out the 2 cables to the front and back connectors. In principle, i do not see anything wrong with this, but feasibility is unclear.

    I double checked the sharpness results, it is really that bad. I gave a spin to the kenko at Bayland this morning. The pictures do not look better than the 5$ bill test. In addition to the lack of sharpness and contrast, the Kenko 2x exhibits a ridiculous amount of vignetting. I'll post a couple of shots below and that will be it for me with the Kenko 2X.

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    Default Crulew - 1Dx + Kenko 2X - 600mm II

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    This is 1:1. Sharpness and contrast are very low. Not flying for me.

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    Default Crulew - 1Dx + Canon 1.4 - 600mm II

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    Same bird, Canon 1.4.x. This should rule out the 'photographer issue'. 1:1 as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Lord View Post
    Arash, I have not opened the converters yet so I do not know what I am talking about yet :-) My original thoughts were that the electronics in the Canon TC do not really control anything in the TC as there is nothing to control. So the whole think could be yanked out. Then if the Kenko electronics can be yanked out of the Kenko, and fit in the Canon TC, the only surgery is to hook out the 2 cables to the front and back connectors. In principle, i do not see anything wrong with this, but feasibility is unclear.

    I double checked the sharpness results, it is really that bad. I gave a spin to the kenko at Bayland this morning. The pictures do not look better than the 5$ bill test. In addition to the lack of sharpness and contrast, the Kenko 2x exhibits a ridiculous amount of vignetting. I'll post a couple of shots below and that will be it for me with the Kenko 2X.
    I don't know what's on the kenko circuit board, probably a simple chip that stores the part number/identification and just a pass through for lens signals.

    Canon TCs are not like that. The MKIII TCs have active logic including a CPU and on-board memory that stores some kind of correction figures that is applied depending on the lens attached to the TC. There is bidirectional digital link between the lens, TC itself and the body. It is not a simple pass-through port that connects the lens to the body...the Canon TC is also sealed I am not sure how you can get to the circuit board w/o breaking it.

    If you end up opening up the TC please post pictures so we can see what the assembly is like :D
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    The first curlew image is soft indeed but it looks way better than the $ bill (which seems totally OOF). Perhaps the AF is not functioning properly here, did you try MF as well to see if it gets sharper?

    One point to note is that Canon have spec'ed the new AF module down to -2EV. My guess is the system cannot focus reliably at such low light levels if aperture is slower than f/5.6 and that's the main reason for disabling AF at f/8. At the same time Nikon's similarly spec'ed system provides 15 active AF sensors at f/8!
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    Arash, I am sure no expert on lens testing so this is worth what it's worth. I used liveview for everything as I wanted to compare with the canon 2x (with Live AF, contrast) in the 5$ test.

    I shot 300 frames at bayland with the Kenko this morning, they are all soft. The 5$ test was close to MFD so this may have made it worse. But the canon TC looked great in the same condition...

    I agree with you that the bird seems a little better. In any cases, not good enough.

    Now I am ready to open up the Kenko and see what's in there as I won't shoot with it.

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    If you used LV it is as good as it gets...I just checked the specs. The Kenko 2X weighs 1/2 of the Canon, I guess that's the weight of the missing glass ;)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Lord View Post
    More interesting information following Artie's discovery on the Kenko converters focusing at f/8 on the canon 1dx.

    I just got my Kenko 2.0X PRO 300 Teleconverter DGX a few minutes back.

    AF works perfectly well with the 1dx and 600 II. Here is a summary of my observations on AF with this combo:



    /martin
    Martin,

    Which firmware version do you have in your 1Dx? Was the lens tele combination MA adjusted before the Lincoln photos?

    Cheers,
    Blake

    Last edited by Blake Cook; 09-10-2012 at 07:35 AM.

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    Hey Blake, firmware on the 1dx was 1.0.6 and the 600 II was 1.1.1, both latest at this time. For the 5$ bill test, I used 'AF live' with Liveview (the contrast based AF on the sensor); the MA is not relevant in this mode. I had IS mode 3 'on' for the record, but light source was 100% strobes so this should not matter either.

    This weekend I shot more shorebirds with the 1dm4 + the Canon TC 2x III + 600mm II. For me, this combo is VERY sharp, but the AF is quite sluggish. The more I use the 1dx, the more I want to shoot with it and the less enthusiasm I have to shoot with the mark iv. I love the AF, the ISO performance, the 12fps drive. Canon is killing us with this f/5.6 AF situation.

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    It's good to hear it worked on the new firmware.
    The Canon 1.4 TC III on the 600f/4 MkII is so good I'm beginning to wonder why I'm keeping the 1D4 just to use the 2x TC / 600. I found AF plenty quick enough for aircraft in flight, but I suppose it would be sluggish for BIF.
    Last edited by Blake Cook; 09-10-2012 at 11:22 AM.

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    Hi,
    just a small very unscientific comparison Canon 2x III and Kenko 2x DGX, 1DX and 300/2,8. Could not do it on the 500/4 because the AF even on taped Canon 2x does not work at all. The pictures are 100% crop. No micro AF, just pctures taken via LR into CS5 and cropped. To me the Kenko looks sharper.. Just in case the images don't work, the link is here: http://micha.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Test+shots/

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    Hi Micha,
    My prior test did not have much of a scientific claim either :-) Your pictures with the kenko 2x looks less depressing then mine. I have a 300 f/2.8 version I, I'll run the 5$ test this weekend. Other than bird pictures, I ran all tests with Liveview as this rules out the focus being off. I do not know that for sure, but this may be the issue with the canon 2X in your test. Clearly, the canon 2x image you posted is worse than the Kenko, which is the opposite of all I have seen. It would be nice to see what results you get with liveview. I'll post my results by Monday. Thanks for bringing this up,
    Best,
    /martin

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    Hi Micha,

    It's either operator error, (bad focus, shake during exposure etc.) or your TC/lens/camera is defective.

    I just completed my review of Canon 2X TC, it is tack sharp. Kenko is a joke in comparison.
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    Thank you for the comments.
    I did the test again with 1Dx, now with live view AF, the 500/4 L IS II, the canon 2x III and the Kenko 2x DGX. The result was ver much in favor of the Canon extender, meaning something must have been wrong the previous test like Arash suspected.
    The next step would be to mount the Kenko chip into the Canon extender. I believe it can be done, however I would appreciate any ideas and advice available.
    I tried to post about this content some days ago, but I must have done something wrong, as the post never turned up.

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    Since Folks are still visiting this thread... It has become irrelevant from my perspective since the 1dx firmware 1.1.1 was released with support for AF on the center sensor. The Canon solution is not perfect (center AF + expand only) but I am happy with it. Optically, the Kenko 2X will not work for most photographers, it is weak mechanically. The only redeeming value it has is that it allows AF on any points on the combo I tested (600 II + 2X III), but something is off with metering. I don't think a 2 stops compensation on top of the 'normal' adjustment worked consistently, I struggled with the exposure. I'll put this kenko 2X on Ebay, I will start it at a penny and see where it goes; it provided plenty of entertainment for $250 but unfortunately no usable picture.

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