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Thread: 1.4x and 2x: III vs. II Comparison

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    Lifetime Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    Default 1.4x and 2x: III vs. II Comparison

    As promised, the evaluation of the new TCs compared to the old TCs is now available on Greg Basco's website. It was a collaborative effort between myself, Greg, and Keith Bauer. While you're there, take the time to explore Greg's excellent website!
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    Very good Doug. Thanks. I don't own the 2x yet so will wait for the III version to come out.

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    Excellent to see someone has done this. The new 2x looks good, but I think as yet I will not be replacing my II version as without a 1 series body I use the 2x very sparingly.

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    Thanks, Doug, for posting this and for the nice plug for my site.

    Cheers,
    Greg

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    BPN Viewer Josée Normandeau's Avatar
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    Thanks again guys!

    I will think of changing my 2x since I use it sometimes with my 500 and MkIV.

    I will keep the 1.4X for the moment...

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    Lifetime Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    Forgot to thank Arash Hazeghi for his input.
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    Thanks for all your effort and it is excellent timing for me. I will be ordering a mk4 soon and was planning to get the x2 to go along with it but now I think will wait for the new generation.

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    Doug, your test displayed in Image #5 shows a clear difference in sharpness when the 2X Mark III extender is stopped down (from f/8 to f/11). But this seems to be a general characteristic of extenders: they give better results when stopping down. This is certainly true of the 1.4X Mark II when used with the 500mm f/4 lens, and I'll bet it's true with the 2X Mark II as well. In other words, without showing how the older 2X behaves with the 500 mm f/4 lens when stopped down, I don't see your result in Image #5 as necessarily showing the new 2X to be superior.

    Just to put more fuel on the fire, in the direct comparison between the old and new 2X (Image #4, both taken at f/8), there is a barely detectable difference in sharpness, which is probably easily explained by the tolerance of the AF system.

    Don't get me wrong - I really appreciate your conducting and posting the results of this test. But based on the images posted, I don't see the new 2X extender as being worth the extra money when used with the current 500mm f/4 IS lens (I'm being careful by being specific - maybe the new extenders will be worth the extra dough when used with one of the other current superteles. And I hope they will be worth it with the upcoming new superteles; if not, I don't see why Canon bothered updating the extenders).

    John

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    Lifetime Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    Attached Images Attached Images
     
    Quote Originally Posted by John Guastella View Post
    Doug, your test displayed in Image #5 shows a clear difference in sharpness when the 2X Mark III extender is stopped down (from f/8 to f/11). But this seems to be a general characteristic of extenders: they give better results when stopping down. This is certainly true of the 1.4X Mark II when used with the 500mm f/4 lens, and I'll bet it's true with the 2X Mark II as well. In other words, without showing how the older 2X behaves with the 500 mm f/4 lens when stopped down, I don't see your result in Image #5 as necessarily showing the new 2X to be superior.

    Just to put more fuel on the fire, in the direct comparison between the old and new 2X (Image #4, both taken at f/8), there is a barely detectable difference in sharpness, which is probably easily explained by the tolerance of the AF system.
    It's definitely true that extenders function better stopped down John. We never claimed otherwise in the review. But I feel there's a significant difference between the old and new 2x wide open. We took multiple frames at each setting until we were sure that we were getting maximum sharpness.

    Most folks tend to operate in the f/5.6 to f/8 zone; stopping down one stop with a 2x on an f/4 supertelephoto lens gets you to f/11. You don't see a lot of bird images (save for multiple flash hummingbirds) shot at f/11. Sharpness at f/8 is what most people are interested in, and IMO the new 2x has a clear advantage in both sharpness and contrast when used wide open. I'm going to post a few 200% crops that hopefully illustrate my point. These are all shot at f/8 (wide open) in combination with the 500 f/4 on my Mark IV.

    Some people will look at these results and not be impressed. Others will have quite the opposite point of view. Ultimately it's a matter of personal taste. I never used to use the old 2x wide open, but I would definitely use the new one wide open due to the improvement in image quality. Not having to stop down makes for more pleasing backgrounds, faster shutter speeds, and/or lower ISOs.
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    Lifetime Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    Here's another screen capture. To my eye there's more edge contrast in the new lens. The blue lines look a little muddy on the old TC.

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    Lifetime Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    One last frame.

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    Thanks Doug for this... The new 2x seems better for sure and I will probably upgrade. As for the 1.4x unless it makes a big difference on the new canon teles coming out I will probably stay with the mk11 version. I have a 1.4x mk 1 version that seems a bit better than my mkII. Then again I'm not certain I will be purchasing any of the new telephotos. I'm quite happy with my current lineup of the 300mm F2.8, 500mm F4 and 800mm F5.6. With the huge price increase on the new versions I'm certain I can't replace them one for one... My only thought is to replace my 300 & 500m with the new 400mm F2.8 which for the 1st time is an attractive lens for me with it's dramatic reduction in weight.....

    D. Robert Franz

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    Thank you Doug.

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    Lifetime Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    One more screen shot, this one a new 2x vs. old 2x at f/11. Similar to the results at f/8 IMO, although maybe not quite as big of a difference; better sharpness and contrast.

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    Default 1.4x and 2x: III vs. II Comparison

    Thanks for doing this testing, Doug it's appreciated for when I am closer to upgrading myself.

  16. #16
    Daniele Morasca
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    Thanks a lot for the effort Doug.

    I hope to see some field test (with 300 2.8 too :))

    Do you think that I'll get better result with a 7D 300 2.8 IS with new TCIII 2x wide open, and stopped-down?

    P.s. I'm not really satisfied about the combo with the old 2xII.

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    Lifetime Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniele Morasca View Post
    Do you think that I'll get better result with a 7D 300 2.8 IS with new TCIII 2x wide open, and stopped-down?

    P.s. I'm not really satisfied about the combo with the old 2xII.
    I can pretty much guarantee that you'll do better with the new 2x III on the 300 f/2.8. I loaned mine to Greg Basco on our recent Costa Rica workshop, and he was impressed with the combination (he has the 300 f/2.8 and the 2x II). I haven't seen any of his shots yet, but I expect to soon.
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    Hi, Daniele. I do think that the new series III 2x performed a little better, even wide open, with my 300 f2.8 L IS lens. Once you stop down, as Doug has indicated, the difference with the new TC becomes even more apparent. I was shooting a full-frame body so I can't speak directly to the 7D.

    Thanks for letting me borrow that new 2x, Doug. Had you not been so vigilant in keeping track of it, I'd still have it

    Cheers,
    Greg

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    BPN Member Morkel Erasmus's Avatar
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    thanks for this thread, gents.

    looking at getting a 300 2.8 to pair with my 7D...

    Greg - what is the standard aperture at which the 300 2.8 will work with a 2xTC? f8?
    And will it autofocus on the 7D with a converter?
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    Daniele Morasca
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    Surely the 7D will AF with 300 2.8 + 2x, wide open is 5.6 (2.8 + 2 stops) but as mentioned above 1 full stop down (F8) increase the sharpness and contrast.

    I don't love the Mark II 2x so I'll upgrade to the mark III to get the IQ improvement.

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    Lifetime Member Doug Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morkel Erasmus View Post
    thanks for this thread, gents.

    looking at getting a 300 2.8 to pair with my 7D...

    Greg - what is the standard aperture at which the 300 2.8 will work with a 2xTC? f8?
    And will it autofocus on the 7D with a converter?
    As Daniele said, the 7D will AF with a 300 f/2.8 and a 2x. Sharpness will be much better stopped down, but that won't affect the ability of the 7D to AF.
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    Hi, Morkel. I don't have a 7D but yes, you should be fine with AF on that body with the 300 f2.8 and 2x at f5.6. Sharpness in my experience depends on light. With plenty of light (not common for me here in the rainforest but more likely for you on the African plains), I find the sharpness to be quite good wide open and of course even better stopped down.

    My king vulture posted today over on Avian was with the 300 and the old 2x wide open at 5.6, and I can't imagine needing more sharpness. That was shot on the full-frame 5D.

    By the way, I'm like you in being more of a wildlife/general nature photographer than a bird photographer. So, I think you would love the 300 f2.8.

    Cheers,
    Greg

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    Hi, given the interest in the 2x with the 300 (especially Morkel and Daniele), I thought I'd share this link of a review I just did for my blog:

    http://www.deepgreenphotography.com/...arpening-tips/

    Cheers,
    Greg Basco

    PS -- Thanks again, Doug, for letting me borrow your new 2x during our workshop!

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    BPN Member Morkel Erasmus's Avatar
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    thanks Greg - appreciate the feedback...
    Morkel Erasmus

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    Sure, Morkel. Just let me know if you have other questions -- always a big deal when deciding on a new lens!

    Cheers,
    Greg

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