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Anyone used a teleconverter with 7D and 100-400 lens?

Richard Moran , Jan 01, 2010; 03:36 p.m.

I'm a little green and looking for alittle more range for birds and wildlife. Any input would help.


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Keith Reeder , Jan 01, 2010; 03:43 p.m.

Yep, I've tried the Canon Mk II and the Kenko Pro DG - pins taped of course.

The Canon TC is best. It's sketchy on the centre AF point - you need good light and plenty of contrast - but it works pretty well on any other point.

Jamie Robertson , Jan 01, 2010; 05:09 p.m.

With the 7D and that lens? Forget it and crop your images. You've got plenty of pixels to play with so don't stifle your AF and your optics.

Mark Kissel , Jan 01, 2010; 05:34 p.m.

Yes. I've used both the 1.4x and the 2.0x on the 100-400 (only in manual focus mode). The 1.4x works out pretty well, but the 2.0x degrades image quality a little more than I'm willing to tolerate at 400. Only you can be the judge of whether it works okay for your purposes. I find the 2.0x on the 400 f/5.6L gives acceptable results, but it's manual focus only and you need really good light regardless.

Chinmaya Sn , Jan 01, 2010; 06:14 p.m.

I use Kenkos 1.4x + 100-400mm, on XTi and 50D, its going to be full manual focus, I like the results.

XTi + 100-400mm + Kenkos 1.4x

Juergen Sattleru , Jan 01, 2010; 06:23 p.m.

I tested the Kenko Pro 1.4 against the Canon 1.4 on the 100-400L. To my biggest surpise the Kenko produced noticeable better sharpness than the Canon. I kept repeating the test, but the outcome was always the same - needless to say, I kept the Kenko. I taped the three pins and as long as there is good light it will AF - not as fast or reliable as without, but better than my old eyes could do with manual focus.

Diana D. , Jan 01, 2010; 09:21 p.m.

For me, the Canon 1.4X works "ok" with 50D/100-400mm but the 2X is very soft, not worth it. As said in the previous posts, you will need good light to get good results.

By comparison, the 1.4X works "great" on my 300mm F2.8 (with very little image degradation), and the 2X works "ok", or "acceptable" with that lens :)

I would not get it, however, as a permanent solution with your combo. It all depends on the taste. Try renting one maybe, and see for yourself.

Keith Reeder , Jan 02, 2010; 04:31 a.m.

With the 7D and that lens? Forget it and crop your images.

Jamie, unless you've tried it...

In fact - based on actually using the kit in question - results are very good as long as the compromises I mention in terms of the AF points in use are borne in mind.

Robin Sibson , Jan 02, 2010; 05:12 a.m.

Although phase-detect AF does not officially work below f/5.6 except on 1-series bodies, contrast-detect AF in Live View is not limited directly by aperture at all, only by there being something contrasty enough for it to lock onto. So if you are using a tripod and not needing continuous AF, you do not need to rely on manual focus, although even that is much easier in Live View. Specifically, in my experience the 100~400 with Extender 1.4x focuses slowly but accurately using contrast-detect AF.

What about the quality of the results? Some years ago I took a few shots focused manually through the viewfinder of my 20D, and managed to get one shot that was really sharp at the pixel-peeping level, showing that the combination was capable of good results, although they were so difficult to obtain that I seldom bothered to try. Now that I have a 50D with Live View and contrast-detect AF, I am in a position to try again, but unfortunately in the interim I have had to have my 100~400 rebuilt to overcome the well-known, although not all that common, failure problem with the zoom mechanism, and I am sure that lens performance even without the Extender has deteriorated severely beyond 300mm. There have been many reports of copy-to-copy variation with the 100~400, and I suspect that the responses you are getting about the 100~400 + Extender 1.4x combination may well reflect genuinely different user experience arising from that.

John Crowe , Jan 02, 2010; 11:01 a.m.

If you are serious about what you want to achieve and you are faced with manual focusing anyway then your best bet is to crop for now and save for a Nikon manual focus lens that you can use via a cheap mechanical adapter. You get metering on your Canon DSLR. You have to use the stopped-down metering method but with this sort of lens you are generally shooting wideopen anyway so you just set the aperture wide open and fire away.

The best options that would provide significantly better results than your 100-400, or a Canon EF 300/4 L with 1.4x, and be longer, and be much cheaper than a Canon EF 300/2.8 L or 400/2.8 L would be the Nikon 300/2.8 AIS with TC-300 (Nikon 2x), Nikon 400/2.8 AIS with TC-14B (what I used to use on my 10D before switching to Nikon bodies), Nikon 500/4 P AIS or Nikon 600/4 AIS. All of these supertelephotos are available for under $1800 USD, even under $1500 USD if you are patient. IQ is incredible.

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