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Since I have started using the 1.4x my pictures have suffered, advice please

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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 18:55   #1
stlouisguy
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Since I have started using the 1.4x my pictures have suffered, advice please

Shooting with a 40D and a 100-400mm lens. Loss of autofocus seems to have affected my photos quite a bit. All seem to have a very small shake to them or just a bit soft when I get in close. Without the 1.4x I need to crop more, but the pictures are still clearer. Additionally, I have been using a monopod as most of my shots are out in the woods. I am pretty sure if I switch back to the tripod and use live view my photos would be very sharp, but most shots I dont have enough set up time for that.

Any and all advisce is welcome. I am at the point of just taking the converter back

Thanks

Clark
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 19:26   #2
petermallett
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1.4 extender and 100-400 on 40D

Hi Clark
Any converter / extender will result in some loss of image quality and slow the auto focus to some extent. If there is any air polution or haze in the air the loss will be increased and the more air (distance) there is between you and the subject the greater the loss will be. For best results try to get as close as you can and choose days wilth crisp clear air.
I think the autofocus on the 40D will only work with lenses which have a maximum aperture of 5.6 or greater. When you add the 1.4 extender you will lose 1 stop so are likely to have probs when you add it to the 100-400 on a 40D.
The 1.4 can give good results but it needs to be used in good light and on canon's best lenses to produce it's best performance.

Hope this helps
Peter
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 19:50   #3
stlouisguy
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Air quality is great, no have. With the lens and converter I lose all autofocus, so its manual with it on. What lens would I need to bump up to in order to still have autofocus, the 500mm? or a stagnant 400mm
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 20:03   #4
russ1610
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You can regain auto focus if you tape the three pins on the converter see this http://www.michaelfurtman.com/taping_the_pins.htm read the whole site some good stuff.
works with my 30d and 100x400 understand it works with the 40d but not quite as well.

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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 20:12   #5
petermallett
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Any lens with a maximum aperture of f4 or above will give f5.6 or better when you add the 1.4 and your 40D will autofocus. As russ says you can tape the pins, not tried it myself but have heard it works.
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 20:45   #6
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The attached 3 photos were taken today Canon 30D 100x400, on tripod taken with release button so no contact with camera.
1) 400mm with iso800 auto focus iso 800
2) 400mm + Kenko 300pro1.4 with pins taped, auto focus iso 800
3) 400mm + Kenko 300pro 2x Manual focus. iso 800
about 40 yards just over measured google earth.
EXIF on 2 still shows 400mm due to tape on pins and failing to recognise 1.4.
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 20:47   #7
Tannin
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Don't use the converter. If you want to use a teleconverter, buy a lens that is designed for that task - any of the Canon f/4 or f/2.8 primes. But even with those, you still get the best results shooting bare-lens. The 100-400 isn't designed for use with a converter.
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 21:00   #8
russ1610
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Tannin, Not all of us have the money for the primes, and with effort and some losses you can manage with .the 1.4 is OK, the 2x well in good light and static subjects you can just about get away with it. get the photo instead of clambering closer and spooking the subject.
If I could afford a 500 or 600 prime I would get one and may when I retire.
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 21:12   #9
Roy C
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I had almost given up on using a 1.4tc (taped) with my 400mm f5.6 but about a month ago I upgraded my tripod and the 1.4tc has not come off since. I have been well pleased with the results. You need good light and I find stopping down to f8 (effectively f11) helps. You obviously lose a bit but given the right conditions I find it better than heavy cropping.
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Old Sunday 4th January 2009, 22:41   #10
stlouisguy
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So it sounds like from the posts what i thought, converter works well with good tripod, I thought about taping pins but I shoot a lot on cloudy days when light isnt the best, I read the autofocus is slow and could damage motor, and I need to find $6000 for the 500mm

I was getting good pics before the converter, I will just continue that way, but will keep the converter for certain shots

Thanks everyone!
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 01:11   #11
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Out of curiosity, Clark, which teleconverter are you using?
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 02:43   #12
stlouisguy
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I'm using the Canon 1.4x teleconverter. I had read the other one was just as good, but I wanted to stay with canon on canon.
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 02:57   #13
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I don't use a tc for the reasons on this thread. The Kenko 1.4 is reputed to allow AF in bright light with a 5.6 lens with the 40d. However, you have a definite focus issue. I have seen this with manual focus with me. Three things help: depth of field, diopter and focus confirmation. My last camera absolutely would not focus allow me to manually focus with sharp results unless the viewfinder diopter was set incredibly precisely. Also, the lens at F8 is already slow, but shooting at F11 will add some depth of field to make imprecise focus less of a problem. Obviously with aves this isn't a great option. The other thing was focus confirmation. I do believe the 40d will let you know then the desired focus point is in focus so you can use that. Bear in mind that I've found there is some wide tolerance to what is considered "in focus".

BTW, I don't know if this is an option for Canon because I drop kicked manual focus a year ago but I know that one way to get absolutely brilliantly accurate focus is to use a split image focusing screen. Problem solved. Again, those are hard to use at apertures smaller than F5.6.

Hence my not having a 1.4.
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 08:00   #14
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Matt, I use a non reporting 1.5x TC. I believe it is just a question of whether you want to get a shot of a bird or not ? I was recently at Bough Beech and this bird appeared, below, so I took a chance and fired away !
This shot took me ages to post process but I don`t think it has turned out too bad. I should add that I am worse than useless at pp`ing !
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 11:09   #15
David Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy C View Post
I had almost given up on using a 1.4tc (taped) with my 400mm f5.6 but about a month ago I upgraded my tripod and the 1.4tc has not come off since. I have been well pleased with the results. You need good light and I find stopping down to f8 (effectively f11) helps. You obviously lose a bit but given the right conditions I find it better than heavy cropping.
Roy
Which camera are you using?
Are you saying you can maintain AF?

With the 100-400 and 1.4TC on a 40D you can AF by taping the pins BUT ONLY ON THE OUTER FOCUS POINTS- it will not AF on the centre point.
I have more or less given up using the TC (which I miss)
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 11:53   #16
Roy C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Smith View Post
Roy
Which camera are you using?
Are you saying you can maintain AF?

With the 100-400 and 1.4TC on a 40D you can AF by taping the pins BUT ONLY ON THE OUTER FOCUS POINTS- it will not AF on the centre point.
I have more or less given up using the TC (which I miss)
David, I am using the 40D. The 400/5.6 will AF on the centre point (with taped tc) but not quite as well as with the 30D.
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 12:07   #17
David Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy C View Post
David, I am using the 40D. The 400/5.6 will AF on the centre point (with taped tc) but not quite as well as with the 30D.
Well-blow me down with a whatsit!!!
I understood that only the 2.8 would allow this-as I said, I can only get AF with the outer points.
Tell me, how does a better tripod affect this-you say you had given up on the TC but with a new tripod it's now nver off camera?

Incidentally-I like your web site. Have you done it yourself or do you use one of the host companies (if thats what they are called).
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 12:44   #18
Roy C
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Well-blow me down with a whatsit!!!
I understood that only the 2.8 would allow this-as I said, I can only get AF with the outer points.
Tell me, how does a better tripod affect this-you say you had given up on the TC but with a new tripod it's now nver off camera?

Incidentally-I like your web site. Have you done it yourself or do you use one of the host companies (if thats what they are called).
David, although I hand hold the bare 400/5.6 I find that when using a tc with it I need support (remember the 400/5.6 has not got IS). My new tripod is so much more solid than the old one and also I find that when walking with the pod and camera over my shoulders, the new tripod can be up and running so much quicker.

By the way, to be able to AF on a xxD camera with a 1.4tc (without taping the pins....) you only need a f4 lens (not f2.8 as you indicate).

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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 13:35   #19
David Smith
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Originally Posted by Roy C View Post
David, although I hand hold the bare 400/5.6 I find that when using a tc with it I need support (remember the 400/5.6 has not got IS). My new tripod is so much more solid than the old one and also I find that when walking with the pod and camera over my shoulders, the new tripod can be up and running so much quicker.


By the way, to be able to AF on a xxD camera with a 1.4tc (without taping the pins....) you only need a f4 lens (not f2.8 as you indicate).


My web space comes free with my ISP. I have done the site myself using Dreamweaver.
I have never actually held the 400 so hadn't thought about IS-I find it really useful. I wonder why they don't put it on that lense

Yes-you are quite correct (didn't think my comment through properly)
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 15:37   #20
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I have never actually held the 400 so hadn't thought about IS-I find it really useful. I wonder why they don't put it on that lense
A few years back there were rumours that an EF400 f/5.6 IS was in the pipeline - but it never materialised. Personally I think they're unlikely to as it would give less incentive for people to dig deep into their pockets for the EF400 f/4 DO IS.

But I'd love to see an IS version of my favourite lens, so I hope that I'm proven wong.
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 21:58   #21
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I suspect an IS version of the 400mm would put it out of a lot of folks price range ?
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Old Monday 5th January 2009, 23:13   #22
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I would like to see canon make a 500mm F5.6 lens - should be just about affordable and not weigh too much. I am sure this would be very popular with keen amateur birdwatchers.

BTW JohnZ are you that helpful chap we keep bumping into either at Bough Beach (last weekend when you pointed out the female Bearded Tit) and on other occasions at Weirwood??

Chris (& Jen)
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Old Tuesday 6th January 2009, 11:08   #23
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Yes it was probably me. Somebody else said that I looked a bit Einsteinish. I am still combing my hair with a stick of dynamite !
But I have only ever been to Weirwood once. Without knowing the layout of the place I found it a bit of a struggle. Went to the Car Park place.
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