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Extension tubes

bfgstew 11 668 105 England
2 Oct 2011 12:14PM
I have a Sigma 28 - 300 zoom lens but would love to have a longer reach lens but just can't afford it, The Bigma is well over a grand now!! Would a set of extension tubes help or hinder? Kenko do a set of 3 for around £150.

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geoffash26 14 2.5k United Kingdom
2 Oct 2011 12:23PM
NO Extension tubes allow your lens to focus at a closer distance. Your after converters something like this
Not sure if they will work with your lense you really ned a f4 or faster lens for them to be any good
bfgstew 11 668 105 England
2 Oct 2011 12:31PM
Doh.........Got my head stuck up my a**e at the moment, don't know what I was thinking about!!!
Yes tele converters is the thing I am after, thanks Geoff.
Any pros or cons on the use of them?
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
2 Oct 2011 12:49PM
Personally I wouldn't use teleconverters with a lens of that kind with such a big zoom range (even 70-300mm I wouldn't use them on).

1.4TC - gives an increase of 1.4 times the focal length of the lens, whilst also typically having only a smaller effect on the overall image quality and reducing the maximum aperture of the lens by 1 stop. (eg an f4 lens becomes and f5.6)

2*TC - gives an increase of 2 times the focal length of the lens, whilst also having a much greater degradation of image quality and reducing the maximum aperture of the lens by 2 stops (eg f2.8 becomes f5.6). This is capable of good image quality, but only when put on very good lenses to start with and as such is typically limited to prime lenses only (the only zoom that will take it well is the new 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MII).

Typically speaking teleconverters magnify the image you get and this typically gets a result which is greater in image quality than cropping the image to get the same field of view. However they also magnify all the lens abborations and problems, which means that lower end lenses degrade fast with them, even the 1.4TC.
On a 28-300mm lens the focal range covered is extreme and the 300mm end the lens will already be going softer, adding a teleconverter would likely make the softness hit the point where its only good for record shots for most people. Furthermore note that if you want to preserve image quality you can stop down one stop from wide open - but that means your already small 300mm max aperture now wants to be 2 stops smaller which puts a big drain on your shutter speed in most lighting conditions (and raising ISO introduces further image quality loss).

There is always a bit of play with teleconverters and the point at which the gain against the quality loss is too great; different people have different standards so the answers are always tempered against this point; however in general I would say save the money and work toward that better lens.

Also if money is really tight you could consider:
Sigma - 50-500mm without OS (ie original); 150-500mm; 120-400mm all of which are below the £1K price point (though are still in the £700-£800 price range).
Camera price buster
bfgstew 11 668 105 England
2 Oct 2011 12:55PM
Thanks for the honest opinion Alex, appreciated.

Oh well looks like saving some more pennies........Sad
tomcat 12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2011 6:34PM
Guess it does StewartSad

No need for me to answer that PM nowWink

bfgstew 11 668 105 England
2 Oct 2011 7:17PM
What about a X2 converter on my 150 macro, it is a fast prime, ok I will still only be at 300 but will it be better than my 28 - 300?????
tomcat 12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2011 7:35PM
I personally would say not.

There's loads of folks (including me), who have been down the route of experimenting with different combinations of kit, in order to save moneyWink

It doesn't work in the long run.

If you are going to stick it out until you have the pennies for something else, then the Canon 400mm 5.6 is just over 1K.
It will take a 1.4 converter without to much fuss, giving you 560mm. I tried this combination alongside my original Bigma & the results spoke for themselves.
Hence the Bigma was sold.
The reason I am now using a 12mm extension tube , is that the 400mm 5.6 minimum focusing distance is 3.5 metres. The extension tube reduces this to about 2.7/2.8 metres, so I can get closer to my woodland subjects. A good example would be the Nuthatch, I uploaded yesterday. It is virtually a full frame image.
None or minimal cropping required, which means a high ISO (if required) still does not produce any noticeable noise.

Hope this of some assistance

bfgstew 11 668 105 England
2 Oct 2011 7:41PM
Would need an Nikon equivalant..................Wink

Unless I sell up and change sides!!!!

Cheers, mate, very helpful indeed.
tomcat 12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2011 8:27PM
I thought about that, after I had posted. Not sure what the Nikon equivalent would beGrin

It is generally regarded that the 400mm 5.6 slipped through the pricing set-upTongue

bfgstew 11 668 105 England
3 Oct 2011 10:20AM
Just had a look at the Nikon 300mm f4 D AF-S IF ED Lens, seems good vaue for money, use a X1.4 or a X2 tele converter giving 420mm or 600mm for the loss of a few stops, reviews show good results, so now to start saving and selling stuff......unless I win the lottery.........Wink

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