Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

No autofocus with extender.

wyattnorm 8 22
8 Apr 2012 4:52PM
I bought the Canon 2x extender for my Canon 550 with the EF 70-2001.4 L zoom and am disappointed that the autofocus does not work under any conditions. I had read somewhere that it may not work in poor light, but it does not work in any light. I am surprised that Canon would produce an accessory that delivers a poorer performance, in that the camera does not use the functions that make it so good to use. Does that make sense? The EF lens is so sharp, just a pain to try and manually focus on birds.


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
8 Apr 2012 5:07PM
The problem is that your lens has a maximum aperture of f/4 which means that it will probably only autofocus with a 1.4x extender. The 2x reduces the effective aperture too much.

Don't Canon produce a Compatibility Chart showing which lenses will work with which extenders? Nikon cetrainly does and I would feel pretty confident that, if you Googled for it, you'd find one from Canon.

Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
8 Apr 2012 5:09PM
Canon don't do a 70-200 1.4 lens. If you have the F4 lens, you will lose two stops by adding the 2x extender, giving you a widest aperture of F8 and your camera requires an aperture of F5.6 or wider to operate auto focus.
Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
8 Apr 2012 5:09PM
(should type quicker)

User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
8 Apr 2012 5:12PM
chris.maddock 16 3.7k United Kingdom
8 Apr 2012 6:06PM
You may find that the first tip on the link below will do the trick.
I say "may" because it works a treat with my 1.4x extender and 100-400 L lens, but didn't with the 1.4x and my 70-200/f4 (mk1 version) at all. The lens just kept hunting, so I ended up taping the 100-400 instead so the extender worked with both lenses. It would appear that the contacts do different things with different lenses.
I suspect that the 2x extender will be likewise but since you already have the extender and lens a short length of tape to try it won't exactly break the bank.

wyattnorm 8 22
8 Apr 2012 7:10PM
Many thanks for the replies...pity I do not know much about cameras and settings, if I did perhaps I would not have made an incorrect purchase. I envy the way contributors to this forum write with such knowledge of all things relating to photography.

I have just spent this weekend showing a relative around my local area. He is a knows an enormous amount of all things relating to cameras and when he was talking, most of it went straight over my head. Size's of sensors, X magnification on this lens as opposed to that lens, how his Prime Lens differed from a zoom lens. The equipment he carried around was mind boggling. But, with all his equipment, it was me that found him a Barn Owl, 4 Marsh Harriers displaying, so I do have my uses, it just isn't imparting photography knowledge to others.

Thanks for enlightening me.
wyattnorm 8 22
8 Apr 2012 7:14PM
Chris Maddock

What a tip.....will give it a go tomorrow, has to be worth a go!

Many thanks.
wyattnorm 8 22
25 May 2012 1:15PM

The tip didn't work. but worth trying.

Quite out of the blue my wife has told me to go out and buy another, more suitable lens. I do not want to repeat the extender fiasco, lack of knowledge equals mistaken purchase. Bearing in mind that I own the 2x extender, any suggestions would be welcome. Moneywise, I would probably have around 1500 MAX!

The whole idea was to get me closer to the birds that I see daily. I have Marsh Harriers floating around, approx 200 yards away and they never come close enough for the 70/200 to make a worthwhile photo.

The range of lenses is mind boggling...............

Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
25 May 2012 1:21PM
Sell the 2x.
Buy the Canon EF 400mm f5.6L USM
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
25 May 2012 9:34PM
You've a few options in that price range - depending on what you want to go with:

1) 300mm f4 IS L - you'll probably also want to pick up a 1.4TC to go with this lens giving you the option of a 420mm f5.6 IS L (with working AF). This gives you a good quality prime, with the option of using the 1.4TC with AF; giving you a prime lens with good optics and focusing speed with the support of IS (for wildlife you'll typically already have a fast shutter speed of 1/400sec or faster, but the IS can help with framing when hand holding).

2) 400mm f5.6 L - no IS here, but you get the bonus of the sharpest lens in this price bracket. Fast AF and sharp optics combine to make a very popular wildlife and bird photography lens.

3) 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 IS L - an all in one zoom lens that delivers good optical quality (though at the 400mm end you'll oft want to use f7.1-f8 for best performance, though wide open shots should be usable). You've got the IS and the option to zoom; good for varying situations as a one lens does all for general telephoto work.
This lens has a push-pull zoom feature which some dislike for "dust sucking" however in practice this is not a concern unless you are shooting in abnormal conditions (eg duststorms). In addition the friction ring must always be fully released when changing the focal length - pushing against the pressure will damage the locking rubber material.

4) 70-200mm f2.8 IS L MII - you might need to add a bit of money to the budget for this one (however you could sell the f4). This lens offers you a bigger, heavier, but wider maximum aperture over your f4 version. It also offers you canon's current best in the zoom range for these focal lengths.
Further with the boost in optics it has over its older original version this lens can take the 2*TC and not only retain auto focus, but also deliver optical quality in line with the 100-400mm zoom mentioned above. Downside is that this combo is slightly heavier, but it has a regular zoom wheel as opposed to the push-pull of the 100-400mm. In addition you get the option to use it as a stunning 70-200mm lens.

Sigma also make a 50-500mm and 150-500mm option in this similar price bracket (I can never remember which one is which for the sigma, but the one with the highest price tag is the best and newest). Note that most people tend to find that the sigma are closer to 450mm instead of 500mm at most normal working distances (focal length is measured at infinity).

In the end each of the above options will deliver you a high grade result - there is variation in performance, size, weight, optics and overall performance; but each one should deliver a very usable to great result. The choice is thus yours to choose which fits your budget, style and desires for a new lens.
wyattnorm 8 22
26 May 2012 5:30AM
Coleslaw & Overread

Brilliant replies...many thanks. Bit early in the morning to digest everything, but the 400mm looks tempting. I will now enjoy my cup of tea and look around at whats on offer.

chris.maddock 16 3.7k United Kingdom
26 May 2012 8:43AM

Quote:Sell the 2x.
Buy the Canon EF 400mm f5.6L USM

Sell the wife as well, then see if you can find a 1200mm/f5.6. That should get you close enough Tongue
wyattnorm 8 22
26 May 2012 6:51PM

Wife has stated that she is not for sale...last time I tried she finished up with 1 10p, I said who gave you 10p, she said they all did!

Never going to happen, but I appreciate the advice.
chris.maddock 16 3.7k United Kingdom
26 May 2012 7:26PM

Wife has stated that she is not for sale...last time I tried she finished up with 1 10p, I said who gave you 10p, she said they all did!


Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.