Save 15% On Excire Foto Software With Code: EXCIRE-EP

x 2 or 1.4 converter

jocneilson 14 2 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2015 8:03PM
Hi all hope you can help me please. If I buy a Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM. Do I need to buy a specific x 2 converter? Or will any do. Yours JOC..
mikehit 12 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2015 8:26PM
You can buy any EOS-fit teleconverter. I use both the Tamron and Kenko tcs on my 100-400 and they seem to give pretty good quality pictures but I do keep looking at the Canon ones.
Recently I have also been looking at a 500mm f4 and my feeling is that if I am paying that sort of money why skimp on the teleconverter - the mkII 2x tc goes for about 200 second hand which is not hugely more than the Kenko version but from what I read the bonus is not in the image quality but the speed and reliability of AF.

There is a fair bit of discussion about the benefits of the 2x over the 1.4x. In general people have seemed to prefer the 1.4x and crop than use the 2x due to loss in IQ, but the differences seem to be less significant for the Mk3.
sherlob Plus
15 3.2k 131 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2015 8:28PM
In truth I don't know. But a question for you:

Why go for such an excellent L optic and then consider putting on a non-L converter?

I'm not saying that non L converters may be substandard, but rather the chances are higher that the L optics combined will form a matched pair to give optimised results.

Overread 13 4.1k 19 England
3 Mar 2015 9:01PM
Far as I know pretty much any TC should fit that lens; the limiting factor with teleconverters is that the front element protrudes forwards into the rear of the lens mounted to them; so a lens has to have space in the back; which this lens does have.

From memory and experience:

Sigma - Sigma TCs are high grade and will work well; though their 2*TC is a tiny tiny tiny bit shorter in what it gives than a Canon. This difference is so small you would never notice unless comparing side by side; even then its slight.

Canon - the MII and MIII give you about the same optical performance (though I think the MIII give improved edge performance, but that's unlikely to be visible unless you're shooting with fullframe cameras). Otherwise their biggest difference is that the MIII allow for better AF performance; but only with select lenses (these are typically your MII versions from the 300mm f2.8 and longer - the original version of those lenses and any others won't have any improved AF performance at all).
So if you're on crop and your lens isn't the MII you could go for MII teleconverters.

Kenko Pro - flattest front element protrusion (ergo can fit the most lenses) and high grade optics - but make sure you're getting the pro series as they make two lines; one better than the other.

In general go for what you need; non-L optics are certainly very good and very viable so its really your choice as to what you go for.
pink Plus
18 6.8k 9 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2015 7:23AM
I also have the 500L f4 lens and both 1.4 and 2.0x convertors. I use the 1.4x on a regular basis (its the mark11) and the results are fantastic, either on a 7D crop body or a 5D full frame. The 2x is not as good at the edges but on the crop body it works very well. It is always better to use a convertor than crop later in my opinion, the optics do give you more than just cropping in.
Focussing is excellent on both with little difference when only using the lens. I would suggest that you buy what you can afford, I cannot comment on the non-Canon options but can wholeheartedly recommend the Canon versions
NeilSchofield Plus
14 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2015 7:43AM
Good advice from Overread

If you have the 1.4 TC already try that with the lens first before buying a 2x, and if you haven't got a 1.4 then that's the one to buy first, AF will always be better, and 1000mm shooting has a learning curve, and possibly other gear requirements

I use a gun sight as a spotting scope for instance

With the superteles the Canon ones will perform better in my view
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
4 Mar 2015 4:04PM
What NeilS said Smile

I have the 500 f/4 and use it with both converters, but mostly the 1.4. only if your camera can AF at f/8 is the 2x is useful on occasion otherwise it's down to MF.

i'd go for the Canon Extenders - the little extra you pay for them over a third party is nothing compared to the lens itself and you know you're getign something that will work and give good quality.
jocneilson 14 2 United Kingdom
5 Mar 2015 6:23PM
Thank you all for you feed back.
LenShepherd 13 4.4k United Kingdom
7 Mar 2015 9:30AM

Quote:Hi all hope you can help me please. If I buy a Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM. Do I need to buy a specific x 2 converter? Or will any do. Yours JOC..

While I do not shoot Canon the situation is similar to Nikon where the manufacturers product has a better performance than the independents, usually at around double the price.
My view is, if you are paying more than 5,000 (new price) for a 500 mm lens, saving 150 on an independent converter (3% of the lens price) even for only a small reduction in quality does not make sense to me.
On a 1,000 lens which the manufactures converter fits saving 150 on a converter is a 15% saving, providing you not intend in the future to buy other lenses the manufactures converter fits.
Digressing from Canon to Nikon, the Kenko Nikon fit converters have small diameter internal glass elements which hard vignette on Nikon 24x36 "full frame". I do not know if this applies to Kenko fit Canon converters.
jocneilson 14 2 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2015 7:17PM
Hi all I think I need to explain there are 2x converters i.e. (Canon EF 2x Extender. Canon EF 2x III Extender. Canon EF Mark III 1.4x Extender. Canon EF U Mark III 1.4x Extender.) Excetera. Is there an extender for this lens?
NeilSchofield Plus
14 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2015 10:41PM
Not to sure I understand your question fully, however the mark 3 teleconverters are designed to work best with the mark 2 super teles and zooms

If you don't have or are unlikely to get any of the mark 2 lenses, then the older mark 2 teleconverters are fine with the original super teles

Hope this helps
cheddar-caveman 18 1.2k England
7 Apr 2015 8:19PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that if you try to use a 2X extender on an f4 lens you'll lose AF, I certainly do on my 300mm f4 but not on my 300mm f2.8.
My camera, a Canon 7D, needs f5.6 or lower to AF so the 2X on the f4 takes it out to f8.
I do find that the 2X on the 300mm f2.8 does give slightly softer images than the 1.4X which is brilliant!
mikehit 12 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2015 8:42PM

My camera, a Canon 7D, needs f5.6 or lower to AF so the 2X on the f4 takes it out to f8.

My 7D autofocuses OK with a 100-400 at 400mm with a 1.4x attached - mind you I am using a Kenko 1.4x not a Canon which may account for it.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2015 11:19PM
From memory on some cameras the Canon own brand converter is recognised and the camera knows it is at f8 or higher and as the accuracy of the AF is affected the AF is turned off. There are a couple of pins you can put tape over to prevent this. also the independent converters often lack the pins in the lens mount I mention.

With the lens in question, just buy the latest and greatest Canon own brand converter.
cheddar-caveman 18 1.2k England
8 Apr 2015 8:59AM
Back to the original question: "Hi all hope you can help me please. If I buy a Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM. Do I need to buy a specific x 2 converter? Or will any do. Yours JOC.."
The only thing missing is "what camera are you attaching this lens to"?
If it is a 7D (crop, not full frame) then your AF won't work with the 2X extender as it will only work up to f5.6 but the 1.4X will be brilliant, taking you out to 700mm with full AF.

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.