Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The Poor Man’s Super-Telephoto
Using a tele-extender can give your long lenses even more punch for wildlife and landscape photos
This loss of light not only requires longer shutter speeds, but also slows or cancels autofocusing, depending on the lens/converter combo and the camera body. For example, using the 2x converter with my 300mm ƒ/4 lens on my Canon EOS 40D switches off autofocusing, while the same combo on the pro Canon EOS-1D Mark III will autofocus, but noticeably more slowly than the 300mm lens alone (and much more slowly than the 600mm ƒ/4 prime lens).
The last teleconverter disadvantage is that it does reduce image quality—by a very small amount when you’re using a quality converter with lenses it was designed for; by a lot if you use a poor-quality converter or a good one with a noncompatible lens. For best results, use a converter made by the manufacturer of your lens, and check that the manufacturer recommends it for that lens.
If your lens has a built-in stabilizer, it will function normally with the converter attached, and I’ve produced some sharp images handholding my stabilized 300mm/2x combo, but I’d recommend mounting such long focal lengths on a tripod for maximum sharpness.
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