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Old Jun 5, 2011, 10:17 AM   #1
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Default Extender ef 2x III: sharpness at 400mm with a 70-200 f2.8 IS USM

There are occasions when I want a little extra reach during daylight, without carrying extra/huge lenses around all the time, so I decided to try the newest version of the extender 2x III with my 70-200mm f2.8 IS USM. It just arrived yesterday and I took a couple of quick pics in my home office just to test the sharpness @ 400mm, wide open @5.6 & stopped down 1 stop to 6.3. both pics were indoors, no flash, 6400 ISO, 1/80, IS on, hand held. The only post processing was noise reduction with NWP & resizing. They both are a little underexposed, more so, of course, on the f6.3. I'll be doing more experiments outdoors, but so far I'm very impressed with the sharpness. I'm very curious as to how they compare to the canon 100-400L & the bigma 50-500 APO DG.

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Old Jun 6, 2011, 7:31 AM   #2
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The Bigma is 500, so If you need 500mm then 400mm wouldn't cut it!
The only complain with the Bigma over the 100-400L before was it does not have IS, but now that's no longer an issue...

-> BTW this lens is not huge (if you compared it against a 500L prime then it actually quite small, and light for the same focal lenght!)
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Old Jun 6, 2011, 8:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NHL View Post
The Bigma is 500, so If you need 500mm then 400mm wouldn't cut it!
The only complain with the Bigma over the 100-400L before was it does not have IS, but now that's no longer an issue...

-> BTW this lens is not huge (if you compared it against a 500L prime then it actually quite small, and light for the same focal lenght!)
I wish it was a matter of "need", then I wouldn't hesitate to buy one, LOL. It's a matter of "want" or "would like to have", so that's why I thought I would try 400mm to see if I'll be happy with that. My thinking is that if 400mm satisfies my focal length lust, then the only question is whether I will be happy with the extender or if I should just go ahead and buy the Canon 100-400L. I don't need the longer focal length a lot, but there are times when it would be nice to have. This way I can stay with Canon lenses. I have a couple of Sigma lenses that I'm happy with, but I've budgeted around $1,500 for this, which would give me the option of the Canon 100-400 or a new Bigma with a little stretch on the budget. The nice thing about the extender is that if it gets me satisfactory focal length & image quality & IQ/focus speed, I get out for only 1/3 of my budget and it gives me very nice versatility in a very portable package. I'm going to be going over to the UK and to Sweden on a couple of different business trips this summer and I'm gearing up, so to speak.
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Old Jun 6, 2011, 9:57 AM   #4
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It depends on what you shoot really...

For wildlife even a 500 seem short so I hate to cut down it to 400, and also in action shots you'll notice the AF to slow down a bit with a 2x. This is what I used to travel with - I carried the 500 and everything else fit in the 'bazooka' case on top which I slinged over my back:





I swapped the 100-400 with a Bigma (black lens middle right) and my gear came down quite a bit in heft when I can leave everything else behind:

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Old Jun 6, 2011, 3:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHL View Post
The only complain with the Bigma over the 100-400L before was it does not have IS, but now that's no longer an issue...

-> BTW this lens is not huge (if you compared it against a 500L prime then it actually quite small, and light for the same focal lenght!)
Is that the 500L prime in the picture? Also, I'm definitely thinking I'm going to want IS. I used to not think so, but after using it with the 70-200mm with the extender, I think I get much sharper pictures at long focal lengths. Do you have the OS version of the Bigma & do you think you would use it? I can pick up the non-OS version for anywhere from about $750 to $1,000 used. I'm also curious as to your opinion on the odd (at least to me) filter size & filter adapter on the new, OS version of the Bigma. I would have thought that the engineers would have been able to make an OS version of the lens without the change in diameter from the older version.
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Old Jun 6, 2011, 10:07 PM   #6
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Yes - That's the 500L, I carried both of them on this trip to compare:
http://www.pbase.com/nhl/sigma_50_500
http://www.pbase.com/nhl/ef_500l

My Bigma is older so it does not have OS, but then most of my shot are BIF, or taken with flash under tree canopies (notice the catch light in the eyes as they look more lively)

... As to the filter size IMO it's really a non-issue my 120-300 f/2.8 uses even a larger 105mm filter!
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Old Jun 7, 2011, 9:40 AM   #7
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Yes - That's the 500L, I carried both of them on this trip to compare:
http://www.pbase.com/nhl/sigma_50_500
http://www.pbase.com/nhl/ef_500l

My Bigma is older so it does not have OS, but then most of my shot are BIF, or taken with flash under tree canopies (notice the catch light in the eyes as they look more lively)

... As to the filter size IMO it's really a non-issue my 120-300 f/2.8 uses even a larger 105mm filter!
Great shots, with both lenses. I really like the versatility of the 50-500mm, plus the size. I've also considered the 150-500mm, as I've read that it's a little sharper at the maximum 500mm, but you give up a lot of flexibility at the short end. I'll be able to do some more testing of the extender today to determine if the performance & focal length will meet my needs. If not, I will return it & probably try to pick up a bigma.
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