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Old Apr 3, 2013, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default Extender vs longer lens

We’re going to DisneyWorld this summer. We are planning a day at the Animal Kingdom.

I don’t know the correct name for this, but we’re doing a walking safari this time. If you’ve been there, you probably took the bus ride safari. The bus ride safari is where people get on a bus and the bus goes on a specific trail and you see various animals along the way.

The walking safari is a much different experience (or so I’ve been told).

I want to take good photos of the animals.

Here’s my question:

I think I would like to have a lot of zoom capability because I am not sure how close I can get to them.

I currently own a 5D mark III, Canon EF 70-200 IS f2.8L USM (the older version, not the current, EF II version). I also own the Canon Extender EF 2x.

Will the IS still work when using the extender? This is an outdoor activity, so I’m guessing I’ll have more than enough light, so losing a stop or two shouldn’t be an issue.

What do I need to be aware of that might go wrong when using the extender?

Last, would I be better off renting a 400mm lens?

Thanks for sharing your insights!

Faithfully Yours,

FP

Last edited by FaithfulPastor; Apr 3, 2013 at 11:53 AM.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 2:05 PM   #2
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hi i have been to animal kingdom not done the walk but if remember rightly you will probably be ok with your 70-200 and as you have an extender you should be good to go to be safe i would take a monopod too
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Old Apr 5, 2013, 3:37 PM   #3
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I would like to add if you feel you need to get another lens then I would go for the versertile canon 100-400L
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Old Apr 5, 2013, 4:06 PM   #4
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Default thanks wave01

Thanks Wave01,

I'm hoping to hear from anyone who has used the extender. I have played with it some, but I am not an expert with it.

Are there any tricks to using it best?

Thanks again!
FP
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Old Apr 5, 2013, 4:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
Will the IS still work when using the extender?
The way that optical image stabilization works is that the lens projects a stable image out the back, so the Extender will only ever get a stable image.
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Old Apr 5, 2013, 9:45 PM   #6
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The IS and auto focus will still work. No problem with lens which has lens opening f/4 or larger. As a matter of fact, a good friend of mine used the same setup as yours at the Blue Angel Air Show last year and had very good results.
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Old Apr 5, 2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
What do I need to be aware of that might go wrong when using the extender?

Last, would I be better off renting a 400mm lens?
Several points which haven't been discussed:
1. Focusing speed is definitely slower with a 2x attached
2. The old 70-200 f/2.8L with the old 2x (which you have) doesn't make a good match as compared to the new 70-200 f/2.8-II with the new 2X-III: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ca...-2-8-ii-2.html
3. You might be better off with a 100-400L in this case not only for the IQ, but also the faster AF speed
4. A better match might be the http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ca...00-os-hsm.html which will allow you more reach at both the long and short ends ("zoom capability" as you called it), and negate the need for changing lenses (or removing/attaching the 2x)!
5. IS/OS or monopod only help with camera shakes. However, I've found most of the time to need the shutter speed in order to freeze the animal movements. With that in mind the IS is no longer required, and you can also be more nimble without having the hassle of a monopod (remember you'll have to carry everything the entire time in the park and not just for the safari)!
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Last edited by NHL; Apr 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM.
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Old Apr 23, 2013, 7:21 PM   #8
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NHL, thank you so much for your solid advice.

One more follow-up question, if you don't mind.

If I'm hand holding my camera and I'm maxed out at the full 400mm. How fast of a shutter speed do you think I need in order to minimize camera shake, supposing I have average hands when it comes to holding a camera still. I am 100% sure I don't have above average steady hands.

So, at 400mm do I need to be shooting at 1/500? Or even faster at 400mm?

Again, thank you so much.

Faithfully Yours,
FP
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Old Apr 24, 2013, 6:12 AM   #9
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The rule of thumb is that you should use a shutter speed at least as fast as the reciprocal of the focal length. On a 'Full Frame' body with a 400mm lens attached, you shouldn't let the shutter speed get slower than 1/400. That's based on a 35mm system, so different sensor sizes should use the 35mm equivalent focal length. With a Canon APS-C body with a 400mm lens attached, you shouldn't let the shutter speed get slower than 1/640.

Depending on what you're shooting and your own personal situation and the environment, you may want shutter speeds that are faster still, but that's the rule of thumb for preventing motion blur due to camera shake that works well for most people most of the time.
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Old Apr 26, 2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
... So, at 400mm do I need to be shooting at 1/500? Or even faster at 400mm?
It depends on the distance IHMO
While shooting at higher 1/shutter speed will minimize camera shake, I've found I could shoot a slower than 1/shutter speed in portrait (or semi-macro) with no issue when the subject is at closer distances...

Think of this as holding a laser pointer: your shake is amplified by the distance when this laser is pointed further out as compare to pointing the laser to nearer walls.
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