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Archive 2013 · Trouble with Teleconverters?
  
 
Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


Hello,

Thanx for you help.

I have a Canon 1.4x II teleconverter that I never liked and am wondering if there is a problem with it. I use it on a 5D Mk II and either a Canon 500mm f/4 IS or Canon 70-200 2.8 IS II lens. Neither configuration is better than the other when it comes to my problems.

Question: Has anyone ever had a "bad" teleconverter? What was it etc. etc.. and are my expectations maybe too high for this thing?

Symptoms are primarily with soft focus issues. I will list them here.... they may or may not point to problems with the teleconverter, but I am so annoyed right now that I am in full conspiracy mode and that teleconverter is not only bad but trying to take over the government!

Symptoms:

1 - Trouble calibrating with FoCal... I find FoCal pretty darn finicky anyway but with the 1.4x in it, I get very inconsistent results. I have calibrated with FoCal and used the moire method... just inconsistent
2 - Shooting eagles the other day.... (at the "pond") .. a perfect adult circled slowly in front of me filling my frame in a cloudless day... I tracked him perfectly in AI Servo mode, center point only, and all came out soft, but also inconsistently so. The thing really had trouble keeping locked on.
3 - I notice a very slight color shift to the red when using this thing. Shot the bark of a large tree with and without and the darn thing had a very slight redder cast.
4 - Even with static, stationary subjects, and on my tripod, I get inconsistent focus. It is very very slight but the odds of a tack sharp shot are rare.
5 - Without the teleconverter... the performance of the 500 and the 70-200 lenses are steller.
6 - I just think the pics with this teleconverter are not that good.

OK, what really bugs me about all of this is that a teleconverter has NO MOVING PARTS! How can this brick be doing some thing bad?

Thanx again,

Bruce in Philly.

www.TravelThroughPictures.com



Jan 08, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


There are just as many bad TC's as there are lenses. It may have no moving parts, but it does have parts that can move. Could be a couple of elements out of alignment. If it is not your shooting technique, you should get another TC from someone and try and compare the results from both.


Jan 08, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Monito
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


There is always the standard advice: check the contacts of the TE and camera and all the lenses. Clean some or all of them gently with a soft eraser. If camera and a lens contacts are wonky or both wonky, they might work with each other but not with a TE.

Carefully check the mounts of the TE to see that there is no play or obvious alignment or interference problems.

Here's another test: lend it to a friend who is an experienced photographer and see how they get along with it. That widens the circle of people available even if none of your friends has one.

Imagemaster wrote:
There are just as many bad TC's as there are lenses.


There are just as few bad TE's as there are lenses.

However, ... at this point the evidence leans against your Tele-Extender. Some careful A/B testing is needed to sort it out.



Jan 08, 2013 at 10:59 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


One hard bump and it can get out of alignment. Early last year, I dropped my brand new 1.4x III on a hardwood floor, while on the way to test it out. CPS diagnosis: cost of repair exceeds value of extender. Result: I bought another one.


Jan 08, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


Monito wrote:
There are just as few bad TE's as there are lenses.

However, ... at this point the evidence leans against your Tele-Extender. Some careful A/B testing is needed to sort it out.


Pretty sure that is what my comments indicated.



Jan 08, 2013 at 05:07 PM
BluesWest
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


Bruce, why don't you try to rent one and compare it to the one you own? That should narrow down the problem to either the converter or something else.

John



Jan 08, 2013 at 06:59 PM
scalesusa
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


There are bad TC's, its easy to check out with a static flat wall for a target. Take images with and without, if it is degrading the image by a noticible amount, it is likely out of alignment, Canon can adjust it. Dirty pins do not make soft images, but they might cause error messages to appear.


Jan 08, 2013 at 10:42 PM
 

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bob_wfmc
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


It would be interesting to get input from Roger Cicala as he may have some unpublished data on this topic.



Jan 08, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


Thanx all,

I am just going to take it to the NJ service center next week.

I don't have one to borrow.... nor a pro that can help me out. I will driving up and down the NJ Turnpike next week so a good time to drop it off.

I will post what they say.

Bruce



Jan 09, 2013 at 02:50 AM
John P Mulgrew
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


I hated my MKII version of the 1.4 and 2x but love the MKIII versions but I also have the MKII versions of the 300 and 70-200 so not sure how much that matters.


Jan 09, 2013 at 10:37 AM
Monito
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


scalesusa wrote:
Dirty pins do not make soft images, but they might cause error messages to appear.


Dirty pins can cause focus errors such as the ones reported by the OP.



Jan 09, 2013 at 10:47 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


John P Mulgrew wrote:
... love the MKIII versions but I also have the MKII versions of the 300 and 70-200 so not sure how much that matters.


Probably not too much. I'm using the Mk III Extenders with 300/2.8L IS and 500/4L IS. They're noticeably better at the edges and in the corners than the 1.4x & 2x II Extenders I used previously.



Jan 09, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Bruce n Philly
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


Just got my Teleconverter back from Canon and they did nothing, and said it was within specifications. Total cost for this checkup was $99 including return shipping (I dropped it off at the center).

Ok, so here are my possible conclusions:

1 - I am a paranoid wreck and never will be satisfied.
2 - My Canon 5D Mk II just doesn't perform well with teleconverters. It may be the focus system, or something or other, but performance with action shots in AI Servo just suck and that is it. I need to accept it or buy a new body.
3 - What others call great performance is not what I cal great performance and I am just unrealistic given the current technological state of the art.

Really, I am pretty darn annoyed that I can get great performance out of my 500 f/4 IS and 70-200 f2.8 IS II but when I add that darned thing, well, blech.

Look at what I got out of my 500mm without this teleconverter here:
http://travelthroughpictures.com/photo-items/backyard-birds-feeder-shooting/

Now the birds above are static and the 5D is doing classic portraiture. So I guess you folks were correct all along that the 5D Mk II is really a landscape and portraiture body and not much else.

I have gotten great results from the 500mm and 5D Mk II with birds in flight albeit with a very low keeper rate:
http://travelthroughpictures.com/photo-items/black-skimmers-shooting-birds-flight/

But for the overwhelming percentage of shots I've made with that evil teleconverter, the pictures just aren't great. Here are some eagle shots I made with the teleconverter and while cools shots, they just don't look all that great (and I really worked them over in LR4 here):

http://travelthroughpictures.com/photo-items/killer-eagles-nailing-exposure/

OK, in all fairness, there is only one time I got great looking shots with this teleconverter, and that was when I had bright light and little subject movement here (but this is a rare exception, and look at the 100% crops below and you will see the degradation):

http://travelthroughpictures.com/photo-items/juvenile-osprey-14x-teleconverter-review/

Ok, what to make of all of this neurosis. First, this forum and your patience is therapy. Second, I guess I put the blame on the 5D Mk II and conclude that unless the light is bright, forget using a teleconverter.

Bruce in Philly ($100 poorer with nothing to show for it)
http://travelthroughpictures.com/



Jan 26, 2013 at 03:43 AM
robbymack
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Trouble with Teleconverters?


A Tc will degrade af performance and iq. To what degree is debatable. Some folks think there is no difference whereas others think their is a vast difference. There is however a couple of solutions albeit some more kind to the pocketbook than others. 1) buy 800L 2) buy 7d 3) buy/rent new tc. Of those I'd suggest option 2. It's the best way to add length without the drawbacks of tc's.


Jan 26, 2013 at 04:02 AM





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