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Bulletins and Notes Archive

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BIRDS AS ART ON-LINE BULLETIN #47 April 19, 2001

 

  • Field Test: New Canon Series II Tele-converters
  • Field Test: New Canon  Tele-converters

     

    Gila Woodpecker/female.  Sabino Canyon.  Canon 600mm f/L IS lens with
    EF 2X II tele-converter and EOS 1V body.
     
    On my recent trip to Arizona, and then Texas, I had the chance to field test both the Canon EF Tele-converter 1.4X II and the Canon EF Tele-converter 2X II.  Though I have seen only my AZ images, I have seen enough to form an opinion, and since so many folks have written asking for my thoughts, I will share them with you here.
     
    Both of the Series II TCs have a sleeker, more militaristic look and feel to them.  There is a narrow, knurled grip on each of them that makes handling them a bit surer; I dropped my old TCs onto concrete too many times.....  The 2X has a recessed area just forward of the knurled grip that also makes handling easier.
     
    As expected, the 1.4X II consistently produced superbly sharp images.  And while judging sharpness with a 4X loupe is somewhat subjective, I was blown away by the incredible sharpness of many of the images made with the new 2X II tele-converter and the Canon EF 600mm f/4.0 L Image Stabilizer lens, making that combination now even more deadly.  And that is saying a lot.  As I had made many, sharp images with the old 2X TC I could not imagine being blown away by the results with the 2X II, but I was. 
     
    When I stacked the new TCs by inserting the nose-end of the 1.4X II into the rear of the 2X II (remember, it is no longer necessary to use a 12mm extension tube), I was pleasantly surprised to find that the setup autofocused accurately and fairly quickly as long as there was sufficient light and some contrast to work with.  This is a huge advantage because focusing manually with stacked multipliers is a difficult proposition at best. 
     
    Lastly, Arizona subscriber E.J. Peiker reports that light fall-off in the corners is greatly reduced with the TC 2XII as compared to the old 2X TC.  E.J.'s tests were conducted by photographing the clear blue sky with the 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens wide open.  I would be interested in hearing from others who are using the Canon EF 2X II tele-converter; both positive and critical comments are welcome.
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