Two Initial Impressions

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I recently purchased a Canon EF 2.0X III Telephoto Extender and a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM 1-to-1 Macro Lens, and I wanted to share my initial impressions with you all.

First, the 2x converter.

Construction is very solid – it’s made of the same gray/white body material that the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens is made of, so when the 70-200 is attached it just looks like one long lens body. Auto-focus worked just fine (actually, it even seemed to work a tad faster than without the converter!), and the lens’ image stabilization was not interrupted. It’s heavier than I expected it to be, which just makes the issue of lugging the 70-200 around that much worse (thank goodness for my Black Rapid camera strap!).

I was going to test it on the macro lens as well, but lo and behold, they aren’t compatible. Which is no big deal to me, since I plan on getting an extension tube, which works better with a macro lens anyway.

And now for some photographic demonstration of the 2x converter’s capabilities. This is the bougainvillea bush in my front yard, and I stood about 40 feet away from it. I kept my camera’s settings on Sunny 16 (f/16, ISO 200, 1/200) as it was high noon in Arizona, and these shots are SOOC. All shots are hand-held using auto-focus. I wasn’t going for pretty pictures, here, I just wanted to demonstrate the zoom capabilities.

Some things to keep in mind: On the Canon EOS 7D, which is what I used, the 70-200mm f/2.8L II is multiplied by a factor of 1.6x, to get the 35mm equivalent on a crop sensor camera. So in all actuality the lens behaves like a 112-320mm. Secondly, a 2x converter turns an f/2.8 lens into an f/5.6 – it decreases the maximum aperture of a lens by two stops. That is why it’s only recommended to use a teleconverter with very fast lenses.

At 70mm, without the teleconverter:

At 70mm, with the teleconverter:

At 200mm, without the teleconverter:

At 200mm, with the teleconverter:

Next, the 100mm macro.

The first thing I noticed was how light the lens is – the difference probably seemed significant given the heft of the aforementioned 70-200mm, or the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS which is the lens that I have on my camera most of the time. I’m used to lugging heavy lenses around, so the lightness of the macro is quite a pleasant change.

I can tell it’s going to take a bit of getting used to, to really maximize the capabilities of this lens. Wide-open, it can be tricky to really judge at which point the lens is focusing, and if you have specific focus points in mind you’ll have to manually dial them in. Stopped down a bit, the lens becomes easier to manage. I noticed a little bit of hunting when focusing, but no too bad and certainly less than I expected. The auto-focus limiter switch has three modes – 1′-1.6′ feet, 1.6′- ∞, and 1′- ∞. If you use the limiter switch correctly it greatly reduces auto-focus hunting.

The image quality is just gaspingly incredible. That’s what I did, when I opened the very first picture that I took with the lens, which happens to be this one (click on it, and the photo after it, to see the large size, the detail is just astonishing).

This is a hand-held shot at f/5.6, ISO 200, shutter speed 1/80.

This is hand-held shot at f/2.8, ISO 200, shutter speed 1/100.

Oh, I just fell in love with this lens. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. The L image quality and image stabilization make it worth the extra $500 over the non-L, non-stabilized version.

Do you have any experiences or photos to share using a 2x converter or a macro lens? Share them with us on our Facebook Page!

All photos copyright Tiffany Joyce.

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