Which TC should I choose for Canon 300 4.0L IS USM?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dennis_tam, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. Hi,

    I am getting a Canon 300mm 4.0L IS USM, which impresses me from many aspects.
    I want to get a 1.4X TC as well. I heard AF might not work if I use a wrong
    lens/TC combination.

    I browsed B&H and got the following candidates:

    1) Kenko 1.4x Teleplus Pro 300 DG Teleconverter for Canon EOS $ 194.95
    2) Kenko 1.5x DG AF Teleplus Teleconverter for Canon EOS $ 86.95
    3) Canon 1.4X II $ 269.00
    4) Tamron 1.4x AF Teleconverter for Canon EOS $ 109.95
    5) Tamron 1.4x SP AF Pro Teleconverter for Canon EOS $ 189.00
    6) Sigma 1.4x DG EX APO Teleconverter for Canon EOS $ 189.00

    Given this 300 4.0L IS USM prime lens, which TC should I choose if I expect AF


  2. This is an easy one if you have the money...Canon 1.4 TC II or I (if you don't need to stack TCs or if you don't have a weathersealed lens/camera combo). You'll keep AF on all EOS cameras with the Canon 1.4X TC. I can't speak to the image quality of the others you mentioned, check this website, I think Bob Atkins has reviewed most of them.
  3. Hi Dennis,
    I have the same lens and use with the Canon 1.4 TC. I think is a perfect combination. I do not know anything about the other manufacturers. I know that the Canon is the most expansive but I wanted to have the best integration between my equipment. It gives you constant F5.6 and 420 mm and I use it for birds in fly with perfect sharpness. AE is very fast.
    hope this helps; you can check some shots made with the 300mm and 1.4 combo (and a 5D) at my page: http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=575202
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    You have contributed to hard earned dollars for a great lens, don`t skimp on the TC it is a no brainer get the Canon.

  5. Canon 1.4 TC II or I (if you don't need to stack TCs or if you don't have a weathersealed lens/camera combo).
    Another vote for the Canon 1.4. But there is no difference in terms of stacking ability between the I or II models of the 1.4X. There IS a difference in the 2X extender models, in that version II permits stacking and version I doesn't (without an interspersed extension tube). But if you have a 2X II, you can stack it with either version of the 1.4X.
  6. The differences between the original and II versions of the Extender 1.4x are limited to weather sealing and improved internal baffles. They are optically identical. It is the (quite significant) differences between the original and II versions of the Extender 2x that affect stacking (with the 1.4x or, of you are misguided enough, with another 2x). You can't stack successive Canon Extender 1.4x.
  7. Great minds not only think alike, but almost simultaneously. What a waste.
  8. Robin: It's FINALLY raining in southern California today, so I'm alternating between cruising
    PN and trying to write a midterm. That's my excuse. By the way I appreciate the accolade
    ("great minds think alike...").
  9. They will all give AF.

    Get the Canon if you can afford it, especially if you are shooting full frame.

    If you're shooting APS-C digital and need to save money, I'd get the lower priced Tamron 1.4x AF.

    I have both, so this isn't just theoretical advice!
  10. Bob,

    I own a Digital Rebel (300D) and plan to upgrade to either 30D or its rumored successor this fall.

    I have listed two Tamron 1.4X TC here (1.4 AF & 1.4X SP AF Pro), which one did you try?


  11. You will love this lens. I had one for a few years; it was my first L lens (I've since bought two others) and the only reason I sold it was that when I went digital with a 1.6-crop body it became too long for my uses. I kinda miss it sometimes, but as I sold it to another photo.net user, I know it's in capable hands.
    I also have the Canon 1.4x II, which I originally bought to use with this lens. Wide open, the lens+TC is noticeably soft. Stopping down a stop fixes that.
    I can't speak to any of the other TCs so I can't say how good they are compared to the Canon one. I doubt any of the others are significantly better, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of them are worse.
    If you can find a used original Canon 1.4x in good condition, consider it. The optics are identical between the two versions. As mentioned above, the new one has improved anti-reflection features, and has dust- and water-resistant sealing. The sealing is irrelevant since the lens itself isn't sealed, and while I'm sure there are cases in which the anti-reflection features help (such as shooting a sunset with the sun in the frame), I suspect that cases in which this actually makes a difference are relatively infrequent.
    One final warning: if this is your first L lens, make sure you have a good income, because it will not be your last. L lenses are addictive. There's no such thing as your only L lens, other than during the time between buying your first and buying your second. Don't say we didn't warn you. I'm lucky; I'm single, so I have no wife to complain about how much money I've spent on L lenses.
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    > Great minds not only think alike, but almost simultaneously. What a waste. <

    Not a complete waste: you made a new point about a possible misguidance :)

    Making me think: 70to200 F2.8 + x2.0II + x2.0II = ?

  13. I agree - buy the canon. Two other factors: First, I believe the lens will lock more securely on the canon - the breech on the convertor is the same as on the camera, and I don't believe that's true for the others brands. Second, the canon will translate the aperture correctly as losing one stop. This is not just a matter of the viefwinder display; the speed of the autofocus motor will change. Some of the others may translate the aperture correctly - but will they do so with future lenses and bodies? I once tried an older Sigma convertor on the 300 4.0 IS and an EOS-3 - and everything locked up! No display, no shutter, no pictures, no nothing!
  14. The Canon 1.4x. It will retain AF but AF will slow down. If you want to make the camera and lens combination attempt to AF at its usual speed you can tape contacts.

    The third party TC's will not slow AF and as a consequence AF may be less reliable.

    In good light the Canon TC gives very reliable AF but it is quite slow to lock on even with the focus limiter on. This may be an issue if you want to use this combination for action shots. AF speed is one reason that Arthur Morris recommends the 400/5.6 over the 300/4 IS + 1.4x.

    I think that the 300/4 IS could be improved vastly simply by giving it a 3 position AF limiter. The close focusing is normally a huge help but it does make AF a little less zippy.
  15. I use the Canon 300 f/4 & 1.4x II on a 20D & 5D, and shooting birds in flight it hunts a lot on the 20D, but locks on real good on the 5D. The IQ is quite good when the focus is dead on, on both.
  16. OK, if you're not already convinced by all these other answers, here's some info I know. I bgt the Canon 1.4 when it first came out back around '95 when I bgt the 70-200 2.8L WHICH IT WAS DESIGNED FOR, read that in one of the photo mags back then. The idea was that the 1.4 would not detract from the optics of the gorgeous 70-200 [one of the best lenses ever produced]. I have not read anything since BUT I would have a hard time believing that Canon would design new lenses away from or not compatible with the 1.4.

    BTW, I paid $495 for it in 95. Last I looked, they were a lot cheaper.
  17. The EF 1.4X II works very well with the 300 f4L IS, a classic combination. This will AF on all Canon bodies.

    The EF 2X II is also very useful but will not AF on non-pro bodies but will AF on 1Dx pro-bodies.

    However, manual focus, even using the standard focus screen on the 20D is not impossible and I have got some nice shots from this combination.
    A couple of examples below both very printable at A3:


  18. Hello!
    I own both a Canon 1.4x II and a Kenko Pro 300 DG. I have to say that there is very little noticeable difference between the two in terms of image quality with the Canon 300 f4 IS which I also own and use for a lot of different subjects. There is two pluses to the Kenko - it's cheaper and you can use it with just about any lens from any manufacturer with the same mount. Yes, it will autofocus with the 300 f4 IS. Weather sealing is not an issue since the 300 f4 IS does not have any. My recommendation? If you have another 90 bucks in you pocket get the Canon. If you'd rather keep your 90 bucks and perhaps invest it in another lens and in the process get a more versatile teleconverter get the Kenko Pro 300 DG.
  19. Dennis:

    If you don't have a 1 series body, you'll lose AF with the 2x converter.

    I'd go with the Canon. I picked up the original 1.4x on ebay for $125 a few months ago. Didn't come with caps. Perfectly fine. Most of the time, they go for around $200. Not sure how I lucked into this one. Picked up the 2x for $150. Still a bargain, but not as good of one. :)

    While the 2x is usable on the 300/4, I much prefer the 1.4. I'm using mine predominantly on a 5D, and it loses autofocus when the max aperture is f/8.

    Hope this helps.

    With the 300/4 + 1.4x:

    <img src="http://www.merrillphotography.com/canid/pics/070211_035b.jpg">


Share This Page