Supporting Canon 100-400 L with 1.4 TC ??
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    kiwiklicks
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    Supporting Canon 100-400 L with 1.4 TC ??

    by kiwiklicks » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:21 am

    Hello all,
    Looking for a bit of assistance with supporting my 100-400 l lens.
    Shooting in the afternoon lately I have been struggling to get sharp images from my lens. I think it is more technique and support.
    Struggling to get shutter above 400-500/s and having to up ISO to 600-800.
    These are all handheld also.

    The best shots I have captured are with my 40 D - 100-400 @ 350-400mm ,Iso is up around 640 and shutter 250-300. On a monopod
    IQ is not completely to my standard.
    Image

    Image

    So used to using this lens mid-day light for Drags and Circuit racing!
    I could not complain there, with the IQ.

    I am now looking at an affordable (cheap) Gimbel head to go on my Man-tripod and replace the 488rc2 Ball head.
    I am finding to get the reach I fit my 1.4TC which makes a very long lens to support at 518mm f8 on a crop sensor.

    Advice on a cheap gimbel head?
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    by beeb » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:28 pm

    If you don't mind me asking, why are you using such a long lens to try and do macro shots?

    I would imagine the minimum focusing distance on the 100-400 would not be particularly close to begin with, and the TC wouldn't be helping either.

    Anyhow - even using the 100-400, why don't you try using the lens without the TC? Even if you're shooting at f/8 without it, you should still be getting more light coming through the lens without it (thus shorter exposures), than with it attached...

    If anything I would be looking at getting an extension tube to be able to focus closer to the subject to help fill the frame better (instead of using the extra zoom). A 12mm tube lets you focus a fair amount closer, while still being able to focus quite a way out (though not to the horizon), whereas the 25mm tube is a lot more limiting on the far side...

    The other thing is that even with the IS of the 100-400mm, if you're shooting on the long end any camera shake (even slight camera "pivoting", ie: the lens swinging aroung slightly as you hold the camera) will be A LOT more noticeable and detrimental to image sharpness working at such short focusing distances.

    As a general rule though, I don't think any long zoom lens will give great IQ doing macro shots. I tried using my 70-200mm 2.8 IS mk.II when I had it to do Macro shots, and it was miles of the macro IQ of the 100mm IS L Macro I still have.

    I don't know if this is all technically correct (or any of it, lol...), but I shoot quite a bit of macro stuff and that's about all I can think of - Hopefully it's some help! :wink:
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    by heartyfisher » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:52 am

    A TC 1.4 does help in a way.. bec the Minimum focusing distance does not change. and you do get a 1.4x magnification with a TC1.4 however the image does degrade as the flaws of the lens are also multiplied by 1.4.

    I would agree that extension tubes are the better way to go. They do not introduce more glass in between the subject and the sensor. Just make sure you use one that is suitable for your style. and lense.. if the extension tube is too long the focus point could be INSIDE your lense ! :-) .. another interesting thing about using an extension tubes is that you get a larger magnification when you zoom down! may seem counter intuitive that the image is larger at 70mm then at 200mm :-)
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    by kiwiklicks » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:33 pm

    Thanks for the replies,
    I was not aiming at macro shots in particular.
    These just so happen to be samples of the IQ.
    At 400mm I can fill the frame.
    I have a 100mm 2.8 macro lens but I can not get close enough to moths and butterflies before they fly off.

    I am starting a bit of wild birding, trying to use the magic hours of light but finding the light retricting on the lens.
    I went to the local pond yesterday 2pm-3pm and came away with some fantastic sharp shots. I got the shutter speed up with good light.
    Even using the 1.4 TC I kept good shutters.

    I still need the 1.4 TC to get the reach and fill the frame and this is where I think I would benefit from a gimbal head. Shutter speed drops and If I shoot later than 4 pm the light is too dim.
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