A few nice 10x magnifying mirror photos I discovered:

Looking right, looking left
10x magnifying mirror
Image by readerwalker
Macy shoppers hunting for their ride. Taken from a hill across a huge parking lot, mainly to see what 10X optical zoom could show so far away. These photos are in impact additional magnified by cropping. By the way, Macy’s red star usually makes me believe of Soviet Russia, which I guess shows that I grew up for the duration of the Cold War. (Also, I occurred to be stationed at SAC headquarters in the course of the Cuban missile crisis.)

100-400 or 70-200+2x tc?
10x magnifying mirror
Image by 1600 Squirrels
Is an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II + 2x teleconverter a substitute for an EF one hundred-400mm f/four.five-five.6L IS?

Far more specifically, is the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II + Extender EF 2x III @ 400mm close adequate in image high quality and functionality to a one hundred-400 to allow one particular to save a thousand dollars by forgoing the latter?

Well, I have an EF 70-200mm f/two.8L IS II, an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-five.6L IS and&mdashjust arrived yesterday&mdashan Extender EF 2x III, so I set about obtaining out which of this redundant triangle was going to get sold/returned.

As usual, my test consisted of pictures of the back of my Casio musical keyboard box, which is around a single-half by a single meter and covered in tiny variety. If you can discover it, the &quot1&quot in &quot(GM Level 1 compatible)&quot in the extremely center of every single frame is 2mm tall.

I tested both the EF 70-200mm f/two.8L IS II and EF 100-400mm f/4.five-five.6L IS, every single with the Extender EF 2x III, the Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 2x DGX (Kenko’s most recent high-end teleconverter), and each teleconverters stacked. For each and every configuration, I took shots at 1-third-stop intervals from wide open to f/16 (f/32 in the case of 1600mm, since wide open is already f/22). I chose the very best of 3 attempts at manual focusing in Live View at 10x magnification on the &quot1&quot in &quot(GM Level 1 compatible)&quot (which is also what I centered every frame on). I shot RAW with reasonably constant lighting (tungsten bulbs), a steady tripod, mirror lockup, remote release, and identical exposure settings. I processed these with identical white balance (based on the 100-400), no lens aberration correction, and, for the purposes of my personal comparison, no sharpening. (However the complete frames shown above have my usual Level 2 sharpening in DPP). Note that my observations are primarily based on hundreds of frames I shot for this test. What you see above are merely the 3 frames most relevant to the question: the 400mm f/five.6 ones.

This is what I saw:

– At 400mm f/five.6, the one hundred-400 is considerably sharper than the 70-200 with either teleconverter. However this distinction totally disappears with the slightest focus error&mdashthe 1st time I ran this test, even though I focused in Reside View at 10x magnification, I concluded that the 70-200 with either TC was about equal in sharpness to the one hundred-400.
– The Kenko has slightly more resolution than the Canon TC.
– The Canon has noticeably much better contrast/significantly less ghosting than the Kenko.
– The Kenko has a noticeably yellow cast compared to the Canon TC.
– The 70-200 + Canon TC also has a yellow cast compared to the 100-400, but this seems to be at least in component due to the bare 70-200 being warmer than the bare one hundred-400.
– The Kenko has much more lateral chromatic aberration than the Canon TC. Canon DPP includes a profile to semi-automatically correct CA from the 70-200II+2xIII, but does not have one particular for the Kenko 2x DGX.
– The Kenko has much harsher bokeh than the Canon TC, causing slightly-out-of-concentrate locations (e.g., the prime of the frame here) to appear ugly.
– The Kenko shows substantially much more vignetting than the Canon TC, which also has less vignetting than the 100-400 at the exact same aperture.
– The one hundred-400 has important pincushion distortion @ 400mm. The 70-200 also has a fair quantity @ 200mm, but the TCs partially counteract this with their barrel distortion, yielding a barely-noticeable moustache distortion&mdashagain, correctable in DPP for the Canon TC, but not the Kenko.
– Either teleconverter on either lens yields substantially higher image quality than uprezzing either bare lens.
– With the 100-400, stacking teleconverters yields practically the same (maybe ever-so-slightly higher) image top quality as uprezzing either single-teleconverter image.
– With the 70-200, stacking teleconverters yields slightly higher image high quality than uprezzing either single-teleconverter image.
– With either TC the 70-200 frames substantially tighter than the 100-400. The concentrate distance was ~6.3m, which appears to be closer to infinity than MFD for each lenses. I suspect that the rumors are accurate: the 100-400 falls short of 400mm, even at infinity focus. But here’s the take-house point: the one hundred-400 is no longer the longest image-stabilized, handholdable Canon lens that will autofocus on non-1D bodies: the 70-200II+2xTC in fact has a lot more attain.

Other factors I observed during testing:

– As Canon warns, the EF 2x III greatly slows down the AF of the prime lens&mdashsupposedly quartering it. Nevertheless, the 70-200 focuses substantially more quickly than the 100-400, so whilst a 70-200II+2xIII focuses noticeably slower than a bare one hundred-400, it really is not four occasions slower. If my memory serves, a complete rack requires about as extended with the 2x TC as it does on an EF 70-300mm f/four-5.6 IS.
– AF accuracy of the 70-200II+2xIII is quite good&mdashoften much better than manual focus with 10x magnification in Reside View.
– The EF III is substantially greater-constructed than the Kenko DGX. It is more solid and the fit is greater&mdashunlike with the Canon, there is a disturbing quantity of play and flex with the Kenko.
– The paint colour of the EF III matches the 100-400, but not quite the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, which is much more &quoteggshell&quot. (Curiously, this appears to mirror the difference in color cast of the optics of the two lenses.) Of course, the EF III is a significantly far better match with either lens than the black Kenko DGX.

So is the 70-200II+2xTC a substitute for the 100-400? For me&mdashwith the massive caveat that I have not however taken any actual non-test images with the 2x III&mdashI believe it is.

If you are a hardcore pixel peeper with deep pockets, possibly not. But then that begs the question of if you will be satisfied with the bare one hundred-400&mdashnot one of the sharper L lenses&mdasheither.

If you are like me and location a premium on portability, versatility, and an additional grand in your pocket, then, offered you currently have or have been going to get a 70-200II anyways, go for the 2x TC.

As for the 2x III versus the Kenko 2x DGX: regardless of the fact that the Kenko is substantially much more transportable and really resolves a lot more, I will probably preserve the 2x III, as it is clearly superior in other respects.

What it comes down to for me is I can not fit each the 70-200 and one hundred-400 in my camera bag (and wouldn’t want to lug both even if I could), so I constantly have to select to bring a single or the other. Because the 70-200 is helpful in so a lot of far more situations, I virtually always opt for the 70-200. With a 2x TC, I get my 200-400mm variety back without having possessing to sacrifice low-light or shallow-DoF capability.

But then I’ve owned a 2x TC for going on a year now, and I nearly in no way take it with me, let alone use it. Largely that is because the Kenko’s autofocus is not dependable. Partly it is due to the reduction in image quality beyond just the effects of magnifying 2x. Partly it is since I do not feel comfy with the slightly flimsy Kenko getting the glue between my costly camera and expensive lens. Partly it really is due to the fact that I hardly ever shoot in full daylight anymore and hence hardly ever encounter a circumstance exactly where it really is worthwhile to trade two stops for more focal length.

The EF Extender III does not aid with the last tradeoff, which is inherent in a 2x teleconverter, but in all the other elements it fixes the Kenko’s issues. Even though the 2x III is far far more costly than the Kenko DGX, if it provides me the self-assurance to actually use it more than the 100-400, thus permitting me to sell the massive L lens, the extender will have been a bargain.

That is the theory anyway. Let’s see how it functions out in practice.

Good 10x Magnifying Mirror pictures
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