Stacking TCs and Canon 100-400L v Sigma 50-500

Started Feb 23, 2011 | Discussions thread
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markskarpo
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Stacking TCs and Canon 100-400L v Sigma 50-500
Feb 23, 2011

I recently evaluated upgrading my 4 year old Sigma telephoto lenses with new Canon lenses on the T2i that I love. First, I compared my non-OS Sigma 50-500 against a brand new Canon 100-400L. Wow, the 100-400L has far better IQ with faster and more accurate AF in contrast as well as Phase mode in one shot and servo. And, IS definitely helps handheld. I was impressed, but before committing I ordered 5 more 100-400Ls just to make sure I had a great copy. Kept the best 100-400L, returned the rest, and sold my old beloved 50-500 on eBay.

I then turned my attention to my 4 year old Sigma 1.4x and 2x TCs and ordered the new Canon 1.4x III and 2x III TCs to compare. As expected, based upon price alone, the Canon TCs are superior to the Sigma TCs … shooting RAW on tripod, with MLU, 2 sec delay, and pixel peeping in ACR.

However, when stacking TCs, Canon has a problem. The Canon 1.4x III does not fit onto the Canon 2x III, so stacking those sharp TCs is not possible Whereas the Sigma 1.4x will stack onto either the Sigma 2x or Canon 2x III TCs, and here I was surprised. The Sigma 2x + Sigma 1.4x stack was excellent on my new 100-400L, whereas the Canon 2x III + Sigma 1.4x stack was mediocre at best. The stacked Sigma TCs on the 100-400L provide a 1120mm f16 lens that is very sharp and a great value. And, for distant stationary objects, long and sharp matter far more than speed.

Thus, at this point, the 100-400L is a keeper, but I can't decide whether to return the Canon III TCs or not. I'm leaning toward returning them as that $1,000 might be better spent elsewhere. Your comments are welcome.
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karpo.smugmug.com

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