M6 @ 1803.2mm... Rooftops + Jupiter's moons (PICS)

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Marco Nero
Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 5,649
M6 @ 1803.2mm... Rooftops + Jupiter's moons (PICS)
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EOSM + EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II + EF 2x III Extender + EF12 + EF 1.4x III Extender.
(1803.2mm equiv with the lens, both extenders and APS-C crop)

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I saw a few comments here recently where folks wondered what the point of mounting larger EF lenses to the EOSM was. Because (presumably) it was against the practice of making the camera system lighter and smaller. But adding an extra 1.61x (eqiv) increase to the focal length due to the APS-C sensor crop is just part of the benefit. The DPAF on the newer EOSM camera bodies seems to make the process of using longer telephoto and macro lenses less of a chore.  I've found that the EF lenses are a LOT of fun to play with on the original EOSM and I'm really enjoying the speed difference with the DPAF on the new sensors being used on the M5/M6/M100/M50 etc. 
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I would have so say that the most common complaint about the EOSM series (when it was released) was that it was always considered to have a slow AF. I felt that perhaps this was a little harsh becuse the camera was still quite capable... but the difference that DPAF makes has changed that tune. Now, for some reason, the only complaint I'm hearing now is that there's not enough lenses for the EOSM series. I feel that Canon have their bases covered with a modest collection of fast, wide and long and Macro EF-M lenses coupled with the ability to shoot with any EF and EF-S lens via the adapter. Add the other non-Canon lenses withe EF and EF-M lens mounts and there's a lot to choose from out there.
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One of the benefits on playing with different lenses (especially unconventional ones), is that it increases the amount of fun involved. I see that a few members here have had great success with the use of EF lenses on their M cameras recently. There's been some great shots posted.  I recently used the EOS M6 with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II lens with both the EF 2x III and the EF 1.4x III Extenders stacked together to enable a focal length equivalent (combined with the APS-C crop of 1.61x) of 1803.2mm. To my astonishment the Auto Focus worked just fine - although it was noticeably slower than if I was to remove any extender from the set.  But considering the staggering expense of a 500/600/800mm EF lens this was a great compromise for the lunar shots I was able to get (below).
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One of the power pole insulators in front of the lens - see above .  (1803.2mm equiv)

Thermal distortion on the more distant subjects (1803.2mm equiv)

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For my outdoor tests, any passing cars slowed down then they saw me with the camera on the side of the road because they assumed I was setting up a speed camera.  But a couple of curious people walking past seemed interested in what I was doing.  The lens is heavy enough as it is without adding another kilogram of extra weight.  But it's still lighter than the longer zoom super lenses from Canon.  The only sacrifice would be access to wider apertures. Contrast was well controlled.  There's nothing too serious about these images but I was curious to see how the system would perform with the M6.  If I had to work with just one extender it would be the EF 1.4x III because I already get an added magnification from the APS-C sensor with DPAF.  Auto Focus was slower but quite consistently accurate.  Not ideal but still much much faster than using just the lens alone on a FF DSLR with only the Live View for focus.  It was MUCH fast than that option.
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I think that adding multiple extenders is certainly going to take a toll on the image quality although its going to be degraded when you attempt to view subjects that are far away due to thermal fluttering from fluctuations in the air. These distortions really do strip away any detail. But on subjects that are closer to the lens (pics below), the images were acceptable, even though the distances involved would have been enough to lose some detail.  But shots of subjects much further away resulted in less than ideal results from the air movement.  I had to use the EF12 Spacer to enable me to mount both the extenders to one another since the Mk III Extenders can no longer be stacked due to lens protrusion.  Also, Canon have previously stated that they do not recommend the stacking of multiple Extenders due to the potential for communication problems with the lens and camera.  It seems to work fine though. I could handheld shots taken in daylight and also of the moon at night, due to the excellent 4 stop Image Stabilizer on this lens.  These shots were all fairly bright so Noise Reduction wasn't really needed on any of these pictures.  I did use NR on the two shots taken with the iPhone of the Camera+lens itself.
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The receiver on a neighbor's satellite dish. (1803.2mm equiv). Some color fringing here.

A rather detailed view of the moss and lichen growing on a neighbor's rooftop. (1803.2mm equiv)

A plant in my own garden. One of the thorns was used as the focus target. (1803.2mm equiv)

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MOONSCAPE
The only reason I wanted to try using two Extenders is because it 'seems to work'... but the motivation was so that I might capture shots on the moon much closer than usual.  Ideally I ought to obtain a telescope to mount the EOSM camera to with a tracking system and multiple exposures (to increase DR and add detail that is otherwise lost from atmospheric thermal fluctuation. 
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As it was, I think I got lucky with the image below because the Moon wasn't quite overhead and the warm air was causing it to flex and wriggle when I used the M6's magnify feature.  You wouldn't know it looking at the crop or the original but the image wasn't sharpened up because I found that the process would add a peculiar "peppering" noise to the picture.  And noise reduction didn't seem to have any beneficial effect either.  I had to run some NR on Jupiter and then enhanced it slightly to reveal more contrast in the banding.  Jupiters own moons were all but single pixels of light with no color or detail of their own at this distance.  I chose to leave the chromatic color fringing in place on both Jupiter and the moon because I thought it added a more natural splash of color to the already colorless lunar surface.

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Moon with Jupiter - 100% crop (2000 pixels wide) with no reduction. Jupiter was moved closer to the moon to squeeze it into the same frame. (1803.2mm equiv)

Exposing fro Jupiter (and its 3 visible moons) required two separate shots with different exposures.

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Because the air was quite fluid and affected the image quality, I was unable to lock focus accurately using the lend handheld.  Jupiter was literally wriggling when I watched it on the Magnify feature on the M6 Display.  So I tried adding a tripod to allow me to manually focus and that wasn't perfect either because I couldn't be certain if the lens was correctly focused or not.  I could see Jupiter as a bluish orb with very faint banding visible but the edges weren't sharp enough to see what I was doing.  In the end, I used the moon to lock the focus (using AF) and then I adjusted the exposure to match Jupiter.  A second image was needed to capture the very faint moons of Jupiter (see image above).  I've uploaded the full image (below).  Not sure I'll try again until the dead of winter here when the cold air is clearer. These were shot from my doorstep.  I got bitten on the elbow by a mosquito and called it a night.  I think it took me about 7 minutes to walk outside, take 10 shots and then retreat indoors again.  Most of that time was wasted on trying to focus on Jupiter after spending at least 2 minutes looking for it through the LCD.  I should have mounted the gun sight to the hotshoe again and used it as a finderscope.
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FULL image - Single exposure of the Moon - with Jupiter & its own moons nearby (1803.2mm equiv)

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Regards,
Marco Nero.

 Marco Nero's gear list:Marco Nero's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Canon PowerShot G1 X Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS M +15 more
Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II Canon EOS M6 Canon Extender EF 1.4x III Canon Extender EF 2x III
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