R5 with RF100-500L Crop or Extender 1.4x which is best ?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP axlotl Senior Member • Posts: 2,163
Re: R5 with RF100-500L Crop or Extender 1.4x which is best ?

R2D2 wrote:

I prefer the results of the 1.4x TC by far! It virtually lives on my own 100-500.


Thanks to all those who responded to my original post. The discussion has been interesting and productive.  When I began testing with the extender I imagined that image quality would be better with the extender than without. I had to revise my expectations when the test results started coming through.

To add to my original observations it seems to me that there are three main issues in play here

1. The user experience. If the extender is used it has to be purchased (around $950 in Australia) Then we have to decide whether to carry the lens with the extender mounted or mount it on site. There are issues with either choice.

My tests show that with the extender mounted, follow focus on moving subjects is slightly impaired and stabiliser effectiveness is noticeably impaired.  In addition we are always operating with a one stop aperture deficit.

The other issue with the extender is that it limits focal length to 420-700mm if no crop is employed. This is frustrating as the native lens can be very useful in the 100-400mm focal length range.

2. Information. The function of the equipment is to convey an image of the subject to the output file with as much visual information as possible. All my tests with a range of subjects in a variety of circumstances produce the same result which is that the amount of subject information which can be captured is about the same with or without the extender.

3. Rendition. Several respondents to my original post said they did not care for the rendition given of the crop version. Fair enough, the extender version was smoother, the crop version more granular. However the rendition can be altered pretty much at will in post processing. A different version is provided above. This can readily be adjusted to suit any specific image and personal preference.

An argument can be made for or against using the extender depending on personal preferences.

If the extender gave us markedly better image quality than simply cropping then I would use and recommend it.

But that appears not to be the case so now I have a nice new extender looking for a purpose.

Such is life.


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