New zoom lens vs extender

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
Neen303 New Member • Posts: 3
New zoom lens vs extender

I’m a VERY amateur Mum photographer of my (adult) kids’ sports - mostly field hockey. I currently photograph their games with my Canon EOS 60D with a Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8 L USM lens that I’ve owned for seven or eight years.

While I’m mostly happy with the shots I take, I’m thinking about trying to buy something with a longer zoom. Spending thousands to buy a 400mm+ zoom is out of the question - I’m looking at the very cheap end of the market.

So, I’m trying to decide between buying a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens or getting a Canon 1.4x EF Teleconverter Extender Mark III to use with my existing lens. The extender is about double the price of the 75-300mm lens, but I’ve read good reviews about using it with L series zoom lenses like the one I already have.

The question is, am I wasting my time (and money!) thinking about either of these solutions? Will the increase to 300mm come at the expense of image quality if I buy that lens? What about the extender? Is it a reasonable solution to achieving what I want, with less loss of quality than using a cheap lens? Or do I just stick with my 70-200mm and try to manoeuvre myself closer to the action?

Thanks in advance for your opinions and advice!

Janine

Canon EOS 60D
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jvc1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,132
Re: New zoom lens vs extender
1

Neen303 wrote:

I’m a VERY amateur Mum photographer of my (adult) kids’ sports - mostly field hockey. I currently photograph their games with my Canon EOS 60D with a Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8 L USM lens that I’ve owned for seven or eight years.

While I’m mostly happy with the shots I take, I’m thinking about trying to buy something with a longer zoom. Spending thousands to buy a 400mm+ zoom is out of the question - I’m looking at the very cheap end of the market.

So, I’m trying to decide between buying a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens or getting a Canon 1.4x EF Teleconverter Extender Mark III to use with my existing lens. The extender is about double the price of the 75-300mm lens, but I’ve read good reviews about using it with L series zoom lenses like the one I already have.

The question is, am I wasting my time (and money!) thinking about either of these solutions? Will the increase to 300mm come at the expense of image quality if I buy that lens? What about the extender? Is it a reasonable solution to achieving what I want, with less loss of quality than using a cheap lens? Or do I just stick with my 70-200mm and try to manoeuvre myself closer to the action?

Thanks in advance for your opinions and advice!

Janine

Whatever you do, don't buy the 75-300. It's widely considered to be one of the worst lenses Canon makes. There are a lot of options. The 70-300 USM is said to be very good. I've seen many posts in these forums saying that the Canon TC on your lens works very well too. Those are sometime available in Canon's Refurb. Store. You could look for a used or refurb. Canon 100-400 MkI, or the EF 400 f/5.6 (no zoom though). Going bigger you could look for a used Sigma / Tamron 150-600 too. Lots to think about, good luck with your decision.

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Norm Neely Senior Member • Posts: 2,554
Re: New zoom lens vs extender

Neen303 wrote:

While I’m mostly happy with the shots I take, I’m thinking about trying to buy something with a longer zoom. Spending thousands to buy a 400mm+ zoom is out of the question - I’m looking at the very cheap end of the market.

A used 2x extender mark ii $269 at MPB Camera. that will give you 400mm at F/5.6

https://www.mpb.com/en-us/used-equipment/used-photo-and-video/used-lenses/used-canon-fit-lenses/canon-ef-2x-ii-extender/sku-1164377/

For hockey the reach would work nicely.

A 1.4 extender will give you 280mm at F/4

MPB Camera has a 7 day return policy you have to pay shipping charges on returns ( I look at that as a rental fee if do a return) . They also have a 6 months warranty.

Ps. You can also compare used Prices at B&H photo and KEH Camera.

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Norm

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John Crowe
John Crowe Senior Member • Posts: 1,174
Re: New zoom lens vs extender

Your lens with a 1.4x is pretty much better than any 300mm zoom that Canon has ever made.  Your lens with a 2x is almost as good as the original Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS.

I would be very tempted to go with an EF 2x.  For the price of one new extender you could probably buy both the EF 1.4x II and EF 2x II used. I doubt you could ever see the difference with the III version.  The II versions are the only stackable ones.  The version I is virtually identical to II except the II is weather sealed.

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OP Neen303 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: New zoom lens vs extender

Thank you all for the suggestions! Yes, lots to think about.

I should have said, I live in Australia, so I’ll do a bit of searching on prices around my area. I’m not sure that the refurb market is as big here. The II version of the 2x sounds interesting... will definitely look into that, as well as maybe looking further at used lenses. I guess used (from a private seller) makes me a bit nervous, as I’m not exactly an expert, so I’m worried that I will be buying someone else’s problem!

lehill
lehill Veteran Member • Posts: 6,114
Re: New zoom lens vs extender

Neen303 wrote:

I’m a VERY amateur Mum photographer of my (adult) kids’ sports - mostly field hockey. I currently photograph their games with my Canon EOS 60D with a Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8 L USM lens that I’ve owned for seven or eight years.

While I’m mostly happy with the shots I take, I’m thinking about trying to buy something with a longer zoom. Spending thousands to buy a 400mm+ zoom is out of the question - I’m looking at the very cheap end of the market.

So, I’m trying to decide between buying a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens or getting a Canon 1.4x EF Teleconverter Extender Mark III to use with my existing lens. The extender is about double the price of the 75-300mm lens, but I’ve read good reviews about using it with L series zoom lenses like the one I already have.

The question is, am I wasting my time (and money!) thinking about either of these solutions? Will the increase to 300mm come at the expense of image quality if I buy that lens? What about the extender? Is it a reasonable solution to achieving what I want, with less loss of quality than using a cheap lens? Or do I just stick with my 70-200mm and try to manoeuvre myself closer to the action?

Thanks in advance for your opinions and advice!

Janine

This review of the Sigma 100-400mm has a comparison section with the 70-300's, 100-400's, and 150-600's lenses. It's a good overview of the lenses in your sphere of interest.

If there aren't any satisfactory lenses mentioned in that comparison section, you should probably stay where you are. The 75-300mm doesn't do very well at the long end.

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Lance H

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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 21,289
Re: New zoom lens vs extender

Are you shooting from the side of the pitch or the stands? Do you shoot any night games under floodlights?

I shoot soccer games, sometimes under floodlights, with a lens that is pretty well equivalent to your 70-200 f/2.8 (40-150mm f/2.8 on M4/3). I am shooting from the pitch side. In good light I use a 1.4x TC to give me better range for shots on the other side of the pitch. In poor light I shoot without the TC and just crop images where necessary - I am just shooting for the web so quality isn't critical, I just have to try to get shots of all the goals.

Your current Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 is an excellent lens for sports. Personally, for shooting from the side of the pitch, I would look for a used 1.4x TC. Apart from Canon, Kenko used to make quite a good TC for Canon lenses. I owned one - I think that it was the Kenko Pro 300.

If you shoot from the stands, I would look for a used Canon 100-400mm Mk1 or a used Sigma 100-400mm, but they won't be much use for floodlit matches or indoor sports.  As somebody else has already said, don't buy the Canon 70-200mm.

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Chris R

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