This Canon 1.4x extender test will show you whether it's better to use the Canon EF 1.4X II with your telephoto lens or go without this teleconverter and crop the image afterwards with software to get the same subject size in your final photograph.
Extenders are marketed as a way you can shoot those wildlife, bird, and sports photos without spending huge outlays of money on the typically pricey Canon wildlife, bird, or sports lens.
I tested the 1.4x teleconverter using one of the all-time most popular Canon telephoto zoom lenses, the 70-200mm f/2.8, and a Canon EOS 90D. Look at the "with" and the "without" extender photo comparison below. The photo on the left with the red X in the bottom right corner was taken using the 1.4X II extender.
To make it a meaningful comparison the photos were taken from the exact same distance from the subject. The photo on the right was cropped in Photoshop to match the two subject image sizes.
Your'e looking at both images, side by side, each magnified separately to 100% view in Photoshop.
I was disappointed with the loss of image quality when using the Canon 1.4x II Extender. Even after cropping the photo without the 1.4x magnification from the extender, the photo using just the 70-200mm lens has much better detail.
Perhaps the reason for the superior results (even after cropping) is the outstanding fine detail you get when you use a high resolution sensor, like the 32 megapixel sensor used in the Canon 90D that I used for this test.
I was able to eliminate virtually all of the chromatic aberration and improve the sharpness in the photo taken with the Extender using Photoshop, but I imagine most photographers would prefer not to have to do that.
It's all a personal matter of what is acceptable as sharp for your own tastes. The photo below was taken with the 1.4X Extender combined with the 70-200mm lens, straight out of the camera with no additional sharpening.
Can you tell by looking at it whether a Canon Extender was used? I don't think so. I was able to take this photo from a safe distance without worrying about getting stung by one of the bees that was flying around this hibiscus bush.
As a general rule, the Canon 1.4x extender will fit all 135mm or longer Canon mount lenses as well as some shorter zooms, like the 70-200mm f/2.8 and f/4.0 lenses.
You can see in this diagram of the extender, and the photo further below, that there is a lens element that protrudes out from the end of the barrel. This protrusion prevents it from fitting most wide angle lenses.
You can use the chart below to see if the extender will fit, and if the auto-focus will work with the lens(es) you already have or are thinking of getting in the future.
QUALITY. The alternative to buying one of the Canon Extenders is to invest in a longer lens. For image quality, that's the best choice. For your pocketbook or wallet, it's the worst choice.
FOCUSING. Depending on the camera and lens you start with, you may lose some or all of your auto-focusing capability. With the Canon 100-400mm II lens, only the center spot works for auto focusing. For fast, action photos like birds in flight, the Extender is not a viable choice. You need a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4.0 or faster.
LIGHT. The Canon EF 1.4x Extender II reduces the mount of light making it to your sensor by a factor of 1/2, or one full f/stop of light. In dimly lit scenes, that may mean raising your ISO higher or shooting with a slower shutter speed to compensate for the drop off in light.
YES: Who is the Canon 1.4X Extender good for? The extender makes sense for:
NO: Who should not get the Canon EF Extender II to increase their Canon telephoto lens effective focal length:
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