Is it better to crop or use a converter.

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clif2
clif2's picture
Is it better to crop or use a converter.

I have a 300mm F2 lens and use it almost exclusively with a 2x converter, I have taken some good shots with this combination, but am wondering whether using the lens at 300mm and cropping would give me a more detailed shot than using the converter would and also under less than ideal lighting such as dark rainforest or very early morning etc. would cropping be the better option in this case.If  anyone has tried this out I would like their opinions please.

sparrow
sparrow's picture

I think it depends on the converter I was using a kenko x2 on my sigma 300mmf4 and wasn't very happy with the IQ I now have a sigma 1.5 and a tamron x2 both give me good IQ in good light or with a flash extender.

You could test it yourself take a photo of some newspaper or a test sheet with and without the converter then crop the photos and see how they look,not exactly like in the field but you could even do it under different light and see witch gives the best results.

clif2
clif2's picture

Thanks Sparrow, I should do some tests and see, newspaper sounds about right for the purpose. Strange how different converters work. I have the same brand 1.4x and 2x and I get better photos out of the 2x than the 1.4x,  the 1.4x is supposed to be a way lot better.

Regards

               Shane

Windhover
Windhover's picture

If it's a Canon EF 2x and Canon EF 300/2.8L then IQ should be just fine.

Personally, I will always choose to use my 2x rather than crop, regardless HOW many megapixel a camera I may have. It gives you the best image quality if you crop as little as possible. Of course not everyone's needs may be so specific, so at the end of the day whatever works for everyone is fine.

Stopping down 2/3 or more stops gives me very nice results despite me hearing a lot of folk complaining about 2x not making sharp images.

clif2
clif2's picture

Thanks Akos, I am not using Canon gear at the moment and I know that their converters work very well with specific Lenses and I believe your 500mm is one of the chosen ones. I am using an Olympus 150mm F2 (300mm with the crop factor) and the 1.4x is supposed to be their best one and with that I should be getting at least slightly sharper images than with the 2x that's why I enquired about cropping verses converters. It doesn't bother me using the 2x but I know one day I would like to try stacking them. While on that note I think you said that you put the 1.4x on the camera body and then the 2x. I always attempt to stop down an extra stop F5.6 than the maximum, it does make a difference. I have been teetering with changing to Canon for some time now due to the noisey sensor but I will trial out the ETTR method and try and reduce a bit of noise that way, It's a bit like how I used to expose for slide film. So thanks for your input because I assumed that cropping would be worse in most circumstances.

Regards

               Shane

Windhover
Windhover's picture

No worries Cliff. Understandably, I only use Canon (not a free plug for the company) and love the 500/4 as it's one of their sharpest lenses. It takes even the Canon EF 2x MkII converter very, very well (they now have MkIII converters with the redesigned and astronomically expensive super teles).

I understand the Nikon 600/4VR is super with a 2x (newest Nikon 2x) as my good friend uses this and says it's fantastic. The same apparently cannot be said about Nikon's 500/4VR and the new Nikon 2x.

Not sure about Olympus, every time I hear the name I am only thinking macro photography as they make some super, dooper macro glass. Well at least in the film days.

In my opinion, it's always best to go Canon or Nikon due to the availability of accessories made not just by the manufacturers themselves, but also third parties. THe second hand market is also good for these two brands.

Just my 2c.

clif2
clif2's picture

Thanks Akos, I am starting to have a rethink about crossing over to Canon, as the lenses from olympus are very good to exceptional, the AF and noisey sensor are starting to bug me. I know I have missed some really great shots with AF having a mind of its own. The cost of changing is a major consideration and I would probably go with a 7D but it is getting a bit long in the tooth, so if they bring out an updated 7D then my bank account will suffer and then there is the L series expense as well. Got some homework to do.

Regards

               Shane

Windhover
Windhover's picture

Whatever you do, don't think that you have to have the latest Canon camera. The 7D may be old in true digital sense, but it's still a kick ass camera and getting a good quality lens is of more importance.

clif2
clif2's picture

I agree that a good lens is my prime goal and the 7D is a good camera but suffers with some noise issues as well and I am over noisey sensors, I don't think it will be long and Canon will bring out a killer replacement for the 7D ( fingers crossed ) and then I will  be in Nirvana with great AF and less noise.

Regards

               Shane

Windhover
Windhover's picture

Hi Shane

I have a question. What makes you think the 7D is noisy? Reason being, I know of many people, who do use that very body and it is OK even at ISO1600, not that I would usually choose to shoot at that high ISO setting, but it produces very good files.

I use a camera far older than the 7D and have no problems managing noise, it's all about how the RAW file is captured in the first place. The proof is in the pudding right here:

http://www.amatteroflight.com/wordpress/?p=417

If you know anyone with a 7D, do try to have a play. smiley

clif2
clif2's picture

Thanks Akos, I have seen that article you produced and it is very informative. I do understand the principle of ETTR as I know that a very large portion of digital information is contained in the Highlights to the Mid-Tones and by ETTR you maximise all of the data from the sensor instead of it being discarded or not used effectively. I will need to make good preparations before I shoot, because as you know things can get a bit frantic in a shoot and you don't get time to review the histogram. But like all things, persistance and practise will make it seem like second nature after a while. You have given me impetus to not be slack and improve my photography, so thanks for that and I will see how I go.

I have read a few articles here and there about some owners complaining about noise with their 7D's, I don't have real world experience with them, which would be the real proof  about it.

Regards

               Shane

Windhover
Windhover's picture

Hands on would be far better than reading what "some" people complain about on the internet. While there were problems with the AF systems of the 1DMkIII cameras and Canon ended up fixing them, so many just never stopped complaining about HOW bad the camera was. In fact, many skilled photographers were able to create more than wonderful images with a so-called dud camera. In my opinion, there are still a lot of people out there taking photos without knowing how to properly use their equipment and understand the technical side and limitations. Many forget that digital photography is not the same as shooting film. Remember that ten years or more ago there were nowhere near as many people taking and sharing photos, because film, especially quality transparency, was expensive enough and one would really have to know how to take photos and understand about exposure and stuff. Nowadays, with the market being flooded with good quality DSLR cameras, far more people take up wildlife photography and think they suddenly know all there is to know and have the (laughable) Pro accounts on flickr, the red bubble artist titles etc.. yet some I have seen don't even know the difference between basic colours! Don't laugh, they're out there and will tell you that they are competent. They don't worry about the right exposure, the right technique, the right skill as Photoshop will fix that. It's crap! I know you have a firm grasp of the technicals because you mentioned you know the ETTR principle. So you are well ahead of the hordes of flickr pros et al. wink

I know that I would not personally listen to too much that is being said online when people complain about stuff.

Sorry about the rant, I mean no disrespect to anyone, just presenting my very personal experience and opinion. Hope that is allowed! smiley

sparrow
sparrow's picture

Windhover I find your "rants" more informative and entertaining than any of the so called experts on the photo forums,I have been taking photos for over 40 years and like you had to go through the transition into digital (relunctantly at first) Its been a learning curve especially for a old techniphobe  like me, and I'm still learning ,there's always something new and I totaly agree people should try to learn how to properly operate the equipment they are useing and find out as much about proper technique as well learning the technical side of things.

One of my pet hates is "don't worry you can fix it in photoshop"and I hear all the time from people, if I had a better camera I could take better photos the same ones who say " whats a histogram ?"

I realy enjoyed you post on shooting to the right ,and eagely await your next "rant"

A colleague uses a 1DMKIII when I asked about the problem with the AF she said what problem!

clif2
clif2's picture

Your opinions are always allowed, that is just respect and democracy. I have looked up some more reviews on the 7D and noise is not an issue, so what you said about the crap that is said on some of those other forums I agree with you most definately. I find wildlife photography is very challenging and the most enjoyable because of it. When I get around to making my decision about the camera, I would like to ask your opinions on some lenses, so I will keep you posted, thanks again Akos.

Regards

               Shane

Windhover
Windhover's picture

Thank you guys, just to confirm that expose to the right works, for the lack of ANY bird subjects I used my doggie Biscuit as a model again yesterday morning. Light was very good, that is sunny, and I took test shots at all native ISOs of my camera from 50 - 3200. I did the same exposure profile for all ISOs. That is -1, 0, +1, +1 2/3 and +2. The below shot is at ISO3200 with +2 stops overexposure of the RAW file, reduced during conversion. Check out the (lack of) noise! I didn't apply any filters to reduce noise. Click the link below to get the full 1280-pixel wide shot.

http://amatteroflight.com/gallery2/d/6844-1/_AGL0278.jpg

clif2
clif2's picture

Thanks for your efforts and taking the time to share your know-how. That is a nice looking dog Akos and I clearly can see the benefits of ETTR.

Regards

               Shane

Monti
Monti's picture

Hi Windhover.

I'm hearing everything you say regarding not knowing one's equipment. I used to love doing urban landscapes and abstracts on a beautiful 2nd hand Nikon FA using all prime AIS lenses and a slide film. I got reasonably good at this but buildings bless them..... They don't move. You just have to wait for the right light.

Having recently got my hands on a Nikon D90 and having also recently developed a taste for photographing birds I have found out just exactly how much I don't know.

Your writings though, I have to say, point me in the right direction for research. It is a big learning curve but I'm determined to get there.

Thanks for the time and effort that you put into your posts. I'm sure I may speak for more than myself when I say that they are of great help.

Warm regards

Monti.

P.S. The proof of your knowledge is in your shots........ Beautiful work.

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