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340 of 371 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To work well this requires good light, fast lenses, new processors, little cropping and small prints
A starting consideration:
It stands to reason that an extender at a few hundred pounds cannot possibly do anything like the job of a longer lens costing thousands of pounds.
If it did then Canon would soon be out of business!

So exactly what is on offer here and what is not?
A considered and truthful opinion from a professional photographer and...
Published on July 29, 2012 by I. Giles

versus
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only M Focus with 1.4 Extender on Canon 6d/EF100-400 combo
I purchased the Telephoto converter for my EF 100 - 400 zoom lens which I use on a Canon 6D. Turns out Autofocus does NOT work which makes the converter practically useless to me. Once I add the converter to camera, focus mode shifts to M Focus.

Reviews I read did not suggest this to be an issue.
Published 9 months ago by JAW


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340 of 371 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To work well this requires good light, fast lenses, new processors, little cropping and small prints, July 29, 2012
By 
This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
A starting consideration:
It stands to reason that an extender at a few hundred pounds cannot possibly do anything like the job of a longer lens costing thousands of pounds.
If it did then Canon would soon be out of business!

So exactly what is on offer here and what is not?
A considered and truthful opinion from a professional photographer and his supplier.
Not everyone will be bothered by these professional provisos but everyone should understand the issues before considering purchase as follows:

........................

Firstly the hard facts:

1. This extender loses one stop of light which means that only 1/2 of the normal light from the lens will reach the sensor
2. Only series 1 cameras will only give auto focus at basic f8.0 or wider which means that the slowest lens possible for auto focus will be f5.6
3. Non-series 1 cameras will only give auto focus at basic f5.6 or wider which means that the slowest lens possible for auto focus will be f4.0
4. Both the f4.0 or f5.6 basic apertures with the extender fitted will increasingly be relatively slow to latch on to focus in less than good light

[...] gives in-depth reviews of all lenses and full explanations of the above facts.

...............................................
My professional experience

This extender was bought primarily to extend the use of the 300mm F2.8 and the 70-200mm F.8 lenses. I had previously owned the original version of this extender and then the Mark 2. This Mark 3 continues the improvement although it must be said that differences are slight and you need large images to fully see any real change. All three extenders have real matters of compromise to consider and these apply to this latest model too.

The real issue concerns the loss of image quality and performance compared to full-length lenses and whether such losses are acceptable enough for the purchaser's purposes. I am not so sure that the difference between the mark 2 and this mark 3 will be readily apparent except under the most demanding circumstances coupled with cropping. Simply upgrading may not be worthwhile compared to buying this extender for the first time.

The intended advantage of using this extender with lenses constructed with wide enough open apertures is that you get greater magnification with full automatic features but at a much lower total weight (and cost) of buying another lens. The performance, flexibility and ease of use thus gained is supposed to be such that this works out as a useful piece of kit. The losses to consider are lower shutter speed, image searching and potential loss of image quality in large prints.

Most effective use is rather limited to bright conditions for reasons of speed and focus. Conditions in the USA may therefore be more suitable than in the UK for example and safari holidays may also be suitable uses for the same reason.

As a result I have found that I use it only very rarely and only then in particularly favourable lighting conditions and as a last option. I have never found the final image to be of sufficient quality to be useful professionally. In reality it really only works well enough to be considered professionally with fast F 2.8 lenses. However, professionals would nearly always choose to use a longer lens because the loss of performance with the extender makes images too doubtful for commercial use.

A longer lens will always out-perform this extender coupled with a shorter lens, quite markedly in poor light conditions, and will always be the choice of professionals and very keen amateurs. However longer lenses cost more, are heavier and simply more to carry about so this extender is useful as a fall-back option for occasional extra reach but at some cost of quality and operating performance. It should be noted that this short extender is far more effective than the 2 x extender which is very much more compromised in all the same ways.

...........................................
My professional supplier's opinion

I discussed this extender with my professional supplier on behalf of an enquirer not using my equipment and this was his considered advice:

1. The loss of a stop makes this a slower lens so an 100-400 f4.0-5.6 lens becomes f5.6 - 8.0 for example
2. Autofocus loss or prolonged searching can become an issue with lenses slower than f2.8 especially in low light
3. This loss means that good light becomes very important and a futher limiting factor
4. Cropping will exaggerate loss of sharpness. Large crops do more damage than small crops
5. Large images, especially in print form, will exaggerate loss of sharpness
6. Older camera models with older processors are less able to handle the increase of digital noise
7. Cameras with less than full frame imaging will exaggerate loss of sharpness
8. Lenses without image stabilising will exaggerate loss of sharpness.

..............................................

Essential considerations:
In the supplier's view the best chance of success with this extender therefore would be to have a new model full-frame camera coupled with a USM lens with image stabilising and as fast an F stop as possible (F2.8 is ideal). Avoid cropping and large prints as much as possible and always work in good lighting.

Conclusion:
This extender is therefore cautiously recommended as a good quick fix where an alternative lens without extender is not possible. However it would be wise to consider the pros and cons carefully before purchasing. You may be disappointed otherwise.

........................................

Some dialogue from the comments section that may offer further help:

A very thoughtful review. Thank you (U.S. review)

Amazing detail for an Amazon review thank you so much :]
Your review says it all no need to spend hours reading more, I spent about an hour online reading before seeing yours and again great work!!! (U.S. review)
Excellent Review, in three ways, (1)for the those among us with unlimited funds it makes for an informative read, (2) for that small group that only needs to take on 2 more side jobs and put the better half to work and not send the kid to a 'real' school. They can use this review to justify the cost of a 'Prime Lens' large enough so as not to need this peice of glass/paper weight. As for the rest of us now we will know what we are missing and why, and just maybe if we are VERY good Santa may bring us an 1.4 extender or maybe we could check your trash can and fish it out so that we can take low quality non professional photographs and hope that some day we can show them off to the unwashed masses.
So in parting, Great Review on all counts
Kevin (U.S. review)

This is a comprehensive review and very useful. It helps me make up my mind that this can be useful for my exact purpose which is to take sports pictures outdoors for a high school yearbook. The good lenses that I would love to have all cost far too much and their purchase is in the distant future. At least I can make an informed decision on this product knowing it has limitations. (U.S. review)
I appreciate the truthful and credible review. Often times, one cannot really know what to expect from expensive products as many reviewers tend to inflate their praise so as not to feel bad about their purchases. It's a human thing. But many of us with limited funds need to hear the real deal truth. (U.S. review)

Loving this review and the one for the 2x extender mkiii. ..... Cheers. (U.S. review)

Dear Ian,
Thank you so much for taking the time to offer this wonderful review and the follow-ups to comments. I can tell you truly enjoy your art. I am not a professional photographer, but I am a professional graphic artist and like to think that I'm an above average amateur photographer with hope that someday I can make use of the images that I am getting at this point. Obviously I was considering one of these types of devices or I wouldn't have read your review : ). Although I had a grasp of all the pitfalls that go with digital imagery presentation, printed versus computer screen, it just didn't dawn on me as a photographer until you brought it up in this review. I can see the alure of these extenders, but I have much more to consider now. Once again, thank you very much and I hope this comment finds you well. (U.S. review)

i found this review very helpful indeed as I was thinking of purchasing a converter for my canon 100-400mm but now am thinking to buy it more for my 100mm 2.8 macro as it will work better with that lens. so it was very helpful, shame about it not working so well with the 100-400mm though . (U.S. review)

Thank you for your excellent review. It has assisted me with my decision and I feel sure that many others appreciate your efforts. (U.K. review)
Your reviews are excellent thank you..... Thanks very much. (U.K. review)

Hi Ian,
I'm new to high end photography and have appreciated your in depth reviews and considered advice. Please keep the reviews coming.
Richard E. (U.K. review)

This reviewer has provided clear and concise guidance including ALL the pros and cons. It's refreshing to hear someone speak from real-world experience and to give a real-world review (warts and all) as opposed to being gushingly over-enthusiastic! I have definately decided to give the 2 x extender a miss and to go with the Canon 1.4. Good job I. Giles. (U.K. review)

............................................

A note to the anonymous negative voters:

The voting system is specifically only about reviews being 'helpful' or 'unhelpful'
Goodness only knows what you find to be `unhelpful' about this review.

A negative vote without reason is not helpful to anyone. It does not contribute in any useful way to discussion so no-one can learn from you.
If you have a different view or find the review 'unhelpful' then explain, giving your reasons, and share your views in the comment option as intended.

Your opinion might then add to the total useful advice.
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95 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Canon EF 1.4 III Lens Extender, April 1, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
I am very pleased with my new type III lens extender. It is made for a select group of Canon lenses. Before ordering one for your camera body, consult this list! With my 70-200mm f4L lens this extender works very well. I plan to take this lens set up with me to Alaska this summer. It should have the reach that I need. Keep in mind that with this combination, my lens is now f5.6, one stop slower. I still retain IS and fairly rapid AF. I just don't plan to shoot at late dusk with it. Like my zoom lens, this extender is weather sealed at the connections. The additional cost of this extender for my zoom lens gives me the versatility without the greater cost of purchasing a new 400 or 500mm L series lens. My lens set up now has a length of 7 inches and not much extra weight. Matched with my 40D camera body, I can tote this weight around all day.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Extender for use with Canon L lenses, April 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
I currently use this on my Canon 70-200 f4 L IS with an EOS 7D. I chose the 70-200 f4 IS over the f2.8 primarily because of IS and the weight. With the teleconverter at f5.6 I can still get good pictures and the IS helps quite a bit.

When used with a 70-200 f4L IS, it gives me an equivalent: 98-280mm and f5.6 - f45 aperture.
When used with the 70-200 F4L IS and an EOS 7D you get approximately: 157-448mm and same aperture.

I'll try to post some picture examples above for the product description because "they" won't let us put links here. :-(

PROS: Extends the length of professional quality Canon L Lenses with little or no noticable degredation in image quality.

COS: Only works with certain Canon and 3rd party lenses. Some of the 3rd party teleconverters such as Sigma and Tamron will work with other lenses that this TC will not because of the protruding element but I just can't beleive they are as good of quality. If you are ONLY using this with the compatible Canon lenses, then get this one definitely.

YOU MUST CHECK THE COMPATABILITY CHART BEFORE PURCHASING THIS SO YOU ARE NOT WASTING YOUR TIME. As of 4/29/13, this is what Canon's website states: Note: This lens is only compatible with fixed focal length L-series lenses 135mm and over, as well as the EF 70-200/2.8L, EF 70-200/2.8L IS, EF 70-200/4L, and EF 100-400/4.5-5.6L.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent extender... Sharper than previous model but with one flaw, April 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
I upgraded from my 1.4x II to use on my 70-200 f/2.8 II lens and have been impressed with it, minus one optical flaw... At 70mm, it actually shows more CA/fringing than the previous model. However, at 200mm it performs better in that regard with less CA/Fringing. I actually returned the first one Amazon sent to me because I thought it was damaged somehow. The replacement performed exactly the same. I am thinking because these Mark III converters were designed for use with the super-tele's that the optical construction was developed to maximize IQ at those focal lengths. On the wider end, it may not correct these aberrations as well, even though it does offer higher resolution all around (see below).

Sharpness wise, the 1.4x III is better. I compared carefully doing side by side test shots... Tripod, mirror lockup, live-view focus, etc... The 1.4x III always had finer detail and more contrast. It was actually quite noticeable, although not as much in real-world shooting. AF performance is the same (with this lens), but I do like the build quality better. More mounting screws, better switch to release the lens, etc...

I think it was worth the upgrade after seeing the additional resolution it offers. I am very happy with it.
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great extender!, October 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
I shoot alot of sports photography, mostly my duaghter's teams, but am very proud of the pictures I get. I have a 50D body and am waiting for the new 7D body in 2012 to upgrade. I buy all "L" lenses for the quality and frankly they last...great investment. I was a bit skeptical of telephoto extenders...why not just buy a larger focal length lens??? Well, a friend has this and really swears by it. So I bit the bullet and got it. I have to say it is awesome. They quality is superb, have seen no issues in my photos and the reduction in one stop has not been a big issue especially in my outdoor photography where light is not an issue. Inside coudl be an issue, but I doubt I would use this. Need it to get the extra distance on the soccer field. Woudl recommend this to anyone...great job Canon!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pro Sports Photography, February 8, 2013
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This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
I'm a professional photographer and using this to give me some extra power on my Canon EF 300mm 2.8 lens for outdoor game photography. I often shoot from a standard sized football/soccer field from the end zone and can capture clear full-body sized action images when the players are in motion and from about 50 yards can capture good quality upper body/torso shots using the combination 1.4 extender with a 300mm 2.8 telephoto lens. Occasionally, I will use the 2.0 extender with the 300mm 2.8 lens when I want to get some upper body/torso shots about 75+ yards away from the opposite end zone. The image clarity and focus speed aren't noticably impacted by the extender vs lens alone and I would highly recommend this as an affordable option to buying a more expensive telephoto lens.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I expected from this lens, and one thing I did not expect zero loss of image quality. You lose an fstop and gain 40%, March 5, 2013
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This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
Everything I expected from this lens, and one thing I did not expect zero loss of image quality. You lose an fstop and gain 40% zoom range. I use it with a Canon L 300 mm F4. The auto-focus slows a tiny bit, but is still spot on accurate in focusing, turning the 300mm F 4 into an excellent 420mm F 5.6 lens.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, November 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
I've been looking at these for awhile and reading every review I could find. Some people like them, some dis them pretty good. I'm a talented amateur who takes pictures at my daughter's college field hockey games. I was looking for a little extra reach for my 70-200 2.8 lens that I was using to shoot the games. I finally pulled the trigger and glad I did. Giving up a stop on a bright sunny day is not really an issue with the lens I primarily use. I don't see any degradation in IQ for what I shoot. The extra reach allows me to get much closer to the players without me having to move too much around the field. I'm getting many more acceptable action shots with the converter. The 70-200 f2.8 IS lens with this teleconverter coupled to a 7D is real nice set up for capturing hand held sports action. On a dark overcast day, I find the high ISO setting I have to use to get an adequate shutter speed (I shoot in AV mode) to handle the action borderline acceptable.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Canon Lens Extender, December 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
This lenses is very sharp. It works with my 70-200, 400mm, and 500mm. For the 70-200mm and the 500mm they work with auto-focus. The 400mm does not because it's a f/5.6 lens. This turns the lenses into a 560mm. The 70-200 becomes a 95-280mm. The 500mm becomes a 700mm. This lens is perfect for my extensions. Some of the older lenses do not focus correctly - but mine do.

It's easy to attach. You just attach it to the lens and then put the lens on your camera. It's a nice extension to your lenses.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have, September 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender for Canon Super Telephoto Lenses (Camera)
If you have a tele lens that is 2.0, 2.8, or 4.0 this is a must have accessory. It turns my 300mm 2.8 into a 420mm 4.0 with very little loss of sharpness and virtually no contrast loss. Version III has improved picture quality and focusing over version II. Still very slim.

Can also be used with some zoom lenses (70-300 4.0-5.6) but only at the full extended range. Remember for AF to work on most Canon cameras the lens/extended combo has to have F/5.6 or greater F-stop. Manual focus can be used with lenses that end up out of this range.

There is a small click lock to lock it to a lens creating a nice tight (reasonably weatherproof) seal.
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