Simon Walker's picture

Male Teal

Observed: 8th March 2012 By: Simon WalkerSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in Birds
Teal, male, Rye Meads, 2012-03-08 007a

There's not much to say about this picture, other than he looks quite splendid, and I'm really chuffed with it. For those who are interested, it was taken with a Canon 7D with a 500mm USM L IS lens and a Canon 1.4 Mk II extender (effective 700mm), 1/640sec at F6.4, ISO 200. And a bit of luck and patience, of course.

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chrisbrooks's picture


Hi Simon, a very nice image and you should be pleased. I read with interest that you used an extender. I tried one out and just hated it, anything other than a dead stationary target and focusing was a nightmare. Mine is now consigned to the dust heap and I was just wondering how you get along with yours. Chris

Simon Walker's picture

Hi Chris, I don't know what

Hi Chris,
I don't know what lens your using, but what I've found is this: my previous telephoto, a 100-400 zoom, was rubbish with an extender. Not only was there no autofocus ((on the 7D, anyway) but there was a loss in image quality. I sent it back. When I bought the F4 500mm I did a bit of reading, and looked at some pictures other people had got using extenders, and I decided I'd have another try with one. This time I went for the Canon 1.4 Mark II.
Autofocus is possibly not quite as fast, though I can't say it's been a real problem. There is a slight loss in quality, but on a bright day it's not bad at all - see this Teal! As always it's a compromise. Sometimes you're better off without the extender, and opting for cropping, especially at lower light levels. Yesterday late afternoon I was trying to photograph a songthrush, and it was rather too far for 500mm, so I used the extender. Mistake - the images went straight into the bin!
I suppose when it comes down to it, I'm saying that I think a good quality extender works pretty well in good light, but when it's dull, you're better off without it.