Canon Extender 1.4x II
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Newest model: Canon EF Extender 1.4x III.
Canon Extender EF 2x II Review 16 October 2014
This Canon Extender 1.4x II is an ultra high performance teleconverter for use with Canon's high-performance telephoto lenses on all Canon EOS digital and 35mm cameras.
It multiplies your focal length by 1.4x and makes your effective aperture one stop less.
It works with 70-200s and the 100-400, 135/2 and 180/3.5 macro, and otherwise is optimized for Canon's big white supertelephoto lenses. It wont work well or at all with f/5.6 zooms or normal 50mm, 85mm or 100mm lenses.
Most people say "converter" or "teleconverter" while Canon says "Extender." All use all these words and then all mean the same thing.
Canon Extender II Compatibility Chart as of May 2008. Newer lenses should work, too. enlarge.
Canon calls this the CANON Extender EF 1.4x II.
EF means "electronic focus." There is an autofocus motor inside the lenses — but not in this extender.
Internal Construction, Canon Extender 1.4x II.
5 elements in 4 groups.
Automatically calculates the actual working aperture and transmits that to the camera for exposure, viewfinder display and EXIF data.
For instance, with an f/2.8 lens, the maximum aperture is correctly reported as f/4 with the extender.
Canon specifies 2.85" (72.8 mm) diameter by 1.06" (27.2 mm) long.
7.565 oz. (214.5g).
8.485 oz. (240.5g) including both caps.
9.575 oz. (271.5g) including both caps and LP811 pouch.
Canon specifies 7.8 oz. (220 g).
It comes with a special front cap with extra clearance for the protruding front optics.
Standard EOS cap rear.
Canon LP811 sack included.
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The Canon Extender 1.4x II works great. It really does give a longer focal length with one stop less speed, while remaining sharp with great AF performance.
I don't notice any significant reduction in AF speed.
Every lens will work differently on every converter.
Used with my 300/2.8 which has no lateral color, there is some green/magenta lateral color with this extender, when used without a lens profile.
Most modern camera and lens combinations will have a lens profile available which will eliminate this.
Front Lens Bumper
Seem like metal.
Engraved into bottom of barrel and filed with black paint.
Printed on rear light baffle as shown above.
Mine has date code UW0902, meaning my sample was made in Canon's Utsunomiya plant in September 2008.
Rear Gasket (dust seal at mount)
Noises When Shaken
Made in Japan.
(pouch made in China.)
The Canon Extender 1.4x II II is about as sharp as the main lens. Every lens will perform differently on this extender.
I haven't tried it with zooms.
There are three versions: the original (1988-2001), this -II version (2001-2010), and the current -III version (2010-).
Each newer version has slightly different optics. Ultimate optical quality depends more on your main lens than the converter. Each newer version shows only slight, if any, improvement over an earlier version.
The real differences are sales features, like dust gaskets or fingerprint-resistant coatings.
This -II version adds a rear dust seal.
The -III version adds fluorine optical coatings to resist fingerprints. It has different electronics that eliminate compatibility with older 35mm EOS cameras.
You can use this 1.4x extender along with a 2x extender for a total of a 2.8x increase in effective focal length, with a loss of three stops of light.
If you do this, put the 2x extender on the lens and this 1.4x extender on the camera. This way the extended front element of this 1.4x will poke into the recess in the rear of the 2x extender.
Use either an original version or -II version 2x extender.
For some unknown reason, when I stack both this 1.4x II and 2x II extenders, the camera reads two, not three stops, aperture change, and only 2x, not 2.8x, focal length increase. Watch your EXIF data, it seems to ignore this 1.4x converter when used at the same time as a 2x converter.
The newest version Canon Extender 2x III has its rear element too far back so that we can't stack a 1.4x with it.
When stacking the 1.4x II and 2x II extenders, AF sometimes will try to hunt if atmospheric heat shimmer is making the target appear to float in and out!
With my 300mm f/2.8, I get some green/magenta lateral color and it's not quite as sharp and not quite as fast at AF (although AF is still surprisingly fast if there's not that far to go), but honestly if you need the range and have an f/2.8 lens, go for it.
1.4x extenders are great to keep in your bag just in case. They preserve most or all of your lens' sharpness and AF speed, and do get you closer without much loss of light.
Unlike 2x converters, using a 1.4x converter is relatively painless.
There is very little difference between Canon's different versions of 1.4x extender. I wouldn't go out of my way to get the -III if you already have this -II, and I wouldn't go out of my way to get this II if I already had the original version.
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15 October 2014