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07-11-2010, 08:07 AM   #1
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A*600mm + 1.7X AF Adapter

I did this with no expectations, only to see if anything was possible. I won't show 100% crops since they won't stand up to scrutiny. These are full frame, resized for the web with default screen sharpening in Lightroom. This is not a competition, this is only an exhibition. Please.....no flaming.


Northern Cardinal


Cedar Waxwing


Ruby-throated Hummingbird


American Robin


Rose-breasted Grosbeak

These birds were a long way off, perhaps 100 to 150 yards. The hummingbird was barely visible to the naked eye. All were manually focused, although AF could have been used when there was sufficient light. I find AF with the converter slightly annoying, it's a personal thing. A remote release is definitely needed for any kind of useable results.

If everything came out blurry and useless I wouldn't have been at all surprised, but these are better than that, I think. I don't know how these would compare to just cropping full size images. I understand the adage of "get as close as you can and then get ten feet closer." It's very true. My wife and I are the rankest amateurs at birding, and many times the camera is there only to get some image so that we can later try to identify what kind of bird we saw. I think these images would serve that purpose just fine. At 1020mm (1530mm in 35mm equivalence) they're definitely the longest focal length I've ever shot.

So go ahead and rip my technique to shreds. I'm putting these on here for anyone who's ever pondered about jury-rigging a long combination.

07-11-2010, 08:18 AM   #2
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Why should we be surprised by these results? A high quality 1.7x teleconverter and an A* lens combination is going to give you usable results.

Check this guy's setup out:
Making Not Taking: Pushing the Limits
07-11-2010, 08:43 AM   #3
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excellent work!
07-11-2010, 08:45 AM   #4
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Thanks Albert. I think I mentioned to you that I might try this, or perhaps I even sent you an early sample. I have a 1.4X-L converter on its way to me, I have higher expectations of that. But I think that technique plays a large role in this, and this was good practice for me.

07-11-2010, 08:48 AM   #5
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funny avatar you have for an A* 600mm owner

good work anyway - I think some would stand for some cropping also...
07-11-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kytra Quote
funny avatar you have for an A* 600mm owner

good work anyway - I think some would stand for some cropping also...
My avatar is complete tongue-in-cheek bullshit. I am in full-bore LBA frenzy. As for the cropping, I posted these uncropped to show just how far away the subjects were, even with 1020mm. These aren't "oh look at my pretty pictures" shots, more like "hey these don't suck so bad" shots. Like I said they were 100 to 150 yards away, much too distant for serious bird work.
07-11-2010, 09:17 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by G_Money Quote
I have a 1.4X-L converter on its way to me, I have higher expectations of that. But I think that technique plays a large role in this, and this was good practice for me.

Correct on both statements. I find my A*400 + 1.4xL has no visable drop in sharpness over the lens alone. The AF 1.7x has about the same drop as the 2xL. But at the range you are shooting, technique will make or break more shots than the TC will. Looks like you have the knack so far for harnessing the beast.
07-11-2010, 09:32 AM   #8
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Hmm. Not good sir. You obviously don't know how to take pictures with this lens. You better give it to me and I will put to better use
Just kidding. For my eyes, it looks pretty good. Please do post some cropped shots as well.

07-11-2010, 09:55 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Correct on both statements. I find my A*400 + 1.4xL has no visable drop in sharpness over the lens alone. The AF 1.7x has about the same drop as the 2xL. But at the range you are shooting, technique will make or break more shots than the TC will. Looks like you have the knack so far for harnessing the beast.
Thanks, itg. I'm beginning to think that the 600 + any converter is the kind of rig that needs to be set up, perhaps in a blind, and then wait for the critters to come. As I said, the above shots would really only be useful for bird identification.

Here's a full crop with my Bigma at 500mm. I'm expecting the A*600 to surpass this, and with the 1.4X tc to give me a little extra reach should I need it.



When I put the 1.7X AFA on it, the first look through the viewfinder convinced me that a remote release was a must. I don't have a gimbal head, I understand how they can balance better and move more smoothly but are they any steadier?
07-11-2010, 11:40 PM   #10
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These look pretty good to me. The bokeh is smooth (sometimes TC's do weird things to the bokeh) and I don't see any CA at these sizes.

BTW, I hadn't realized that hummingbirds travelled that far up north.
07-12-2010, 05:53 PM   #11
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600mm

These look very good to me ... further cementing in my mind that a A* 600 should be in my future as well.
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