Canon 70-200 with the 2X II TC and the EOS-7D

brown-pelican-head-portrait-7d-w-2x-ii-tc-_mg_8545-la-jolla-ca

This California Brown Pelican was photographed on Wednesday morning past in La Jolla, CA with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II lens, the 2X II TC, and the EOS-7D hand held at 342mm. (You gotta love the versatility of zoom lenses.) ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. Bright sun fill flash at 0.

Canon 70-200 with the 2X II TC and the EOS-7D

With all the success that I have had with the new 70-200, the 2X, and the Mark IV, folks have been clamoring for info on how the new lens and the 2X II TC would do with the 7D. I used the 7D on Wednesday morning after the sun broke through with the 70-200 f/2.8 IS L II and the 2X. For images of static subjects the combo performed superbly. I had only a few chances with birds in flight, too few to offer any substantive opinion….

Folks need to realize that with the 1.6X multiplier effect of the 7D that it will be more difficult to hold the rig steady than with the Mark IV with its 1.3X multiplier effect: 640 compared to 520. And errors of equipment shake are multiplied by the square of the focal length, not by the focal length alone. This of course goes quadruple for folks who are hand holding. Do not think that you can go out with the new 70-200, the 2X TC, and your 7D and make sharp images in any light without using a tripod. You need to have superb sharpness techniques when hand holding this combo. And lots of shutter speed. And you need to understand how your choice of AF mode (One-Shot or AI Servo) will influence focusing accuracy and therefore image sharpness….

The image above, however, shows that the combo can produce superbly sharp images in the right conditions when used by folks who know what they are doing.

One note about flight photography: in most flight situations, there would be little need to use the 2X II TC with the 70-200 and the 7D. With the 1.6 multiplier effect of the camera all that you will need most of the time for hand held flight photography is the 1.4X teleconverter. And I have no doubt that that combination will acquire focus quickly, track accurately, and produce a high percentage of razor sharp on the eye images….

You can learn how to better use your 7D by purchasing a copy of our 7D User’s Guide. For this image I had set a different focusing sensor for vertical camera orientation. Learn how in the 7D UG. The update will be sent very soon.

I fly to Albuquerque, NM to pick up Denise Ippolito and Peter Kes. The Bosque IPT begins tomorrow night. If you are in the neighborhood and would like to attend the introductory slide program as my guest, be at K-Bobs at about 6:45 pm.

Shopper’s Guide

Here is a list of the gear that I used to create the image above:

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens
Canon EF Teleconverter 2X II
Canon EOS 7D

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our complete Shopper’s Guide.

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9 comments to Canon 70-200 with the 2X II TC and the EOS-7D

  • avatar Nate nobody

    Excellent shot to say the least with this combo!

    How do you find the performance of the AF with this combo? Is it good enough for action type nature shots (Birds in flight, Egret catching fish, etc)? The reason I ask is that while I love my 400 f/5.6 it would be really, really nice to have 400mm with 4 stop IS at this price! Is the Af with this combo at least better then the 1-4 zoom?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Nate, I have been writing about this combo for flight and action a lot recently both on the blog and in the Bulletins. AF accuracy is great but as expected, initial AF acquisition with the 2X II TC is noticeably slower than with the 400 f/5.6 L IS. I am not sure if the 70-200 has the old IS or the new (4-stop) system. I will try to find out. I far prefer the new combo to the 1-4 especially for image quality and sharpness. Be sure to check recent posts and Bulletins for more details and lots of images.

  • Artie.. awesome job.. With a beemer on the rig too? That’s some seriously good hand holding technique.. There’s never a concrete piling around when you need it.. ;-)

  • avatar M. Bruce

    Art – Would you ever consider using a monopod?

  • Artie, you should get a commission from Canon for all the sales that come from your reviews! You convinced me to upgrade. Just placed an order this morning. Thanks again for the reviews and photos.

  • So right, I was having a senior moment. :o)

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Just the standard stuff: Sitting, left elbow braced on knee, AI Servo AF with my secret 7D focusing methods :) Note 400 does not equal 800 :)

  • Artie, Would love to hear about the hand-holding technique you used for this image . . . did you rest it on top of another tripod-mounted camera body? A rock? It’s amazingly sharp and makes me wonder why I lug my Mark IV and 800mm lens around if I can do this with my 7D and 2x with the 70-200 f/2.8L, especially on a tripod.

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