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Canon vs Nikon - Mid-range battle: 80D vs D7500 - part 1 - Introduction and 80D advantages

Introduction

There's a good chance you've owned a Canon or Nikon camera as these both lead in market share in the photography domain by large margin. And if you're a newbie, you probably own an entry level body.

The natural upgrade from an entry level is a mid-range which has much more advanced features for enthusiasts and hobbyists. Users tend to stick to the same brand since changing brands means changing your existing lenses, especially if you've been heavily investing into lenses which is a real hassle. But even then there are quite a few users who aren't content with their brand and wouldn't mind switching brands while choosing a mid-range option. There are also those who would want to invest in both brands and enjoy the advantages of both camera systems. Some even opt directly for a mid-range skipping the entry level option altogether.

If you have plans to switch brands or are investing in a mid-range DSLR as your first camera then knowing pros and cons o…

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A Lens for every need : An Introduction to DSLR lenses : Part 2 - Prime Lenses

A Lens for every need: 

An Introduction to DSLR lenses: Part 2 - Prime Lenses.



An SLR camera is an advanced image capturing system involving a camera body on which multiple lenses can be mounted for different situations and types of photography ranging from fish-eye, ultra wide angle, standard to telephoto.

You also have the choice of a single lens with a fixed focal length i.e. it has a single permanent position and is called a Prime Lens.

Then you have variable zoom lenses having zoom range of typically three to five times from their widest end (i.e. zoomed out, having maximum field of view or scene coverage) to telephoto end (zoomed in, magnified with least coverage). You also have extreme zooms in the consumer market having zooms of 15x, 18x etc.

Note: If you would like to know more about choosing a camera body, have a look at my article:

Baby Steps into Photography - part I : Superzooms, Bridge and MFTs





Zoom or prime, each type of lens has its own set of pros and cons. You have to choose what suits you most. A zoom lens will give you versatility and flexibility of framing your subject for getting desired composition and detail. You zoom out to include more of the scene in your frame and zoom in to detail a single subject. With a prime you may end up moving back and forth frequently to get the best composition.

Talking in favor of zooms, it helps when your lens does the job of 2 or 3 other ones - You carry less bulk and weight, instead focus more on capturing the moment.

On the other hand a Prime lens will give you the sharpness and speed (i.e. bigger lens aperture - more background blur), a zoom lens struggles to match. It's easy to make a prime lens sharper and brighter than a zoom since primes are less complicated that the latter. Hence a zoom giving the Image Quality and aperture like a prime will cost you more, while primes can do it much cheaper.

Primes work well in controlled situations where adjustment is possible, subject positioning is in your control and you have the time to adjust composition.
If Image Quality is your "Prime" concern - Prime lenses are the way to go.

I have divided this article into 2 parts:


This is part 2 : Prime Lenses.


1: Ultra Wide angle Primes


An Ultra-Wide angle lens is a lens whose focal length is shorter than that of wide angle lenses i.e. lesser than 16mm for APS-C sensors and lesser than 24mm for full frames.
These lenses will allow you to take nice sharp wide angle shots of buildings, architectures, landscapes and group portraits. Since they are Primes, they tend to give more sharpness than zoom lenses, but at the cost of versatility.

A Bryce Canyon sunset.
This is a typical landscape picture which required an ultra wide angle lens to get the whole scene in the frame.
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author- andrewasmith

While working with a wide prime if your composition needs to be a bit more tight and telephoto, you will need to take the shot as it is and then crop it (and with that also lose some detail). If your subject is close enough you can also move closer, but that will change your perspective, and again this doesn't work if your subject is at considerable distance. If you want to go wider with the prime, there isn't much you could do, other than back up a bit (and this works provided the subject is closer).

short Star-trails captures using the Ultra wide angle Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens. The brighter Aperture and wider focal length makes such a lens Ideal for astrophotography.
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author-ryanhallock

Having said that, wide angle prime lenses could be your preferred choice over zooms if your application requires a specific focal length, e.g. in case of astro-photography, you could just get a wide enough prime lens rather than a zoom. With such a setup you effectively get a much sharper image with possibly a much bright aperture (say f/1.4 or f/1.8 of a prime vs. f/2.8 or f/4 of a zoom).

The Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ultra wide angle lens
Courtesy: Source-en.wikipedia.org Author-Diliff

Uses:
  • Landscape Photography
  • Architecture Photography (especially from close range)
  • Astro Photography
Pros:
  • Easy to get more scene in the frame without much adjustment, works well indoors. 
  • Easy to fit in a group of people in your frame while still being closer to them.
  • Sharpness is important for astrophotography & such wide angle primes give you that.
  • Wide angle primes with fast apertures like f/1.4 & f/1.8 makes astrophotography that much easy.
Cons:
  • Susceptible to flare
  • Barrel distortion is common
  • Perspective distortion is an inherent property hence generally not good for portraits
  • Can make farther objects look too small and loose emphasis
Examples:
  • Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM
  • TS-E 17mm f/4L (tilt shift)
  • Nikon AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
  • Nikon AF Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D
  • Pentax HD DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited
  • Pentax SMCP-DA 14mm f/2.8 ED (IF) lens
  • Samyang SY14M-C 14mm F2.8
  • Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art

2: 24mm prime - The versatility of wide angle

The 24mm prime lens is a wide angle lens and has applications in street and landscape photography thanks to its wide angle focal length resulting in large field of view especially when coupled with a full frame. On a crop sensor like the 1.5x APS-C it's equivalent to ~35-36mm focal length. It provides a very wide field of view when used for street photography and is useful for covering large spaces.


The Sigma 24mm f1.8 EX DG
Courtesy: Source-commons.wikimedia.org Author-Wikireview

It is also useful when covering general occasions like weddings, parties, anniversaries or in general any event where you'd like to cover a large audience but don't necessarily want it shot from farther away to get everything in frame. Again with such a wide focal length it's easier to get large depth of field & more things in focus without stopping down too much, which works well for indoor events where light availability could be an issue.

On the other hand it isn't very wide like the 18mm or lesser, where there is large amount perspective distortion - where anything a bit far away seems too small, loosing emphasis. It's also not too narrow for a larger group of people or where you want to include a large part of background. Hence this hits the perfect balance between the wider 18mm and the narrower 35mm.

Overall a surprisingly versatile lens with applications in rage of fields! no wonder we always have the 24mm focal length marked on our walk-around zoom lenses !


But still being pretty wide, it will surely induce significant amount of distortion in case of portraits, so this one isn't the best lens in this field. Also being wider getting background blur with this lens is very difficult. You will need a lens with large maximum aperture like f/1.4 or f/1.8.

This street image shot at 24mm shows you how much scene you can fit into this focal length, It's not ultra wide like an 18mm or 15mm, neither too narrow. With this focal length the perception of distance exists, but is not exaggerated the way most ultra wides do. So your moderate sized distant objects wont look too small.
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author-deepakg

As mentioned above, for landscapes this is a great lens for the same reason - unlike 18mm it won't make distant objects look too small. So if your subject is not very large and is at some distance, this won't make it look puny like the ultra-wide angles would.

This one also works as a good lens for astro-photography especially if you buy one with large maximum aperture like f/1.4 or so and couple it with a full-frame body.

Uses:
  • Landscape Photography
  • Street Photography
  • Event Photography
  • Astro Photography
Pros:
  • Very versatile, can be used in many situations giving value to your investment.
  • Pretty wide but not too much to lose attention of distant objects.
  • Many 24mm lenses across different manufacturers are made as pancake models, resulting in a very thin, small & lightweight package, very easy to carry around.
  • Good for group photos without too much distortion.
Cons:
  • not good for portraits
Examples:
  • Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM
  • Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM
  •  TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lenses (tilt shift)
  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4 G ED
  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED
  • Nikon 24mm f/2.8D AF Nikkor
  • Pentax SMC-FA* 24mm f/2 AL [IF]
  • Pentax SMC -A 24mm F2.8
  • Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC
  • Sigma 24mm 1.4 DG HSM Art
  • Sigma 24mm F1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF Macro

3: 28mm & 35mm - primes for street and portraits

The 28mm & 35mm lenses give the field of view similar to that of 42mm & 50mm respectively when used on an APS-C camera, & like the 50mm lens the 35mm also makes for an excellent Portrait lens for non close ups, 3/4th to full body and group portraits when shooting with a full frame body.

This portrait is shot with a Nikon F100, and Nikkor 35mm at f/1.4. See how much of the background is included. The wider field of view makes it easy to include more background, & make it a part of your storytelling.
Courtesy: Source- flickr.com Author- jimfischer

Being wider than the normal lens, you can include a lot of background or surrounding environment in a portrait, making it a part of your picture & storytelling. This is unlike the telephoto primes where the background is often out of the equation.

It's also very popular for street photography, group portraits, landscape photography or in general any situation involving a larger subject thanks to its wider focal length.

Street Photo, shot with a Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 (IV)
Courtesy: Source-pixabay.com Author-annegordon
Street photography seems to be more popular with the 28mm since it's even wider, fitting in more scene in the frame. The 28mm will also give you more depth of field for the same aperture compared to 35mm so you don't need to stop down the aperture too much to get more background in focus.

The 28 & 35mm are great for street photography, but the latter excels in portraits too.


35mm too is good for street photography but being longer, may not cover a large part of the scene. Many photographers like the presence of some distortion when shooting portraits & 35mm gives you exactly that, making it popular among lot of portrait shooters.

Nikkor 35mm 1.8G
Courtesy: Source-commons.wikimedia.org Author-Fletcher6

Yet another application of the 35mm prime lens is in the field of food photography.
Most food photographers & bloggers prefer the 50mm focal length, which in case of an APS-C camera can be achieved using a 35mm lens. With this focal length you also need good macro capabilities to get up close and personal with those dishes!

Uses:
  • Street Photography
  • Portrait Photography
  • Food Photography
Pros:
  • relatively inexpensive
  • Provides the field of view of the 50mm on an APS-C format.
Cons:
  • Shows some distortion when used for portraits taken from close range on full frame.
Examples:
  • Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM
  • Canon 35mm f/2 IS
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G DX
  • Pentax 35mm DA L F2.4 AL
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
  • Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
  • Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC


4: Nifty Fifty 50mm prime lens - for the portraits

The 50mm Prime lenses a.k.a nifty-fifty a.k.a. plastique fantastique are one of the most common lenses out there; they are generally very cheap and lightweight while providing the best image quality for the price.... All this contributes to their popularity.

The 50mm prime is the typical portrait lens since it provides the normal perspective i.e. the perspective of the human eye (~43mm for full frame) which make portraits look life like and natural.

Closeup of a lively girl captured using a 50mm lens at f/1.4 on a full frame camera. See how the face looks a bit larger compared to her body. To get such a composition using a 50mm lens, the photographer needs to be nearer to the subject, which causes distortion.
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author-alexnormand

These lenses make as good close up, full body, upper body. They are not wide like the 18, 24 or 35mm. So to fill up the frame with the subject you don't need to be very close. Neither are they too telephoto like the 85 or 135mm which needs significant distance between the camera and subject for optimal composition.

But still being close to the 35mm these too show slight facial distortion as shown above when shot from close distance. Some like this while others don't which is fine either way.

This upper body portrait of a Macedonian Girl, shot with a 50mm lens.
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author-mlazarevski

As mentioned previously the 50mm focal length is preferred by food photographers, so a nifty-fifty lens with macro capabilities works best when coupled with a full frame camera.

Along with this, photographers have also considered it as a lens with good focal length for street photography (on a full frame). It's longer than the 35mm so you lose some of the scene, but you can always keep more distance to get more into frame. Keeping such a distance from people, helps in keeping them unaware of the photographer & street photographers do like this since this helps them get a natural candid shot.

The 50mm lens's application across multiple fields makes it a highly versatile lens while still being a prime lens.


Almost everything about these lenses is positive - They come very inexpensive, light weight, sharp, show almost nil radial distortion (barrel, pincushion) making them a must have lens. This lens is often the second investment in lenses one does after the kit lenses since kits very much lack the speed (aperture) and sharpness prime lenses are known for.

Whether to go for a 50mm or a 35mm as a single prime is a hot topic. It really depends on your type of photography, sensor size of camera (crop vs full frame), budget & what you think suits you. For me, I'd like to have a single prime among the 2 - a 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 and then couple it with the versatility of a 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. With this I get the sharpness of a prime and also get the versatility of zoom, while not losing too much on image quality.

Uses:
  • Portrait Photography
  • Food Photography
  • Street Photography
Pros:
  • One of the most inexpensive prime lenses
  • very good for portraits
  • highly versatile lens
Cons:
  • Shows some distortion when used for close up, head shot portraits.
Examples:
  • Pentax SMC-A 50mm F1.2 - legacy
  • Pentax SMC-FA 50mm f/1.4
  • Pentax SMC-A 50mm F1.7 - legacy
  • Pentax 50mm f/1.8 SMC DA
  • Canon 50mm f/1.0
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Macro
  • Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D
  • Nikon El-Nikkor 50 mm f/2.8N
  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
  • Tamron SP 45mm F1.8 Di VC USD

5: 85mm prime lens

These are one of the classic portrait lenses along with the 105 & 135mm, known for producing nice creamy bokeh. With an 85mm lens you can take photos of you subject from some distance. As you go more telephoto, the bokeh becomes more dramatic due to shallower depth of field. Thus with an 85mm fast prime like f/1.4 or f/1.8, you can easily isolate your subject from the background and make the viewer focus on the intended subject.

The Nikon Df digital SLR camera with Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f1.4D IF lens.
Courtesy: Source-wikimedia.org Author- Roland Tanglao

All this contributes to the 85mm prime's reputation of being called a classic portrait lens - covering the upper body & "Head & Shoulders", where you can use the whole image frame to cover just the subject's face or whole subject without including much surrounding area, all this without getting too close to the subject. Having said that, it doesn't mean you cannot take wider full body shots - you just need to compose the picture from a farther distance.

The 85mm is one of the classic portrait lenses, known for producing nice creamy bokeh. 


Another reason why this lens shines for portraits is distortion (or rather lack of it). Since you are already backing up to fit in the subject in frame, you are also diminishing the effect of perspective distortion - the kind which is seen prominently with wide angle lenses where anything close like subject's face/nose seems a bit too large in proportion to anything farther away.

Head & shoulders portrait shot with an 85mm F1.4 at f/1.7. Notice that although this is a close-up photo, the face doesnt look larger than life, distorted. Since this was taken from an 85mm range, it allowed the photographer to keep some distance while still getting this tight shot, diminishing perspective distortion.
Courtesy: Source:flickr.com  Author:partiet

Using a 50mm lens for such close-ups may distort the face a bit, since compared to 85mm, to have the same composition & subject size in your photo your camera needs to be more close to the subject. As mentioned before, some photographers don't like this hence prefer the 85mm.

Since you need to be farther away from this subject, this also works well for street photography where you want to keep distance from people in your shots & avoid awkward moments. This means your street photos would be much tighter, with more background isolation & you'll need to stop down a lot more to get more background into focus.

Love is in the air....
This romantic moment was clearly captured from some distance, which made sense, thanks to the 85mm lens. Notice the background compression
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author-yansensugiarto_street
Uses:
  • Portrait Photography
  • Street Photography
Pros:
  • almost no distortion when shooting portraits
  • creamy background blur and bokeh
Cons:
  • have to maintain farther distance from subject to include more in the frame
  • need to stop down more to get more background in focus, loosing light
Examples:
  • Nikon AF-S 85mm f1.4G
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
  • Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
  • Zeiss 85mm f/1.5 Planar T* ZE
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • Pentax SMC FA* 85mm 1.4
  • Pentax M 85mm F2
  • Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC
  • Tamron F016 SP 85MM F/1.8 Di VC USD
  • Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

Which one should I get?

All the 35, 50, 85 have their applications. The 35mm gives you wider field of view covering many subjects spread over broader space e.g. group photos in an event. In case of portraits the 35mm will provide that slight perspective distortion, which a lot of portrait photographers like and others dont.

On the other hand, 50mm will give you more compression than 35mm yet more separation between subject and the background compared to 85mm (i.e. the distance between the subject and background looks more realistic). Overall the versatility of the 50mm can hardly be challenged.

This portrait taken using 50mm lens taken from close distance. Notice how the face is a bit large compared to the body.
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author-bechstein

The 85mm compresses the background more trying to diminish the separation while also reducing the effect of perspective distortion to almost nil.

If you want to have a single prime lens, then the classic 50mm prime fits right in between the wider 35mm and the telephoto 85mm. and has good applications in portrait as well as street photography.

If you would like to have a single lens for portrait, and you're one of those who don't like any facial distortions, then I think the 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 is your best bet. You will be shooting from a distance & avoiding perspective distortion (but not too far away) & yet get the optimal portrait composition more often than not.


6: 135mm & 200mm prime lenses - Portraits from a distance

With these lenses you can create stunning portraits from a distance. They can easily blur the background creating creamy bokeh with shallow depth of field and isolated backgrounds.
Also the background compression will be even more as compared to 85mm.

They are ideal for head & shoulder portraits & head shots, thanks to their narrow focal length.

Close up Portrait shot with a 135mm 2.8 Super Paragon PMC. Notice the background blur and compression.
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author-ileohidalgo
A headshot, shot using a minolta 200mm at f/2.8.
Courtesy: Source- flickr.com Author- usfotografie

Shooting portraits with these lenses and especially with the 200mm could be a problem, more so if you want to include larger portion of the subject like 3/4th or full body. If you happen to be shooting with these at a crowded outdoor location, and since you have to maintain some distance from the subject, there can possibly be random people getting in between the photographer & subject. Also communication from a distance could be an issue. This isn't a problem though in a controlled environment like studios or indoors.


The 135 & 200mm fields of view make for good "head & shoulder" or headshot portraits.


The 200mm lens is a pretty high telephoto lens. This also makes it ideal for sports and wildlife photography, even more so when coupled with a 1.4x to 2x teleconverter (Teleconverters reduce light by 1 or 2 stops; but with an already bright lens like f/2.8 or f/2 the loss isn't as damaging).

Portrait shot with the Canon 200mm f/2L
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author- squinza

Note that if you are shooting on an APS-C body, an 85mm lens would give the field of view of ~135mm.

Uses:
  • Portrait Photography
  • Sports Photography (200mm)
  • Wildlife and Bird photography (200mm especially with a teleconverter)
Pros:
  • Nice compression, more background blur contributes for a better bokeh in portraits and subject isolation from background distraction.
  • Adding a teleconverter to a bright lens with long focal length can extend the lens's usability in other domains.
Cons:
  • Have to maintain even more distance from subject than the 85mm, making it difficult for outdoor portraits
  • Expensive
Examples:
  • Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm f/1.4
  • Tamron 135mm f/2.5 lens M42 screw mount lens
  • Pentax DA* 200mm f/2.8
  • Nikon AF DC-NIKKOR 135mm f/2D (with Defocus Image Control)
  • Canon EF 135mm F/2L USM
  • Canon EF 135mm f/2.8 With Softfocus

Tamron 135mm f/2.5 lens M42 screw mount lens
Courtesy: Source- flickr.com Author- colinsd40

7: Long Telephoto prime lenses

These are prime lenses which generally range from around 300mm to 800mm. Like their zoom counterparts, they are extremely popular with Wildlife professionals, thanks to their exceptional feature set and high level of build and image quality. Hence they often come with a premium price tag.

Bird shot at 400mm using the canon EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens. Notice how the background is totally blurred even when the picture is shot at much smaller f/8 aperture. This is common for long telephoto lenses
Courtesy: Source-flickr.com Author- yogendra174

Such lenses due to their high reach and class leading build quality are often heavy, long and bulky. As far as lens speed goes they go from around f/4 to f/5.6 - not very fast you may say for the price, but it gets very difficult to create a fast lens as the focal length increases. The lens and element size & weight increase manifolds with increasing focal length, more so when fast apertures are used. This makes them impractical for use in many situations.

That said, there are a few lenses in this category going as fast as f/2.8 but as said they're very heavy, bulky & expensive compared to their f/4 & f/5.6 counterparts.
Other than aperture they are also very fast in auto-focus speed which is essential in fast paced action.

One interesting thing is the argument - whether to go for a zoom lens (often budget), or a prime for wildlife photography e.g.
70-300mm vs 300mm prime
150-600mm vs 500mm/600mm prime

Here the argument in favor of zooms is that it gives more versatility in range, is cheaper, lighter and compact. But for wildlife chances are you're going to shoot for most time at the highest telephoto end rendering the lower focal lengths hardly of any use, at least in case of wildlife. The telephoto end of such zoom lenses is where the max. aperture is slowest - say f/5.6 or f/6.3. Compare this to primes at similar focal lengths which often open to f/4 or f/2.8 - here there's a clear 1-2 stops advantage for a prime, plus being a prime, expect better IQ. Add to this the fact that budget zooms often don't perform their best at the telephoto end.

The canon EF 400mm f/2.8 is a very bright lens which comes with a hefty weight & price tag (~10 grands), making it practically useful for only professionals working in specific fields of photography.
Courtesy: Source-commons.wikimedia.org Author-Armin K├╝belbeck

On the downside, primes at such focal lengths as mentioned above are heavy, bulky and cost often in multiples of their zoom counterparts, even more so if they are faster like f/2.8. One more significant point is that since you are fixed at a high telephoto, you cannot snap back to a wider view to search the erratically moving subject you just lost out of frame. Zooming out is especially helpful in case of constantly moving birds and animals at long distances. At 300 or 400mm you are restricting yourself to a tiny area & loosing the subject may render you searching clueless, forcing you to get away from the viewfinder & search yourself. This isn't the case with a nice zoom going wider to 70 or 50mm.

Talking in favor of primes, bright telephoto prime lenses have their applications in fast paced sports & wildlife. In sports, especially indoor & night time sports with less light availability it gets difficult to freeze the moment. Here you need to use high shutter speed to avoid any motion blur (which reduces exposure). At times use of flash is prohibited too. To increase it you need to either crank up the ISO or use a fast lens, & high ISO isn't always favorable due to increased noise. Here a faster lens comes to the rescue.

Long telephoto primes with fast apertures are critical for having fast shutter speeds needed for fast action sports & wildlife


Steph Curry, Golden States Warrior
This shot of an NBA match was taken with a Canon EOS-1D XEF200mm & f/2.8L USM at f/2.8 with a 1/1250 high speed shutter. Notice the high noise in this image, it's so because, to sustain the required exposure at high shutter speed in low light, a high ISO of 4000 was used.
Courtesy: Source- flickr.com Author- keithallison


One important point to consider is that the lens speed is critical when you intend to increase the focal length of your existing gear with a teleconverter.

A Teleconverter or extender is basically a lens which fits right between your Camera body and the main lens. It increases your lens's focal length typically by 1.4x, 1.7x or 2x.

This Canon EXTENDER EF 1.4x III will give you a 1.4x magnification but at the loss of 1 stop of light.
But they also result in loss of incoming light by 1 stop if you're using a 1.4x converter or 2 stops when using a 2x version. Here a slower lens e.g. an f/4 when coupled with a teleconverter may effectively end up being an f/5.6 or f/8 lens - which may hunt and may not focus in low light depending on you camera body (generally f/5.6 is considered as a limit but there are bodies which will focus at f/8 only at selective points). On the other hand an f/2.8 will only slow down to f/4 or f/5.6.

Uses:
  • Sports and Action Photography
  • Wildlife and Bird Photography
Pros:
  • Easy to shoot distant objects without getting much close
  • Fast primes can be coupled with teleconverters for more range
Cons:
  • Premium price tag
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Don't balance well with lighter bodies
  • Cannot be used handheld for long, & need to be mounted on tripod
  • If a moving subject is lost out of frame, we cannot zoom out to find it
Examples:
  • Canon EF 300mm & 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
  • Canon EF 400mm, 500mm, 600mm f/4L IS II USM
  • Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM
  • AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F2.8 ED VR II
  • AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8  ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 300mm, 500mm, 600mm f/4 ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR
  • SMC Pentax-DA* 300mm F4 ED [IF] SDM
  • SMC Pentax-FA* 300mm F2.8 ED [IF]
  • SMC Pentax-FA* 600mm F4 ED [IF]
  • SMC Pentax-A 400mm F5.6
  • SMC Pentax-A* 400mm F2.8 ED [IF]
  • Sigma 300mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO
  • Sigma 300mm f4 APO Macro HSM
  • Sigma 400mm f/5.6 HSM APO macro
  • Sigma 500mm f/4.5 EX DG HSM APO
  • Sigma 800mm f/5.6 EX DG APO HSM

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