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Tele-extender or ? for A6000

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Jazzer, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    I'm a little at a loss and could use some opinions. Love my A6000 but am a bit frustrated at the moment with the lack of options on the long side. I would like to be able to get some decent quality photos of wildlife but it is something that I am not sure how much I am going to be doing. For now, it seems to come up primarily when on vacation, but I might be inclined to go wildlife "hunting" (with my camera, that is) more locally as well if I could get decent results. I am going to be headed to Florida soon on vacation, so the issue has come up again.

    I have the 55-210. As I see it, I can (1) buy a tele-extender (e.g., DH1758) which is probably the least expensive option but I have seen very mixed results with; (2) buy an la-ea4 or ea2 and an Amount lens with a loss of OSS; (3) buy an adapted lens of some sort but lose auto focus; or (4) buy a superzoom but then have the inconvenience of having to carry a second camera, batteries, etc. and lose the benefits of the APS-C sensor. Anything else?

    Would love to hear opinions about what has worked best for you -- and is likely to yield the best results with most convenience and least cost (not asking much, am I? :) )
     
  2. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I say try the DH1758. for 3 reasons.
    • It allows you to stick with one system.
    • It's the least expensive as you say.
    • least risk - Provided you keep it in the same condition. the price you pay used, will likely be the price you can sell it for if you don't like it.
    IMO
     
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  3. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    The DH1758 increases the f number by 1.5 stops. At maximum telephoto the SEL55210 is f/6.3. With the DH1758 that becomes about f/11. So you'll need to boost the ISO and/or limit shooting to bright light.
    I wonder if you'd have better results cropping what you get from the SEL55210 instead of adding a teleconverter designed for another lens.
    ------------
    CORRECTION: It turns out the DH1758 is a "Teleside converter" which means it does NOT increase the f/number. I apologize for this error. My comments below are true for conventional teleconverters, but not teleside converters.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  4. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Thanks very much for your reply. I am curious if this is based on your personal experience. From several other sources I have been told that the light drop off, if any, is almost imperceptible.

    In any event, I purchased a DH1758 and it should be arriving in a few days, so I guess I can try it out myself. I expected to need a good bit of light since I am using the 55-210, but hopefully not quite that much. We'll see.
     
  5. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    I'm just applying the basic principles of optics. A 1.7X teleconverter will have the same f-number penalty whether it's placed between the lens and sensor or in front of the lens (as for the DH1758). People use teleconverters all the time of course, but there's no way to avoid the f-number penalty. If you put one on a slow lens you'll end up with a slower lens.
    I've used a 2x teleconverter on a legacy 210mm lens. That's a 2-stop penalty, but it's an f/3.5 lens which becomes f/7 with the teleconverter. The obvious disadvantage of the legacy lens is losing auto-focus and OSS. That makes hand-held photography of moving subjects tricky. The 1970's coatings and optical designs probably aren't as good either, but it's a frugal way to go. I'm still trying to decide if I'm better off using the 2x converter or cropping. Guess I should devise an experiment for that.
    A nice tutorial on teleconverters:
    http://digital-photography-school.c...using-tele-converters-extenders-on-your-dslr/
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  6. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Just bear in mind, the 55210's plastic zoom barrel will be extended fully, and there is already some play in it. With the added weight in front, supporting it in some fashion as you shoot should be done.
    This is likely the best travel option to gain some more reach. IMO, the 55210 is notably soft at 210mm. YMMV with the end result.

    Tried the legacy lens route, and the loss of OSS, weight, manual everything, creates quite a challenge getting acceptable wildlife shots while hand-held. Consider a travel tripod or monopod.

    But do follow up with some sample shots, curious how this TC will work out.
     
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  7. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    I agree the situation improves immensely if your situation allows use of a tripod or at least a monopod. And learn methods for stable shooting and nailing the focus. Most of my poor shots with telephotos (and I've had many!) have been due to camera motion or missed focus.
    Auto-focus and OSS can only do so much. In fact, Sony recommends turning OSS off when using a tripod. Apparently OSS involves some constant vibration that makes tripod photos slightly blurrier than they otherwise would be.
    Whatever equipment you decide on, set up some experiments at home to make sure you understand how to get sharp images with it. For example, I did an experiment today with a legacy Vivitar Series-1 70-210mm 3.5 set to 210mm and f/8 on a tripod (on a NEX-6 set to ISO 800 and time delay shutter).
    The first photo below is the jpeg out of camera. The second photo is approximately 2x crop with a little editing (including two jpg compression cycles, since I cropped the jpg instead of the raw file.) Since the aps-c sensor has a 1.6x crop factor relative to full frame, my cropped photo has approximately the same FOV as a 420mm lens on an aps-c camera or a 672mm telephoto on a full frame camera (210 x 2 x 1.6). For size reference, the height from bottom of the stand to top of the bird's head is about 8 inches. If I had taken this hand-held it would have been a mess!
    16472873513_4764d10a8b_o. Vivitar S1 70-210 3.5, set 210 f/8, OOC & crop by Telllekstr, on Flickr
    17091518972_21a0d77eb7_o. Vivitar S1 70-210 3.5, set 210 f/8, OOC & crop by Telllekstr, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  8. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    Here's that same bird with the same lens, but this time with a 2x teleconverter between lens and camera. This is uncropped, so ends up about the same size as the 2x cropped photo with no teleconverter. I'd be hard pressed to say which was sharper. That's why I'd consider leaving the teleconverter at home and just crop. Camera stability and focus are just as critical in either case.
    Hope this helps. I've learned something from this experiment.
    17094858111_28cbafd2bf_o. Viv S-1 70-210 3.5 at 210 with 2x teleconverter by Telllekstr, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  9. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Thanks for that Kirkp. Yes, cropping is one option. Of course, you presumably could now crop the shot with the teleconverter and you would have more resolution to play with, so the teleconverter should, in theory anyway, allow getting much closer without image deterioration. And given that the 55-210 can get a little softer at the extreme long end, you could pull back some and with the teleconverter still get a nice reach. (oh, and just a little useless nit -- the crop factor for the NEX 6 and A6000 is 1.5x not 1.6x like the Canon crop sensors ;) )

    And WNG, the point is well taken about using a tripod. When I had a superzoom I thought, "wow, this is great, I can get all these far away shots." The reality was that if I was handholding it was tough not to get camera shake. And if I upped the ISO on the small sensor in order to get a faster shutter speed, I lost a lot of detail.

    Anyway, the teleconverter should arrive in the next day or two and I will be traveling in about a week, so hopefully I'll get a chance to experiment at least a little before using it. Hopefully I'll get a few pictures worth sharing.

    Thanks!
     
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  10. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    Looking into this further, I realize I had a key fact wrong. Since the DH1658 is a "teleside converter" it does not change the f/ number of the lens. On the surface, this would appear to be an advantage over conventional teleconverters. However, teleside converters are more likely to cause aberations, and typically cause vignetting when zoom out to wider angles.