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Thread: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

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    70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Some time ago I promised to report on the Sony 1.4X TC when used with the 70-400 mm G lens. The first few shots were very poor and I sent the converter back to Sony, who simply - and quickly - replaced it, no questions asked.

    As you can see with this shot, it does just fine, certainly for wildlife where soft corners are of no concern. This was shot at ISO 320 and f16 - hand-held at 1/125th! Not bad for an effective 560 mm lens. The image did require more than C1's default sharpening, however, and actually could use a bit more. But a promising start!
    Attachment 18637

    Eastern Kingbird
    Last edited by Bill Caulfeild-Browne; 24th August 2009 at 16:50.

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Nice framing Bill!.... And, yes, it does look, just a touch, off. Not bad though.. If it's not to much trouble could you put it on the tripod and open it up a bit. It may end up being decent for more static type work. I liked the results I used to get with the 1.4 on Nikons 70-200 and have been very pleased with the 70-400 G, straight up.

    -david

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Yes, I'll do a few more formal tests where camera shake won't be an issue. Gimme a few days!
    Bill

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    I set out today to use the TC on the 70-400 but got sidetracked by my friend Beak.

    Beak is Ring-bill Gull who has been coming to our home for the last eight summers. He taps on our door to demand a hand-out - he prefers cheese slices.

    This is him full frame (well, very slightly cropped) and at 100%. The 70-400 continues to be the sharpest tele zoom I've used. (And that includes the Canon 100-400 and the Sigma 120-400). ISO 320.

    I WILL do a TC test, soon, honest!

    Attachment 19928

    Attachment 19930
    Last edited by Bill Caulfeild-Browne; 24th August 2009 at 16:48.

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I set out today to use the TC on the 70-400 but got sidetracked by my friend Beak.

    Beak is Ring-bill Gull who has been coming to our home for the last eight summers. He taps on our door to demand a hand-out - he prefers cheese slices.


    Nice!

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Thanks Georg - though I notice the 100% view does not look sharp on the site - I processed it incorrectly. The correct version is:
    Attachment 19998
    Last edited by Bill Caulfeild-Browne; 24th August 2009 at 16:48.

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Here are my formal tests of the 70-400 G with the 1.4X TC. Sony a900 at ISO 200. All processed in C1 with the default settings only - no other manipulation. All shot with THE CUBE, of course!

    The first is the full frame at 400 mm, no TC.
    Attachment 20035

    The next is full aperture, f5.6, no TC, at 100%
    Attachment 20036
    The next is the same but at f8.
    Attachment 20037

    This one is with the TC at full aperture, effectively f8
    Attachment 20038

    And this one is the same as above but at one stop down i.e.f11
    Attachment 20039

    I doubt the jpgs will show what I can see on my 30' display so I'll add my analysis based on it. The shots w/out the TC are almost identical - very good IQ with just a small improvement at f8. This confirms the formal lab tests I've read - and there is no advantage to stopping down any further except for DOF. The image starts degrading at about f16.

    The shots with the TC surprised me - they're better than I expected. Full aperture is very usable for wildlife etc where the corners are rarely important. Stopping down to F11 does help, but going any further gains very little, at least at the centre.

    Although I have not posted them here, "real life" shots benefit in post from a little extra contrast, and sharpening to about 300 in C1.

    Finally, for fun, I put the 300 mm APO on my Phamiya/P45+ and shot the same scene. Despite having to process the image at 160% to get the mast to the same size, it actually looks cleaner than the Sony images. Here it is at 160%.
    Attachment 20043

    That's all the pixel peeping I'm going to do. The TC is eminently usable and its only drawback is manual focus.

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Caulfeild-Browne; 15th October 2009 at 18:23.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Thanks for taking the time to do those tests Bill, much appreciated!

    I have ordered the 70-400G - it will be replacing my 70-300G but I am keeping the Minolta 80-200/2.8 HS G for low light sports use.
    David Anderson

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    May I know, if the 70-400G can focus automatically?

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Yes, the lens alone will autofocus, but when you add the 1.4X TC, only manual focus is available.
    Bill

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    I could have used more reach in Iceland. I guess my only real two choices are teh 70-400 with a TC or the 500 mirror. Much has been said about the mirror. Some people like it and others loathe it. Have you tried it?

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Want Puffins? - Come to Scotland - you can get to within a couple of feet of 40,000 breeding pairs on the May Isle.

    I believe that if you get a third party 1.4X TC that does not have a chip in to tell the real aperture to the camera, the A900 will autofocus with it, though slowly.

    You need one with 8 contacts to work the SSM, but no chip. This may affect how well the SSS works though - because the true focal length is unknown to the camera.

    I am very impressed with the 70-400G, was out at the semi local wildlife park shooting big-game with it, we have everything in Scotland
    David Anderson

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    David, the 70-400 will be perfect for tracking down and shooting the wild Haggis
    up there in Bonny Scotland!
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    I am impressed by the 70-400G.

    This is fully open f/5.6 @400mm ISO 640 [Handheld shot through glass]



    another at f/5.6 330mm ISO 500 [again through glass]



    Lastly f/7.1 @ 400mm ISO 500 cropped

    Last edited by Braeside; 5th August 2009 at 04:06.
    David Anderson

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Great shots David, I want one of those lenses! Did you PX the 70-300 for the 70 400?

    I may have to wait as I have just ordered the Zeiss 135/1.8 and that will leave a big dent in my wallet!
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Quote Originally Posted by dhsimmonds View Post
    Great shots David, I want one of those lenses! Did you PX the 70-300 for the 70 400?

    I may have to wait as I have just ordered the Zeiss 135/1.8 and that will leave a big dent in my wallet!
    Yes, I sold my 70-300G on Dyxum after I bought the 70-400G. I couldn't justify having both and the 80-200G. The 70-400G appears to as sharp or sharper than my 80-200G. I am just back from the waterski club, having taken a ton of photos, want to see how it handled the action stuff.
    David Anderson

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Bill, I hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread - perhaps I should have started a new one on the 70-400G?

    Results from the action stuff looks fine with the 70-400G, the CAF of the A900 could keep up with waterskiers, that will do me fine.

    250mm f/6.3 1/3200s ISO 400




    100% Crop




    400mm f/7.1 1/1250s ISO 400



    100%

    David Anderson

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Thanks Georg - though I notice the 100% view does not look sharp on the site - I processed it incorrectly. The correct version is:
    Attachment 19998
    Just curious, what did you change besides sharpening? It's a great pic, but this crop looks seriously oversharpened to my eye.
    α900+VG|F20|2xF58|16-35,24-70,135Z|STF|70-400G|50,85 1.4|16,20,28,100M,80-200APO f/2.8|28-135|500f/8|1x-3xMacro|2xMFC-1000|Tiltall+RRS, Bellows, etc.

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I could have used more reach in Iceland. I guess my only real two choices are teh 70-400 with a TC or the 500 mirror. Much has been said about the mirror. Some people like it and others loathe it. Have you tried it?
    Yes, I have it and it's pretty sharp. The drawbacks are (1) fixed aperture (2) dark viewfinder image and (3) dark corners, tho' these are easily corrected in post. Here is shot from last winter, cropped a fair amount as the Goldeneye was still too far away even for 500 mm! This was handheld - SSS works well with this very light lens. Note the water droplets!

    Attachment 20472
    Last edited by Bill Caulfeild-Browne; 15th October 2009 at 18:24.

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Anderson View Post
    Just curious, what did you change besides sharpening? It's a great pic, but this crop looks seriously oversharpened to my eye.
    Sorry Dave but I no longer have this pic on this computer and I'm not at home (out shooting!) for a week or so. I'll check when I get back, but my recollection is that the image was at C1 defaults.
    Bill

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    No worries Bill -- From the text of your post I gathered you were posting it as an improvement, and I was just trying to understand...
    α900+VG|F20|2xF58|16-35,24-70,135Z|STF|70-400G|50,85 1.4|16,20,28,100M,80-200APO f/2.8|28-135|500f/8|1x-3xMacro|2xMFC-1000|Tiltall+RRS, Bellows, etc.

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Welcome - Dave - another David Anderson!
    David Anderson

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    Re: 70-400 G with Sony 1.4X TC

    Hey, it's a good name -- what can I say?

    We seem to have some similar taste in lenses too.
    α900+VG|F20|2xF58|16-35,24-70,135Z|STF|70-400G|50,85 1.4|16,20,28,100M,80-200APO f/2.8|28-135|500f/8|1x-3xMacro|2xMFC-1000|Tiltall+RRS, Bellows, etc.

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