Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DGX 1.4X AF Teleconverter - Tamron 70-300 f4/5.6 DI VC USD Review - March 20 2012

Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DGX 1.4X AF Teleconverter - Tamron 70-300 f4/5.6 DI VC USD Review

Ordered from B&H Photo, delivered ran $280, to purchase in Canada would have been over $400. 
TC  is mounted on a Tamron 70-300 f4/5.6 DI VC USD telephoto lens. Purchased at Henry's Camera for around $500 including taxes.
For a total price of around $780 I have a 78-420mm image stabilized lens.
Lens and TC mounted on a Canon T1i.
I replaced a Canon 70-300 IS, (non L), lens with the Tamron. I am much happier with the Tamron as the Canon lens seemed to be quirky. I would hold down the shutter button and take several pictures in hopes that I would get one decent picture. With the Tamron I take 1 or 2 pictures that are superior to the images captured with the Canon lens. I've heard similar stories from other Canon 70-300 IS owners, one said he sent his in under warranty. Canon replaced his lens as the IS was defective.

TC weighs 4.7 ounces (132 grams) and is about an inch long (27mm).
Lens weighs 1.68 lbs (765 grams) and takes a 62mm filter.
T1i weighs 16.9 ounces (479 grams).
Weight of camera,TC and lens is about 38.28 ounces (1376 grams) (1.4 kg?)

I use a Crumpler Industry Disgrace Camera strap. (Image from Crumpler site), I paid around $35 delivered from McBain Camera, but was disappointed that they sent me a black strap rather than the brown one I ordered.
It is a very comfortable strap, noticed a big difference over the Canon strap included with Canon cameras.


Here are some photo's taken of the TC mounted on the T1i and 70-300 lens.

Here are a few images just to show the difference between 70-300mm and 78-420mm.
Images taken at about 15 feet, dull overcast day.

T1i 70mm
T1i 78mm
T2i 78mm
T1i 300mm
T1i 420mm
T2i 420mm

Weather was not to our liking today so we didn't get out to take any pictures. Will update this soon once we get out to take some pictures.

22 March 2012
Got a few pictures yesterday of a couple of American Tree Sparrows. I have posted a few photos. 
I should mention that both Rose and myself do not use tripods or monopods. We shoot handheld and should we ever post a sample picture using a supportive device we will certainly mention it.
Our ranking as far as photography goes might be advanced amateurs.
I cropped the photos to a size that appeared to be the best quality crop I could achieve.
The Sparrow at 20 feet was constantly moving. The two pictures are from a series of 5, being the 2nd and 5th photos. The bird flew off after the 5th photo. AF is usually quite precise, but is also dependent on light, movement and clutter. 
Here are the photos:
 20 feet Auto Focus 
 20 feet AF Crop
20 feet AF - Crop, Auto fix, sharpened in Photo Shop Elements
 20 feet AF
 20 feet AF Crop
20 feet AF - Crop, Auto fix, sharpened in Photo Shop Elements 
 30 Feet Manual Focus
 30 Feet MF Crop
30 feet MF - Crop, Auto fix, sharpened in Photo Shop Elements  

Auto focus seems to be unaffected by the TC. But auto focus is affected by light and the amount of clutter, in dimmer light the AF is slower and much less accurate, either with or without the TC.
Hope to get some more pictures but migration has just started and these have been the most cooperative birds thus far. 
With these pictures it would appear that the TC is quite compatible with my Tamron lens. Will post more pictures over time. But so far I am not disappointed with the TC, lens, camera combination.
31 March 2012 
Today was very nice so we got out to look for some birds. 
We didn't see too much and got few opportunities to take pictures, the pictures we did get were not entirely to our liking but we got some none the less.
We did see some more migratory birds so the migration is under way and we expect new birds to be arriving over the next few weeks. Here they seem to flock through, there will be many of one species that will remain for a few days to a week then another species will flock in. 
 Moth - Found that TC does not affect the range from lens to subject, still 5-6 feet Sorry but this one is a little over exposed.
 Moth head crop
 Golden-crowned Kinglet, a bit bigger than a humming bird - 25 feet Manual focus. Kinglet was on the dark side of a tree and constantly moving, AF would not lock on so had to switch to MF. Dim light and tiny bird defeated AF.
 Golden-crowned Kinglet crop
 Golden-crowned Kinglet sharpened auto fix PS Elements
 Dark Eyed Junco 20 feet
Dark Eyed Junco crop

Still haven't had a lot of luck finding birds to photograph, we hear lots of the year round birds but they are not being very cooperative. The next few weeks should bring us more opportunities and we will post some more pictures when more cooperative birds show up and we, hopefully, get some decent pictures.
So far I am pleased with the results, although we have not gotten any great pictures I think the TC will work out OK for me. Dim light does affect the AF, but, I don't think it is going to be a huge problem. 
AF seems to be unaffected by the TC other than in very dim light. 
I did have the sigma 120-400mm for a while and I think the Tamron 70-300 f4/5.6 DI VC USD and Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DGX 1.4X AF are better than the Sigma 120-400mm. Once more birds start showing up I feel pretty confident that I will be very happy with this combination.
01 April 2012
Got out to a lake today, got some decent pictures, saw several  different types of birds and waterfowl.
Weather was nice other than a strong wind.
Western Meadowlark taken at about 25 feet from our van, had to twist in my seat to get the picture, rested camera on window to stabilize.

Meadowlark 25 feet

 Meadowlark 25 feet crop
 Meadowlark 25 feet crop sharpened auto fix PS Elements
 Meadowlark 25 feet
 Meadowlark 25 feet crop
Meadowlark 25 feet crop sharpened auto fix PS Elements

 American Tree Sparrow 20 feet
 American Tree Sparrow 20 feet crop
 American Tree Sparrow 20 feet crop sharpened auto fix PS Elements

 Ruffed Grouse 20 feet
 Ruffed Grouse 20 feet crop
Ruffed Grouse 20 feet crop sharpened auto fix PS Elements


  1. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

    1. Glad it was of some use for you.
      Sadly my Tamron 70-300 VC lens seems to have developed a problem, it began making grinding squealing noises and now photo quality is terrible, much worse with the T2i than with the T1i. I will have to take it in to have it looked at.