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Bird Watching (UK) - - Part One Gear -

Re­ferred to as ‘ex­ten­ders’ by some man­u­fac­tur­ers, the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion of­fered by 1.4x and 2x con­vert­ers is ir­re­sistible for bird pho­tog­ra­phers seek­ing to in­crease the size of the sub­ject in the frame. How­ever, they do have disad­van­tages. They re­duce the amount of light reach­ing the sen­sor by a sig­nif­i­cant amount, which af­fects aut­o­fo­cus speed and aper­ture un­less you in­crease the ISO. In ad­di­tion, they cause de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in im­age qual­ity. The ef­fect is barely no­tice­able with some lens/con­verter com­bi­na­tions but ru­inous with oth­ers. Try out all the com­bi­na­tions and see what works for you.

Above: The long ‘reach’ of a 600mm lens and 1.4x con­verter were needed to achieve good im­age size and def­i­ni­tion with this Balearic War­bler, which is a tiny bird

Right: A sec­tion of the im­age show­ing how cam­era file size, and the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion of a su­per tele­photo lens, al­low for crop­ping and en­large­ment

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