Kenko 1.4 dgx teleconverter review
This is not the Kenko Pro 300 version, which is suggested for 300mm and longer lenses. For longer lenses the Pro 300 version is suggested. I use this (the non Pro version) converter with a Canon 200mm f/2.8 prime lens.
The Pro 300 is much better, perhaps this is not good at all… See the below examples with the Canon 200 f2.8 L Usm. What do you think ?
Original uncropped image you can guess the distance the field of view at 280mm is 0.8m from 10 meters. It means that a subject distance is about 50m (54.7 yards) in this case.
Cropped – the colours are dull because of the overcast weather of the last picture
Autofocus is very quick, because of the missing 3 pins (these pins are usually suggested to tape it in order to maintain AF function with f/8 combo), almost like the naked lens.
The optical quality with the C200 f2.8 is not up to the Canon 300 f4 is optical quality but the combo is much smaller, lighter and less expensive solution. Sharp at f/4 wide open, very sharp from f/5.6.
But perhaps not everybody likes the results at the same way, obviously a longer lens without the converter gives better results. The Canon 200 prime without the converter is a wonder, but even with a converter is very nice.
Honestly I was very pleasantly surprised how sharp is the combination with the converter.
Which mother lens ?
If you haven’t got a good, quality main lens, I suggest to have the good lens first, after the converter, because with the bad quality lens, the result can be not preferable.
In any case check the result on the computer, before buy, in order to avoid the loss of money.
I intend to use the converter with my Canon 200/2.8 L lens.
It is a wonderful quality lens. (Even with the converter.)
The Canon and the Kenko Pro 1.4 are designed to be used with long primes (Pro 300 refers 300mm and longer), this particular Kenko works better with the 200mm focal lens I intended to use for.
I got the idea of this Kenko converter from Traumflieger.de teleconverter test. This test suggests that on the Canon 200 f4 L is lens with Canon 5d Mk II body, this converter is the best.
Although in the picture center the Canon 1,4 MkII and the Kenko Pro 300 are gives better resolution but in mid frame this Kenko is significantly better, than any of them.
Picture corner performance I don’t really care because I intend to use it on my 30D Aps-c Dsrl.
(For full frame users the Kenko dgx better than Pro300dgx and the Canon 1.4II, the Canon 1.4 III a bit better, but worse in the center, you can check the results at http://www.traumflieger.de/objektivtest/open_test/telekonverter/overview.php/
Why the 1.4 converter ?
According to my experience, the 1.4 converters are a very good compromise between brightness, picture quality and focal length.
My 200mm prime gives good results with a 2x converter from f4 (f8 with the 2x converter), the contrast and colors are significantly reduced, compare to the 1.4X version.
The f1.4X version gives good quality even wide open, has better contrast, colors and sharpness. This means it is 4 times better in shutter speed.
Available 1.4 converters on the market
There are several 1.4 converters available on the market. Canon has their Mark I, II, and III versions, Kenko has several versions: the newer 1.4dgx, and 1.4 Pro 300dgx, and older 1.4 dg, and 1.4 Pro 300.
Kenko also has an older 1.5x model, Sigma has their 1.4 converter, Nikon also has their 1.4 converter.
Why the Kenko ?
No protruding element (Canons have, they only can be used with Canon L primes) , can use with any lens, much cheaper, seems very good.
My intension was to use with my Canon 50/1.8 and together with my Soligor 2x on my 200mm, this case it gives a 560mm f8 lens, and this converter autofocuses with both combination.
With the Canons I cannot even attach them without a ring.
I am happy with this converter. See pictures in the below gallery. The Grebe was several meters away,(the picture heavily cropped).
I don’ make any change expect resize images to 1000 pixel wide in order to keep the picture sizes reasonable, ( and sometimes crop).
The pictures are sharp at the origal 3504 pixel size. See the crop for the same picture appear in the gallery, full size of the original picture.
The converter is reasonably well built, but not rock solid, there is some movement when a lens attached to a converter, if you want a rock solid build, buy the Canon, which is more solid, no wobbling, but more expensive.
For me the build quality is ok, of course it would be better if it would be attached more solidly.
Autofocused almost with anything, even with the Soligor 2x converter attached to it. There are some exceptions mentioned: canon 50/2.5 compact macro, 100/2.8 L is usm macro. For example it is autofocus with Canon 50/1.8 II lens.
This is the newest Kenko with blue dot on it. (See below)
With the Canon 200/2,8L image quality is suberb. Good contrast, sharpness, I see no fringing or cromatic aberration.
The lens reasonably sharp with a teleconverter wide open. (See the bee eater photo on the cover page). There is some flare when I shot the sun, but this is not a big problem. The Canon 200L without a Tc not has this issue.
The picture quality with other lenses perhaps not always the same. Picture quality with a Canon 50/1.8 for example also very good (really sharp from f4*1,4=5.6), and makes the focal length of the lens ideal for portraits.
This lens also can be used wide open for close portraits. (Do not expect wide open results to be as sharp as 85/1.8 for example, but I like the transformed 70/2.5 lens).
The teleconverter report to the body change the aperture according to the combination. In exif 280mm, or 70mm in case of canon 50 is appear.
Highly recommended for a good quality 200 mm lens, for Canon 70-200 lenses, or for 50mm nifty fifty, also works very good with the Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens, autofocus maintained even on a Canon 30D crop camera.
Drawbacks: little flare – not a problem most of the time, 280mm is not long enough most of the situations, perhaps can try with a Micro 4/3 body with a conversion ring, lost autofocus, and auto aperture, gain 350mm focal length.
The first Amazon link is normally Nikon, the second is Canon.
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Gallery with the Canon 200/2.8 L with Kenko 1.4 dg