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Old January 29th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #1
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Birds and small targets with the Century Optics 1.6 TC?

Any body have any input on using the Century or Schneider Optics 1.6 TC on a Canon XHA1 for birds, smaller targets, wildlife at long range? Looking for input, anybody???
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Old January 29th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tim Cee View Post
Any body have any input on using the Century or Schneider Optics 1.6 TC on a Canon XHA1 for birds, smaller targets, wildlife at long range? Looking for input, anybody???
This is all I can offer. Click on the Sample tab to see images.

1.6X TELE-CONVERTER HD CANON - Schneider Optics

Ryan Avery
Schneider Optics
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Old January 29th, 2009, 07:41 PM   #3
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Hi Tim,
What sort of range are you looking at, & how big are your targets? The Century tele extender will give you 1.6 x the focal length of the lens, so effectively you will end up with 1040mm in 35mm terms. To give you a better idea of what you will be able to achieve with this lens adaptor, zoom in all the way with your camera, & imagine then that what you have in frame would be cropped by roughly 40%. This will vary according to how far you are from your subject but that's a rough idea anyway.
I have been using a Raynox 1.8x tele extender & have been very impressed with the quality of what i get with it. The Century lens will be even better, just not quite as long.
Hope this helps,
Bryce
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Old January 29th, 2009, 08:12 PM   #4
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Hey Ryan, Hey Bryce, was looking for input from anyone with this TC on an XHA1 to see how it handled birds in flight, tracking, and image quality over all. I have the numbers you mentioned, and know what reach is capable as well as the vignetting issues associated with this TC. Thanks for the input. Anybody with any hands on out here please let me know.
Thanks again guys.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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Hi again Tim,
The image quality of the TC you are looking at is probably the best you will get. As far as being able to track birds in flight, that will come down more to your skills, & how good your tripod is.
Bryce
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Old January 30th, 2009, 12:50 AM   #6
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If the image quality of the Century 1.6x converter for the V1/FX7 is as good as their 2.0x converter, you will be fine!
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Old January 30th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #7
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Hey Tim, I'm getting one of these for my XH-A1 today. I plan to use it for birds, mainly shooting on a tripod with minimal panning and tracking. I'll try to give you some feedback in the nexy few weeks.

Pat
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Old January 30th, 2009, 10:49 AM   #8
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Hey Tim, I'm getting one of these for my XH-A1 today. I plan to use it for birds, mainly shooting on a tripod with minimal panning and tracking. I'll try to give you some feedback in the nexy few weeks.

Pat
Hello Pat, Thanksfor the feedback and support. I would love hearing back from you regarding this as I am ready to do just the same thing as we speak. Perhaps we could share and learn together as we figure out what works and what fails? Thanks again and Please keep me posted as I will do that same for you.
Minimal panning and tracking, :) I have to agree with you on that for sure.

Tim
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Old January 31st, 2009, 10:46 AM   #9
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Hi Tim,

I have been playing around with the Century 1.6 TC this morning. No birds have cooperated yet, but here are my first impressions. It is listed at about one pound in weight (seems a little heavier than this), it will definitely make the XH-A1 a little front heavy. I have the Manfrotto 501HD fluid head, and I can just balance the camera on this but I bought the "long plate" that will allow me to perfectly balance the camera and TC on the head. The TC mounts easily; make sure you remove any filters you have on the A1 lens. The resolution of the TC images seems pretty good, maybe a little less than with the stock lens. Corner-to-corner sharpness seems adequate. The built in lens on the A1 is stellar even at 650 mm, so I have prepared myself to accept a little bit less than this with a TC on (and that would probably be true for most cameras and TCs).

I was filming a distant rock outcropping (1.5 miles) and saw quite a bit of purple fringing on the edges of the frame. Heat waves in the distance may have interferred with focusing, and out of focus edges can exascerbate purple fringing. Filming pine branches and needles against a blue sky, the purple fringing was much less obvious and was acceptable to my eyes at least. This is the kind of scene I will be more likely to film, with a brid on the tree of course. Playing with the presets is one way to reduce the appearance of purple fringing, should you find that it is an issue for you.

If you are manual focusing, the distance scale will be a little bit compressed (a 1.5 mile distant object was in focus when the camera reported a distance of about 1000 feet). If you are filming a relatively close larger bird, like a pelican flying along the beach or a raptor over a meadow, you may be able to do well with the built in lens range without a TC. We will have to learn when to use the TC and when not to. You can zoom out a fair amount with the TC on before there is vignetting, but the image quality at those focal lengths may be better with the stock lens. I'll be pretty busy in the next few weeks and may not have much time to provide any new info, so I will try to check back with you in 2 or 3 weeks. Enjoy your lens! It looks like a good TC.

Pat

Last edited by Pat Reddy; January 31st, 2009 at 10:50 AM. Reason: addition
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Old January 31st, 2009, 08:34 PM   #10
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Hi Pat, Thanks for the heads up. I appreciate you getting back to me with this info so fast. Well, purple fringing huh? I will have to watch for that.
I plan on picking my TC up as soon as I can get by Sammys during this coming week, hopefully Mon or Tues. Where did you get yours if I may ask?
I know what you mean by when to use it and not as I have the same dilemna dealing with all my Still Lenses and the collection of TC's I have for them.
I hope to hear more from you regarding your TC and findings and rest assured i will keep you up on mine as well.
Thanks again Pat and Take Care,
Tim
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Old January 31st, 2009, 10:44 PM   #11
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Tim, I've used the Century 1.6X teleconverter combined with Canon's 1.6 extender for many years on the Canon XL1 with excellent results. For 2 1/2 years now, I've been using this lens combination on the XLH1 with stunning results. If a clip didn't turn out razor sharp I don't blame this lens setup, but rather poor lighting, mirage, extreme range or myself. I backpack solo in the mountains alot and this setup packs well for me. Also, the best zoom lens you can use is your two legs, the closer the better, within reason of course on dangerous animals. I also find Century's .6X wide angle very good for scenic shots.

Happy shooting.

Leon Lorenz
www.wildlifevideos.ca
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Old February 1st, 2009, 11:38 AM   #12
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Tim, I shot some pine siskins and nuthatches this morning. I found that I will have to pay closer attention to focus, exposure, and depth of field than I have with the stock lens, but I was pleased with the peformance of the lens. I think the instant autofocus sensor is blocked by the TC, so auto focus is a little slower and less sure of itself. I bought the TC from B&H Photo.

Leon, thanks for the info. Glad to know that you are getting great results with the TC.

Pat
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Old February 4th, 2009, 02:02 PM   #13
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Once again Pat I Thank You for the input. Sounds like a great TC and well worth the investment. I have not yet had the time to go get mine as work keeps me hopping but I have mine on hold waiting for my pick up. Armed with your test input I am better prepared and well ahead of the game. Thanks!!! BTW, if you don't mind my asking what did you pay for yours? Thanks again Pat........Tim
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Old February 4th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #14
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Tim,
I shoot often with a Canon HR20 and a 2x Canon screw-on teleextender. It does small birds OK, but can't compare with a bigger camcorder. The autofocus is often blocked by the lens, depending on how far away the subject is.

Here is a short video I shot with the 2x extender, hand held.

A Busy Morning at Brigantine on Vimeo
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Old February 4th, 2009, 08:28 PM   #15
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I paid $780 from B&H:

Century Precision Optics | VS-16TC-XL 1.6x | 0HD-16TC-XLH | B&H

Pat
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