2x extender for Canon Eos Lenses

Whilst in India for Greenpeace my 70-200mm was invaluable but just not long enough. I borrowed a 400mm f2.8 out there for a couple of shots. Amazing lens BUT IT WAS HUGE! The 5d became like a lenscap and the lens mounted to the tripod. It’s also about $6000. Totally impractical for video shooters like me. That’s when I came upon this…


400mm f2.8 Canon
400mm f2.8 Canon

I wish I had it in India as my recent shooting with it last weekend has proven it to be really impressive. I have heard it’s not so good for stills and the 1.4x is better but from my short little tests I was really impressed. No vignetting, no soft edges. Yes you lose two stops but it’s cheap, small and a great addition to any 5dmk2 users kit bag. This really is superb value.

To be able to double the focal length on the telephoto end of my 200mm and turn it into a pretty damn sharp 400mm is really going to come in useful on so many shoots. I understand this is not for all lenses. The older 70-200 don’t work so well with it, but with this lens it’s great.



You can buy it from Amazon below.

2x canon extender in use on Canon 5dmk2 from Some Like It Shot on Vimeo.


  1. That footage through the branches with a really long lens makes it look like you are a voyeur 🙂

    I agree, the 2x extender is fantastic! I finally got mine after UPS lost the first one. Having a 400mm lens is handier than I thought it would be and it is still tack sharp.

  2. I had been looking at this extender but was not sure about it, after you got i said why not? It is is indeed very sharp, i got nice footage of moons craters with my 100-400mm L and this extender, i think it turned the F5.6 into an F8 if Im not mistaking but good thing 5DMkII can handle low levels of light.

  3. Philip,

    have you seen this puppy http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=154&modelid=7468

    It’s 400mm and F4, super compact and rel light through it’s diffractive optical (DO) design – and yes, it IS expensive (but that really hasn’t held you back before ;-).

    This would certainly be an interesting lens to test for your audience. Reputable still photographers even claim it’s hand-holdable for a while.

    What do you think about F4 for video – I guess depth of filed is no problem at this length. Would you be concerned about light loss?


  4. I got hold of Canon 1.4x Extender II used which saved me a chunk of change and it works really well on my 70-200F4 IS USM. As I understand it, there are two limitations with the Canon extenders. The first is physical – the extender intrudes into the back of the lens (you can see it on the close up unmounted shot) and many lenses can’t accomodate it. The second problem is that the light loss can make the AF struggle. I think Canon recommend at least f2.8 with the 2x and F4 with the 1.4x. This issue will be body specific though.

    My dealer recommended the Kenko Pro 300 range to me as a possible alternative which don’t have the intrusion and come in 1.4x,2x & 3x.

  5. Philip could you test this for me?

    On my copy of this lens there is slack in the zoom ring, slight free play if your twist the zoom ring the lens will go in and out of focus, this is over about 1.5mm in travel.

    Could you try:
    Focus at 200mm pull back to 70mm is the lens still in focus? if you twist the zoom ring for freeplay does the lens go in and out of focus?

    Thanks, James

  6. Has any 1 tryed out the sigma 100-300 f4 hsm lens.Its lighter than the canon,has a very large smooth focusing ring. Add a 1.4 you have 420mm F5.6, a 2x gives you 600mm F8.
    Its rated as 1 of sigma’s best lenses. From my experience it is, I sold my canon 70-200L 2.8 lens as my copy of the sigma outperformed it.(Lighter, longer, sharper) and cost me 1/2 the price including a 1.4 extender as my canon did.
    PS: not a sigma fan, The rest of my lenses are canon L glass.
    with 600mm you can peep even closer.

  7. Dear Philip – The new Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom vs. the original Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Telephoto Zoom

    PRICE DIFFERENCE IS $1000. Is there really that huge of a difference in glass?

    Your thoughts?

    Many thanks!


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