OK, the logical thing to do in the evening after buying the EC-20 2x teleconverter today (see my earlier post on its outdoor tests with the ZD 50-200mm to give 800mm reach) was to have a play and see how well it works with my lenses and Olympus Ring Flash.
The results are brilliant.
First, I re-checked its closest focus on the ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD lens and hand-held the Olympus Ring Flash on the lens. Using manual focus and then just moving in and out from the subject until it was in focus was not so easy whilst holding the flash too but you can do it.
Here is a shot of the Microsoft stickers on my laptop from 1.2m (I didn’t measure this, but it seemed like it was as Olympus states as the close focus for this lens). I have placed a ruler there and you can see the width is indeed ~36mm which is the same as a 35mm film width, hence the conventional statement that this offers 1:1 macro in 35mm terms with this configuration.
This was shot at lens aperture of f/5.6 and thus with the 2x TC, the effective aperture is f/11.
The upper part of this image is blurred as I intentionally angled the lens to reduce reflections from the flash.
And here is a 100% crop of that image:
That is not a bad performance at all given we are 1.2m away!
NOW, let’s try it with one of the sharpest lenses out there, the Olympus ZD 50mm f/2.0 macro.
Obviously, the Ring Flash fits nicely on this lens as long as you bought the optional adapter.
One thing worth noting with this combination is that AF does not work for the shorter focus distances and you have to resort to MF, but that’s OK, that’s what I prefer anyway, and you still get AF confirm light in the viewfinder flashing when you have it exact.
Now for the test photo of the same subject as above but taken at f/8 (ie. f/16 effective with 2x TC):
The long edge of this image represents about 18mm so it is a 2:1 macro in 35mm terms and this combination thus offers twice the magnification as the 50-200mm + TC-20 combination, but of course the working distance is much closer.
and check out the 100% crop:
Amazingly, this teleconverter also works on my Olympus ZD 7-14mm lens although I’m not sure I would really want to use it that way but given I often only take 2 lenses on my outings, the 7-14mm and 50-200mm, and now the 2x TC, if I desperately needed that gap in my focal lengths, the TC with 7-14mm would give me a 14-28mm lens (ie. 28-56mm in 35mm terms), albeit at f/8 wide aperture.
Note, the Canon teleconverters ONLY work with certain lenses, usually the L series telephoto primes and zooms as well as the tilt-shift lenses.
I will have more of a play with the TC on the weekend, more fun 🙂