Olympus MC-20 Teleconverter

Retief

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Well, after finally getting the TC-2.0 and updating my firmware, I took the combo out for a test drive yesterday. Please let me know if this is the kind of result I should expect please. Adult Osprey taking a fish to the nest. These are #1 and #5 out of a longer sequence, the ones in between, 2/3/4, are just as the Osprey leaves the perch and gets into the air.

#1: on the perch
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#2: Image 5 in the sequence
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Handheld 300mm f4 + TC-2.0.

I also posted a few Tern shots in the other M1X image thread, need to read the rules on cross-postings.
 

Mikehit

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I suspect camera shake. If this is your first time using a lens of this 'reach' it takes a short while for muscle memory to develop to hold it efficiently, even with 5 stops IS.
If you are concerned you need to try a very simple test of putting the camera/lens on a solid surface (low wall or table if you do not have a tripod), focus manually using expanded view and use the 10-second timer release (or a cable release). This removes all variables other than sharpness of the lens combo.
If that works OK, then try the same thing with AF instead of manual focus.
If that is OK then it is your technique.
 

RR Jonny

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Very nice shots. I also looked at the Terns; they were taken with the MC-14. The further you are from a subject, the more difficult it is to attain tack-sharp images. Atmospheric conditions can cause issues that are no fault of the photographer or lens. Through experience you'll be able to determine the distance at which this lens + tc combo will be able to give you your desired level of detail; there's no substitute for being close. The Terns were a pretty big crop, and there's only so much detail you can get from a heavily cropped image; I am not sure what the crop is on these. I am a firm believer in calibrating your lens/TC combo; this ensures your AF is working optimally. Nonetheless, these are nice! The lighting is really nice. I wouldn't be displeased at all; I would go out and have at it again! Bump your shutter speed up a bit and bring that aperture back to f/8 if you can.
 

Retief

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Very nice shots. I also looked at the Terns; they were taken with the MC-14. The further you are from a subject, the more difficult it is to attain tack-sharp images. Atmospheric conditions can cause issues that are no fault of the photographer or lens. Through experience you'll be able to determine the distance at which this lens + tc combo will be able to give you your desired level of detail; there's no substitute for being close. The Terns were a pretty big crop, and there's only so much detail you can get from a heavily cropped image; I am not sure what the crop is on these. I am a firm believer in calibrating your lens/TC combo; this ensures your AF is working optimally. Nonetheless, these are nice! The lighting is really nice. I wouldn't be displeased at all; I would go out and have at it again! Bump your shutter speed up a bit and bring that aperture back to f/8 if you can.
I have not yet done any calibration, that is "on the list to do". I certainly found with my Nikon gear that it seemed to be more important at the longer focal lengths. You mention atmospherics, let's see. 80 degrees F, bright blue sky, water and an asphalt parking lot. Oh, yeah, plenty of atmospherics where the Terns were. You are so correct, it is tough enough just keeping erratic fast moving subjects in VF, let alone even remotely in focus. For printing I will do less of a crop and add some blended sky with clouds. From this distance, and crop, I am more than happy that the AF is very close to what I had with Nikon. I will, eventually, post some of the Terns that were closer.

The 300 f4 with the 2.0 surprised the heck out of me, I am still amazed at how quickly the AF was, at both f8 and f9. I wanted to test to see if it would AF past f8, as many cameras won't.

Once I figure out what I am doing, I might just get a few right now and then.

Thanks for your comments, they are spot on.
 

Ross the fiddler

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.......

The 300 f4 with the 2.0 surprised the heck out of me, I am still amazed at how quickly the AF was, at both f8 and f9. I wanted to test to see if it would AF past f8, as many cameras won't.

Once I figure out what I am doing, I might just get a few right now and then.

Thanks for your comments, they are spot on.
With the 300 F4 lens plus the MC20 being F8.0, it won't matter what F stop setting selected for AF because it does that wide open anyhow & only closes to the selected setting for the actual exposure. Still, it's nice to know both the MC20 & E-M1X & (now) the E-M1 II cope well with it (earlier models may not do as well).
 

Retief

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With the 300 F4 lens plus the MC20 being F8.0, it won't matter what F stop setting selected for AF because it does that wide open anyhow & only closes to the selected setting for the actual exposure. Still, it's nice to know both the MC20 & E-M1X & (now) the E-M1 II cope well with it (earlier models may not do as well).
Good to know, so I can crank this puppy to f192,000 and it will STILL AF just fine and dandy, diffraction be D..... :doh:

That is indeed good news, although in general I would rather be "less" than "more", especially if the BG is close and busy.

I am contemplating adding an M1 II as a 3rd backup body, never hurts to be prepared.

Thanks for the info.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Good to know, so I can crank this puppy to f192,000 and it will STILL AF just fine and dandy, diffraction be D..... :doh:

That is indeed good news, although in general I would rather be "less" than "more", especially if the BG is close and busy.

I am contemplating adding an M1 II as a 3rd backup body, never hurts to be prepared.

Thanks for the info.
I think the E-M1 II would work well as an affordable third backup for the E-M1X's & also if on an occasion you may want to go small with one camera, one lens (like the 12-40), but for myself, while I've had a brief hands on with the E-M1X my main body is an E-M1 II backed up with an E-M1, as much as I would like the E-M1X. :(
 

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I would try a little faster shutter speed, like 1/2000, 1/2500 when the lighting condition allows ISO somewhere around 2000 or less.
Using MC20 is a battle with high ISO in my experience.
 

masayoshi

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I've been trying out the MC-20 on my 40-140 and 300. Mostly garden testing - haven't, as yet, been out in the field and pushed the 300+2x to extremes - but with the constantly poor local air quality (air full of industrial 'clag') I suspect getting closer with 420mm will remain the way to go. Whilst I'm birding think the MC-20 will live on the 40-150/EM1ii but the EM1X/300&MC-14 will be most used still.
MG.300&2x.001.jpg
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At medium/close birding ranget he 2x turns the 40-150 into a very useful birding lens - an excellent option when I need less that 420mm but don't want to mess with the EM1X/300&1.4x in the field - many flight shots, some hide work etc. Of course the PL100-400 would be lighter to carry, so remains useful for long field days carrying loads of other birding equipment, but at longer distances the IQ is not quite up with the Oly Pro lenses, for me, and I really dislike 'tromboning' zooms.
Much more impressed with th MC-20 that I expected to be though - much better than the Nikon and Sigma ones I had when shooting DSLRs.
 
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It is amazing that we can shoot a 1200mm FF lens hand held. But for me, looking at these photos, they remind me of the IQ of the 50-200 SWD with the EC-20. In my opinion, they are fair to good quality images.
But honestly as a wildlife photographer I think the investment in getting closer to animals has a far higher ROI than in using a 2x teleconverter with the 300mm f4 Pro. With some birds like Osprey, you have to be on the water to get close. With African animals you have to move in slowly and pick your shots.

And in all cases you have to shoot on cloudy days or early in the morning or close to sunset to get the best light. But all of those case with a shorter lens will ALWAYS produce a better photo than with a 2x TC, even on a tripod.
 

Ross the fiddler

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It is amazing that we can shoot a 1200mm FF lens hand held. But for me, looking at these photos, they remind me of the IQ of the 50-200 SWD with the EC-20. In my opinion, they are fair to good quality images.
But honestly as a wildlife photographer I think the investment in getting closer to animals has a far higher ROI than in using a 2x teleconverter with the 300mm f4 Pro. With some birds like Osprey, you have to be on the water to get close. With African animals you have to move in slowly and pick your shots.

And in all cases you have to shoot on cloudy days or early in the morning or close to sunset to get the best light. But all of those case with a shorter lens will ALWAYS produce a better photo than with a 2x TC, even on a tripod.
Sometimes the 'ideal' isn't always possible, so the MC20 can help 'save the day'.
 

masayoshi

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It is amazing that we can shoot a 1200mm FF lens hand held. But for me, looking at these photos, they remind me of the IQ of the 50-200 SWD with the EC-20. In my opinion, they are fair to good quality images.
But honestly as a wildlife photographer I think the investment in getting closer to animals has a far higher ROI than in using a 2x teleconverter with the 300mm f4 Pro. With some birds like Osprey, you have to be on the water to get close. With African animals you have to move in slowly and pick your shots.

And in all cases you have to shoot on cloudy days or early in the morning or close to sunset to get the best light. But all of those case with a shorter lens will ALWAYS produce a better photo than with a 2x TC, even on a tripod.
I agree with you it's always better to get close to the subject in the field and use the lens without any TC. I found 300mmF4 +MC20 doesn't necessarily produce stunningly clear images when subject is far away. In fact, I had an impression that cropping from images shot by 300mm +MC14 may produce better results. I tried 300mmF4+MC20 again last weekend to get the images above (Golden eagle), and started shooting really far, since they fly away whenever I get closer than a certain distance (there are no places to hide, since they are on the pole in the middle of open field). I was lucky with this bird, I was able to get close enough to resolve some plumage on the chest. But again, shots with MC14 might have get the same or better results.

Overall, I was on the fence whether I should sell it or not, until I paired it with 40-150mmF2.8 and EM1.2 on the hike. It was very versatile (and light) as a 'walk around' lens for wildlife shooting. So, I'm keeping it at the moment, but I'm not sure how often I can go that kind of photo hikes during short summer here. In any case, I think we are still trying to find out best use cases, experimenting this and that. So I welcome many comments like yours.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Amazon says mine will be here tomorrow. Home to have some test shots before the end of the week. Time to break out a tripod to be fair.
No tripod was used for this (MC20+40-150 lens), image cropped to 2000 x 1500 pixels. Most of the time a tripod shouldn't be needed with telephoto lenses unless doing something static with a longer exposure with the effectiveness of IBIS (in the E-M1 II or better in the E-M1X).
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K8100092-cr by Ross, on Flickr
 

Pyro451

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Understood about the IBIS. I have the EM5 MKII and probably not as good a technique as some others here. I will certainly take some shots handheld. Wanting to be sure I am looking at the best the MC-20 can do, I suspect I will take some on a tripod also.
 

Acraftman

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Just being an observer but seriously considering the converter for my 40-150 and while speaking to the oly tech guy helping me with my camera firmware update he mentioned the 40-150 needs an update for this converter so apologies if I'm preaching to the choir but wasn't sure if it has been mentioned.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Just being an observer but seriously considering the converter for my 40-150 and while speaking to the oly tech guy helping me with my camera firmware update he mentioned the 40-150 needs an update for this converter so apologies if I'm preaching to the choir but wasn't sure if it has been mentioned.
That's right about the FW update. Both the 40-150 F2.8 & the 300 F4 lenses required updates before being able to use the MC20, as it is the lens that reports the teleconverter in use which uses the extra connection pin (one of two) on each to determine which teleconverter it is. FW updates can be found here. https://cs.olympus-imaging.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/download/software/firm/e1/
 

Pyro451

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A few with the MC-20 and 300 f/4 today.
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