Olympus 1.4X and 2X Teleconverters with 150-400mm

Posted Feb. 29th, 2024 by Daniel J. Cox

Dan,

Thinking about Africa trip this September and am wondering which teleconverter, the 1.4x or 2.0x, or both, for my Zukio 150-400mm. Would I need the stop I’d lose with the 2.0x in the dawn and dusk periods, or would cranking up the ISO cover the gap?

Also, I’ve noticed the different vehicles used in S. Africa vs. the land cruisers we use in Kenya. Would a monopod be useful, or just rely on beanbags? Really looking forward to see how the OM-1 works in the field. Going to Maui in two weeks to see if I can practice with it at some birding pools.

All the best to you and Tanya,

Trent

Hello Trent, I’ve used both the 1.4X and the 2X teleconverters with the Olympus 150-400mm lens. And quite honestly, I was not happy with the results. That was especially true for the 2X version. I’m very, very happy with the built-in 1.2X TC, and if I need more reach, I feel the 1.4X is acceptable.But I’m generally most happy with the built-in 1.2X if I need the additional reach. With the 150-400mm, as it is, you have 1000mm. There aren’t a lot of situations where more is needed. The exception might be birds, but even then, 1000mm is often more than enough. Another concern with adding additional TCs is the difficulty in finding your subject with so much magnification. Just my two cents.

Olympus 150-400mm with 2X teleconverter
Snow Geese photographed with the 150-400mm with 1.2X TC engaged and a 2X TC added. Center is fairly sharp. Edges not so much.
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There are 2 comments on this post…
  1. LucasOn Mar. 1st, 2024 (2 months ago)

    In general a teleconverter of 1.4 can be quite satisfying. Sharpness will decrease, but it is often not too noticable. The one stop of light lossi is also acceptable in normal conditions.
    With the 2.0 teleconverters one looses already two stops, and that can become a burden in a lot of situations. Usually these converters have a more dramatic impact on sharpness as well. There are a few exceptions, but in general these 2.0 converters are best avoided.

  2. TRENT G ANDERSONOn Mar. 1st, 2024 (2 months ago)

    Well Dan, since your initial two cents convinced me to spend many more cents for the lens (plus an OM-1), I’d be remiss to not, once again, pay attention to your musings. Many thanks mate.

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