Photo Gear

Testing the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Firmware Update 1.2.1 with a 500mm f/4 and 2X Teleconverter

The recent EOS 5D Mark III Firmware upgrade 1.2.1 enables the center AF point to autofocus when the combination of a lens and a teleconverter’s maximum aperature is f/8.  This means the 5D Mark III will now autofocus at only the center AF point when using the Canon 2X teleconverter with a Canon 500mm f/4 or 300mm f/4 lens.

After installing the firmware update on the Canon 5D Mark III, I tested the new firmware by photographing birds in my backyard.  I used the following set up.
  • Canon 5d Mark III
  • Canon 500 mm f/4 is
  • Canon EF 2.0X III Telephoto Extender
  • Mounted on a sturdy tripod with a gimbal head

The bird photos were taken in the late afternoon just before sunset so the light wasn’t too strong.  The birds were roughly 60 – 70 feet away.

 
The photos were taken in Canon Raw format and were only lightly processed (contrast, shadows lightened).  No noise reduction or sharpening were applied to the photos.
 
Backyard Birds 2X Teleconverter Test
 
Backyard Birds 2X Teleconverter Test
 
Backyard Birds 2X Teleconverter Test
 
Overall, I was happy with the performance of the 2X teleconverter with the Canon 5D Mark III.   As expected, some of the photos were softer than without the telephoto extender.  I also found that the number of keepers was lower than without using a teleconverter though not significantly more than using the 1.4X teleconverter.
 

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