Extendthe range of L series lenses

Suppose you’ve invested in a Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM lens, and you’re finding that you’d like just a little more length on the focal length. One good option, barring going out and buying a longer lens, is to consider one of Canon’s lens extenders. These are small devices that you mount to your camera just as you do a lens, and then you mount your lens onto them.

The Canon Extender EF 2x II attaches in-between your lens and camera and increases the lens's range by a factor of two. The extender in this photo is attached to the base of an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L

Canon offers two extenders that effectively extend the range of your lens by factors of 1.4x and 2.0x, the Extender EF 1.4x II and the Extender EF 2x II, shown in 7-1. Thus, you can extend the focal range of your 200mm L-series lens to 280mm with the 1.4 extender and to 400mm with the 2.0 model — at a fraction of the price of buying a new lens.

These Canon extenders can be used with a variety of both fixed-focus and zoom lenses, including the following:

  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L
  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
  • EF 70-200mm f/4.0L
  • EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS USM
  • EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
  • Any fixed-focus lens that is 135mm or longer (except for the 135mm f/2.8 Softfocus)

With an extender attached, the lens operates normally with a couple of notable exceptions. The autofocus will operate with any EOS body as long as the lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster for the 2.0 extender and f/4.0 for the 1.4.

The most significant tradeoff, however, is that using an extender reduces the lens aperture rating by one stop for the 1.4x and two stops for the 2.0x model. If you’re a photographer who shoots fast subjects in low light, you may find this an unacceptable degradation of lens speed.

Other than these factors, the extenders operate optically very well and feature the same weather-resistance and antireflection internal construction as other L series lenses (which is new in the II models). And their small size makes carrying them an easy option for getting a lot more out of your lenses without having to carry another big lens.


Lenses with an image-stabilization capability maintain the feature even with an extender.

Category: Lens accessories

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