Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/29

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Subject: [Leica] Lens choice for backyard birds
From: Doug Herr <>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 21:57:42 -0400

On  Tue, 29 Sep 1998, Gib Robinson wrote:

> I have a 2 1/2 year-old daughter. She's not the problem but she
>loves birds and images of birds. That's a problem  because I don't own a=

>lens longer than 180mm (f/4).
>I want to extend the range of my lenses. I'm considering two options: bu=
>400mm or 2X tele-extender. Which would you recommend? The 400 TELYT 6.8 =
>likely to be a little more expensive than the 2X and I assume it would b=
>somewhat more stable with a shoulder stock and grip. Photographically I
>assume the 400 might be somewhat better than the 2X, but I don't know.
>Apparently the 2X (non-Apochromatic) was designed as a good match for th=
>f/4 180. What do you think? Which would you recommend.


I use the 400 f/6.8 for birds and I recommend it highly.  The shoulder
stock allows me to use shutter speeds as slow as 1/60 sec where with my 2=
without the stock I have to be extremely careful at 1/125 sec to get good=

sharpness.  I haven't used the 180 or the 2X so can't comment on the
optical properties but because of the smaller aperture you would definite=
have more trouble focussing accurately and you'd be stuck using a tripod.=

The one advantage you'd have with the 180+2X would be a closer minimum
focus distance.  I use either the 60mm extension tube designed for the
f/6.8 lenses or the 14256 extension tube to get closer than 11 feet with
the 400.

Doug Herr