In the last few years, Canon has released some rather innovative lenses that push the boundaries of optical design and allow photographer capabilities not previously possible. It seems that philosophy is not just being applied to lenses, however, as another clever device is likely on the way in the coming months.
Canon Rumors is reporting that Canon is planning to bring a new zoomable teleconverter to market alongside the forthcoming RF 200-500mm f/4L IS USM lens, with both due later this year or early next. This teleconverter will have three settings: 1.0x (normal), 1.4x or 1.5x, and 2x. Normally, teleconverters come in two flavors: 1.4x, which increases focal length by that factor and decreases the maximum aperture by one stop, and 2x, which doubles focal length and the maximum aperture by two stops. No doubt, a zoomable option would be tremendously useful to people like sports and wildlife photographers, allowing them to enable more focal lengths without having to change devices or lenses. For example, with such a device, the RF 100-300mm f/2.8 L IS USM could also function as a 140-420mm f/4 and 200-600mm f/5.6 lens, making it far more versatile. Given that the Canon Extender RF 1.4x is $499 and the Extender RF 2x is $599, I expect a zoomable option to likely cost $1,200-1,500, but we will see. Hopefully, we will hear more soon!
This isn’t going to be something super special for most photographers. Extenders degrade image quality a little as well as raising your f/stop, Canon’s are too expensive in the first place (I own two, I know) and some lenses can’t function fully with one in place; the zoom can’t be fully zoomed out past 300mm on my RF 100-500 with the extender in place and the barrel hits the lens inside of you try to do it. I wonder if they’ll address this…?
This will be great as no need to switch from one converter to another. I am sure there will be some cons just like comparing zoom lens to prime, but for someone who is depending on quick reaction this is great. New 100-300/2.8 with it will be heaven!