MC-20 Teleconverter at Bird Kingdom

This article shares a selection of ten images captured hand-held using the M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter at Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls Canada.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, 1/30, f/8, ISO-2000, subject distance 1.1 metres

Thus far I have been quite impressed with the quality and performance of the MC-20. Auto-focusing is fast and accurate. To my eye, image sharpness and colour rendition are more than acceptable.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 212 mm, efov 425 mm, 1/80, f/8, ISO-5000, subject distance 1.4 metres, Hand-held Hi Res Mode

When the M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter is used with the OM-D E-M1X one stop of IBIS is lost. The MC-20 still performs extremely well with the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom. The image above is a Hand-Held Hi Res mode image captured with that combination at 1/80th of a second. I was shooting through the screen of the bird’s cage to capture this image.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, 1/160, f/5.6, ISO-6400, subject distance 1.5 metres

It was an overcast afternoon when I arrived at Bird Kingdom. As you’ll see with the EXIF data, many of my photographs were captured at high ISO values up to ISO-6400. The E-M1X’s RAW files respond well in post.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 240 mm, efov 480 mm, 1/80, f/5.6, ISO-640, subject distance 2.4 metres

The auto-focus on my E-M1X did not seem to be bothered by the low light conditions. I did not notice my camera/lens combination hunting for focus.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, 1/400, f/5.6, ISO-4000, subject distance 990 mm, captured one-handed

At one point while trying to capture an image of a speckled mousebird, I ended up shooting one handed with my camera extended through some branches. I set my shutter speed a bit faster at 1/400 and was able to capture a usable photo (above). Having double the reach proved very helpful when using the M.Zuiko MC-20. The penalty is losing two stops of light.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, 1/125, f/5.6, ISO-4000, subject distance 1.4 metres

During my time testing the M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter at Bird Kingdom I tried to capture a variety of species to give the MC-20 a good work out. I had to time the shutter release of many of my image captures during the split second when skittish, small birds would momentarily pause.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 260 mm, efov 520 mm, 1/320, f/8, ISO-6400, subject distance 3.8 metres

I always like to find pleasing shooting angles so I can frame subject birds against nice, smooth backgrounds that do not create any visual distraction.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, 1/320, f/7.1, ISO-6400, subject distance 2 metres

Using the auto-focusing joystick was very quick, allowing me to adjust my focus point as various birds moved around on branches.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 134 mm, efov 268 mm, 1/20, f/5.6, ISO-6400, subject distance 1.9 metres

Testing the MC-20 teleconverter at Bird Kingdom would not have been complete without finding a bird in dark shade to photograph. I was able to capture the image above with a shutter speed of 1/20 thanks to the IBIS system in my OM-D E-M1X.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, 1/30, f/5.6, ISO-6400, subject distance 1.4 metres

I plan on doing more field testing photographing birds with my Olympus OM-D E-M1X, M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko MC-20 combination. I am really enjoying the handling, performance, and results using this combination.

Technical Note:
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Images 5 and 9 were slightly cropped. All other photographs are displayed as 100% captures without any cropping.

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