According to reports, Canon is working on a new type of teleconverter that it plans to release alongside the rumoured RF 200-500mm f/4 L IS. The announcement is currently rumoured to be coming at some point near the end of this year or early 2024. Teleconverters aren’t new to Canon – or just about any other manufacturer – but what makes this one different is that it appears to have some kind of “zoom” ability.
A Canon Rumours post says the new Canon teleconverter will be adjustable between 1.0x, 1.4x (or maybe 1.5x, but I think 1.4x is more likely) and 2.0x magnification. It means that you won’t need to keep remove or swap out teleconverters to go between your normal lens focal length range, 2.0x the range, or a stop in between.
[Related reading: Canon has patented a strange-but-cool zoomable 1-2x teleconverter]
A patent for a zoomable teleconverter by Canon was published in 2020. Most patents never actually make it to fruition with a real product. It appears, though, that Canon may be working on bringing this one to reality.
It’s an interesting idea and would mean you could replace both existing Canon Extender RF 1.4x (buy here) and RF 2.0x (buy here) teleconverters. It sounds, however, that a hypothetical new zoomable teleconverter would likely be more expensive than the combined $1,100 price tag of the two existing RF mount teleconverters. Of course, for some, the ease of workflow and not having to disconnect your camera and lens in the field for extended periods to add, swap or remote teleconverters will be well worth it.
Being able to mount your teleconverter before leaving the house while still providing the regular 1.0x zoom of your attached lens provides great benefits. Not having to swap it out when you need the extra reach of another teleconverter will be invaluable for sports and wildlife shooters. In the time it takes to remove your lens and teleconverter from the camera, then remove the teleconverter from the lens, and then attach a different teleconverter (or not bother with one at all) and then reattach the lens back to the camera, you could’ve missed half the action. Or all of it.
Not to mention the fact that during all the time your gear is disconnected from each other in random locations can ruin your images. It’s very easy for dust and other things in the air to get attached to your lens (or teleconverter) elements or, worse, your sensor. Not having to swap things in the field eliminates this problem completely.
[via Canon Rumors]