Nikon TC-20E III or D7100

psdragepsdrage Posts: 15Member
edited August 2013 in General Discussions
Hello Community

My name is Peter Drage from the UK and this is my first post to the Nikon Rumors community. I have been following Nikon Rumors and other forums over the last 24 months whilst I develop my photography and have found Community responses to various questions really informative.

I have taken the serious step to invest in a D800 with Nikkor 24-70 / 70-200 f2.8s to further my photography having started with a D7000 and the Sigma equivalents.

I am loving the D800 and the Nikon version of the 24-70 is such a huge step up over the Sigma equivalent. However I am missing that extra reach that the APS-C format gave me on the 70-200.

I have used the D800 in DX Mode which gives me back the 300mm long end but I find the view finder framing annoying.

I have been looking at TeleConverters but whilst these give me reach Reach they loose light to do it and maybe quality. So I started thinking about buying a second body, the D7100 as this offers 1.5x and 1.95x crop factor.

My question to the Community is has anybody considered this option over a teleconverter.

I see the advantages as being:-

Maintain f2.8 on 70-200
Effective 300 / 390 mm f2.8
Higher resolution at 300mm over D800 in DX Mode
Cheaper / Lighter than buying new lens or lenses

I see the disadvantages as being:-

Cost (2x+ the price of TCE)
Heavier
More bulk to carry than TCE but less than another lens.

A helpful member on another forum suggested a 1.4 TCE and D800 in DX Mode as this would give 420mm at 15MP @ f4

I would really value your input.

Regards

Peter

Comments

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited August 2013
    So basically you want to reach 300mm or longer at a budget of a max of 1300..
    What exactly are you "missing" about the 200-300 range ? what subjects are you shooting?

    Ok your options
    1) get a TC 20 ..
    2) get a D7100

    Other options
    1) get a TC17 .. this was designed for use with the 70-200 you only loose 1.5 stop of light but gain 1.7 mag
    2) Get the old 80-400 VR
    3) Get the 70-300 VR

    A 2 camera system is nice. You need to change lenses much less often.

    The advantage of a FX/DX 2 camera system is your lenses provide double the focal length options. .. the disadvantage is they handle differently.. a D600/D7100 combo would be nice as they handle the same and gives you the 2 formats. (but you have a D800 so that is moot)

    You also get a backup system in case one camera fails.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @psdrage: Welcome to our forum...officially now that you have made a post :)

    As to your question. I have not had the pleasure of working with the new TC-20 III...but msmoto has and I'm sure she will have her say on the matter shortly for you. I on the other hand have the TC-17 as heartyfisher pointed out and the reasons I went that direction. Having used it for over a year now I can say without any hesitation that this combination works perfectly. Not to mention cost saving. Moreover, your D800 ability to use these teleconverter all the way up to f/8 is a going to make your shots pop like you have never seen it before...even when you crop!!!
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • psdragepsdrage Posts: 15Member
    Hi

    Thanks for the responses so far.

    Appologies for the failure to say what I want to shot, I have seen so many posts where it is missing and I have fallen into the same trap.

    The reach to 300mm plus is needed primarily for events that my children are taking part in, Generally indoors, generally low light, but some are outdoors. Usually local theatre or school hall, i have found 200mm just not enough and have been cropping which is fine to a point.

    Eldest daughter is Flute / Band Concerts and youngest Dance / Cheerleading Shows. Quite a contrast in shutter speed.

    Regards

    Peter
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    The TC-20 is not a good solution for low-light indoor situations. And definitely don't get the TC-20 if your 70-200 is the older version (not the VR II).

    The D7100 or one of the other options heartyfisher mentioned would yield better results.

    For about the same price as the D7100, you can also get the superb AF-S 300mm f/4.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    I have the 70 -200 + D800 +TC-20E III and I am afraid the results are very disappointing.

    I do not have a D7100 but I would be surprised if the results are lot better than cropping a D800 image
    I think you may also suffer from downgrading from a Pro Body to a consumer camera

    My solution , and I am afraid it was an expensive one, was to sell the 70 -200 and buy the new 80 -400

    were about in the UK are you? I am in the south west. you would be welcome to try my TC-20E III which is also for sale





    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    My experience with the 70-200/2.8 VRII Nikkor and the TC-20EIII are very good.

    The question of deciding between a TC or new body would IMO depend upon what is needed. A second body has some advantages, the sensor of the D7100 is considered quite good, but if one wants to shoot at a range of 70-200, or even 140-400 on the D800, I think the results between this and shooting the 70-200 on the crop sensor may be difficult to distinguish in a practical sense.

    And, two bodies vs. one....lots more to carry....

    If I wanted some more reach I would go with the TC-14EII and TC-20EIII, which I have in my kit for use on the 70-200/2.8 VRII Nikkor/ D4.
    Msmoto, mod
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    I have the teleconverter and 70-200mm, but not the bodies you are considering.

    I carry two bodies and 99% of the time I don't use the tc anymore.

    I put the 70-200 on the DX body and that's that. Having a poor man's flexible 300mm equiv 2.8 is good enough for me.

    Now, I think there are advantages to the D7100 and its crop modes. Being able to get more than 1.5x from a quality 2.8 zoom would be very handy IF you are two-body friendly.

    Personally I would put the 7100 > TC, as I enjoy shooting two bodies.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 641Member
    Welcome to the forum.

    I get good results with my D800 and the 70-200 VRII with the TC, but I vote for the 7100 as a second body.

    The D800 with the 24-70 is a splendid combination. Put the 70-200 on the 7100 and you have a great kit! I'd do it myself, but I need so save my pennies for another D800 body.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    Forget about the TC for what you are shooting. It's not sharp until f8. Try taking some shots of your kids inside at 200mm f8 and you will see what I mean. 400mm will be even more blurry.

    Your only option is a crop body.
  • psdragepsdrage Posts: 15Member
    Hi Guys

    Thank you for the advice and comments.

    I was able to try out the TC-20E III with my D800 / 70-200 and also the D7100. The TC-20E III results were OK but not great, but the biggest issue for me was the loss of light to f5.6 meant that my ISO was always above 6400, which for me is an unacceptable level of noise or too slow shutter speed.

    The D7100 was excellent at f2.8 and I was able to shoot at 3200 with acceptable results. However the option I have chosen is the TC-14E II with the D800.

    The reasoning being.

    The loss of light to f4 is made up by the ability to to shoot 6400 on the D800 with acceptable results.
    DX Mode on D800 and TC-14E II gives ~ the same reach as D7100 at ~ same MP.
    Lighter option
    Cheaper option

    The D7100 as a second body was really attractive however the final thing that put me off was the Button Layout. Since moving the to D800 I have gotten so used to the dedicated ISO / WB / Qual / Brkt Buttons on the Mode dial I found going back to the shared back of camera layout a pain.

    I will see how things go and re-evaluate if Nikon ever release a D300S replacement that offers DX in a Pro Level body.

    Thank you again for your input.

    Peter
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    I've followed this and other threads about a second body with great interest, for reasons that I'll explain below. I've been shooting with a D90 for nearly four years. It's been a great camera and I've taken some nice images with it, but I feel as though I've gotten to the point where I'm ready to take the next step in terms of equipment. Over the past couple of years I've made some significant FX lens investments, and see that as the next logical move for me.

    The D4 is more than I want to spend, and the D600 just seems like it's loaded with too many unresolved problems, leaving the D800, which I plan to purchase in the next week or so.

    However, given the number of lenses of I own and the number of lens changes I execute, a second body makes a lot of sense. The way I see it, I'd keep a DX body for longer subjects and the FX for shorter. So for instance, if I'm tracking wildlife I'd shoot my 300mm on a DX body and my 70-200 on an FX body. If I'm traveling with only the 70-200 and something wider (like the 24-70), I'd keep the FX on the wider lens and the DX on the longer lens.

    The only issue I have is that under this scenario I'm now keeping my two best lenses (70-200 and 300mm) on my lower quality body. Seems counter-intuitive, right?

    So do I sell my D90 and trade up into a D7000? Will I notice a huge difference? Or should I try to find a low mileage refurbished D7100? (D400 is not part of this discussion, since it doesn't exist)

    I sort of need to work all this out sometime this fall, as I'm traveling to Costa Rica in December and have plans to do some bird shooting.

    Thoughts?
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    I will tell you this once you start shooting on an FX body you will find it hard to go back to your DX. Moreover, on the D4, D800, and D600 all you have to do is change your settings on the body to shoot in DX mode.

    Given that the D4 is not within your budget...then the D800 is the logical choice.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    Golf you must be mellowing thanks to your new moderator status. That's the first time I've seen you not recommend a D4. :)

    That said, what about the 2nd body. I know a lot of people have recommended a DX body for longer distances (I know technically don't provide a "longer" reach, but for the purposes of our discussion let's assume that it creates the illusion of a longer reach).
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    @proudgeek: Come...come..now this has nothing to do with my "status" :P You know me well enough that I don't need to sell/push you down a path where you have stated you limit. You know full well where I stand on many of the gears we have talked about in the past. If a D4 is within reach then wait and get it (read more to see why).

    Given your long usage of a D90 I think it is best to keep it within your arsenal for the time being. With respect to the second body to go with I believe it will all come down to a few key factors (keeping wildlife photography in mind): AF speed of the body, lens focal length & speed, and the light conditions where the subject is at.

    The AF speed on the newer bodies will without question surpass your current D90...so if the subject is really moving fast a replacement down the road will be very much worth exploring. Your new FX will give you the feedback you need to make a decision there. Should you go with a DX then I would pull the trigger on the D7100. However, when you consider the extra capital you have to spend on this body in addition to your D800, then the D4 sure comes within reach. :P

    No need to talk about lenses here because you have that department covered and the lenses will be able to address any light conditions you have.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited August 2013
    Bird shooting in Costa Rica ! Awesome ! .. I would take the D7100 .. really there no other better option ! (besides a D4 and a 600mm lens ;-) {hi Golf !} you may need a sherpa too.. ;-) ) note that the D7100 also has a further crop mode. that gives you a 2X crop multiplier. Your 300 becomes a 600, just about perfect for birding !

    Keep your D90 as a back up. just use the D7100 with the main lens you need for the task at hand and stick a secondary lens on the D90.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    I will tell you this once you start shooting on an FX body you will find it hard to go back to your DX. .
    very true look for S/H or refurbished D800

    Moreover, on the D4, D800, and D600 all you have to do is change your settings on the body to shoot in DX mode. -

    you don't even have to do this, just crop and reframe in post

    If you cant afford a D800 go for Nikon's best "bangs for bucks" the D7100

    re the D600 "problems " don't believe everything you read on the web

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • blackfoxblackfox Posts: 48Member
    edited August 2013
    having just bought the 7100 i,m finding it a great camera ,but its not perfect and i'm finding theres a fairly steep learning curve (i,m also very experienced with nikons ) but this is totally a new ball game ,i suppose it really depends on choice of lens and the applications you intend to use it for .but personally i don't think you would in reality gain anything over a d800 you already have .as someone else suggested you would possibly be better off getting a 300mm f4 and if thats still not long enough a kenko 1.4 pro 300dg t/c would give you 420mm at f5.6 in crop mode on the d800 .and you would still get roughly the same size image as the d7100 .
    or as has been suggested simply get the i.4 tc to use with your present lens ,your actually trying to crack a nut with a sledgehammer
    Post edited by blackfox on
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    I had a 7100 and then bought a D800e, then sold the 7100 and bought a D4. Why, well the layout on the 7100 after using the D800e was too different for comfort and I also discovered that the crop mode the 7100 was using was basically only what I could do in post from my D800e and I would end up with a far better image, I guess that's full frame over cropped.
    As for the D4, well excuse me whilst I caress it gently......
  • warprintswarprints Posts: 61Member
    Can't comment specifically on the 7100, as I don't have one, but as far as the two cameras vs one issue goes, I carried two SLR bodies with lenses for years, and always felt naked and/or frustrated if I only had taken one of the cameras with me. Made for a great workout, too. For a while now, I've been carrying only one body. Getting tired of having to change lenses. Will probably end up with a DX and an FX body.
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