Nikon Tele-converters

GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
edited March 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
One thing that has always "bugged me" about Nikon (and Canon as well), is their seeming "lack of interest" in supplying the users of their lenses with accurate information about all of the hundreds ( thousands ?) ( or even millions ? ) of different "names", model numbers, "nomenclature", and so on, about "this works with that, but NOT with that other"; I mean.....why can't they just put it ALL in a book and charge us some exorbitant price for the thing, (much like they do with all of their "accessories" for their cameras).

I currently only own one TC; I bought the thing about 10 years ago to use with a 300mm/ f4 MF lens that they made way before that; the old MF lens is still sharp as a tack; just fine for "some" things; (and completely useless for some "other" things) I bought a MF TC to use with it, and again, the two combined are quite adequate for "some " things; (like perhaps a huge mountain, 10 miles away) ( as mountains tend to stay pretty still, and not moving around much, one has plenty of time to deal with focusing, exposure, and all of the little decisions one invariably must make ); birds on the other hand, are much less co-operative than are mountains, and seem to delight in hopping around all over the place; I have determined that I need another TC for my 80-200,/f2.8, as I don't want to be fumbling around with this MF TC on a AF lens. One look at all the Nikon TCs on eBay........and you'll see why Nikon needs to supply us with a book. Meanwhile......is anyone familiar with which one of Nikon's seeming endless array of TCs would be suitable for use with the afore-mentioned lens ?

BTW........If you should decide to answer this, I may as well ask another, unrelated question; where do all of the threads go, after they've been discussed for 2 days ? I can't seem to find anything on this new website!
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Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Nikon currently only make 3 only teleconverters x 1.4 x 1.7 and x2
    http://www.nikonsupport.eu/europe/Manuals/DrdIaQvRZv/TC_converter_compatibility-EN_01.pdf

    the old Nikon TC200 and TC201 are for manual focus lens

    There quite a few Non Nikon; TCs that have an F mount
    but Nikon do not recommend you use non Nikon accessories , and supply no information about them


  • BesoBeso Posts: 464Member
    I purchased the Nikon TC20Eiii to stretch my 70-200 f2.8. I have been disappointed at the softness of the images using the TC. It was my attempt to avoid the cost of a much more expensive prime but when one buys a camera for its image quality it is disappointing to see it degraded by the glass. I may be pickier than most.
    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    I can only add that on the x2 converter the later MK 3 is substantially improved over the Mk 2


    i use on a 70-200 and a 300 2.8 and although I loose two stops with the aid of a good tripod the images remarkably sharp
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited March 2013
    I am always amazed by the reports of poor performance from the 70-200mm f/2.8VRII and the TC-20EIII. Here is an image of a car at about 70 mph, 1/1000, f/11, ISO 1250, about a DX crop, and it is not that soft.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8540987765/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    If one compares this with the 400mm f/2.8, sure, not as crisp. But, for $6,000 less money the lens does well. ANd this will go to a 16" x 20" print and be very impressive, IMO.

    I do not shoot the lens/TC combo wide open at f/5.6, as I doubt this would be all that sharp. But, this image, in spite of some fuzzies from camera movement, looks great when projected, viewed on monitors, and in all cases except larger than the print I suggested. And, I have shot a lot of these with this combo as a comparison with the 400mm f/2.8

    Here is a slightly smaller image w/ the 400/2.8.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/7415834402/sizes/o/in/set-72157629918001642/

    There may be some issues between lenses, or TC's but if I were working for a client who needed a huge image of a car at speed, I suppose they would be paying for the equipment to do this.

    Our "solution" to the dilemma we find ourselves in, may be offered in the new 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    edited March 2013
    Just out of curiosity, has anyone here used the 70-200 TC-20EIII combo shooting smaller objects, specifically birds. I ask because I'm going to Costa Rica later this year. I'd like to be able to travel light and carry the 70-200 and teleconverter as opposed to something much heavier (like the 300 f/2.8). I know it's not an apples-to-apples choice. The new 80-400 may be a good alternative; I've used the older version to shoot wildlife and was please with the results I got in broad daylight. However, it seems silly to carry both the 70-200 and the 80-400. And I wouldn't want to give up the superb sharpness at shorter focal lengths with the 70-200.
    Post edited by proudgeek on
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited March 2013
    @proudgeek: I do not have the TC-20 III, but I have found the performance of the 70-200 /w the 1.7TC on fast moving objects to be fantastic.

    As I'm sure you know, I feel that the 70-200 offer the shooter far more flexibility in taking shots, thus I personally would never go on vacation or any adventure and not have it with me. With that said, if I had the 300 2.8, I assure you that too would go with me as well. Heck whenever I go on vacation, most of my gear comes along...for me traveling "light" does not happen often. Now that is not to say that on a day I'm shooting I take everything with me. I usually take 2 lens with me, a fast prime and a telephoto. If I see something I like and did not bring the right gear to take the shot I wanted in my mind, I go back the following day with the right lens and get that shot. This solution does not always happen but at least if time is on my side, I do what I can to make it happen.

    Have a great time in Costa Rica...I'm sure you will get some amazing photo's and I would hope you would share it with us on PAD.

    Happy shooting....cheers :)
    Post edited by Msmoto 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 |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I did a test with some birds....full size images, but with some notes regarding back focus which may be a problem until one properly sets up this combination. Camera to subject distance from 13' to 15' (4 - 4.5 meters)

    70-200mm f/2.8 VRII with TC-20EIII on D4
    NOTE: This combination has not had any AF Fine Tune in camera and demonstrates slight back focus.
    f/8, 1/1000 sec ISO 2000 - 5000

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8546815388/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8545727647/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8545740063/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/8546846492/in/photostream/lightbox/
    Msmoto, mod
  • BesoBeso Posts: 464Member
    I did a test with some birds....full size images, but with some notes regarding back focus which may be a problem until one properly sets up this combination. Camera to subject distance from 13' to 15' (4 - 4.5 meters)

    70-200mm f/2.8 VRII with TC-20EIII on D4
    NOTE: This combination has not had any AF Fine Tune in camera and demonstrates slight back focus.
    f/8, 1/1000 sec ISO 2000 - 5000>

    I suggest a landscape or architectual photograph using the 70-200 f/2.8 with and without the TC. The shots of birds do not allow for an examination of the entire photograph corner to corner. I discovered substantial softness in a lunar shot as well as large panoramas using the TC-20Eiii. I compared it with those photographs taken without the TC and found the images without much more detailed and sharper throughout the frame. I also suggest using something a lot closer to native ISO to reduce the noise inherent in high ISO photographs. If I get a chance I will dig through some photos and post a link to comparisons.
    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @ Beso

    Yes, this was a very specialized shoot. And, intended only to demonstrate what the sharpness is in the center. Interestingly enough, I cannot think of a use of a long lens where I am interested in corner sharpness. And, a landscape at 400mm.... or an architectural, other than a fine detail shot, still too long. The DOF of any 400mm is essentially zero....of course technically it is a centimeter or two at close ranges, or even several meters at 500 metros, but at 60 meters, the DOF is only one meter or so. Thus, I cannot see the use for landscapes or architectural shots.

    I would love to see some landscapes with 400mm or architectural photos at this length.
    Msmoto, mod
  • @Beso,

    I have the TC-20EIII and when I'm using the convertor, I am absolutely not interested in corner to corner sharpness. You do need to stop it down to f8 preferably when using it. In the end it is a relatively cheap solution to increase focal length. If you do not want the loss in image quality when using a long lens, you can always buy the Zeiss 1600m f5.6, but that one is just a tad to expensive for me. You can find issues with all equipment in the end when you don't use it for its intended purpose. I can also find glaring faults in hammers when all I really need is a screw driver.
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    I did a test with some birds....full size images, but with some notes regarding back focus which may be a problem until one properly sets up this combination. Camera to subject distance from 13' to 15' (4 - 4.5 meters)
    These results are pretty darn acceptable to me, with or without the fine tuning. I'm going to rent a TC-20 and take it and the 70-200 to Florida in April and do some real world testing with the D800 when I get around to plunking down the $3G. Not sure I'll be able to get that close, but many of the birds I'll be shooting will be bigger.

    As always, thank you Moto for taking the time to provide examples to answer our questions.

  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    edited March 2013
    @ Beso

    Yes, this was a very specialized shoot. And, intended only to demonstrate what the sharpness is in the center. Interestingly enough, I cannot think of a use of a long lens where I am interested in corner sharpness. And, a landscape at 400mm.... or an architectural, other than a fine detail shot, still too long. The DOF of any 400mm is essentially zero....of course technically it is a centimeter or two at close ranges, or even several meters at 500 metros, but at 60 meters, the DOF is only one meter or so. Thus, I cannot see the use for landscapes or architectural shots.

    I would love to see some landscapes with 400mm or architectural photos at this length.
    +1 if you're using anything above 200mm and putting your focus in the corner, I'd like to see those image cause I want to know how to pull off a composition with your subject focus in the corner.
    Every shot I've ever taken at those lengths, I'm not too worried about the sharpness of the bokeh in the corners.
    Post edited by aquarian_light on
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • BesoBeso Posts: 464Member
    edited March 2013
    I certainly did not intend to get into a debate with anyone regarding the TC-20Eiii. I own it and I am disappointed in the softness it induces while attached to a D800 and 24-70 70-200 f/2.8. You may not be disappointed and I will admit to being picky, but that is why I buy highend glass and why I bought a D800.

    Here are two images of the moon taken within a few minutes of each other which I believe demonstrates the softness induced by the TC-20Eiii. The images were processed identically and used the same camera settings - f/9, 1/250, ISO100, etc. And yes, I understand the apeture differences.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/79203622@N02/8548782739/in/photostream
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/79203622@N02/8549880500/in/photostream

    Here are two additional links that demonstrate the differences in sharpness of the 24-70 70-200 f/2.8 with and without the TC-20Eiii:
    http://gigapan.com/gigapans/123927
    http://gigapan.com/gigapans/123879
    Obviously the changing lighting affects the images but if one selects the same focal point at a significant distance and zooms in on it it is easy to see the differences in sharpness.

    If you like your TC-20Eiii I am happy for you. It is an inexpensive substitute for an expensive lens but there are compromises.
    Post edited by Beso on
    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    I'm certainly not the definitive expert on the use of TCs, but the most comprehensive article I read on them (at Lensrentals.com, which I think is a pretty reliable source of info), had this to say about using them on lenses with shorter focal lengths.
    The end result of all this is that the best teleconverters are ‘tuned’ optically to work best with supertelephoto prime lenses. They are OK with telephoto lenses, and not very good with standard range lenses. Adding a 1.4x converter to a 400mm f/2.8 lens has almost no effect on image quality. Put the same converter on a 70-200 f/2.8 zoom and the image will be affected a bit more, although it will probably be acceptable. But put it on a 24-70 f/2.8 zoom and the image will be noticeably soft and a bit distorted. 2x converters have more effect on image quality than a 1.4x converter—noticeable on a supertelephoto prime, quite noticeable on a telephoto zoom.
    You can read the full article here:
    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2009/01/teleconverters-101
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    Forgive my ignorance , but I was unaware that the Nikon 2x converter TC-20E 111 could be used with the Nikon 24-70 2.8 lens ???
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited March 2013
    @ Beso

    I agree, the images are junk. But, Nikon says the TC-20EIII is not compatible with the 24-70mm f/2.8. And, this may indeed be why.

    I agree with proud geek...the images on the 400mm f/2.8 with the TC-20EIII are really quite nice, IMO. And, the ones I posted as a test, on the 70-200mm, I think are pretty sharp as well.

    But, for sure on the 24-70...it simply does not work.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    I think a simple mistake , Besco must had a hard night his Exif information states 70-200 Lens on the moon shots
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited March 2013
    @ paulr

    If the lens was the 70-200, my guess is the lens needs to have some AF Fine Tune on the camera. Also, the focus should be manual, best if using live view, and shutter 1/500 minimum, The combo works best at f/8 or smaller.

    And, having reviewed the image with the TC, I can see the effective focal length of 370mm, shutter speed of 1/250 sec. One other factor may be in the meter mode...on the moon shots, center point seems to work best.

    I think I would check out the AF and shoot at 800 ISO, 1/1000 around f/11. But, there is something definitely wrong, Beso, and I think you are right on to point this out.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • BesoBeso Posts: 464Member
    edited March 2013
    @msmoto "I think I would check out the AF and shoot at 800 ISO, 1/1000 around f/11. But, there is something definitely wrong, Beso, and I think you are right on to point this out."

    I am sorry that I mispoke saying the 24-70 when I meant the 70-200 f/2.8. There is noticeable softness. As for ISO 800 msmoto, I find most images above ISO 500 pretty noisy on the D800, and on most other cameras including the D4; particularly with lower light conditions (remember I am picky and have a tendency to pixel-peep). Bob (rschnaible) and I did some extensive testing with moon images last year and the images seemed to appear clearest with mirror up, remote shutter release, ISO 100, f/9, and 1/250 to 1/400. I actually took these at about 6,000 feet elevation to reduce atmospheric effects. Without the tele my images are tack sharp irrespective of lens used, although I rarely select targets that are 238,000 miles distant ;).

    For what it is worth, that is my experience and opinion.
    Post edited by Beso on
    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @ Beso

    I think we agree. And, this is what is always interesting about this forum. More people agree when all the facts are in than not.

    However, as to noise:Look at this image, which has been viewed 3,332 times, and tell me if this is too much noise. Then look at the ISO of the image in the Exif data.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/7091167431/in/photostream/lightbox/

    I am a pixel peeper as well and throw out a lot due to lack of sharpness. But I also grew up in the film era where grain was a part of the process. Thus I am possibly more tolerant. There is also a balance between image quality and money. I suspect we will see some amazing shots of the moon from the new 800mm w/1.2X. Especially if someone in Denver gets out at night away from the confusion of the city....at 5,000 feet or higher.

    Anyway, i hope you get this issue cleared up. I do understand how very frustrating it is to have equipment not meet our expectations.
    Msmoto, mod
  • BesoBeso Posts: 464Member
    @Msmoto,
    I looked at the image and will concur that the D4 has far better high ISO performance than the D800. The image is quite noisy though and not something I would want to print in any large size. It may be okay in a 4 X 6 print but I think anything larger would show the noise as image degredation. I would expect considerable noise at ISO 10000 and there is quite a bit but the D4 is impressive at that effective film speed. Some of the noise can be removed but noise removal also decreases sharpness. While I have done some reading on noise, pixels, pixel pitch, and pixel density, I do not intend to become a technological expert nor do I want to. My guess is the D4 handles higher ISO values better than the D800 due to pixel density, pitch, size, etc., but it could also have to do with how the light each pixel receives is processed. I only want to be technologically proficient to the degree necessary to properly use the equipment to extract the best image possible under the circumstances. I would rather spend my time concentrating on composition, lighting, framing, and execution.

    I also started in film - some 40 years ago (still have my first 35 mm SLR - Minolta SRT 101with 58mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/3.5) but rarely printed anything over 8X10. Today that is the smallest I print so noise can be a real issue just like grain was so very long ago.

    But I digress ... The TC-20Eiii was a gamble I was willing to take to avoid the expense of a long prime. I gambled and lost. I will have to see if I really have a use for something in the 300 to 400mm range before I spend that kind of money. I am not a birder although I really appreciate those that are and their patience in getting those awesome shots. I may shoot some sports venues and will have to see if I need anything more than 200mm. It is nice not to be confined to "track side" or "ringside" seats to get quality images. We shall see.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and images.

    Occasionally a decent image ...
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    Sorrry to see your not happy with your converter, have you tried another one just to make sure you did not get a duff one?
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @ Beso

    I agree with Paul R...you must have gotten a bum TC
    Msmoto, mod
  • blandbland Posts: 812Member
    @Beso I too agree with paulr and Msmoto. Here's one I shot with the 70-20 2.8 & TC20III
    Also, awesome moon shot you took! Probably the best I've ever seen.

    1173
  • BesoBeso Posts: 464Member
    @Bland @Msmoto @paulr - I may have gotten a bad piece of glass and now I guess I will have to set up some kind of test to confirm or refute. I will do that first chance I get.

    @Bland - thanks for the compliment. I love the bike shot. I did notice in the full size image the shrubbery in the background is very granular and I was wondering if that is heat off the pavement or possibly the TC. The focal plane is really sharp though.
    .
    Occasionally a decent image ...
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