TELECONVERTERS


What do they do / how do they do it / what does it cost you?

Teleconverters (sometimes referred to as extenders) effectively increase the focal length of a lens. For example, if you mount a 2X teleconverter in back of a 100mm/4 lens, your effective lens is now a 200mm/8. There are phenomena associated with the use of teleconverters that you should be aware of before you rush out to buy one.

  1. Teleconverters accomplish their task through the use of optics to further magnify the object to be photographed. This means you are inserting more optical interfaces between the object to be photographed and the film in your camera. Each optical interface that you insert in the light path has the capability of reducing image quality - NO teleconverter can improve the image quality that was possible with the lens alone at a shorter distance, it can only enlarge the image and degrade the image to some extent.
  2. As the focal length increases, so does the apparent 'camera shake' associated with the longer focal length - you will need to take this into account by setting your shutter to a higher speed or resort to using a tripod to reduce the effect.
  3. The minimum focusing distance that was possible with the lens alone changes minimally. If your 100mm lens alone will focus down to 18 inches and you attach a 2X teleconverter, you now effectively have a 200mm lens that focuses down to 18 inches + the physical length of the teleconverter.
  4. The amount of light entering the camera body through the lens-teleconverter combination is reduced. In the case of your 100mm/4 lens and a 2X teleconverter, your effective lens is now a 200mm/8. Since less light (actually as much) is entering the camera, you must compensate for it. In SLR cameras, the meter reads the light entering the body, so proper exposure is still obtained by reading your camera meter as always. However, less light means that exposure times may need to be increased through the use of slower shutter speeds - again requiring the use of a tripod and perhaps a remote shutter release. You may have to switch to a faster film to offset this effect also.
  5. In general, teleconverters are designed for short (200mm and less) or long (300mm and greater) lenses and can not be switched back and forth. In general, you can expect more image degradation with a 2X teleconverter than with a 1.4X teleconverter. In general, 3X teleconverters are nearly worthless because of image degradation.
  6. Always read your lens specification sheet before attaching a teleconverter - damage may occur otherwise.

Having said all that, there are instances where purchasing a really long lens is not possible because of your circumstances and the only way you can get that photo is by a really long lens. Go for it - buy a teleconverter - but now you know what the pitfalls are. A good teleconverter can be a blessing - a bad one can be a nightmare.

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Nikon's Teleconverters

TC-1 2X , Manual Focus Non-AI , for lenses 200mm and shorter
TC-2 2X , Manual Focus Non-AI , for lenses 300mm and longer
TC-14 1.4X , Manual Focus AI , for lenses 300mm and longer
TC-14A 1.4X , Manual Focus AIS , for lenses 200mm and shorter. Never attach the TC-14A to the GN-Nikkor 45mm f/2.8, the lens or TC-14A could be damaged.
TC-14B 1.4X , Manual Focus AIS , for lenses 300mm and longer
TC-14E 1.4X , Auto Focus AF-I and AF-S lenses - will not fit others without modifying the bayonet mount. (F5, F4, F100, F90, F70 bodies only will AF)
TC-16 1.6X , designed for F3AF , built-in focusing moter, for lenses 80mm-200mm.
TC-16A 1.6X , Auto Focus (converter changes length - uses camera focusing motor) for MF lenses 2.8 and faster , for lenses 80-200mm (F501, 801, F4, F90)
TC-20E 2.0X , Auto Focus AF-I and AF-S lenses - will not fit others without modifying the bayonet mount. (F5, F4, F100, F90, F70 bodies only will AF)
TC-200 2.0X - Manual Focus AI , for lenses 200mm and shorter.
TC-201 2.0X - Manual Focus AIS, for lenses 200mm and shorter.
TC-300 2.0X , Manual Focus AI, for lenses 300mm and longer.
TC-301 2.0X , Manual Focus AIS, for lenses 300mm and longer

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Nikon Lens - Teleconverter Compatibility Chart Notes
Please note in the charts which follow that Auto Focus lens will only focus Manually with the teleconverters shown marked with a plain YES. Only newer generation teleconverters are shown. If any color appears in the cells across from each lens, either the teleconverter is not usable because it can not be mounted -or- vignetting or other deterioration will ruin the photograph.
YES Teleconverter is compatible, provides manual focus (MF) only, will not provide autofocus (AF).
YES(AF) Teleconverter is compatible, will provide autofocus (AF) with F5, F4, F100, F90 & F70 bodies.
1

Usable, but without filter.

2

Usable, but at a close focused distance vignetting or other image deterioration may occur

3

Usable, but vignetting or other image deterioration may occur

NO

Not usable, because it cannot be mounted, or vignetting or other deterioration will ruin the photo. Never attach the TC-14A to the GN-Nikkor 45mm f/2.8, the lens or TC-14A could be damaged.

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AUTOFOCUS NIKON LENSES - ZOOMS

Zooms TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301
AF 20-35mm f/2.8D YES NO YES NO
AF 24-50mm f/3.3-4.5 YES NO YES NO
AF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5D YES NO YES NO
AF-S 28-70mm f2.8 YES NO YES NO
AF 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 YES NO YES NO
AF 28-105mm f3.5-4.5D YES NO YES NO
AF 35-70mm f/2.8D YES NO YES NO
AF 35-80 f/4-5.6D YES NO YES NO
AF 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5D YES NO YES NO
AF 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 YES NO YES NO
AF 70-210mm f/4-5.6D YES NO YES NO
AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D YES NO YES NO
AF 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 3 NO 3 NO
AF 80-200mm f/2.8D 3 YES 3 NO

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AUTOFOCUS NIKON LENSES - FIXED FOCALS

Fixed

TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301
AF 16mm f/2.8D YES NO YES NO
AF 20mm f/2.8D YES NO YES NO
AF 24mm f/2.8D YES NO YES NO
AF 28mm f/1.4D YES NO YES NO
AF 28mm f/2.8D YES NO YES NO
AF 35mm f/2 D YES NO YES NO
AF 85mm f/1.8D 3 NO YES NO
D AF 180mm f/2.8 ED IF 3 NO 3 NO
AF 300mm f/4 ED IF NO YES 3 YES
D AF 50mm f/1.4 YES NO YES NO
AF 50mm f/1.8 YES NO YES NO
AF Micro 60mm f/2.8D YES NO YES NO
AF Micro 105mm f/2.8D NO NO 3 NO
AF Micro 200mm f/4D NO NO 3 NO
AF DC 135mm f/2 NO YES NO NO

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AF-I NIKON LENSES

AFI

TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301 TC-14E TC-20E
AF-I 300mm f/2.8D NO NO NO YES YES (AF) YES(AF)
AF-I 400mm f/2.8D NO YES NO YES YES(AF) YES(AF)
AF-I 500mm P4D ED-IF NO YES NO YES YES(AF) YES(AF)
AF-I 600mm f/4D NO YES NO YES YES(AF) YES(AF)

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AF-S NIKON LENSES

AFS

TC-14A TC=14B TC-201 TC-301 TC-14E TC-20E
AF-S 80-200mm f2.8 NO YES YES NO YES(AF) YES(AF)
AF-I 300mm f/2.8D NO NO NO YES YES(AF) YES(AF)
AF-I 500mm f/4D ED-IF NO YES NO YES YES(AF) YES(AF)
AF-I 600mm F4D NO YES NO YES YES(AF) YES(AF)

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MANUAL FOCUS NIKON LENSES - ZOOMS

Zooms

TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301
35-200mm f/3.5-4.5 NO NO 3 NO
50-300mm f/4.5 ED YES NO YES NO
180-600mm f/8 ED NO YES NO YES

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MANUAL FOCUS NIKON LENSES - FIXED FOCALS

Fixed

TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301

6mm f/2.8 Fisheye

YES NO YES NO
8mm f/2.8 Fisheye YES NO YES NO
16mm f/2.8 Fisheye YES NO YES NO
13mm f/5.6 YES NO YES NO
15mm f/3.5 YES NO YES NO
20mm f/2.8 YES NO YES NO
18mm f/3.5 2 NO YES NO
24mm f/2 YES NO YES NO
35mm f/1.4 YES NO YES NO
NORMAL TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301
50mm f/1.2 2 NO YES NO
TELEPHOTO TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301
85mm f/1.4 YES NO YES NO
105mm f/1.8 YES NO YES NO
105mm f/2.5 2 NO YES NO
135mm f/2.8 YES YES 2 NO
200mm f/2 ED IF 2 YES YES NO
300mm f/2.8 ED IF 2 YES 3 YES
400mm f/2.8 ED IF YES YES 3 YES
400mm f/3.5 ED IF 3 YES NO YES
400mm f/5.6 ED IF NO YES NO YES
500mm f/4 P ED IF NO YES NO YES
600mm f/4N ED IF NO YES NO YES
600mm f/5.6 ED IF NO YES NO YES
800mm f/5.6 ED IF NO YES NO YES

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REFLEX NIKON LENSES

MF REFLEX TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301
500mm f/8 3 1 3 NO
l000mm f/11 NO 1 NO 1
2000mm f/11 NO 1 NO 1

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NIKON SPECIAL PURPOSE LENSES

SPECIAL PURPOSE TC-14A TC-14B TC-201 TC-301
PC 28mm f/3.5 NO NO NO NO
PC 35mm f2.8 NO NO NO NO
Noct 58mm f/1.2 YES NO YES NO
Micro 200mm f/4 IF 3 YES NO YES
Medical 120mm f/4 IF NO NO NO NO
UV 105mm f4.5 NO NO NO NO

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