Nikon AF-S 300mmf4 + TC 14E II - no Autofocus

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by chris_gibbons|2, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Help, please: I have just bought a new TC-14E II, to go with my 300mm AF-S f4. Mounted on my D7000, the 300mm works superbly. But with the TC, there is no AF.
    According to several posts on this website, as well as Nikon's, and the package insert that comes with the TC-14E II, it should work fine. It doesn't.
    Nikon's agents here in South Africa have yet to respond and the camera shop from which I bought the TC is also scratching its head.
    A lone post on a site elsewhere suggests that very early versions of the AF-S 300mm f4 did have a problem with TCs and need 'a motherboard upgrade'. (Do lenses have motherboards?)
    Any input/advice would be - as always - gratefully received.
    (And yes - I have checked that the aperture ring is locked at f32.)
    Chris Gibbons
     
  2. mtk

    mtk

    Hi Chris,
    Just a reminder that this combo will not AF unless a minimum lens opening of F5.6.... Certainly possible something is wrong with the TC but did you try them out in bright sunlight? What mode and current settings are you attempting to AF in? (P,A,S,M)?
    Mark
     
  3. What Mark said is not fully accurate. Nikon warns about the AF not working with apertures smaller than f/5.6. However, it will work, but very erratically. If I use the 300 f/4 with TC17EII (=500 f/6.7), the AF works, but slow and continuous AF does not really do anything, but single point AF is OK. None of which matters in this case, since with the TC14EII, you get a 420mm f/5.6. It should just work, and well, I know mine works fine.
    If you shoot photos with the combination, is the exif data correct? Does the max. aperture on the camera drop to f/5.6? This would at least show the TC is being recognised properly.
    My guess is the communication through the TC for the AF doesn't work; it could be dirty contacts on the TC.
     
  4. mtk

    mtk

    @Wouter, sorry, my bad....you are right...
     
  5. Mark, Wouter - appreciate the quick replies, thanks.
    @mark - I've tried various combinations from full Auto all the way to M, via P and A. AF-S, AF-C. No joy.
    @Wouter. The exif data is correct but with one anomaly: inadvertently, I had left the camera set to CH and so fired off two shots back-to-back of the same object. They ought to have been identical - give or take some camera shake. (It's a bright sunny afternoon here.) The first fired at ISO 400 - as set - the second at ISO 800. A much darker exposure, obviously. Most odd, I thought, and tried to make it repeat - of course, it wouldn't. Something peculiar there.
    (All contacts cleaned, b.t.w. - even on the new TC.)
    I suspect that this one may well require the whole kit - camera, TC, lens - to be sent to Johannesburg for Nikon to have a look at. Boring, as it means I'll not have the camera for a couple of weeks....but thanks again for trying.
    Chris
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have the 300mm/f4 AF-S and the original TC-14E, which is practically identical to the TC-14E II except for the outside finish. That combo should work fine.
    AF on the 300mm/f4 AF-S itself is on the slow side for an AF-S lens. Adding a 1.4x TC will no doubt slow it down further. Nikon's AF is supposed to work OK as long as your effective maximum aperture is f5.6 or faster, and in this case it is exactly f5.6.
    I have used the TC-17E II and TC-20E on the 300mm/f4 AF-S, and even those combos AF ok under bright sunlight with lots of contrast. In the shadows, AF tends to hunt a lot.
    Assuming your 300mm/f4 lens works fine by itself, I would test the TC with another lens and camera body. Poor electronic contacts around the front and back mounts is the most likely issue, but it seems like you have already eliminated that possibility.
     
  7. Hi Chris:
    I have the combo and it works fine on the D7000. You have an effective 420mm F5.6 set up. Just one possibly stupid question: Were you trying to AF on something too close?
     
  8. Hi Raymond - no question too stupid, I promise you, when it comes to my inability to master technical details! But, no, in this instance, I've tried it near, middle distance and far - no joy.
    Hi Shun - the shop which sold it to me is swapping it out for a new unit. Let's see if that solves the problem. At least that way we'll know. I should receive it middle of next week and I'll report the outcome. Whatever happens - the input is appreciated.
    Chris
     
  9. I use the 300mm f4 AF-S with a 1.4TCeII with out issues. I would try the TC on a different lens if possible and see what happens. It could be a problem in the TC.
     
  10. Is there something about locking the aperture ring on the 300 f4 to its smallest opening when using a tc?
     
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Is there something about locking the aperture ring on the 300 f4 to its smallest opening when using a tc?​
    No.
    If your lens has an aperture ring, as in the case of the 300mm/f4 AF-S, on certain camera bodies you have the option to control the aperture from either the sub-command dial or from the aperture ring. If you choose to use the sub-command dial, you need to set the aperture ring to the minimum aperture (most people would lock it there as I would also, but actually locking is not absolutely required). See this recent thread on that topic: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00ZeBc
    It happens that the camera body in question on the other thread is also the D7000, which the OP here uses.
    Whether you also use a TC in the middle does not affect those options. You still have both choices if you use a TC-14E.
     
  12. I use the 300 f4 AFS and a tc 14e11 on a D3 and have no focus problems even in very dim lighting.
    You have some thing wrong some where. I would try the tc on a different lens to see if it works. I tend to think the problem is the tc but I could be wrong.
    Good Luck
    Dennis
     
  13. A quick update for those of you who were kind and interested enough to offer advice: it looks like the lens is the problem, and not the TC.
    I have now tried the lens courtesy of my supplier in Johannesburg and a local camera shop closer to home with two new TCs and a new D7000 - same result. No AF.
    Ergo, either the lens is faulty in some way - or it is the problem I mentioned in my OP, which was a suggestion I saw somewhere on the web that the very early versions of this lens did not AF with a TC and needed some or other form of upgrade. The serial number is 202785, which is quite early in the series (200001-212026). I have asked Nikon South Africa for comment - I'll keep you posted.
    Thanks again for all the input - sitting at the far end of Africa, I can't tell you how much it's valued!
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    a suggestion I saw somewhere on the web that the very early versions of this lens did not AF with a TC and needed some or other form of upgrade.​
    I have never heard of that before. This lens was introduced shortly after year 2000. Prior to that, Nikon had already been making AF-I/AF-S lenses for a decade. E.g. I bought my 300mm/f2.8 AF-S in 1998 and that lens works fine with my TC-14E, so does my 500mm/f4 AF-S bought that same year. It seems unlikely that Nikon would have such problems a few years later.
    My 300mm/f4 AF-S is early too, but my serial number is a bit later: 2109xx.
     

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