TC 14E III vs D7100

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ronald_duren, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Lately I’ve been shooting more birds using my D600 and 70-200mm f4 VR. Needing more reach I purchased the 14E III TC. I’m getting mixed results, focus acquisition is slower and sometimes inaccurate. When I do hit the focus the resulting image is a little soft compared to the 70-200 without the TC unless I stop down to f8. I’ve not fine-tuned the auto focus for this combination because of the handling issues. For the owners of this TC are my performance expectations unrealistic?
    For about the same price I can purchase a used D7100 which would give me the same reach but with a DX crop. I’m not ready to buy or carry a 200-500mm. Most of my shooting is done while cycling or hiking nature trails and I limit my kit to about 5 lbs.
    Should I return the TC?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Generally speaking, teleconverters don't work well with zoom lenses. If you were using a 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S, adding the TC-14E III will make its long end a 280mm/f4 and you can still have some room to stop down. When you add a 1.4x TC to make your f4 zoom an f5.6, you just can't stop down any more or your lens would be very slow.

    Most likely your expectation for the 70-200mm/f4 + TC-14E III combo is unrealistic.
    If you are into birds, the 200-500mm/f5.6 is the way to go. If that is too big, you can consider the 80-400mm/f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR or the 300mm/f4 E PF AF-S VR + that TC-14e III. Both of those options are quite expensive, though.
    Switching to or adding a DX body can help. However, I would get a D7200 instead of the D7100 to get a deeper buffer.
  3. If you aren't needing the fast frames per second (i.e. "machine gunning",) the D7100 should work for you. I have a D800E, with 36mp, and went back to DX for birds/wildlife using Nikon D5300 + Nikon 80-400mm AFS. Ideally, I'd be using D7200 with Nikon 200-500mm. I've never been happy with TC performance and currently don't own any.
    Ken tin SD
  4. I'd keep the TC 14E III and instead of a DX body, save up for the AF-S VR 300mm f/4 E PF prime lens.
    Yes, it most definately expensive, however it truly is compact ( shorter in physical length than your 70-200/4) and is lighter weight at only 864 grams with caps and hood which is fly weight for a telephoto prime lens.
    I use the 300/4 E on the D810 and have found it quite a revelation in that it is so compact and light, it autofocuses very well and has the best VR by a long way - even better than the 70-200/4 which I also use.
    I see no need for a tripod collar with the 300/4 E as the compact lightweight nature of it demands hand held use, however, as an aside - the good news is that if you do want one, it's the same RT-1 collar that fits both 300/4 E and your 70-200/4
    I have the TC 14 E II and it works acceptably well on the 300/4 E, possibly the newer TC 14 E III will be marginally better - you really want to use TC's on prime lenses. The 300/4 E + TC 14 E II makes a nifty 500mm f/5.6 set up and again is so portable.
    The 300/4 E will be the 2nd lens I pick in my bag to take with me to the USA/Canada next year for a 6 week long road trip and I always carry it in my camera pack everywhere at home/work/ photo excursions etc as it is truly so light and compact and produces excellent hand held birding shots.
  5. Thanks Matthew, Kent and Shun the TC goes back tomorrow. My D80 died leaving the D600 as my only dslr and with Nikon flooding the market with refurbished cameras the private market sales are even lower making for some great deals. The 300mm f4 E PF is a brilliant design but I’m not a full-fledged Birder (yet!).
  6. Two things happen with TCs that make them harder for autofocus cameras.
    One is that the effective aperture is smaller, so there is less signal for the autofocus.
    Less obvious, is that it magnifies the effect of changing focus.
    I have two Nikon mount TCs not Nikon brand. They both couple through the mechanical autofocus coupling geared down by the TC factor. But lenses with built-in motors won't be slowed down, and will tend to overshoot.
    In actual use, the 1.4x often enough works in AF mode, but the 2x doesn't, on zoom lenses with built-in motors. It overshoots, oscillates around the proper focus, and then stops nowhere near the right focus point. I don't have any f/2.8 lenses to test them on.
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have an old 300mm/f2.8 AF-S that I bought way back in 1998. That lens takes teleconverters very well, especially the TC-14E. Unfortunately, it is not quite compatible with the TC-14e III, which is only fully compatible with G and E lenses without an aperture ring.
  8. TC-14 or DX body? Neither! The obvious solution is
    to get a lens that covers 300mm. A Tamron SP VC
    70-300mm zoom will give you better IQ than a TC
    on an f/4 zoom, with the same maximum aperture of f/5.6.

    Having said that, 300mm isn't really long enough for serious birding on a full-frame body. The above Tamron lens on a D7100 however, would be more than adequate for casual birding.

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