TC-20E on 24-120mm/f4 AF-S VR

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bob___|10, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Can the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens be used with the teleconverter?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    No, there is insufficient clearance on the rear end of the 24-120mm/f4 AF-S VR to mount any Nikon TC-xxE teleconverter. If you must use a teleconverter, you need to find a 3rd-party alternative, but adding any TC, especially a 2x, to a mediocre zoom will greatly affect its image quality.
  3. And, of course, you'd also lose two stops of light ... making the lens far too slow for the camera's AF system to work (not to mention, the viewfinder would be quite dark).

    You'd be much better off simply getting a 70-300, which can be had for a pretty modest price.
  4. Thanks. I was trying to lighten the load.
  5. I doubt that it will work mechanically, since the rear element of the 24-120mm f/4 will likely interfere with the teleconverter. This was definitely true with the 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. It is, however, possible, that at 120mm it will mechanically clear. I don't own this lens, and even if I did, I would be reluctant to check on my own teleconverter without measuring first. You'll also have to be careful not to accidentally zoom back towards the wide end.
    But even if it does work, you'll be at T/8. AF will likely not function at all, and the viewfinder image will be dim. I do happen to have an Nikkor 800mm f/8 ED lens head and AU-1 focusing unit, and I can confirm that you can manually focus at f/8 on a D700, difficult though it may be. But the difficulty is only made worthwhile by the outstanding image quality of that lens. The same cannot be said for a consumer zoom and a 2X teleconverter.
    Even if it mounts, and even if you are able to manually focus, I hate to think of the image quality that will result. The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens is not among my favorites, but it would likely offer much better image quality at ~240mm, while being faster, more flexible and also cheaper than a TC-20E!
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I got home and took a closer look at my 24-120mm/f4 AF-S VR.
    At 24mm, the rear element is right at the mount area so that clearly there is insufficient clearance for any Nikon TC-nnE teleconverters. However, when you zoom to 120mm, the entire group of elements moves forward so that it is mechanically possible to mount a TC-20e III onto the 24-120mm/f4 AF-S VR, as shown in the attached image.
    The problem is that if you do what I am showing, and you accidentally zoom the lens down towards 24mm, it is possible that the rear element will bump into the front element of the TC-20e III, causing damage to both sides. Sorry, I am not going to experiment with my lenses. :)
    In any case, the resulting lens will be a 240mm/f8 on the long end with poor image quality. Therefore, even though it is technically possible (sort of), that is not something you want to try as Matt and Samuel pointed out.
    And for whatever reason, my TC-20e version 1 cannot be mounted onto the 24-120mm/f4 AF-S VR. Only the TC-20e III works, and I don't have a TC-20e II.
    If the OP wants to save weight, one solution is to switch to a DX-format camera. If he wants to stay with the D700, a good travel lens is the 11x 28-300mm/f3.5-5.6 AF-S VR. That lens is actually not too bad on the 12MP D700, but I wouldn't use it on a high-pixel density body such as the 16MP D7000. However, just like any 11x zoom, it involves a lot of compromises, both optical and mechanical.
  7. If you can live with manual focus, Ai-s 200/4.0 may be worth looking at.

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