Using A Teleconverter On Nikkor 300 f/4.5 ED-IF AIS Lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Vincent Peri, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Has anyone used a Nikon TC-201 and/or Nikon TC-301 teleconverters on a Nikkor 300 f/4.5 ED-IF AIS lens?

    If so, how do the teleconverter affect the photos?

    Bjorn Rorslett says don't bother with the TC-301, while Ken Rockwell says using the TC-201 works okay and is a whole lot cheaper than a Nikon 600mm lens.

    Thanks for any information!
  2. I have the 400 f5.6 ED AI and the TC-301. It is very good, but not very hand holdable. Needs a pretty bright day or stable subjects as well. High iso on all the newer cameras makes it easier. Moonshots at 800 mm are fun.
    Albin''s images likes this.
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I think I have all of the old Nikon converters and have used them on a variety of the old lenses - when there is good light, and you take sufficient care focusing, they can provide extra reach without a lot of bulk. There is some image degradation. If the light were better today, I'd shoot & post a sample. The modern ones on the Digital lenses are quite good.
  4. TCs are most useful when there is no other way to do it, and so "good enough"
    is often what we get.

    It does occur to me, though, that there are two ways to look at them.
    One is the quality of the TC optics itself. Two is that you are only using
    the center of the image from the attached lens, and enlarging any defects.

    With the higher resolution sensors of newer digital cameras, you might just crop
    without using a TC, which avoids part one.

    Also, there is automatic focus, which often doesn't work so well.
    I have a Kenko 2x TC, which has a 2:1 gear reduction on the mechanical coupled
    AF system, as the 2x also enlarges the change in focus. That is, it amplifies the
    feedback part of the closed-loop AF system, such that it doesn't work so well.

    But when using the in-lens motor, there is no reduction in focus speed.

    I haven't tried a test with both types of lenses, though.

    I have used a few times the 2x on a Vivitar 500/8.0 mirror lens, though the
    biggest problem is focus. It is manual focus, though AF probably wouldn't work,
    but it is hard to get focus right.
  5. The 1.4x and 2x S teleconverters are the sharpest of them all with negligible if any image degradation. Hwvr, they can only be used on the 70-200mm S lens at this time.
  6. Focus Peaking?

    I know the usual problem is actually determining what/when it's in focus as the image is pretty dim and there's no pop or significant in/out change.

    Focus Peaking is determined in camera by pixel to pixel contrast so might work better?
  7. Yes, I am getting better at doing that. It doesn't seem to be as easy as it sounds, but
    sometimes it works pretty well.
  8. With digital you'll probably get better results by simply 'up-rezzing' the picture without the converter.

    I have 2 Nikon and several off-brand converters, and none of them are of much use. Not at 2x. The 1.4x Nikon TC-14 converter is OK though. Of the off-brands, a Vivitar 2x macro has the best optical quality and the 1:1 macro-focussing ability is very useful.

    Losing 2 stops off a lens that only gives its best optical quality at f/8 is a bit limiting IME.

    WRT digital 'zooming': I did some comparisons between a 1000mm f/11 Reflex-Nikkor, a 400mm f/5.6 IF-ED Nikkor, and an adapted 300mm f/5.6 Mamiya-Sekor C lens (best 300mm lens I've ever owned).

    Here's the whole subject with the1000mm mirror lens.
    And crops from each of the 3 lenses resized to match -
    Not easy to pick the longest lens out is it? Especially since the Reflex-Nikkor isn't terribly sharp IMO; giving IQ about the same as, or slightly better than, a good lens + TC combo.

    The order from the top is: 1000mm, 400mm, 300mm.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  9. What sensor/camera did you start with?
  10. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I'm not sure if you're asking Rodeo Joe or me.

    I have Nikon AI/AIS capable film cameras. I was thinking about buying a Nikkor 300 f/4.5 ED-IF lens, but decided against it. I have a Nikon TC0301 teleconverter that I can use on my Nikkor 200 f/4 macro lens.
  11. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    If you are talking about digital, the TC 14 E II and III work beautifully on the AF S Nikkor 200-500 5.6 E ED. I have the former and have used it a lot with considerable success.
    Mary Doo likes this.
  12. Me?
    I used a D7200 for that little test.
    Only reason I did it was to see if there was any advantage to using the 1000mil Reflex-Nikkor over something a bit shorter.... and frankly, no, there isn't.
    Oh film. All bets are off then.
    I've got a nice big lemonade bottle you could saw the bottom off.;)
  13. Well I did ask the question after quoting you! So Yes!
  14. Yes, I used them on my 200-400 and 80-400. Not so much the 2x 'coz it's harder to focus. But nothing compares to the new Z teleconverters. :) The downside is they can only be used on the 70-200mm S lens. I hope some upcoming lenses will accommodate these teleconverters, especially the promised 200-600 - or am I dreaming.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  15. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Interesting, though I will never be going Z, and surprising in a way. I suppose they'd rather sell more lenses. Thanks for the info!
    Mary Doo likes this.
  16. D300s tripod held with mirror up for the 300 4.5 ED-IF with both TC-201 and TC-14B at three different apertures (4.5, 8, 16), and don't owe the TC-301. Overall, TC-201 results are really good especially at wide open, while TC-14B does stand out with its well-known excellent optics at all apertures. Compare them for yourself and hope this helps.

    DSC_0637 (TC-201+300-4.5ED-IF_f4.5)_00001.jpg TC-201
    DSC_0638 (TC-14B+300-4.5ED-IF_f4.5)_00001.jpg TC-14B

    DSC_0635 (TC-201+300-4.5ED-IF_f8.0)_00001.jpg TC-201
    DSC_0639 (TC-14B+300-4.5ED-IF_f8.0)_00001.jpg TC-14B

    DSC_0636 (TC-201+300-4.5ED-IF_f16.0)_00001.jpg TC-201
    DSC_0640 (TC-14B+300-4.5ED-IF_f16.0)_00001.jpg TC-14B

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  17. Totally irrelevant, but that cable wire on the rooftop can be hazardous, right?
  18. Think it makes sense for me only because I am purchasing almost all new equipment after the damages to most of my prior equipment. I am still somewhat on a cross road on whether to replace the Olympus M43 equipment, replace some of them, or go all Nikon.
    Sandy Vongries likes this.
  19. I've used both on the 200-500 and they do work OK. AF performance, however, does suffer. The same is true for using the TC-14EIII on the 500PF - sadly to the point where I rather not use it when shooting anything that moves (and/or is farther away than my usual focus distances for the lens without TC). Also, AF fine tuning turned out to be quite cumbersome on either lens. I've also tried either behind the AF-S 80-400 - I'd rather not bother anymore.
  20. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Even with the best pro prime, some things are just out of reach. There are shots that are too far. My experience is that the extender does just that, extends my reach to a reasonable extent. This hawk was at least 500 yards out on private property. It is a considerable crop despite having 1050mm (35mm equivalent) with the TC14 E II on 200-500 using the D7200. The shot is not perfect, but I was glad to get it! DSC_5400 (665x1000).jpg
    Albin''s images likes this.

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