What size Teleconverter is best for a 70-200mm 2.8?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bill egan, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Hi All
    I am strictly an amateur and will have a Nikon VR 70-200 2.8 within the
    month. I am looking to shoot nature and animals at a fair distance. I live in
    Arizona and this is a great time of year for photos. I know the lens is
    actually 1.5 x mag with my D-80. The question is should I get a 1.4, 1.7 or
    2.0 Nikon teleconverter? I know the more you magnify the slower the speed.
    But is the lens good enough to run the 2.0 or should I sacrifice a little
    distance for the the faster 1.4 or 1.7? I posted a question 2 weeks ago and
    got some incredible advice about macro lenses and just want to say THANKS to
    all you gear heads that really know what you are doing, unlike me.
  2. Nikon TC 14 E (II)
  3. Personally I would go for the TC17E. It offers great magnification with minimal loss of speed
    and is far less bulky than the TC20E.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Bill, that is a trade off only you can decide. The higher the magnification of the teleconverter, the more optical quality you lose. At least in this case you start from f2.8 so that even with a 2x, your AF is still usable and it is still f5.6. The bad news is that you start from a zoom, which does not work that great with any teleconvertor.

    If it is up to me, I'd try not to use any TC with the 70-200mm/f2.8 VR. If I must, I would use no more than the TC-14e and also stop down by at least 1 stop:

    Your preference may vary.
  5. It is always difficult to put yourself in someone else's place, and decide what is "best". The 70-200 Nikkor is an exceptional lens from my experience. However, it will not do everything. I personally wouldn't use any TC greater than 1.4X (TC14E) if I had the choice of other longer focal length lenses. If you need the equivalent of a 500mm (on film), you will probably want to use a tripod. At this point, VR becomes unnecessary, and you would probably be happier with a 300mm or 400mm prime lens. If you are going after those little birdies you will probably want to save for a 500 or 600 lens anyway.

    If you are mostly into scenic photgraphy, I would suggest getting "How to Photograph Landscapes" by Joseph K. Lange. (ISBN:0-8117-2456-5) He never used anything longer than a 70-210 on his film camera for all his great images of the American S.W.
  6. I had the same consideration after I bought the lens. I went with the 2x. While the 1.4 gives the best quality, it also magnifies only by a small amount. My feelings are you can easily crop a picture to what the 1.4x converter gives without loss of picture quality.

    I have used the 2x converter and it works reasonably well. I guess it depends on what kind of results you are looking for and how large you are making your prints. I think for 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 prints, you would probably be pleased with the results. If you were making 13 x 19 prints, you may not be as happy.

    Third party manufacturers like Sigma offer zoom lenses that go up to 500mm. I have often wondered whether one of those would be better than the 70-200 with a converter.

    By the way, you will LOVE the 70-200! It is without a doubt my favorite lens, and possibly one of Nikon's best. Enjoy!
  7. I use the TC20E with my 70-200 mm 2.8. You can see two examples in my portfolio here
    (www.photo.net/photos/stevenseelig) in the single photo gallery. The two butterfly pictures
    are taken from a distance of 7-8 feet. Like always, life is a tradeoff... these are not quite as
    good as just the 70-200 lens and not as good as prime lens, but you can still some pretty
    good pictures.
  8. I have both the 1.4X and the 2.0 TCs. After a year of using them with the 70-200 VR, I bought the 200-400 VR. With any TC you lose quality. The 1.4 loses the least. If you are shooting animals from a half mile away, no lens will give you enough reach. The long lenses do a decent job on birds and nearby (within a couple of hundred yards) wildlife. I look at the 70-200 as more of a sports lens, where you have a limited distance to cover (under 100 yards with the TCs) and have need for the f/2.8 speed. It's also useful for nearby birds and other small wildlife.

    Steve Abramson
  9. None, if you want closer images and no quality loss, walk 20 steps ahead. But if still you want to use a TC, the Nikon TC 14 E (II) is the less harmful. Cheers.
  10. Thanks Everyone! If I do get a TC it will be a 1.4. I did not even know what a prime lens was, but now I do. Thanks also for the links and pics to previous discussions on the topic. Just like in cycling if you try to get a bike that does everything it can do all things well. But not as good as anything specically designed for the task.
    Bill Egan

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