Teleconverter question/discussion

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by tahmail, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. tahmail

    tahmail TPF Noob!

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    I have read a number of articles from professional photographers that claim that teleconverters are a waste of money and to avoid their use. They seem like a handy tool to have around for certain prime lenses - particularly macro work or some portrait work from a distance. Any thoughts here? I think a reasonably good quality 1.7X could be had for a couple of hundred dollars. Is that about right? I'd just like some input from actual users. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    IMO, it depends on what you are using them for, and what you are using them on. Even the best TC's are going to degrade your image somewhat, in addition to the f-stop loss. If you are using a high grade lens to begin with, then the quality degradation isn't nearly as noticable as slapping a 2x on an f/8.

    I use a 1.4x on my 70-200 2.8 VR quite often (gives me a 280 f/4), with very satisfactory results, but a lot of times I do notice a small difference. I haven't tried a 1.7x yet, and can almost guarantee I would probably not be happy with a 2x.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Aye a lot of the time it is down to both the lens you attach the teleconverter to, the camera body and also what effect you are looking for.
    Top end lenses (such as canon L) and also most macro prime lenses suffer almost no loss in quality when combined with a 1.4 TC - like Phranquey I also use a 70-200mm f2.8 IS (canon me ;)) for that added range. The 2* tends to work better on a prime though - rather than a zoom - the canon 300mm f2.8 for example, can be combined with a 2* teleconverter to make a decent 600mm prime lens - granted a proper 600mm lens will beat if for quality, but it will be heavier, more costly and another lens to get.
     
  4. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    They're crazy deluded elitists that are more in love with their own opinions than with photography. Seriously. Teleconverters, close-up lenses, and wide angle converters of MC AC quality ROCK!!!

    You want them to be achromatic or apochromatic and of course multicoated though. Ones that aren't are still usable and all but the CA they introduce will cause some initial disappointment.

    I dunno the American market so well but in Japan I see far far far more AC and APO offerings than I see single element lenses with only multi or single coatings.

    Yeah I see various teleconverters for between $50 and $200. Don't mind the low price ones tho. If they are AC or APO they will give great results and price of course has nothing to do image quality. ;) For example one of my very best wide converters was $20 and the difference between MC and AC close-up lenses is consistently only about $10 or $15 bucks (yet huge quality difference).
     
  5. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use a 2X teleconverter quite frequently, but I won't go beyond 2X, I don't rrust anything bigger, I'd prefer to buy bigger glass. Myself a classic Canon shooter, I can afford bigger because they are not available new and have to be bought used. For those with out that advantage the fact I still use with such frequency a 2X TC should say it's almost a must and perfectly acceptable and far from a waste of money.

    A waste of money is buying a 600mm lens and not knowing how to use it resulting in extreamly limmited use.

    600mm is not for your average hobbiest, it is an very restricted focal leingth with only a few practical uses. Unless you are shooting football, bald eagles and whatnot every other day a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM is not necessary. For the average hobbiest (300mm is kind of pushing it but) having that and a 2X TC could be the difference as to wether or not they manage to capture that one bald eagle they stumbled across or not wile still being able to use it for what ever other applications they bought the lens for. The ability to use a more versital focal leingth and have the ability to narrow it down as necessary is well worth the money to hobbiests.

    Professionals on the other hand, they are often specialized and have a requirement for the maximum optical quality and can not make such comprimizes. When you are shooting football games for a living that Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM is almost a must.
     
  6. joecoulsonphotography

    joecoulsonphotography TPF Noob!

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    I have a Kenko pro 1.4x for my nikon lenses and have gotten good results. I use it (manual only because it doesn't play nice with HSM) with my Sigma 100-300 f4 and have really good looking photo's. I wouldn't use it for shots that require a perfect border, but usually that focal length you are shooting centered objects anyway. I have been very pleased with it. I will say that any shortcomings a lens may have will be amplified by a TC. I have a nikon 180 f2.8 (which is a legendary lens) that is a little prone to purple fringing in extreme contrast situations. Although it is barely a problem when the lens is used by itself, when a TC is used the problem is a little annoying. My 2 Cents.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ditto on the Kenko, classic example of an overall satisfactory company for once producing a truly outstanding product for the price.

    Teleconverters do drop the image somewhere, no where near as much as resizing the final image though. I have a 1.4x Kenko too and use it on my 80-200 f/2.8.

    I have had one photographer tell me telconverters are a waste of money to which I replied my 300mm f/4 just cost me $125, what did yours cost. They normally shut up around that point.
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3167/2827403440_f3f05c57db_b.jpg
    An example image. PM me if you want the full original to pixelpeep at.
     
  8. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    depends on the lens/tele combination, and it's totally random in my experience.
     

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