were once very popular. So popular that there are thousands of third
party brand options on ebay, as well as Nikon's old manual focus ones
which are quite cheap. A teleconverter is a set of optics that goes
between the lens and the camera, increasing the focal length. They tend
to do well with primes and poorly with zooms. They also take light
away. A 1.4x TC takes away one stop of light, while a 2x TC takes away
two stops. You probably know all this already. Although quite out of
fashion, I was curious to see if Nikon's old teleconverters were worth
owning with a lens like the well respected Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED. I did
a lot of google research and couldn't find much. As I have recently
acquired a Nikon 180mm f/2.8 ED, it seemed fitting to get the related
teleconverters to see how they did. With a modern high mega pixel
camera are we better off just upsizing in photoshop?
Sizes compared to the Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8.
I paid $40 for the TC-201, $48.11 for the TC-14A and $54.99 for the Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8
were shot on a tripod, with electronic first curtain shutter on the
Sony A7. ISO 200, ten second delay before exposure. Manually focused on
the sign, at maximum aperture and the focus was left there with no
adjustments made for
focus shift. White balance set to daylight. Shot wide open and at
f/4. This building is about a quarter of a mile away, there is no way
to read the Western Holiday Lodge sign with the blind eye.
The images were upsized in Photoshop CC using the new "Preserve
Details" method, which is incredibly better than the previous bicubic
First a look at the field of view with the TC-201 attached.
Field of view with the TC-14A
180mm f/2.8 ED field of view.
Wide open 100% center crop of the Nikon 180mm f/2.8 ED and TC-201
Nikon 180mm f/2.8 ED and TC-14A, cropped then upsized to match the TC-201
Now at f/4 the 180mm f/2.8 ED and TC-201
180 ED and TC-14a at f/4
Nikon 180 ED straight up.
Worth noting is the fact that the
upsized images look far better with Photoshop's new "Preserve Details"
resampling. The teleconverters really do their job quite well with this
classic lens. It's worth noting that they are really suited to bright
light or tripod work, as the TC-201 had to be shot at 1/100 of a second
and 1/50 while the plain 180 2.8 was at 1/400 and 1/200, a fine speed
for hand holding. What's perhaps the most surprising is the lack
of purple fringing when the TC-14a is attached. Regardless, at ~50 each
they are a sound investment if you happen to own a Nikon 180mm f/2.8 ED.
Lenticular cloud over Alta Peak. With an effective focal length of
504mm, atmospheric conditions can be the largest issue with infinity