Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

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Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby V-man on Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:29 pm

Hi everyone, every teleconverter review that ive read here isn't positive. What about the rather large Nikon TC-301 (2X).
I'm taking everyone advise and saving for the Nikon 80-400 vr instead of the Bigma. Just wondering if a teleconverter would be a good buy as well? For me you can never have enough reach.
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby gstark on Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:54 pm

it depends upon which TC and which lens: the Nikkor 70-200 VR + the 1.4 TC work very well together.

I would not be putting a TC on the 80-400 VR, mainly because this would present issues from a light transmission PoV. Think about the aperture of the lens, and then bump in a TC, and you don't have a lot of light to play with.

And for most people mentioning the Bigma and the 80-400 as alternative choices, almost every one of them gets the 80-400. Some of them detour via the Bigma, but that only delays their eventual purchase of the 80-400, while adding to their overall cost of acquisition of the lens, for nor real benefit.

But you say there is no such thing as too much reach. Let's step back a bit: what do you want to be photographing?
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby V-man on Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:33 pm

Motor racing , cars & bikes. you can get close to shoot dirt bikes but not Formula 1 or some other road racing. unless you have a press pass.
It would be great to get in real close to say Lewis Hamilton with 2 wheels of the ground. I would also like to get onto some wildlife as well but i'm told shooting lets say birds you need a lens worth serious coin. They promote teleconverters as the cheap solution to distance. I'm a newbie and still learning so your advice really is taken.
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby tommyg on Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:42 pm

In relation to the 80-400, I've had a play with it, and wasn't that impressed. Basically it's a slow lens ... specifically in the focussing time. Eveyone I've spoken to says it is not good for action .. so wouldn't like your chances in car racing.

A better possible choice would be the Nikkor 300 f4 with a 1.4 converter - exactly the same resultant aperture, but a lot better everything else. And you are actually then getting 420mm!

You can then in the future use the converter on say 70-200 as well.
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby gstark on Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:26 pm

V-man wrote: you can get close to shoot dirt bikes but not Formula 1 or some other road racing. unless you have a press pass.


Well, you can forget all about that avenue.

Press passes for the F1 are made from unobtanium. As a member of the great unwashed, you are not permitted (according to the F1 conditions of entry) to use tele-extenders nor any lens greater than 300mm. And at Albert Park, you are basically prevented from seeing anything at all due to the safety fences.

Other circuits are generally better, and either the 70-200 or the 80-400 are fine, depending upon the circuit and your level of access.

It would be great to get in real close to say Lewis Hamilton with 2 wheels of the ground.


And I would love to own a California. One of the original Californias. With respect, there's a greater chance of the latter occurring than the former. :)


They promote teleconverters as the cheap solution to distance


Yep. They're cheap. They're rarely a solution.

tommyg wrote:In relation to the 80-400, I've had a play with it, and wasn't that impressed.


This is not a lens that you can assess by simply "having a play". It is slow on a D70 (and so is the 85mm f/1.4) but still fast enough for F1 if you have your technique down. Obviously, on a D200 or better, this lens's response should not be an issue.

Basically it's a slow lens ... specifically in the focussing time.


It all comes down to technique. You need to learn to understand and how to use your equipment. If you don't have the basics down, then it doesn't matter at all what gear you have.

Eveyone I've spoken to says it is not good for action .. so wouldn't like your chances in car racing.


You've clearly been speaking with the wrond people, Tommy. Sure, it's slower than the 70-200, and it's not a patch on the 300mm f/2.8. But it doesn't cost PP7K either, and it's razor sharp, and yes, it's perfectly usable, even though not permitted, at the F1.

Image

Image

A better possible choice would be the Nikkor 300 f4 with a 1.4 converter - exactly the same resultant aperture, but a lot better everything else. And you are actually then getting 420mm!


Perhaps, but you lose the flexibility that the zoom lens gives you, and of course the zoom is VR.

The easy answer, of course, is to have both.

Which I do.:)
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby Glen on Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:39 pm

V-Man, it helps to let us know what lens you intend to mate this TC with. The TC 301 is designed for prime lenses over 300mm.
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby tommyg on Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:55 pm

Well Mr Stark I believe I do know how to use my equipment, but thank you for your objective view on the matter.

When i say 'I've had a play' - I have taken it out a number of times, and the the one single reason I haven't purchased it was the time it took to focus .. very very slow compared to other lenses of camparitive pricing. I'd rather getthe sigma 150-500 over the 80-400.

I've tried it on a couple of different bodies, and didn't enjoy it on a single one of them.

Maybe it is a sharp lens, but there are better lenses out there that cover the range of this one, for a similar or better price.
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby V-man on Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:13 pm

[quote]Press passes for the F1 are made from unobtanium. As a member of the great unwashed, you are not permitted (according to the F1 conditions of entry) to use tele-extenders nor any lens greater than 300mm. /quote]

Glen do they really check your camera gear at Albert Park? Are the security guys schooled in Lenses.

And for Glen - I didn't know the TC-301 (2x) was for over 300mm lens only. Maybe i should ask about the Nikon TC-20 II (2x).
My query is Teleconverters in general with the Nikon 80-400mm VR. And i have had a go at the 80-400mm , yes the autofocus is slow but i'm sure i can work around that.
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby gstark on Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:09 am

tommyg wrote:Well Mr Stark I believe I do know how to use my equipment,


And I did not suggest otherwise.

What I did say was that simply taking this lens out "for a play" is in no way sufficient to learn and understand its capabilities.

When i say 'I've had a play' - I have taken it out a number of times, and the the one single reason I haven't purchased it was the time it took to focus .. very very slow compared to other lenses of camparitive pricing.


But this should not be an issue. Especially on a D200 or better. I certainly have no problems with using this lens, and images I posted were, IIRC, shot using a D70. It's way better on a D300, but it simply should not be an issue. If somebody believes it is, then I would respectfully suggest that they are not using the lens, and/or camera, optimally.

I'm not saying that it's as fast as the 70-200; it is not. But understanding the lens and its operational parameters, and using appropriate technique - which requires more investment by the user than just "a play" - allows one to use this lens in an effective manner.

Now if you are of the belief that taking the lens out "for a play" is an adequate training ground, then good for you. But perhaps you should then take a few moments to consider how it is that some people are able to get this lens to work for them, when you admit that you cannot.

I'd rather getthe sigma 150-500 over the 80-400.


I'd rather get sharp images.

I've tried it on a couple of different bodies, and didn't enjoy it on a single one of them.


Well, I too have used it on a variety of bodies, and once I've taken the time to learn how to use the lens, there have been no issues. FTR, we have something like a dozen Nikon bodies here that this lens is compatible with, and it's been used on most of them.

Again, and no disrespect intended, I contend that you have not yet invested the time needed by yourself to learn how to use this lens.

Maybe it is a sharp lens, but there are better lenses out there that cover the range of this one, for a similar or better price.


Actually, there are not. Sigma certainly don't make them, and neither do Tamron. Not in that focal length range, build quality, and optical quality.
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby gstark on Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:14 am

V-man wrote:
Press passes for the F1 are made from unobtanium. As a member of the great unwashed, you are not permitted (according to the F1 conditions of entry) to use tele-extenders nor any lens greater than 300mm.


Glen do they really check your camera gear at Albert Park? Are the security guys schooled in Lenses.


We have had members told to put their gear away. 70-200 plus TC-201.

The security guys haven't a clue, but obviously they have people watching the spectators in the crowds.

The Ts&Cs are actually stupid, inconsistent, and poorly framed, but in buying your ticket you are agreeing to them, and thus if/when they pull you up, you are bound to comply, or leave.

And for Glen - I didn't know the TC-301 (2x) was for over 300mm lens only. Maybe i should ask about the Nikon TC-20 II (2x).
My query is Teleconverters in general with the Nikon 80-400mm VR. And i have had a go at the 80-400mm , yes the autofocus is slow but i'm sure i can work around that.


it's all a matter of technique. It's a great lens, offering a very high level of acuity and great flexibility at a very attractive price. Invest some time in learning how to use it properly, and you be very satisfied with it.
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Re: Nikon TC-301 (2x) Teleconverter

Postby Glen on Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:26 am

Hi V-Man, the TC301 is an older TC aimed at the 300,400, 500 & 600 primes. I don't think any TC is designed for the 80-400, I have heard the Sigma may work and I posted a link on this forum re converting the present (or present just past) to work with the 80-400. Depending on the camera you have I would be tempted to use the 80-400 without TC and crop, especially when you consider something like the TC301 would have made you manual focus and metering.
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