I’ve never owned a lens longer than 200mm, although I often borrowed longer lenses when I worked in a camera store in 1980.
I always believed that if I ever got a 300mm lens, I’d have all the reach I needed. Of course, today the 200mm setting on my 70-200mm zoom lens looks like 300mm because of the cropped sensor in my Nikon D300. And it’s never long enough.
So I got hold of a Nikon TC17eII teleconverter, which mounts between camera and lens to magnify the lens’ image 1.7 times. That makes my 200mm lens act like a 340mm lens. Of course, on my cropped sensor, that’s similar to using a 510mm lens.
Here’s my report on the first day using the teleconverter.
- If you get one, don’t worry about the weird “loose part” sound it makes. That’s normal.
- However long the lens, you’ll sometimes wish it were longer. I imagine guys looking through the Hubble telescope, sighing, “If only….”
- In my 35mm days, I would never consider using a 500mm lens without a tripod, so why did I expect super sharp images while hiking around and shooting with a handheld 510mm lens?
- I’m glad I did some homework online. The lens/teleconverter combination improves dramatically when stopped down a bit or pulled back from its longest setting.
- The teleconverter reduces light transmission by 1.5 stops, so it helps to start with a fast lens.
This is a long-term loan, so I’m sure to have many more reports on this teleconverter, but I found the first day encouraging, and I look forward to getting out with a tripod for some long-range fun.