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Old Feb 28, 2008, 10:56 AM   #1
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I recently purchased a D300 (loving it) and bought a 70-200 2.8lens. I would like to get a bit more reach for wildlife shots so am thinking about buying the 2x teleconverter. I realize that I will lose 2 f-stops, but am more concerned about the quality of the images. Can anyone give me some guidance? Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 7:12 PM   #2
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If you lose 2-stop that would be a 2x teleconverter which would degrade the picture slighly more than a 1.4x, the AF would also slow down a bit more than with a 1.4x - A compromise might be a 1.7x instead!

The quality of a teleconverter varies with the number of correcting glass elements in them and the more they have the more costly they tend to get... With more internal elements the teleconverter also end up to be thicker in the middle and would not fit every lenses except for the longer teles as they would butt against the rear element of the front lens.
Teleconverters work best on bright sunny or high contrast especially when you can close down the aperture a little - @ wide open and in low-light the image quality is usually at their worst

-> IMO probably a better combo for wildlife would be the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX with a 1.4x TC. This lens will get you to 420mm f/5.6 with the same IQ as the Nikkor prime 300 f/4 with a 1.4xTC, but a zoom instead and it remains still relatively fast in AF:
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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Its a trade off. Use of a 2X TC willdecrease the light to the sensor by 4X and affect angular resolution of the image by 2X as well as magnify any abberations of the optical system.


Generally, the better the IQ of the base lens, the less the use of a TC will affect the combo's IQ. Many with your lens have reported minimal IQ impact with the use of a 1.4X TC, some noticible degradation with a 1.7X TC and definite IQ degradation with a 2X TC.

Its been my experience that an original image with no TC can have its FOV cropped by between 30% - 50% before IQ degradatio0n really sets in. The 30% limit applies to images with consumer quality glass; the 50% limit to quality glass such as yours.

Its probable that cropping your original image will yield better IQ than the same FOV when using a 2X TC in most all cases.

My suggestion is to consider a 1.4X TC and, if needed/desired, crop from there rather than using a 2X TC...

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Old Feb 29, 2008, 12:20 PM   #4
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Thanks to you bothfor the insight. Part of what prompted the question is that the cost differential between the 3 Nikon teleconvertersis minimal - $410 for 1.4, $413 for the 1.7 and $420 for the 2.0. Using the 2x TCand theNikkor 70-200 2.8, I would be getting600mm at f/4 which is still pretty fast. But, if the 2x creates noticable degradation, the 1.4x or 1.7x may be the better choice.
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 1:59 PM   #5
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Last year about this time, I bought a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 ADO DG HSM... Great, great lens indeed. I used it on my D80 and soon learned what good photography could be about. On the D80, it was a little sensitive to settings at longer focal lengths but still took great shots. 6 months later I bought a 1.4x tele for it just to get that tiny bit more reach. Iknow that you lose onef stop but to be honest, in the real world, it made no difference to the quality of the shots I took. I was thinking about a 2x tele but that may have shown up with its 2 f stops loss. I also have a Nikkor 70-300mm VRbut the Sigmawill still out-perform this lens at the telling end,, honestly, there is very little comparison between thes two lenses.VR is a wonderful thing but a great lens is a great lens and for those slightly longer range shots, I would rather use the Sigma with the tele on it. The Nikkor 70-300mm VR is a great "on the move" lens but if you pick your shots and manage to get a good bead on it, the Sigma is a far better bet. This is even more evident on my D300 - it absolutely loves the Sigma and the tele... As a matter of fact, the D300 seems to love all my lenses...
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