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Old Jul 29, 2004, 4:30 AM   #1
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See my prior thread(Add-On Lenses forum). Looking for addition feedback in the Nikon forum.

I'm looking for a TC-E3 3X lens for my Coolpix for a Hawii trip coming up. My favorite pictures are more of the "Portrait" types (with people in them and not that much distance). That being said, I may not be the most creative when using telephoto lenses. Any tips & techniques on how to use a telephoto lense to expand my creativity in their use? Any links to get me thinking about their use?

And: If you have a TC-E3 3x lens, is there any reason to buy a TC-E2 2x lens? Is TC-E3 always a superior product relative to the TC-E2?

P.S. I do have a wide angle & Fisheye lense that I look forward to using.
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Old Jul 29, 2004, 7:31 AM   #2
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OK lets take this by topic:

1 - Lens optical quality: Any add-on lens will compromise the performance of the camera's lens, even if it is carefully designed to work with the lens. The greater the magnification of a teleconverter, the greater the potential for optical problems such as chromatic abheration (sic), pincushion distortion and general reduction of contrast. This is a general rule, the specifics of the Nikon teleconverters may make this point unimportant.

2 - Effective aperture: Whenever you add a teleconverter you decrease the effective aperture, I am not sure of the exact formula for this but a 3X converter will probably cause you to lose at least 2 stops. This means lower shutter speeds and increases the need for a tripod. Expect blurred pictures unless you use some form of camera support.

3 - Compression of depth: An interesting feature of a long telephoto lens is that it compresses the perceived distance between objects in the field of view. That means that objects at different distances will all look like they are nearly in the same plane. This can be used effectively to produce interesting effects (I will post an example if I can find the picture)

4 - Magnification is not everything, a 2X converter may produce sharper results than a 3X converter but remember that neither will be as sharp as the lens alone, so don't overuse them. Telephoto and wide angle lenses are far more useful when you become aware of the difference in the way the camera "sees" with these lenses, rather than just using them to frame the picture. Many professional photographers still use single focal length lenses (no zooms) but not because of any greater quality in the image, but instead because it draws attention to the particular point of view of the lens and doesn't become just a framing tool (as most of us use zooms).

5 - Fun Factor: Lenses which significantly extend the range of your camera (in either direction) are fun to use, and if they cause a little degradation in image quality it is worth it. A 3X TC will produce a more dramatic effect than a 2X, and on a camera with a 3X zoom it will pick up where the original lens left off so to speak. This factor may make up for any reduction in quality (which would probably only be noticed in large prints anyway)

Finally note that the 3X TC's biggest impact will be on the shutter speeds that you can use, in anything but very bright conditions you will need some form of camera support. A light weight tripod, and the nerve to use it will have a tremendous effect on the quality of your pictures.

Any more questions, just ask, I don't garantee answers but I do try.


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Old Jul 29, 2004, 8:26 PM   #3
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I'll be studying your reply, thanks.

Also I have a video camera question. Use to include inside a underwater camera housing with an optical port (ie. window):

I have a Canon ZR-40 and am considering an Ewa-Marine housing for it (model VDS. Price: ~$259). Cross reference fit chart here

Also considering getting the Ewa-Marine W66 58mm 0.6x Wide-Angle Lens Attachment (~$144) .

BTW, what happens if you buy a bigger Video housing (than what your camera needs? For instance, if I get a decent price on another model that is bigger what's the potential problem? I don't think there is a problem since (even in the W66 link above) Ewa-Marine says that the optional WAL is small enough to fit within the housing. Just to be sure: These Ewa-Marine housings don't lock onto the camcorder's lens' do they?

Do WALs need to be made for underwater? Or will any do as long as it fits in the housing? Canon's WAL link: here or good price here. Any of these 30.5mm thread sizes should work. I wonder if I got a 28mm to 30.5mm step-up ring whether I could use my Nikon WC-63 (x.63) with the video camera? It's considered "low distortion" at x.63. For underwater I wonder if it would be just better to buy an inexpensive x.45 WAL, since distortion probably isn't as big of a deal, right?

P.S. I'd like to know soon, I'll be using it for snorkling in Maui, HI.
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 3:41 AM   #4
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Go for the 3x converter. That converter is very good and pinsharp. You can't use it indoor, but outside in the sun or bright weather. It's really worth the money!
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Old Aug 1, 2004, 1:21 AM   #5
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Thanks Klaus. Got one off of e-bay & received today. A review of the TC-E3 here seems to be right on the money for this thread. BTW, the review recommends the TC-E3 but not for all.It recommends the TC-E2to be added first (to see if the need of a 3x still exists).A strong supporter of thisidea is the fact that theaddition of a 3x "leaves a gap between 155 (of the in camera lens) and 300 mm (in 35mm format).".

Thanks to you both for the great replies that expanded my knowledge of TCs.

Another nice piece of info, the review gave is:

Closest focusing is about 8 feet. If you need to get closer, it has been recommended to try the Macro (Close up) mode.

With my own personal test (Coolpix 4300, manual [M] setting, Focus: Auto, Lens: 3X Tele, Metering: spot; environment: bright kitchen focusing on a white refrigerator [white magnet w/ black text]):
-Nearest in-focus without macro setting (i.e. "flower icon"): 10 feet (not the 8' mentioned in review).
-Nearest in-focus with macro setting: 6'6"

That doesn't bother me since I don't plan on using the TC for pics within 6'6". For those that beg to differ read this first (courtesy shene).

So my advice is to save the $ and buy the TC-E3 only an not the TC-E2. Carry & be inconvenienced less & use the saved $ to upgrade your next purchase instead of buying a cheap optic. Emmmmmm......Am I trying to talk myself into buying (for my digi camcorder) that Century DS-FEWA-37 "baby death" instead of the Raynox QC-303......

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