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Thread: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Anyone had actual experience of any or all of these combinations? I have to order to TC pretty soon and I'll also use it on a Zeiss Makro Planar 100 F2 and even try it on a 24-170. But most importantly is that it should give good results both in terms of AF and IQ on a D800... all feedback very gratefully received!

    Thanks
    Tim

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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Tim, take a look at this: Which teleconverter for D800 and 70-200VRII - FM Forums

    I used the TC-20E III and 70-200 VRII on my D700 for a while. The sharpness on my setup wasn't great until f/8, and I remember reading about others who had the same experience, but the D800 users in the thread I linked seemed to have much better results. AF was a little slower with the teleconverter on the lens, but still very good and especially in decent light. If you really want the reach of the 20, just be aware that some copies of it may work better than others with your copy of the 70-200.

    I've never heard anything bad about the 14 though (negligible difference in sharpness and AF), and the 17 was always a small notch behind that.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Tim,

    I've used all three and I suspect Dave will chime in as well. The 1.7x was my number one choice due to balance of magnification and speed loss -- and it ended being a non-starter being basically pretty bad performance all around on this lens even stopped down. The 1.4x by contrast is excellent, showing almost no image degradation at 280mm, remaining very good even wide open. The 2xiii is marginally below the 1.4x, but still quite good even wide open at 400, clearly better one stop down though. I will gladly use the 1.4x anytime, and happily use the 2x when needed.
    Jack
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Tim,

    I've used all three and I suspect Dave will chime in as well. The 1.7x was my number one choice due to balance of magnification and speed loss -- and it ended being a non-starter being basically pretty bad performance all around on this lens even stopped down. The 1.4x by contrast is excellent, showing almost no image degradation at 280mm, remaining very good even wide open. The 2xiii is marginally below the 1.4x, but still quite good even wide open at 400, clearly better one stop down though. I will gladly use the 1.4x anytime, and happily use the 2x when needed.
    With regard to all three teleconverters use on the current 70-200 f2.8 VRII, Jack nailed it! I believe why the 1.7x has become sort of the orphaned child is simply this.... Prior to the current redesigned 2x TC-E III, the previous 2x's were marginal at best and often times unusable. That left only the 1.4x, generally outstanding for a 1.4x and the 1.7x being just OK at best and only when the stars aligned. When Nikon released the current updated 2x, its performance surpassed virtually all 35mm 2x's and their own 1.7x by a wide margin.

    It's been rumored that the 1.7x may be updated with a aspherical design much like the current 2x, and if so, the natural order of expected performance might be restored 1.4x--> 1.7x--> 2x . Until that time, I would simply follow what Jack has concluded. Of course both shooting situations and prevailing conditions as well as lens selection when using the 2x, requires additional consideration and thought to get the most out of it. Camera to subject distance on certain lenses plays a substantial role as to just how well the current 2x does. Long mid-distance to infinity range is generally the weakest when attached to certain lenses.

    *** Tim, Unless I'm mistaken, you won't be able to mount the current Nikon Af-S teleconverters to Zeiss lenses (nor any Nikon non Af-S lenses)...unless you make a simple external modification to each teleconverter. There is a square notch on one side of the teleconverter that prevents it from mounting and sitting flush with the lens its attached to, unless you dremel away that notch. It serves no function other than to prevent mounting to non Af-S lenses. Many have successfully done this modification, but of course it voids the Nikon warranty. If you decide to do it, watch for bits that are filed away as so that they don't enter the teleconverter or fall on glass surfaces.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 24th May 2012 at 08:34.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Thank you seriously guys. This place is great, there is so much useful knowledge here!

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    PS Notes:

    1) The D800 allows separate AF fine tune offsets for each lens with each converter, and both mine required different offsets than each other and the lens alone.

    2) The "notch" Dave refers to also prevents you from stacking the 1.4x converter behind the 2x even though there is room for the optics in that configuration (but not the other way around). I am tempted to remove said notch for that reason, even though the likelihood of me ever stacking is extremely low.
    Jack
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Are you satisfied enough with the D800 + 70-200 VRII to add a converter on it ?
    After reading Diglloyd tests I decided not to by the 70-200 but rather a Tamron 70-300mm + Nikon 200mm f2 and converters.
    Would be nice to read your experience of the D800 + 70-200 + TC 1,4 ;-)

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    anGy,

    Simple answer is yes, but... Turns out there appears to be significant sample variation on the new 70-200. My first one was marginal to begin with at all focals. My second one is outstanding at 200 even wide open and better at f2.8, a little less stellar at 70, but still extremely good. So now the slight loss of resolution with the converters is an acceptable trade-off, especially since I tend to use them at the long end of the zoom.
    Jack
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Quote Originally Posted by anGy View Post
    Are you satisfied enough with the D800 + 70-200 VRII to add a converter on it ?
    After reading Diglloyd tests I decided not to by the 70-200 but rather a Tamron 70-300mm + Nikon 200mm f2 and converters.
    Would be nice to read your experience of the D800 + 70-200 + TC 1,4 ;-)
    I cannot speak for it's performance on the D800 (yet), but that Tamron 70-300 surprised me with its optical ability/sharpness....keeping in mind the performance category the lens is placed in. The only thing I didn't really like is the way Tamron implemented their vibration reduction mechanism. As effective as it might be, it's simply not my cup of tea, no matter how much I try to get use to it.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    anGy,

    Simple answer is yes, but... Turns out there appears to be significant sample variation on the new 70-200. My first one was marginal to begin with at all focals. My second one is outstanding at 200 even wide open and better at f2.8, a little less stellar at 70, but still extremely good. So now the slight loss of resolution with the converters is an acceptable trade-off, especially since I tend to use them at the long end of the zoom.
    Even with a really good 70-200 f2.8 VRII, you'll find when using the 2x (with zoom set at 200mm), there is significant loss of performance at distances approaching infinity, as compared to much closer range. This drop is more precipitous than say what one would normally see with other lens/teleconverter combinations. Thats why when one asks if the 70-200 f2.8 VRII with 2x is a strong performer in reaching a net of 400mm vs. others lenses/teleconverter combinations, it can be good, but keeping camera to subject distance in mind can often make a big difference in image quality. Of course all the other usual factors that contribute to a sharp image come into play too.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Even with a really good 70-200 f2.8 VRII, you'll find when using the 2x (with zoom set at 200mm), there is significant loss of performance at distances approaching infinity, as compared to much closer range.
    Dave (D&A)
    Maybe this was my problem with the 2x converter. I remember shooting at an air show and was somewhat disappointed with my results. Although, what's the point of a teleconverter if it isn't delivering on the reach that you bought it for? If I need 400mm, you can bet that my subject will be far away and require focusing near infinity!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    The 1.4 is really nice with the 200mm . Not sure on the zoom too boring for me. LOL

    I like fast glass in 35mm photography
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Get the 1.4x this afternoon. But also have a friends 1.7x and did not expect that much after what was told here. Did just a few tests with the 70-200mm VR II and for me it looks very good I would say (f/7.1).
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    You have good advice on the 70-200Vr2 and the extenders . The 70-200Vr II is just superb at close to mid distances (where you might use it for sports ,reportage or even fashion ). It starts to lose something as you move toward infinity . Version 2 is in a different league from the older version 1 and a excellent lens within it sweet zone .

    It used to be that the extenders were Ok at 1.4X,fair at 1.7X and sort of last resort at 2x . The new 2x is a step up and acceptable . I am hoping that Nikon will introduce new extenders at 1.4X and 1.7X. This has been predicted for a few years .

    I have used the 2x on the 70-200/2.8 VR2 and the D3X ..it was decent at 100Ft but from the top of the stadium not so good (was shooting the US Open) . I did use the 2x with 300/2.8 Vr when I need a 600. Not bad at working distances and a huge advantage in travel . You can carry a 300/2.8 and the 1.4x and 2x and have a decent telephoto setup. Same logic with the 200/2 but I expect Guy will cover that one.

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    1.4x at f/5.6 (70-200mm VRII) shot from monopod



    1.7x at f/6.3 (70-200mm VRII)




    Both converters will be used at an air show this weekend with the 70-200mm VRII.
    Last edited by ustein; 24th May 2012 at 17:57.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike203 View Post
    Maybe this was my problem with the 2x converter. I remember shooting at an air show and was somewhat disappointed with my results. Although, what's the point of a teleconverter if it isn't delivering on the reach that you bought it for? If I need 400mm, you can bet that my subject will be far away and require focusing near infinity!
    I assume it was the latest 2x (the 2x Tc-EIII)? If not, that would certainly be an issue, but if it was, it most definitely could have been distance related. Not so much that the new 2x isn't good at distance shots with other Nikon telephoto's.....its the specific combination of the 70-200 f2.8 VR II + 2x.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    You have good advice on the 70-200Vr2 and the extenders . The 70-200Vr II is just superb at close to mid distances (where you might use it for sports ,reportage or even fashion ). It starts to lose something as you move toward infinity . Version 2 is in a different league from the older version 1 and a excellent lens within it sweet zone .

    It used to be that the extenders were Ok at 1.4X,fair at 1.7X and sort of last resort at 2x . The new 2x is a step up and acceptable . I am hoping that Nikon will introduce new extenders at 1.4X and 1.7X. This has been predicted for a few years .

    I have used the 2x on the 70-200/2.8 VR2 and the D3X ..it was decent at 100Ft but from the top of the stadium not so good (was shooting the US Open) . I did use the 2x with 300/2.8 Vr when I need a 600. Not bad at working distances and a huge advantage in travel . You can carry a 300/2.8 and the 1.4x and 2x and have a decent telephoto setup. Same logic with the 200/2 but I expect Guy will cover that one.
    If I had to take an educated guess, the 1.4x by all accounts and testing is exceptionally good with the right lenses, so I'd be surprised to see this updated anytime soon. If it is, it will probably go along with a hefty, maybe even an astronomical price increase...such as Nikon did when slightly updating some of the supertelephoto's from VRI to VRII.

    ***(just added)---> My assumption like others have expressed, is the 1.7x will be updated next. I'm surprised it hasn't already as most tests (mine and many others) have shown that the 2x in a wide variety of combinations with suitable lenses, generally outperforms the 1.7x, sometimes by very considerable margins.

    As I indicated in my post above, the new 2x does work well at distance with lenses such as the 200 f2, 300 f2.8, even the 600 f4 among other....but at distance, performance as I mentioned falls off precipitously at distance with the combination of 70-200 f2.8 VRII and current 2x.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 24th May 2012 at 18:24.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    If I had to take an educated guess, the 1.4x by all accounts and testing is exceptionally good with the right lenses, so I'd be surprised to see this updated anytime soon. If it is, it will probably go along with a hefty, maybe even an astronomical price increase...such as Nikon did when slightly updating some of the supertelephoto's from VRI to VRII.

    As I indicated in my post above, the new 2x does work well at distance with lenses such as the 200 f2, 300 f2.8, even the 600 f4 among other....but at distance, performance as I mentioned falls off precipitously at distance with the combination of 70-200 f2.8 VRII and current 2x.

    Dave (D&A)
    Agree the issue with performance at distance is with the 70-200 and then just made worse by the extenders .

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    Re: TC 14, 17 or 20III for 70-200 VRII/D800

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Agree the issue with performance at distance is with the 70-200 and then just made worse by the extenders .
    Another excellent Nikon lens that has a significantly noticeable drop-off in performance at distances greater than mid-distance, is the very popular and often times superb AF 200-400 f4 VRI & VRII. Curiously, even the 1.4x doesn't do all that well with this lens, even at close range where the lens by itself is a notable performer.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 25th May 2012 at 07:19.

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