Teleconverter for D3100 - Nikon Said This...
Okay, so I wanted to get a teleconverter for my D3100. I went looking for the teleconverter for my tameron 70-300mm.... well My father did me a favor by calling Nikon and he was told they do not suggest getting a teleconverter because it would mess up the body of my camera, something to do with the mount.
That's what they said...
So now, what other options do I have. I want to take a shot of the full moon showing a clear shot of it, where it's not out of focus.
I'm having a hard time with this, and I thought that by getting a teleconverter I would have a easier time for the photoshoot... now I honestly do not want to mess anything up with my body... hell the 3100 isn't cheap (I've never spend over $500 on myself).
What are my options, or am I missing something?
#1. "RE: Teleconverter for D3100 - Nikon Said This..." | In response to Reply # 0
You may have misunderstood or Nikon was giving you the "run around" as there is no reason you can't use a tele-converter with your D3100. The problem is that Nikon tele-converters only fit with a few of their telephoto lenses. There isn't a Nikon tele-converter that works with Nikon's 70-300mm lens, for example. There are other brands like Kenko and Tamron converters, however, that you could use. I can't see any reason that these converters would "damage" your camera, but some of the functions (AF) may not work, and you would have to manual focus. For a moon shot, however, manual focus is not a problem. Be aware that the optical quality of your lens will diminish when you use a tele-converter.
#2. "RE: Teleconverter for D3100 - Nikon Said This..." | In response to Reply # 0
> not suggest getting a teleconverter because it would mess up the body of my camera, something to do with the mount.
Probably that's an overly general statement, because there exist some that they clearly do not think will mess up the camera. In particular, they would certainly sanction the combination of the D3100, 105/f2.8 AFS VR and TC-14eII - all of which are currently offered products and which are known to be supported as such. (There are a number of other combinations in this category, most of which are quite expensive.)
What's more precise is that older TCs, possibly even some Nikon ones, do require some modification to avoid problems. Most of these are from the 1960s and early 1970s, but they do exist. Some third party ones from roughly the same age also could create problems. But we're not mostly focused on stuff from 30-40 years ago.
What's more problematic today is that your Tamron 70-300 is an f/4-5.6 lens, and adding a TC, even a mild one, takes it beyond your camera's reliable AF range. More precisely, the camera is spec'ed to AF reliably at f/5.6, which it does. If you add even a 1.4x TC, you'll be at f/8 even with the lens wide open, because the tradeoff of a TC is essentially focal length for image quality and aperture. A stronger TC, such as 2x one, gives up two stops of aperture (eg f/11 maximum) and even more image quality. Regardless, all of them are slower than f/5.6 and even if the AF works, it won't work particularly well, nor will it work at all in lower light conditions. I even have trouble with things like this on a D3 that has a much more advanced AF system.
Nikon TCs are specifically designed so that only fast telephotos (f/2.8, or f/4) or telephoto zooms from Nikon can even mount, mostly for these reasons. Your Tamron won't mount physically mount on any modern Nikon TC - and that may be part of what Nikon told you.
If you persist on this path - and I wouldn't recommend it - you can try a Kenko 1.4x TC. It will mount safely; in fact it will mount quite a few lenses, whether or not it's a good idea to do so, photographically. You will discover that a 1.4x is a fairly mild improvement in focal length, and you'll find out for yourself whether or not the AF works to your satisfaction. I can assure you that it won't work well, say, indoors, where there just isn't enough light. If will probably work decently well on a bright summer afternoon for a kids' soccer game. And somewhere in between will be your tolerance. Remember that the D3100, as the entry model of the family, just doesn't have the most sensitive AF system.
You could also try the Kenko 2x TC. It may work decently in high noon light; and it will not even attempt to AF in most indoor conditions. You are likely to also find that the results are not so good, even if you achieve focus on an f/11 lens. That's because f/11 is a pretty dark aperture, and image quality is significantly impaired by most 2x TC's. (The only one I can really recommend is the Nikon TC-20eIII Aspheric, a $500 item that only mounts high end Nikon lenses ranging from $2400 to $10700, plus the above-mentioned 105/f2.8 AFS VR at $900. On most of those lenses it works splendidly, though.)
Other options? I'd first evaluate what you want to do with this. The moon is an interesting shot, but you really won't get too much variation, since our relationship here on Earth doesn't change much. If that's the reason for this purchase, I'd go rent something. If you have other interests, perhaps your kids are getting really into sports, or you're into dog trials, or wildlife, there are other approaches. However, I'll warn that few of them are really very viable under the $500 level. Even the "inexpensive" options typically start at nearly $1000 and go way up from there.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#3. "RE: Teleconverter for D3100 - Nikon Said This..." | In response to Reply # 0
I just checked your website, very nice flower photos. I love Longwood Gardens, one of my favorite photo places. I've been a member for 7 years now.
Full moon photos aren't easy without a nice long lens. It takes a really good one to give acceptable results with a TC and a sturdy tripod to hold it. Your best bet would be to rent a lens for a weekend where the forecast is for clear skies.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#4. "RE: Teleconverter for D3100 - Nikon Said This..." | In response to Reply # 0
The subject of TC's has been covered quite well above.
>So now, what other options do I have. I want to take a shot
>of the full moon showing a clear shot of it, where it's not
>out of focus.
There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to capture a sharp image of a full moon on a clear night with your D3100 and 70-300mm at 300mm. While it will be far from filling the frame it should be sharp.
Are you using a tripod?
What settings are you using?
What metering mode are you using?
Hint: Use Spot Metering.
Keep in mind that the moon is very bright since it is reflecting the light from the Sun, and it moves across the sky quite fast. These two factors make it very easy to capture a less than sharp image. The former resulting in over exposure and the latter resulting in motion blur due to the rotation of the earth.
>I'm having a hard time with this, and I thought that by
>getting a teleconverter I would have a easier time for the
>photoshoot... now I honestly do not want to mess anything up
>with my body... hell the 3100 isn't cheap (I've never spend
>over $500 on myself).
Actually even with a lens that was designed to be used with a teleconverter using one makes it more difficult to capture a sharp image. Doubling the focal length makes using rock solid support (tripod & head) even more important.
>What are my options, or am I missing something?
Set the camera on a tripod using Manual exposure mode.
Try using ISO 200, 1/320th sec. @ f/9 as a starting point.
Here is an example:
Camera Body: D2X
Lens: 300mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S w/TC-20E II
Support: Markins M20 on Gitzo GT3540L
Manual Exposure mode
Shutter Speed: 1/320th sec.
Focal Length: 600mm
While the moon will be about half the size in your image (assuming you shoot at 300mm), with practice and good technique you should have no problem capturing a sharp image on a clear night.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
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#5. "RE: Teleconverter for D3100 - Nikon Said This..." | In response to Reply # 3
>I just checked your website, very nice flower photos. I love
>Longwood Gardens, one of my favorite photo places. I've been a
>member for 7 years now.
>Full moon photos aren't easy without a nice long lens. It
>takes a really good one to give acceptable results with a TC
>and a sturdy tripod to hold it. Your best bet would be to rent
>a lens for a weekend where the forecast is for clear skies.
Thanks so much Len... I've been going for the last three years or so and I love it. The $60.00 membership fee is worth it considering I go past that within two months.
I have to find a place where I can rent a lens. It sounds like you might live within PA... if you do, do you know of a place where i can rent is maybe the price range?
Marty - great shot. Yes it's going to be 300mm and this is one of the reasons why I'm looking into getting a Teleconverter, spot metering... not sure if I used that but it's on a tripod every time I took a shot. It looks like only a small part of the shot is in focus. I have to post a picture of it to show you. I've even done a little editting and still didn't come out the way I wanted it.
Thanks for the advice everyone!
#6. "RE: Teleconverter for D3100 - Nikon Said This..." | In response to Reply # 5
>I have to find a place where I can rent a lens. It sounds
>like you might live within PA... if you do, do you know of a
>place where i can rent is maybe the price range?
Hi Susan. I live just off the Willow Grove turnpike exit. I have been buying all my camera gear from Allen's Camera for over 10 years now. Allen rents lenses but you need to give him a call to see if he has what you want. He has a very large inventory of used Nikon as well which he also rents out. But it's a bit of a ride from where you live.
edit. Bring up Allen's web page and click on rentals. He has a lot of gear for rent and with prices.
I don't know of any rental places closer to you that rent lenses.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.