Be careful when trying to use TC's with the 70-200VR. I have heard the 1.4 does not perform well with it, and I know the 1.7 does not. You have to either stop down the lens considerably, or lay off the zoom to get the lens combination to be sharp. This sort of defeats the purpose of the fast 2.8 and adding the TC for length.
I don't have a nikkor 1.4x, but I do have the Kenko and it works pretty well on the 70-200. I tend to agree that with the 1.7x it gets noticeably softer wide open. I still find it usable, but not great.
Whenever this comes up, a couple of people pop up and say they don't notice any loss of image quality. I have to assume this is from sample variation in either the lens or TC(or both.) I think my 1.7x is good as it works great on my 200-400. Too bad the 70-200 doesn't like it much, I'd certainly use it a lot more there if it did.
>I don't have a nikkor 1.4x, but I do have the Kenko and it >works pretty well on the 70-200. I tend to agree that with >the 1.7x it gets noticeably softer wide open. I still find >it usable, but not great.
there are certaintly a lot of people who do use this combo and seem to like it.
>Whenever this comes up, a couple of people pop up and say >they don't notice any loss of image quality. I have to >assume this is from sample variation in either the lens or >TC(or both.) I think my 1.7x is good as it works great on my
either that, or as my source said they arent using a 10MP body.
I shoot the D200 and D2X with the 70-200VR and the 200-400 VR and I don't have any problems with either combo. Sharp images at all apertures if I do my part. I can tell you that the high megapixel cameras are very unforgiving if you are not steady. Here are links to an image shot yesterday and one shot a couple of week ago in my yard with the D200, TC-17E II, 70-200VR lens. Both are handheld, no tripod or bean bag.
> I >have heard the 1.4 does not perform well with it, and I know >the 1.7 does not. Your profile does not list any of the three items you say do not perform well, and your comments imply you have never used any of them. As an owner and user of the 3 items my Nikon 1.4 and 1.7 perform extremely well on the 70-200, as one would expect from three "pro grade" items from a top lens manufacturer
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
I get great results from my TC17 and the 70-200VR. I suspect your TC is bad and needs service. I had a bad TC14E that was not sharp until I stopped down to f/9 on a 70-200VR. I replaced it and now am pleased with both the TC14E and TC17E on this lens.
TC17 with 70-200 and with 200-400 works very well and sharply for me - IF and WHEN suitable technique for the effective resulting focal length is used. I strongly suspect that there may be rather more technique than optical sample variation!
>I strongly suspect >that there may be rather more technique than optical sample >variation!
I agree - it is amazing. To the best of my knowledge no Nikonian has previously reported a soft image with the 1.7 on the 70-200 using good AF targets. Then suddenly when sometime who has never used the equipment posts blatant rubbish about the combination being unsuitable for quality work out of the woodwork come several people claiming their equipment did not work. Like those knowing the combination is good I am happy to post images that mine is good. Perhaps those with "rubbish" could post images. The reason I am interested is in the last 6 months I have seen no threads complaining about softness supported by good AF targets, and 105 supported by AF targets where Nikon say AF is unlikely to work well. Having owned over 100 lenses and helped test around 100 other lenses I have never come across a defective lens - but I have come across many who would do better with improved technique. There is a failure rate but my experience is apart from banding on early D200's (about 3% and quickly fixed under warranty) with Nikon the rate is less than 1%.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
My TC17E works great. I bought the 1.7 rather than the 1.4 because I really couldn't see much difference between them and I wanted the length. The original post disagrees with almost everything I read about the combination before. Something is wrong with your copy or you need to work on technique. Usually when someone makes a post as argumentative as your original title was there is little of any real value that comes from it.
Tom D800E, D3, D200, D70, F6, F3/T, F2AS, FM2N
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.” ―Gilda Radner
>I agree - it is amazing. >To the best of my knowledge no Nikonian has previously >reported a soft image with the 1.7 on the 70-200 using good >AF targets. Then suddenly when sometime who has never used >the equipment posts blatant rubbish about the combination
>post images that mine is good. Perhaps those with "rubbish" >could post images. The reason I am interested is in the last
gee, perhaps rather than having a hissy fit you could look at the images that the original poster has in the included link and add some useful commentary rather than invective. i notice you havent posted any images to prove your point.
i'm looking to purchase a TC and i dont know whch one, these are resonable questions and the discussion is reasonable as well
you sure know how to scare off new posters, but perhaps thats what you are trying to accomplish....
This topic has a long history. Len Sheperd has argued for years that a lack of sharpness is very often caused by poor technique or bad AF targets. He has helped many people come to the realisation that this is true. His post may come across a bit rough, but you must understand that he has fought this fight over and over, often without support. Without Len's posts, many would have wrongly concluded that the equipment was at fault.
I do not mean to imply that the topic is not a legitimate one, but it is one which has been discussed at length in the past. Before posting anew on this topic, a little research into the archives would have likely answered any related question.
I have only had experience with the TC20E II on the 70-200/2.8 and the 200/2 VR. This is a TC about which few have very good things to say. On the 70-200, I found the optical performance somewhat lacking, but on the 200/2, it is very capable - perhaps because of the wide aperture and high optical quality of the 200/2. However, you must realise that use of any TC makes for a longer focal length, for which proper technique becomes even more important to achieving satisfactory results.
>Hi Spenny, > >This topic has a long history. Len Sheperd has argued for >years that a lack of sharpness is very often caused by poor >technique or bad AF targets. He has helped many people come >to the realisation that this is true. His post may come >across a bit rough, but you must understand that he has >fought this fight over and over, often without support. >Without Len's posts, many would have wrongly concluded that >the equipment was at fault. > > I do not mean to imply that the topic is not a legitimate >one, but it is one which has been discussed at length in the >past. Before posting anew on this topic, a little research >into the archives would have likely answered any related >question. > >I have only had experience with the TC20E II on the >70-200/2.8 and the 200/2 VR. This is a TC about which few >have very good things to say. On the 70-200, I found the >optical performance somewhat lacking, but on the 200/2, it >is very capable - perhaps because of the wide aperture and >high optical quality of the 200/2. However, you must >realise that use of any TC makes for a longer focal length, >for which proper technique becomes even more important to >achieving satisfactory results. > >Regards,
Alan, I have learned much from reading Len's posts and he is quite knowledable, but that does not give him license to belittle people. if he has tired of this discussion, then he should not weigh in. personally, when i am in that situation, i find that simply posting a link to a previous discussion both saves me the frustration of repeating myself, but also lets the people asking that question find out the answers they need.
i agree that poor technique is probably more probablmatic than anything else, but still am looking for more info on whether i should purchase the 1.4 or the 1.7. Len's body of knowedge could help me in that decision, which is afterall why i come here
Buy both the TC-14 and TC-17. You will use them both and find that they will expand the range of uses for your 70-200VR and other long lenses immensely. Both are high quality glass and will provide you with quality images on your high end Nikon lenses. I own two of each of these converters and keep one or the other on my 70-200 and 200-400 the majority of the time. I also have a TC-20 which gets minimal use because it takes two stops of light and doesn't produce the sharp images that the 1.4 and 1.7. Check my pbase site virtually everthing shot in the last two years has been taken with those lenses with TCs attached.
That depends on your needs. The 1.4 loses 1 stop and makes the 2.8 lens effectively f4, the 1.7 loses 1 1/2 stops making the lens f4.8. So if you are shooting sports in lower light conditions but need some reach the 1.4 is probably the best choice. On the other hand if you are shooting with good light conditions, want a little more reach and don't need to open up then the 1.7 is the answer. Without knowing specifically your needs that is the best I can do. Also keep in mind that the camera body and its AF system play a role in this equation as well. I shoot the D200 and D2X and both bodies work well with the combos. I am not familiar with the D50, D70, D70s, D80 families and can't speculate how they will handle things.
I would also recommend that you look at used TCs. There is no mechanical difference between the TC-14E and the TC-14E II only external cosmetics and you should be able to find a good, clean USA model around $250.00. The TC-17E II can be found on the used market for around $350.00-$375.00 for a US version. I avoid grey market because Nikon USA won't fix them if something does go south. It probably isn't as big an issue with glass as it is with DSLR bodies because there are repair facilities that can work on the TCs.
I have the 1.4II as well as the 1.7 and use them both extensively. If I were limited to only one, I would get the 1.4. It has a slight edge in focusing speed and sharpness. This varies from lens to lens. I notice the difference more on my 200-400 than on the 600. Others' experience may differ. My choice is influenced by the fact that I'm usually working with long-focal-length lenses to begin with so already have quite a bit of reach. I probably use the 1.4 about twice as much as the 1.7. On the 70-200, both TCs seem to work well. I've only had the 70-200 for a couple of months and haven't used it much so my experience is limited -- but has been satisfactory to date. Van Hilliard
Obviously you did not look carefully at my test results, nor did you test your own equipment to see if your lenses exhibit the same. If you look at my link that I posted, you will see the results of tests that I conducted with not one but *two* different TC17IIs. My first 1.7 I did indeed send back because of this problem, and the second exhibited the same results. I'm not in the habit of making false claims or spewing misinformation, and I would appreciate you not jumping to false conclusions about "rubbish."
I urge you to go to this site, and take 20 minutes to test your own lenses as I did. I'd be interested to see what you find. My tests were done locked down on a triod with no variation in focus. Here is the link for your education:
I owned the 70-200VR, had originally bought it for sports and birds (for use mainly with the 1.7TC). Since I found these problems using it wide open (F/4.8) at full zoom, I sold it and got the 300/F4, which I am extremely impressed with and handles the TC17II much better.
I encourage you to come down off your high horse, actually look at my tests and maybe attempt to repeat them yourself before labelling them "rubbish."
I have not seen another test like mine, so no one is in a position to comment anything more than subjectively about the quailty of this combination wide open and at full zoom.
I don't need a lecture on technique, I don't think I deserve to be labeled as spewing rubbish, and I would think veteran members of these forums would investigate results posted by someone who spent a good deal of time testing this issue before making unfounded and rude accusations of ignorance.
To people who are considering this combo: if you don't want to believe me, do your own tests. This is a stellar lens and combination, but according to what *I* have found, it comes up short if you want to use it wide open at full zoom.
I seek only to save someone the frustration I suffered when thinking this lens would be a stellar performer at max aperature with the 1.7TC attached.
I saw your link the other day and I want to say that I appreciate the efforts. I shoot the 70-200VR with TC14 and TC17 but I just have a philosphy of stopping down one stop (if possible) whenever I use a TC, even with my 300 2.8 prime. I figure that's the price I pay for saving money and weight over an equivilent naked prime. Your tests have motivated me to do some more testing when the opportunity arises. I did do that test on a more distant landscape scene, but I only posted and studied in depth the stopped down images. Your test was a closer subject and I suspect more relevent.
Again, thanks for the effort. The more I learn about "lens testing" the more I question any particular test. However, a decent test is worth more in my book than just uncorroborated opinions and if more people posted these things, there would be a larger body of images in which to form opinions.
I just bought the TC-17EII and sold my TC-14EII as I think that one TC is more than enough, and the TC17EII offers the best reach/quality ratio in my opinion. On my AFS 300mm f2.8 mk.1 and on my AFS VR 200 f2 and with proper lens technique and stopped down a bit it delivers V E R Y good results even on pixel peeping level
I too am interested in the TC-14EII or TC-17EII. They would be to add to a 70-200 VR lens. Aren't the "II" versions required for VR lenses and or the D200?
Some background in case my profile isn't right. I used a D100 and an 80-200 f2.8 for 4 years with great results. With the D200, the 80-200 has purple fringing in almost every f2.8 or f4 picture with large contrasts. I've often seen this complaint with older fast lenses on the D200. I don't think its a technique problem.
I now am happy with an 18-200 VR lens but wish it were faster and a bit more zoom. Which should be better, the 80-400 or a 70-200 with a teleconverter such as the TC-14EII or TC-17EII? I shoot mostly car races, etc.
The II version of the TC-14 and TC-20 are only external cosmetic changes to the originals. The TC-17E II as you know is a new addition to the series as there never was a TC-17E. There is nothing new or different in the glass or electronics in the new models.
Image quality set to jpeg fine (by accident, meant to shoot raw, ran out of time to do any more shots)
Results. All 3 images viewed on screen at same subject size, the TC's were definitely softer and had less contrast. Albeit not by much. Bokeh was about the same, as was level of focus in the background. Funnily enough, the TC2 was sharper than the lens with the 1.4.
Now unless there is something wrong with my technique, or the TC's I borrowed are not exactly the best, I'll stick with no TC and crop.
I admit that with the increased magnification I might have got a softer image, but the contrast difference was really noticeable.
As I intend to use the 70-200 primarily at F2.8 to get high shutter speeds, cropping for me seems to be the way to go.
I plan to do some more testing tomorrow and shoot RAW so I remove all jpg compression issues. Plus it was a windy day, so camera shake maybe?
For a test like this you should be optimizing conditions. No wind. Take plenty of images with each optical configuration to see how consistent your images are.
When your TC20 image comes out sharper than your TC14, that is a red flag that you have other variables acting on your test. Might be true for you, but it tells you to test further and revisit your methodology.
I redid the test with VR off, no wind, raw files. You are supposed to be able to use VR in active mode from a tripod though. I set tone comp to normal, I though that may be why contrast was different in each image, and with tone comp to normal, contrast was identical. Another interesting observation!
This time I found what I expected.
The TC 2 was sharper than the image viewed at 60% image from the base lens set at 190 with no tc, so was the TC14, although with a little USM, results were comparable. The TC20 was softer than the TC14, but still very acceptable IMO. Note all images were adjusted to match the same object size of the base image viewed at 60%. Am I making sense here?
Results at F2.8 were worse than at F8, with softer images all round than at F8 in all combinations.
I'll post the sample on my website when I can get some more server space.
>You are supposed to be able to use VR >in active mode from a tripod though.
That is incorrect. The 70-200mm VR lens does not have the "tripod mode" VR that the 200mm, 300mm and 200-400mm VR lenses have. With the 70-200mm, VR should be switched off when on a solid, locked tripod, as Neil said. Active mode VR is for use on a moving platform like a vehicle, and certainly not on a tripod.
So, it's good that you re-did your tests with VR off
If I understand you, your results are about in keeping with what other people report. For example, viewed at the same subject size and shot from the same distance, a TC20 does more good than harm.
Viewed at 100% crop and shot from the same distance, the TC20 is usually softer than the lens naked or the other TC's as one would expect. It's a glass full or half-full thing, IMO, and why there are so many disparate opinions on especially the TC20.
Here is a test I did with the lens naked and with all 3 TCs; it is imperfect because of the distance involved and possible air turbulence issues, but othewise was shot on a tripod and using good technique, with lots of duplicate shots to get a feel for consistency. You can compare your results to mine.
Since doing that test, I read this and other posts about the lens performing better slightly zoomed in but I have not had a chance to test that or try it in real world shooting. Never considered that before. I try to stop down all my lenses when I have a TC on them, not just this one. Just makes sense to me.
Here are some crops from the original images, each one has text with the settings. The shot with the 1.7 was taken some days after the others, but from the same position, under slightly different lighting. I have included one shot to show perspective. Files range from 74K to 1.7Mb, so be warned, largish files if you are on dial up.
Range to sign was about 15 metres.
Personally, I'm happy with the results from the 1.7. Admittedly, with a subject at longer range, any camera shake will be magnified as we all know.
Why use a 1.7 TC on a 70-200 vs 80-400? My reasons, versatility, speed of AF, cost. I cannot justify a 200-400 VR.
Please, if you want to look at these samples, do not click on the link, but copy/paste into another browser window, or right click and save, due to file sizes.
Let me preface this with "I really want to understand the reasoning here as I build up my lens cache."
Using a TC with a zoom seems to go against popular consensus from the likes of Bjorn (TC Review), John Shaw and others. If image sharpness is paramount, why are you doing it? Wouldn't you be better served with a 300mm f4.0?