Have read all the related forum messages and other web source pages and I think I understand that the best 2x Teleconverter for this AF non VR lens is the TC-20E or TC-20E II. I received this used lens this morning and even though it came with a teleconverter, a TC-301 2x, it comes with no electronic contacts thus rendering the lens to a fully manual lens.
I much prefer to be able to use the AF on this very luminous lens.
So pls. confirm that my findings are right; that way I will scrounge for one in ebay or even buy one from a member of this forum.
If you need a 2x teleconverter, and the lens is the AF-S 300mm f/2.8D or AF-I 300mm f/2.8D, the Nikon TC-20E or TC-20E II (or the current TC-20E III) are the best-performing options.
But if the lens is the earlier "screwdriver" AF 300mm f/2.8, none of those the Nikon TC's will mount on it. In this case - or if you need a cheaper option with an AF-S or AF-I lens - consider the Kenko Pro 300 DG 2x TC. It works well, just not quite as well as the Nikon items
Thanks a lot Brian, But how can I tell which AF nikkor I have because I only got it today from a used Nikon gear dealer in the US and I'm not sure which year model I have. One thing I can tell you is that this particular lens still has the earlier 39mm slide-in filter holder instead of the newer 52mm, but still, it's not as old as the first AF 300 2.8. I also know that they stopped making it in 2005. It is also NOT the S type (silent motor drive model). For some strange reason though, the lens came with a non AF 2x TC, the 301, but it makes no sense to have an AF lens and not an AF TC...
I have the Kenko 300PRO 1.4 and it works well with my other VR lenses, but as you may have noticed reading a message I posted in this section,I'm having with the background (and out of focus areas) big issues with my Nikkor 500mm f4; that's why I would prefer to stick to Nikon.
300mm Nikon primes all have 6-digit serial numbers, but that sounds like the last of the "screwdriver" 300mm f/2.8's. So as was noted above, no Nikon branded teleconverters will allow you to retain autofocus operation with this lens, and the current models won't even allow you to mount the lens.
If you want to photograph a man spinning, give some thought to why he spins. Understanding for a photographer is as important as the equipment he uses. - Margaret Bourke-White
That was cruel of you to put it so bluntly.... Now seriously, thanks a lot for the new info, because I was about to buy a TC-20E II I had found surfing around. If that is the case, Nikon was not very fair with the poor sods that bought this lens in the first place; or for that matter me now as a new owner of a half breed "nikon Prime Glass". Anyway, I guess my only option now is to get a Kenko 300PRO 2x...or not even that? Thanks anyway, because I was just about to throw some 250USD down the drain. Spanish Flyer
As Michael suggested above, that is a "screwdriver" AF 300mm f/2.8, NOT one of the newer AF-I or AF-S versions. So - confirming the bad news - no Nikon TC will give you autofocus with that lens. This has always been the situation and is quite well-known.
The "E" TC's were introduced nearly 20 years ago, and never had the screwdriver AF coupling, and as you've found, earlier Nikon TC's lacked any electrical contacts.
Your best option remains the Kenko Pro 300 DG 2x TC. It will work with "screwdriver" AF, AF-I and AF-S lenses.
> Sounds unfair from Nikon though to market such a luminous AF lens without an AF teleconverter option.
That's how Nikon lost a LOT of professional customers back in the late 1990s. They were very slow to get AF to the top-level professionals, at least in terms of the full system. It took the introduction of the nearly overwhelming D3 to get even some them back, almost 15 years later.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
With the exeception of the AF TC-16 for use on the F3 AF, Nikon never made TC's for the screwdriver drive AF lenses. Nikon produced 14678 AF versions of the 300mm f/2.8 which is about 1/3rd more than the quantity of any one of the 5 versions of the AF-I and AF-S series lenses. That said, 300mm was the longest AF type lens Nikon produced until the AF-I versions were introduced. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I tried out the Kenko 1.4X and it works perfectly; thank god "someone" thought about us...
I'm really enjoying Nikon, but this thing with the converters really caught me by surprise.
This morning I tried the Manual Nikkor 500 ED 1:4 together with the TC-301 2x and that was something!! just trying to focus on the small birds as they hopped on the grass... Basically IMPOSSIBLE to keep in focus with enough time to shoot some decent pics. The depth of field is so shallow, that one second they were in focus and the next they were gone. I'm afraid I'll have to remove some of the chores from taking wildlife photographs and the first will have to be to rely on AF lenses.
Thanks Brian, LiveView is an option, but it is then my eyesight that starts to fail; I extend my hand to the focusing ring and then my face is too close to the screen and I can't see it clearly... Liveview with AF is great of course, since you just have to press the AF-On button. Fully agree with you about the f/8. Not to mention the slow speeds you have to shoot at where the subject keeps moving. If you rise the ISO sky high you nail it, but then all kinds of artifacts, noise and what-have-you appear in the picture. Shooting with say 1000mm and f/8 it is amazing how much movement of the lens is present, even with a strong tripod and a remote trigger (as I tried). next on my list will be LiveView, PocketWizard trigger with a TT5 on the camera and a must for the AF & VR.. at least in my case. It looks so easy when you see professionally taken telephoto pics.. amazing actually. By the way, what a great album you have; in original size they must be out of this world.