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Nikon TC-14B teleconverter
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Nikon TC-14B teleconverter Reply with quote

I had been toying with the idea of saving up for a Nikkor 400mm but had balked at the expense, especially knowing how little I would actually use it. So when I saw a Nikon TC-14B teleconverter on Craigslist in like new condition with box and all paperwork, I jumped. The only two lenses that I have that it will fit on (because of its extruding front element) are my Nikkor 300mm f4.5 and my Nikkor 135mm f3.5. Pity that my 80-200mm f4 won't fit!

But I took it out on Monday to see what I could do, in less than optimal conditions. The hummingbird photos were taken on the fly, wheeling the 300mm lens around on a tripod and dialing the focus down from infinity to guess at the distance -- these two frames are the only ones I got. I just wish my focus had been about 5 inches farther out! The shot of Glacier Peak is a four-shot panorama that I unfortunately underexposed. I'll get the TC out a little more to see what it can really do. And I'll try it on the 135mm, although I can't imagine the circumstance that would make that necessary.

The hummingbirds and mountain were at f5.6. The flowers were at f8.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Nikon TC-14B teleconverter Reply with quote

gaeger wrote:

But I took it out on Monday to see what I could do, in less than optimal conditions. The hummingbird photos were taken on the fly...

I really like your results.
And your quote is priceless.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a TC-14b and I've gotten excellent results with mine, for what little use I've put it through. I have several long telephotos that I can use with my TC-14b -- 300/2.8, 500/5.6, 500/8, and 650/6.8 -- Two Tamrons and two T-mount lenses, so I can use any of the four with a TC-14b because they have sufficient rear element clearance. Actually, I have a few more with shorter focal lengths that will work also, but I don't usually find much use for a TC with lenses under, say, 200mm in length.

I picked up my TC-14b off eBay about a year or so ago, I guess, but I haven't used mine much. Your shots are nice, especially your hummingbird shots. I've tried to shoot hummingbirds on the wing before (when aren't they on the wing?) and, man-o-man, those were some of the most difficult shots I ever took! And I was using an AF lens! And a flash to freeze the action! And of the half-dozen or so photos I took, not a single one was in sharp focus! So, hats off to ya, Gaeger!

Actually the reason why it was so difficult for me is I was trying to photographer two hummingbirds flying together. I think they might have been doing some sort of mating dance because they were bobbing and weaving, ducking in and out of flowery branches, not holding still for more than a half-second or so -- generally making things difficult for me.

Hmmm . . . a 300mm f/4.5 Nikkor with the TC-14b means you're shooting with about a 420mm f/6 or so. With no sort of ED glass or anything, unless your 300/4.5 is the ED model. That works, but it's marginal.

400mm is an interesting focal length if you're looking for a Nikkor. Nikon built a 400mm f/5.6 ED IF, which is relatively inexpensive, considering it has ED glass and internal focus. But interestingly enough, Nikon has never built an f/4 prime that I'm aware of, although they've built two f/4 zooms that had 400mm as its maximum focal length -- the 200-400mm f/4 ED AIs and the 200-400mm f/4 ED AF. Both of these zooms are incredibly expensive. I used to own the 200-400mm mf zoom and I can honestly state that it was perhaps the sharpest zoom I've ever used . . . and the most expensive, by far. But they are so big and so heavy that a tripod or monopod is a requirement. Nikon also built an f/3.5 prime that is much cheaper than the zooms, and which is hand-holdable in a pinch. And then of course, their famous 400mm f/2.8. The mf version can be found for halfway reasonable prices these days (like less than $2k), which is roughly half the price or less than those zooms.

But you know what I'd do if I were in your shoes? -- in fact I have done it already. If price is an issue, look for an auction, not "buy it now" listings, on eBay for a Tamron 300mm f/2.8 LDIF tele. I bought one a couple years ago that had some cosmetic issues, and I picked it up, at auction, for $500. That's considerably less than the cheapest of the Nikkors listed above. I owned the Tamron 300/2.8 before and I can personally vouch for its excellence as a fast telephoto. It's just as good as the Canon and Nikon 300/2.8s imo. So anyway, the cool thing about using the Tamron 300/2.8 with a TC-14b is you have a 420mm with a maximum aperture of f/4, the same as those ultra expensive zooms, and only a half-stop slower than the 400/3.5. Add the Tamron dedicated 2x or a good quality 7-element 2x like the Vivitar, Komura, or Kenko, and you've got a 600mm f/5.6 for a fraction of the cost of a fast 600mm prime. Well, Nikon's ancient two-piece 600mm f/5.6 can be found in that price range, but it can't compare with the Tamron.

So anyway, food for thought should you ever consider upgrading your long lenses.


PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taken with a 500mm f/8 C Reflex Nikkor and a TC-14B. I really do regret getting rid of this lens!