Tele converters

Discussion in 'Photography Advice & Discussion' started by HOOVER29, 14 Dec 2018.

  1. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    I’ve noticed that these are fairly cheap compared to lenses.
    What are the pros & cons of using a tele converter as they sound so easy to use, just simply screwed to the end of your lens.
    Should I buy one or start saving for a bigger lens?

    Carl
     
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  3. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    This is from the days of yore, when even 400 ASA colour film was a novelty - but I bought a 2x converter and used to use it with a 135mm f 2.8 Soligor (and, I think a 180 mm f 3.5), but only for a short time. The results were crap. Cheap, but nasty, I'd say.
     
  4. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    Almost identical experience in the early 1980s, with a 2x converter and a 135mm Tamron lens. The effective f-stop was 2x worse, and the quality towards the edges was iffy to say the least.
    This attached between the lens and the camera body.
    I dare say that a more expensive converter would give better results, but then you're getting towards the territory of a new lens anyway. Plus once you get beyond about 300-400mm focal length, hand-holding becomes tricky to say the least.
    With the quality of lenses and sensors now, you might as well use max zoom and then crop the part of the photo that you want.
     
  5. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    So save the pennies for a bigger lens.
    I’ve been doing research on the internet on them.
    Apparently they alter the amount of light into the camera.
    Coming from a bridge camera there is so much to learn. Hopefully not financially.
     
  6. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    They don't "alter the amount of light coming into the camera" - it's just plain physics. You have a prime lens of a certain f stop, and once you put a 2 x on, you have the same amount of light actually going into the lens, but are 'zooming in' on what there is, so you have to open up two stops. (To get the same amount of light from the subject matter, you would have to add two stops to the prime lens - that's why long lenses with wide apertures are awfully big in diameter, heavy, and expensive.)

    But actually, as Taunton - OOPS, sorry EAstWestDivide - raised the matter - I found using a converter was actually WORSE than 2 stops "loss" - more like three stops, as it must have absorbed some of the light.

    OF course, it's also true what he says - once you go above a focal length of even 200mm, it's almost impossible to hold the camera steady enough by hand alone - you really need to use a minimum of 1/250 second. Best to use a bean bag, monopod or tripod.
     
  7. Nighthawke

    Nighthawke Member

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    Any additional glass is likely to degrade your photos. Unless you are using say a Canon converter with L-glass then I personally wouldn't bother.
     

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