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Nikon JAA912DA TC-17E II AF-S Teleconverter
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- Enhanced telephoto versatility
- Affordable and portable gateway to extend telephoto reach
- Ideal for sports, wildlife, surveillance and more
- 1.7x optical conversion factor increases the focal length by 70 percent of select compatible NIKKOR lenses
- Nikon Integrated Coating (IC) enhances light transmission efficiency, improves colour consistency and reduces flare
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AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E-II multiplies the effective focal length by 1.7x of select compatible NIKKOR lenses,offering an affordable and portable gateway to extend telephoto reach; ideal for sports shooting, wildlife, surveillance and more
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The good: When the object is stationary or relatively stationary, my shots have definitely improved. Pictures of deer are greatly improved with the greater reach, and I am also getting many more clear pictures of birds than I had before--so long as they are stationary. The attached deer picture was blown up to a 16X20 poster, framed, and placed on our bedroom wall. There are many other pics that I am able to get, more so than before, so long as they are under these conditions.
The bad: Yes, auto-focusing works but it is not adequate for fast-moving targets like birds in flight. Before I purchased the 1.7x lens, many of the reviews talked about the lens "hunting," and I now clearly understand what that means. By the time the lens has focused on the object or area when the bird is flying, the bird has already left; that has been very disappointing. I have a bird in flight (turkey vulture, I believe) picture attached----none of the pics are cropped---but my recommendation is, IF birds in flight is your interest, then spring for a 150-600mm lens. Although I am not a professional, I have worked with the 70-200mm lens quite a bit, and can track objects sufficiently, but when I use the teleconverter lens it can really slow down the process. Also, when a bird is on a limb/branch, the auto-focus takes considerable time before it is able to focus on the bird.
I don't regret getting the teleconverter; it is what I anticipated it would be and was not ready to spring for a more expensive lens with longer reach. Perhaps you are in the same boat.
First of all, I am a pixel peeper. I like my images to be as sharp as possible.
I bought this TC for my nikkor 300mm F/4 (old version with no VR), which is my favorite and sharpest lens. I was undecided between this one and the TC-14. I knew the TC-14 was a very sharp TC and that it would not degrade my IQ, and also, the light loss would have been only one stop instead of one and a half. I also knew from nikon's specs that the TC-14 would work fine on my lens. On the other hand, I wanted that 500 mm reach, and I knew from other reviews on other sites that this would have worked well on my 300 f/4, even though Nikon says this TC won't work properly on it.
So I went for the TC-17 and took my chances.
I grabbed my 300mm f4 lens and attached the TC and started focusing. I was expecting lots of hunting since it was already sunset and light was starting to fade. But on an instant the lens + TC-17 combo perfectly locked on the far away subject. I tried several more times with subjects in more shadowy places. Wow, my jaw dropped. Perfect lock on each attempt. As for the focusing speed, I noticed almost no difference against the lens alone. Next day, with plenty of light I started testing the combo for sharpness.
At 500mm and wide open (f/6.7), the lens looked incredibly sharp on the screen of my D610. I started doing some test with close / far subjects, and with different apertures. Once again, I was expecting the worse: a very poor image at f/6.7. Wow, I was again delighted with my new acquisition. I went to the computer and viewed the images at full-res.The images still look more than acceptably sharp throughout the whole central zone. I did notice a small (very small) difference between f/6.7 and f/9 - which I concluded is the best aperture value in terms of sharpness. Corners do look a bit softer and with some chromatic aberrations at f/6.7. But I'm definitely going to use this lens for shots like the moon and birding which means I willl be cropping the edges out anyways. Center sharpness is very good throughout the range. I did notice a little loss in contrast when going from f/9 to f/7.1 or f/6.7, but nothing too bad.
In conclusion, this little teleconverter exceeded my expectations. I was expecting a "usable sharpness" on the center of the image at f/10 and higher when attached to my tele lens, and I was also expecting to use this TC only with excellent light due to autofocus limitations, based on the reviews I had read.
Instead I got the possibility to have a very fast 500mm lens, with excellent sharpness from f/11 to f/8, and very good center and mid-frame sharpness, with image quality loss only at wider apertures, on the last 5-10% area of the frame. I will definitely use this Teleconverter with my 300mm lens at f/6.7 most of the time since I am very pleased with the center sharpness when wide open.
BTW: I've been a photographer for years. This is my personal opinion and I must make clear the Tc-17 + long range lenses is not a combo for beginners, nor for Dx camera owners. You'll need a camera that performs well at relatively high ISOs (640 to 1600) and supports f/8, or you'll end up with incompatibility issues and with unusable images because of the light and shutter speed requirements.
Can't wait for december to bring this lens to a trip on the amazonian jungle!