I finally decided to take the plunge and get myself a teleconverter. My choice went to the Kenko as this is the cheapest quality converter and one that can drive Nikon AF-lenses without built-in motor as it puts the slotted screw-drive from the body through to the lens. With the current Nikon converters you can only AF when the lens is of the AF-S/HSM type
It is a 4 lens/4groups design of 18mm length
and 110g weight
, so it's small and light enough to have it always with you. It comes with a small pouch and a front- and back-end cap.
It has a 1.5x magnification
which is sort of funny, as most other manufacturers make a 1.4x variant. Now, what does this mean: Well, the Kenko gives you just a little more magnification but also a little more loss of light, as a 1.4x converter losses effectively 1 stop and a 1.5x converter is around 1,2 stops.
Initial impressions and results:
- the thing seems sturdy, although many people complain about the plastic body. But it has metal mounts.
- It focusses totally ok with my Sigma 400/5.6 which is quite astonishing as everybody was expecting the Nikon AF-system to fail at an effective aperture of below f/8.0
- so this gives me a 600mm f/8.5 lens which is the equivalent of a 900mm lens on a film body. Whoohoo!
- initial sharpness
with my Nikon 180/2.8 seems very good, with the SIgma 400/5.6 slightly unsatisfactory, but I have to eliminate shake from the comparison, which is not easy when handholding.
seems to be unperturbed, but I didn't shoot in very challenging contra-light conditions.
So far so good. Expect more insights to come from my extensive testing of this device. What I'm specifically after is an answer to the following qestion:
Is it better to blow up the magnification with a converter than with postprocessing?
So watch this space for the definitive answer to this decisive question!