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1.7x with the 200-400 VR, Any good?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Jonathan F/2, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. I was thinking of getting a 1.7 for my 200mm F/2 VR, but I was wondering if this lens decently works with the 200-400 VR? Of course I would use such a combination in good light. Any opinions? Thanks!
  2. general


    Apr 30, 2005

    I have used my TCE 1.7 extensively with the 200-400 and have been quite satisfied with the results. As you note, you need sufficient light but I have never experienced any problems when I kept that in mind.
  3. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Jonathan :

    Look over the photos using the 200-400mm that I've posted over time here and you'll find a stack of these with the TC17EII. It's not perfect, not going to be quite as crisp as the "bare lens", doesn't AF as quickly as the lens alone, but, by golly, with a touch of care it does a truly fine job.

    That's been true with the D100, D200, and the D300, so it's not camera body based, but lens and TC based.

    I only wish the TC20E did half as good a job ! :mad: 

    John P.
  4. Thanks for the opinions you guys! I'll probably pick one up this week!
  5. When I had the 200+400 i tested the TC17 and thought it was pretty sharp. However the AF suffered terribly for what I do + birding. To much hunting with the D2x as a body.

    I'm curious how it does with the new bodies, D3, D700 and D300, hopefully someone can compare that has used the D2X in the past...
  6. I haven't used it on the 200-400, but use one extensively on the 200/2 and 400/2.8. With my D2X, I found almost all TCs too soft for any real use. But the AF Fine Tune feature on the newer bodies (D3, D700, D300) gives new life to even my TC20E.
  7. I actually used a non-Nikon 1.7 TC with my 200-400. AF is a problem and it hunts, unless the light is quite strong. There is some degradation of IQ, but if you are not looking to make huge prints (maybe greater than 12" sides), it maybe adequate for your use.
  8. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    200-400 w/1.7

    I have had no poroblems; others experience may vary. The only real solution is to try it. I am sure you could get Samy's to let you try a 1.7.
  9. fishlips


    Apr 20, 2007
    Puyallup, WA
    I use often use the 1.7 on my 200-400VR while on my safaris to Tanzania. Very early am or very late pm with low light, will cause some hunting however, the photos are always clear and sharp as long as you can keep everything still and well supported. I am aware of some folks saying the 1.7 goes soft, but I have yet to see it.

  10. In one word Nope.. not for me...
  11. I guess I'll stick to my Sigma 500mm. The thing is, it's not really great on the taped sigma 1.4 tc. Maybe I should use it with a modded Nikon 1.4 tc?
  12. I wrote up my findings of a worst case scenario test I did here.

    To sum up, I'd use it in an emergency.
  13. Maybe I need a 500mm VR. Man, more money I need to spend. Ugh.
  14. johnmh


    Nov 21, 2007
    Greater NYC
    I've tried out all three Nikon TC's on the 200-400. The 1.4 is fine, no issues, full AF and no discernable difference in quality IMO. The 1.7 WILL allow AF in GOOD light but starts to get iffy as light fades. Nikon doesn't claim AF capabilities for this TC as you 're bumping the combination beyond the f stop minimum Nikon says they need for AF. Figure that you'll be focusing manually with this combination.

    Image quality starts to show some degradation but it's minor and still better than what I see on some other lenses in normal use. I'd say that the 200-400 with the TC17E (666m) gives better quality than my Sigma 150-500 (700mm) with the Sigma 1.4TC.... it's just a LOT bigger and heavier....(and 4-5 times more money) btw, the 1.7 TC is really 1 2/3 (1.66666666666666) accounting for the cited value.

    You can put a TC-20E or E-II on the 200-400 and even stack modified TC's but you WILL notice the degradation in image quality. You're going to want help with the manual focusing as the amount of light coming in drops off quite a bit....

    You go from f/4 to to f/5.6 (add 1 stop) with the 1.4, to f/6.7 with the 1.7 (1 1/2 stops) and to f/8 with the 2.0 (2 stops)

    Stack the 1.4 and 2.0 (the only Nikons that you can stack) and you're 1120mm at f/11 losing 3 full stops. I've tried two 2.0 TC's but don't even bother.... you can make out an image but nothing you'd really want to print......

    I'd limit myself to the TC14 with the 200-400 if you want high quality images. You can use a 1.7 or 2.0 to get a shot you might miss otherwise but this isn't a lens you buy to use regularly with TC's. If you REALLY REALLY want more reach at the best possible quality, buy a longer lens.
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