AF-S 70-200 VRII with TC20EIII - WOW

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May 7, 2005
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I'm still very impressed by this combination.

Got it to get more reach with my D700 without having to lug around another big lens. Quality is good enough with the 12MP FX sensor (I tested it against things like the Sigma 150-500).

Today I tried it with my new second body, a D5100. This gives the equivalent of a 600mm f5.6 lens. Hunted some local birds, handheld and stopped down to f8.

Picture is no real winner, just for testing:

CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE FULL SIZE!
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Nikon D5100 1/400s f/8.0 at 400.0mm iso250
This is a 100% crop!

I didn't expect it to be this good, considering the pixel density of the 16MP sensor. This will be a very useful combination. :biggrin:
 
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Sep 10, 2008
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Interesting. A friend of mine here did testing with the TC-14eII, TC-17eII and the then new TC-20eIII on our 70-200 VRII's. Our conclusions were that the 1.4 was virtually undetectable, the 1.7 was almost as good, but certainly visible in a side-by-side comparison and my friend returned the 20eIII - definite IQ hit compared to even the 17eII.

We used D700's for this, so I certainly wouldn't expect things to get better on a D7000 as far as the 2X.

I'm wondering if there was some initial production issues or just sample variability? The 1.4 and 1.7 TC's are mine, and I have great luck using them on the 70-200, 300/4 and 105 VR Micro.

I might try one again when I run across one since I have seen several comments about it working so well on the 70-200.

How's the AF speed?
 
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After trying 3 copies on this zoom/200 f2/300 f2.8 VRs...I gave up. Loss of detail/feather smearing totally unacceptable with anything over 30 yds.
Have better things to do with $500 and 2+ stops of light, sorry. :frown:
 
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We used D700's for this, so I certainly wouldn't expect things to get better on a D7000 as far as the 2X.

I'm wondering if there was some initial production issues or just sample variability? The 1.4 and 1.7 TC's are mine, and I have great luck using them on the 70-200, 300/4 and 105 VR Micro.

I also have the TC14 and use it all the time with great results, no need to stop down. The TC20EIII is different, I tend to use it stopped down to f7.1 or f8.


I might try one again when I run across one since I have seen several comments about it working so well on the 70-200.

How's the AF speed?

I guess it depends on what you expect from it. It degrades the IQ, no question, but is it still usable for what you need?

AF-Speed isn't exactly speedy, usable for static subjects. Haven't tested it for tracking yet :redface:
 
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After trying 3 copies on this zoom/200 f2/300 f2.8 VRs...I gave up. Loss of detail/feather smearing totally unacceptable with anything over 30 yds.
Have better things to do with $500 and 2+ stops of light, sorry. :frown:

Will, I remember your trials with this thing, mostly on the 300/2.8. Certainly didn't leave me with a favorable impression. Nor did the one we tried locally.
 
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After trying 3 copies on this zoom/200 f2/300 f2.8 VRs...I gave up. Loss of detail/feather smearing totally unacceptable with anything over 30 yds.
Have better things to do with $500 and 2+ stops of light, sorry. :frown:

This is probably a question of the glass you already have.

It's different for someone using FX and already owning a 70-200VRII.

Opportunities to get more reach with limited funds is not that easy:
(Sorry, just my personal opinion)

TC14: 280mm f4 Very good IQ => Got it already :smile:

300f4: another 1000€ lens to lug around, no VR, but no real gain of IQ over the 70-200+tc14 :redface:

300f4 + tc14: 420mm f5.6 but lacks VR, no better IQ then 70-200VRII + tc20EIII :redface:

80-400VR, Sigma 150-500 or 50-500: heavy big, 800-1500€ IQ at 500mm (400mm) after doing some testing: not worth the extra money over the TC20EIII :frown:




So until someone isn't willing to spend several thousands on a 300f2.8VR or a 500f4. What better alternative is there?
 
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Another two form todays testshots.

100% crops, click to see full size

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I use the combo for pictures in the zoo or for the local small birds. So distance is mostly not more then 5-10m. Long distance may be different...but I have no idea how to test feather details at that distance with only 400mm....would be happy to find a bird at more distance :Crunk:
 
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Do you have a TC-14E II :confused: then try THAT with your 70-200.
Heavily cropped it'll look better than what you've posted here, seriously. :eek:
 
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After trying 3 copies on this zoom/200 f2/300 f2.8 VRs...I gave up. Loss of detail/feather smearing totally unacceptable with anything over 30 yds.
Have better things to do with $500 and 2+ stops of light, sorry. :frown:

My conclusions, as well.

No fantasy glass here, tested it on the 70-200 VR II and the AF-S 300 f4. Both combos were very nice at short distance with good AF targets. Distant shots fell apart rather quickly. I spent several hours working from a tripod to make sure it wasn't just my technique. No change.

I thought to keep the TC and use it on the 70-200 VR II as a short range hand held kit for the creepy crawlies in the marshes. Works pretty good for that but the 300 f4/TC 14 stills pounds it in terms of reproduction ratio given the focus breathing of the zoom.

Looks like I'll still be draggin' a stick(s) around the marsh with the prime :biggrin:
 
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:biggrin: saw you turned the TC on FM, Gaylon....no free lunch with 'em eh?!
They really got our hopes up (III) with the hype/unavailability even now.
Bottom line...a nod simple to physics, could've saved us all the B&S hassles. :wink:
 
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Michael,

Your pics are excellent example of how good the 2x TCIII is, especially on the 70-200 f2.8 VRII and also on my 300 f2.8 VRII. I have both these lenses and the 2x TCIII which I use on my D700 and D7000 and the results from both are amazing, to say the least!

I don't mean to hijcak your thread, but I am alos so happy with my results using the 2x TCIII that I feel I have to share as well.

Here are a couple of mine from the D700 + 70-200 f2.8 VRII + 2x TCIII:

Click to see original.

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Bird in flight to show tracking in low light. This has been heavily cropped:

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Crop of above

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D7000 with 70-200 f2.8 VRII + 2x TCIII:

ISO6400!

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ISO3200

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Joined
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Australia
Interesting. A friend of mine here did testing with the TC-14eII, TC-17eII and the then new TC-20eIII on our 70-200 VRII's. Our conclusions were that the 1.4 was virtually undetectable, the 1.7 was almost as good, but certainly visible in a side-by-side comparison and my friend returned the 20eIII - definite IQ hit compared to even the 17eII.

We used D700's for this, so I certainly wouldn't expect things to get better on a D7000 as far as the 2X.

I'm wondering if there was some initial production issues or just sample variability? The 1.4 and 1.7 TC's are mine, and I have great luck using them on the 70-200, 300/4 and 105 VR Micro.

I might try one again when I run across one since I have seen several comments about it working so well on the 70-200.

How's the AF speed?

Have a look at my post with regards to the D7000 and sample shots, also D700. I think you'll be pleasnatly surprised at how good the combo is on the D7000. I found the AF speed to not be too affected and even tracking birds in the sky in low afternoon light was still fast enough. However, this was with good contrast as shon by the seagull shot.
 
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After trying 3 copies on this zoom/200 f2/300 f2.8 VRs...I gave up. Loss of detail/feather smearing totally unacceptable with anything over 30 yds.
Have better things to do with $500 and 2+ stops of light, sorry. :frown:

Interesting. I have the 300 f2.8 VRII and the 2x TCIII and have found it to be a superb combination on both the D700 and D7000. This was one of my first shots taken with the 2x TCIII on the 300 f2.8 VRII at maybe 25 mts away from the eagle, which is about as far as I would have thought you'd want to be with the D700 in order to get reasonable frame filling shot. Whilst IQ does drop off a tad at longer distances, I don't think it is as bad as you make it out to be.

ISO1600, f6.3, 1/250sec.

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Other D700 images at closer distances.

ISO3200.

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This is from the D7000 and very heavily cropped. I would say that it is about 15mts away:

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Joined
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I guess it's only natural that a TC will never be as good as the real thing.

Would you say it's a nice backup to have in the bag for someone who can't afford a 400-600? Or more importantly, If I choose to buy one, what's the best TC in terms of image quality vs range compromise?
 
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I guess it's only natural that a TC will never be as good as the real thing.

Would you say it's a nice backup to have in the bag for someone who can't afford a 400-600?

I can afford a 500 f4, but I am hesitant to get one as they are big and heavy and I would be reluctant to take it out with me, so the 300 f2.8 VRII + 1.4x TCII and/or 2x TCIII is a great compromise as they are always in the bag with me.

Or more importantly, If I choose to buy one, what's the best TC in terms of image quality vs range compromise?

Well, the 1.4x TCII degrades the IQ the least, but then if you need 600mm, then you have to get the 2x TCIII. The 2x TCIII doesn't degrade the IQ all that much either, when you look at my samples. I am more than happy to just use the 2x TCIII if I need 600mm.
 
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Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
300f4: another 1000€ lens to lug around, no VR, but no real gain of IQ over the 70-200+tc14 :redface:

300f4 + tc14: 420mm f5.6 but lacks VR, no better IQ then 70-200VRII + tc20EIII :redface:

I find these statements to be completely untrue, and contrary to my own experience.

The 300 f/4, used naked, is every bit the equal of the 70-200 in IQ. Add a TC to both lenses, and both suffer from the same IQ degradation. So claiming that the 70-200 + TC-14 is as good as the 300/4 naked, or that the 70-200 + TC-20 is as good as 300 f/4 + TC-14, means that you either

  • had a bad copy of the 300 f/4, or
  • you didn't spend enough time to master the long lens technique required for the 300 f/4.

Cheers

Mike
 
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San Jose, CA
Glad I read this. Was thinking of picking one of these up down the road for the occasional sports shooting I do, but it sounds like the 1.4 is the way to go. 270mm on my D700 sounds lovely.
 
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300f4: another 1000€ lens to lug around, no VR, but no real gain of IQ over the 70-200+tc14

Hi Michael,

I'm really, really surprised with this. I have a 70-200 VRII and (still) trying to decide if I should just go with the 1.4x or drop the coin for 300/4. Are they really that close in IQ? What about the bokeh? Can you post any samples if you wouldn't mind please.

thanks
 
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Oct 24, 2006
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Valley Forge, PA
I guess my old TC20EII NOT a III is magic. I use it on my 300 2.8 (AF-S V1) and I get tack sharp images with great feather detail. Either that, or I was Houdini in a past life. I did try it on my 70-200 and did not like it so much though.
 

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