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TC-17E II Questions

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by eparr, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. eparr


    Jul 28, 2007
    S.F. Bay Area
    I am planning on purchasing a 70-200mm VR Lens and have heard good things about it with the TC-17E II. I have two questions.

    1. Anyone have this combo and care to give their opinion? (Camera Body is D300)

    2. I almost always purchase the USA versions of lenses for the warranty but am thinking of saving the money on the TC-17E II. Any reason to buy the US vs Import on the TC? I can't imagine they break too often but I would love to hear some opinions.


  2. TimK


    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    I have seen the results of this combo. It is good but not outstanding. The 1.4x works quite a bit better.

    Why are you considering the 1.7x? If you are thinking of using it frequently then I think the 300/4 is a better choice.
  3. i didn't like the 1.4 on the 70-200
    I don't think TC-s work well on zooms
    the 1.4 on the 300/4 is very good
  4. I find it excellent, provided your lens is good. If your lens is weak wide open, you will suffer optically. If you have a sharp lens, you are good, but you'll need to stop down 1 to 1.5 stops.
  5. The only grey import item I have is the TC-14E II. The % difference between the USA and grey versions was fairly large and the consensus opinion at the time (in another forum) was that it was a fairly safe move due to the relative simplicity of the lens. Also, I believe that the USA version only has a 1-year warranty, so there's no advantage there.

  6. davewales


    Feb 18, 2008
    I am not happy with the performance of the 1.7 with my 300f2.8 but that's with a D200. Af is too slow except in the best of light to capture moving targets.
    I keep on reading comments about little loss of quality but I find that is not true either.
    Probably the best answer I saw was the person who said if they worked that well why would anyone bother buying a bigger lens.
    Incidentally, I purchased my 1.7 TC from Hong Kong on the "grey" market. I was lucky and dind't pay import duties. Saved about 30% of the UK list price.
  7. I too have found the zoomes do not work as well on zooms as they do on primes - not terrible, just not as good.

    I have a 400 f3.8 but had a 500 f4. The 1.4 works great on both, but the 1.7 works much better on the 2.8. I think the 2.0 is soft on the 400 2.8, but when I posted that on another forum, some (who also post here) disagreed.
  8. sewwhatsports


    Nov 26, 2007
    Dover, De
    I have a TC 1.4E that I use with my 300 f/4. I am seriously considering adding the TC 1.7. I will be going to Yosemite later this year. Any thoughts on this TC with the 300 f/4? Is the difference in the TC FL that much with the addition of this TC? This is the only long prime I have so I have been waiting on adding this TC. Your thoughts appreciated.
  9. I use the 70-200 VR, 1.7 and 1.4 on the D300. I say the 1.4 and 1.7 both work acceptable if you stop down a full stop (or more). I sold off the 2X, was not on the same par as the other converters.
    He did not ask but several have commented about other lenses, so I will too - my 300 2.8 and 400 2.8 both love the 1.4 and are very acceptable with the 1.7 (especially the 300). My 500 f4 is wonderful paired with either of the X's.
    Buy the gray on the 1.7, but U.S.A. on the lens.

  10. the diff is 1.4 x 300 vs 1.7 x 300

  11. For about the same price consider the 70-300mm VR instead. Having said that I just ordered a 1.7 TC to use with my 200mm f2 VR LOL.
  12. Hi Eric - I have the 70-200 VR and the TC-17E II. To be honest, I don't use them together a great deal, but when I have I've been surprised at the result. Assuming I do my part with good technique (not always a given - thank goodness for VR!), I've been hard pressed to find fault with my combo. Others may get different results, I don't know, but mine works well. Here are three examples, all shot with that combination. These were handheld in miserable Minnesota March weather. The camera was a D300.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 216385

    View attachment 216386

    I've since bought a Nikkor 70-300 VR, and use that a lot more. It's so much more portable than the bulky 70-200 VR and TC-17E II combo, that I tend to always have it with me while the bulkier combo sits at home. Sure, the spendier glass gives better results, but only if I have it with me. Anyway, hope this helps your decision!
  13. dsp921


    May 16, 2006
    I have a 1.7 that a bought to use on my 70-200 and I'm not at all happy with the results. The TC sits in my closet. I've brought it out occasionally to see if it might be usable and it ends up back on the shelf. My lens is very sharp without the TC. If you must use a TC on the 70-200 get the 1.4.
  14. While I was saving for bigger glass I researched this as well and as you've seen above...for those that like the TC, the TC1.4 works the best, the TC1.7 is OK, and the TC2.0 is not recommended. I got the TC1.7 to balance between length and IQ. I may still get a TC1.4.

    Here's the obligatory article that gives some tips on maximizing sharpness w/ this combo.

    My favorite shot w/ the combo, another, and another.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  15. eparr


    Jul 28, 2007
    S.F. Bay Area
    Wow, Thanks for all the responses! Those are some nice shots Scott! I have been considering the 70-300mm vr and the 300mm f4 also. My concerns are speed in low light. My primary use for this will be for my daughters events (Dance/Cheer) and many of the events are held in Gyms or Halls. When I am close enough, I won't need any more reach than the 70-200mm, but there are times where I am too far away and would like the extra reach. I almost bought the 300mm f4 but the fixed FL scared me away. It's not always easy to move around or get the seats I want at these events.
    What I really need is a 70-400mm f/2.8 af-s vr the size of my 18-200mm vr ;-)
    Has anyone heard any rumors of the 80-400mm vr being released with af-s?
  16. Eric, my first reaction to the thought of shooting in gyms and halls was that you'll need the f/2.8. Then I thought about the fact that the 70-200/2.8 + TC-17E II will cost something like 4 times the price of a 70-300 VR (new, of course). Given that price spread, I'd be tempted to buy a 70-300 VR from someplace with a good return/exchange policy and give it a try. If you found you need the extra speed, maybe send the 70-300 VR back and exchange for the spendier package. Or even Ebay the 70-300 VR, for that matter. Or keep it - you may find, as I did, there's a place for both.

    Always happy to thoroughly confuse and compound any issue... :smile:
  17. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    See for yourself

    You will never know for sure until you try it for yourself. There are lots of opinions voiced about the TC-17E II (some have actually seen one in a store) and they vary greatly. I have used mine extensively on the 200-400 and am quite pleased with the result. I have not used it that much with the 70-200 so I don't have a firm opinion on that combination. Borrow or rent one and see for yourself.
  18. Attached is a shot from a 70-200 that I no longer own with a 1.4 TC 14 II attached. This combo works as well as my 300 F4 AFS with the 1.4 attached. In fact there is very little difference between the the 300 F4 AFS and 70-200 with or w/o the TC 14. YMMV but I plan to try the 1.7. I was going to post all of the combinations for you to see but for whatever reason NX2 will not transfer to CS3. I gave up!

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  19. TimK


    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    D300 works quite well at ISO1000, so a 70-300 might work for you. Anyways there is not much a difference n speed between the 70-300 and 70-200 + 1.7.

    Do you have a record of what setting you were using? ISO, F-stop, speed etc? You might want to consider 70-300 and 50/1.4. Together they are cheaper and less bulky than the 20-300.
  20. I have the 70-200 VR and all 3 Nikon E-series TCs. While it is certainly true what others have said - TCs always degrade IQ, and the 1.4 is better than the 1.7 which is better than the 2.0 - I do not agree that they can't produce nice results!

    You need to know the limitations of each TC:

    - With the TC-14E you need to stop down 0.5 stops to f/4.8 to match the sharpness of the naked lens wide open, so you lose 1.5 stops for equal IQ. But even wide open at f/4 I find the results with the TC-14E acceptable; f/5.6 is very good.

    - With the TC-17E you need to stop down 1 stop to f/6.7 to match the sharpness of the naked lens wide open, so you lose 2.5 stops for equal IQ. I find the results with the TC-17E acceptable at f/5.6 and good at f/8; f/4.8 is too soft for my taste.

    - With the TC-20E you need to stop down 1.5 stops to f/9.5 to match the sharpness of the naked lens wide open, so you lose 3.5 stops for equal IQ. I find the results with the TC-20E acceptable at f/8 and good at f/11; f/5.6 is too soft for my taste.

    All this means that the TC-20E is not very useful in most situations because light levels are rarely high enough to shoot at f/11. The TC-17E works well in sunny conditions and is the best compromise between reach and speed; the TC-14E is best if you need some extra length but light levels are not so great.

    The 70-300 VR is a decent alternative to buying a TC-17E for the 70-200, but if you can afford it the 70-200 + TC will still get you better results! And you can always take the TC off and shoot at 2.8 - can't do that with a 70-300.


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