Teleconverter or Extension Tubes

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by Pastorbbc, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Of the two, what is your personnel preference and why? I have a Kenko 1.4x and am debating on extension tubes. I've read a lot of post about them but I'd like to hear why you decided on one or the other of if have both -- which you like best. I understand the difference in the two items, I just would like to know the reason folks choose one over the other.
  2. I see that you have the Nikon 105/2.8 VR. Using a teleconveter for that lens is not a very good idea. In fact, extension tubes will be the only choice for you. Here are some reasons why a TC is not recommended for your 105VR. The first reason is autofocus operation is not possible. The second reason is when you use a TC with your 105 VR, the maximum F-stop will be f/8 (if using a 1.4x TC) or f/11 (if using a 2x TC.) That causes the viewfinder becomes very dark and you can see clearly to focus manually. The final reason which is important is a teleconverter will reduce the image quality because of the extra glass. Extension tubes don't have any glass element, therefore they do not affect the image quality. I hope that helps.
  3. I use my teleconverters to extend my reach with long lenses. I use my extension tubes to get in even closer when shooting macro..... Two very different uses for two very different tools.
  4. Thanks guys -- I know after looking over this macro section that a lot of people use the 1.4x with the 300 AF-S. I've used it before with pretty good results. I understand completely about the glass and IQ not being as good, but with the 1.4x it is not much IQ loss. Being new, I did not know if people doing macro shoots used the TC on lens other than the 300mm. Thanks
  5. I really like the 105VR with the 1.4TC, I have taken some great shots with that combo, still have AF (sorry Vinh, no AF problems), and no problems with dark VF.


    This was with 1.7

  6. Paintguru


    Dec 28, 2006
    Detroit, MI
    Ok I've always had trouble figuring out what I need, and here is what appears to be the thread for the answer. I'm taking macro pictures of coral in an aquarium, so I can only get so close to the subject (glass being the main reason). This is fine for subjects near one of the aquarium walls, but for things that are a a bit deeper in the aquarium, it is hard to get a real good, magnified macro shot of it. Would a TC or extension tube be desirable in this case to magnify those things in the middle of the tank and allow me to get a good close up macro if it?
  7. heydale


    Oct 5, 2007
    It would appear to me that you would have no loss of IQ with tubes, not the case with a TC. You say not much, and while that may be true, would not a simple crop achieve the same result? or am I missing something?
    I have been on the TC fence for a while pondering the question, not for macros but simply shots in general where I won't have to lug that additional lens.

  8. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Just to throw a differnt perspective into the fray. For my macro set up I often use the Nikkor 200 4 IF AIS a PK13 tube and a TC- 301. And a SB-29 ring light on the end with a D3 on the other side. Im getting some killer capture's with working F/stop around F/stop 22-44. ISO 200-1250.
    Sunday, I tried the same set up on switching the Nikkor 200 F4 IF AIS with my Nikkor 200 F2 ED-IF AIS and I added another PK tube. I also tried switching the TC 301 with the TC 14B. Iv also used the Nikkor 105 with tubes and TC' both 1.4 and 2x. So far every combination is really good. Using the Nikkor 200 F2 ED-IF AIS is nice for blurry backgrounds and smooth bokkeh. While the Nikkor 200 F4 IF AIS with the T.C 301 and the tubes is so far the ultimate for magnification and working distance. From my experience with supertelephoto nikkor's, Iv begun stacking T.C 's combined with tubes in between. At the closest minimum focus with the Nikkor 200 F4 IF, Im able to get "really tiny" portions of flower and critters. Or put another way from a foot and a half im able to "fill the frame" with a single key board key at F22 with the Sb-29 at full power. Somtimes it's fun and productive to throw away the book and break some rule's and let creativity your guide.

  9. ok that's an award winner pic!
  10. Thanks for the replies on this. Most of what I'm hearing is what I was thinking about this and that is that it is not an "either or" but can be both or even a combination. When you are new to this stuff, you wonder about right ways and wrong ways -- but in this it is, as was said, good to try some creative ways to use the tools we have.
  11. I also use the TC 1.4 on a 70/200 and a 200/400, with tubes, an awesome setup, as long as it does not have to be moved too much. It really does give a lot of reach, great for critters that come to a roost.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2008