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4.2 Rating
Macro Photography Tips: Photographing Insects and Other Small Creatures

A few quick tips on macro photography

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3.0 Rating
Taking Pictures at Dusk and at Night

How do I take pictures at dusk and at night?

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4.2 Rating
Video Tutorial Series: Getting Started with your Nikon D3300 DSLR

Series of six videos to help you set-up and shoot and…

Beginner

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4.4 Rating
Jim Richardson: Why Fast Lenses Make All the Difference

When You’re Constantly on the Move, Fast Glass Makes Tough Shots…

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4.5 Rating
John Shaw: A Photographer's Vision Simplified

See how one of the foremost nature, outdoor and natural history…

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4.2 Rating
Top Photography Tips from Nikon School Instructors

Learn photography the easy way, at Nikon School

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4.3 Rating
Understanding Auto ISO

Auto ISO can simplify shooting under changing lighting conditions

Beginner

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Bright Idea: Adding Star Power
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Bright Idea: Adding Star Power

Creating a starburst in your photographs

Beginner

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4.0 Rating
Photograph Family and Friends During the Holidays

The holidays are prime picture-taking time. Get some great tips on…

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
Ski Photography 101

Tips and tricks for getting great photos of skiers and snowboarders

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4.6 Rating
Photographing the Night Sky

Astrophotography: tips for making great images of the stars, moon and night sky time-lapse

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4.7 Rating
Extra Added Attraction: How to Boost the Reach of Your Nikon 1

Mark Alberhasky on using the FT-1 and NIKKOR lenses on…

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4.1 Rating
Critical Focus: Getting the Most From Your D800

Michael Clark on getting the most out of your D800 HD-SLR

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4.7 Rating
Joe McNally

Commercial photojournalist Joe McNally is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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4.3 Rating
One Shot: After Image

Jack Dyking on seeing in color and thinking in B&W

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4.4 Rating
For Memorable Family Vacation Photos, Focus First on Family

Tamara Lackey on taking great photos during family vacations

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4.1 Rating
ISO Control

For digital photography, ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera's sensor. The ISO setting is one of…

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3.1 Rating
How to Film Using Autofocus, Rack Focus and Manual Focus Techniques

Focusing tips for HDSLR video shooting

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4.7 Rating
Speedlight Tutorial: Bounce Technique

David Tejada uses Speedlights wirelessly for pleasing portrait illumination

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4.6 Rating
Underwater Photography

Tips for getting started shooting underwater with David Doubilet

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4.3 Rating
Nikon F-Mount

The Nikon F-mount makes a host of lenses available to photographers.

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4.5 Rating
3D Color Matrix Metering II

This system of evaluating light determines the best possible exposure for a particular…

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4.1 Rating
Nikon Electronic Format (NEF)

Nikon's RAW file format contains all the image information captured by the camera's sensor.

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When to Use Graduated Neutral Density Filters

How to use a graduated neutral density filter to decrease extreme light to…

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3.5 Rating
Have Fun Shooting Selfies (Self-Portrait) Photos

Tips and tricks for taking great Selfies

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4.5 Rating
How a Sports Illustrated Photographer Shoots his Kid's Games

What can a Sports Illustrated photographer teach you about…

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5.0 Rating
Matthew Jordan Smith

Celebrity and fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his…

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4.6 Rating
Outside Shots: Go Long

Tony Sweet on revealing the invisible in images

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4.6 Rating
Action and People Photography

For those who want to take better people and action photos

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Taking Better Photographs on the Water

Harbors, bays, oceans and rivers all have one thing in common—interesting and…

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The Power and Beauty of Bears and Other Animals

When the animal in the viewfinder is a bear, this photographer knows…

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4.7 Rating
Destination Europe: Do a Little Research, Then Go Light on the Gear

Blaine Harrington on travel photography in Europe

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4.4 Rating
Shooting with Remote Cameras

Andrew Hancock discusses the art of shooting sports with remote cameras

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3.9 Rating
Making Pictures in the Rain

Just because it's raining doesn't mean there aren't great pictures waiting to be made.

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4.6 Rating
Comfort Zone

Ryan Brenizer on photographing weddings with prime NIKKORs

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3.9 Rating
Tips and Techniques For High Flying Photos

Tom Bol discusses taking photos from hot air balloons, planes and helicopters

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Using Teleconverters

Extend your photographic reach with these lens accessories

What exactly are teleconverters and can I use one with my camera and lens(es)?

A teleconverter allows you to increase the apparent focal length of a lens, giving you a greater telephoto effect than a lens alone. A teleconverter is basically a magnifying lens that is placed between the camera body and lens. Teleconverters are favorite accessories of nature and wildlife photographers, because they allow them to extend the photographic reach beyond what might be safe when on safari or in an unfamiliar location. In general, wide-angle prime and zoom lenses are not compatible with teleconverters; which makes sense, since you’re using a teleconverter to increase your reach—and you’d likely start out with a longer focal length lens to begin with. Using a teleconverter is an affordable option when you want to increase your photographic reach without having to purchase new super-telephoto lenses.

Nikon currently offers teleconverters in 1.4x, 1.7x and 2x magnifications. These AF-S teleconverters utilize the Nikon f/mount, and are compatible with all Nikon film-based SLRs and DSLRs (FX and DX formats), as well as the Nikon 1 cameras when using the FT-1 F Mount Adapter.

Should I use a teleconverter?

There are benefits and drawbacks to using a teleconverter, so you need to decide if using one is right for the type of photography you’re planning to do.

Benefits include their cost effectiveness and small physical size; drawbacks include a loss of light or lens speed and possible decrease in sharpness. A 300mm lens and 2x teleconverter may not be as sharp as a dedicated 600mm lens. Also, not every NIKKOR lens is compatible with every teleconverter. Here is a list of teleconverter/NIKKOR lens compatibility.

Teleconverters are convenient when you want to increase the apparent telephoto reach of specific NIKKOR lenses, especially when compared to the physical size of some of the longer super-telephoto NIKKORs. Also, when you use a teleconverter, you don’t lose the close focusing distance of the lens, which is an added benefit.

Because teleconverter compatibility is dependent upon lens use, the lenses that will work with a teleconverter are all FX lenses (those that are designed for use with the larger FX format image sensor or film SLR cameras.

AF NIKKOR lenses (those which do not have a built-in focus motor) are not compatible with the current AF-S teleconverters but may work with older manual models. (AF-S lenses are those with a built-in focus motor.) Some of the newer NIKKOR lenses can also be used with older manual focus teleconverters with limited compatibility. Functional limitations include having to manually focus the lens, shoot in manual exposure mode only, and require an accessory exposure meter due to the camera’s built-in exposure meter being rendered inactive. Vignetting or other visible image defects may also occur.


Must I use an f/2.8 lens or faster with a teleconverter?

The answer to that depends upon which Nikon DSLR body you’re shooting with. Up until the introduction of the D4, if you used a teleconverter with a NIKKOR lens, you’d lose autofocus capabilities at apertures smaller than f/5.6, be required to use a slow shutter speed or increase the ISO since a fast aperture wasn't possible. Due to these limitations, wildlife and sports photographers wouldn't be able to utilize teleconverters in many instances that required fast shutter speeds.

Newer Nikon cameras, including the D4/D4S, Df, D800/D800E, D810, D600/D610, D750, D7100 and D7200 allow you to use slower lenses with the teleconverters with the ability to utilize autofocus functionality when stopped down to f/8.

Amount of light lost when using teleconverters

  • When using a 1.4x teleconverter, you lose 1 stop of light, so for example, when using an f/2.8 lens, the widest aperture you can use the lens at is f/4;

  • A 1.7x teleconverter will lose 1½ stops of light, so with an f/2.8 NIKKOR lens, you will end up with an effective wide aperture of f/4.5;

  • A 2x teleconverter loses 2 stops of light, so an f/2.8 lens drops down to a wide aperture of f/5.6.

To see more of Mark's photography, visit his website at www.imagema.com. To see more of Carol's photography, visit her website at www.carolfreemanphotography.com.

Additional notes:
  1. The distinction of II in the name of Nikon teleconverters means that the newer versions use lighter metals in their construction. There is no difference betwen the the original versions and the newer ones in terms of functionality or optical performance.

  2. The 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF supports the TC-201 and the TC-14A (occasional vignetting) & TC-14B (AF not possible).

  3. The 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR supports the TC-14EII, TC-17E II, TC-20EII.

  4. The AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED will only autofocus with the TC-14E II.
  5. The following lenses, although not a complete list, are not compatible with autofocus teleconverters: AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, any 18-55mm lens, any 18-105mm lens, any 18-135mm lens, any 18-200mm lens, any 24-120mm lens, any 55-200mm lens, any 70-300mm lens, and any 80-400mm lens

Further Reading

More articles like thisMore articles featuring Carol Freeman photos/videos More articles featuring Mark Alberhasky photos/videos

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