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Benefits of Using the AF-ON Button for Autofocus

Three pros discuss using the AF-ON button for AF control

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3.6 Rating
1 NIKKOR Technology: Retractable Lens Barrel

Retractable lens barrel technology offers ultra-compact lens design.

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Using legacy NIKKOR lenses with the Nikon Df

How to set the Df to accept legacy Non-Ai or Ai lenses

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My Lens Choices for Weddings

Jerry Ghionis discusses his favorite lenses for wedding photography

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4.1 Rating
Lens Choice for Great Portraits

Dixie Dixon on lens choice for portraiture

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4.2 Rating
Getting Started: How to Change a D-SLR Lens

Learn the steps to changing your camera's lens.

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The convenience of Using Save/load Settings—Smart!

Moose Peterson on the convenience of using Nikon's save/load settings…

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The Versatile Appeal of the D600

See what makes the D600 an appealing camera

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Which NIKKOR Lens Type is Right for Your DSLR?

Learn what the different types of NIKKOR lenses are and which ones will…

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Extend Your Reach with Nikon 1 Cameras and the FT-1 Mount Adapter

Extend your reach with your favorite NIKKOR lenses on a…

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4.1 Rating
Take Control of Color using Picture Controls

Diana Robinson gets the color she wants with Picture Controls in-camera and…

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What is a Lens MTF Chart & How Do I Read It?

MTF charts plot the performance and quality of a lens

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Choosing Quality Lenses

Tamara Lackey shares a tip on lenses

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Benefits of Using Fast Lenses in Low Light

A tip from Nikon Ambassador Lucas Gilman

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Getting Started: How to Hold Your D-SLR Camera

Getting sharper, more in-focus pictures can be as simple as learning how…

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4.3 Rating
Photograph the Classic Holiday Light Bokeh Effect

Tips for shooting lights as soft globes of color

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4.8 Rating
Caring for your Nikon 1 Waterproof Housing

Regular maintenence and care of the WP-N1/WP-N2/WP-N3 will ensure its…

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In a New York Minute: Images of a Long Weekend

Lindsay Silverman spends a weekend shooting with only one D-SLR and lens…

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Marketplace: One and Only

Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof, shockproof interchangeable lens camera

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Shooting Abstract Photos that Make the Viewer Guess

Sometimes showing just a hint of your subject can be more compelling…

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3D Focus Tracking

3D focus tracking automatically shifts the focus point to follow the movement of the subject. With the…

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4.1 Rating
Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System

Revolutionary camera system designed for today’s picture taker.

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4.9 Rating
Speedlight Tutorial: Day to Night Technique

David Tejada uses Speedlights to create the illusion of a night scene

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Take Better Portraits

Tips for taking a good portrait photo

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3.5 Rating
VR Image Stabilization

VR image stabilization technology detects vertical and horizontal movement and offsets it by…

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3.7 Rating
Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is a phenomenon in which light rays passing through a lens focus at different…

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Quick Tips for Taking Better Portraits

Suggested Lens choices, exposure settings and focus modes

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5 Easy Composition Guidelines

Follow 5 easy tips for better photo compositions

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A Basic Look at the Basics of Exposure

The relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO is the basis of every…

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DX NIKKOR Lenses

Nikon Digital SLRs FX and DX sensors

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Family Photos—Capturing the Moments

Nikon School's Family Photos—Capturing the Moments is full of tips for taking fun…

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Using Variable Neutral Density Filters to Adjust Exposure in DSLR Video

Adjusting exposure with Variable ND filters

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Polarizing Filters Add POW to Pictures

An Easy to Use Accessory, Polarizing Filters Bring out the Color and Definition in…

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Using the D810A DSLR for Deep Space and Nebulae Astrophotography

Photographing Nebulae and other celestial objects with…

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Second Time Around

Take a closer look at some of our classic lenses updated with the latest technology.

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Taking Pictures of Fireworks

Learn how to get great fireworks shots this summer.

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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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Nikon Electronic Format (NEF)

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

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How a Sports Illustrated Photographer Shoots his Kid's Games

What can a Sports Illustrated photographer teach you about…

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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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Outside Shots: Go Long

Tony Sweet on revealing the invisible in images

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

Blaine Harrington on travel photography in Europe

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Tips and Techniques For High Flying Photos

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

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Comfort Zone

Ryan Brenizer on photographing weddings with prime NIKKORs

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

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