Buyer Beware

As a landscape photographer, I rarely use long lens, in fact I’m very conscious that I don’t even use my 70-200 lens as often as I should, but I do have a number of projects in mind that require a longer lens. However my  history of buying long lenses is an epic tragedy worthy of Homer or Shakespeare, so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say that my third long lens, a Nikon 80-400 was bought second hand from a reputable dealer, but proved to be very soft, so that had to go back.

I’ve managed without a long lens for about a year while I’ve been waiting to see the new Nikon Z 100-400 lens, but the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 plus a two times converter also looked an interesting alternative. After much thought, I decided that the 70-200 plus converter would probably be the most useful option, but given my history of buying the wrong lens, I decided to play safe and rent a lens and converter to test it before investing a not inconsiderable sum of money. The lens arrived on what proved to be a very busy weekend, so I only managed to have a brief play with the lens on a bright, glary, windy day. The results were disappointing to say the least. What was supposed to be the answer to my problems and give me pin sharp images, suddenly didn’t look so good.

By Sunday night I’d realised that I hadn’t done any serious testing and the lens was due to go back the following morning, so I got up early and set up a comparison test with my 70-200 f4 lens. Both lenses proved to be pin sharp, but as soon as I added the 2 x teleconverter to the f2.8 lens the results were disappointingly soft.

I’ve looked at quite a few reviews on the internet and whilst most people like the teleconverter, a few do say that it softens the image and I have to agree with them. So to anyone considering buying a 2 x teleconverter, I would say be cautious and try one first, you may be disappointed.

 

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