Everything about the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III

I know the stuff has not been released recently (released around 2009) but when I was interested in purchasing one, it has been quite challenging to make a decent opinion about it. So let’s make a summarize:

To make a long story short: it works pretty well for a x2 teleconverter but it is a x2 teleconverter which means: you can use it but the image quality is not as good as without it and the loss of 2 stops cannot be negligible. The AF works quite well as long as you are using a fast lens, as one could understand, AF does not work well for lens slower than f/5.6. So if you need it, you can buy it, again it works quite well. But if you can afford buying the big and expenses Pro tele-lenses, that’s better, but very expensive and very heavy too.

I can basically identify 3 main reasons to buy it:

  1. With the 70-200 VRII f/2.8 to get a 400 mm tele-zoom, decently opened (f/5.6) and not too heavy,
  2. With a long pro tele-lens (400 mm f/2.8) because, well, if you need a bigger gun you need a bigger gun,
  3. With the 105 mm Micro f/2.8 because you can increase the macro capability significantly, and because some bugs don’t allow you to come closer and the 200 mm f/4 is quite expensive, especially if you already have the 105 mm.

You should remember that the teleconverter is not cheap, and is heavy. Another option, which I find to be consistent, is to acquire the Kenko Teleplus PRO300 2x DGX for half the price of the Nikon and which weights less. The image quality is not as good but looks decent (I have only the Nikon) and as Teleconverter are nothing but a compromise, it is making sense to avoid spending too much. If you don’t like compromise, you should buy the lens you need and don’t use a teleconverter at all (but if you want very long focals, like a  800 mm, fair enough).

Last and not least, teleconverters don’t work with every lenses, so check the list before.

Additional resources:

A few more pictures from the field: