Long lenses are a must for certain types of photography, but they can be a huge investment. This is why people often opt for teleconverters. This may or may not be the best option, and maybe you’re having second thoughts whether you should buy a teleconverter or not.
In his latest video, Jay P. Morgan talks about the advantages and disadvantages of teleconverters. If you can’t make up your mind whether they’re worth the investment, this video might be of great help for you.
For this video, Jay P. Morgan is photographing alligators, and you certainly don’t want to get too close to them. So, he uses a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens with two teleconverters: Tamron Teleconverter 2.0x and Tamron Teleconverter 1.4x. According to him, here are some reasons why you should or shouldn’t invest in teleconverters:
- Increased focal length
The first and the most obvious advantage is that teleconverters give you more focal length. After all, that’s why we use them. The 1.4x gives increases focal length for 40%, and the 2x doubles it. So, you can turn 600mm into 840mm with the 1.4x, or 1200mm with the 2x.
This allows you to get closer to the subject without actually approaching it. And if you shoot alligators or bears, this is certainly a useful feature.
Another big advantage of teleconverters is that they are affordable. If you wanted to buy an 800mm f/5.6 mm lens, it would cost you a few thousand dollars at least. For example, Sigma 800mm f/5.6 EX DG APO HSM lens costs more than $6,500, while the same type of lens from Canon costs $13,000, and Nikon’s is over $16,000.
With teleconverters, even if you buy both of them, you still end up with a more affordable option. The lens Jay uses costs $1,400. The 2,0x teleconverter is $440, and the 1,4x is $420. It comes town to paying $2,260 altogether. Quite a difference.
- Minimum focus distance of the lens remains the same
Last but not least, teleconverters don’t change the minimal focus distance of the lens. You’ll still be able to focus from the same distance as when you shoot without them.
One of the things I’d like to add to the pros is that they give you versatility. You basically cover focal lengths from 100 to 1200 with a 100-600mm lens and a 2,0x teleconverter than you do with the 100-600mm or 800mm alone.
- You lose some of the exposure
The first and the foremost – while teleconverters give you extra focal length, they reduce the exposure. With 1.4x you have a 1-stop loss in exposure, and with the 2.0x you lose 2 stops of exposure. In certain situations and lighting conditions, this can be quite an obstacle.
- Decreased focusing ability/speed
Another flaw of teleconverters is that the focusing speed decreases when you use them. Also, some lenses won’t autofocus with teleconverters. For instance, the 1.4x will autofocus with the second generation of Tamron 150-600mm, while the 2.0x will not. However, you can use them both with Tamron 70-200mm, and of course, you can focus manually.
- Losing some image quality
While teleconverters give you decent image quality, they still cause the photos to lose some of it. However, they are still much better than cropping the image, and they preserve way more quality than cropping.
- More camera shake
This probably goes without saying, bit when you’re using a longer lens, there’s more camera shake. So, you probably won’t be able to handhold the camera with a 600mm lens and a teleconverter.
Now, here are some of the sample images from the video, that may further help you get the feeling of the teleconverters’ performance:
These were some of the reasons for and against teleconverters, at least as seen by Jay P. Morgan. Despite the disadvantages, he recommends them as a great and affordable solution. As a hobbyist photographer, I would always opt for a more affordable option, while the quality of the image is still reasonably high. I think that the good sides are stronger than the bad ones and that this is a good solution for getting a larger focal lenght without spending a fortune on a long lens.
What do you think? Do you use teleconverters and do you think they are a good solution? Tell us in the comments.
[Teleconverter Pros and Cons | The Slanted Lens]