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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:59 pm 
ok so i did some reading up on teleconverters and i found that they are nothing special, unless used on wide telephoto lenses like f2.8.
i also found that no TC's on lens compatibility charts will fit any 18-200mm lens and there was a risk of the glass catching! not to mention poor quality and no auto focus past a certain aperture. well as i read on i found a review that someone did with a load TC's and lenses they have tried, one of which was the kenko 2x teleplus on a sigma 18-200. (My cams a sony a200)

Despite all the negativity i was still curious and decided to buy a used one off ebay (£80). i would love a proper telephoto for the better quality and performance, i have my eye on the sigma 150-500mm. but of course its price! maybe one day.... i also considered a mirror lens (500mm f6.3 - £120+) which would probably perform better, but they also have there flaws. well they do say you get what you pay for!

i can confirm that the kenko 2x teleplus does fit the sig 18-200mm f3.5 - 6.3 (sony a mount), the auto focus does work at wide angle but will not when starting to zoom when the aperture closes to f10 or more, it just starts hunting back and forth, so have to switch to manual. the manual focusing felt a bit stiffer with the TC.
the camera recognised the teleconverter and records accurate EXIF data! (i.e. reads 400mm with 2x TC when at full zoom with the 18-200mm) the widest aperture the i got with the TC was f7.1 - f13.

heres a few shots from my phone of the teleconverter :-

Image
Image
Image
Image


here are a few quick sample pics i took, it was dull and cloudy. i shot all pics on auto/programme. in cam image stabilisation on of course, however at 400mm hand held without being able to see the stabilising effect through the view finder it was a bit of a nightmare.

scene1 at 18mm (without TC) - f3.5, 1/800sec, iso100
Image

scene1 at 200mm (without TC) - f6.3, 1/320sec, iso320
Image

scene 1 at 400mm with 2x TC - f13, 1/160sec, iso400
Image


scene 2 at 18mm (without TC) - f9, 1/80sec, iso100 (hmm?)
Image

scene 2 at 200mm (without TC) - f6.3, 1/250sec, iso 400
Image

scene 2 at 400mm with 2x TC - f13, 1/100sec, iso400
Image

that last image was a bit unclear (when inspected) due to camera shake i believe, i could of helped this by putting the ISO up and/or using tripod obviously. like i said, they were a few quick shots.
when i inspected/cropped scene 1 200mm and 400mm(with TC) the 200mm pic without TC was slightly clearer. 400mm looked a touch out of focus, or of course this is likely the loss of quality and light as expected.

so yes, you do get what you pay for! i think the pics are reasonably acceptable, but for better quality a proper telephoto lens is a must. i live close to a lake so im going to try and get a few pics of the swans and ducks on a sunny day with the TC and maybe up the ISO if i need to. its just the tricky part of trying to manual focus at f13! i will put the pics on this page when i get round to them.

i also just quickly tried the TC on my minolta 50mm f1.7 whilst writing this. this extended the focal length to 100mm (obviously) and fixed the aperture at 3.5. and the auto focus worked. i have yet to try this properly on a nicer day, this maybe could be an 'ok' macro lens with the TC but we shall see! pics to follow.

i imagine people will be asking for crops to see. when i get some cleaner shots on a nicer day i will do just that.

well i hope this 'amateur' :roll: kinda of review helps in case anyone else was thinking of trying the same set up...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:02 pm 
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Nice test and report, Alan!

I once tested a Kenko 1.5x and found it not bad. Butt it enlarges the flaws of the lens in front of it like a loupe. 2x is even worse in this respect. So funnily to get away with this cheap solution and get acceptable pics you need good glass in front of the converter to begin with. But even with my super-duper Nikon AF-S 70-200/2.8 VRII and the Nikon 1.7c TC I already see the limits of the lens.
So for smaller output size the question is really: why not crop from to get the 1.5x, 1.7x or 2x magnification? The bonus is the brighter viewfinder, functioning AF and no investment needed at all :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:10 pm 
im hoping for a nice day soon to get some more pics with and without TC, then do some cropping. and yeah i found from reading reviews that the x2 TCs are poorer quality.

what do you think to mirror lenses as a cheap alternative for the extra reach?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:59 pm 
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I own a Tamron 500/8.0 mirror lens. See my review here and one of my fav photos with that lens there and for my complete collection of images with that lens head over here.
The disadvantages: no AF*, fixed aperture, medium to low image quality, donut-shaped bokeh.
The advantages: small, light, cheap, magnification of 1:3
---
*methinks Sony has the only mirror lens with AF, but I'm not sure...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:03 pm 
you got some good pics with that mirror thomas! i think al defo have to get one. i had my eye on the vivitar 500mm mirror lens. f6.3 version. i might put the teleconverter back on ebay and get one. well i will probs get the mirror lens first, just so i can try the 2x TC and have a play hehe :twisted: or i might just keep it.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:28 pm 
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Yes, the Minolta-Sony 500/8.0 has AF! Here's a thread about this lens with sample pics (in German).

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:21 pm 
yea the sony 500mm af. i noticed that one. also the price lol around £500. well if i had the money i would most probably save more and go for the sony 70-400G which is £800+ from what ive seen. and from what i read alot of people say its well worth the money but still ... hhmmm. i dont know, maybe one day if i want to try and go pro. im still on my first (budget) dslr so i think it maybe a waste putting top quality glass on it. i think i will most probs go for a MF mirror lens to have a play with for now!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:35 pm 
another cheapish popular lens (not so telephoto) i would like to try is the minolta af 70-210 f4 aka 'beercan'. i hear some good things about this and IQ is apparently awsome. can be picked up for £150+. 210mm.... f4...... £150ish.... :shock: worth i go i think!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:41 pm 
re: beercan lens. check this out! http://www.flickr.com/photos/optiker/5473614240/ 100% crop! pretty good when you take into account the age and price of the lens!

and theres a thread on this on here > http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=146706


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Yeah, have heard good things about the beercan. But 210mm gives you no longer reach than you already have. Or would you try the converter on this one?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:04 pm 
i went abit off topic there with the beercan. just another lens i had my eye on, from what im hearing it sounds as if it will out perform my sigma on image quality. there just so much to take into account with photography i get a head ache sometimes! lol


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