Camera: Nikon D3s - Lens: Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 with Nikon 1.4 TC - 1/1600sec f/7.1 ISO 400
I recently ran into a problem shooting skiing and snowboarding this winter. I needed to get a little closer to the action but the longest lens in my kit is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. There were two options to get the added focal length I desired. The first and most expensive option was to purchase the Nikon 200-400 f/4 lens for a whopping $7000. Even as a working pro this would have set my budget back quite a bit. Added to the budget constraints is the physical size and weight of the lens. Coming in at roughly 7.5 pounds the lens is heavy and bulky. When I am shooting skiing and snowboarding I am constantly moving, hiking and snowboarding. Weight and bulk are always large concerns when it comes to gear. Between the weight, bulk and price tag, the 200-400 just didn’t make a lot of sense. The solution? The Nikon TC-14 II 1.4 Auto Focus Teleconverter.
Coming in at a price tag of just under $500 and weighing only 7.5 ouches the 1.4 teleconverter effectively would turn my 70-200 lens into a 98-280mm. This was just the added length I was looking for to get me a little closer to the action. I decided not to go with the Nikon 1.7 or 2.0 converters because of the negative reviews I read on each prior to my purchase. Most people found them to be soft and the extra loss of light from the added length of the teleconverters was unacceptable to me. I was ok with losing one stop of light with the 1.4 but that was it. So what are the pros and cons of the 1.4 TC attached to a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8? I’m glad you asked.
- Getting closer to the action
- Extremely sharp results – I haven’t noticed any loss in sharpness by adding the 1.4 TC
- Lightweight, small and easy to carry
- No noticeable fringing
- A loss of a stop of light (it changes the maximum aperture of the f/2.8 to f/4)
- The autofocus is noticeably slower when shooting fast moving subjects. The TC forces the lens to search more when trying to track a fast moving subject. This can be overcome by prefocusing your subject and then continuing to shoot the action. If you simply pick up your camera with the TC attached and quickly try to focus in on a moving subject you will be disappointed.
All in all I am extremely happy with the Nikon TC-14 II 1.4 Auto Focus Teleconverter. It is a great and relatively cheap fix to adding a little extra focal length to my kit. While there are a few shortcomings I believe the positives far outweigh the negatives. I would recommend this setup to anyone looking for a cost effective way to increase their focal length and get a little closer to the action. Happy shooting!