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Thread: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

  1. #1

    Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    Hi, I'm looking to get a new lens for my D7000. I have a 70-300 for my previous camera and on occasions it wasn't long enough. And I like 2.8s... Ignoring price, the Sigma 100-300 f2.8 is waaaay too heavy to carry around everywhere.

    So that leaves the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 with OS and an 2x TC for occasional use when wildlife shooting. At the 400mm end OS will be important as it won't always be on a tripod. Will the teleconverter stop the OS from working?

    Alternatives such as the Nikon 80-400mm don't have the 2.8 goodness - and I'd hold out until this model is refreshed with an HSM or equivalent.

    There is also the Sigma 150-500, which I was thinking of getting. But without the TC fitted the 70-200 will give sharper images and don't forget the 2.8. With the TC fitted the I'm still at 5.6. The 150-500 is a largely irrelevant 1/3 stop worse at 6.3. Perhaps the main impact with that difference would be getting close to the limits of the AF sensor.

    I suspect if the 80-400 was refreshed soon it might be better optically than the 150-500, but the reviews of the current version suggest the sigma is the way to go.

    Or strange as it may seem, the nikon 70-300VRII and the Sigma 150-500 gives me a quality "short" lens which I could easily take on holiday and the long lens for specific trips. That 70-300 is such good value now at $500, but no 2.8 goodness.

    So has anybody actually tried the Sigma 70-200 OS with a TC and can say that the OS still functions adequately?

    Thanks, Steve

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    In general - No. But you would need to check any lens/converter-specific information.

    However, what you will lose and what seems to be very important to you, is speed.

    Again, you need to check the details on exactly which converter you're looking at. But, for example, on Canon converters, the x1.4 loses you a stop. The x2 converter loses you 2-stops. So, a f2.8 isn't going to stay a f2.8 once you hitch on a converter to it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    I agree with Donald. You will lose two stops with a 2X converter. Therefore your prized f2.8 becomes a f5.6 which doesn't sound so sexy. As far as the electronics are concerned, it will depend on the manufacturer you go with. You can still pick up cheap TCs but without any electronics, so everything goes manual. But, if you'd prepared to pay top dollar everything should work fine, except the loss of light and the image downgrade that you will get with every extra piece of glass you add to the mix.
    IMHO the Nikon 70-300mm is not the best lens in the world, particularly at the extreme 300mm end and if you cram a TC onto that the end result could well be disappointing. Personally, I would not use 'TC' and 'Image Quality' in the same sentence
    Last edited by krispix; 7th October 2011 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Wrong context - Again!

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    Re: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    And you risk losing a bit of quality by using a x2 converter. However with a 2.8 lens you should still retain autofocus; which would be lost with a F4 approx lens. The amount of light loss and quality varies with each lens. Certainly the cheaper lenses suffer most.

    Even with OS I wouldn't want to chance handheld shots slower than 1/250 using your proposed set up.

    I do have the Sigma 150-500 which I find to be a good lens when used under the correct conditions. Yes it is a 'good light lens' and although it is F6.3 fully open I would recommend using it around F8 instead. And the autofocus is rather slow. But outside of those restrictions I like the lens.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    To continue the discussion about quality.

    I think, by fairly common consent, the quality given by the new generation Canon tele-converters, particularly the x1.4 converter, when used with already good quality Canon lenses is very, very good. But you pay for it.

    I haven't read anything about any other tele-converter.

  6. #6

    Re: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    I appreciate that I loose 2 stops with a 2x TC, but as I mentioned in the original post a 400mm 5.6 is still no worse than any other 400mm I'm ever likely to afford (or carry up a mountain) so that doesn't overly concern me.

    I will also be getting a sigma TC to match the sigma lens to ensure there are no incompatabilities.

    Thanks for the answers, Steve

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    Re: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    I can't speak for the 70-200 f2.8 Sigma with OS but, the only Canon lens TC combination that I know of that works really well is the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS ii combined with the Canon 2x iii TC. That is a pretty darn pricey combination.

    On the other hand, most 70-200mm (series) L lenses work quite well with a 1.4x TC. There is a slight (but just slight) deterioration of AF and IQ when I use the 1.4x Canon Mk i TC on my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens but, the IS works fine. The 1.4x TC also works very nicely on my 300mm f/4L IS lens. I mostly use it on the 300mm but, it is so small and so light that I will often pop it into my photo vest when I am out shooting with the 70-200mm lens.

    If possible, I would see if I could try the 2x TC on the Sigma and decide for yourself if the AF and IQ, as well as the OS suits your needs...

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    Re: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    Am I correct in assuming that "OS" is Sigma's version of Canon's "IS" and Nikon's "VR"?

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    Re: Do teleconverters impact OS function?

    Yup, that's a correct assumption (Nikon are even legally harrassing them about it)

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