Nikon Z 1.4x and 2.0x Teleconverters By Spencer Cox 61 CommentsPublished On May 22, 2023«1. Specifications & Build Quality2. Optical Features3. Compared to Cropping4. Sample Variation5. Verdict6. Reader Comments»
Hello, thank you very much for the article. I would like to know if these converters work for a Z7II with a FTZII and fx lenses. Thank you
I have and use all 3 of the TCs for the F mount. The most used is the 1.7 as it gives a good reach addition with little loss in quality in my 300/2.8. If I could only have one TC in my bag it would be the 1.7. I’m surprised they haven’t released a newer version of it. At least I can still use my long F glass on the Z gear while waiting.
Doing the math on MTF discernible lines, 200mm bare does 3600 lpi while the 2.0 TC knocks it down to ~2350 lpi, a loss of 35%. By the same measure, would cropping be considered a loss of 50%, the 200mm cropped to half its resolution would theoretically have 1800 lpi? Just looking for the number to compare 2350 lpi to.
Thanks for all the effort Spencer,
I have just bought the Z7ii and got 100-400 and the 1.4TC before reading your article. Your comments were very helpful especially the overall verdict. I have a mind set of f8 for moving nature photography, so the low light comments are a reminder to think and back off to f6.3 & 5.6 for try.
You’re very welcome! The 100-400mm + 1.4x combo works really well in my experience, and f/8 isn’t a big limitation most of the time.
Try to avoid shooting with the Lens at 400mm, wind it in to 360mm and get a little closer when possible to a subject, there is to my assessment additional sharpness to be had using the Lens>TC combo on a Z9.
Very nice review, Spencer. Your results with the 2.0 TC are quite good – and it will probably end up in my bag before long. I really like the 1.4 TC – small size, light weight, and excellent optically.
Glad you liked the review! Both TCs exist for a reason, not that everyone needs to get both of them. For maximum detail on distant subjects, it’s better to use the 2x TC rather than cropping from the 1.4x, which is better than cropping from a non-TC setup. So it’s a matter of how much reach you need.
Thanks for a well-researched article; I’m impressed that you compared 3-4 copies of the TCs. I haven’t used a TC since switching from Pentax MF “A” mount to Nikon digital “F”, but I expect to move on to “Z” soon, and I’m keen to find out whether the 200-600mm is sharp enough to benefit much from a TC.
I’d also be interested to see a comparison of Z6 with a 1.4TC and crops from the Z7, which should have similar potential resolution. I assume dividing the sensor into more pixels will give the same “magnification” without adding the optical imperfections of a TC, while maintaining a wider view. However, for landscape photography with a tripod, base ISO and adequately slow shutter speed, larger pixels should collect more light and minimize noise.
I came to Nikon “F” mount with a 12MPx APS-C D90, and added a Sigma 150-500mm. It was said to be soft at 500mm, but at the time there was no better alternative other than a very expensive prime. I moved on to a 36MPx D800, which has a slightly smaller pixel pitch (15MPx APS-C). I couldn’t see any difference in the resolution at 500mm, but the wider field of view made it easier to find small birds through the lens! 4 years ago I got the excellent AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm, and compared it with the Sigma, shooting a target with ISO 12233 charts at 500mm with the Sigma, and from the same distance with the AF-P at 300mm, then cropping. I couldn’t see any difference between the line spacing that was resolved except with apertures below f/11, when the Sigma peaked, and the AF-P was presumably losing out to diffraction. But such tiny apertures are little use for wildlife! However, I think the Sigma would collect twice as much light from the subject at maximum aperture. So I think my Sigma is too soft at 500mm for a TC to be of significant benefit on my 36MPx D800, but I guess that if I had a 12MPx full frame sensor, such as the D700 or D3, a TC would probably help.
Good question! See my response to Gerben earlier regarding the Z50. In short, cropping the Z7 by 1.4x is roughly similar to what a crop-sensor camera with 24 megapixels is. So, in pure equivalence terms, the potential detail of cropping the Z7 image will be very similar to the potential detail of using a teleconverter on the Z6.
The above takes into account that your ISO can be one stop lower on the Z7, thanks to the lens’s brighter maximum aperture without the TC. But at a given ISO, you’ll get better noise performance out of the Z6 combo for the reasons you explain.
My initial version of this comment had a typo, so to be clear – cropping the Z7 by 1.4x *is* roughly similar to what a crop-sensor camera with 24 megapixels is.
Do you know if using the telecoverter affects the range of the focus limiter on the 100-400mm lens?
It doesn’t – the distances at both ends of the limit remain the same. However, the TC does magnify the size of the subject within those distances :)
“Technically, though, the biggest decider of focusing speed is not whether you’ve used a teleconverter. Instead, it’s the maximum aperture of your setup and the level of light in the environment.”
I have an issue with this statement, and it causes me to question the results… All of the Nikon mirrorless cameras will focus at the selected aperture down to f/5.6, so if f/5.6 is selected then the max aperture capability is irrelevant.
A TC does add it’s own optical errors which can/will impact AF. But I suspect the biggest difference is that when the subject is smaller in the viewfinder/FOV then the contrast is greater and the focus is coarser (smaller details invisible/combined).
Also, anything that affects the viewfinder image will also affect AF speed/accuracy… was adjust for ease of viewing used, or show effects of settings with an equivalent exposure?
I should have been more precise with my language there – what I intended to convey is that the *maximum* focusing speed of your lens+camera setup depends more upon the maximum aperture and light levels, not whether a teleconverter was used. Certainly if you set a narrower aperture (down to f/5.6), you will lose focusing speed in dim light. (Hence why I tested that scenario in the focus speed tests that I published.)
You’re right that there are other considerations, like the size of the subject, area in the frame, contrast of subject, etc.
Have you compared Nikon AF-S 500 f 5.6 with adapter to the Nikon Z 400 plus 1.4 Tele converter?
I still need to get my hands on the Z 400mm f/4.5 in the first place! I know it’s available now, I just haven’t had time to rent a copy yet. Once I do, I’ll test that comparison head-to-head in the lab.
The 400mm f/4.5 with 1.4 TC is excellent. I have done a lot of testing of the bare lens as well as the lens at close distances with the teleconverter (15-20 feet while at a feeder). It easily resolves the tiny feathers that make up the eyering of a bluebird or similar songbird. I didn’t know that was even possible until I tested it.
I have sold my 500mm PF in favor of using the 400mm f/4.5 with and without the TC. Sharpness is so close it’s not really an issue – both lenses are excellent – and the 400mm f/4.5 + 1.4 TC is still excellent. I had a problem with ugly specular highlights on the 500mm PF, and the backgrounds on the 400mm f/4.5 are great, so for that reason alone I would choose the 400mm lens. In addition, the issue was using the Z mount without an adapter, having f/4.5 available, and the very light weight and reasonable size of the 400mm f/4.5.
Dear Spencer, thanks for this very useful article. And I am in doubt. For indoor sports and event photography I use Z6ii and Z70-200 2.8. I could add a 1.4 converter; but that makes me loose light: 2.8 turns to 4.0. How about using a Z50 with the 70-200? What would be pro’s and cons?
With Z50 you will loose the same level of light too. Only smaller size.
Thanks Igor. And I was thinking about using the z50 as a kind of converter instead of the 1.4 converted. No loss of light and turning the 70-200 into a 105-300. Any opinion on that?
Due to equivalence, like Igor says, it’s essentially identical! The Z50 + 70-200mm compared to the Z6 II + 70-200mm + 1.4x TC will give you almost exactly the same image quality and capabilities.
The main difference that comes to mind would be, if you are in a bright environment and at base ISO on both camera/lens combinations, you’ll get more dynamic range on the Z6 II combo.
And the Z6 II has better features overall, like IBIS and a bigger buffer, so I’d go with it.