Whether to Use a Teleconverter in Wildlife Photography

Started Jan 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
quatpat Contributing Member • Posts: 945
Re: Whether to Use a Teleconverter in Wildlife Photography

JF929 wrote:

Once in a while, I came across the question of whether to use a teleconverter in wildlife photography. I decided to do an experiment myself to find the answer for my particular camera/optics combination.

The conclusion is that if you have a high quality lens, go ahead to use the crop frame camera. But if you want to use a teleconverter to gain extra reach, think twice before using it on a crop sensor camera. Using a full frame camera actually yields more image resolution when a teleconverter is added, even the magnification of a full frame is less than a crop frame.

My entire article is fairly long. Here is a link for those who care to read in detail:


Thanks for the test, it's interesting. I think however that your crop for the A77 + tc exhibits a tiny amount of motion blur, which explains it's inferior quality. I use a Minolta 400/4.5 with a Minolta 1.4x tc all the time for birding, and while it does degrade sharpness and contrast by a small amount, it still gets definitely more detail out than an upsized shot with the bare lens. I have done many, many tests on that, and would say that the real gain in detail is about a factor of 1.2x, if you consider the degradation of IQ.

If someone is using a 70-400mm I would get a Kenko 1.4x tc, because it will allow AF in good light, and because they are just as sharp in the center as the Sony/Minolta ones. The only reason why I don't use my Kenko pro 300 more often is that it slows donw AF more than the original Minolta converter (which has an almost 1:1 gearing for the screw-driven AF, while the Kenko is closer to 1:2), and that it exhibits more CA. In terms of sharpness they are equal, at least in the center of the frame.


 quatpat's gear list:quatpat's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron SP AF 200-500mm F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF) Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM +2 more
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