New home for TC-17E ll: 500mm F4E FL

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ARClark
ARClark Veteran Member • Posts: 3,811
New home for TC-17E ll: 500mm F4E FL
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I just acquired a used Nikon 500mm F4E FL lens in excellent condition and am in the process of testing it out. I was very curious to see how it took a TC-17E ll (TC17), especially how it rendered feather detail. I've used the TC17 reasonably successfully on an old 300mm f4 AFS and on my non-VR 500mm F4 AFS ll, but I haven't liked it on my 300 F4 PF, 200-500 F5/6 or 500 F5.6 PF. However, it's looking very promising so far on the F4E at close range.

The attached five shots were from my first session in the backyard after making a quick and dirty AF adjustment to +10. These were all shot handheld, wide open (f/7.1) in Quiet mode at shutter speeds ranging from 1/125 to 1/250, settings that I might typically use in early morning or late afternoon. The rose leaves shot was my first after the AF adjustment. The remaining four are all birds. The first three images received light to moderate noise reduction and light sharpening, which is how I would normally process and present them. The remaining two are straight from the camera (D850). All are 100% crops.

I was very pleased with the focus speed and ability to shoot handheld at relatively short shutter speeds. My initial impression was that AF speed with the TC17 was at least as fast as the bare 200-500 and possibly on par with the 500 PF. But don't take that to the bank as I would need to do side-by-side shooting to confirm.

I purchased the 500 F4E to become a hand-holdable replacement for my venerable 500 F4 AFS-ll, and to be able to shoot at faster shutter speeds (and/or lower ISOs) and faster AF in low light than my 200-500 and 500 PF. I had also considered purchasing a 600 F4E FL, but deferred to the 500 E for better handholdability and in hopes that I could get excellent images at 850mm with the TC-17ll. I've yet to test it out at long distance, but so far I'm quite happy with the lens and it's performance with the TC-17E ll. More careful AF adjustment may yield further sharpness.

Alan

First shot with TC-17E ll after AF adjustment. Moderate noise reduction and light sharpening applied. Handheld at 1/250.

Moderate noise reduction and light sharpening applied. Handheld at 1/125.

Moderate noise reduction and light sharpening applied. Handheld at 1/125.

No processing. JPEG straight from D850 with standard settings. Handheld at 1/160.

No processing. JPEG straight from D850 with standard settings. Handheld at 1/160.

 ARClark's gear list:ARClark's gear list
Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4D ED-IF II +12 more
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm F4E FL ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm F4E FL ED VR Nikon D850
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