teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Started Jun 1, 2013 | Discussions
Ruth Lipnick
Ruth Lipnick Regular Member • Posts: 287
teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

We're going on safari in the fall. I have a D5100 with a Nikon 18-200. Love the lens except it's a bit heavy. I want to increase my zoom to at least 300 and not have to change lenses.

I'm considering the Nikon 55-300 or Tamron 70-300. I wonder why the Tamron is more money. Better quality?

Other alternative, the Nikon 1.7 or 2.0 teleconverter. I'm not familiar with these at all. Have heard that the trade off is f-stops. How much? Upside would be lighter/smaller I think.

Thanks.

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Ruth

Nikon D5100
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A. Westreich Senior Member • Posts: 1,195
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

I don't believe the Nikon teleconverters will work with the Nikon lenses you mention.  There may be third party alternatives, but I'd check.  The common advice is that the best image quality for the lowest price is going to be the 300 f4 with a 1.4 TC.  That's what I use and it is very good.

But if I was going on a safari I'd do myself a favor and rent the new version of the 80-400 and either rent or buy a 1.4TC.  This is going to give the best flexibility and IQ.

 A. Westreich's gear list:A. Westreich's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm F2.8 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
bflood Senior Member • Posts: 1,534
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100
1

If you rent a lens for the trip, rent it twice. Rent it before your trip at a time when you'll be able to play with it and concentrate on learning to handle it.  Don't try to learn a lens you've never tried before while on the trip of a lifetime.  The really nice lens you rented would actually interfere with getting the photos you want just because of the learning curve. So get over that initial familiarity and learning stuff before you go.

 bflood's gear list:bflood's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D610 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR +3 more
knightmelodic
knightmelodic Senior Member • Posts: 1,647
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Been on a few safaris and I think that the lighter you go the better. A TC with your lens and the crop factor of your camera will get you close enough.

A 1.4x TC loses a stop, a 2x loses two. Most prefer the 1.4x becasue of the higher IQ. I don't know about that, but then my lenses are very forgiving.

It's my experience that there will be plenty of light on the savannah, so light won't be a problem. As I said, the lighter, and more versitle you can be the better. TCs are great for that.

most of all have fun. don't worry about the lens, etc. shoot in bursts at f8.0 and you'll be fine.

where are you going?

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Just keep clicking, something will turn out fantastic.
Nikon D600, D7100, Canon (!) G15, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, 50mm f1.4, 70-200 f/2.8 VR II, 24-70 2.8; Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, 16-28 f/2.8

 knightmelodic's gear list:knightmelodic's gear list
Nikon D750 Olympus E-M1 II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +15 more
Ruth Lipnick
OP Ruth Lipnick Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Thanks for the good advice. Why a 1.4 if I can get 1.7. I also do some birding on occasion.

We're doing a quick trip...all South Africa. 4 nights in Cape Town and 3 nights on Safari in a private preserve adjacent to Kruger.

By the way, I tried to go really light and purchased a Lumix FZ200 with a 600 zoom. I like it a lot but I'm worried about cropping. Also, having worked with a DSLR, I don't like the slow response (faster than most superzooms, I'm told).

I have gotten some very pleasant images but all need post-processing. These from a recent trip to Charleston.

Appreciate your help. Husband trying to convince me to take D5100 and LZ200 but with having to take computer for work emergencies and iPad (reading matter), and all the necessary cables/charges, I'm getting overwhelmed.

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Ruth

knightmelodic
knightmelodic Senior Member • Posts: 1,647
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Well, the 1.7x will lose you about 11/2 stops. I've been to SA and kruger. Plenty of light. The zoom on that lumix is mostly digital zoom on the long end. much different even though the lens is rated f2.8. might work with a mono. saw lots of people using bean bags but if you don't have an open top rover bb won't work. I would suggest a mono anyway. and a TC - whichever one you decide on.

BTW you will need two bodies anyway. you won't have time to change lenses when animals appear and you really don't want to change lenses in all that dust anyway.

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Just keep clicking, something will turn out fantastic.
Nikon D600, D7100, Canon (!) G15, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, 50mm f1.4, 70-200 f/2.8 VR II, 24-70 2.8; Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, 16-28 f/2.8

 knightmelodic's gear list:knightmelodic's gear list
Nikon D750 Olympus E-M1 II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +15 more
stevenjames
stevenjames Senior Member • Posts: 1,231
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Nikon 70-300mm, that & the 16-85mm are all you need. Yes I have f2.8 glass but those 2 lenses I use the most.

I'm not a fan of tele converters.

Steve

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www.StevenJamesPhotography.com

 stevenjames's gear list:stevenjames's gear list
Fujifilm X100F Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +11 more
I Beam Veteran Member • Posts: 3,369
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Ruth Lipnick wrote:

We're going on safari in the fall. I have a D5100 with a Nikon 18-200. Love the lens except it's a bit heavy. I want to increase my zoom to at least 300 and not have to change lenses.

I'm considering the Nikon 55-300 or Tamron 70-300. I wonder why the Tamron is more money. Better quality?

Other alternative, the Nikon 1.7 or 2.0 teleconverter. I'm not familiar with these at all. Have heard that the trade off is f-stops. How much? Upside would be lighter/smaller I think.

Thanks.

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Ruth

Ruth

It has been hinted at already but the Nikon x1.4, x1.7 and x2 TCs will not work on your 18-200. Nikon TCs have a tab which prevents them mounting on unsuitable lenses for use with TCs. TCs are designed to be used with primes and fast zooms.

Third party TCs would mount but there is a danger of a clash between the rear element of the lens and the image quality and AF performance would be poor. You would probably better off cropping.

The Nikon 55-300 VR, Nikon 70-300 VR and Tamron 70-300 VC are reasonable choices. If you went for the Tamron make sure it is the one with VC (Vibration Control) and an AF motor. To go longer than 300mm would require heavier and more expensive lenses. The Nikon 55-300 lens is probably the weakest of the 3 lenses but it would also be the lightest which would be a consideration for you.

Regards

Paul

David Lal Veteran Member • Posts: 9,788
Don't put a TC on a consumer zoom

Ruth Lipnick wrote:

Other alternative, the Nikon 1.7 or 2.0 teleconverter. I'm not familiar with these at all. Have heard that the trade off is f-stops. How much? Upside would be lighter/smaller I think.

All zooms are optical compromises and the compromise is usually worse at the extremes of the range. Especially on a super zoom. Put a teleconverter on one and the results will be rubbish - you'd probably do better just cropping in post-processing.

Best results with a TC will be obtained with a quality prime such as the Nik 300/F4 or F2.8 - although that said, I've seen some quite nice results with the 70-200 + a 1.4TC. I think you should consider renting the right kit or just go with what you have and enjoy your holiday.

David

AikenMooney Senior Member • Posts: 1,630
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

+1 to Paul.

Very good advice.

LJohnK2
LJohnK2 Contributing Member • Posts: 621
Re: Kenko 1.4x works decent

and will Autofocus with a 55-300 or 70-300.

I have a newer Kenko Teleplus MC4 AF 1.4 DGX that I use with my 55-300 with a D5100....I dial in -2/3 and AF works fine in decent light and EXIF is intact.....work against bright light can be a iffy but....these lenses already aren't the best.

.....I would probably spring the extra for the Kenko Teleplus Pro AF 1.4 DGX .....you can pick one up on ebay for decent price.

They are  light, inexpensive and fit nicely in a pocket.....perfect when you need that extra reach, just don't expect Prof Grade Telephoto Lens results.

Cheers;

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LJohnK

 LJohnK2's gear list:LJohnK2's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +3 more
nfpotter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,080
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Um, putting a TC on, or taking it off, IS changing lenses.

Ruth Lipnick
OP Ruth Lipnick Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Thanks. That clarified it.  I'll probably go with the Tamron but I will compare the weights of the two.

robulater
robulater Regular Member • Posts: 201
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

do your self a favour and get the Nikon 300f4 it works with 1.4 1.7 2xtc you get focus with the lot IQ of this lens is long way better than the others you will never regret getting the lens and the new 2xtc works great witch ever way you go spend some time with it before you go I would use f8 and what ISO get you 1/1000 and they will be sharp

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Robert McNeil

Clint009 Regular Member • Posts: 141
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

Good day Ruth,

I do also have a D5100 Nikon, but when I've bought the camera (body only) I chose the all purpose lens a Tamron 18-270mm /f3.5-6.3  It suit my need until I will know what type of photography i prefer to do.

I have done many pictures from 200 up to 270mm. I'm pleased with that and the fast focus much appreciated.  But other possibilities are showing up as a Lumix TMC 200 much lighter or a second camera as Lumix TMC LF1 for discreet, fast, wide angle.

But I like my D5100. Hmmm!!??

 Clint009's gear list:Clint009's gear list
Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Sony a6000 Sigma 19mm F2.8 DN | A Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +1 more
james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,224
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

As usual, a flood of advice, much of it good. I would not however recommend the Tamron 18 - 270mm PZD zoom as it is not very sharp at the long end, which is where you would use it most of the time. I know because I use this lens and very recently was able to compare it with a Sigma 120 - 400mm zoom and the difference in image sharpness (much worse on the Tamron) made me cry into my beer. I used both on a recent trip to the KP and the Sigma was on my camera most of the time.

A trip to the Kruger could be one of those trips in a lifetime and is well worth spending money on a decent lens - the lens rental advice sounds really good.

In the bush you will mostly want to use a telephoto length lens and in fact something longer than a 300mm zoom is better. I used a 300mm zoom previously (good quality model) and after a while, it was simply not effective enough - animals don't usually pose next to your car so you need as much reach as you can afford.

The best one size fits all recommendation has been made - the Nikon 18 - 300mm but it is beyond most people's budgets. Perhaps this is the one to rent - the no hassle factor of not having to change lenses will add a lot of pleasure to your trip. And you will use 18mm a lot in Cape Town.

If you need dramatic wide angles, it is easy using software to join two overlapping images to get a wider perspective.

Regarding the Lumix FZ200, it is a great camera but is incapable of producing high quality images due to the tiny sensor it uses and the image noise it generates - it is best used for snapshot sized images or general scenery to be viewed on a TV screen. The long end of the zoom lens generates softer images with somewhat fuzzy edges, so sharpness is always compromised.

I make these comments against the standard which your D5100 generates.

Have a happy trip and always keep your possessions close at hand, preferably out of sight in a bag - I know, I live in SA and am always sorry to give this advice but a happy visitor to one of the most scenic countries on earth is what we need.

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jamesza

Clint009 Regular Member • Posts: 141
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

james laubscher wrote:

As usual, a flood of advice, much of it good. I would not however recommend the Tamron 18 - 270mm PZD zoom as it is not very sharp at the long end, which is where you would use it most of the time. I know because I use this lens and very recently was able to compare it with a Sigma 120 - 400mm zoom and the difference in image sharpness (much worse on the Tamron) made me cry into my beer. I used both on a recent trip to the KP and the Sigma was on my camera most of the time.

A trip to the Kruger could be one of those trips in a lifetime and is well worth spending money on a decent lens - the lens rental advice sounds really good.

In the bush you will mostly want to use a telephoto length lens and in fact something longer than a 300mm zoom is better. I used a 300mm zoom previously (good quality model) and after a while, it was simply not effective enough - animals don't usually pose next to your car so you need as much reach as you can afford.

The best one size fits all recommendation has been made - the Nikon 18 - 300mm but it is beyond most people's budgets. Perhaps this is the one to rent - the no hassle factor of not having to change lenses will add a lot of pleasure to your trip. And you will use 18mm a lot in Cape Town.

If you need dramatic wide angles, it is easy using software to join two overlapping images to get a wider perspective.

Regarding the Lumix FZ200, it is a great camera but is incapable of producing high quality images due to the tiny sensor it uses and the image noise it generates - it is best used for snapshot sized images or general scenery to be viewed on a TV screen. The long end of the zoom lens generates softer images with somewhat fuzzy edges, so sharpness is always compromised.

I make these comments against the standard which your D5100 generates.

Have a happy trip and always keep your possessions close at hand, preferably out of sight in a bag - I know, I live in SA and am always sorry to give this advice but a happy visitor to one of the most scenic countries on earth is what we need.

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jamesza

Very nice recommendation but there huge difference in price and weight.

Tamron 18-270mm $450. Weight: 15.9   onces

Sigma 120-400mm $949. "         :  3.85 pounds

Many buyers are very happy with the Tamron http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-18-270mm-3-5-6-3-All-In-One-Cameras/product-reviews/B004FN1W2I/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt_sr_5?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addFiveStar&showViewpoints=0

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Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Sony a6000 Sigma 19mm F2.8 DN | A Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +1 more
james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,224
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

I was not recommending the Sigma 120 - 400mm in particular as it is heavy and not ideal for the type of holiday trip being planned. But when you are able to see side by side images between the Tamron and the Sigma (at the same FL), you will realize that the Tamron is not sharp.

Of course many people are happy with it but such happiness depends on expectations and experience. It is like coffee, once you have tasted a good fresh filtered brew, instant is never the same again!

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jamesza

Clint009 Regular Member • Posts: 141
Re: teleconverter or longer zoom for 5100

james laubscher wrote:

I was not recommending the Sigma 120 - 400mm in particular as it is heavy and not ideal for the type of holiday trip being planned. But when you are able to see side by side images between the Tamron and the Sigma (at the same FL), you will realize that the Tamron is not sharp.

Of course many people are happy with it but such happiness depends on expectations and experience. It is like coffee, once you have tasted a good fresh filtered brew, instant is never the same again!

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jamesza

Good example with the coffee. That's why I don't drink a Pétrus wine. 

 Clint009's gear list:Clint009's gear list
Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Sony a6000 Sigma 19mm F2.8 DN | A Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +1 more
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