Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens, we’re here at a great swamp in Houston. We’re photographing alligators and birds with a 150-600mm Tamron lens, plus a couple of teleconverters from Tamron. What do you get when you add a teleconverter to a 150-600mm lens? Let’s check it out and see.
Working with a Teleconverter
When I had the 150-600mm Tamron lens in Alaska, I got some great shots, but I kept wishing I was able to get a little bit closer. And of course, you usually wish that when you’re shooting wildlife. Although maybe not when photographing the grizzly bears. I have a 1.4 and a 2.0 teleconverter and I’m using those with my 150-600mm lens. Let’s go over the pros and cons of using a teleconverter, starting with the pros.
A teleconverter makes your lens longer. 2x is going to give you twice the focal length; 1.4x is going to give you 40% more focal length.
Another big benefit of using a teleconverter is saving money. If I bought an 800mm 5.6 lens, it would be $12,000, almost $13,000. It’s a huge investment to get into that lens length. A teleconverter gives you that millimeter at a much cheaper cost.
In addition, a teleconverter doesn’t change the minimum focus distance on your lens. You’ll still be able to focus just as close, whereas a longer lens is going to have a much shorter minimum focus distance.
With their new 150-600mm, Tamron did a rework on their 1.4x teleconverter. It works fabulously on that lens. It and the 2x are also great on the new 70-200. The 2x on that 70-200 gives you a 400mm lens.
There are a couple of things to be aware of when using a teleconverter. The first and foremost is that, while you do gain millimeters, you lose a stop for the 1.4 and two stops of exposure for the 2x.
The other is focusing speed. Teleconverters make the autofocus a little slower than your lens will function without them. That doesn’t bother me too much, though. I love manual focusing so for me it’s not an issue.
The 1.4 will autofocus with this second generation 150-600mm lens, but the 2x will not. However, the 2x will autofocus with the Tamron 70-200 G2 that’s coming out. So both of these, the 1.4 and the 2x, you can use with that 70-200mm lens.
Lastly, using a teleconverter does result in a better image than cropping, but it still loses some quality.
Use a Tripod
It’s kind of worth mentioning, I guess, but it’s just kind of a no-brainer, that because you’re on a longer lens, there’s more camera shake. I can’t handhold this thing at 800mms with that 1.4 on there. So you’ll want a tripod for the camera.
So those are some pros and cons of using a teleconverter. I do like getting the extra millimeters, so I will always have a 1.4 with this 150-600mm lens. It’s absolutely worth carrying. It’s going to give you a little better reach out there, a little nicer image, so I’ll always have that in my bag.
With the 70-200mm lens, this 2x is a great teleconverter. It’s one that I’d use for sports applications when you want to get just a little closer. You know, for under $500, to jump from a 200 to a 400mm lens in a sports application will give you great shots at a really great value.
So let’s take a look at some of the images we shot today, first with the 600mms.
Now, here are some with the 1.4 converter at 800 and about 40.
And finally, 1,200 with the 2x.
This is the 600mm cropped in to be the same size as with the 1.4.
Teleconverters are absolutely worth the money and something that’s valuable to have in your kit. Post some of your images on our Facebook group that you’ve shot with teleconverters. I want to see the work you’re doing. We can talk about it. We can discuss them, and just kind of learn a bit as a community there. So go to our Facebook group and join if you haven’t already.
Keep those cameras rollin’, and keep on clickin’.
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