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01-19-2013, 06:27 AM   #1
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Teleconverter for normal fast prime?

One of my lens line-ups is a lightweight travel combo with three manual focus primes in the 15mm-50mm range (like the equivalent of a 16-50mm zoom), used on the Ricoh GXR, so with crop factor. In most circumstances, this range is enough for travel, but occasionally (think of architectural detail) going beyond 50mm might be interesting. To keep the weight and size of the combo down, I am considering adding a teleconverter for incidental use with the 50mm lens (which is a Leitax-adapted Zeiss Contax Planar 50/1.7, i.e. even with a 2x TC it would still not be terribly slow).

So, I'd be happy if any of you could share experiences with using teleconverters in similar set-ups. Are there any that you could recommended?

01-19-2013, 07:13 AM   #2
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100mm F/2.8's are actually quite cheap and incredibly small
SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
I have one of these and it is great for travel. Some similar ones have retractable lens hoods which are nice. Sharp as all get out too and only about an inch or so longer than a 2x TC. Lens is barely over 2 inches...

Oh, and it's about as expensive as a decent teleconverter with much better IQ
01-19-2013, 07:24 AM   #3

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QuoteOriginally posted by DirkG Quote
In most circumstances, this range is enough for travel, but occasionally going beyond 50mm might be interesting.
There are various solutions to this problem of augmenting a basic (15/17-50/70 APS-C) travel kit.

Sometimes I use Saxplayer's method, with the M100/2.8,
but on other occasions I've brought along a superzoom P&S,
which can also be handy for birds and beasts in good light.
I like the ones that use the same AAs (and charger) as my K-x.

Never bothered with teleconverters, though,
or a Q/Q10 and K2Q adapter to "stretch" the APS-C lenses.
01-19-2013, 07:55 AM   #4
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I often carry an M100/4.0 Macro as my third lens. It takes the same hood as the F50/1.7 that I always carry.

01-19-2013, 07:24 PM   #5

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I had 1.5 and 2x converters for my film cameras, and would really not recommend them for APS-C or smaller. Judging purely by your selection of lenses, you seem to be someone concerned about image quality, and that's not really compatible with a generic converter, particularly at wider apertures.

There are some dedicated converters for longer tele lenses that are known to perform fairly well, but honestly you might be better off cropping than going with a generic converter on a 50mm.

01-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #6
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You'll almost certainly do far better simply cropping an image from the 50 than using a TC with it, and it's less to carry and fiddle with. But I can also vouch for M100/2.8 as a great option if you want that focal length. Although you might actually find the M135/3.5 - only marginally larger/heavier - a better choice. Easier to find, cheaper, and it's probably more often you'd find 100 too short than 135 too long. And for the cases where 135 *is* too long, you can always go back to the shoot-50-and-crop plan.
01-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #7
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Thanks everybody for the suggestions. The image quality of the Planar is outstanding, so cropping should be safe. I will try it out.
01-20-2013, 05:43 PM   #8
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And with the extra good thing = zero extra cost.

Best regards,


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