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06-04-2016, 02:59 PM   #1
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TC recommendation for a different type of usage

So a week or so ago I was blessed with a nice clear day in Valdez Alaska just to sit back and relax. While chatting with a local gentlemen, he mentioned that he had spotted some mountain goats on the mountain behind us. So, I setup the K3II and DA* 300mm to do some "spotting". I was able to spot two nannies and a kid way up on the mountain. In the first photo below, between the left-most peak and the next one to the right, there is a faint slash (\) of rock through the snow. This is where they were milling about. The second photo shows an image preview on the back of the camera fully zoomed in. Nothing great but at least you can see them and many folks were quite impressed at that alone.





Anyway, for the next trip I would like to have a bit more reach to scan the mountains. I just took delivery today of an HD 1.4x TC which will be great for photography but probably doesn't have all the reach i would want. I was thinking about also looking for a 1.7 or 2x TC relatively cheap that could function on its own or be paired with teh 1.4TC. I fully realize that I will lose several stops of light and image quality won't be all that great but this is more for just spotting and watching animals at great distances.

So, any suggestions on specific TC's that might work well for this application? I wouldn't mind paying a little more if the image quality might turn out halfway decent but that isn't the main goal here. I guess maintaining AF here would be nice as well if possible. Thanks in advance.

06-04-2016, 03:14 PM   #2
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For this use what about picking up a telescope and a t-mount adapter to mount the DSLR on it?

The AF 1.7x and the HD 1.4x can be stacked - search a bit and you will find some threads on it. I think the 1.7x has to be first to get AF but I'm not sure - someone else may be able to chime in on it.
06-04-2016, 03:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
someone else may be able to chime in on it.

@normhead has great success stacking TC's.
06-04-2016, 04:26 PM   #4
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I think you may find even just the 1.4 is enough.
If I was you and needed a second TC I would get another 1.4 for the sealing, looking at the picture of your K-3's screen...
That would be:
0 TC: 300/4
1 TC: 420/5.6
2 TC: 588/8

06-04-2016, 04:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
For this use what about picking up a telescope and a t-mount adapter to mount the DSLR on it?

The AF 1.7x and the HD 1.4x can be stacked - search a bit and you will find some threads on it. I think the 1.7x has to be first to get AF but I'm not sure - someone else may be able to chime in on it.
Well, I was trying to kinda reduce what I typically wanted to carry. I could definitely take my 85mm spotting scope and do some digiscoping but that's just one more thing to haul around for such a limited use. If this was something I did all the time, I would definitely be looking at better glass or a dedicated spotting scope/digiscoping setup.

QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
@normhead has great success stacking TC's.
That does sound familiar. I'll have to check it out again.

Regarding the 1.7x, is there one preferred model that would be better to look for. Admittedly, I haven't spent much time gaining knowledge of TC's so I'll have to dive into the lens reviews for the different TC's.

QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
I think you may find even just the 1.4 is enough.
If I was you and needed a second TC I would get another 1.4 for the sealing, looking at the picture of your K-3's screen...
That would be:
0 TC: 300/4
1 TC: 420/5.6
2 TC: 588/8
Yeah, it was a rough trip. The K3II and 18-135 spent 4 days in the Alaskan backcountry hiking in rain and muck and then rafting for three days on silty glacial rivers. Perhaps a topic for another thread but it held up pretty good. Water did get in under the screen protector but that has been cleaned. There was one point where the camera didn't want to turn on but after letting it dry a bit it seems to be fine.

I'd love to pick up another HD 1.4x but they are quite pricey compared to the relative cheap cost of some other TC's I've seen. Plus, due to the loss of light when stacking TC's or even using a less than stellar performer, I doubt it would be used when the weather was much less than ideal.
06-04-2016, 04:51 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by colonel00 Quote
Yeah, it was a rough trip. The K3II and 18-135 spent 4 days in the Alaskan backcountry hiking in rain and muck and then rafting for three days on silty glacial rivers. Perhaps a topic for another thread but it held up pretty good. Water did get in under the screen protector but that has been cleaned. There was one point where the camera didn't want to turn on but after letting it dry a bit it seems to be fine.
Sounds like fun!
QuoteOriginally posted by colonel00 Quote
I'd love to pick up another HD 1.4x but they are quite pricey compared to the relative cheap cost of some other TC's I've seen. Plus, due to the loss of light when stacking TC's or even using a less than stellar performer, I doubt it would be used when the weather was much less than ideal.
Maybe just use the single 1.4x then.
11-16-2016, 08:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by colonel00 Quote
So a week or so ago I was blessed with a nice clear day in Valdez Alaska just to sit back and relax. While chatting with a local gentlemen, he mentioned that he had spotted some mountain goats on the mountain behind us. So, I setup the K3II and DA* 300mm to do some "spotting". I was able to spot two nannies and a kid way up on the mountain. In the first photo below, between the left-most peak and the next one to the right, there is a faint slash (\) of rock through the snow. This is where they were milling about. The second photo shows an image preview on the back of the camera fully zoomed in. Nothing great but at least you can see them and many folks were quite impressed at that alone.





Anyway, for the next trip I would like to have a bit more reach to scan the mountains. I just took delivery today of an HD 1.4x TC which will be great for photography but probably doesn't have all the reach i would want. I was thinking about also looking for a 1.7 or 2x TC relatively cheap that could function on its own or be paired with teh 1.4TC. I fully realize that I will lose several stops of light and image quality won't be all that great but this is more for just spotting and watching animals at great distances.

So, any suggestions on specific TC's that might work well for this application? I wouldn't mind paying a little more if the image quality might turn out halfway decent but that isn't the main goal here. I guess maintaining AF here would be nice as well if possible. Thanks in advance.

Nice camera strap!
I just picked up a 'slide' strap from Peak Design, great products!

Let us know what you decide with the TC stacking or 1.4 solo... I'm looking at TC options as well with my K-3ii and DA*300. Would love to hear your experiences!
11-16-2016, 08:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
I think you may find even just the 1.4 is enough.
If I was you and needed a second TC I would get another 1.4 for the sealing, looking at the picture of your K-3's screen...
That would be:
0 TC: 300/4
1 TC: 420/5.6
2 TC: 588/8
I hardly ever carry my binoculars when I have the DA*300+1.4x on the K3. It does just fine for my spotting needs. Others may need more.

11-16-2016, 08:59 AM   #9
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The F series autofocus 1.7x teleconverter is another option. It alone might give you the reach you want. It will convert non-autofocus lenses to semi-autofocus. It also stacks well with the DA* 200 and the HD 1.4x. On the slower 300 when stacked with the HD 1.4x it may struggle to get focus unless conditions are very good.
11-16-2016, 09:12 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
@normhead has great success stacking TC's.
Not on ƒ4 or over lenses. The lens that works best stacked is my 200 2.8. The Tamron 300 2.8, is not so good stacked and says so in their literature. I have no expereince with the 300 ƒ4, but my 60-250 ƒ4 is manual focus only stacked, because of the small amount of light at maximum aperture.

Last edited by normhead; 11-16-2016 at 10:53 AM.
11-16-2016, 09:44 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Not on 4 or over lenses. The lens hat works best stacked is my 200 2.8. The Tamron 300 2.8, is not so good stacked and says so in their literature. I have no expereince with the 300 4, but my 60-250 4 is manual focus only stacked, because of the small amount of light at maximum aperture.
My FA* 300 f4.5 has worked stacked a few times but I agree that it isn't going to be likely to work well with both.
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