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09-04-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
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1.4x TC + 55-300 versus 1.7x TC + 55-300 versus 55-300mm + cropping.

your thoughts, experiences, recommendations and suggestions are most welcomed.

which combo will produce the best image?
would the results be better if one would use a Tamron AF 1.4x MC4 TC + 55-300?
is the Pentax AF 1.7x TC's additional length over the Tamron worth it for distant subjects? and would the results be good or atleast acceptable?
can cropping the images alone by the 55-300 enough or produce the best results as compared to having a TC?
would a TC(1.4x or 1.7x)+lens+cropping retain or produce very good images?

things to consider are, a stop down performance for a TC, it's practicality for use in a lowlight indoor event, distance, camera-shake,etc...

09-04-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
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If you are talking about the DA55-300 4-5.6 - it will be too slow and dark with a teleconverter. At 300 with the 1.4TC you will have f7.8 and with the 1.7AF adaptor you will have f9.5(!)

I wouldn't use a teleconverter with any lens over f4.
09-04-2009, 10:26 PM   #3
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I just happen to be testing my Tammy TC 1.4x MC4 with my DA55-300mm today...again. My findings are the same as last month. The DA55-300 is sharp enough at 300 but when I add the TC the sharpness suffers just enough that I feel it crosses the line between good and not so good. The combination works fine, AF included, as long as a few extra re-seeks don't freak you out. I know from comparisons with others that my lens is a good copy but I dont have any comparison for the TC. However, I just finished using it with a Bigma for 8 days and liked the results so assume the TC is fine. It also works well with my 800mm mirror lens and a few other cheap manual 300mm lens. I will come back and post 2 comparison pics in 15 minutes. Your mileage may vary but my testing has been consistant.

DA55-300mm+1.4xTC on left at 100% Same shot and lens w/o TC on right at 125% so its almost cropped the same size (can't do 140%)
Yes, pic is a little small here but you can see the difference and its not the ISO as I changed that to keep the shutter speed up but have done this test many times. Just happened to have a couple shots still warm in the camera for you. Hope it helps you decide.

Last edited by imtheguy; 09-04-2009 at 10:43 PM.
09-04-2009, 10:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
I just happen to be testing my Tammy TC 1.4x MC4 with my DA55-300mm today...again. My findings are the same as last month. The DA55-300 is sharp enough at 300 but when I add the TC the sharpness suffers just enough that I feel it crosses the line between good and not so good. The combination works fine, AF included, as long as a few extra re-seeks don't freak you out. I know from comparisons with others that my lens is a good copy but I dont have any comparison for the TC. However, I just finished using it with a Bigma for 8 days and liked the results so assume the TC is fine. It also works well with my 800mm mirror lens and a few other cheap manual 300mm lens. I will come back and post 2 comparison pics in 15 minutes. Your mileage may vary but my testing has been consistant.
thanks Lee, I appreciate any inputs that you can share. actually I already tried out the 55-300mm without the TC. since I got very good cropped photo results from 55mm up to the 300mm fl (though I feel that the 55 crops were better than the 300mm crops image-wise), I am dismissing the idea of getting Tammy teleconverter, unless I would acquire or pair it with a 200*. I could only assume that the IQ would be better but there's no significant gain or advantage to speed over the 55-300.


Last edited by Pentaxor; 09-05-2009 at 08:16 AM.
09-04-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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thanks again Lee. I tried zooming in the image on the right (without tc) that you have provided inorder to match the image size of the one with the TC. and I saw a lil bit of image degradation, sharpness and loss of depth and miniscule details when the TC is used as opposed to simply and solely cropping the result of the 55-300 alone. though, the noises from both images appear to be almost somewhat equal. basing from what I have seen from your images, simple cropping has the better result.
09-04-2009, 11:08 PM   #6
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I can send you the original images if you wish however all you will see is the cropped versions look sharper and more contrasty (is that a real word?) than the TC. I have compared these two a couple of times over the past 3 months. Also did with a DA*300 and again did not like the TC as much as the crop. I was looking for those pics just now but not sure I can id them. Might help you decide on the 200* you mentioned.

Maybe somebody else with a DA55-300 and a TC who has compared them will drop in this thread
09-05-2009, 01:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
I can send you the original images if you wish however all you will see is the cropped versions look sharper and more contrasty (is that a real word?) than the TC. I have compared these two a couple of times over the past 3 months. Also did with a DA*300 and again did not like the TC as much as the crop. I was looking for those pics just now but not sure I can id them. Might help you decide on the 200* you mentioned.

Maybe somebody else with a DA55-300 and a TC who has compared them will drop in this thread
well it does sound like a word. lol. anyway, those were the descriptions that I was looking for (sharper and contrasty). I don't think that would be necessary since I blew up the photo a bit. eventhough I noticed a degradation as well, due to expanding or stretching out the pixels, the 55-300 alone still appears to be sharper.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 09-05-2009 at 08:15 AM.
09-05-2009, 06:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Maybe somebody else with a DA55-300 and a TC who has compared them will drop in this thread
There are a couple of threads with this same comparison in the other forum. They agree with your findings, cropping with a 55-300mm produces better results than adding a TC. I've seen similar tests done with Tamron and Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 lenses and the results are always the same, better IQ from cropping.

09-05-2009, 08:06 AM   #9
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I've found the same testing the Kenko 1.5 TC with most of my lenses, although I don't own the 55-300. Add in the fact that you lose a stop of light and the crop really wins by a large margin. At least one of the Kenko TC is reputed to be the same as one of the Tamrons, BTW.

The only lens I own where I've been been able to eek out a slight win for the TC is the M200/4, but only at the effective aperture of f/9.5 (ie, setting the aperture ring to 6.7). With an aperture any larger or smaller than this, quality is still worse than a crop. But like I said, for all my other lenses, the crop wins at any aperture.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 09-06-2009 at 09:51 PM.
09-05-2009, 02:41 PM   #10
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The 55-300 is a fine consumer lens but doesn't suit buddying up with TCs.
I too have tried it with the Tammy 1.4x TC and its performance drops significantly, IQ-wise and AF-wise.
IQ suffers considerably at the 300mm end, which is why you'd use a TC on it anyway, and AF is considerably slower than the 55-300 on its own, which is already relatively slow.

Don't consider it. Just crop.
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