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03-10-2010, 07:58 PM   #1
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Vivitar Teleconverter Question

I'm interesting with playing with macro photography and am a little confused with the Vivitar teleconverters. Would the Vivitar MC Teleconverter 2X work or is the Vivitar 2x Macro Focus Teleconverter needed? Thanks.

03-10-2010, 08:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanWeso Quote
I'm interesting with playing with macro photography and am a little confused with the Vivitar teleconverters. Would the Vivitar MC Teleconverter 2X work or is the Vivitar 2x Macro Focus Teleconverter needed? Thanks.
You need the macro
03-10-2010, 08:35 PM   #3
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For close-up/macro effect you should use the Vivitar Macro Focus Teleconverter -- typically about $80-90 USD for the PK/A version -- ocassionally less for the PK. They do not allow auto-focus, and only the PK/A allows auto-exposure. In my experience, the Vivitar macro Teleconverter is a mediocre 2X optical device but worth having as a versatile close-up accessory.

However, comparable results may be obtained by using extension rings at about one third the cost for PK-only rings. Many of the "non-macro", PK/A-capable 2X TC's can be converted to 24-26mm extension rings with auto-exposure contacts by simply unscrewing the optical element. The Tokina EL 2X converter for PK/A mount is a good example and is often rebranded for other other makes such as Katana and Sears. Look for the opposed spanner wrench notches in the threaded barrel of the rear element.

A 25mm (length) extension ring will allow a 50mm lens to produce 1/2 life-sized, 1:2) images. [ 25/50 = 1/2 ] It will allow a 100mm lens to produce 1/4 life sized images, etc. Extension rings may be combined to produce greater effects. Exposure compensation is required but is automatically included when using TTL exposure calculations.
03-10-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanWeso Quote
Would the Vivitar MC Teleconverter 2X work or is the Vivitar 2x Macro Focus Teleconverter needed? Thanks.
Right: to get any sort of macro capability, you need the teleconverter with "Macro Focus". The operative word here is, "Focus", not "Macro" or "MC"!

It's *very* misleading at B&H, because their 2X 7-element Vivitar teleconverter "B&H # VITC2X7P Mfr # VIV2X7P" actually has "Macro" in the big bold item name plastered at the top of the page. Ouch!

But when you get the package, there's *nothing* about any macro capability anywhere printed on the lens itself, nor on the box, nor in the instructions. And in use, the item does not confer any macro capability. Here's the link:
Vivitar | VIV-2x7-C 2x 7-Elements Macro Teleconverter | VIV2X7P

Please note, this is not a general deprecation of B&H. I've found their customer service to be quite reasonable, and they often have the best US prices. But in this particular case, their web page is definitely misleading, possibly even fraudulent.

03-10-2010, 10:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
However, comparable results may be obtained by using extension rings at about one third the cost for PK-only rings. Many of the "non-macro", PK/A-capable 2X TC's can be converted to 24-26mm extension rings with auto-exposure contacts by simply unscrewing the optical element.
That's a great idea! I have a Vivitar MC 2x converter with "A" contacts, and if my testing shows it to be unsatisfactory, I'm going to try converting it into an extension tube like you suggested.

But I am wondering, won't the smaller diameter hole (compared to a "real" extension tube) have an effect on the image? Or is this irrelevant due to the close focusing/subject distance?
03-11-2010, 01:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogerald Quote
I have a Vivitar MC 2x converter with "A" contacts, and if my testing shows it to be unsatisfactory, I'm going to try converting it into an extension tube like you suggested.
This post may save you some head scratching.
03-11-2010, 02:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
This post may save you some head scratching.
Ah, thanks so much for that! I'll have to check when I get home tonight if mine is painted black, but I suspect that it might be.
03-11-2010, 05:39 PM   #8
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Thanks All. Really good information. I think I'll try some cheap extension tubes first.

03-11-2010, 06:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogerald Quote
Ah, thanks so much for that! I'll have to check when I get home tonight if mine is painted black, but I suspect that it might be.
It turns out mine has 6 "A" contacts, but a silver back (the non-A Vivitar TC that I also have has a black back). So it looks like I'm good to go. Thanks again!
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