Teleconverters vs. Cropping (Everything Has a Price) - Trust Me Shops

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Teleconverters vs. Cropping (Everything Has a Price)

Teleconverters vs. Cropping (Everything Has a Price)

B&H explora - All posts
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If the longest telephoto lens you own never seems to get you in tight enough to your subject, you have three choices. The first is to get up and get physically closer to your subject. If you can’t, for whatever reason, do this, you can either take the picture as is and crop it to your liking post-capture, or you can use a teleconverter.

Photographs © Allan Weitz 2021

Either method will work, albeit at a cost. As for the price of cropping versus the price of using a teleconverter? That depends.

What Are Teleconverters?

Teleconverters are lens accessories that magnify the central portion of the image field of your lens, enabling you to fill the frame at up to twice the magnification of a compatible telephoto lens. Also known as extenders, or in the case of 2x teleconverters, “doublers,” teleconverters mount between your camera and lens and are available from OEM or third-party manufacturers. Depending on the make and model, teleconverters increase the magnification of your lens by a factor of 1.4x, 1.7x, or 2x.

In the case of a 70-200mm lens, a 1.4x teleconverter converts the lens to a 98-280mm equivalent zoom, while a 2x teleconverter converts the same lens to a 140-400mm equivalent zoom. Most teleconverters are about the same size and weight as a 50mm normal lens, which makes them far more practical to tote about than your average 500, 600, or 800mm long-range lens.

And the Cost for Such a Convenient Lens Accessory?

There is, unfortunately, a price to be paid for such a handy device and, in the case of teleconverters, the costs include a loss of light transmission and resolving power.

Any time you integrate additional lens elements―including filters―into the light path of an existing camera and lens system, it has an impact on image quality. It’s not that the image files are no longer sharp; they are, but any time you add additional lens elements into an otherwise optimized light path, you invariably lose image detail.

In the case of zoom lenses, the levels of image-quality loss often vary as you zoom through the lens’s focal range.

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