crested fiordland penguin

A teleconverter is a magnifying secondary lens that you can place between the body of your camera and the existing compatible lens. It’s also called an extender and is used to increase the focal length of the primary lens. It’s often used in wildlife photography to capture images of distant subjects with great detail and clarity. One teleconverter can work with multiple lenses and extend their focus length and capacity. So, should you use a teleconverter? They have their advantages and disadvantages and some of these are listed below:


Teleconverters are relatively inexpensive and are a more affordable alternative to buying multiple lenses of different focal lengths. A good quality teleconverter combined with a high-quality prime lens will capture stunning images and great detail. You don’t have to purchase several expensive prime lenses to get the best focal length range in your photography kit.

For example, you can extend the range of a 300mm f/2.8G prime lens to 420mm f/4, using a 1.4x or 600mm f/5.6 using a 2x teleconverter. There would be a very minimal impact on the performance of the primary lens, but you’ll save a considerable amount of money. I personally use a Nikon 300mm f2.8 lens (VRII) with a 2x Nikon teleconverter (TCIII) and find the sharpness of the resulting images quite amazing.


Teleconverters have some disadvantages as well, so you should consider them carefully before you purchase these extenders for your kit. Here are some of those disadvantages:

#1 Compatibility

Teleconverters from one brand might not work well with primary lenses from other brands. For example, some Nikon or Canon teleconverters won’t work well with other-brand lenses. You need to check the websites to determine whether the teleconverter will work with your existing camera equipment and lenses. You can easily find the information online but if you’re still uncertain, you can consult with a pro at a camera store and ask them for the best teleconverter/lens combinations.

#2 Sharpness

In some cases, you may sacrifice some image quality as teleconverters can decrease the overall sharpness of the primary lens. The teleconverter may also magnify any lens aberrations and reduce the accuracy and speed of your camera’s autofocus.

#3 Inexpensive Lenses

Teleconverters magnify any flaws in the lenses and compromise the image quality accordingly. If you have a great prime lens, you don’t have to worry about the overall image quality because the compromise would be minimal. However, if you have cheaper lenses, your image quality will be compromised.

If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.

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