My experience with Nikon TC3-ED tele-extender

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Olin K. McDaniel, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. Hi to any interested - thought I would share my findings and see if
    others will share theirs on above subject.

    For some background, about 3 months ago I bought the above lens to use
    with my Nikon Cool Pix 950 and 995. I wanted it as a supplemental
    fill -between- the zooms provided by the cameras alone, and the zooms
    obtained when attached to my Swarovski 20-60X spotting scope.
    Generally, it performs as intended. And I will attest that it is an
    excellent quality lens. But there are some obstacles to overcome in
    using it with the above cameras.

    The printed instructions accompanying this lens indicated it was
    usable with virtually all the CoolPix series, up thru the 995. But
    after reading and attempting to fathom their message, I finally
    recognized their statement about focusing the camera via the LCD and
    taking a "test photograph before taking the final photograph" very
    accurately summarized it all.

    Cutting to the meat - I gave up trying to get really sharply focused
    images with the CP-950, and concentrated on the CP-995. These are the
    results I would like to share.

    My recommended steps for the CP 995 follow:

    - Forget trying to use Auto Focus, use only Manual Focus Mode.

    - Also, don't worry about selecting the Lens as Telephoto 2, from the
    Lens submenu. Just set the Optical Zoom out to Max, or close to it.

    - Deactivate the Flash, by leaving it folded down (the lens blocks it
    anyway, so there is no real value in having it up.)

    - If at all possible, measure the distance between the camera and the
    subject; if not do as good a job at estimating it as possible (you'll
    see why shortly.)

    - Carry with you a table of the data below (preferably prepare a
    simple graph, since the data points do not make a straight line.)

    - Based on your estimated (or measured) distance to subject, set the
    camera's Manual focus according to this table, or preferably your
    graph from it. Naturally, you will have to interpolate between my
    actual data points - that's why a smooth graph is more useful.

    - Hold the camera steady, and shoot the picture.

    One final caveat. I haven't thought this out fully, but am puzzled
    why there is a maximum range of sharp focusing, beyond which it is no
    longer sharp, no matter what the camera is set for. My data indicate
    if I very carefully focus the camera on an object over about 40 yards
    (actually more like 50 yards) the picture proves that objects at about
    35 yards are in better focus than those out beyond. NO MATTER that
    those out beyond were the ones I deliberately tried to optimize! I
    discovered this fact quite by accident, while CAREFULLY focusing on a
    neighbor's house roof, and found that limbs of a tree in between was
    in the best focus.

    Thus, I conclude that due to some strange optical interaction, this
    lens is really best suited for shots between about 3 yards and about
    40 yards, at least with my CP-995. Allowing for this limitation, it
    is a great product!

    MY DATA:

    Actual Distance, Camera to Subject Optimum Camera setting

    3 yards 0.25 m.

    16 yards 0.7 m.

    23 yards 0.8 m.

    35 yards 1.1 m.

    Over 40 yards 1.1 m. (*)

    (*) Logic would sugest setting to greater than 1.1 m. should allow
    going for longer distances, but my results do NOT support this.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Anyone care to review this subject and add further info?

    Olin McDaniel

    To reply by email, please remove "abcd" from Return address
    -----------------------------------------------------
    "Ignorance is treatable, Stupidity is incurable. Sometimes
    the difference is hardly distinguishable, however."
     
    Olin K. McDaniel, Dec 29, 2003
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Olin K. McDaniel

    Ed Ruf Guest

    On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 20:38:09 GMT, in rec.photo.digital
    (Olin K. McDaniel) wrote:


    >Cutting to the meat - I gave up trying to get really sharply focused
    >images with the CP-950, and concentrated on the CP-995. These are the
    >results I would like to share.
    >
    >- Forget trying to use Auto Focus, use only Manual Focus Mode.


    >Anyone care to review this subject and add further info?


    AF should work just fine. Sounds like something is not right. Others have
    had no problems with the TC-3 and 950. I had a TC-3 for my 990 for 3+ years
    before moving up to a 5700. Sold it to a friend with a 4500 and he too
    shoots AF. You can see a variety of shots on my website all taken with AF.

    If you are having difficulty getting the camera to focus on the proper
    subject, try setting the Area Focus to manual. Also, given the much greater
    focal length with the TC-3 attached, be sure the shutter speed is high
    enough to eliminate camera shake. I would imagine a lower bound for hand
    held shots to be 1/125 or 1/250 as a start.


    ________________________________________________________
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://members.cox.net/egruf
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    http://members.cox.net/egruf-digicam
     
    Ed Ruf, Dec 29, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Olin K. McDaniel

    Ed Ruf Guest

    On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 16:48:09 -0500, in rec.photo.digital Ed Ruf
    <EG*nospam*> wrote:

    >If you are having difficulty getting the camera to focus on the proper
    >subject, try setting the Area Focus to manual. Also, given the much greater
    >focal length with the TC-3 attached, be sure the shutter speed is high
    >enough to eliminate camera shake. I would imagine a lower bound for hand
    >held shots to be 1/125 or 1/250 as a start.


    Forgot to mention I found a good way to support the TC-3 attached to my 990
    was with my left hand underneath it with my elbow resting on my
    chest/abdomen.
    ________________________________________________________
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://members.cox.net/egruf
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    http://members.cox.net/egruf-digicam
     
    Ed Ruf, Dec 31, 2003
    #3
  4. On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 16:48:09 -0500, Ed Ruf <EG*nospam*>
    wrote:

    >On Mon, 29 Dec 2003 20:38:09 GMT, in rec.photo.digital
    > (Olin K. McDaniel) wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Cutting to the meat - I gave up trying to get really sharply focused
    >>images with the CP-950, and concentrated on the CP-995. These are the
    >>results I would like to share.
    >>
    >>- Forget trying to use Auto Focus, use only Manual Focus Mode.

    >
    >>Anyone care to review this subject and add further info?

    >
    >AF should work just fine. Sounds like something is not right. Others have
    >had no problems with the TC-3 and 950. I had a TC-3 for my 990 for 3+ years
    >before moving up to a 5700. Sold it to a friend with a 4500 and he too
    >shoots AF. You can see a variety of shots on my website all taken with AF.
    >
    >If you are having difficulty getting the camera to focus on the proper
    >subject, try setting the Area Focus to manual. Also, given the much greater
    >focal length with the TC-3 attached, be sure the shutter speed is high
    >enough to eliminate camera shake. I would imagine a lower bound for hand
    >held shots to be 1/125 or 1/250 as a start.
    >
    >
    >________________________________________________________
    >Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    >http://members.cox.net/egruf
    >See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    >http://members.cox.net/egruf-digicam



    Hello, again - Ed

    Sorry to be so long in returning to the subject, but as I told you in
    the message below (which inadvertently got sent as an email rather
    than a post) I was coming down with a "brute of a cold" about then.
    Well, very briefly - it was far worse than a cold, the hospital
    diagnosed it as "acute bronchitis", and I'm still not fully recovered
    by any means. Anyhow - let's start with a RESTATE of that email:

    "12/30/03 15:43
    Ed,

    Thanks for taking the time to help advise me. And I consider advice
    from you quite useful, so I decided to re-examine my data. Since I've
    come down with a brute of a cold, this had to be rather cursory, but
    this morning I sat on my porch and took some carefully planned shots.


    In all honesty, I believe the main thing wrong was my statement not to
    worry about setting the Menu choice to Telephoto 2, but to leave it as
    Normal. therein MAY be where I went wrong, at least with the 995. I
    recall this was a carryover from my first attempts with the Cp-950,
    which does not have that choice, and I used Normal there as well.

    Anyhow, when I get back to feeling like tackling this little puzzle, I
    will do so, and post my findings then.

    Olin McDaniel"

    END OF PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS TO POST

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Picking up from the above status - I did have a chance to examine all
    the facts, and insure I included all your advice.

    As you suggested - choosing Telephoto 2 in the Lens Menu was at least
    the major answer with the CP-995. As I stated earlier, I overlooked
    this since my first efforts were with the CP-950 which had no such
    choice. To quote exactly from Nikon's own instructions "While the
    TC-E3ED can be used with the COOLPIX 950, 800, 700, or 900 series,
    neither camera has a telephoto option for TC-E3ED, with the
    consequence that photos must be taken in regular mode". And the
    remainder of these instructions fail to offer any real help. To my
    embarrassment, after having started trying it with the CP-950, I
    failed to read the details of properly using it with the CP-995.

    After following your advice, and the instructions for the 995, I was
    able to get some excellent AutoFocus pictures with it, but only in the
    M Mode - as it instructs. And I did use the Area Focus settings.
    Incidentally, in some of these efforts I further messed up in manual
    exposure settings, but that was my fault and will be avoided in the
    future. And as far as steady holding, I agree totally with your
    advice and use a tripod or some other rigid mount when using this
    lens. Thus, if I remember to do everything correctly, I do get great
    results with the 995 and this lens.

    That still leaves the 950. And until I fully recover from this
    bronchitis seige, I doubt I'll pursue it further right now. If you
    should have any suggestions for proper use with this camera, I will
    gladly accept them. From one of your posts you indicated you knew of
    some others who were successful here, although I glean you yourself
    never tried this combination. Maybe you can pick their brains for me.

    Thanks again,

    Olin McDaniel

    To reply by email, please remove "abcd" from Return address
    -----------------------------------------------------
    "Ignorance is treatable, Stupidity is incurable. Sometimes
    the difference is hardly distinguishable, however."
     
    Olin K. McDaniel, Jan 7, 2004
    #4
  5. Olin K. McDaniel

    Ed Ruf Guest

    On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 18:03:57 GMT, in rec.photo.digital
    (Olin K. McDaniel) wrote:

    >Hello, again - Ed
    >
    >Sorry to be so long in returning to the subject, but as I told you in
    >the message below (which inadvertently got sent as an email rather


    Never saw it, probably my despammed address. But, since I'm seeing this, no
    loss. Sorry to hear about the illness over the holidays, my 6 year old
    nephew had the same while I was visiting.

    >In all honesty, I believe the main thing wrong was my statement not to
    >worry about setting the Menu choice to Telephoto 2, but to leave it as
    >Normal. therein MAY be where I went wrong, at least with the 995. I
    >recall this was a carryover from my first attempts with the Cp-950,
    >which does not have that choice, and I used Normal there as well.


    This really should not matter. All the T2 setting does is restrict the zoom
    range and turn off the flash .

    >After following your advice, and the instructions for the 995, I was
    >able to get some excellent AutoFocus pictures with it, but only in the
    >M Mode - as it instructs.


    I believe you mean M-rec, not M mode (manual program, exposure and shutter
    speed). The only real reason I believe the instructions state this, is that
    is where the converter lens menu is accessible. I really can't say how it
    will work in A-rec as I really never used that mode. P-mode (programmed
    exposure mode) in M-rec is the same as A-rec, but also gives you access to
    many other camera settings.

    > And I did use the Area Focus settings.
    >Incidentally, in some of these efforts I further messed up in manual
    >exposure settings, but that was my fault and will be avoided in the
    >future. And as far as steady holding, I agree totally with your
    >advice and use a tripod or some other rigid mount when using this
    >lens. Thus, if I remember to do everything correctly, I do get great
    >results with the 995 and this lens.


    IF you keep the shutter speed above 1/125 you should be able to handehold
    with practice. I've had a few at 1/60 come out good, but that starts
    pushing it. If the subject is static, consider try BSS.

    >That still leaves the 950. And until I fully recover from this
    >bronchitis seige, I doubt I'll pursue it further right now. If you
    >should have any suggestions for proper use with this camera, I will
    >gladly accept them. From one of your posts you indicated you knew of
    >some others who were successful here, although I glean you yourself
    >never tried this combination. Maybe you can pick their brains for me.


    Hmmm... having trouble finding those old links.
    Her's a 950/TC2 link
    http://webpages.charter.net/bbiggers/DCExperiments/html/tc-e2_.html

    But it should not matter. Any 9xx or 4500 should work fine with any of the
    converters. Be aware infinity is not the same with any converter attached
    and should only be used where no other setting will suffice. Also, with the
    TC attached you will need to set macro mode for shots closer than 6-8 ft.
    The bullfrog on my TC3 page was taken this way.
    ________________________________________________________
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    http://members.cox.net/egruf
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    http://members.cox.net/egruf-digicam
     
    Ed Ruf, Jan 7, 2004
    #5
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. PS2 gamer
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    760
    AnyBody43
    Jun 1, 2004
  2. Albert Voss

    Light tele for D70: Sigma 55-200 or Nikon 28-200?

    Albert Voss, Apr 9, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    2,722
    Paolo Pizzi
    Apr 11, 2004
  3. rfc

    Nikon 5400 + Tele Extender - worth it?

    rfc, Apr 30, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    398
    Ed Ruf
    Apr 30, 2004
  4. Bob Williams

    Tele Extender for Panasonic FZ 15.

    Bob Williams, May 8, 2005, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    385
    Bob Williams
    May 10, 2005
  5. Bill Crocker

    Nikon D200 + 80-200mm f/2.8 + 2x Tele-Converter = ?

    Bill Crocker, Oct 22, 2006, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    13
    Views:
    1,076
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!)
    Oct 26, 2006
Loading...

Share This Page