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Nikon TC-14E III vs. TC-14E II specifications comparison, lens compatibility

Nikon-AF-S-TC-14E-III-teleconverter
Nikon TC-14E III vs. TC-14E II specifications comparison:

Nikon TC-14E III (new version) Nikon TC-14E II (old version)
Nikon AF-S TC-14E III teleconverter (new version) Nikon AF-S TC-14E II teleconverter (old version)
 Lens design Nikon AF-S TC-14E III teleconverter lens design Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II lens design
Lens construction 7 elements in 4 groups  5 elements in 5 groups
Minimum focus distance Same as that of a prime lens Same as that of a prime lens
Maximum reproduction ratio Approx. 1.4x that of a prime lens Approx. 1.4x that of a prime lens
Diameter x length
(distance from camera lens mount flange)
64 x 24.5mm  66 x 24.5mm
Weight Approximately 190g  200g
Price  $496.95  $499.95 (grey market: $399)

Nikon USA lists the new TC-14E III to be compatible only with the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens which obviously a mistake. Here is a quote from Nikon UK:

Compatible lenses: the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III is compatible with a wide range of Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR lenses, including: AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF ED¹, AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VRII, AF-S VR NIKKOR 200mm f/2G IF-ED, AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED, AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 70–200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70–200mm f/2.8G IF-ED, AF-S NIKKOR 70–200mm f/4G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 200–400mm f/4G ED VR II, AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200–400mm f/4G IF-ED, AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR², and the AF-S NIKKOR 80–400mm f/4.5–5.6G ED VR².

¹ AF not possible.
² Can be used when attached to f/8-compatible camera body

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  • Henning

    … “including”. Which does not necessarily mean that it is not compatible with the rest. I would somewhat be surprised if it is not compatible with the 300/2.8 AF-S non-VR, for example.

    • FredBear

      From Nikon Imaging on the non-compatible lenses:
      “Because the maximum aperture coupling ridge and minimum aperture signal post are eliminated with the AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III, “FEE” is displayed on the camera body when these lenses are used, disabling shooting.”

  • MB

    I wonder why Nikon is saying AF will not work with Micro-NIKKOR 105 mounted on teleconverter… it works … maybe not as fast and certainly not for macro but AF is mostly useless for macro anyways …

    • AM I Am

      Even AF works with the TC-20E III when used as a standard telephoto. For macro, forget it.

    • Steve Griffin

      Probably because that lens was designed by an ex Pentax engineer. ;P

    • http://www.amateurnikon.com/ AmateurNikon.com

      I have noticed that Nikon (perhaps other companies as well?) tend to use the “it doesn’t work” card if it doesn’t perform as intended. In other words, they prefer to just say “it won’t work on the micro-Nikkor” instead of having to explain the limitations.

      I don’t know if it’s a Japanese thing or a legal thing, but I’ve noticed it in many occasions, all the way down to entry-level camera manuals. They feel safer by claiming “it doesn’t work”, I think

    • Steve

      Strikes me as odd too. I was using it just this weekend and it works pretty well wih the old 1.4 v2. Depends on the target of course – in this case insects. It’s easy enough to fine tune in manual focus anyway.

  • AnotherView

    While the upgrade from the TC20EII to TC20EIII showed improvement, the new model isn’t close to Canon’s version, so thanks, but I’ll wait for the evidence before I lay my hard-earned cash on this.

    • Roy

      “..the new model isn’t close to Cannon’s version..” So how have you documented this?

    • Mark

      Interesting. Pretty every credible individual and review site will tell you the Nikon and Canon teleconverters are pretty much on par. Any comments suggesting one is vastly better than another is likely uninformed.

      • http://www.andrewkandel.com Andrew Kandel

        I don’t think there’s even an argument to be made that the Canon’s aren’t better. Nikon’s latest models are much improved, but I can’t think of a lens combination that doesn’t require stopping down a stop to regain sharpness, whereas the Canon’s can usually be shot wide open. It’s not a huge issue as when I’m adding a teleconverter to my 600 I’m usually looking to gain DoF, but there are times when I want that extra shutter speed.

    • AM I Am

      The Canon won’t work with my Nikon glass, so what’s the point of comparing them?

    • Nikon

      As I already stated in the comments of another recent article on the 400mm 2.8…my 400mm 2.8 Af-i works like a dream with the TC-20E-III…even at 800 F5.6 wide open…where most say there is noticeable softness. Mind you with my D4s + 400mm 2.8 combo @ 800mm F5.6 all is tack sharp (no micro AF adjustment) but with my D800 + 400mm 2.8 I have to stop down to at least F6.3 for tack sharp results (even with micro AF adjustment).

      I find myself using the TC-20E-III more than my TC-14E-II just because it does perform that well.

      • Scott M.

        Glad you have success with the TC-20EIII. I bought one for my 70-200VR2 and it is only sharp within 40-50 feet. This is with the D800. I even took it to Nikon, CA and had them calibrate it. The note says +20 when using converter. Otherwise no Fine tuning for lenses. I have preordered the new 1.4. Maybe 2.0 is too much for this lens.

        • Chris H.

          I have found the TV-17E II works surprisingly well with the 70-200AF-S should you wish to have a little more reach then the TC-14E II (which I also use a bit though not as much as the 17)

        • Rudi

          My TC-20EIII works very well with the 70-200VR2 with the D4 and D4s. Haven’t tried it with my D800E so far. At least D800E with 300 2.8 VRII and TC-20EIII works well. I used the TC-14EII with 600mm 4.0 and I was not satisfied as long as the objects where relatively far away. The combo tend to be unsharp and even more bad the bokeh (i.e. background) looked really bad. The nearer the object was the better the converter seemed to work.

        • neversink

          I’ve had no problem with the TC-20EIII on my 70-200 f/2.8, and I’ve used it at pro hockey, pro football (soccer) and at my daughters’ field hockey and volleyball games wide open with sharp results. No complaints from editors or daughters on the results Daughters are tougher.

      • Theodoros Fotometria

        Same applies for the AF-D (version I) I used to own, you may also try TC-20iii stacked with KENKO 1.4x DGX at full aperture (for 1130mm f11)… You’ll be surprised!

        • Nikon

          Yes, I agree… I also have the Kenko 1.4 DGX and have stacked it with the TC-20E-III with great results too while still maintaining AF on my D800…though contrast suffers a bit. Haven’t yet tried it with the D4s though. The resulting minimum aperture would actually be F8 on the 400mm 2.8…with TC-20E-III losing 2 stops to F5.6…then 1 more stop loss after adding the 1.4 tele bringing it to F8.

          I have also dremeled off the little tab on my OOW TC-14E-II so I can stack that with the TC-20E-III and had good results too. I do find the Kenko 1.4 + 2x tele a bit sharper when Stacked on my D800 though for some reason. I guess that shows the Kenko is a decent tele optically.

          It’s fun to experiment…but I guess Nikon doesn’t want us doing anything like this…thus the reason for the little tab…LOL.

    • neversink

      Take a hike buddy!!!! Really, how can you make such a statement. It’s not even on the market yet, nor has there been any prereleases.

  • mark papke

    I wonder why it doesn’t mention 300mm f/4

    • Zoot

      My understanding is that the 300mm f/4 has already been “mentioned”. It is not compatible with the new TC-14EIII.

      Which is fine by me, because I don’t see any reason to “upgrade” from my 300f/4 TC-14EII combo, which is highly portable, and provides a 420f/5.6 which is superb, and at a bargain price, to a new TC-14EIII, and a new 300f/4, which will cost the earth for a scarcely discernible improvement.

      Then again, I might be wrong.

  • lorenzo

    Uhmm…. an update Nikon product that costs less than the previous one?
    Must be a mistake, right Nikon?

    • Zoot

      Well, the D70 cost less than the D100. Mind you, it did have a different name. And that’s going back a bit.

      I’m very old, you see…

      • mooh

        The update to D100 is the D200 I suppose? The D70 was the first of the new mid-range line.

      • El Aura

        And it [the D70] had a lower viewfinder magnification, something very noticeable when looking through both viewfinders in a comparison (coming from a film FF viewfinder this almost caused me to pay the D100 premium when the D70 was released and its viewfinder appeared tiny in comparison).

      • Nikon

        I’m with you there…I still have my D70s…for nostalgic purposes mind you!!!

        • Zoot

          Ah, nostalgia…

          I kept my D100 until last month. I was upgrading to a D4s, and included the D100 as part of a general clear out of equipment which I traded in to lessen the pain of the cost of the D4s.

          For my D100, which I got at a bargain price of £1699 (RRP £1999) not long after it came out, I received £45.

          I recall that, when I bought the D100, Nikon had a special offer whereby, on proof of purchase, you received a 1GB microdrive, which was a top of the range card, and retailed at £300.

          Those were the days…

          • Nikon

            LOL…that’s one of the reason’s why I usually just keep my older Nikon bodies. I’ll never get a decent amount for them so I just keep them. I still have my D300 too…which I’ll keep as an extra body for someone who wants to join me on a shoot but who doesn’t have a camera.

            I actually payed $699 after discount for my D70s way back then so I can’t complain too much about that.

            I do agree, the D4s is a lot of $$$ to swallow but when it comes to camera equipment I don’t consider the cost important…especially for ones passion. Others spend money elsewhere, I spend it on camera stuff…LOL.

            • Zoot

              I agree. I spend WAY too much in camera stuff, but it IS a passion.

              Mind you, when it comes to trading in, the Rothschild’s principle will always be the most profitable: “We always sold too soon”.

              Had I sold my D100 eight years ago, I might have got £100 for it. Wow! Live and learn, eh?

  • gpelpel

    The article should include the list of non compatible lenses, i.e. older non G lenses. Nikon specifies the new TC-14EIII is non compatible with non-G lenses “Because the maximum aperture coupling ridge and minimum aperture signal post are eliminated with the AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III, “FEE” is displayed on the camera body when these lenses are used, disabling shooting.”

    • El Aura

      The rule seems simple: every FF telephoto lens that has AF-S and VR seems included (ok, the 70-300 mm AF-S VR is missing). It might work with other fairly modern lenses (< 5-year old) but it might not be an optically good fit (or it might cause a lens element collision of the last lens element of the lens with the TC, in particular for fast primes).

  • click

    What is aboutcompatibility with 3rd-party-lenses (e.g. tamron/sigma 70-200 f2.8)?

    • Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

      You can’t mount any non AF-S lens on it.
      Nikons AF-S teleconverters have a pin in the mount so you can only attach nikons AF-S lenses.
      You can of course saw the pin off, at your own risk, to have compatibility with some 3rd-party lenses. Some work, some don’t, you have to google a list for that.

  • whisky

    just to rehash what i already posted in the other thread:

    **********
    Lenses compatible with the TC-14E II, but incompatible with the AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III:

    AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D IF-ED II
    AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D IF-ED
    AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED
    AF-I Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D IF-ED
    AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8D IF-ED II
    AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8D IF-ED
    AF-I Nikkor 400mm f/2.8D IF-ED
    AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4D IF-ED II
    AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4D IF-ED
    AF-I Nikkor 500mm f/4D IF-ED
    AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4D IF-ED II
    AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4D IF-ED
    AF-I Nikkor 600mm f/4D IF-ED
    AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D IF-ED

    • Rudi

      Sorry but your list is b…it. Just read the original post above from Nikon UK.

      • whisky
      • whisky

        perhaps you mis-read “incompatible”?

        • Thom Hogan

          No, he didn’t. The difference has to do with how information is found by and reported to the camera. Nikon made a change in the way this was done; the old TCs engaged the camera’s aperture detecting mechanisms and had extra pins to “correct” information passed to the camera. This new TC does not. Thus, when you mount an AF-I lens on the new TC, for example, the camera will report FEE as it has no idea how to control the aperture.

          • Nikon

            It sure would have been nice if Nikon also kept the pins for compatibility while maintaining the new electronic detection. But we all know Nikon isn’t a company that thinks that way. They just want us to keep giving our money to them like it grows on trees…LOL.

            I’m guessing the TC-14E-II will still be around for a little while to satisfy those who still use non-G lenses. At least they better…or they will really have some angry customers to deal with…LOL.

            • gpelpel

              If they had made the new TC compatible with my AF-S (non VR) 500mm and 300mm I would have bought one. I won’t update my lenses in order to use the new converter, as a result Nikon will get no money from me.

          • whisky

            “Thus, when you mount an AF-I lens on the new TC, for example, the camera will report FEE as it has no idea how to control the aperture.” – TH

            which would imply it’s incompatible with the TC14E-III. as listed above. would it not???

            • Thom Hogan

              Sorry, got mixed up in the sequence in this thread. But yes, incompatible is incompatible.

            • whisky

              thanks for coming back to write that. given this crowd, t’was brave and honorable. :)

            • Zoot

              ’nuff respect to Thom. He’s a good guy, and an asset to anyone interested in anything Nikon, because he tells it as it is.

  • Roids

    Hmm….two elements more but one group less than the old one …….

    What does this mean in terms of optical perfomance in general?

    I thought more elements and more groups tend to be better….or??

    I ‘ll wait for a revie or comparison between tce 14 II and III in order to make my deciciosn i need one for my 70-200 f4 which replaces/upgrades my 70-300…d800e is too demanding….

    • D800 User

      Many photographers assume that more optical elements means that the lens will be sharper. This rarely is the case. Optical engineers have a variety of options available to them for optimizing lens designs. Some options are rare earth optical glasses which feature high refractive indices, low dispersion (LD) glasses which minimize chromatic aberration and lateral color, anomalous dispersion glasses which feature compressed and uneven dispersion of colors, and finally composite aspherical lens elements. A good optical engineer or design team can combine, as necessary, some or all of these options to create a lens with extremely good performance while using fewer lens elements.

    • Kim

      More elements means more possibilities of correcting various abberations. Less elements are better when it comes to minimizing flare and ghosts, an maximizing transmission.
      It then becomes a balancing-act to get the best (or required) quality with the least number of elements. Sometimes that is 20 elements, but that doesn’t mean they just threw them in there because more is better…
      The number of groups have less to tell us about the quality to expect, as it only means if the elements stand alone, or are flush next to another one.

    • grounded

      Manufacturers will tend to avoid increasing their production costs, and more elements = more things to make + more things to mount with correct centering = more money that they spend. So it’s obvious that added complexity is tolerable only if it helps achieve an important goal. Surprisingly, that could make things less expensive if it meant that they could use all spherical surfaces in order to eliminate or avoid an aspheric.
      It’s hard to critique an optical design from an armchair if you don’t have a) the optical engineering knowledge + b) intimate knowledge of the particular design in question. Therefore all of us are guessing. But there are some general considerations:
      A) Fewer groups = a potentialopportunity to improve contrast, assuming that the best of the recent optical coatings still tend to have brighter reflections than the glass/cement/glass transitions inside a cemented group.
      B) Fewer groups = fewer things to mount and center. That’s a big win for everybody.

  • Guest

    I don’t understand the idea behind teleconverters for modern cameras. If we want more grab for the job, just buy a new camera with more pixel density. Even go Nikon1 is a better compromise than the so so sharpness of added optics.

    • Galerita

      There is no substitute for a larger sensor.
      http://www.gizmag.com/camera-sensor-size-guide/26684/

    • Nikon

      No substitute for the sharpness of an exotic prime lens. Adding a teleconverter to that still gives you amazing sharpness.

      Adding more pixels or pixel density just begins to reveal the errors in the lens used. Plus the difficulty level of use with the higher pixel count/density goes up drastically. As a user of a D800 and a D4s I must say the D800 is much harder to control because the DOF is so much more limited.

      Also, not everyone can just go buy a new camera, especially when one owns the 2 above cameras in this comment. Adding a teleconverter is a much cheaper alternative.

  • decisivemoment

    So, what do you suppose it will mean for performance? One less pair of glass-air surfaces; more heavily corrected. Perhaps no visible deterioration at all on the 70-200 zoom? Dare I hope?

    The loss of the Ai coupling is unfortunate, but I guess that’s the tradeoff you’re stuck with if you want the dust gasket. Still it means I’m not likely to offload my old TC14E unless I’m thoroughly satisfied I won’t be buying any more AF-S lenses with aperture rings. Will Nikon now finally take care of the 300/4?

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