Picture of the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E III, but is it real?

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E III

I just received this picture of a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E III. I have no idea what's the story behind it. I have not heard anything about this being a part of the D800 announcement next week, but it's definitely a possibility. The TC-20E got refreshed in December, 2009. The current TC-17E II model was announced in May, 2004. With the upcoming Summer Olympics, I can see how Nikon would release a new TC-17E.

Update - here is another picture:

From the comparison below you can see that the TC-17E III has a marking similar to the new(er) TC-20E III (dot instead of a dash) and the word "Aspherical" as part of the label.

For comparison, here is a pictures of the AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II ($499.95):

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC 17E-II

and the AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III ($549.95):

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III

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  • Robin

    Will AFs on it work with my 85/1.8D? How about 80-200/2.8D?

    • Jonas


    • WoutK89

      The meaning of AF-s in the name is that you can use AF-s lenses with full functionality on this TC. Also, your 85/1.8D probably will not even fit on the TC, because of the back element of the 85mm and front element of the TC touching.

    • Komalkumar

      Nikon makes TCs only for tele lens… mostly 300mm above, so they have a front element in the TC which protrudes in to the lens that we are mounting….which makes it impossible to use with smaller lens….
      i think 70-200 can take these TCs but non lesser than that…

      Others lens can try Kenko which can be used with any lens…

  • on a second thought, I think this is a fake – check the texture “dots” patern, they are identical with the current TC-17E II

    • Agreed. The crinkle-coating is identical between the two. The added grain and exposure adjustments on the photo are a lazy attempt to hide this fact.

    • Yeah admin, this is an obvious fake. You’re right – the textures match, that ‘tip’ is a photoshop of the original. The 3rd I in the roman numeral is also obviously added on in post, it doesn’t even look real if you zoom in. And there are artifacts around where the dot and bezel were added.

      • Worminator

        Even I spotted that the thrid “I” and “aspherical” was a different shade of while and not quite lined up with the other numerals. While most people are quick to call “!fake!” on even real leaked shots (hello D800), this looks like a photoshop job.

        Someone with too much time on their hands, evidently.

    • Paul

      Yup, the two images are way too similar to be real.

    • Ben

      Also, the reflection in the top lens is identical. This would prove impossible to reproduce by accident, and why would anyone reproduce it intentionally?

      • Greg

        That’s what I noticed too. Too close a match. Fake.

    • Steven Georges

      And there’s no red triangle.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    • As other people mentioned, I also noticed the angle of the shot is EXACT as that of the II version. Every small detail from every angle is the same.
      It’d also seem odd to make the “Aspherical” a lighter white (tad grey) then the rest of the writing. The II version keeps is consistent on both sides.
      Shopped to death here.

    • Vicne

      Also the word Aspherical is not aligned with the line above.
      Why people go on making fakes of such gear is beyond me…
      Best regards,

    • PJS

      The 1.7x should be centered on another line, as it is on the 2.0, not after the name. BOGUS!

  • fred

    Obvious fake. Roman numeral III doesn’t match curve of text.

  • I don’t understand… why a refresh? The TCs released in 2009 were the best on the market because of the addition of the aspherical elements. Three years later Nikon makes a 3rd iteration that… has a dot rather than a line on the side? It just doesn’t seem like a product that has been around long enough to need an update, nor can I think of anything updatable about it. I’d rather Nikon spend their time creating a 24mm f/1.8 to finish their prime 1.8 line.

    • John M

      Not to mention the TC-20E III is so good that the 17 is no longer relevant.

      Well, except for the fact that you can actually buy the latter. 😉

      • dave robbins

        I think the 1.7X is plenty relevant. Good as the TC20EIII is, it magnifies flaws on zooms such as the 70-200VR/VRII. The old TC17EII was good on the said zooms and the 17EIII should be better. Well, if it’s real.

        • St.

          @dave robbins
          “Good as the TC20EIII is, it magnifies flaws on zooms such as the 70-200VR/VRII. ”
          Please explain?! I have both (TC20EIII & 70-200VRII) and used them many times. Can’t see any flaws (except that F goes to 5.6), but may be I don’t know what to look for?

      • peterw

        Exceptional good contrast and detail quality this 2x TC-20 EIII. The present 1,7 is not nescessary any more.
        Tested on D700 and 500 F4 VR version. And compared to 1,7 tc on D300 with 500 F4 first version in indirect comparison.
        D300(s) tests to come (that’s quite a small angle of view to hold still).
        (off course without TC is allways much better)

        It is in fact so good, I guess an update of the 1,4x convertor would present an interesting improvement over the present TC-14 EII version…

        But alas, this 1,7x looks rather like a clear fake.

        • peterw

          off course the combo D700 500 F4 + 2x tx is so slow focussing, it makes you yearn for a 80-400 F4,5-5,6 with behind it as a screwdriver good old D70.

    • Brandon Lee

      I don’t think the version II had any aspherical elements so a refresh with aspherics added does make sense.

  • Kyle

    The ‘Aspherical’ label appears to be cut+paste from the TC-20E III image; the curvature of the text does not match the TC-17E image, but it matches the TC-20E perfectly. All of the other small details in the TC-17E III image (besides the ‘shopped changes) are a perfect match for the posted TC-17E II image.

  • Ben Vigil

    Yup, fake.

    — The 3rd “I” on III falls off to the right, doesn’t follow the curvature correctly.
    — The reflection in the glass is IDENTICAL to the II version
    — The dot is an obvious cut & paste from TC-20E III

    That’s not to say that we won’t see one next week, only that the photo is a fake.

  • T.I.M

    Anyway, I have the TC-20eIII and it’s fantastic when use with a good prime lens (Af-s 105mm f/2.8 micro, Af-s 200mm f/2), so why bother with a x1.7 converter ?

    I think a refresh of the x1.4 converter will be more usefull.

    • WoutK89

      The optical quality of the lens behind a 1.7x TC is more preserved because less magnification of faults in the optics that you put on the TC.

      • WoutK89

        Oh and also, forget to say, you have less light reduction, so you can use it with older AF systems and still maintain AF with F/4 and lower lenses.

  • John

    Fake – The contacts look exactly the same – very unlikely for the image to be taken from the exact same position so that the contacts appear identical

    • Zoot

      And that, to my mind, is the clincher.

      Nine contacts in view, instead of the ten on the TC-20EIII – and in EXACTLY the same alignment as appears in the official TC-17EII picture.

      What are the odds?


  • Ted

    B&H just sent me a notification today that the TC-20III is back in stock.

  • MrGabe

    I’d like a teleconverter that turns my 35mm f1.8 to a 17.5mm f1.8

    • Michael

      Wouldn’t that be a tele-inverter?

  • Mike

    I’ve made an picture so you can see its clearly a fake:

    • Rob

      Also note the screws are all turned to exactly the same angle.

      They did warp the original a little, or used a different resizing algorithm than I did, as it doesn’t quite line up when you shrink the original to fit.

  • Janne

    I agree with others, e.g. roman numbers reveal that this fake, also “Aspherical” text seem to be tilted, might be my eyes though since it is 6 A.M. 😀

  • …definitely ‘shopped. HOWEVER, wouldn’t be a first if Nikon just shopped existing product shots (see: D3x product shots on their own site–they have the exact same spackle pattern/exif info, which lead people to believe leaked shots were fake).

    • I remember that.

    • Ren Kockwell

      Yes, Micah, this is the point I wanted to make as well. If you all think that major corporations are beyond being cheap bastards by using their old photos to update new products, you’d be sadly mistaken. Not saying this is one of those cases, but it IS always a possibility, especially if the outer casing is fundamentally the same. Re-using an old image can save thousands of dollars, and it’s shocking how often product shot cheapness like this occurs.

  • dan

    inb4 this gets released on the 7th instead of the D800.

  • Dean

    Why do leaked photos always seem to look like alien or UFO photos? Why do cameras automatically revert to the cell phone quality of 2002 whenever a ‘secret’ product appears in front of it.

    hmmmm…. maybe I should patent that technology 😉

    • Calibrator

      “Why do cameras automatically revert to the cell phone quality of 2002”

      a) the person taking the photo is underpaid and can always buy the latest and greatest smartphone & other gadgets (=real leak)
      b) the company intentionally leaking the info wants to make it look like a worker did it (=intentional leak to stir the hype)
      c) it is a fake as it is a bit simpler to hide the fact that different elements were cobbled together in Photoshp (=fake leak)

      My money is on c) – I don’t believe in a placeholder picture as the image quality would be better, IMHO

  • Hey Admin/Peter, inspired by this…there should be a contest to see who can make the “Best fake piece of nikon gear” : D

    • I’ve done this already with the Nikon D4 – check my Flickr stream.

      • Art

        Peter: Did we ever do a followup to see who submitted the image CLOSEST to the actual D4?

  • it’s fake… definitely identical to II version, just photoshoped the dot on and text… good one though if not compared side by side!

  • Birder Bill Whiteley

    So, this could be a photoshopped job by Nikon themselves? Whatever the case, I do hope for a new 1.7X in the coming weeks. Hope this rumour becomes reality.

  • Dominic

    it’s a fake – bad photoshop-qualitiy. And did Nikon ever make Aspherical to any lens?

    • WoutK89

      See the read more… The TC-20III already had asperical on it/ in it. And there also normal lenses with this.

      • Dominic

        your right – I was to old shool 😉

  • Chris P

    Fake or not, surely Nikon would update the 1.4 converter before the 1.7?

  • Image look so fake but my heart wishing…

    I hope it’ll come to real life soon. 🙂

    TC-17E III, TC-14E III all Aspherical~!!! Thank Nikon!!!

  • Niels

    It’s fake. The last III in TC-17E III doesn’t seem to match up with the III of the TC-20E III.
    And the photo is besides that exactly the same as that one of the TC-17E II, even some grains in the coating.

  • WoutK89

    ADMIN, you (and many others) overlooked the typo that the 1.7x II TC was actually already from may 2004, not may 2009!

  • Lawrence Goh

    Fake. If it has an aspherical element, should there be some degree of internal element differences? However, the internal reflections on the front element shows exactly the same as the older 1.7x… Fake image… but maybe the real 1.7x maybe on the horizon…

  • Ceeijd

    Apart from the items already mentioned, I think this is definitely a fake as the ‘grip’ is nothing like the TC-20E III – the alignment dot is built into the newer model ‘grip’ – I would expect Nikon to carry this design through to the other updated models.. The ‘grip’ itself is also ‘flush’ on the newer design while it is on a raised section on the previous model(s)..

  • Dweeb

    I have the 1.7 and I don’t believe it’s bad enough to warrant an immediate upgrade as it was the newest design in the TC line. Then again we’re dealing with goofy Nikon Kogaku. Maybe the could look at putting VR in the 300 f4 after 12 tears languishing on the market instead.

    • peterw

      … and don’t forget: AF-S in the 80-400 F4,5-5,6…
      (Nikon gave us 70-300 VR and thought we’d be satisfied…)

      However, what would we be yearning for if these were for sale?

      Would it be microscope lenses like the PE 65-thingummy Canon ‘gives’ their clients?

      Would we scream for a 50 F1,8G VR ED-IF of 180 euro?

  • Greg

    I’m not sure I know the most about teleconverters (although I own one), but do refreshes really do a lot to warrant purchasing a new one? I mean, there’s only so much glass you can improve, haha. Although I’m sure that the plastic feels very nice now.

    • peterw

      perhaps interesting to compare the results of nikon 2x convertors throughout the years:
      tc301 (… autch)
      tc-20 EII (… yuk – but definitively better than autch)
      tc-20 EIII (… ahmmm, well, perhaps)

      Or – cheaper – compare a 50 F2.0 ai-s to a 50 F1,8G. Especially in back lit situations…

      Conclusion could be: the more plastic, the clearer the glass…
      However, there is no plastic in Nikon convertors. On the lighter site there could be hanging a D3s of sorts.

      Conclusion: Some updates are improvements (on digital cameras).

      You buy only when you need the update…
      or when you have created yourself some sort of greed for it 🙂

  • NIkkon

    The word “Aspherical” is wrongly “wrapped”

  • It’s 100% fake, no doubts

  • tengris

    A real innovation far beyond additional points and characters would be to remove the mechanical AI couplings for improved weather sealing. AI compatibility is only needed if an AF-S Lens with aperture ring is used on a non AF camera. AF-S teleconverters will not fit to non AF-S lenses without modification. To my humble knowledge we have 1 (one) lens with silentwave drive and aperture ring in the current Nikon lineup, the AF-S 300mm f/4D. And we have 0 (no) up to date manual focus Nikon cameras. And we have 3 (maybe 4 including remaining TC-20E IIs) to fit between. On the other hand, there was never a teleconverter or extension ring for AF and AF-D lenses.

  • Nikonuser

    The picture is obviously photoshopped from version II and therefore is not real.
    But what about the TC itself?

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