One of the highlights of the recent unveiling of the Nikon Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR S lens is its 1.4x built-in teleconverter (also know as extenders) that converts the lens to an effective 560mm f4.0 lens with a push of a switch. Teleconverters have long been popular especially among the wildlife photographers who are always hungry for more reach, and all main manufacturers offers their external teleconverters generally on 1.4x, 1.7x(rare) and 2.0x versions.
There are few donwsides associated with the teleconverters:
- They reduce the light that falls on the the sensor. A 1.4x Teleconverter reduces the light 1-stop, a 1.7x TC reduces 1.5-stop and a 2.0x TC reduces by 2-stops.
- It is not practical to put an external TC on and off while shooting in the field, the process is cumbersome
- Reduces the sharpness and the contrast of the image
- Reduces the Auto focus speed and accuracy under certain conditions, especially in low light
#1 is basically a rule of physics so there is no remedy for this effect, whether you use an external TC or a built-in one. ON the other hand, Built-in teleconverters are used to solve the problem #2 above and reduce the impact of #3.
With the built-in teleconverters, the switch is almost instant, just push a button or a switch and there you go, #2 resolved.
Regarding the problems #3 and #4, contrary to external teleconverters that are built to be used with several lenses with different optical formulas, the built-in teleconverters are optimized specifically to the lens that it is built-in. This gives the designers more options to optimize the design for higher sharpness and contrast, minimize the unwanted effects, and set the auto focus mechanism in sync with the TC.
As can be seen on the MTF chart below, the impact of the built-in TC of Nikon Nikkor Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR S on the image quality is minimal which makes it an excellent 2-Lens in 1-body!
These are the other lenses that are in our database that have Built-in Teleconverters:
Lenses with Built-in Teleconverters
Are there any other lenses that are not in our list? Would you like to see more lenses in the future with built-in Teleconverters? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
For reference, here are the specs and feature comparison of these 4 lenses: