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The most cost effective way to extend the reach of a lens is to add a teleconverter (or TC). Essentially these are magnifying lenses which are mounted between a camera body and the lens to be extended. Canon refers to their models as ‘Extenders’ and all camera manufacturers generally design one or two standardised models, which are typically 1.4x and 2x. This multiplier refers to the magnification which will be achieved, with 40% greater reach (1.4x) up to double (2x). For example a 300mm lens will become either a 420mm or 600mm lens when extended. Browse our comprehensive range of options to find your perfect teleconverter from all major camera brands.

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What Are The Downsides To A Teleconverter?

Even lens designers cannot change physics, so there are two principle drawbacks to adding a TC which should be considered. Firstly, the amount of light entering the lens will be reduced. This is due to the fact that more glass elements are being placed between the lens and sensor. Typically a 1.4x will reduce light by 1 EV stop or 2 EV stops for a 2x. This means if a lens has an f/4 aperture it will become an f/5.6 or an f/7.1 with either option mounted. ISO levels may need to be increased to compensate for this.

The second consideration is that depth of field is affected by these one or two stops. For many photographers shooting wildlife or landscape this will be negligible, however sports or action photographers may find the penalty more noticeable. Professionals working in sports will tend to use the brightest aperture lens possible in order to isolate the subject, a footballer from the crowd for example. Another minor consideration is that the addition will typically add a few hundred grams of weight and length.

These downsides are generally overlooked when comparing to buying a longer telephoto lens. These will typically have a smaller aperture anyway, and will also be heavier so the downsides can be countered and a winning compromise struck.

This being said, with the introduction of mirrorless cameras came a new wave of teleconverters supporting new lines of mirrorless camera lenses. On the whole manufacturers utilise newer optical technology together with practicalities such as weather sealing (rubber gaskets for example) for mirrorless TC options. Newer optical technology allows for sharper and crisper images from more complex optical designs. Canon has categorically stated that their RF Extenders deliver slightly better image quality than preceding EF models. Photographers will even find medium format teleconverters for Fujifilm G Mount lenses which are designed to capture over 100 megapixels of data. The quality of their teleconverter delivers uniformly excellent results.

At Park Cameras we have always believed in providing the right equipment for our customers and many choose to mount a teleconverter in order to gain the focal range they require without investing in a whole new lens. Browse our used lens department to find quality assured models as they become available or why not visit one of our stores to test one for yourself.


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Events at Park Cameras

Throughout the year, Park Cameras hold and attend a range of events. For photographers currently stuck indoors, as opposed to our events that are traditionally held in store or on the road, we are currently working on a range of events that can be held in the comfort and safety of your own home. In these uncertain times, there’s never been a better time to get to grips with your camera, and hopefully we can help achieve this. Find out more