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Nikon TC-16A


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#1 Art

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:08 PM

Someone in another forum claims this Nikon TC will allow Ai-S lenses to AF on some camera bodies. Here is a link: http://www.momentcor...kon_tc-16a.html Does anyone here know anything about this TC and has anyone ever used it? I am skeptical it will work.
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#2 Donna

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 02:24 PM

I've haven't heard about this... would be interested in knowing if anyone else has. It was only made for a certain few cameras, not sure it would work on mine but if I had one to try, I certainly would give it a whirl.
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#3 Herman

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:01 PM

Art, for what its worth... I came across this info.

Link: http://www.momentcor...kon_tc-16a.html

Link: http://www.foolograp.../modify-tc-16a/

:)

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#4 Art

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:00 PM

The second link, Herman, is fascinating! Thank you for finding that for me. Great read so far!
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#5 justshootit

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:06 PM

I have heard of it and it FASCINATES me. I want one bad. The AF is limited -- you need to get focus in the ballpark first, then use the AF, but for BIF and air shows, this'd be a Godsend. Don
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#6 Art

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:29 PM

Don, I must be missing something, I still don't get how this works! Do you have an understanding of what this contraption does? How does it work the AF?
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#7 james23p

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:36 PM

Art the TC16 has an AF mechanism in the TC itself. So you focus your lens to the rough distance and the TC makes the fine adjustments. I have never used one but that is how it was explained to me by my local camera store who used to carry it back in the day. Jim

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#8 justshootit

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:37 PM

What Jim said. I love the idea of this and the Tamron 400/4. Don
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Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

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Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#9 Art

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:04 PM

How about that, thanks for the info Jim and Don. I have posted a question on the site Herman posted the link to. I am hoping someone has tried this with a 400mm f3.5.
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#10 Arlon

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:38 PM

Cool, I have a TC-16A in my junk drawer. Haven't seen or used it in years but I know it's there someplace. Have to go looking for it this evening.
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#11 Art

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

Cool, I have a TC-16A in my junk drawer. Haven't seen or used it in years but I know it's there someplace. Have to go looking for it this evening.


Very Cool, Arlon. Please, look forward to hearing what you have to say about it.
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#12 Gary Poole

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:49 PM

Someone in another forum claims this Nikon TC will allow Ai-S lenses to AF on some camera bodies.

Here is a link:

http://www.momentcor...kon_tc-16a.html

Does anyone here know anything about this TC and has anyone ever used it? I am skeptical it will work.

Art,

I too have a TC-16A. It worked fine with my F6 and 400/3.5 as well as other MF telephoto primes. I never tried it with MF zooms. I never used the TC-16A much, since I was content with manual focusing most of the time. As stated in the references, the TC-16A cannot cover the whole focusing range of the lens. You must set the lens in the ballpark and then let the TC do the rest of the focusing.

When I got my first DSLR, a D300, I found that the TC-16A would not work with it. Through some Internet research and the Nikonians forums I learned about the modification discussed in this thread, but I was never brave enough to try the surgery. Initially I also shied away from the modification, because I was afraid that the modified TC would not work with my F6. As a result, my pristine TC-16A sits in a drawer along with my long time unused F6.

After reading all the information about grounding pins to get a certain aperture readout, I wonder why people bother to do that part of the modification. If I modified my TC-16A I wouldn't worry about correct aperture or focal length in the EXIF data. Even if you did that, the pin grounding games, the readout would only be correct for one lens type. Because my D300, D800, and D4 have a CSM setting to allow using the aperture ring instead of the command dial to set aperture, I wouldn't worry other modifications either. These cameras will all expose correctly without knowing the absolute aperture. All the cameras need to know is the number of stops from the maximum aperture which is the input provided by turning the ring.
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#13 Art

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:30 PM

Gary, thanks for the detailed post. I have been giving this thought all day and have decided to NOT go this route. Over the last couple of years, I have started quite the impressive collection of teleconverters! Nikon 200 Nikon 301 Nikon 1.4E Nikon 1.7E Seriously, I asked myself today, do I need the NIkon 1.6E that I will without a doubt BREAK modifying. I am cornering the market on TC's! Also, I am not electronic in that way. I can't read pinouts and don't understand all that has to be done. And, do I really need that idly-biddy bit of fine tuning in the focus? No, I don't. So, as fascinating as I found all this, I cooled my jets today. If I come across a 16A at a steal on Craigs List, I may splurge and try the mod. Otherwise, I have plenty of TC's to work my way through already. To be honest, I have never been a huge fan of Teleconverters because they all have some degree of image quality loss and I have never liked this about them. These feelings go back 40 years to when I first picked up a camera seriously and haven't changed much today. Although, I am very impressed with Nikon glass, by and large, they are the best I have played with.
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#14 justshootit

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:44 PM

If you find one let me know -- I've got an F4, N90s, and F100 just waiting to get this between them ant the 400... D
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Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#15 Art

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:03 PM

Don, I am not convinced that there is any marked advantage using this. I could be wrong but this is what I think. 1) The lenses, manually, are hard enough to focus on a moving object. 2) If trying to shoot a BiF or sports or that type of thing, you still have to manage to get the focus close. How close is CLOSE? 3) The only advantage I can see, realistically, is getting the focus close on a stationary object close enough to get the final focus slightly quicker that you would if you did not have it. There is one locally that has been modified that someone wants $225 for. I have seen them come and go for $75. I think that is about what it is worth. If I see one under $100, I will pick on up just because I know my curiosity will get the better of me.
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#16 justshootit

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 04:17 AM

Well Art, track-focusing manually is a skill that needs to be developed and I've gotten pretty good at getting close and staying there. My hope would be that the 16A could do the fine focusing for me as my eyes aren't as good as I'd like. I'd have to try one and see if that would actually work. Don
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==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#17 Art

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 01:55 PM

Don, If i understand what I read correctly, it has to be modified to work on DSLR's. am I right?
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#18 Gary Poole

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 02:53 PM

Don,

I am not convinced that there is any marked advantage using this. I could be wrong but this is what I think.

1) The lenses, manually, are hard enough to focus on a moving object.
2) If trying to shoot a BiF or sports or that type of thing, you still have to manage to get the focus close. How close is CLOSE?
3) The only advantage I can see, realistically, is getting the focus close on a stationary object close enough to get the final focus slightly quicker that you would if you did not have it.

There is one locally that has been modified that someone wants $225 for. I have seen them come and go for $75. I think that is about what it is worth. If I see one under $100, I will pick on up just because I know my curiosity will get the better of me.

Art,

I think the usable range of the AF may be greater than you are expecting. I'll try my TC-16A with 400/3.5 on my F6 next week and try to quantify the AF range. (I have to finish my taxes before playing.)
Gary in SE Michigan, USA
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#19 justshootit

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 10:23 PM

Taxes -- here's a yee, followed by the obligatory ha. :angry: Anyway, I'll be really interested to hear what your results are Gary. Don
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==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#20 justshootit

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 04:09 AM

Don,

If i understand what I read correctly, it has to be modified to work on DSLR's. am I right?


That seems to be Gary's experience. I'm waiting for Gary's next post to determine whether its worth it.

Don
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==========================================================
Digital: D610 backed up by a D1x.  Quoted from an unknown source by a fellow planeteer, "Never get rid of a working D1x." I've got to agree.

Film: N90s, F3, F100, F4s, C330s. A few lenses.

Why film photography? I like shooting with the equipment. 6x6 Velvia slides from a C330 have an appeal all their own.

Why automated 35mm/Digital cameras? Event photography is about capturing moments. It often requires quick response. Well done automaton can be your friend or your enemy. It all depends on knowing what it can and can't do. "A man's got to know his (camera's) limitations." paraphrasing Dirty Harry...

#21 Gary Poole

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:32 AM

Don,

If i understand what I read correctly, it has to be modified to work on DSLR's. am I right?

Art

Unmodified the TC-16A worked with the D2 series, it did not work on a D300 and I expect anything later. The pin swapping modification appears to make the TC-16A work on the D300 and later, although I can't verify that. I would think you must have a body that can use the aperture ring instead of the command dial for aperture setting to make it useful on any body.
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#22 Gary Poole

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 10:41 AM

I got my taxes finished yesterday afternoon and dropped them in the mail box at the post office at 5:30 p.m. I was over a day early! :) I wasn't in a hurry because I owed both the state and federal government, so I had no motivation to file earlier.

I tried a couple of experiments with my TC-16A and F6 today. I didn't make any images, I just mounted a couple of lenses and used the AF-ON button to activate auto focus. I watched the green focus direction arrows and focus confirmation dot. I did this with my Nikkor 105/2.5 AI-S and 400/3.5 AI-S lenses. Here's what I found:
  • The camera used the selected Non-CPU list item to determine the aperture, just as it would without the TC. The indicated aperture was the same as set on the lens, not a value corrected for the TC.
  • The maximum auto focusing distance was the distance set on the lens focusing ring.
  • The minimum auto focusing distance was significantly greater than the minimum focusing ability of the lens.
  • With the 105mm at infinity, the minimum with the TC was about 14 ft.
  • With the 105mm set at 15 ft., the minimum with the TC was about 9 ft.
  • With the 400mm at infinity the minimum with the TC was about 60 ft.
  • With the 400mm set at 60 ft., the minimum with the TC was about 50 ft.
Note that the minimum focus for the 105mm is about 3ft. and about 15ft. for the 400mm. My conclusion is that for fairly long distances, the TC-16A works well with the lens focus set at infinity. For shorter than the minimum distance available at the infinity setting, the auto focusing range is too small to be useful for most purposes.

This page has some more information about the TC-16A: http://www.mir.com.m...tc16a/index.htm

Because I was using a film body I did not make any pictures, so I have no way to evaluate the image quality when using the TC-16A. My TC-16A has not been modified so it will not work on my DSLRs. If can find someone with a D2 body, I'll try to do some image quality assessments with their camera and my TC and MF lenses. I will be visiting a friend with a D200 in a couple weeks. If my unmodified TC-16A will work with his camera I'll make some test shots with that combination.
Gary in SE Michigan, USA
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#23 Art

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:57 PM

Great information and observations, Gary. I am looking forward to seeing some digital images when you have them.
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