Twice as nice..

501402xf2.8pano-1

One of the issues we as photographers have is never quite having a long enough lens for the shot we want to achieve.

There are three options open to us;  move closer, buy a longer heavier lens and carry it around on the off chance it may be needed or buy a two times teleconverter.

Sarah Jones at Cambrian Photography asked me to review the new Fuji 2x teleconverter.

Fuji have just launched their 2x converter, for those not familiar with these little bits of kit they lock on to the back of your telephoto or telephoto zoom lens – in my case the 50-140 f2.8, – and then the camera body attaches to the converter, transforming your 50-140 in to a 100 – 280mm, with a subsequent loss of 2 aperture stops so the 2.8 becomes 5.6.

 

Teleconverter 2x.jpg

With converters you are adding glass at the back of the lens, the problem that some manufacturers have is that the additional glass between lens and body affects image quality adversely.

Fuji have worked hard to maintain the high optical standards their X series lenses are known for, and have managed to keep any colour, contrast and sharpness issues to a minimum, certainly with the 50-140, I haven’t tried it on the 100-400. The overall feel of the converter is really nice, when I lifted it from the box it was heavier than I thought it would be but 170g isn’t  much to add to my bag.

IMG_8544

The shot at the top of this page is the remains of Herne Bay Pier, it was taken as the sun was going down to the left of the frame, it’s made up of 8 vertical frames stitched together. The camera settings were 2 min 43 seconds exposure and the lens was set to f2.8, with the converter attached. The image is made from the jpgs out of the camera and stitched together in Lightroom.

The converter performs well, there is a little loss of contrast as you shoot more towards the light but it is a crisp as I would have expected it to be.

Back at home I ran my usual sharpness test…

I attach a page of a newspaper to the bedroom door and with the camera mounted on a tripod I shoot the page of newsprint and blow it up to 1:1, it’s not very scientific but allows me to see how sharp the lens or converter is and what the overall contrast and sharpness is like.

Here are the comparison images, they wont be the most exciting pictures you will see. All are straight from the camera, unsharpened with no retouching just cropping in Lightroom.

1; 50×140 f2.8 uncropped at 140mm

50140-1

2; 50-140 F2.8 cropped 1:1

50140f2.8crop121-1

3, 50-140 plus 2x converter uncropped at 140mm (effective focal length 280mm) at F2.8

501402x-1

4, 50-140 plus 2x converter at 140mm (effective focal length 280mm)and cropped to 1:1

501402xcrp121f2.8-1

5, The same image but taken at F6.3 and cropped the same – notice the sharpening of the edges of the text.

501402xcrp121f6.3-1

You can see the slight drop in contrast with the converter and the slight loss of sharpness when used with the lens wide open but as soon as you stop down the converter performs really well.

The converter is priced around £350, weighs in at 170g and is weather resistant too. As a lightweight addition to your camera bag I can really recommend this little fella.

If you want a really technical look at the 2x teleconverter and understand the lens performance graphs then please visit :

 http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/x/fujinon_lens_xf2x_tc_wr/specifications/

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