Choosing the Right Camera Lens

Lesson 30/35 - Teleconverters


Choosing the Right Camera Lens


Lesson Info


Let's talk about the teleconverter. So this is going to be a very helpful device for those of you who wanna reach out a little bit further from what your longest telephoto lens can do. So, let's have a 300mm lens here, and what we're gonna do, we're gonna a teleconverter between the body and the lens, so it works very much like the extension tubes we talked about in a previous section. We have a 1.4 converter, which is one of the most popular styles out there. We also have a number of 2x converters that you could put out there, which will double the effective focal length of your aperture. Let's put these through the test. Okay, we're gonna go to Seattle's most famous viewpoint, Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill, this was shot with an 85mm lens, but we're gonna be using so much longer lenses to test this out. We're gonna use a 300mm lens on a full frame camera, and we're gonna use a 300mm lens on crop frame camera, and see what we get when we add in the rest of our teleconverters. And so, ...

300s, not too bad in its close up ability, we get an effective 480 with the canon crop frame. We can multiply that by 1.4, by adding the 1.4x converter. We double it with the 2x converter up to 600, and the equivalent of a 960mm lens, so, if you are shooting birds, wild life, sports that is really far away, these can add on to a bigger lens, to give you a longer focal length. Now, what I have found is that these will lower the quality of the image that you are gonna get through that lens. So I don't recommend using these with most zoom lenses. In general, you usually wanna use the teleconverter with lenses that are of very high quality, the premium quality lenses. As a short head, maybe lenses over $1000, it's a nice limit, as far as where you will wanna use these, but they could be very handy because it's hard to have zoom lenses that are out, at that long a focal length. So they're relatively small, they're easy to pack along, you can still maintain good autofocus if you have enough light coming in your camera, and there are a number off good options out there. You'll see a lot of these from Canon and Nikon, they have the 1.4 and 2x. Nikon also has the addition of a 1.7 converter, which will allow you to autofocus with certain cameras and certain lenses a little bit more easily than the 2x converter. These usually sell for around $500, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. Sony now has them for their lenses, as well as Fuji, Olympus has a 1. and Panasonic has a couple for their lenses as well. But I do recommend not trying to use these on wide angle lenses, on normal lenses, they are typically best on telephotos. I have heard of some people using these on tilt-shift lenses to get slightly different focal lengths. You will have a loss of quality, how much? Well, that kind of depends on what your definition of quality is, but they can be used in making a different focal length in a pinch.

Class Description

Once you’ve chosen the camera of your dreams, how do you know which lens will maximize your camera’s capabilities? Join camera expert John Greengo as he explains what the best lenses are to add to your camera bag. He’ll explain:

  • Which lens is best for specific areas of photography
  • The technology behind lenses
  • How to use specialty lenses including macro and fisheye
  • Tips on operating and maintaining your lenses

John will also talk about lens accessories including hoods, mounts, filters, and teleconverters. By the end of this class, you’ll understand exactly what lens you’ll need to take your best photos!


Boris Dimitrov

Excellent class packed with incredibly useful knowledge. John is an amazing lecturer. He has also developed really great materials to help explain all the concepts and technologies that are explored in the class. Looking forward to my next class with him!

a Creativelive Student

Great class. So informative. John Greengo is such a fantastic tutor and explains everything in such and easy-to-understand way. I would highly recommend this class. Prior to doing this class, I was so confused about which lenses are best for various photography. Now I understand lenses completely. Thanks John!

Lettie Turner

Another great JG class, my 4th. He gives a lot of individual attention to several popular lens brands. I really think after seeing this video series you could pick out three lenses that would fit your needs and your pocketbook. The class handout is spot on for what is covered in the video. Great job!! Thank you