AF Teleconverter TC-16 for Nikon F3AF - User Manual


Before using the AF teleconverter TC-16

TC-16 Map.jpg TC-16 Map2.jpg
The TC-16 teleconverter is used to Mount between Nikon F3AF camera body with the DX-1 AF Finder installed, and it is the only camera assembly the TC-16 is recommended to work with, it increases the prime lens's effective focal length to 1.6X with only a 1-1/3 f/stop loss in effective aperture.

The Nikon F3AF camera had two dedicated AF Nikkor lenses when it was introduced. Both are telephoto type in a AF 80mm f/2.8 and another is being the AF-Nikkor 200mm f3.5 ED IF (Both of these two lenses will be featured in a new Nikkor lenses site later). But to handle other photographic requirements, the two lenses alone may be too restrictive for any photographer to justify investing in a Nikon F3AF. Instead of rolling out a new series of AF Nikkor Lenses specifically for the F3AF when neither Nikon nor anyone else was convinced that the F3AF was the ultimate solution to AF, and the cost doing so was considered prohibitive, Nikon came with a clever solution by designing a AF teleconverter called TC-16 for the F3AF.

Nikon TC-16As Autofocus converter
WARNING:- AF teleconverter TC-16As shown at the left hand side is for specific use with selective OTHER Nikon AF SLR cameras launched during the early days. Some suggestive models usable with this device are Nikon F501, Nikon F401, Nikon F801 etc. It will also multiply the primary focal length 1.6X but at the expense of a light loss of 1/3 stop. BUT it is important for you to note that YOU MUST NOT attempt to use the Nikon F3AF specific TC-16S (See the images shown- they are different) onto any of those bodies or vise versa (neither do any new Nikon models work !). However, this manual for the Nikon F3AF works in similar fashion and you just use it as a reading reference on how to operate the teleconverter.

The following lenses are compatible with TC-16A and enable autofocus operation:
Zoom lenses
Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED

Nikkor 24mm E12
Nikkor 24mm f/2.8
Nikkor 28mm f/2 (No. 540021 or larger)
Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 (No. 500001 or larger)
Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 (Use AI-S type lens only)*
Nikkor 35mm f/2 (No 93 1001 or larger
Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 (No. 880001 or larger)
Telephoto Lenses
AF-Nikkor 80mm f/2.8 (for Nikon F3AF)
Nikkor 85mm f/1.4
Nikkor 85mm f/2
Nikkor 105mm f/1.8
Nikkor 105mm f/2.5
Nikkor 135mm f/2.0
Nikkor 135mm f/2.8
(only from infinity to 1.7m)
Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED
(only from infinity to 2.5m)
Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED-IF
Nikkor 300mm f/2 ED-IF
Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF
Normal lenses
50mm f/1.2
50mm f/1.4 (No. 3980001 or larger)
50mm f/1.8 (N)

Special Purpose Nikkor lenses
Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2
Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2 8
Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2 8
(only from infinity to 0.55m)

Fisheye-Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 ; Fisheye-Nikkor 8mm f/2.8 ; Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8

Note:- Ai-S type lenses can be distinguished by the orange minimum aperture indication on the aperture direct-readout scale (ADR).
* * For an accurately in-focus image when used the TC 16A with a primary lens mounted onto the Nikon F501/N2020, use the lens within the specified distance range.

The Nikon TC16s AUTOFOCUS Teleconverter with Niko's AF Nikkor 80mm f/2.8s and AF Nikkor 200mm f/3.5 ED IF for Nikon F3AF Other than the F3AF camera, the Nikon AF TC-16 teleconverter Or TC-16S (to signifies compatible as an Ai-S spec) able to work with a large number of Nikkor manual focus lenses, providing autofocus operation (i.e., focus-aid function not available) with Nikkor and Nikon Series E lenses A built-in micro motor enables the teleconverter lens elements to move, assuring virtually instantaneous focus detector and pinpoint subject focus.

A multiple element lens construction ensures your teleconverter will deliver high optical performance with negligible decrease in image quality. As with most Nikon optics, the TC-16 is applied with Nikon Integrated Coating (NIC), applied to all air-to-glass surfaces in order to achieve a reduction in ghost images and flare and to make colour rendition more natural-looking.

ma1.gif ma2.gif
A more interesting aspect is to ensure Lens/Teleconverter Compatibility, the following table lists a variety of AI-type and Nikon Series E lenses which can be used with the Nikon AF Teleconverter TC-16:

Nikkor 24mm f/2.0
Nikkor 24mm f/2.8
Nikkor 28mm f/2.0 (Product number 540021 or higher)
Nikkor 28mm f/2.8
Nikkor 35mm f/1.4S
Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 (Product number 931001 or higher)
Nikkor 35mm f/2.8
Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
Nikkor 50mm f/1.2S
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 (Product number 3980001 or higher)
Nikkor 50mm f/1.4S
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8S
Series E 50mm f/1.8
Nikkor 50mm f/2.0 (Product number 3640001 or higher)
Nikkor 55mm f/1.2
Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2
Noct Nikkor 58mm f/1.2S
Nikkor 85mm f/1.4S
Nikkor 85mm f/2.0
Nikkor 85mm f/2.0S
Nikkor 105mm f/1.8S
Nikkor 135mm f/2.0
Nikkor 135mm f/2.0S
Nikkor 200mm f/2.0 IF-ED
Nikkor 200mm f/2.8 IF-ED
Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 IF-ED


1. You can distinguish AI-S from Al lenses through the colour of the minimum aperture indication on the aperture-direct-readout (ADR) scales - the AI-S's scale is engraved in orange, that of Al in white.
2. It is impossible to attach the TC-16 to any prime lens on which another teleconverter has been mounted
3. If the prime lens is the 300mm f/2.0 IF-ED, make sure you don't use its dedicated teleconverter TC-14C at the same time.
4. Non-AI-type lenses cannot be used with the TC-16.
5. Do not attempt to mount any lens other than those listed in the table above (especially any AI-modified lens or other manufacturers' lenses) on the TC-16 - this will damage both lens and teleconverter,

Connecting Lens and Teleconverter: - A1 A2

A1.jpg A2.jpg
Position the lens in the TC-16's bayonet mount with its aperture index aligned with the TC-16's lens mounting index: then, grasping the lens aperture ring, turn the lens counterclockwise until it click-stops into position.

(With either the 300mm f/2 IF-ED or 200mm f/2 IF-ED, you turn the TC16 clockwise until it click-stops into position )  

To Remove: Depress the lens release button on the TC-16 while grasping the lens aperture ring, and turn the lens clockwise until the lens aperture index is aligned with the TC-16's lens mounting index (As for the 300mm f/2 IF-ED or 200mm f/2 IF-ED, turn the TC16 counterclockwise until the lens aperture index is aligned with the TC-16's lens mounting index )

Mounting On the Camera Body - B1/B2

Position the lens/teleconverter assembly in the camera's bayonet mount so that the TC-16's camera mounting index s is aligned with the camera's lens mounting index

B1.jpg B2.jpg
Then, grasp the aperture ring of the lens or the TC16 and turn the lens/teleconverter assembly counterclockwise until it click-stops into position.

(In case of the 300mm f/2 IF-ED or 200mm f/2 IF-ED, you turn the F3AF camera body clockwise until it click stops into place )

Note: When mounting the lens/teleconverter assembly on the F3AF camera body, make sure with your finger that the camera's meter coupling lever is locked in the ..down~ position. For further information, refer to the F3AF's instruction manual

To remove: Depress the lens release button on the camera body while grasping the aperture ring of the lens or the TC-16, and turn the lens/teleconverter assembly clockwise until it comes off (In case of the 300mm f/2 IF-ED or 200mm f/2 IF-ED, you turn the F3AF camera body counterclockwise until it comes off )

Initial Procedures for Autofocus Photography - C

1First attach the lens to the TC-16, then mount the lens/teleconverter assembly onto the F3AF DX-1 assembly
2. Slide the TC-16's ON/OFF switch to the "ON" position as far as it will go do not slide it only part of the way

3. Set the lens distance scale to the infinity (OO) mark. At infinity, the focus detection range varies in accordance with the lens in use - see following table.

4. Lightly touching the F3AF's shutter release button will activate the micro motor built into the TC-16; simultaneously, the LED in-focus ( arrow.gif ) or Focus - impossible warning indicator ( x) inside the viewfinder will light up.
5. Press the shutter release button all the way to release the shutter when both LED in-focus indicators ( arrow.gif ) light up to indicate subject in-focus condition For further information on viewfinder information, etc., refer to the F3AF camera body's instruction manual.

Focus detection range with lens set at infinity (OO)
Lens in use Focus detection range
28m m
Infinity (OO) to 35m (114.8ft)
Infinity (
OO) to 1 6m (52.5 ft)
Infinity (
OO) to 7.2m (23.6ft)
Infinity (
OO) to 4.4m (14.4ft)
Infinity (
OO) to 2.9m (9 5ft)
Infinity (
OO) to 1.4m (4.6ft)
Infinity (
OO)) to 1.3m (4.3ft)
Infinity (
OO) to 1 .2m (3.9 ft)
infinity (
OO) to 0.61m (2ft)
Infinity (
OO) to 0.42m (1.4 ft)
Infinity (
OO) to 0.33m (1.1 ft)


. All focus detection operating ranges are approximate.

2. If your subject is outside the focus detection range, the LED focus-impossible warning indicator ( x ) or far-focus indicator ( ) will light up inside the DX-1 AF Finder. In this case, turn the prime lens's focusing ring to less than infinity (OO); the distance set now becomes the maximum shooting distance of the prime lens' focus detection range, so its focus detection range from maximum to minimum is correspondingly decreased. You can then focus on the subject even if it falls outside the range tabled. For example, when using a 50mm f/1.8 as the prime lens, its focus detection range changes as in the following diagram.

3. When the distance scale of the prime lens is set to minimum or around there, you can focus on your subject even if it is beyond the original closest shooting distance Note, however, that picture quality may somewhat be impaired. If the prime lens is the 135mm f/2.0, make sure you set the distance scale between infinity (OO) and 2m (6.6ft) in order to obtain precise in-focus indication You should set it at closer than 2m (6.6 ft) or the precise in-focus indication may not occur.

Note: It takes around 0.5 sec to automatically focus on a subject from the maximum to the minimum shooting distance.

Procedures for Autofocus Photography

As shown in the focus detection range chart, the longer the focal length of the lens in use, the narrower its focus detection range To shoot a subject that is in motion you will need a wide autofocus operation range that covers the distance between you and the moving subject. If you set the prime lens's distance scale at infinity, the approaching subject may fall short of the minimum shooting distance for the focus detection range indicated.

For example, when taking a picture of a subject with a TC-16-mounted 300mm f/2.0 lens within a range of 70m (229.7 ft) to 10m (32.8 ft), which is the prime lens's minimum focusing distance you won't be able to shoot the subject if it comes closer than 35m (114 5 ft ) if you've set the distance scale to infinity because the minimum shooting distance required for autofocus detection to work at this distance, which is 35mm (114.5ft)

It is best to reset the prime lens's distance scale by observing the following procedures.

1. Detach the prime lens in use from the TC-16 and attach it to the F3AF DX-1 assembly
2. Focus on the subject at its maximum shooting distance: then lock this reading on the prime lens's distance scale. (With the 300mm f/2 IF-ED, use the lens's convenient presettable focusing ring locking screw.)
3. Remove the lens in use from the F3AF camera body and insert the TC 16 between the prime lens and the F3AF DX-1 assembly: then set the TC-16's ON/OFF switch to "ON".
4. Focus on the subject at its minimum shooting distance If both LED in-focus indicators ( ) light up, this means the distance scale preset in Step 2 enables continuous autofocus operation. But if the LED focus-impossible warning indicator ( x )
* or the LED far-focus indicator ( ) lights up, this means the subject is closer than the preset minimum shooting distance. So, in this case, reset the distance scale by observing the following procedures.

(1). Turn the focusing ring of the prime lens clockwise (i.e., while maintaining shooting position) until both LED in-focus indicators ( ) light up.
(2). Confirm the position of the distance scale set in Step 2 and the position reset at Step (1).
(3). During autofocus operation, move the distance scale slightly between these two positions in accordance with the camera-to-subject distance, and make the final adjustment with the TC-16 until both LED in-focus indicators ( ) light up

It is also possible for the LED in-focus-impossible warning indicator (x) to light up as a result of low subject contrast For further information, refer to the F3AF camera body's instruction manual.

Focus Lock Button - D

Your TC-16 is equipped with a focus lock button. Depressing this button during autofocus operation will automatically lock or fix the distance in focus. Autofocus restarts the instant you release the button. To take pictures with the main subject off-centrer, follow these procedures:

1. First, centre the main subject within the viewfinder's central focusing frame.
2.Lightly touch the shutter release button of the F3AF camera body and make sure both LED in-focus indicators ( ) light up: then depress the focus lock button
3 . While holding the focus lock button, recompose the picture, and depress the shutter release button to take the picture


1. When the focus lock button is depressed, the F3AF camera body's meter and the DX-1 AF Finder's autofocus detecting system are automatically shut off to save power: you have to lightly touch the camera's shutter release button once more to activate both: even if at times the LED in-focus indicators ( ) do not light up, focus stays locked.
2. Sometimes, the LED indication may change after the mirror returns to its original position upon shutter release while the focus lock button is depressed: the focus stays locked.
3. The focus stays locked as long as you keep the focus lock button depressed; autofocus operation automatically restarts the instant you take your finger off the button,

Exposure determination:

Using the TC-16 not only increases the effective focal length by 1.6X, but also decreases the effective aperture by a 1-1/3 f/stop. Thus, when the TC 16 teleconverter is in use, you should disregard the prime lens's engraved aperture scale.

If the TC-16 is attached to lenses with a maximum aperture larger than f/1.8 (e.g., 50mm f/1.2, 50mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4, etc.), the effective aperture becomes f/2.9 even if the aperture is larger than f/1.8. Thus, when using fast lenses, be sure to set the aperture to f/1.8 or smaller; otherwise, incorrect exposure will result.

In addition, some exposure compensation will be required with lenses that have maximum apertures larger than f/1.8 For exposure compensation based on ASA/ISO film speed adjustment, refer to the following table:

Maximum Lens Aperture at f1.2: Compensation Required (at ASA\ISO 100): 2/3 f/stop underexposure (set to ASA/ISO 160 position)
Maximum Lens Aperture at f1.4:Compensation Required (at ASA\ISO 100): 1/3 f/stop underexposure (set to ASA/ISO 125 position)

Useful Notes on using the AF TC-16 Teleconverter

1. The AF Teleconverter TC-16
cannot be used with any camera other than the Nikon F3AF with the DX-1 AF Finder attached. It provides only autofocus - not focus-aid-operation.
2. When you're not using the TC-16, set its ON/OFF switch to the "OFF" position: otherwise the batteries of the DX-1 which power the TC-16
may be drained.

3. During autofocus operation, hold the TC-16 properly because inadvertent touching of the focus lock button will prevent the teleconverter's lens elements from moving.

4. When it is cold, use the optional accessory Anti-Cold Battery Holder DB-4 to stabilize the DX-1 AF Finder's battery power; if the batteries powering the DX-1 are adversely affected by the low temperature, this will likewise affect the TC-16's autofocus response.

Care and Maintenance:

Always keep in mind that your TC-16 is a high-precision optical accessory and that rough, careless handling may damage it. Observe the following tips, and the TC-16 will always work as perfectly as the day you bought it

Keep clean and protect the surface of the electrical contacts (4) of the TC-16 from dust and dirt; otherwise, electrical malfunction may occur.
Do not subject the TC 16 to shocks - especially avoid dropping or banging it on anything hard
If condensation forms on the TC-16 body, wipe it with a dry soft cloth. If it forms on the lens itself, observe the following: Use a blower brush to clean all glass surfaces; as much as possible avoid using lens tissue. Gently wipe dirt, smudges or fingerprints with soft cotton moistened with a small amount of absolute alcohol, using a spiral motion from centre to periphery. Make sure you leave no wiping traces.
If you use ether in cleaning the lens surface, smudges may appear on the surface; should this happen, wipe the smudges with a cotton cloth moistened with absolute alcohol.
Attach both front and rear lens caps BF-1 and LF-1 to your TC-16 when storing it separately, preferably inside the optional lens pouch No. 61; also, avoid storage in a high-temperature and high-humidity place

: Front lens cap BF-1, Rear lens cap LF-1
Optional: Flexible lens pouch No. 61


Lens construction: 5 elements in 5 groups
Focal length:
1.6X that of lens in use (with in-focus at infinity)
Aperture coupling range:
f/1.8 to f/32
Effective aperture:
f/2.9 to f/51
Via built-in micro motor to move all lens groups
Power switch:
Provided; "ON/OFF" type
Battery source:
Via electrical contact pins directly from the battery power inside DX-1 AF Finder
Focus lock:
Possible via one focus lock button provided
Automatic diaphragm coupling provided
Exposure measurement:
Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided
Reproduction ratio:
1.6X that of lens in use
Depth of field:
1/1.6X that of lens in use (with in-focus at infinity)
Lens Mount: Nikon F mount (for both sides); AF electrical coupling pins provided on the rear side
: Approx. 88mm die x 43.8mm long (overall); 21 mm extension from flange
Weight: Approx. 285g

  |  |  |
  Back to Index of Nikon F3 Models
  Back to Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs
About this photographic site
Contributions and Credits
  Home - Photography in Malaysia
| Back | to Main Index Page of Nikon F3 site
About this photographic site Contributions and Credits

  Home - Photography in Malaysia

AF Teleconverter TC-16 for Nikon F3AF - User Manual
Copyright © 1999. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.