Nikon Ai-S 2X Teleconverters TC-201 and TC-301
Instruction Manual (New Upload) Last update: 23-02-2003
Nikon TC-201 and TC-301 Teleconverters are basically earlier TC-200 and TC-300 models with an updated Ai-S type of lens coupling system at its rear section. Both shares similar basic specification and multiply the primary lens's focal length by a factor of 2X. While on the other hand, they decrease the effective aperture of the primary lens by two f-stops. The TC-201 is for use with one group of lenses - those without deeply recessed rear elements, a design popularly found on lenses of shorter focal length. TC-301 is for use with a different group of lenses - those with recessed rear elements such as those lenses with longer focal lengths. How to classify these to use the respective Converters especially with the inclusion of zoom lenses that has a more complex optical design within ? In general, TC-201 is supposedly designed for lenses with focal length under 200mm while TC-301 is meant strictly for lenses above 300mm. Although it is still possible to use a TC-201 with, say a AF Nikkor 300mm f/4.0D or a AF-Zoom Nikkor 75-300mm f/4.5~5.6D but such combination may compromise with some drawbacks such as vignetting or some other optical deterioration may also occur. Thus, it is also advisable to follow strictly within the guidelines laid by the manufacturer in relation to selection of the respective teleconverter in combination of lens/converter.
Credit: As response is quite discouraging whenever I attempted to ask for permission to use contributing images from general surfers or from Ebay users while such requests usually ended with negative replies. Thus, I have to download these images from Nikon USA website. Images have been scaled, retouched here for broadcasting in this site.
Well, technically, although the older TC-200 or the TC-300 share similar specification with the TC-201 and TC-301, says if you are strapped with budget and thinking of buying one of the cheaper old version in TC-200 or TC-300 - think carefully first because your investment depends a lot on your Nikon SLR camera model with the types of lenses that you owned. Complicated ? Quite - for a new comer. My best advice for anyone who are raw with such knowledge is to get yourself a newer Ai-S type in either the TC-201 and TC-301 for better lens/camera compatibility. As most often, modern automatic SLRs usually have programmed AE and shutter priority AE exposure control system incorporated within which they are best*** to be used with an Ai-S version of Nikon Teleconverters(s) to optimize such system. Naturally, if you own only mechanical SLR camera such as a Nikon FM2n, Nikkormat(s)**** Nikon F2 models**** or Nikon SLRs with only a simple automatic exposure system in Aperture Priority Auto mode (such as Nikon FE series, Nikon F3 Series, Nikon EM, FG-20 and Nikkormat EL series)**** and don't intend to upgrade any camera hardware in the near future, by all means bid for an older one at Ebay because that is all you need, regardless your lenses owned are an AF*****, Ai, Ai-S or a modified AI Nikkor lense(Includes Nikon Series E which are Ais in nature). Both Teleconverters are NOT AF extenders, so, even if you have an AF SLR with an AF lens, by fitting a TC-201 or TC-301 between your camera and lens would require you to MANUALLY adjust focus on your own. If fully AF operation is your cup of tea, then Nikon offers an AF-I Teleconverter TC-20E****** or TC-14E****** which you can take full advantage of.
Confusing huh ? Errrr.... don't complicate yourself by what I have outlined above. If you are not very familiar with this kind of technicalities in relation to various camera/lenss/converter combinations, simply buy a TC-201 or TC-301 and use it with the appropriate types of lenses should be the safest way to minimize chances of falling into such incompatibility. As both of the Ai-S devices will not only work with most of the current Nikon AF camera/lenses but they should also work exactly like a TC-200 and TC-300 for many of the older versions of the MF Ai Nikon SLRs. It should be a sound investment.
Both of the TC-201 and TC-301 have long been famed for its exceptional optical and superb built quality. Although great attention were given to ensure they can optimize the optical excellence of the primary lens in use, but depends on combinations of variable factors, they may also have some inherent limitations too.
Anyway, these converters carry with an advantage of speedy installation as they can be mounted in seconds between camera and lens to double the focal length. Besides, they are easy and compact enough to carry around as good supplementary alternative for photographers who are always on the move. Further, these devices are also excellent tools to increase the magnification ratio as closest distance of the primary lens will NOT be affected even at doubling of the primary focal length - a feature great for shooting hazardous objects or for closeups. Lastly, Teleconverters are always much cheaper than investing into another comparing lens of equivalent focal length after magnification.
Credit: Brandon Wittnebel <BrandonW@natcam.com> for his image on the Nikkor TC-300 2X Teleconverter. Image Copyright © 2002.
The main drawback of using a typical 2X teleconverter which also can apply here is none other than both of the converters will decrease the effective lens speed of the primary lens by two f-stops. Sometimes, it also causes the split-image rangefinder focusing screen inside the viewfinder to dim or darken halve at center which affects speedy, accurate focusing and for quick picture composition. However, if all of your current collection of Nikkor lenses are of moderately lens speed or slower, you may consider getting the alternative Nikon 1.4X teleconverter such as TC-14, TC-14A or TC-14B featured at earlier sections.
Lens Compatibility Chart extracted from a mid '80 Instruction Manual (New Upload) Last update: 23-02-2003
PDF File (592k) Ai Nikon F3
PDF File (604k) Ai Nikon F2A/AS
PDF File (652K) Non-Ai
Nikon F2SB w/TC-201s
PDF File (592k) Ai Nikon F3/F2A(S)
Non-Ai F2S(B) Photomic w/TC-301s
Specifications of Nikon Ai-S Teleconverter TC-201
Usable lenses: Virtually all MF Ai Nikkor lenses up to focal length of 200mm. Most AF lenses under similar range may also be used on Manual Focusing.
Lens construction: 7 elements in 5 groups; Focal length: Double that of the lens in use
Aperture coupling range: f/2-f/32; Effective aperture: f/4~f/64
Diaphragm: Automatic; Metering: Full-aperture exposure measurement with Ai type Nikkor lenses, includes Ai-S, Nikon Series-E and applicable AF Nikkor lenses; Depth of field: Half that of the lens in use
Closest focusing Distance: Same as that of the lens in use, remains unaffected
Dimensions: 64.5mm dia. x 52mm long (overall); 44mm extension from lens flange
Weight: 230g; Lens case: CL-30S hard leatherette, No. 61 soft pouch, CP-8 or CP-9 plastic
<<<< ---- Optical Construction of TC-201
Note: 1. This teleconverter is best advised be used in conjunction with lenses having Ai features. 2. When used with non-Ai camera bodies, exposures should be measured by the stop-down method. 3. AF operation is not possible with the TC-201 even when used an AF Nikon SLR camera in combination with an appropriate AF Nikkor lens. Note**: Serial number for the Ai-S TC-201 may have been started with 327001.
Credit: Three fabulous images of Nikkor TC-201 2X Teleconverter displayed in this site courtesy of Mr. Joe Sandler <firstname.lastname@example.org> All images Copyright © 2002. Please respect the visual property of the owner.
Specifications of Nikon Ai-S Teleconverter TC-301
Usable lenses: Lenses of MF Ai Nikkor lenses 300mm or longer, plus the Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4 IF for a reproduction ratio of 1:1 in macrophotography
Lens construction: 5 elements in 5 groups
Focal length: Double that of the lens in use; Aperture coupling range: f/2.8 ~ f/32
Effective aperture: f/5.6 ~ f/64; Diaphragm: Automatic
Metering: Full-aperture exposure measurement with Ai type Nikkor lenses and/or applicable AF Nikkor lenses
Depth of field: Half that of the lens in use; Closest focusing distance: Same as that of the lens in use, remains unaffected.
Dimensions: 64.5mm dia. x 115mm long (overall); 83mm extension from lens flange
Weight: 300g; Lens case: CL-33S hard leatherette, No. 62 soft pouch or CP-9 plastic
<<<< ---- Optical Construction of TC-301
Note**: Serial number for the Ai-S TC-301 may have been started with 201001.
Note: 1. This teleconverter is best advised be used in conjunction with lenses having Ai features. 2. When used with non-Ai camera bodies, exposures should be measured by the stop-down method. 3. Serial number for the TC-301 may have been started from 176041. AF operation is not possible with the TC-301 even when used an AF Nikon SLR camera in combination with an appropriate AF Nikkor lens. Older AF-I series of Nikkor telephoto lenses may also be used in MF mode.
Credit: Image coutesy of "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> URL: Adorama.com, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Adorama Inc. also can be contact at: Used & Collectible Ebay Department Adorama® Inc. 42 West 18th Street New York, N.Y. 10011 1-212-741-0052 1-880-223-2500 Option 55 Ext.119 FAX: 1-212-675-8715
* Sometimes, certain combinations of various lenses, teleconverter(s) and focusing screen(s) used on respective Nikon SLRs may require additional exposure compensation, where applicable. The leaflet that comes along with the hardware may outlined the requirements. ** When used with certain lenses, there may be occasional uneven exposure if aperture is set smaller than f/11 or beyond and/or in some cases, may cause vignetting of image. *** Technically, by simply turning the aperture to its minimum f-stop on the lens will activates a required procedure with Programmed AE and Shutter priority AE offer on some Nikon SLRs. **** AF Nikkor and Nikon Series E lenses should not be encouraged to use with NON-Ai bodies. Nikon FT3, EL2, F2A and F2AS are Ai models. ***** IMPORTANT: The new G-series AF-Nikkor lenses are strictly designed for newer series of AF Nikon SLRs. This series of Nikkor lenses have NO aperture ring on the lens and thus, aperture value is NOT adjustable for any mechanical Nikon SLRs for exposure control. ****** Best combine to use with AF-I and AF-S series AF Nikkor lenses. However, older version of AF Nikkor telephoto lenses such as AF-I Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF and AF-I Nikkor 600mm f/4.0D ED-IF telephoto lens may also be used with the TC-301 in manual focus operation.
A glimpse of the extremely rare King of Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo Island, East Malaysia by Michael Patrick Wong, the Awards winning Video/Photographer contributing some of his images for my Khatulistiwa@Malaysia <http://www.nature.com.my> Project. It is a self-funded environmental caring website. I am poor guy but I have a lot of passionate friends around .... always willing to lend a hand when I need them.
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
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Co-developed with my web buddy, Rick Oleson® & Denmark, Creator of the Nikon Repair Group Mailing-List; A contributing effort to Michael Liu's Classic Nikon SLRs and Nikkor optic site.
Credit: MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites; Lars Holst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; Ted Wengelaar, Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; Hiura Shinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. Lastly, to all the good people who has contributed their own expeience, resources or kind enough granted permission to use their images of their respective optic in this site. It is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets & brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.