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Nikon AF Teleconverter TC-16A

Introduced in 1985/86 . Replicating a similar original concept of the AF TC-16 for the Nikon F3AF SLR camera, this autofocus optical teleconverter is designed specifically for some of the earlier AF Nikon SLR camera models where during those days, Nikon was damn slow in introducing their various AF Nikkor lenses and the TC-16A was served as an interim measure to bridge the vacuum to enable those AF cameras be able to use the enormous range of Manual Focus Nikkor lenses for autofocus applications.

For the alternate Nikon TC-16S for Nikon F3AF CLICK HERE

Technical Specification for Nikon TC-16A:- For TC.16A only

Lens construction: 5 elements in 5 groups
Diaphragm: Automatic
Exposure measurement: via full aperture method
Autofocus Function: Via Nikon F-501/N2020's built-in motor

Mount: Nikon bayonet mount
Dimensions: Approx. 67mm width x 71mm height x 21mm extension from the camera's lens mounting flange; approx. 30mm overall length
Weight: approx. 150g; With lens Focal length: 1.6 x that of lens in use (with focus at infinity)
Usable lens apertures: f/1.8 to f/32; Effective apertures: f/2.9 to f/51
Reproduction ratio: 1.6 x that of lens in use (with focus at infinity); Depth of field: 1/1.6 x that of lens in use (with focus at infinity)
Accessory: Front cap BF-1A; Soft case No. 61; Rear Cap LF-1

This converter was recommended for use on Nikkors up to 300mm in focal length with widest apertures of at least f/2.8 for faster - It is almost a full stop slower than the previous TC-16 which requires a minimum lens speed of f/2.0. This has indeed opened up a lot of possibility with many of the Manual Focus Nikkor lenses within the Nikkor lens family as it does provides some autofocus capability to the applicable MF Nikkor lenses. Well, there are some shortcomings in its operation too, as this is not entirely an AF converter, because it needs to work with an AF Camera body, besides, it cannot focus from the primary lens from its closest focusing distance all the way to infinity espeically its close focus ability with longer focal length lenses is also very limited. But it does provides precise critical focus operation with the right combination of lens/camera. Whatever it is, a pity fact remains, there were not many Nikon SLR camera bodies that has benefited directly from the superb basic concept of this AF Teleconverter as obviously such move might be affecting Nikon's subsequent commercial interest. Frankly, there was not enough product knowledge being channeled to users in relation to the incompatibility problem.

" ..... A Nikon TC-16A 1.6x AF Teleconverter lens. No reserve. This lens can be used for most of the Nikon auto-focus mount cameras ( except N4004/F-401, N4004s/F-401s, N5005/F-401x, N6006/F-601m, N50/F50, N55/F55, N60/F60, N65/F65, N70/F70, or N80/F80 these will not work ). The Nikon TC-16A Teleconverter will allow you to use manual focus Nikon lenses only as auto-focus lenses on your AF body. The converter is intended to be used with lenses of 300mm or shorter. It magnifies the image 1.6 times...."

Credit: Image and explanation of this Nikon TC-16Acourtesy of <> © Copyright 2001

tc16amap1.jpg tc16amap2.jpg
1. Lens type signal pin
2. Lens release button
3. Lens mounting index
4. Camera mounting index
5. AF coupling
6. Aperture indexing post
7. Focal length indexing notch
8. AF contacts
9. Meter coupling ridge

Nikon TC 16AS Teleconverter
Important Notes: Nikon cautions in their original TC-16A user's manual that this Autofocus Converter TC-16A cannot be used with any camera other than the Nikon F-501/N2020* but some of the later camera bodies such as F801, Nikon F4, F90 may also be used with the Converter but a word of caution, the TC-16A was never meant for use with any AF lenses. If you have a Nikon AF camera body, use the TC-14A/B with those AF Nikkor lenses instead. * Note: The Nikon N2020 and N2000 are sold exclusively in the U.S.A. and Canadian markets.

Nikkor/Series E Lens/TC-16A Compatibility Chart Only the AI-type (excluding AI-modified) lenses listed below can be used with the TC-16A, use of other lenses may damage the TC-16A. Also note that the TC-16A/lens assembly cannot be attached to another teleconverter.

Optical construction for Nikon TC 16AS Teleconverter
AF: AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8; AF Nikkor 80mm f/2.8s
Fisheye Nikkor: Nikkor 6mm f/2.8; Nikkor 8mm f/2.8; Nikkor 16mm f/2.8
Wideangles: Nikkor 24mm f/2; Nikkor 24mm f/2.8; Nikkor 28mm f/2 (No. 540021 or above); Nikkor 28mm f/2.8(No. 500001 or above); Nikkor 35mm fl.4 (Use AI-S type lens only
*); Nikkor 35mm f/2 (No. 931001 or above); Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 (No. 880001 or above);
Normal: Nikkor 50mm f/1.2; Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 (No. 3980001 or above); Nikkor 50mm f/1.8; Nikkor 50mm f/1.8(N); Nikkor 50mm f/2 (No. 3640001 or above); Nikkor 55mm f/1.2

Telephoto: Nikkor 85mm f/1.4; Nikkor 85mm f/2; Nikkor 105mm f/1.8; Nikkor 105mm f/2.5; Nikkor 135mm f/2; Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 [Only infinity (
OO) to 1.7m (5.58 ft)]**; Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED [Only infinity (oo) to 2.5m**; Nikkor 80mm f/2.8 [Only infinity (OO) to 2.5m (8.2 ft)]**; Nikkor 200mm f/2 IF-ED; Nikkor 300mm f/2 IF-ED ***; Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 IF-ED***; Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED
Special: Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2; Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8; Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 [Only infinity (
OO) to 0.55m (1.8 ft)]** Series E: 28mm f/2.8; 35mm f/2 5; 50mm f/1.8; 100mm f/2.8; 135mm f/2.8 [Only infinity (OO) to 1.7m (5.58 ft)]** * AI-S type lenses can be distinguished by the orange minimum aperture indication on the aperture-direct-readout scale. ** For an in-focus image set the lens focus ring to a acting within the specified distance range. *** Use smallest possible aperture (largest f-number).

Mounting the Lens on a TC-16A
Position the lens in the TC-16A's bayonet mount lining up the aperture index on the lens with the lens mounting index on the TC-16A. Twist lens counterclockwise until it clicks into place. To mount telephoto lenses having a tripod collar twist the TC-16A clockwise until it click stops.

opA1.jpg opA2.jpg
To remove: Press the lens release button on the TC16A and turn the lens clockwise until it comes off. With telephoto lenses having a tripod collar turn the TC-16A counterclockwise instead.

MOUNTING THE ASSEMBLY ON THE CAMERA BODY B1.B2 Position the assembly in the cameras bayonet mount, lining up the camera mounting index on the TC-16A with the lens mounting index on the camera body. Twist the assembly counterclockwise until it clicks into place. With telephoto lenses having a tripod collar, twist the camera clockwise until it click stops.

opB1.jpg opB2.jpg
To remove: Press the lens release button on the camera and turn the assembly clockwise until it comes off. With telephoto lenses having a tripod collar, turn the camera counterclockwise instead.

BASIC OPERATION FOR AUTOFOCUS 1. Set the lens focus ring to the infinity (Oo.) position. 2. Set the F-501/N2020 cameras focus mode selector to S for Single Servo Autofocus, or C for Continuous Servo Autofocus. 3. Lightly press the cameras shutter release bunion to start autofocus detection. At the same time, the focus indicator LED lights up inside the cameras viewfinder.
4. Confirm whether green in-focus indicator LED lights up, then fully depress the shutter release button to take picture (s). For details about focus indicator LEDs, see the F-501/N2020 camera instruction manual.

TO SHIFT FOCUS DETECTION RANGE Focus detection range with lens at infinity (
OO) Lens focal length  Focus detection range (approx.)

300mm -
OO to 35m (114.8 ft)
200mm -
OO to 16m (52.5 ft)
- OO to 13m (42.7 ft)
135mm - oo to 7.2m (23.6 ft)
105mm - oo to 4.4m (14.4 ft)
- OO to 4m (13.1 ft)
- OO to 2.9m (9.5 ft)
80mm -
OO to 2.7m (8.9 ft)
58mm -
OO to 1.4m (4.6 ft)
55mm -
OO to 1.3m (4.3 ft)
50mm -
OO to 1.2m (3.9 ft)
35mm -
OO to 0.61m (2 ft)
28mm -
OO to 0.42m (1.4 ft)
24mm -
OO to 0.33m (1.1 ft)
16mm -
OO to 0.21m (0.69 ft)
8mm -
OO to 0.19m (0.62 ft)
6mm -
OO to 0.2m (0.66 ft)

With a subject outside the focus detection range, the focus-not-possible warning (
x) or focus-to-left indicator (<) remains lit inside the viewfinder. In this case turn the lens focus ring to the left. The distance set on the lens becomes the maximum shooting distance of the focus detection range, so its focus detection range - from maximum to minimum - is correspondingly shifted. For example, with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens, the focus detection range shifts as shown in the diagram.

Note: With the lens set at or near its closest focus distance, it is possible to focus a subject at a distance closer than the lens closest focus distance. Note, however, that picture quality may be somewhat impaired.

When a wide autofocus operation range is required: 1. Remove the TC-16A and lens from the camera and reattach the lens (only) to the camera 2 To set the desired maximum distance on the lens, focus manually; 3. Reattach the TC-16A between the camera body and lens without moving the lens focus ring; 4. Center the camera's focus brackets on a subject at the desired minimum distance and lightly press the shutter release button to start the autofocus function. If the in-focus indicator LED lights up, you can perform autofocus operation within the desired distance range determined by the lens focus ring setting. If the in-focus indicator LED does not appear and the focus-not-possible warning^ or focus-to-left arrow remains lit, the focus detection range determined by the lens focus ring setting is not appropriate for your desired shooting range. Turn the lens focus ring to the left or right during autofocus operation depending on the subject distance. Focus-not-possible warning also remains lit with an improper subject for autofocus. For details, see the camera's instruction manual.

Note for Exposure Determination With the TC-16A attached, the lens' effective aperture decreases by 1-1/3 f/stops. To prevent incorrect exposure, set aperture to f/1.8 or smaller (larger f-number). In M mode only, refer to the table below, then compensate exposure.
In A mode, make sure the shutter speed in the viewfinder is slower than 1/500sec.

Lens maximum aperture

Compensation amount


- 2/3 stop


- 1/3 stop

TC-16A Maintenance

* Always keep AF contacts clean. * Do not shock or jolt the TC-16A. * If condensation forms on the TC 16A body, wipe with a dry soft cloth. * To clean glass surfaces, use a blower brush. To remove condensation or fingerprints from glass surfaces, wipe with a soft, clean cotton cloth moistened with absolute alcohol. Use a spiral motion from center to periphery, making sure you leave no wiping traces. If you use ether in cleaning the glass surfaces, smudges may appear on the surfaces. If this happens, wipe smudges with a cotton cloth moistened with absolute alcohol. * Attach both front and rear caps when the TC-16A is stored separately * Avoid storing TC-16A in high-temperature, high-humidity places

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Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:-
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

Nikkor Link.jpg   Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses | about this photographic web site

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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.