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Tele-Converter to extend reach of the SEL55-210

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by WestOkid, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I have been mulling whether it is worth getting a teleconverter or just buy a Super-Zoom P&S. I want to get into shooting birds, but I can't really get close enough with the SEL55210. I end up performing a huge crop, resulting in a mushy low-res picture. I have seen super-zooms do much better at the sacrifice of low-light and DOF.

    I was about the make the Super-zoom plunge, but someone I know sugested a teleconverter. However, I really can't a lot of quality stuff out there.
    The 2 that seem good are:
    • The Sony DH1758 seems to be what everyone uses, but it is discontinued. I don't want to pay $200 to someone on ebay for a used lens that may be garbage.
    • The Olympus TCon-17x seems to be viable, but I can't find more than a couple of examples of people using it on a NEX. Also, one guy said it was too heavy for the SEL55210.

    Can anyone recommend a 500mm+ setup for the NEX? Please provide examples if you can.
     
  2. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    258
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    I have the Olympus TCON 17 (B-300) that I use with the 55-210. I'm not yet convinced that it is that much improvement over just cropping in the limited testing I did. I suppose with the 1.7x zoom factor, it might be easier to get smaller things in focus as there is less of a chance your focus area will be distracted by a busy background. There is some finer detail there that you can get but contrast is down a little.

    You need to stop down a little as wide open, there is a slight haze over much of the image if you are using it outside in bright light. As far as size, I don't find that it is that heavy and if you look at the specs, it is comparable to the Sony DH1758. It is a little awkward to handle but serviceable. AF hunts a bit more that without having the TC on. Basically it will amplify any issues that the 55-210 already has. But the nice thing of this type of TC is you don't loose any light (or very little).

    If you go to DPreview forum, there are many people who have had good success with this style of TC. I have not used this lens much though so take what I say with a grain of salt. Winter is long here so I have not really taken the combo out since November.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I had the 55-210 & DH1758 combo, and it worked fine. But it was a bit of a hassle screwing that TC on and off. For $200 you could pick up a decent, fast ~300mm prime telephoto lens and adapter, and for slightly less hassle, you'd end up with much better IQ and a longer reach.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Woodworks - I assume that setup would be a pure manual? I don't think I am ready to go pure manual. I usually go DMF otherwise I have a hard time. Maybe eventually.
    Do you have any samples of the DH1758 combo you can share?

    Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk
     
  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Hey Gary, yes, it would be pure manual. And I went through my Lightroom catalog and found only a single image that I kept using that combo. It's not one I'd care to share online, but just the fact that I just kept one image might tell you how much that TC worked for me.
     
  6. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Hmm. Interesting. Thanks for looking. I may have to rethink that combo.


    Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk
     
  7. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
  8. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Thanks Nick. I enjoyed Danny's Pics. Damn he is good! That said, his skill and his equipment are NBA at the Madison Square Garden. I just hope to have a decent pick-up game in my back yard.

    BTW - I read some stuff on DPreview about Sony DH1758 that sounded promising. I found one on one on Ebay for $110. Seems like good price, since average price is $150+ (People are milking it).

    Thanks for the help. I'll post results if they are not embarassing. ;-)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. msullivan

    msullivan TalkEmount Regular

    140
    Jan 11, 2013
    Phoenix AZ
    You will not be disappointed in the DH1758 with the 55-210. It does not match Danny's tools but it is very good for what most of us need. I have had three of them (indecision about systems is very annoying) and all performed well. The price seems to be returning to a reasonable level after last year's frenzy.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Gary, I was wondering if you decided to try the Olympus/Sony extender or go with a superzoom. I am now going through a similar debate. I don't shoot that long often, but I would like to shoot more wildlife and would like to be able to and get decent results when I do. I just don't know what is the best option short of buying a DSLR and long lens.
     
  11. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
  12. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Thanks. Your shots with the Sony were very impressive. I don't think you could have asked for more given the cost of the extender. But I certainly understand it not feeling comfortable. I had a Panasonic Superzoom i sold a while back and am wondering about the wisdom of that move -- although the newer ones have much more reach. As you said in one of your posts, there probably is no single system for all situations.