What is a teleconverter? A teleconverter is an add-on optic that sits between the camera body and a compatible lens. Popular options include 1.4x, 1.7x and 2.0x, which reduce the maximum available aperture by one, 1.5 and two stops respectively.
Teleconverters give the effect of using a lens with an increased focal length. A teleconverter also decreases the intensity of the light reaching your camera’s sensor.
Using a teleconverter with one of your existing lenses can be an inexpensive way of achieving longer focal lengths without investing in an expensive telephoto lens. However, because the teleconverter magnifies the image circle to zoom into a scene, any aberrations will in turn be more visible (to learn more, see What is chromatic aberration: free photography cheat sheet).
Below is a short guide on how to use a teleconverter with your camera and tripod.
01 Fit the converter
Check that your lens and teleconverter are compatible – if they’re not the right fit, you might damage both of them. Mount the lens on the teleconverter, switch off your camera and mount the teleconverter and lens onto it.
02 Attach to a tripod
A tripod collar centralises the weight of the camera and lens. For portrait-orientation shots, loosen the tripod collar’s locking screw. Rotate the lens and camera within the collar, rather than using the tripod head’s swivel facility.
03 Use Shutter Priority
Switch to Shutter Priority (S) mode and set a fast shutter speed to minimise motion blur as well as camera-shake. The Auto ISO function will be handy as it increases the sensitivity as necessary in dull lighting conditions.
What is a teleconverter?