180428 Teleconverters - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

With luck these will be the least interesting photos I post. This month, anyway. They're the results of a quick test with the Fujifilm XF 80mm Macro lens and the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, looking at how they affect macro performance.

The results have been inconclusive.

All three photos have been taken just shy of the minimum focusing distance, which produced about the same working distance of 10-12cm from the front of the lens. The reproduction ratio changed considerably, as can be seen in the uncropped photos. The subject is a rusty piece of metal that's about 15mm across.

At the pixel level photos with the 2x teleconverter are visibly softer than the bare lens, and also were more prone to problems from poor shooting discipline. But looking at the same effective size on the screen – the 2x at 50% versus 1x at 100%, or 2x at 100% and 1x at 200% magnification – they looked remarkably similar. Applying some clarity and structure to the 2xTC images sparked them up nicely, but improving the bare lens images could be done with a lighter touch.

The 1.4xTC photos landed somewhere between the two, naturally. But in this case I was actually hoping for better than that from the 80mm Macro, which is so sharp natively that I was hoping it had a bit more resolution to spare.


So the inconclusive part of the test is that I haven't decided if it's worth buying one. The extra macro magnification has an almost 1:1 tradeoff in sharpness; the sharpness tradeoff remains if I'm looking for more working distance instead of more magnification. I don't actually need more reach, since my 55-200 covers my longer-lensing needs, so macro is my only use case. 

I'll keep trying, but so far it looks like I won't be adding a converter to my collection.


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