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Kenko Teleplus teleconverters 2x and 3x Review

Kenko Teleplus teleconverters 2x and 3x Review - Two Kenko Teleplus teleconverters, the 2x and 3x tested here by Will Cheung.

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Category : Convertors and Other Adaptors
Product : Kenko Teleplus converters
Price : £200
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Kenko Teleplus PRO300 2x DGX
Handling
Performance
Verdict & ratings
Specification

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 3xM
Handling
Performance
Verdict & ratings
Specification

Kenko 2x and 3x teleconverters
This pair of Kenko converters offers a relatively low cost and more compact way of achieving much longer focal lengths.

Kenko offers teleconverters in magnifications of 1.4x, 1.5x, 2x and 3x. In this review, we tried the 2x and 3x models in Nikon fit and used them with a variety of lenses including the Tamron 90mm macro, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and Nikon 200-400mm f/4 lenses.

The Kenko Teleplus PRO300 2x DGX costs £200 and the Kenko Teleplus PRO300 3xM sells for £220. Both are available from Warehouse Express. Click here for the 2x model and here for the 3x model.

See here for more on teleconverters and how to get the most from them.

Click on the thumbnails to view high resolution images
Picture taken of church taken Tamron 90mm with no converter Picture of church taken with Kenko 2x and 3x teleconverters
It is not recommended using teleconverters in tandem but you might be tempted in some situations. This is the result of using the Kenko 2x and 3x converters on the Tamron 90mm (left) lens giving the equivalent of a 540mm f/16 lens. This test shot was taken with the Tamron lens wide open (ie set to f/2.8 but the five stop light loss means the effective aperture is f/16). The shutter speed was 1/100sec, hence a tripod was essential

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 2x DGX: Handling
It is light accessory and the barrel is rubber coated for a better grip. The instructions suggest fitting the converter to the lens first before fitting the combination onto the camera body. Some older converters had to be fitted to the camera first to ensure proper coupling. The camera should also be switched off before fitting the converter.

Focusing operation depends on the maximum aperture value of the lens used in combination with this converter. Lenses of f/4 and faster will provide autofocusing. With a zoom lens of variable maximum aperture, ie f/3.5-5.6, you may not get AF at the long end of the zoom lens and manual focusing will be needed.

In the viewfinder, the display shows the correct effective f/stop - not what is set on the lens. The EXIF data on the images will also show the actual effective focal length and aperture is recorded. So if this converter is used on a 200mm lens at f/8, the EXIF information will read 400mm at f/16.

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 2x DGX: Performance
The test images here were taken using the converter in conjunction with the Tamron SP90mm f/2.8 macro lens, a lens known for its quality. You can see our test of that lens here.

Image sharpness in the centre and at the edges is not very good at the wider apertures but stopping down the lens two stops or more improves quality considerably. The best quality comes with the lens at f/8 and f/11 giving effective apertures of f/16 and f/22. You will need bright light, good ISO performance or a camera support to make the most of this converter, and it is worth trying to avoid the wider apertures for critically sharp images.

Click on the thumbnails to view high resolution images
180mm f/5.6 180mm f/8 180mm f/11
180mm f/16 180mm f/22  90mm lens on its own

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 2x DGX: Verdict
It is a compact accessory but optically it needs using with care. You need to stop the prime lens down a couple of f/stops or more to get decent image quality, so make sure you have a support handy to get the most from the converter.

Product name: Pros
Compact and lightweight
Autofocusing
Gives correct viewfinder readout and EXIF data

Product name: Cons
Needs stopping down for good sharpness

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE
OVERALL

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 2x DGX: Specification
Price £200
Contact www.intro2020.co.uk
Construction 7 elements in 4 groups
Weight 192g
Size (lxd) 43.5x68mm

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 3xM: Handling
Handling is identical to the 2x model and as you can see from the product pictures, the 3x model is a little taller.

With the converter fitted, focusing must be done manually – there is no AF option.
In the viewfinder’s aperture display you will see the actual f/number of the prime lens, not the effective value which is three f/stops slower. With this converter, unlike the 2x model tested here, the EXIF data recorded will not display the effective focal length and aperture.

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 3xM: Performance
You might be surprised to hear that the this converter turns in a good performance even at the wider apertures. In fact, it outperforms the 2x model.

At the widest lens aperture (f/2.8 on the lens, f/8 effective) sharpness is good in the centre but less impressive at the edges. The edges gets better one stop down. However, the best edges come at f/5.6 and f/8 on the lens, giving effective values of f/16 and f/22. The best all-round performance comes at an aperture value of f/8 on the lens.

Click on the thumbnails to view high resolution images
 
270mm f/8 270mm f/11 270mm f/16
270mm f/22 270mm f/32 90mm lens on its own

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 3xM: Verdict
This converter works pretty well and is a worthwhile buy if you need extra telephoto pulling power and you are on a limited budget (in long lens terms). Handling the three-stop light loss is a challenge, especially bearing in mind that the best performance comes at three stops down from the widest value.

Product name: Pros
Good performance, even at wide apertures
Good value

Product name: Cons
Needs a camera support to make the most of it
Three stop light loss limits options

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE
OVERALL

Kenko Teleplus PRO300 3xM: Specification
Price £220
Contact www.intro2020.co.uk
Construction 7 elements in 4 groups
Weight 204g
Size (lxd) 67x67mm

The Kenko Teleplus PRO300 2x DGX costs £200 and the Kenko Teleplus PRO300 3xM sells for £220. Both are available from Warehouse Express. Click here for the 2x model and here for the 3x model.


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Comments


davey_griffo 5 213 165 England
11 Jul 2010 11:41PM
So where's the coffee then??

Actually, it's a wonder that the legal department from the coffee manufacturer hasn't been in touch about a change of branding. These corporations are usually very protective of their names.

Looks like a dead loss to me. Aside from my 50mm f1.4, I don't have anything faster than f3.5. But then I've seen other reviews that say TCs aren't worth having unless you have fast, pro-spec lenses, so I wasn't expecting your conclusion to be any different.

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I'm curious as to what camera was used in these tests. The converters were Nikon fit but were the cameras DX or full frame sensor size?
oldcameratech New Member
15 Sep 2014 6:14AM
hi good test apart from two things.
most photographers would be interested in this comparison using longer focal length lenses. say 70-200,300 or 400mm as cost of 500mm upwards is the usual financial stumbling block.
not many advanced photographers would be trying to increase focal length of a 90mm macro lens for near infinity photographs,perhaps to make a 180mm macro for insect photography.
beginner photographer are not likely to have a 90mm macro lens.they should be advised not to use tele extenders with entry level bodies and lenses but then again their expectations are far lower and are heppy they got some sort of photo.
kenko have too many models and a confusing name system. i cannot find a kenko Teleplus PRO300 3xM has it been replaced by the pro 3x dgx?

oldcameratech

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