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TCON-14 (D-1.45x) review

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by tkbslc, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I was browsing ebay and came across an Olympus 1.45x TC with 46mm mount diameter. Offered the guy $8 best offer and he took it. There were several more under $20 shipped. Figured it would be fun to test on my 45mm and 60mm to see what it can do as a longer fast prime option. With the 46mm threads it would fit on a lot of m4/3 lenses.

    I have pretty high hopes for this one because it has a very large diameter front element and the rear element is larger than the 45mm and 60mm. It is very light (plastic body) and not only are the rear mount for 46mm filter threads, it's spring loaded for easy mounting. My research indicates that it was originally designed for the Olympus Centurion, which was a "bridge" camera in the mid 90s that used APS film (1.25x crop) and had a 35-125mm equivalent zoom range. So it was designed for a large "sensor".

    Here's a picture of it on the 45mm (with a 37-46 step ring) next to the 60mm macro for size comparison. It is a very reasonable size.

    P1120702.

    here is is on the 60mm macro as well as a picture of the box. It is long, but light and not unreasonable. The filter comes off instantly with the quick release:

    P1120719.

    Here you can see the diameter of the elements. Larger than the lenses I plan to try it on:

    P1120721.

    P1120722.

    I don't have a 52-46mm step down ring, but the rear element is larger than the front element on the 45-150mm, so I may try it on that lens, too, if it tests well on the 60mm.


    So far the only conclusive test I have done is that it has ZERO light loss! In all my tests, I get the exact same exposure with or without the TC on both the 45 and 60mm.

    I tried some sharpness tests, but they were not controlled very well so I will not post them. I will try again tomorrow, but I can at least say it appears very usable and has no noticeable vignetting issues. I will update this over the next few days with pictures taken with the converter.
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Messed around a little bit more and it is apparent that I am not losing a stop of aperture either for DOF or exposure purposes with this TC. The 45mm with the 1.45x is acting like a 65mm f1.8 and giving over a stop faster shutter speeds and significantly more bg blur than the 60mm f2.8. Sharpness wise, it holds pretty well for the middle of the frame and the extreme edges and corners are softer with some fringing, but not that bad.


    I'd post pics, but they are of cereal boxes for sharpness and my messy stove as the "bokeh", so I'll figure something better out tommorow! :blush:
     
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  3. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Seems like this is roughly doubling my minimum focus distance, so it is not helping with macro on the 60mm. Net magnification is worse.
     
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Alright, I have a few samples to share. I figured comparing the 45mm with the 1.45x (65mm) against the 60mm would be an easy comparison. Here is sharpness:

    Middle is very, very good right from wide open.
    45TCvs60mmcenter1.8.

    Edges are pretty bad at f1.8:
    45TCvs60mm.

    Still bad stopped down to f2.8 (opposite side of the frame from the above f1.8 shot)
    45mmTC2.8vs60mm_edge.

    Update: Does a lot better at the edges on the 60mm:

    60mm_v_60mm_wTC_edge.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Some more tests:

    Portrait test with goofy kid (click to go to photobucket with access to full size):

    P1120792.
    P1120790.
    P1120786.
    P1120784.


    You can tell the TC ones are a little "hazy" in comparison to the bare lenses, but I don't think it is unusable.
     
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Blur/Bokeh tests. Not sure if I'm getting more blur or just magnified blur. Am I getting 65mm f1.8 blur or cropped 45mm f1.8 blur?

    P1120758.
    P1120769.
    P1120767.
    P1120765.
    P1120762.
    P1120761.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Not sure if anyone is following, but I made all these pics for my own curiosity, so I figured I might as well share. Here's an outdoor photo with the TC on the 60mm vs the 45-150mm f5.6 at the same EFL. Hold up very well at f5.6. I'm not sure if the corner softness on the trees at f2.8 is the TC or DOF. May not have been the best test scene.

    P1120778.
    P1120782.
    P1120777.
     
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  8. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    Thanks for your tests. I think my conclusion is that it looks usable on the 60, but not stunning. I wonder what it would be like on an old OM 135?
     
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'm impressed that it has no loss of light, which is kind of what I was hoping. I sometimes need a little extra reach for dance recitals and 90mm f2.8 could be handy given the low cost of the adapter. For those shots, I usually don't fill the frame edge to edge, so it may work well. There aren't many ways to get to 90mm f2.8 with AF for cheap, so you have to make some compromises.

    The last set, the 60mm @ f5.6 with the TC is really close to the 45-150mm. Makes me want to try it on the 45-150mm and see how it looks at f8 and 217mm.

    I guess I'm a little disappointed at the edge sharpness, but I think we all kind of know what to expect with front mount TC. I guess I was hoping for more, but it is better than I expected at the same time. Again - $8!

    P.S. just for completeness, it works on the 25mm f1.8 with some minor vignetting at corners. No good on the 15mm f1.7, and it works on the 14-42 II from 20-42, but it creates some stress on the front lens portion that extends.
     
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  10. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Interesting TC, definitely looks like it's worth giving it a shot. I may have to pick up one of these. Thanks for posting the test shots. :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Here's one of the 45mm + TC samples with a little T-Max B+W film simulation applied. It's kind of soft like an old film lens so I figured I'd see what it looks like with "film"

    P1120787bw.
     
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  12. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    Is it the TCON 14 or the TCON 14B?
     
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  14. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    no light loss that's hard to understand, DOF indeed seems shallower, how's that possible?
     
  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The front element is wider so it can gather more light prior to magnifying it. It is some pretty complex math compared to rear teleconverters, but typically if the converter has a much larger front element, the light loss will be minimal. The bg blur change is just from magnifying the blur along with everything else. If the effective aperture isn't changing, longer lenses have more bg blur with same framing and aperture. Not sure if DOF is changed, though.
     
  16. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    thanks for the explanation, isn't there a fuji teleconverter for x100 or something that also claims no light loss since being part of the camera's native design? anyway glad to know it's technically possible.
     
  17. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    Thanks - I've just found a 14B on ebay for a reasonable price - I'll give that a go and post samples.
     
  18. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    14b has bigger threads and is heavier. Probably higher quality.
     
  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You know, this isn't bad at all if you just use it instead of trying to test it and do side-by-side comparisons.

    On the 45mm @ f2.0 giving me 65mm with some pretty good bokeh.

    P1130729film.JPG
     
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  20. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I too purchased one of the Olympus 1.45x TC's to use with my 45-175 PZ (making it a 250mm f/5.6 at max tele), but was appalled at how bad the CA was in high contrast areas (like what the OP showed when looking at the sheet of music). Also, it just kills the sharpness at the edges/corners of the frame.

    Fortunately, I only wasted $15 on it, so it's not the end of the world.