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Best teleconverters in 2021: how they work, which cameras and lenses they work with

Best teleconverter
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

The best teleconverters will extend the focal range of your telephoto lenses without degrading the image quality. Essentially, they are like magnifying adaptors that fit between the lens and the camera body, making the image larger, but at the expense of light gathering power.

Teleconverters come in two main sizes which make it easy to work out the magnification and what it will cost in your lens's maximum aperture.

1.4x teleconverters will increase the magnification of your subjects 1.4 times, but you will lose an f-stop in maximum aperture. For example, if you use a 1.4x teleconverter with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, it will effectively become a 98-280mm f/4. (If you want to round it up, you could say it becomes a 100-300mm f/4 – not bad!)

2x teleconverters will double the focal length of your lens and its magnification, but at the cost of two f-stops of maximum aperture. Taking a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens as an example again, a 2x converter would make it effectively a 140-400mm f/5.6 lens – still not bad!

Teleconverter pros and cons

Teleconverters are small, portable, and an extremely cost-effective way of making an existing telephoto lens go further, without the substantial cost of whole new, much longer lens.

However, the loss in maximum aperture is one issue, and maintaining good image quality is another. So for teleconverters to be effective, you really need to use them with fast, pro-spec lenses. There are cheaper teleconverter/telephoto lens pairings, but you should probably not expect to get the same levels of image quality as you will from a pro lens and an own-brand teleconverter.

Can any teleconverter work with any lens?

No! Years ago, you might have bought a generic teleconverter that would work with all lenses sharing that camera mount, but the far greater electro-mechanical complexity of today's lens mounts, aperture controls and AF systems means that teleconverters aren't just specific to camera brands, but that they will only work with specific lenses.

In fact, teleconverters today are used solely to extend the range of telephoto lenses, so they can't be used as a generic 'magnifier' for all your lenses. What's more, you will find that they can't be used with all telephotos, even those from the same maker. Indeed, some teleconverters are designed for a single lens.

Please note: we have done our best to establish which lenses are compatible with each teleconverter, but please double-check before you buy.

So keep all of this firmly in mind as you browse our guide to the best teleconverters. We've split this into sections for each lens mount to help you find teleconverters to fit your system.

Canon EF mount teleconverters

DSLRs may be on their way out, according to mirrorless pundits, but the huge numbers of cameras out there means that there will be lens support for a long time to come – and Canon DSLR owners don't just get access to own-brand Canon teleconverters ('extenders' in Canon-speak), as Sigma and Tamron make teleconverters for their own telephotos.

Canon Extender EF 1.4x III

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 3 groups | Size: 72.0x27.2mm | Weight: 225g

Compatibility: Canon is pretty vague: "The Extender EF 1.4x III is compatible with most telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses within Canon’s flagship professional L-series range, extending the focal length while only reducing the effective aperture of the lens by one stop." Canon does say AF fine tuning adjustments may be needed for autofocus accuracy with some fast prime lenses.

Canon Extender EF 2x III

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 9 elements in 5 groups | Size: 72.0x52.7mm | Weight: 325g

Compatibility: Canon is not specific: "The Extender EF 2x III is compatible with most telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses within Canon’s flagship professional L-series range, extending the focal length while only reducing the effective aperture of the lens by two stop." Canon does say AF fine tuning adjustments may be needed for autofocus accuracy with some fast prime lenses.

Sigma TC-1401 1.4x Teleconverter for Canon EF

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 5 groups | Size: 68.5x25mm | Weight: 190g

Compatibility: SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions), SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports, SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (AF restrictions), SIGMA 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports (latest firmware), SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions), SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (AF restrictions), SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports, SIGMA 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO | Art (AF restrictions)

Sigma TC-2001 2x Teleconverter for Canon EF

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 10 elements in 5 groups | Size: 68.5x48.9mm | Weight: 290g

Compatibility: SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports (MF only), SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports, SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (MF only), SIGMA 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions), SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports (MF only), SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (MF only), SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions), SIGMA 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO | Art (MF only)

Tamron Teleconverter 1.4x for Canon EF

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 6 elements in 3 groups | Size: 70x34mm | Weight: 204g

Compatibility: Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Tamron SP 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

Tamron Teleconverter 2.0x for Canon EF

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 9 elements in 5 groups | Size: 70x66.8mm | Weight: 360g

Compatibility: Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Tamron SP 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

Canon RF mount teleconverters

In camera ecosystem terms, the Canon RF system is still very young. There are two teleconverters already, which is the good news, but they don't work with all Canon RF telephotos, notably the two 70-200mm lenses, which is frustrating because the 70-200mm zooms are the two lenses where you might most want an Extender.

Canon Extender RF 1.4x

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 4 groups | Size: 71.2x20.3mm | Weight: 225g

Compatibility: Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM (can only be used within 300-500mm range), Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM, Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM

Canon Extender RF 2x

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 9 elements in 5 groups | Size: 71.2x39.3mm | Weight: 340g

Compatibility: Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM (can only be used within 300-500mm range), Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM, Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM

Fujifilm X and G mount teleconverters

You can get third-party lenses for Fujifilm cameras, but so far the only teleconverters are made by Fujifilm itself. There is one complication. You can get the Fujinon XF 200mm f/2 R LM OIS WR telephoto with a matching XF 1.4x TC F2 WR Teleconverter, but this is a special version of the regular 1.4x. teleconverter (below) that is not sold separately. The regular 1.4x teleconverter is listed as incompatible with this lens.

Fujinon XF 1.4x TC WR Teleconverter

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 3 groups | Size: 58x15mm | Weight: 130g

Compatibility: Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 R LM OIS WR, Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Fujinon XF 2x TC WR Teleconverter

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 9 elements in 5 groups | Size: 58x30.2mm | Weight: 170g

Compatibility: Fujinon XF 50-140 f/2.8 R LM OIS WR, Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Fujinon GF 1.4X TC WR Teleconverter

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 3 groups | Size: 82x26.7mm | Weight: 400g

Compatibility: Fujinon GF250mmF4 R LM OS WR, Fujinon GF100-200mmF5.6 R LM OIS WR

Nikon F teleconverters

Nikon DSLR owners are very well catered for because, just like Canon, its own teleconverters are supplemented by teleconverters from Sigma and Tamron for their own third-party lenses. Nikon even makes a mid-size TC-17E converter with 1.7x magnification, though other makers skip this and go straight from 1.4x to 2x.

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 4 groups | Size: 64x24.5mm | Weight: 190g

Compatibility: The TC-14E III is compatible with a large number of Nikon lenses, but a few have AF limitations. Check the Nikon teleconverter compatibility table for more information.

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II

Magnification: 1.7x | Aperture reduction: approx 1.5 stops | Construction: 7 elements in 4 groups | Size: 66x31.5mm | Weight: 250g

Compatibility: The TC-17E II is broadly compatible with a large number of Nikon lenses, but often with AF limitations and sometimes manual focus only. Check the Nikon teleconverter compatibility table for more information.

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 7 elements in 5 groups | Size: 66x48mm | Weight: 330g

Compatibility: The TC-20E III is broadly compatible with a large number of Nikon lenses, but often with AF limitations and sometimes manual focus only. Check the Nikon teleconverter compatibility table for more information.

Sigma TC-1401 1.4x Teleconverter for Nikon F

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 5 groups | Size: 68.5x25mm | Weight: 190g

Compatibility: SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions), SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports, SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (AF restrictions), SIGMA 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions), SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions), SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (AF restrictions), SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports

Sigma TC-2001 2x Teleconverter for Nikon F

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 10 elements in 5 groups | Size: 68.5x48.9mm | Weight: 290g

Compatibility: SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports (MF only), SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports, SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (MF only), SIGMA 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions), SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports (MF only), SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary (MF only), SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports (AF restrictions)

Tamron Teleconverter 1.4x for Nikon F

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 6 elements in 3 groups | Size: 70x34mm | Weight: 204g

Compatibility: Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Tamron SP 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

Tamron Teleconverter 2.0x for Nikon F

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 9 elements in 5 groups | Size: 70x66.8mm | Weight: 360g

Compatibility: Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2, Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Tamron SP 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD

Nikon Z teleconverters

Like the Canon RF system, the Nikon Z system is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, Nikon does make two Z teleconverters, albeit only for a specific Nikkor Z lens.

Nikon Z Teleconverter TC-1.4x

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 6 elements in 4 groups | Size: 72x18.5mm | Weight: 220g

Compatibility: NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Nikon Z Teleconverter TC-2.0x

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 8 elements in 5 groups | Size: 72x32.5mm | Weight: 270g

Compatibility: NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Olympus MFT teleconverters

Olympus follows the pattern of the other makers, offering its own 1.4x and 2x teleconverters for specific M.Zuiko telephoto lenses. Given the 2x crop factor already inherent in the MFT format, this can produce some extremely large effective magnifications. Note that the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150‑400mm F4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO comes with its own built-in 1.25x teleconverter not sold separately.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital MC-14 1.4x Teleconverter

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 6 elements in 3 groups | Size: 59.8x14.7mm | Weight: 105g

Compatibility: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO, M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100‑400mm F5.0‑6.3 IS and M.Zuiko Digital ED 300m f/4 PRO

Olympus MC-20 M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 9 elements in 4 groups | Size: 59.8x25.9mm | Weight: 150g

Compatibility: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO, M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100‑400mm F5.0‑6.3 IS and M.Zuiko Digital ED 300m f/4 PRO

Panasonic Lumix G teleconverters

Panasonic now makes two distinct camera ranges, and while the brand is the same, there's no crossover in the lens mounts. Panasonic's Lumix G cameras have two teleconverters of their own – they can't use the Lumix S teleconverters or lenses at all.

Panasonic DMW-TC14

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 8 elements in 5 groups | Size: 58mm wide (length not quoted) | Weight: not quoted

Compatibility: Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. POWER O.I.S., included with Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S.

Panasonic DMW-TC20 2x Teleconverter

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 6 elements in 4 groups | Size: 58mm wide (length not quoted) | Weight: not quoted

Compatibility: Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. POWER O.I.S., Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S.

Panasonic L-mount teleconverters

Considering this is the newest full frame mirrorless lens mount of all, Panasonic has done well to push out two Lumix S teleconverters – and the combined might of the L-mount Alliance pays dividends here as Sigma has produced two of its own.

Panasonic DMW-STC14 1.4x Teleconverter

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 4 groups | Size: 65.3x27.6mm | Weight: 180g

Compatibility: Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S., Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/2.8 O.I.S.

Panasonic DMW-STC20 2x Teleconverter

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 8 elements in 4 groups | Size: 65.3x41.6mm | Weight: 230g

Compatibility: Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S., Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/2.8 O.I.S.

Sigma TC-1411 1.4x Teleconverter for L-mount

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 7 elements in 4 groups | Size: 65.2x33.1mm | Weight: 175g

Compatibility: Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Contemporary, 105mm F2.8 DG DN MACRO | Art

Sigma TC-2011 2x Teleconverter for L-mount

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 7 elements in 4 groups | Size: 65.3x46.9mm | Weight: 205g

Compatibility: Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS | Contemporary, 105mm F2.8 DG DN MACRO | Art

Pentax teleconverters

We're used to Pentax being pretty quiet these days, but the good news for Pentax sport and wildlife fans is that there is a Pentax 1.4x teleconverter.

Pentax 1.4x HD PENTAX-DA AF Rear Converter AW

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 4 elements in 3 groups | Size: 65x20mm | Weight: 126g

Compatibility: Pentax quotes broad compatibility across its lens range, though not with certain shorter focal length primes and with some AF limitations on other lenses.

Sony A mount teleconverters

History fans will be pleased to know you can get 1.4x and 2x teleconverters for the older Sony A-mount. Be careful you (or the reseller) don't confuse the A mount and E mount teleconverters. Sony's A mount lens codes start with SAL, and its E mount lens codes start with SEL.

Sony 1.4x Teleconverter SAL14TC

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 5 elements in 4 groups | Size: 64x20mm | Weight: 170g

Compatibility: Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II, 300mm f/2.8 G SSM II, 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II (manual focus only), 135mm f/2.8 STF (manual focus only), 500mm f/4 G SSM (B&H)

Sony 2.0x Teleconverter SAL20TC

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 6 elements in 5 groups | Size: 64x43.5mm | Weight: 200g

Compatibility: Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II, 300mm f/2.8 G SSM II70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM II (manual focus only), 135mm f/2.8 STF (manual focus only), 500mm f/4 G SSM (manual focus only) (B&H)

Sony FE mount teleconverters

After years of steady growth the Sony E-mount is now looking very strong, and there are two Sony teleconverters in the usual 1.4x and 2x magnifications. Be careful you (or the reseller) don't confuse the A mount and E mount teleconverters. Sony's A mount lens codes start with SAL, and its E mount lens codes start with SEL.

Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter SEL14TC

Magnification: 1.4x | Aperture reduction: 1 stop | Construction: 6 elements in 5 groups | Size: 65x20mm | Weight: 126g

Compatibility: Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS, FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS, FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS, FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS, FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS (B&H)

Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter SEL20TC

Magnification: 2x | Aperture reduction: 2 stops | Construction: 8 elements in 5 groups | Size: 62.4x42.7mm | Weight: 207g

Compatibility: Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS, FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS, FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS, FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS, FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS (B&H)

Third party teleconverters

Third party teleconverters exist in numbers too huge for us to include them here! Besides, in many instances they don't support all the camera-lens functions and their compatibility isn't always clear. 

We have made the assumption that anyone who needs a teleconverter is likely to choose an own-brand model that's properly matched to specific lenses.

Read more:

Best telephoto lenses
Best Canon telephotos
Best Nikon Telephotos
Best Sony lenses
Best Fujifilm lenses
Best Micro Four Thirds lenses
Best lenses for bird photography