Best teleconverters in 2022: how they work, what to look for

Best teleconverters
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

The best teleconverters offer a more affordable way to increase your photographic reach without having to buy a longer lens. Essentially, they are like a secondary lens or magnifying adaptor that fits between your lens and the camera body, which then enlarges the central part of the image. 

Generally speaking, you'd use a teleconverter with a telephoto lens – wide-angle prime and zoom lenses are not usually compatible. Because teleconverters extend the focal range of a telephoto lens without degrading the image quality, they're very popular with nature and wildlife shooters who need to fill the frame to small subjects.

Using one does often come at the expense of light gathering power, but let's find out more on that and how they work in the guide below. 

Related articles

Best telephoto lenses (opens in new tab)
Best Canon telephotos (opens in new tab)
Best Nikon Telephotos (opens in new tab)
Best Sony lenses (opens in new tab)
Best Fujifilm lenses (opens in new tab)
Best Micro Four Thirds lenses (opens in new tab)
Best lenses for bird photography (opens in new tab)

You'll find teleconverters in two main sizes, and this means that it's easy to work out the magnification and what it will cost in your lens's maximum aperture to use one.

1.4x teleconverters 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!

Pros and cons of the best teleconverters

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Teleconverters are small, portable, and easy to pack in a bag when you're on assignment. More importantly still, they represent an extremely cost-effective way of taking an existing telephoto lens and making it go further, without the substantial cost of a whole new, much longer lens – which can sometimes reach prices in the tens of thousands.

The major disadvantage of using a teleconverter is the loss in maximum aperture, which can be a challenge in low light. Maintaining good image quality is another. In order to get the most out of a teleconverter, it's best to use them with an already  fast, pro-spec lens. Like most photography products, you can find cheaper teleconverter/telephoto lens pairings out there, but with these aren't likely to get the same levels of image quality as you would from a pro lens and own-brand teleconverter. 

Can any teleconverter work with any lens?

Unfortunately, no! Many years ago, you might have been able to buy a generic teleconverter that would work with all lenses sharing that camera mount. However today lens mounts have far greater electro-mechanical complexity. Different aperture controls and AF systems means that teleconverters aren't just specific to camera brands, but that they will only work with specific lenses, too.

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.

Keep all of this firmly in mind as you browse our guide to the best teleconverters, and decide which is the best option for your camera and lenses. We've split our guide into sections for each lens mount to help you find teleconverters to fit your system.

Canon EF mount teleconverters

We're often hearing that DSLRs are on their way out (the future is mirrorless) but with huge numbers of cameras still out there, we should see access to 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 quite vague here, and says: "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: Again, Canon is not very specific, but suggests that the Extender EF 2x III is compatible with most telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses within Canon’s flagship professional L-series range. This teleconverter extends the focal length while only reducing the effective aperture of the lens by two stops. 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

Nikon F teleconverters

Nikon DSLR owners are very well catered for when it comes to teleconverters. 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 most 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 helpful Nikon teleconverter compatibility table (opens in new tab) 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. Again, check out the Nikon teleconverter compatibility table (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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

Canon RF mount teleconverters

In terms of camera ecosystem history, the Canon RF system is still very young. The good news it that there are two teleconverters already, 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 for. Fortunately as Canon is focusing its attention on the RF system, we should hope to see more teleconverters in the future. Let's look at the options so far.

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

Sony A mount teleconverters

Sony discontinued its A-mount lenses in early 2022 (opens in new tab) so it will come as no surprise that it's become much more difficult to get 1.4x and 2x teleconverters for the older Sony A-mount. We've left them in here, as you might still get lucky and be able to pick up an A-mount teleconverter on eBay, or through a private seller on Amazon.

Just 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. Once again, be sure to check whether you're buying a teleconverter for the A mount or E mount. Sony 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)

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

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

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

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

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.

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 (opens in new tab)
Best Canon telephotos (opens in new tab)
Best Nikon Telephotos (opens in new tab)
Best Sony lenses (opens in new tab)
Best Fujifilm lenses (opens in new tab)
Best Micro Four Thirds lenses (opens in new tab)
Best lenses for bird photography (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1