Nikon claims its teleconverters don't degrade image quality. I put them through our lab in search of the truth

Best teleconverter
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Back in October we reported on a bold claim made by a representative of Nikon Japan about Nikon's Z-mount teleconverters. During a conversation between the Nikon rep and the Japanese Magazine, the (translated) claim was made by Nikon that "by taking advantage of the high descriptive power of the master lens. Image quality will not be degraded." [when using a Z-mount teleconverter].

Check out our original report for a detailed explanation of why we were sceptical of such a claim, but to sum up our thoughts: wherever extra lens elements are used to magnify the image of a host lens, any optical flaws in that host lens will also be magnified, therefore degrading the image quality of the recorded image. Since no lens is optically perfect, the assertion that a teleconverter will not degrade image quality is fundamentally inaccurate.

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.