Nikon 3x Tele Converter TC-E3ED

The Nikon 3x Tele Converter TC-E3ED package comes with the lens and front and rear caps.

Nikon 3x Tele Converter TC-E3ED

There are some important notes:

The on-camera lens is equivalent to a 38mm - 115mm zoom (35mm equivalent). Since this converter has a magnification of 3.0, mounting it on the camera effectively changes the zoom to 114mm - 345mm (35mm equivalent).

Since adding a converter on top of a lens always reduces optical quality, normally only the last three quarters of the combined focal length (i.e., 167mm - 345mm) will be used. The following diagram shows the 35mm equivalent zooming range of this tele converter. The commonly used 35mm equivalent focal lengths 135mm, 180mm, 200mm and 300mm are shown on the scale. The relative positions are at 10% for 135mm, 29% for 180mm, 37% for 200mm and 81% for 300mm.

In fact, if the combined focal length is less than 167mm (23% on the scale), vignetting occurs. Thus, if the focal length is less than 114mm, use the on-camera lens, and if the focal length is larger than 167mm, use TC-E3ED. If you also have a TC-E2, it can cover the range of 115mm and 230mm. Hence, there is an overlap of coverage of TC-E2 and TC-E3ED. I use TC-E3ED only when the focal length is longer than 230mm. The following image illustrates the effect of using TC-E3ED when the combined focal length is less than 167mm. The shadow is actually the tele converter's front barrel.

Vignetting may occur if a shorter combined focal length is used

Shooting in Telephoto 2 mode or Regular Mode

You can use the TELEFOTO mode on 950 or the Telephoto 2 mode on 990. See General Operations for the way of selecting a converter mode. Once this mode is selected, the on-camera lens is zoomed all the way in so that the combined focal length is 345mm (35mm equivalent), and the zooming button can only be used to zoom in and out between the range of 13mm and 24mm (or 186mm and 345mm - 35mm equivalent) to prevent vignetting. Moreover, both internal and external flashes are disabled. Please keep in mind that this mode is only available in M-REC.

You do not have to enter a converter mode to use a lens converter even if you are in M-REC. This means you can use this tele converter in the Regular mode. See General Operations for the details.


The minimum camera-subject distance is 2.5m/8.2 ft. If the distance is shorter than this, the camera fails to focus. Should this happen, you can use the Close-Up mode. In this case, the camera-subject distance can be brought down to about 10cm if the optimal close-up focal length is used (i.e., the close-up icon - flower - turns yellow). However, the front end of the lens barrel almost touches the subject (i.e., near zero working distance)!

Filter Issues

The filter thread size is 72mm. Vignetting may occur when the lens is zoomed out. But, vignetting does not occur for longer focal length.

Focus Distance

If you use Manual Focus in M-REC or use Infinity focus mode (i.e., the mountain icon) in either A-REC or M-REC, the focus distance is different from the actual distance. Consequently, you should ignore this distance and use the LCD monitor to make sure your subjects are in focus.

Technical Data

The following technical information are taken from Nikon's manual. These information are for 950 and 990 only, and should be different for other Nikon cameras.

Item Technical Data
Number of lenses 6 elements in 3 groups
Magnification x3
Combined focal length 345mm (35mm equivalent)
Combined max. aperture F4.0 at tele side
Angle of view 7 degree at tele side
Minimum range 2.5m/8.2 ft at tele side
Minimum range, macro 10cm/3.94 in