Anyone have any recommendations for a 2x converter for a Nikon 70-200 VR lens? I want to purchase one soon, but don't have the $$ for the Nikon version...however, I've been burned in the past with the off-brand quality. Should I keep counting my pennies and save up for the Nikon version??
I'd recommend that you borrow or rent the Nikon 2x before spending your hard-earned cash. I've found that the 2x teleconverters often "promise more than they can deliver." I've used them off and on over the years, and never quite been happy with the quality. I suspect that your percentage of "keepers" will be relatively low with any 2x teleconverter, even the Nikon. (I've gotten much better results with the 1.4x.)
You might be better off to save your $ for a longer lens like the 300 f4 AFS or a similar lens.
I did borrow a Kenko 2x (I know, not the Nikon, but it was being offered, so I accepted) from a friend on a recent outing, and while I did appreciate the added range, the quality was a little lacking. I did have a few images I was really happy with, but you are probably right - saving up for the big gun might be more valuable in the end.
I've been using the Nikon TC-20EII since I bought my 70-200. I did have to have it repaired once, but otherwise, it's worked fine for me. Of course, 99.9% of my shooting with it are on a tripod. I tried the Kenko 2x and wasn't happy at all.
I've heard reports that the new 70-200 and new Nikon 2x teleconverter works alright. The earlier TC20E II and 70-200 had some softness that really defeats the purpose of great glass. The 70-200 works great with a TC14E II and pretty well with a TC17E II.
I think its a false economy to put a 2x teleconverter on a 70-200 lens. There are a lot of combinations that provide more reach without the image degradation. The 300 f/4 works great with a 1.4 teleconverter and even the 1.7 in good light. On a tight budget the Tamron 200-500 is a reasonable option - as is the Nikon 80-400 or Sigma 50-500. My wife uses the Tamron 200-500 over the Nikon 200-400 because it is so much lighter and still produces good images. A friend has bought and sold the Nikon 200-400 twice in favor of the Tamron due to the weight.
I have used the new TC 20 ExIII and was quite impresed with how good it was. Although not as good as long glass, but I was using it on the 500 f4 Nikon and it was great, much better than the II version. Good luck
I have been using the Nikon TC-20E III with a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 an while I am sure it is not a tack sharp at the 600mm f/4, I can handle losing an almost imperceptible amount of sharpness and 1 stop for $10,000.