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02-23-2010, 07:50 AM   #1
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Cheap - Wide Angle Lens Converter

I have seen these Wide Angle / Macro Converter Lenses on both ebay and Amazon (e.g., 0.5x Digital Wide Angle Macro Professional Series Lens + DB ROTH Micro Fiber Cloth For The Pentax K2000, K200D, K20D, K10D, K100D, K100D SUPER, K110D, *ist DL2, *ist DS2, *ist DL, *ist DS Digital Cameras Which Have Any Of These (55-300mm,).

Given the low price I'm tempted to pick one up for fun, but also given the low price, I'm afriad that the $30 would be better spent on treating a friend at McDonalds.

So does anyone have any experience with these converter lenses? I'm considering it for a upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon...

Many thanks for the insights to come...

02-23-2010, 01:28 PM   #2
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They are sufficiently low in quality that you will be disappointed with the results. If your current lens won't go wide enough, take several shots and stitch them together. The software is no more expensive, and often less, than the cost of the adaptor, and maintains the image quality of the lens you are using.

[EDIT] Here is a link to my Flickr album shot assembled with The Panorama Factory. This is about a worst case scenario. It's 360 degrees, assembled from shots taken horizontally with my DA* 16-50, without making everything manual.

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 02-23-2010 at 01:33 PM.
02-23-2010, 01:43 PM   #3
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I've only seen one report and set of sample images from someone who actually owned one (not necessarily same model, but appears similar). I was actually surprised by how not *completely* terrible the results were at web resolution, all things considered. Not that much worse than a cheap TC on a cheap lens, really. But with a TC, I consider that a complete waste of money and space in the bag because you can generally do as well by simply cropping. But aside from panorama stitching (which seems more trouble to me than it's worth most of the time - at least, as someone who's never done it before), there's no way to mimic what a wide converter does. If a wide converter is the only way to get more in the picture, so what if the corners don't stand up so well to 100% crops; for $50, why the heck not. For $25, I might be tempted if I didn't have the DA15. But I might get one for my wife anyhow - used with her DA40 or M28/2.8, it could be fun.

I'm not clear on the filter size, though. Looks from the list of lenses it is designed to fit that it's probably 58mm.
02-23-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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i have tried 2 different ones, both in the 0.45 to 0.5x range on my tamron 24mm F2.5 and my vivitar (kiron) 24,mm F2.

Don't have the photos close by to post , but I can do that later if needed.

Fundamentally these adaptors turn a 24mm lens in to a 11-12mm semi fisheye.

Although the center is not too bad for sharpness sharpness goes down rapidly at the edges, even stopped down, and shows significant color separation (lateral CA) off axis.

WHile the lens works reasonably well on my EV Bridge camera with its 36-360mm equivelent zoom, when the FOV moves out beyond the equivelent of 18 mm down to 10 you run into trouble.

I have not tried it on my 28 or 35mm because I want to go wider than 14-18 mm.

It may be that is just not practical and I will need to try it on one of my 28mm's

02-23-2010, 02:07 PM   #5
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The situation with wide angle converters is even worse than that with low end TC's. With a teleconverter you usually care most about image quality at the center of the frame & may even intend to crop away the edges, while with a wide angle converter, it is the edges you care about (the reason for using the converter in the first place is to increase the extent of "edge".)

There may be a few wide angle converters that are no too awfully terrible, but they are big & heavy so won't typically work with autofocus lenses. I've a few and will do some test shots to post later.

Dave in Iowa

Last edited by newarts; 02-23-2010 at 02:20 PM.
02-23-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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I have had the dedicated screw-in wide angle converters for my Nikon Coolpix 950 and later for the Canon G5. Both were anything but cheap and performed not too bad (the compromise being their very pronounced distortion). I guess, even with these screw-in lenses you get what you pay for. I also used a friends "fish-eye" converter many, many years ago. It was then a not so cheap modell (even more expensive in then real money, than those example in the above links). The results were pretty much, what Albert describs: horrible CAs and very, very poor sharpness starting just outside the center. Also som serious flareing, producing a bright ring-like halo around the field of view.

02-23-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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This wide angle converter is one of the better ones.

Cheap Olympus Wide-Angle Converter B-28 0.8x *REDUCED* - Fourthirdsphoto Forum

It is at a very good price too.
02-23-2010, 11:57 PM   #8
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Last edited by newarts; 02-24-2010 at 01:01 AM.

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