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02-07-2011, 12:40 AM   #1
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wide angle accesory lens for Pentax kit lens?

Hi, does anyone know if there are accesory 'screw on' lenses that can convert the kit lens to a wider angle field of view? I had one of the attachment lenses sold as an aftermarket lens to be attached to a point and shoot digital camera I owned a few years ago. It is fundamentally a single piece of glass that changes the magnification ratio of the lens you attach it to to something like 0.7x ratio. This would change the 18mm wide angle setting to 13mm equivalent. The picture is not overly sharp but you get the benefit of a wider FoV and it works fine on normal photo sized prints.

Thanks.

02-07-2011, 01:46 AM   #2
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Yes, as you say they're available for digicams; my wife has one for her swivel Nikon. They've been around for a while, as my dad's 60's vintage Petri 7s RF cam had a set of wide/tele with a viewfinder as well.

Anyway, I've seen these generic add-ons sold on the 'bay, and I bet B&H and Adorama could find one with the right filter thread to fit your kit lens. Unlikely there's one from Pentax...
02-07-2011, 03:30 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jlaubza Quote
Hi, does anyone know if there are accesory 'screw on' lenses that can convert the kit lens to a wider angle field of view? I had one of the attachment lenses sold as an aftermarket lens to be attached to a point and shoot digital camera I owned a few years ago. It is fundamentally a single piece of glass that changes the magnification ratio of the lens you attach it to to something like 0.7x ratio. This would change the 18mm wide angle setting to 13mm equivalent. The picture is not overly sharp but you get the benefit of a wider FoV and it works fine on normal photo sized prints.
Have a look through these and see which might suit your needs. I've not tried their wide/fish but their close-up converters are top class quality IMX.

DCR-7900ZD SLD High Definition Wideangle conversion lens 0.79x for Digital camera

And here's an example available at Adorama in 52mm mount thread size, which is the standard Pentax 18-55 Kit lens filter size.
DCR6600PRO Raynox DCR-6600 Pro 0.66x High Quality Wide-Angle Lens for Camcorders & Digital Still Cameras, 52mm Filter Thread.

HTH.

.R.
02-07-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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Hi, after losing my 12-24 in a river I bought a kit lens and the Digital King screw on 0.7 adapter (Digital King DSW Pro 0.7x Wide Angle Lens - 58mm - Only 69.99 - SRS Microsystems )hoping it would keep me quiet. It was barely ok, edge sharpness was pretty bad, but for 30 (I got it cheaper than retail) it was a lot less than a new price-hiked 12-24. I blogged my impressions here: review: digital king dsw 0.7 wide adapter scanar Not sure what the quality of the raynox is like. If you really want wide I would opt for Samyang 14mm 2.8 (not that I own that, but it is likely to be better than the screw ons and not as expensive as the real ultra wide lenses). I saved up and bought the sigma 10-20

02-07-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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the Raynox is $427 in Canada even if it's $300 it's too much for this idea. you should be able to find a used DA14 for not much more than the Canadian price, or save some cash and het the Samyang which has had pretty good reviews (I'm considering the 85 Samyang because it's tough to beat at the price)
The raynox site says to use it stopped down to f15 or smaller or images will be soft. the kit lens is of course best at 8-11 so now you have refraction issues and soft edges for a pretty high price.

If you try a cheap one then at least it's little money lost

the Raynox was designed for people shooting Camcorders without the option of changing lenses at first
02-07-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
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I don't know about the raynox adaptor but I have a couple of cheaper ones that I use on my DIgicam. they work finr on the digicam, converting the nominal (in 35mm film equivelent focal length) 36-360mm zoom into a 17-170mm zoom without too much distortion or CA, BUT when you put them on a 24mm or 28 mm lens to try for an UWA on an ASP-C sensor, there are a couple of serious problems.

They suffer from barrel distortion rather badly, making the lens a semi fisheye, AND the CA is terrible. The CA comes in the form of lateral CA and you get multiple fully separated but otherwise sharp image lines, violet on one side and green on the other. If you intend to print larger than 4 x 6 forget it.
02-07-2011, 07:22 PM   #7
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I have an Olympus WCON wide angle adapter that works better than most adapters of this type. I got it cheap - about $15. For that price it did what I wanted at the time. Works better on the kit lens when set to 19mm not 18mm. Gives about 15mm FOV. Warning - It's big and heavy. Here is a listing for pictures.
OLYMPUS 0.8X WIDE ANGLE CONVERSION LENS WCON-08 (160) - eBay (item 190498013850 end time Feb-09-11 19:06:37 PST)
02-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #8
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I bought a Raynox 0.66 wide angle conversion lens for use on my M28 3.5. The results are awful. I bought a Zenitar 16mm. Nice.

02-08-2011, 05:00 PM   #9
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I went to a camera fair last weekend and the cardboard boxes of 'junk' under most of the stalls, marked up with cards that said something like "any item 2" were full of these screw on wide angle adaptors.
I didn't see a rush to buy them at that price though.
02-08-2011, 06:03 PM   #10
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I think I'd experiment with trying to stitch pictures together before resorting to a generic add-on wide angle adapter. I've had good results with the multi-element add-on close-up adapters, and there are some dedicated wide angle adapters for compact digital cameras that might be more likely to produce good results when mated to the intended cameras.

Paul
02-08-2011, 07:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I think I'd experiment with trying to stitch pictures together before resorting to a generic add-on wide angle adapter. I've had good results with the multi-element add-on close-up adapters, and there are some dedicated wide angle adapters for compact digital cameras that might be more likely to produce good results when mated to the intended cameras.

Paul
That's a good suggestion for still image work, and might suit the O.P for their Kit Pentax lens widening needs.

Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) is free, available in 32 & 64 bit and is capable of stitching up to 100s of images for multi-gigabyte sized panoramas.
Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (ICE)

Also, Adobe Photoshop Elements is fairly inexpensive and comes with a brilliant in-built pano stitcher.
edit photos, photo editing software program | Adobe Photoshop Elements 9

Best of all, in my experience both of those are real no-brainers to use and is a very quick exercise to get great results.

.R.
02-09-2011, 08:01 AM   #12
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My grateful thanks to all you guys who contributed - now I know that such a thing can be bought - it may be useful in some cases and takes up little room in the camera bag.

I have done pano's using PSE9 and its a brilliant function within PSE. The problem is that the finished picture is no longer the standard screen size, unless you do at least four images, 2 side by side and two on top of those to add in some sky. Cropping just two image panos into screen sizes means a strip picture with gaps top and bottom on your screen. It does not look good on a TV screen either. So the hassle of taking four pictures to produce a pseudo wide angle shot is mostly too much of a bother.
02-09-2011, 09:20 AM   #13
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A quick comparison test...

I just did a quick test using my K-x and my 18-55mm lens kit. I took 2 pics at 18mm (A and B below) and overlapped them so I could create a panoramic image in PSElements9. (A+B)
I then screwed on my Raynox DCR-720 Wide Angle Conversion Lens (which provides a .72 widening), left it at 18mm and took another pic. (C below) I cropped it a bit to remove vignetting and straightened it up a bit using PanoTools plugin. (I've resized the pics all down to 1024 wide, so don't judge these on quality...) BTW, I did this handheld...

A B
A+B
C C fixed
Observations:
  • The converter allowed me to get a greater wide angle shot quickly, but I still had to fix it up.
  • Using PSE9, it was easy to create the panoramic.
  • As you can imagine, there was more detail in the pano than in C because it was a much larger file.
Conclusion: Just take two pics and create a pano later.

UPDATE: While posting this, I see that the OP just added another comment. Yes, the pic size is an issue, but w/ the vignetting, even using the converter may pose a challenge.
02-09-2011, 10:22 AM   #14
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I've used a number of such wide strap-ons (but not Raynox) and they all suck. They can be fun, as long as you're not concerned with details such as shitty image quality, etc. They're OK for moving images, because the eye doesn't notice the low IQ as much, but for still images, they suck. Much much better to get a Zenitar 16/2.8.
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02-12-2011, 07:25 PM   #15
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Hypocorism, THANKS for the link to the MS ICE pano stitching system !!!
I had been using the "free" version of the old ArcSoft PanoStitcher4, and it would only save as 1/4 sized files unless you paid the $99 subscription fee.... the ICE was free and it saves in full size stitched files !! AWESOME !!
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