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Found a good, very cheap, wide converter for the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dougjgreen, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    FYI, in my search for an inexpensive means of getting a wider than 10mm lens on the Nikon 1 system, I ended up finding a 0.76x wide converter, the FujiFilm WL-FXE01, that also works well on the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 lens, and converts this lens into a 10.6mm lens. I posted about this at length in the Nikon 1 forum on Seriouscompacts.com:

    http://www.seriouscompacts.com/showthread.php?t=30147

    This wide converter can currently be bought on ebay for $12 from either Buydig or Beachcamera (these two sellers may be affiliated with one another). In any case, I can endorse this converter as a real bargain way of getting wider than 12mm in the Micro 4/3 system. The Sony VCL-ECU1 wide converter is also very useful as well, and even a hair sharper than the Fujifilm, but that converter tends to sell for closer to $100 compared to $12 for the Fujifilm, and the Fuji attaches via the filter threads (you'll need a 46-43mm step down ring, which can be bought presently for $1.49 on ebay).

    FujiFilm wide converter for $12: ebay item # 301229314744 or # 321450806122

    46-43 step down ring for $1.49: ebay item # 161314730331
     
    • Like Like x 13
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Sample photos: It's a dull subject, but very useful for testing wide converters. These are straight out of the camera JPEGs:

    In order: 14mm lens by itself, 14mm lens with Fujifilm WL-FXE01 adapter, 14mm lens with Sony ECL-VCU1 adapter
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 4
  3. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    This is good info! Thanks!
     
  4. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I also converted my Lumix 14mm to 10.6 using a Nikon Coolpix P7000 0.76x wide converter. The converter itself is a huge beast with a 77mm filter thread and gave me 10.6mm, so I just rounded it up to 11mm. From the looks of your sample photos, I get similar distortion as yours. However in regards to sharpness, it seemed that mine is way sharper than yours in the center and borders but soft on the corners. It also changes the colors; so green is greener and blue is bluer and the lens flare is replaced with green/purplish rather than pink. The converter itself is about $200 + new; super expensive but I guess I know now why. It was from the old Coolpix P7000 which I no longer own. Optics are good! Probably equivalent to the Lumix version as well but unlike the Lumix converter, it does have a filter thread to attach a filter. Does your converter come with a filter thread to attach a filter on?
     
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Neither the Fujifilm nor the Sony converter have front filter threads. BTW, the Sony converter is as sharp as the 14mm lens by itself is. The Fujifilm is slightly softer It's not way less sharp, but it is lower in contrast. But that's easily punched up in post-processing, which I didn't do to these pictures. The fuji converter is very small and light. It's only 2.5 inches wide and weighs 3.5 ounces. The Sony is only bigger because it has a built in partial leaf lens hood, and it weighs an ounce more.

    I should add that this Fujifilm converter was originally a ~$200 accessory, but the cameras it was designed for are long obsolete. The fact that a couple of vendors clearly have some old stock that they are clearing out for barely twice the cost of shipping it just provides an opportunity to pick one up dirt cheap, which I suggest people do. I mean, the thing is selling for $12, plus a buck and a half for the step-down ring.

    I actually bought this Fujifilm to use with my Nikon 1 10mm, which is where I'll be continuing to use it, whereas I'll likely keep using the Sony VCL-ECU1 converter on my Panasonic 14mm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. stargate

    stargate Mu-43 Regular

    131
    Aug 14, 2013
    Greece
    I find it very interesting that this wide converter does not vignete when used on a wide angle lens! Fuji must really design good optics! In my searches for a wide converter, in order to get a vignete-less image with my 14-42 lens I went to a 0.45x monster sized one with a 62mm attachment thread. It is so heavy that I do not dare to screw it on the lens. I just hold it in front of the lens with the step up adapter touching the lens's uv filter. For regular exposures it is doable but for long exposures it is simply a pain!.
     
  7. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Jan 29, 2012
    This made my day. Just sold my 9-18, so having a wider option for my 14 is really appreciated!
     
  8. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Don't need one, as I have the DMW-GWC1, but for $12 shipped, I ordered one.
     
  9. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    That's good to know thanks! My Nikon converter is just as sharp as the 14mm itself so I was happy it worked out great. The filter thread was a priority for me because I intended it more for landscape. The ability to use a circular polarizer and neutral density filters were my 1st priority and it did not dissappoint. I don't think I'm willing to sacrifice sharpness for being more wide. That's why I have the 9mm Fisheye bodycap for that.
     
  10. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    This is ironic, since I just did the same thing! :biggrin:
     
  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    After doing this test, I sold my 7-14mm, because I wasn't using it enough. My plan was to substitute a wide converter and either the Olympus Body Cap fisheye or the Rokinon/Samyang Fisheye. Basically, subbing a $750 (2nd hand) lens I wasn't using enough to justify keeping, with a couple of lenses that together are less than $300.
     
  12. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I have the 9mm fisheye and it works OK for what it is. This will be a bit more robust solution, and it will fit in my underwater housing, plus it should not vignette.

    The really ironic part is the 9-18 gsk3 sold I sold to him about a month ago!
     
  13. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Jan 29, 2012
    How do you plan on using it in a housing?

    I needed the 9-18 for a short-term project, so this wasn't really the impetus. But I did find out how much I missed the ultrawide focal lengths and will be glad to have a similar option to play around with, even if the image quality's not as good.
     
  14. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry

    If my measurements are correct the lens will fit no problem (both the 75 and 12-35 (up to 25 or so) will fit no problem). This wide angle is a bit narrower 63 vs 67 mm than the 12-35 and overall should be shorter. I am hoping it will be close enough to the port glass to not vignette.

    BTW based on the P14 test figures this combo should be very close to the 9-18.
     
  15. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Jan 29, 2012
    Flat port then? One of these days I will understand domes but have never used one so they don't make any sense to me. Would be amazing if a standard dome fit this and had the right curvature or whatnot....
     
  16. Dogman

    Dogman Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Dec 23, 2012
    Maryland
    I would be very interested in using the Sony VCL-ECU1 wide converter on my 14mm/2.5 which I rarely use since I bought the PL 15mm/1.7. How does the Sony converter attach to the 14mm lens? I saw in your other article that it "snaps" on the lens. Can you explain what you mean by "snapping on?"
     
  17. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    There is a very small plastic ridge, or lip on the outside of the front of the barrel of the 14mm lens, outside of where the filters screw in. There is a chrome band just behind this ridge. The Sony converter just happens to be the exact right size, and has an internal lip of it's own to grab onto that ridge and fit snugly over it, without any play. it sort of snaps on, and snaps off. I have my personal doubts about just how robust a physical connection that is, and it's probably just dumb luck or sheer coincidence that the Sony VCL-ECU1 fits perfectly and securely on the 14mm lens, at exactly the right distance to be sharp center to corner, without significant vignetting or distortion - but fit it does. Note that other Panasonic lenses, such as the 20mm and 25mm don't have the same plastic ridge on them, just the 14mm does.

    Note, it was my own queasiness over this method of connection for the Sony VCL-ECU1, coupled with the general high price and unavailability of Panasonic's own wide converter for this lens, that caused me to seek out a cost effective alternative that attached via the filter threads, as the FujiFilm converter does. But, suffice it to say, the Sony converter DOES fit on the Panasonic 14mm, and it stays pretty secure. You remove it just by pulling it off with a bit of force, and it basically snaps on and snaps off. I can't really describe it any better than that, as it's not any sort of standardized coupling that I'm aware of. It's just an accidental coincidence that these two pieces of plastic on the outside of the barrel of the 14mm, and the rear mount of the Sony converter, are exactly the right sizes to mate together snugly without play.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Yes, I have one of the standard flat port oly housings. The dome ports are needed when the field of view gets closer to 180, with say a 7.5 fisheye. The rectilinear wide angles are in the 100-120 degree FOV, and a flat port works.

    Try a gopro in the store sometime. You have to hold it away from your body to ensure you don't get your feet, this is the same problem.
     
  19. snaimpally

    snaimpally Mu-43 Top Veteran

    572
    Dec 31, 2012
    Buydig = Beach Camera. When Beach Camera started selling non-camera technology products, they want to show that they were more than a camera store so they started the BuyDig brand. If you go on their respective websites you will notice they are exactly the same.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Jan 29, 2012