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Mixed results in the search for a cheap wide angle solution

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by apicius9, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2010
    Philadelphia, PA
    I was just playing around a bit and will have to try with different motives and different settings, but here is a first impression of what I did:

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    Computar 12.5/1.3 and Pan 14-45 by mgapicius, on Flickr

    Here we have on the left a Computar 12.5/1.3 c-mount lens with a Nikon WE-C68 wide angle converter, to the right the 14-45 kit zoom with the Oly WCON-08 wide angle converter. I just wanted to see what these reasonably cheap converters do (I paid under $80 for both, shipped, from ebay).

    I don't want to do a scientific test here, my question is what I can get out of these lenses in real life conditions. All shot handheld with the GH2, trying to keep the tip of Diamondhead reasonably in the center. The shots with the Computar showed heavy vignetting, and I cropped them to the point where I thought they might be useful. I set the aperture at F8 in the 16:9 format and let the camera do it's thing otherwise. Nothing done to the pics except converting to DNG in LR3 and cropping for the c-mount pictures.

    So, here we go:

    Panasonic kit lens at 14mm

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    14-45mm at 14mm by mgapicius, on Flickr

    Panasonic kit lens at 14mm plus Oly WCON-08

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    14-45mm at 14mm plus Oly WCON-08 by mgapicius, on Flickr

    Computar at 12.5mm

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    Computar 12.5mm by mgapicius, on Flickr

    Computar at 12.5mm plus Nikon WE-C68

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    Computar 12.5mm plus Nikon WC-E68 by mgapicius, on Flickr

    So, what's the prelimiary conclusion? Not surprisingly, the kit lens has the best IQ. The Oly WCON-08 doesn't do anything dramatic, it does increase the angle and brings it to approx. 11mm with a bit of loss in IQ.

    The Computar holds up really well IMHO and after cropping out the vignetting it comes to about the same angle as the kit lens. With the Nikon converter, the vignetting is stronger, and it makes more sense to crop it in 4:3 format. When you do that, you don't gain all that much horizontally, but there is a definite increase in the vertical coverage.

    So, this does not replace the MFT wide angle zooms or stitching 2 pictures together. But I find these first examples at least interesting enough to play around more. The kit lens combo seems best, but at a cost: Compared to the c-mount combo it is much larger, heavier and slower (!). The main limitation here is that the quality falls off toward the corners and that is impossible to see in these pictures, so I will play more with more complex motives.

    I'm happy about comments - or suggestions for better 'cheap wide angle solutions'. Oh, and even if the lenses don't make you envious, the pics were taken today, Christmas eve at a very pleasant 80F :smile:

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  2. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    The Panasonic kit zoom with the Oly converter looks good.

    I don't think I would bother with the Computar & converter - or even the Computar by itself although it is fairly compact.
  3. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Hi, Stefan,

    Indeed, it doesn't replace a true (U)WA lens, or stitching (when possible, difficult with moving subjects)

    But, it offers a cost-effective solution for those having only the 14-45mm.

    I do the same at the other end of the focal lengths : I use a tele-extender Olympus B300, that mounts on the front filter thread of my 45-200, and offers 1.7 focal lenght multiplication. My 200mm become a 340mm and I maintain both AF and IS. And I can shoot RAW, and postprocess accordingly.
    I'm quite satisfied with the results, here's just one, already posted in the the Share Birds thread :

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    Merry Christmas to you, Stefan !
  4. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2010
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hi Rafael,

    I was waiting to see your results with that setup. It looks nice enough to make me regret selling my 45-200 lens (after I got the 14-140). I just hope the 100-300 will come down a little bit in the future... I was thinking about using my Telyt 250/4 but the Panny lens has so many advantages (except for the red dot, of course...) that I may give in eventually.

    Wide infinity shots are definitely not the strength of the little Computar lens. But I really think that it is a lot of fun in situations with lower light and darker backgrounds where the vignetting is not as obvious. Especially in the 1:1 format it works well enough, and there is always still enough room for it in an bag. Not sure it is worth taking the converter also, even though this one seems to have a good reputation reg. IQ.

    Oh, and merry Christmas to all of you also. Looks like you have a great white Christmas this year in Europe. My Dad in Germany is complaining about the snow shoveling...

  5. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I started looking at something similar here:


    I haven't updated it yet, but I have the adapters to get from 46mm to 58mm now. There is almost no loss in image quality vs. the original 20mm f/1.7. Of course, I got very lucky on Ebay, but otherwise the Century Optics pieces aren't exactly cheap options. When I get a 52mm to 58mm (or to 55mm, since I have a 55mm to 58mm) step-up ring, I'll try it on my 14-45mm and post some pics here. I'll also try it on my 14mm f/2.5 when it comes in.
  6. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    None of the other options look much wider than the kit zoom at 14mm, so I'll stick with that and take an extra picture each side incase I'm going to stitch later. Heck, stitching is so easy and so well done nowadays, especially just the two or three frames ...
    Just my opinion.
  7. qball

    qball Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2010
    I dunno.... I kinda like the results with the Computar better.
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