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Old Feb 18, 2004, 11:19 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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Default Good news: Bernie's new wide angle adapter for 5700

Hello 5700 wide angle shooters,

The popular Nextphoto Coolfix 5700 and UR-E8 adapter rings would allow the use of the two very high quality wide angle converters: Nikon WC-E80 and Olympus WCON-08B. Both are of 0.8X and can only go down to 28mm. Many landscape shooters would like to have a wider coverage (e.g., 24mm). Raynox do have two wide angle lenses; however, their quality is at best good or above average. Olympus has a new converter WCON-07X, a 0.7X wide converter. Although it may bring the 5700 wide angle down to 24.5mm, vignetting is a major problem with the Coolfix 5700 because its tube length is too long. I asked Bernie if there is a sample available for me to use/test, and received the new WCON07-55mm adapter from him today. The following shows this tube. A nicely made one with quality equal to the Coolfix 5700. However, it has only one ring. The filter thread is, of course, 55mm.

This new WCON07 tube is slightly longer than the 5700 lens when it is at the wide angle end as shown below.

However, when the 5700 lens is zoomed out, it will extend out of the tube length. This is similar to the Coolfix 5700 and UR-E8. Because of this, this WCON07 tube cannot be used with the TCON-17 teleconverter. However, I don't feel this is an inconvenience.

The Olympus WCON-07X is a high quality lens. See the image below:

Similar to TCON-17, its barrel is made from plastic, which makes the lens lighter. However, like all high quality wide angle lenses, it is still big. The image below shows, from left to right, WCON-08B, WCON-07 and WC-E80. As you can see, the WCON-07 is smaller and much lighter than the WC-E80.

This one shows the front lens element. The WC-E80 is the largest and the WCON-07 is the smallest.

The following image shows the WCON-07X on a 5700. IMO, it is more comfortable than the WC-E80 in terms of handling.

The first of the two images below shows the result of 5700 at 35mm, while the second has the WCON-07X mounted (i.e., 24.5mm). You can see the difference easily even though the focal length difference is 3.5mm! It is also very interesting to note that the WCON-07X does not have a worse barrel distortion compared with the 5700 on-camera lens.

Since I received this tube in late afternoon (the shadows in the images tell you that), I did not have enough time to evaluate sharpness, etc. I will do it on a trip sometime next month and report my finding here. I will also make a page available at my 5700 user guide site. By the way, the lens can still be zoomed in a little. A brief test shows that 15.7mm (61mm, 35mm equivalent) is perhaps the last focal length I can get before a lens error message can occur. So, you don't need the WCON-08B or WC-E80 if you wish to travel light. However, you need to carry one more dapter: WCON07.

My first impression is that eventually the 5700 has a good wideangle lens that can go down to 24.5mm and the combo seems very good.

Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide
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