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Old Apr 17, 2004, 8:42 PM   #1
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Default Wide Angle and Telephoto for FZ-10 [cross posting]

Here is my initial experience in using various fisheye, wide and telephoto converters on the FZ-10. Since I received my FZ-10 for just three days, I am still experimenting its metering system, operations, etc. So, example shots here are for illustration purpose rather than for showing the capability of the camera and the lenses. When it is necessary, I would also comment on
the results.

First, I do not suggest the use of the FZ-10 hood for mounting any converter because in doing so will push the converter farther away and cause vignetting easily. I used the PD62 adapter tube available here http://www.b-300.com/fz10ac.html The advantage of this tube is that it can make sure the rear element of the converter very close to the front lens element of the FZ-10, producing better quality images without vignetting. However, since this tube is made from plastic, when it is used with a converter lens of metal material, it is easy for the lens and the tube stuck together. I would prefer a metal tube anyway.

Before mounting the PD62 tube, the lens ring has to be removed:

The PD62 ring is simply a tube. One end of it has a female thread to be used on the camera and the other end has a 62mm female thread for using filters, lens converters and other lens accessories:

The following shows a PD62 mounted on the FZ-10:

The minimum focal length of the FZ-10 is 35mm, and, to go wider a wide angle converter is needed. The following shows some wide angle converters for my Nikon and Minolta cameras. The front row has a Pheonix 0.25X and a Minolta ACW-100 0.8X, and the back row has a Nikon FC-E9 180 degree fisheye, an Olympus WCON-14B 0.8X and an Olympus WCON-0.7X. Except for the Pheonix, all are very high quality wide angle converters. The WCON 0.7X gets you 24.5mm wide angle, the 0.8X Oly and Minolta provide a 28mm wide angle, and the Nikon FC-E8 0.2X makes the FZ-10 to have a 7mm fisheye.

First, the following is taken with the FZ-10 at 35mm:

The following shots show the Olympus WCON-08B on a FZ-10 and its result:

The following shots show the Minolta ACW-100 0.8X on a FZ-10 and its result. Note that the Minolta 0.8X is smaller and lighter than the Olympus WCON-08B. Moreover, the Minolta 0.8X has a 49mm thread and a 62-49mm step-down ring is needed. Fortunately, there is no vignetting.

The following shots show the Olympus WCON-07 0.7X and its result. This WCON-07 is plastic and light, although slightly larger than the Minolta 0.8X. It has a 55mm thread, a 62-55mm step-down ring is needed. No vignetting appears.

Finally, the following shots show the Nikon FC-E9 fisheye and its results. The FC-E9 has a 46mm thread and needs a 62-46mm step-down ring. I used a 62-52mm and a 52-46mm step-down rings. The image circle is smaller (second image) and the lens has to be zoomed in a little to fill the frame (third image). The FZ-10 has difficulty in focusing when its lens is zoomed in for a full frame
fisheye image.

The Pheonix 0.25X is actually not a fisheye because it does not cover 180 degree. It is an ultra wide angle without correcting curvilinear distortion. Its image is not as sharp as that of the FC-E9 and produces visible chromatic aberration in the form of purple and green fringes. The edge portion of its image is also soft as can be seen in its full frame image. The Pheonix 0.25X comes with a number of rings (e.g., 49mm, 52mm and 55mm), and is step-down ring is needed.

Now, we turn to telephoto converters. The following image shows two most popular ones: Olympus TCON-17 1.7X (left) and TCON-14B 1.45X (right):

The following images show the TCON-17 and TCON-14B on a FZ-10. The TCON-14B (first) has a thread size of 62mm and no step ring is needed. The TCON-17 (second) requires a 62-55mm step-down ring.

Of these two, the TCON-14B produces sharper images with less chromatic aberration. However, it is much heavier and larger than the TCON-17 which is made from plastic. Sony also made a good 1.7X converter VCL HGD1758. This Sony is even larger and heavier than the TCON-14B. A 62-58mm step-down is required.

The following two images were taken with the TCON-14B at the maximum focal length (i.e., 420*1.45 = 609mm). I found some noise in the background and used NeatImage to clean it up. Both images are nearly 100% crops of the original and sharpened by Nik Sharpener Pro for web use. No other editing operations were applied to the images. Note that I am still playing with these lenses and hence these two images did not reflect the actual capability of the camera/lens and my shooting skill. I will post more result when I am comfortable with the camera.

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