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Old Oct 2, 2005, 12:09 PM   #1
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To date I only know of two "issues" with the C-8080: Poor low-light autofocus, and trying to use a teleconverter with it due to the large diameter of the lens. The latter is an issue no more!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7549447094

The TCON-300S is a large 3x teleconverter lens designed for use with the E-10 and E-20 cameras. Rather than screwing on as usual, it mounts to them via a special support arm, which fits no other cameras. The auction above is for a custom manufactured support arm to use the lens on a C-8080 camera. They seem to have support arms for some other cameras as well.

This isn't an ad (I am not affiliated with them) but rather a public service announcement since I've seen posts from 8080 users before looking for teleconverters and being dissapointed to find out none will work well.

The auction includes sample pictures, I've emailed and received a few more personally, and am quite impressed with the quality. I'm buying mine in a couple days and can post pictures then for anyone interested.

-Sean
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 2:14 PM   #2
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Just wondering how the support arm and teleconverter are working out for you? Can you post some pics? Thanks!
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 2:47 PM   #3
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I'd be glad to; I got it a few days ago and absolutely love it!

It's a very bright lens, only loses about 2/3rds of a stop of light which seems very good to me considering 3x magnification. There is a little chromatic aberration, mostly apparent in shots with white against the sky. Trees and poles etc don't seem to cause it. It is able to focus from about 6 feet (area of coverage about the size of my cat's face) to infinity. Enough rambling, here's a few pics I shot with it:














All shots are full frame, no cropping. Shot in 3:2 SHQ mode, iso100, f3.5.

-Sean
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Old Oct 18, 2005, 8:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting your pics. Great to see there's no vignetting. A few questions about your set-up: How heavy is the camera with the custom arm and 3x lens? Do you have to do anything special to stabilize your tripod? Also, how long does it take you to get set-up to shoot? Did you take the shots with the 8080 lens in W or T position?
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Old Oct 18, 2005, 10:19 PM   #5
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There is a verylittle vignetting in some of my shots, only visible against the bare sky, and due to the fact I left my UV filter on the camera (behind the 3x lens). If I had removed it I'm sure the vignetting would be gone completely. The camera must be in the full telephoto position of 140mm. Anything less would cause vignetting.

I hadn't even thought about weight up until now. I got out the postal scale and weighed everything for you:

C-8080 w/ battery, both cards loaded, UV filter: 1lb 13oz

TCON-300 w/ lens hood attached: 1lb 15oz

Support arm (both halves together): 15oz

FL-50 flash w/ 4x 2500mAh NiMH: 1lb 2oz

Add it all up, and the setup is 4lb 11oz (259% original weight) without the flash, or 5lb 13oz (321% original weight) with the flash. I don't consider weight often enough in my purchases to know if that sounds heavy or not, but I do know that it only became tiring once, after I spent a few hours walking around with it (and a monopod attached as well). I've since learned to hold it at my side in a manner that the strap holds most of the weight yet my hand is still around it securely to prevent it from bouncing as I walk. Doing that, I spent about 6 hours with it at SixFlags and did not become tired of carrying it.

I have only used it on a tripod once and did nothing special to stabalize it. The subject for that shot was the moon, which I'll include here. I've used a monopod for a few shots but it is only necessary in the evening. Most of my shots are handheld, which is very possible as long as there's enough light to keep the shutter speed at 1/400 or above. The FL-50 comes in handy for this. The image of my cat in the previous posting was taken indoors at night. The camera metered the scene at 1/2s. Unfortunately I forgot to change that before taking the shot, which is why his eyes look funny -- the specks/streaks are the kitchen light reflecting off his eyeballs while the camera moved.

The support arm comes in two parts. One part bolts to the bottom of the C-8080, which takes about 20 seconds to attach. The other part bolts to the bottom of the TCON-300, which takes about 10 seconds to attach. The two halves then connect together and lock in place via a large setscrew. This step only takes a couple seconds. The advantage here is you can remove the front "half" entirely to take a wide shot without disassembling the whole thing. It's a very convenient improvement over Olympus' own support arm, which is one piece and cannot be easily [de/a]ttached in the field. I can take pictures of this later if there's interest. It's worth noting that it is required to remove the camera half of the support arm to change the battery, which is a pain in the arse, but I can live with it. :roll:

A few more pics... First, me holding the setup while shooting the cat:



Second, the moon: (RAW, iso50, f5.6, 1/250s - 100% crop)



Third, another coaster pic: (SHQ, iso100, f3.5, 1/800s, cropped some)



-Sean
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Old Oct 19, 2005, 11:10 PM   #6
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Thanks again for the additional info and pics. I don't think this is the best choice for me, but I'm glad to know it's an option.
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Old Nov 4, 2005, 10:53 AM   #7
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Here are a few shots of mine. 8080 + tcon-300s at 420mm, handheld.







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Old Nov 11, 2005, 8:57 PM   #8
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Hello,

Icurrently use this same setup C-8080WZ + TCON-300 + SA-300 support arm and just wanted to clarify something stated in Sean's post. The support arm's 2 pieces are not bolted together implying you need a wrench to connect them. They use a convenient and strong security knobwhich you can easily turn with yourbare fingers. NO tools are needed. I too sometimes quickly disconnect the big 3x lens in a fewseconds so I can get a wide angle shot. With the 3x lens quickly removed, you are free to take a 28mm super wide shot or anything 28-140mm. Try that with an E-10 or E-20! It will take a heck of a lot longer than a fewseconds and with the E-10/E-20, you would have to carry a WCON-08B 0.8x lens with you too. The C-8080WZ has a big advantage in that it starts at 28mm so you do NOT have to carry an additional wide angle lens with you. Also, for those of you that want more than 420mm like bird photographers and the like, you can stack an Olympus TCON-17 1.7x lens in front of the TCON-300 for a 5x total "boost" bringing the camera from 5x native to 25x optical. That should be plenty of reach fortele-demanding photographers. The image quality of the 100% images is very good if the camera is set properly but images look even better after postprocessing. I usually downsize to 50% to make the images fit nicely on my 1600x1200 display as well asadd a little contrast andsharpen. In some cases where you have a lot of backlighting you may see fringing along high contrast edges which can and should be removed with software but for many shots, that step is not necessary especially if you will be downsizing the image to email size of about 800x600. Note that the DOF is shallow because of the usual wide open setting of the camera (to collect light quickly) and the strong magnification. This combination produces beautiful blurred backgrounds automatically without any need to enhance that effect in software. The attached parrot shot is a good example. The image is basically right out of the camera, cropped just a bit, then downsized and sharpened. That's it! I can process the native image to this downsized and enhanced image in about 20 seconds. If anyone would like the original image straight from the camera and/or a 1600x1200 processed version (my favorite size), just email me and I will send it to you. I highly recommend this 3x or even 5x bundle setup. It turns a really good camera into a super fun camera. You'll wonder how you ever got by with just 140mm.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 1:32 AM   #9
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Hi Vlad the Impaler (that is some user name!)
Do you know if the TCON-300S will also fit on the Olympus C-7070 or 5060 or if there are custom arms to provide UZ for them? Thanks. Your photos are fantastic!

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 6:25 PM   #10
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Hey, Vlad the Impaler. This is something that I would be interested in because I just put a post in the add-on lenses forum on a teleconverter lens for my 8080 that would give me at least 300mm. However, since I'm late in getting this information, the auction has been long closed. You didn't mention how much the TCOn-300S costs and I was wondering if there was another way that I would be able to use the TCON 300S, maybe an adapter instead? Thanks for the information. Djazz
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