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Old Mar 25, 2006, 6:12 PM   #1
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I am posting this to give something back to Steve's Panasonic user community. Many people in here have directly and indirectly helped me with my FZ-30. Thank You!

I recently purchased an Olympus Wide Angle WCON-08(E) and a WCON-08B. The WCON-08(E) comes from Olympus in 2 different versions. One has 46mm rear threads and the other has 55mm rear threads. I will be speaking of the 55mm 08E rear thread version and the WCON-08B 62mm rear thread version.

The first thing to note is that the WCON-08E has a plastic/composite lens housing. The WCON-08B has a metal housing. The 08E plastic/composite threads are very fragile especially when you have to screw it into the metal 55mm threads on the front of the FZ-30. The 08E has no front threads. The 08B has 105mm front threads to allow you to add on a 105mm UV protective lens or a 105mm Polarizer or whatever toy you want. A 105mm Polarizer comes at a premium price unless you decide to buy a cheap Polarizer. You get what you pay for. A cheap 105mm UV protective lens will set you back at least $15 without shipping.

The 08E with 55mm rear threads will screw directly onto the FZ-30. The 08B with 62mm rear threads will force you to purchase a 55-62mm step up ring in order to connect it to the FZ-30.

The 08E has a smaller front and rear diameter lens compared to the 08B.

The selling price on EBAY recently..... for a NEW 08E ranges from $26 - $44 plus shipping.

The selling price on EBAY recently..... for a NEW 08B ranges from $64 - $115 plus shipping.

Prices may go higher or lower. You have to be patient and get lucky to win one at a cheap price.


Personally, I see no picture quality difference between the 08E and the 08B. I am not a professional photographer and I am submitting my findings based on a comparision of these 2 lenses from a picture comparison point of view with all camera parameters EQUAL. The only difference between pic #1 and Pic #2 is that the heavier lens ( 08B ) in pic#2 lowered the height of the camera a little bit. I did not have the tripod locked tight enough.

Is the difference in price between the 08E and 08B worth it? That is up to you to decide. Plastic VS Metal. Ability to add a filter.

Here are my pics:



Visualdifference in the 2 Lenses front view

Visual difference in the 2 Lenses rear view

I was not trying to achievegreat pic quality here. I am showing what I perceive to be *ZERO * difference in the 2 lenses themselves picture wise. I hope this was helpful.

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Old Mar 25, 2006, 7:18 PM   #2
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Zake - Thanks for the very informative analysis of the wcon08b and wcon08e. From looking atyour excellent samples, the lens seem to be virtually identical, the only difference being the housing. I would go for the smaller and less expensive e model. Attaching a 55mm dummy filter (remove the glass from a cheap 55mm uv or whatever filter) to the rear of the wcon08e would give it 55mm metal threads vs the plastic.

To muddy the waters a little, the 55mm wcon08e used to have the designation Olympus B-28. Same exact lens. These are seen on ebay pretty regularly for a very good price. See here.
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 1:10 PM   #3
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Thank You for the feedback. I clicked your B-28 EBAYlink. Amazing what a difference there is from honest people to people that are pulling a Muhammed Ali *Rope A Dope*.


I own a George Foreman grill BTW...........

P.S. The actual lens diameters front and rear of the 08Bare a bit larger compared to the 08E.

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