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Old Apr 3, 2005, 12:38 PM   #1
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Sorry this took so long, but I needed to do more research, because the results just didn't make any sense. If you recall my last post concerning the Opteka 10x Macro, the only way the lens worked perfectly with my FZ20 was by reversing it in front of the camera lens. Since then I received a replacement lens and tests showed exactly the same problem with this lens as well. I sent emails to Opteka and asked if this could be a factory defect or if all lenses were shipped this way.
Unfortunately Opteka never responded but based on the info I received from 47st Photo where I purchased the lens, all the lenses appeared to be the same visually.
So, I kept the lens and simply reversed it in it's casing and now it works great.
But not satisfied with why this lens didn't work in the first place with my FZ20, when mounted as shipped, I tested the lens with other cameras, the Canon A75(my wife's camera), the Dimage 7HI and the Olympus E300 (my brother's cameras). With the A75 the lens worked fine in either direction, with the Dimage 7HI the lens had to be reversed just like the FZ20, but initial results were not as bad, finally with the Olympus E300 it worked perfectly in either direction as well. So this lens does give excellent results as shipped, but not with all cameras. My understanding of dioptres was that they would work in front of any lens, but this is obviously not the case. I guess that the camera lens construction coupled possibly with the size of the sensor have an impact on the results. To prove this I tested another 10x macro lens that my brother owns (an Asian macro) which gives excellent results with his cameras as well as with the A75. With the FZ20 the lens doesn't work well in either direction, a bit better when reversed but not acceptable. So it appears that with certain camera lenses some dioptres will work fine and with other lenses give terrible results.
The Opteka 10x macro turns out to be an excellent lens, it just doesn't work in combination with the FZ lens, as shipped. This answers my question has to why this lens is not an issue with 99.9% of the buyers that have purchased this lens from 47st Photo (as stated by customer service).
Please note that in the list of cameras that this lens is sold for, the Panasonic cameras are not mentioned. This also indicates that myself as well another member (Farmer) discovered a way to make this lens work with the FZ's, by reversing it. (purely by accident)
So to summarize, test a lens before you buy, even if it's a dioptre, it may work with your camera or not... If you buy the Opteka 10x macro, be prepared to have to reverse the lens in the casing to make it work with the FZ lenses.
Hope this info clears a number of issues and can be usefull for future purchases.

Just a note: the Asian macro lens mentioned above gives superb results especially with the Canon A75 lens and the Olympus E300 lens and sells for an unbeleivable price of $18us. Too bad it doesn't work with the FZ20.
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 12:57 PM   #2
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Thanks for the follow-up, Gilles. How difficult is it to reverse the lens in the casing? As I recall, the Opteka 10x has 4 optic elements. Do you see them as seperate pieces of glass when you take it apart or are they "glued" together?

- Fred
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Old Apr 3, 2005, 1:16 PM   #3
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Hi Fred,
The optics luckily are glued together and overall it was fairly easy to reverse them. To remove the retaining ring I used a spring caliper/divider, looks something like a compass but with two steel ends for those who are not familiar with these. I filed the ends to make sure they fitted in the small slots of the retaining ring.
The ring came loose fairly easily. I guess other tools could be used like a pair of needle nose pliers, filed down to fit.
Just have to be real carefull not to scratch the lens.
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