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Old Nov 11, 2008, 2:56 PM   #1
garthmoe's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Stevensville, Ontario, Canada
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Just wondering if anyone has this teleconverter and what their opinion of it is. I've noticed that in most teleconverter posts, the Panny teleconverter seems to get bypassed in favor of the Olympus TCON-17 or a costly Nikon. Is the Panny inferior or is it just a cost issue? I am looking to add it to my FZ18.

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Old Nov 11, 2008, 3:29 PM   #2
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Greg Chappell's Avatar
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Mainly cost, although it probably isvery good. I own the Panasonic DMW-LW55 wide lens and use it with the FZ50 and get superb results. Same cost as the LT55 at around $200 or so, depending on where you shop. The TCON-17...I hear....is a close copy. I have no idea if that is right or not. I do have the TCON-17 and use it with both the FL50 and FZ28 and get good results, although I don't use it a lot.

In having participated in the Panny forum over at DPReview, the number of folks using the LT55 seem to be few and far between. Most seem to go the Olympus route due to cost, OR go tothe other extreme and run down a copy of one of two hard-to-findNikon TC's that are evidently top of the heep in image quality....and cost, themain one of those being the TC-E17ED...$$$...

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Old Nov 12, 2008, 10:57 PM   #3
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I also own the Panasonic LW55, but decided to go the TCON-17 route for a teleconverter on my FZ50. I have since all but shelved the TCON-17 after buying an even cheaper Nikon TC-E15ED (1.5x) that simply blows away the TCON-17 in terms of image quality. I can only imagine what the Nikon 1.7x TC could do, but I'm not going to pay more for a teleconverter (used because it's not being made anymore) than my FZ50 camera!

If you can handle the 1.5x instead of 1.7x, I highly recommend going with the Nikon TC-E15ED. You can find them on eBay for as cheap as $40 (which what I purchased mine for and it came with everything original in as-new condition). A big plus is that it has 62mm threads on it for attaching filters, hoods, etc. Neither the LT55 nor the TCON-17 are threaded. The Nikon TC-E15ED does require a rare step-ring, but it can be had for $10 from www.pemaraal.com. If you need 1.7x, then I would recommend eBay once again, and picking up an Olympus TCON-17 from Olympus-Auctions on eBay. I paid $70 for my new TCON-17. They said the box was "scuffed", but I couldn't tell. Here are a couple of test shots using the TC-E15ED and the TCON-17:


The only reason I would advise against the LT55 is purely price. From what I've read, the LT55 and TCON-17 produce identical results (both good and bad), so why not go for the much cheaper option? The reason I sprung for the LW55 is because there really isn't a 0.7x option that compares to the quality of the LW55. The Olympus WCON-07 is not as nice of a converter, and requires some modification (a spacer) to eliminate a noticeable soft focus spot in the middle of the image. $200 for the LW55 was worth it to me.
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