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Old Jan 14, 2007, 5:04 PM   #1
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The Panasonic FZ30 manual states that ( when using a conversion lens): "If you set [CONVERSION] to [OFF], the performance of the Conversion lens will not be optimal."

I use the Olympus TCON-17 Teleconversion lens with good success. On a tripod, I have compared the resolution with CONVERSION [ON] and with CONVERSION [OFF] and with the zoom ranging from full 12X zoom down to the mid-Zoom vignette limit. I cannot see a difference of resolution between Conversion ON and OFF.

It is a nuisance to wait for the precautionary message encouraging setting to full Zoom to display with CONVERSION ON. There must be some reason for the inconvenient feature and recommendation but it does not seem to relate to image quality (i.e., Performance) as expected.

Has anyone found the CONVERSION setting actually to be beneficial? If not, why the complication and the annoying message delay?

It is amazing that the front-of-lens (Not as Behind-the-lens) conversion accessories result in negligible light and sharpness loss. Images shot at corresponding magnification with and without such conversion lenses show no significant difference.
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 8:30 PM   #2
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A converter in front of the lens does not extend therear of thelens further from the film / chip surface. Any extension from the rear incrases the distance for the image to reach the film/chip and thus les light reaces the film/chip plain and the exposure must be increased by a longer exposure or larger aperture.

BiLL:|
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Old Jan 15, 2007, 9:15 PM   #3
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There is no benefit to it at all......it seems to be a carryover from the earlier FZ's with an extending lens........It did enable those cameras to start upquicker and it really stopped the lens from going shorter than 6X on the tele setting and If I remember correctly you could not zoom more than 3X in the wide setting.

There have been a few test done to see if it effects any special focus areas or anything similar and there does not seem to be any advantage.
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Old Jan 16, 2007, 5:09 PM   #4
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So true. But the negligible loss of light and sharpness of the current crop of decent conversion lenses still surprises me as does the effectiveness of stabilization that often allows hand-held grab shots at 900mm (35mm equivalent) focal length.

If the conversion settings are not beneficial that makes the gratuitous cautionary message that delays use all the more annoying.
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Old Jan 16, 2007, 11:05 PM   #5
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genece wrote:
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There is no benefit to it at all......it seems to be a carryover from the earlier FZ's with an extending lens........It did enable those cameras to start upquicker and it really stopped the lens from going shorter than 6X on the tele setting and If I remember correctly you could not zoom more than 3X in the wide setting.
I'd guess that it's just a "bogus" fluff setting designed to insulate the technically challenged. My suspicion is that Panasonic put it in there to keep clueless customers from complaining about the vignetting at low zooms with the teleconverter on. "My teleconverter broke my camera! Refund!" I use the TC-E17ED on my FZ-7 (extending lens) for nearly all of my photos, and it works fine at all zoom levels. Never tried the "converter on" setting.

Damn the vignetting! Full burst mode ahead!

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Old Jan 16, 2007, 11:10 PM   #6
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Daedalus wrote:
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So true. But the negligible loss of light and sharpness of the current crop of decent conversion lenses still surprises me as does the effectiveness of stabilization that often allows hand-held grab shots at 900mm (35mm equivalent) focal length.
Don't forget the much MUCH larger diameter of the initial aperture with the teleconverter on. The teleconverter has a whole lot more glass collecting light up front than the camera's built-in lens does. (Neglecting the details about how effectively the aperture is actually used...) It's kind of like a mini-telescope.


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Old Jan 20, 2007, 11:12 PM   #7
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Was considering a teleconverter until I reviewed this article - esp. the section "Do you really need a teleconverter." http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam...-30/index.html

Your collective comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Jan 21, 2007, 8:32 AM   #8
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You may be reading more into that than you should ,while a teleconverter does increase the minimum Working distance....once you get to 15 or 20 ft depending on the lens, things are back to what you expected.

And for closer work you can if you wish add a close up lens....I used one for a while to get photos of a woodpecker that would eat 4 ft from the kitchen window. I used a Tcon17 and I think a 3+ closeup lens to more than fill the frame with a downey woodpecker.

IMHO....While I was not able to prove one way or the other ...I really felt with the very unscientific tests I did, that I lost no light with a Tcon 17 or a 14B......I could not come to the same conclusion with some other teleconverters. I really felt that the lose of light with those 2 lenses was not noticeable. But I will say the better the light the better they work, but thats the way cameras work.

I will say that since I got the FZ30 I really use a teleconverter much less than I did before......I feel the EZ zooms afford better quality than a teleconverter.

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Old Jan 21, 2007, 9:40 AM   #9
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genece wrote:
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And for closer work you can if you wish add a close up lens....I used one for a while to get photos of a woodpecker that would eat 4 ft from the kitchen window. I used a Tcon17 and I think a 3+ closeup lens to more than fill the frame with a downey woodpecker.


What arrangement of the lenses did you use? I assume you used the closeup attached directly to the camera and the Tcon 17 attached to the front of the closeup lens...is that correct?

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Old Jan 21, 2007, 10:08 AM   #10
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That is the way I used the closeup lens.

It really did work pretty well and I was just using a cheap set of the lens. (Ebay specials)
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