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Old Apr 17, 2004, 9:40 PM   #1
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Default FZ-10 Wide Angle and Telephoto Converters [text & pix]

Here is my initial experience in using various fisheye, wide and telephoto converters on the FZ-10. Since I received my FZ-10 for just three days, I am still experimenting its metering system, operations, etc. So, example shots here are for illustration purpose rather than for showing the capability of the camera and the lenses. When it is necessary, I would also comment on
the results.

First, I do not suggest the use of the FZ-10 hood for mounting any converter because in doing so will push the converter farther away and cause vignetting easily. I used the PD62 adapter tube available here http://www.b-300.com/fz10ac.html The advantage of this tube is that it can make sure the rear element of the converter very close to the front lens element of the FZ-10, producing better quality images without vignetting. However, since this tube is made from plastic, when it is used with a converter lens of metal material, it is easy for the lens and the tube stuck together. I would prefer a metal tube anyway.

Before mounting the PD62 tube, the lens ring has to be removed:

The PD62 ring is simply a tube. One end of it has a female thread to be used on the camera and the other end has a 62mm female thread for using filters, lens converters and other lens accessories:

The following shows a PD62 mounted on the FZ-10:


The minimum focal length of the FZ-10 is 35mm, and, to go wider a wide angle converter is needed. The following shows some wide angle converters for my Nikon and Minolta cameras. The front row has a Pheonix 0.25X and a Minolta ACW-100 0.8X, and the back row has a Nikon FC-E9 180 degree fisheye, an Olympus WCON-14B 0.8X and an Olympus WCON-0.7X. Except for the Pheonix, all are very high quality wide angle converters. The WCON 0.7X gets you 24.5mm wide angle, the 0.8X Oly and Minolta provide a 28mm wide angle, and the Nikon FC-E8 0.2X makes the FZ-10 to have a 7mm fisheye.

First, the following is taken with the FZ-10 at 35mm:

The following shots show the Olympus WCON-08B on a FZ-10 and its result:


The following shots show the Minolta ACW-100 0.8X on a FZ-10 and its result. Note that the Minolta 0.8X is smaller and lighter than the Olympus WCON-08B. Moreover, the Minolta 0.8X has a 49mm thread and a 62-49mm step-down ring is needed. Fortunately, there is no vignetting.


The following shots show the Olympus WCON-07 0.7X and its result. This WCON-07 is plastic and light, although slightly larger than the Minolta 0.8X. It has a 55mm thread, a 62-55mm step-down ring is needed. No vignetting appears.


Finally, the following shots show the Nikon FC-E9 fisheye and its results. The FC-E9 has a 46mm thread and needs a 62-46mm step-down ring. I used a 62-52mm and a 52-46mm step-down rings. The image circle is smaller (second image) and the lens has to be zoomed in a little to fill the frame (third image). The FZ-10 has difficulty in focusing when its lens is zoomed in for a full frame
fisheye image.



The Pheonix 0.25X is actually not a fisheye because it does not cover 180 degree. It is an ultra wide angle without correcting curvilinear distortion. Its image is not as sharp as that of the FC-E9 and produces visible chromatic aberration in the form of purple and green fringes. The edge portion of its image is also soft as can be seen in its full frame image. The Pheonix 0.25X comes with a number of rings (e.g., 49mm, 52mm and 55mm), and is step-down ring is needed.




Now, we turn to telephoto converters. The following image shows two most popular ones: Olympus TCON-17 1.7X (left) and TCON-14B 1.45X (right):

The following images show the TCON-17 and TCON-14B on a FZ-10. The TCON-14B (first) has a thread size of 62mm and no step ring is needed. The TCON-17 (second) requires a 62-55mm step-down ring.


Of these two, the TCON-14B produces sharper images with less chromatic aberration. However, it is much heavier and larger than the TCON-17 which is made from plastic. Sony also made a good 1.7X converter VCL HGD1758. This Sony is even larger and heavier than the TCON-14B. A 62-58mm step-down is required.


The following two images were taken with the TCON-14B at the maximum focal length (i.e., 420*1.45 = 609mm). I found some noise in the background and used NeatImage to clean it up. Both images are nearly 100% crops of the original and sharpened by Nik Sharpener Pro for web use. No other editing operations were applied to the images. Note that I am still playing with these lenses and hence these two images did not reflect the actual capability of the camera/lens and my shooting skill. I will post more result when I am comfortable with the camera.



CK
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 10:08 PM   #2
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I have purchased the Panasonic 1.5x converter and as soon as it is shipped to me and I can put it on my camera I will post results. I think the FZ10 is a unique camera and I also think that the telephoto extender needs to be the original in this particular situation, with the FZ10. With digital SLRs where one can use a Sigma lens or a Canon lens or a Tamron, then that's a bit different than this situation, and I don't think that attempting to cut and paste will work here. I personally tried cutting and pasting my canon addon lens, my 1.7, and it even autofocuses, but the results are less than wonderful, but certainly as good as the above. I suspect that the 1.5 Panasonic converter costs so much because it's unique and if you want to retain great results with the FZ10 you will probably need that add on. I'll post results I get with the lens to demonstrate either it's ability or inability. If it doesn't work well I'll ensure that you know that as well. I don't care what something looks like, I care if it works. I know the FZ10 works well in many circumstances as has been demonstrated clearly on this forum.

Quote:
I will post more result when I am comfortable with the camera.
Why are you posting anything until you are relatively comfortable with the camera? I must suspect that you are looking for a bit of "press" rather than actually giving us something that is credible and truthful. I'm not accusing you, just asking politely. Why didn't you spend a week or two gathering photographs and testing? Why so quick to post?

Those shots above, especially the bottom one, are overexposed and over processed and don't reflect the camera's ability. They inaccurately demonstrate the FZ10. If you are a private detective or spying on someone and you just need close up shots, then these would be fine, but they are not even close to passable as art shots in nature photography. So what would be the purpose of turning a good camera into an inadequate machine just to get some distance? The waxiness comes from an over processing in Neat Image, and the shot itself is poor because "light" wasn't considered so the shot was over exposed. The bokeh is actually not too bad, though. The shots neither promote these extenders nor the camera's ability (and my concern is the latter).
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 11:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Normcar

Quote:
I will post more result when I am comfortable with the camera.
Why are you posting anything until you are relatively comfortable with the camera? I must suspect that you are looking for a bit of "press" rather than actually giving us something that is credible and truthful. I'm not accusing you, just asking politely.
Why do I need "press" or "publicity"? I believe you have too much conspiracy in your mind. This post is only to show these converters work and what a quick shot can do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Normcar

In that sense they are e "sense" ially uselss. The waxiness comes from an over processing in Neat Image, and the shot itself is poor because "light" wasn't considered so the shot was over exposed. The bokeh is actually not too bad, though.
I am showing the rough shot of the converter rather than the "art" of nature photography. Bokeh is not too bad? Are you kidding? Have you ever seen good bokeh you can get from good lenses, say Nikon 85mm F1.4, Nikon 105mm F2DC and AFS 70-200 F2.8VR? I have been in the field shooting sports, nature and wedding for more than 20 years before switching to a better career. I did camera/lens tests and wrote articles and books. I know what the art of nature photography is. The two shots are test shots that are out of the box with the default metering and digital processing. Frankly speaking, without that default NeatImage process, those two shots are full of noise. Are you aware of the subtle fact that the multisegment metering of the FZ-10 has a tendency to over-expose? However, if one does too much processing to an image, the shots can no more reflect the capability of the lenses. What one does is showing off one's digital processing skill. Hope you understand this. Before you blame other people, you perhaps should understand what the shots are for.

CK
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 12:30 AM   #4
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shene...

EDITED...because it sounds like I'm bragging, which I'm not. I'm attempting to ensure that the camera isn't misrepresented, which I think the above photographs do. People who don't know much about cameras or processing will think that the above quality is what they should be expecting.
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 12:48 AM   #5
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Default Panasonic Telephoto adaptor

Normcar

It will be interesting to see the results with the Panasonic Telephoto adaptor. However as the damn thing costs $50 less than the camera did I ain't buying one. Which means shene's post is more useful than your's will be. I don't give a rat's behind how artistic the images are, I want to see the recording quality and vigenetting of the lenses. I will worry about the art when I take the pictures.

I think you have more money than tact or manners
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 1:02 AM   #6
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Absolutely superb review Shene. Thank you for providing a wonderful comparison of lenses. I have found the Olympus TCON-14B to be the best match for the FZ10. It's resolution is higher than the CCD is capable of and it has a wide zoom range being usable at about 4x. That's why I can't justify buying the Panasonic telephoto at its high price.

EDIT: Oh-oh, I guess I should have read the entire thread before reading just the first post and hastily replying. I for one have a collection of lenses that I use with the FZ10 and anyone who can contribute to my knowledge of what new or different lenses are capable of I thank. I didn't mean to make it sound like I was trying to polarize the masses and add fuel to the fire.
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 1:39 AM   #7
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Default Guerito

I didnt mean you. I agree with your sentiments.
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 2:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Guerito

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmead
I didnt mean you. I agree with your sentiments.
Yes, I know you didn't mean me, thanks Adder.
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 10:23 AM   #9
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Hi Shene,

I very much appreciate your excellent post on how to adapt
the FZ10 to other lenses.

It is awesome!

I currently own an E20 and also have the wide angle lens.
(WCON-08B). I do miss the 10x zoom of my 2100uz (which
I sold) so am considering the FZ10.

So, to know for just a few dollars (the adapter tube) I could
also use the WCON-08B on a Panasonic FZ10 is awesome
news!

Soooooooo.....THANK YOU
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 10:36 AM   #10
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The reason people are getting the wrong idea about the performance of the FZ10 is because of posts like the above photographs, especially the second. If I didn't have this camera and had no former photography experience and saw that robin I would assume that this is the performance I should expect from the camera. I'd conceivably look elsewhere for a camera.

Shene wrote:
Quote:
So, example shots here are for illustration purpose rather than for showing the capability of the camera and the lenses.
Why not spend another week or two with the camera (rather than 3 days) and get some really decent shots to post rather than rush to post these, perhaps misleading some who don't know as much about cameras as some here. Many people who visit here probably don't have any idea about the degradation of quality that comes with extenders and will think that this is the quality to be expected. I've seen some pretty bad shots posted from the FZ10 and now that I know what it "can" do I'm going to do my best to promote it's abilities.
My "tactless" response above was an appeal to shene to post decent photographs so that his purpose will be fulfilled in a more worthy manner and bad press for the FZ10 will not be the result, driving people away from the camera rather than towards it.

Posting such photographs will not do this camera justice, period, no matter what one is putting on the end of it. If one cannot get a better product with an extender then what's the point in even putting it on the end of the camera unless one is in the detective business. Why not put a telescope on the end of the camera and "really" get some distance, minus quality, sharpness, contrast, etc.?

Quote:
However as the darn thing costs $50 less than the camera did I ain't buying one.
If one is willing to spend that much money on the camera and really wants to get more distance (keeping the quality as much as possible) then they should be willing to save their pennies if necessary to purchase the article that will do that. I'm not sure if the Panasonic extender will even do it but I'm pretty certain that it's going to do a much better job than the above. When it arrives I'll attach it to my camera in the store and test it. If it degrades the picture too much then I simply won't put the money on the table. I'd rather have 12x good optical quality (I rarely, if ever, use the digital zoom) than more zoom with an unacceptable quality. If people are not willing to spend the cash to get a decent product then they should perhaps remain happy with the 12x zoom and get credible shots but from a bit farther away. Again, what's the point in purchasing an expensive camera and slipping something on to the end of it that turns it into a second-rate camera? It makes no sense to me.

I could post junk that I've gotten from my Canon 1.7 extender (which still autofocuses when taped with electrician's tape onto the end of my FZ10) that is just as good or perhaps even better than the above robin post, but what would be the purpose? To help promote the abilities of the FZ10?
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