Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot) > Panasonic / Leica

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 8, 2004, 1:47 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 579
Default



I finally got an adapter tube for FZ-10 made by Mr. Chen Ming-Shan, aka Brother Shan. Here is a brief preview. Details will be available at my FZ-10 site. You can find the URL of Mr. Chen's on the "Adapter Tube" page in the "Converter Lenses" section of my FZ-10 user guide.

THE ADAPTER TUBE


This adapter, aka Brother Shan's tube in Taiwan, consists of three pieces, two larger tubes and one thin ring. The image below shows the two tubes. The right one, a conical shape, is the tube for mounting on a FZ-10, while the left cylindrical tube is screwed on to the conical one to form a lens hood.




The thin ring, as shown below, does not have a specific functionality.





This thin ring is screwed on to the conical tube as shown below. However, once it is mounted, one cannot screw the lens hood portion onto the conical tube, because this ring will occupy the thread completely. I believe this thin ring is used for preventing the user from mounting the lens hood and a converter lens onto the conical tube at the same time. In general, if the lens hood is not used, which is very common among teleconverter users, one can always screw this thin ring onto the conical tube. It did it all the time when I was shooting in Taiwan with my WCON-07 and FZ-10.





The following image shows the conical ring (with the thin ring mounted) on a FZ-10. It just like any other adapters (e.g., Yoshida and PD62 and PA62).





The conical tube has a 62mm thread. The following image shows a Olympus TCON-16B mounted on the conical tube.





MY FIRST IMPRESSION

This is a very well made adapter. I have never had any problem (e.g., jammed filter and/or converter). Everything fits nicely and it does not jam the manual focusing ring. So far, this is the best adapter tube of all of my FZ-10 tubes. Moreover, it looks good on my FZ-10!

MATCHING PETAL TYPE LENS HOOD

To use a petal type bayonet lens hood, one must find some way to convert a thread mount to a bayonet mount. You can certainly find a petal type lens hood and put it on the lens. However, it can easily fall off from the lens. So, Mr. Chen designed a very thin metal O-ring as shown below:





This O-ring is very thin and can easily be bent. So, it should be used carefully. To use this O-ring, a 62mm filter is needed. The first step is put the O-ring into the 62mm thread. It would not mount tightly because it does not have thread. Then, align the mark at the center of the lens as shown below:



Then, screw a 62mm filter onto the thread. Thus, the thin O-ring will be fixed to its expected position by the filter.



Finally, mount a lens hood. A minor adjustment may be needed to position the lens hood in the right position. This is shown below. Mr. Chen sells a matching Sigma lens hood as shown below. However, I failed to find this lens hoodat US Sigma site. I did not notice vignetting!




The next two images show the configuration. Does it look cool? Sure, it does.






I asked Mr. Chen about the O-ring approach. More specifically, why wouldn't he design a thread-to-bayonet ring? The answer is very simple: cost. So, the consequence is that we have to use a 62mm filter to fix the position of the O-ring, which serves as a thread-to-bayonet converter. I am not sure if this will cause vignetting is a polarizer is stacked on top of this filter, and will report my findings later.

A MATCHING 55mm STEP-DOWN RING

Since this Brother Shan's tube has 62mm thread and since Olympus TCON-17 and WCON-07 and Canon TL-55 are popular among FZ-10 users, a special 55mm step-down is available as shown below:







When screw this special step-down ring onto a 55mm thread converter lens, the ring *DOES NOT* add any depth. In other words, the rear element of the lens can be very close to the camera lens.



The following shows the configuration of a conventional, thicker 62-55mm step-down ring on a 55mm thread converter. The lens element is clearly a few millimeter deep, pushing the rear lens element away from FZ-10's lens and increasing the chance of vignetting.



If we compare all three adapters (i.e., Yoshida, PD62/PA62 and this Taiwan version), we shall see that the Yoshida and PD62/PA62 tubes are about the same height, while the Taiwan version is slightly longer. See the image below. The extra thickness allows the 55mm step-down ring to be deeply buried into the tube and hence closer to the front element of the camera lens.


Due to its design, I can mount this 55mm step-down ring and the cylindrical tube (i.e., lens hood) on to the conical tube without vignetting. This is very convenient because I can simply remove the lens hood portion and mount a WCON-07 onto the tube. If the TCON-17 should be used, one does not have to remove the lens hood portion! I carried a Yoshida 55mm tube with me on this trip to Asia in the hope of using the WCON-07 easily. It turned out that the Yoshida 55mm tube and the WCON-07 worked flawlessly until I need a lens hood for the on-camera lens. Once I got this Taiwan tube, I left my Yoshida tube in my room and never used in the remaining of my trip.

SOME RANDOM ITEMS

(1)PRICING

Some people asked about pricing and ordering. Sorry, I cannot help much. The price for the tubes (two tube plus one ring) is $1,200NTD (New Taiwan Dollar) which is about $38USD+ based on the exchange rate of 1:34. The Sigma lens hood is $400NTD = $12USD, and the thin O-ring is about $100NTD = $3USD. If course, price will change without notice and will fluctuate if exchange rate changes.

(2)ORDERING

I chatted with Mr. Chen for about 2 hours at the entrance of a nice and large local park. In fact, if you visit Taiwan, you can give him a call well in advance to make an appointment, you can pick up the product at the indicated entrance as described on his page. Mr. Chen is a retired TI engineering and is doing the adapter tubes for FZ-1/2, FZ-10 and various Fuji digicam for fun. It is a small volume production, and, hence, orders must be made earlier. You can use e-mail or call his cell-phone. This info is available on his page. See the "Adapter Tubes" page of the "Converter Lenses" of my FZ-10 user guide. If you like, you can send him a e-mail at [email protected] or call his cell phone at 0933-045954 (don't forget the country prefix). Note that there is a 12-, 11-, 10- and 9- hour time difference if you are in the EST, central, mountain and pacific time zone, respectively. For example, Taiwan's 9am is 9pm, 8pm, 7pm and 6pm in the eastern, central, mountain and pacific time zone, respectively.Good luck.

He hesitated to have his ordering info online; but, this could change in the future.

(3) OTHER NOTES

Mr. Chen knew there are some copycats in Taiwan and China producing very similar products. He pointed out that many of these products could jam the manual focusing ring or may not allow filters or converters to be screwed to the best possible position. As pointed out earlier, the matching Sigma lens hood is a special deal arranged with Taiwan Sigma. Unfortunately, this lens hood may not be available separately in the US. I checked and could not find this item at Sigma's site. I hope I could find replacement from Tamron and/or Tokina.

I had a chance to play with his Raynox 2.2X converter on my FZ-10. Prior to this, I still had a slight incentive to get a 2.2X. Once I hold this lens in my hand, which is in its matching pouch, my incentive diminished quickly. Why? It is too light. IMO, a telephoto lens should be heavy enough to counter hand shaking. Once I remove the lens from its pouch, all of the remaining incentive is gone. According to Raynox' site http://www.raynox.co.jp/english/digital/fz10/index.htm this lens has diameter and length 85mm and 123mm, respectively, and the lens construction is four elements in 2 groups. Such a big lens should be very heavy no matter the optical formular being used. However, it is only 9.7 oz, very light in its size. Hence, I suspected that the four lens elements could be made from plastic. While plastic lenses are common in lens design, its optical quality is still inferior to real glass lens elements. This is the main reason that my incentive reduced to ZERO. Since there are two companies import Raynox products to Taiwan, competition drives the price down, which is slightly lower than that in the US. However, I still have no incentive to buy one for my FZ-10.

I only have a PA62 in hand and do not have PA62H. It is too early to compare PA62H against this Taiwan tube. I will update my findings on my FZ-10 user guide in the future once I will have a chance to play with both. So far, I believe this Taiwan version is the best because (1) it is well made, far better than the Yoshida and PA62 versions, (2) it provides a reasonable complete accessories for lens hoods and teleconverter, and (2) the 55mm step-down is by far the best matching ring for 55mm thread converters. The only serious problem is that I may not have any chance toobtain this set of adapter tube if I did not have a chance to visit Asia.
CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 and Panasonic FZ-10 User Guides


shene is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 9, 2004, 7:21 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default

Thank you for posting that review on the adapter Shene, you did your usual thorough job!

I have emailed Mr. Chen Ming-Shan regarding the adapter and also to see if it is possible to purchase one without having to visit Taiwan. :-)

Harryo
Harryo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 9, 2004, 12:37 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 124
Default

This "Phayee" model that I bought via ebay

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...e=STRK:MEWN:IT

seems to be exactly the same in design.

Mine had no writing on it though
lawrencew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 9, 2004, 2:24 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default

Thanks for the information regarding the Phayee adapter.

I did purchase one of these sometime ago so that I could use the "Petal type" lens hoods.

It is just that the adapter by Mr Chen seems to be a more complete package and I particularly liked the method of attaching the Sigma 'bayonet' fitting lens hood.

Having to meet at the entrance to a park somewhere in Taiwan in order to collect an adapter seems a bit 'James Bondish' !
I just hope there is an easier method of obtaining the adapter. :-)

Harryo
Harryo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 9, 2004, 9:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 579
Default

lawrencew wrote:
Quote:
This "Phayee" model that I bought via ebay

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...e=STRK:MEWN:IT

seems to be exactly the same in design.

Mine had no writing on it though
I was told, when I was in Taiwan, that this is a copycat product. There are other copycats available in Taiwan on Yahoo. I saw a couple of them and finally decided to go with Mr. Chen's version because it is better made.

CK
shene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 2004, 7:13 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default

I did buy the Phayee long before I had heard of Mr Chen's adapter not realising that he was the originator of the design.

Could you name the Taiwanese city and park where you met Mr Chen?

Only reason for asking is that a friend is married to a Taiwanese lady whose relatives are resident in Taiwan, might be another way of obtaining the adapter. :-)

Harryo
Harryo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 2004, 10:29 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 579
Default

Harryo wrote:
Quote:
I did buy the Phayee long before I had heard of Mr Chen's adapter not realising that he was the originator of the design.

Back in Taiwan and at some Taiwan digital sites, Mr. Chen's work is quite well-known and popular. In fact, the product previewed is pergaps the second or third generation of Mr. Chen's work. His attitude was if someone copied my stuff then I am going to release a newer and better vesion because there is virtually no patent protection for these small stuffs.

Quote:
Could you name the Taiwanese city and park where you met Mr Chen?

Only reason for asking is that a friend is married to a Taiwanese lady whose relatives are resident in Taiwan, might be another way of obtaining the adapter. :-)
The rendezvous point is one of the entrance to the Youth Parkin Taipei city. Vrtually everyone in Taipei city knows that park. Mr. Chen's web site http://vipweb.url.com.tw/mschen3/provides a very clearr instruction/direction to be there for personal pickup and the way of mailing in money. Just ask the person mentioned above to visit Chen's web site and he/she will be able to figure out how to get the product for you. By the way, according to Chen's web site this morning,no adapter tube is in stock as of now. Call Mr. Chen well in advance, please.

CK
shene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 2004, 10:54 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default

[/quote]

The rendezvous point is one of the entrance to the Youth Park in Taipei city. Vrtually everyone in Taipei city knows that park. Mr. Chen's web site http://vipweb.url.com.tw/mschen3/ provides a very clearr instruction/direction to be there for personal pickup and the way of mailing in money. Just ask the person mentioned above to visit Chen's web site and he/she will be able to figure out how to get the product for you. By the way, according to Chen's web site this morning, no adapter tube is in stock as of now. Call Mr. Chen well in advance, please.

CK
[/quote]

Thank you for the information regarding the directions for personal pick-up.

I have visited Chen's website a number of times and have been frustrated that no online translation site can convert it into English.

I realise from the information that you posted on the adapter that one can obtain a step-down ring 62mm to 55mm but does it mention anywhere on the website whether a 62mm to 58mm ring is available?

Harryo
Harryo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 2004, 11:19 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 579
Default

Harryo wrote:
Quote:
I realise from the information that you posted on the adapter that one can obtain a step-down ring 62mm to 55mm but does it mention anywhere on the website whether a 62mm to 58mm ring is available?
The importance of the 55mm thread is perhap due to the popularity of TCON-17 and later WCON-07. These Olympus converters have smaller exit pupil and if the rear glass element is farther away from the camera lens vignetting will occur. On the other hand, the major use of the 58mm thread is for the Sony VCL HGD1758 as it is one of the best teleconverters for the FZ-10. Since the 1758 has a large exit puple (for the Sony 717 with large front element), a thin 62-58mm step-down ring will work perfectly. This is perhaps the main reason that no one is making a specialized 62-58mm step-down ring for the FZ-10. So, no, Mr. Chen's web site does not mention the existence of a 58mm step down ring.

CK
shene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 2004, 2:34 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default

shene wrote:
Quote:
[b]Since the 1758 has a large exit puple (for the Sony 717 with large front element), a thin 62-58mm step-down ring will work perfectly. This is perhaps the main reason that no one is making a specialized 62-58mm step-down ring for the FZ-10. So, no, Mr. Chen's web site does not mention the existence of a 58mm step down ring.

CK
Thanks for the explanation Shene as to why Mr. Chen does not have a specialized 62-58mm step-down ring for the FZ10/Sony1758 combination.

Harryo
Harryo is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:02 PM.