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Old Jan 18, 2005, 9:15 PM   #1
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I remember reading a post from Gil (DP review) back in July about the difference between the Pamaraal PD62 lens adapter and the Raynox adapter. Quote: "Tried the Tcon17, C-180, and TL-55 and all seem to work better with the Raynox adapter. Whether the Raynox adapter threads closer or not to the PD62, I don't know....?"

I was curious about this, and since I had just bought a Tcon17, I wanted to get the most out of it, unfortunatelly my adapter was the Paramaal. I had a thin step-down ring so I was hoping it would work fine. Well it didn't, I had a lot of trouble getting perfect focused images even if the camera indicated good focus, even in manual. The images were soft, just like Gil had mentioned; especially beyond 30ft. All tests were done at 12x, F8, spot focus or manual focus.
Because of Gil's comments I decided to order the Raynox adapter and do some further testing and figure out where the "Sweet Spot" was if there was one.

When I received the Raynox adapter I used it with a thick step-up ring because that's all I had available and the results were basically the same as with the Pamaraal adapter.
Using a scientific ruler I measured both adapters with there respective step rings and found out that they were exactly the same, so the Tcon17 sat at the same distance from the pana lens with both adapters. This meant that if I used a thin adapter instead of a thick one with the Raynox adapter, it would bring the lenses closer together and this might improve performance.

Bingo, as soon as I started to use the Raynox adapter with a thin step-ring I could see a marked improvement with the image sharpness at all distances.
Curious, I now measured the difference between both adapters with the step rings and found the Raynox to be 1mm shorter than the Pamaraal. The reason the Pamaraal is longer, is because the front thread is thicker by 1mm, probably because the adapter is made of Delkin instead of metal like the Raynox. Pamaraal also sell metal adapters (PA's) and I suspect these would also have thinner threads and work fine. Who would think 1mm would make such a difference, but it does. I must of shot hundreds of pictures with both adapters and in nearly all cases the results were sharper with the Raynox adater + a thin step-ring.

So what is the sweet spot? 6MM... Based on my measurements (not a scientific test), the distance between the two lenses was exactly 6mm when mounted.

To further answer the above question raised by Gil in his post, yes the Raynox adapter does thread closer, by 1mm, assuming a thin step-ring is used.
The results seem to apply to other lenses as well, as mentioned in Gil's post.

Hope this information helps...

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Old Jan 18, 2005, 10:23 PM   #2
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marigil wrote:
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Bingo, as soon as I started to use the Raynox adapter with a thin step-ring I could see a marked improvement with the image sharpness at all distances.
Where did you get the thin 55-52mm step ring? Plastic or metal? How much?
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 12:02 AM   #3
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Hi,
I got the thin step-up ring at GIN Photographic, a local camera shop in Ottawa, Canada. These should be available at any good camera shop. I paid $9.99+tax canadian.
To help you, the ring is metal and 6mm thick , so any ring with this thickness should do. The lenght of the adapter + the stepup ring attached to it should be 33.5mm

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 1:23 AM   #4
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marigil,

I am interested in your pesonal findings and if possible could you post the differences you said you have found and also what is the brand name of the thin stepdown ring.

Mahalo,

Tom
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 5:24 AM   #5
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what camera are you using in these findings?????
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 9:01 AM   #6
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marigil wrote:
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the ring is metal and 6mm thick
That would be the total thickness of the ring including the male threaded portion at the camera end. The critical distance is that thickness extending beyond the adapter which would be about 3mm in this case and is pretty standard - ie, not thin. Apparently there are ultra thin rings on the order of 1mm beyond the adapter for $10 or so at b&hphoto. See http://forums.dpreview.com/... .../read.asp?forum=1033&message=10526073
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 11:22 AM   #7
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Hi Tom,

The difference was the amount of detail and the sharpness of the images, especially at distances beyond 30ft.
Looks like the ring I've got is generic no-name, just says made in Japan. see other post by member "fmoore" for more info.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 11:25 AM   #8
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Sorry everyone,
I'm using an FZ20
Love it, great camera.

Gilles
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 12:22 PM   #9
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My thinking is not real clear on this topic. Please explain to me where I am going astray.:?

A thick step ring might increase the amount of zoom you need to use to avoid vignetting but it should not effect the ability to focus.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 12:33 PM   #10
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Using a thicker step ring increases the distance of the third party lense from the camera lens. Hence, this has shown some challenges in getting good focus and sharp pictures. A thinner step ring will minimize the distance between both lenses.

Another way of looking at this which is a crude exampleis, if you wear glasses and use a magnifying glass the distance between the two makes a difference in how well you can see what you are trying to see.


Thanks for the response marigill.
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