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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:01 PM   #1
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One of the great things about WA converters is that they enable you to take hand-held candids w/o a tripod at very slow shutter speed and higher than expected ISOs and aperture values.

The Raynox DCR 720 is an economical choice at $50. It widens the view field by 38%, is light, does not vignette, stays sharp in the corners, and allows you to take acceptable images through the zoom range (most are limited to up to 2X zoom-through). Down side is it suffers from nasty barrel distortion at wide, so a lot of people pass on this otherwise very good WA converter lens. It's a shame, since barrel distortion is VERY easy to correct using a free PS plug-in called Panotools. Observe:

This photo was taken hand-held. 1/15 of a sec shutter speed, f 5.2, ISO 100 in indoor natural light, no flash with the DCR 720 You would be hard pressed to get an acceptable image without camera shake with the FZ's n'ked lens at these settings. Unfortunately, you can see the cabnets curve substantially along with the vertical lines.

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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:02 PM   #2
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Viola...
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:02 PM   #3
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Here's another poor barista, suffering from barrel distortion.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:05 PM   #4
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Viola! Using a WA coverter with the Lumix IS system enables you to extend its capabilities at taking hand-held candids with natural light indoors. Barrel distortion? A snap to correct. Don't be put off by the Raynox 720 if you have Photoshop.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:13 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for sharing info on that plugin, Nick
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:18 PM   #6
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greenbaron wrote:
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Thanks a lot for sharing info on that plugin, Nick
You got it, GB. If you - or anyone use the Raynox 720, I will be happy to share the settings to save you some trial and error time. PM me if interested.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:26 PM   #7
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great tutorial Nick, and delicious subjects... all EDIBLE
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:31 PM   #8
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boyzo wrote:
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great tutorial Nick, and delicious subjects... all EDIBLE
Especially barista #2. We'll be seeing more of her. Actually, they're both real sweethearts... college student types who are a lot of fun. Though I prefer Wawa's coffee I go there and yuk it up with these two.
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:49 PM   #9
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So Nick...............what's the verdict? Which is your favorite WA?
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Old Feb 19, 2005, 8:57 PM   #10
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They're both very different WA's, Noons. The 720 lets you zoom through with decent results and doesn't vignette, and it gives you a decent increase in the view field. The 6600 buys a lot of real estate but you can only go to about 55mm before the edges get blurry, which you can't correct. It vignettes slightly on the FZ-1 but boy you can go really wide and don't need to make any corrections.

I decided to keep them both. For casual use, the 720. When I want a really wide angle lens though, the 6600. The 720 is only about $50, about the cost of a filter. wtf.

Point is, though, don't be so concerned about BD, very correctable with Panotools (and some others but PT is free) in PS.
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