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Old Jul 29, 2005, 9:51 AM   #1
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OK, after much umming and ahrring, I have decided to go for the FZ20 over the FZ5. This is mainly due to the fact that I am completely in love with some of the macro (close-up) pictures I have seen on these forums - I figure that the manual focus will allow me greater control.

I am going to get this from Hong Kong via ebay (I know there is a bit more risk involved) - has anyone any experience of going down this route (as opposed to dishing out another £100 to by from a uk retailer).

More importantly, which extra filters/lenses/accessories should I consider? Obviously a spare battery and a fast SD card.

I am due to head off travelling in 4 weeks time, so need to make sure that I have all the necessary adapter rings, etc.

I was thinking of a UV filter (to protect the lens as much as anything), a close-up lens (any suggestions? I htink the Nikon 4T or 6T are popular). Do I need an adapter for this?

Polarising filter? Worthwhile?

I am toying with a 1.4x or 1.7x telelens. I know that a wopping 12x is already a lot - if I get the extra teleconversion, am I just adding weight for little real gain?

Also, any suggestions as to the best place in UK (London if possible) to pick up any last minute accessories for the FZ20 cheaply?

I am budgeting about £500 for all the kit

Thanks for your advice.

Gopal

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Old Jul 29, 2005, 10:24 AM   #2
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first off, as you mentioned, a spare battery (or better yet, two), and a couple of high-speed 512MB SD cards. for memory, i can recommend the Kingmax Platinum 60x cards sold at Newegg.com. you can get one for right around $40, less if they're on sale.

in order to use any of the popular close-up or teleconverter lenses, filters, etc., you will need an adapter. the ones made by Phayee and Pemaraal are both good choices, thoughthe Phayee isperhaps morepopular among members of this forum. i have one and am very satisfied with it.the adapterwill allow you to mount 62mm filters such as a UV or skylight filter (an absolute "must" in my book, to protect the lens on your camera, since that is irreplaceable if damaged), and will place the filter glass MUCH closer to the end of the camera lens than if you use the adapter supplied by Panasonic. apolarizer is a very good thing to have when shooting outdoors on sunny days. any good quality polarizer will work fine. i also recommend a collapsible rubber lens hood with 62mm threads. the Phayee adapter costs $22.50 plus shipping, and my rubber lens hood cost me $9 on ebay.

close-up lenses are very useful for small objects. the camera will focus down to 2cm in macro mode, but only at 1x zoom. with a close-up lens, you can focus fromfarther away, and use the full zoom range.i have the Nikon 6T, which screws directly into the 62mm threads on my Phayee adapter, and am very happy with it, but lots of folks like the stronger Raynox DCR-250. whether to get one of these depends on how much macro work youwant to do. the Nikon 6T costs about $50 US.

same for the teleconverter. 12x (corresponding to a 430mm telephoto on a 35mm SLR) is already a powerful lens, but i've found that for some things a little extra reach is desirable, like photographing wildlife. i have an OlympusTCON-14B which screws directly onto the 62mm adapter, and givesme about the equivalent of a 600mm telephoto lens at 12x zoom, which is just about right for birds and the like. it is heavy, and it does add bulk, but the added reach is noticeable. again, whether to get one depends on how much of that kind of photography you plan to do. a TCON-14B can be had for between $90 and $120 on ebay ($175 US or so in stores).

i trust you already have a tripod for low-light photographs. if not, that's a good investment. i also find that i use a monopod a lot for some shots, especially where a tripod is too bulky or takes too long to move and set up, but where i need a little more stability. especially when using full zoom with a teleconverter. monopods are cheap, compact, portable, and a very useful accessory.

you can easily obtain almost all of these items on ebay or from online sellers. i purchased my memory cards from Newegg, but got spare batteries, my adapter and teleconverter on ebay. my Nikon 6T came from B&H Photo, and my filters and monopod were purchased at local stores. as to where in the UK to pick up accessories (cheaply or otherwise), i'm afraid i can't help much. perhaps some of the forum memberswho live there can offer suggestions...
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 11:06 AM   #3
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I was in a similar situation as you - just picked up my FZ20, needed the basic accessories. Here's what I did, and I recommend for you as well: Buy the Phayee adapter kit and accessories on eBay at http://cgi.ebay.com/PHAYEE-Lens-Adap...QQcmdZViewItem

Here's what I received:

- FZ20 Phayee Adapter kit ($22.50 USD)
- 62mm custom Lens Cap with cord/tether ($2.50 USD)
- 72mm custom Lens Cap with cord/tether ($2.50 USD)
- 62mm HOYA HMC UV filter ($15.00 USD)
- OEM DMW-BM7 battery ($19.00 USD)
- Lens Cloth ($2.00 USD)

You could skip the 62mm lens cap if you want. Also look on ebay for a 72mm Hama or Hoya collapsable rubber lens hood. A linear polariser would be good to get when you have an opportunity.

There are some other great adapter kits available, including LoveLife's CRing. Do an ebay search on Cring to find it. It's a very nice adapter solution, especially if you plan to have multiple add-on lenses or a variety of lens sizes. I find the Phayee solution working well for my amateur needs so far, but if/when I upgrade to tele/wa lenses I very well may invest in LoveLife's CRing.
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Old Jul 29, 2005, 11:07 AM   #4
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Squirl033 covered that well.

I would like to add another choice in adapters as I really believe it has advantages with Telelens and Wangle lens over using step rings. Or taking the road I did , using a different adapter for each different size lens. I could have saved a lot of room in the camera case had this adapter been available a couple years ago.

Of course you can always make sure that the lens you purchase are the same size.



http://cgi.ebay.com/New-CRing-Adapte...QQcmdZViewItem




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Old Jul 30, 2005, 4:19 PM   #5
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Stupid question: Is a Macro and a Wide Angle lens the same thing? If not, what is the difference? It is just that I have seen a few auctions on ebay saying things like "0.5X Wide Angle (Macro) Lens..."

I know that fish-eye lenses are like 0.2X - and give some very "artistic" results - not so interested in those, but do want to try and do those amazing close-up shots I have seen on here of grasshoppers, etc.

Thanks

Gopes

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Old Jul 30, 2005, 5:30 PM   #6
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Stu
Quote:
pid question: Is a Macro and a Wide Angle lens the same thing? If not, what is the difference? It is just that I have seen a few auctions on ebay saying things like "0.5X Wide Angle (Macro) Lens..."

I know that fish-eye lenses are like 0.2X - and give some very "artistic" results - not so interested in those, but do want to try and do those amazing close-up shots I have seen on here of grasshoppers, etc.

Thanks

Gopes
A wide angle lens subtracks magnification by .06 or .07 or so. My definition of a fisheye would be .05 or less.

A macro is a magnifier so it is not a wide angle but I think some of those people are saying its wide angle one way and if you reverse the lens you have a macro.

I would avoid those type of lens...you bought a good camera spend a little extra for what others here know work.

If you have the FZ5 have a look at the 3T and 4T and a 55 to 52 stepdown ring
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Old Jul 30, 2005, 5:30 PM   #7
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Stu
Quote:
pid question: Is a Macro and a Wide Angle lens the same thing? If not, what is the difference? It is just that I have seen a few auctions on ebay saying things like "0.5X Wide Angle (Macro) Lens..."

I know that fish-eye lenses are like 0.2X - and give some very "artistic" results - not so interested in those, but do want to try and do those amazing close-up shots I have seen on here of grasshoppers, etc.

Thanks

Gopes
A wide angle lens subtracks magnification by .06 or .07 or so. My definition of a fisheye would be .05 or less.

A macro is a magnifier so it is not a wide angle but I think some of those people are saying its wide angle one way and if you reverse the lens you have a macro.

I would avoid those type of lens...you bought a good camera spend a little extra for what others here know work.

If you have the FZ5 have a look at the 3T and 4T and a 55 to 52 stepdown ring
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Old Jul 30, 2005, 6:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Is a Macro and a Wide Angle lens the same thing? If not, what is the difference? It is just that I have seen a few auctions on ebay saying things like "0.5X Wide Angle (Macro) Lens..."
No, 'normally' not the same thing.. (but then i don't see the auction your reffering to...)

Quote:
I know that fish-eye lenses are like 0.2X - and give some very "artistic" results - not so interested in those, but do want to try and do those amazing close-up shots I have seen on here of grasshoppers, etc.
Like squirl said, the macro lens will fit for that purpose..

You mention that you have 4 weeks... here some opinions:
*how long would you expect to have (the camera?) from hongkong? with 500 GBP you could get it locally or at least eBay UK or DE...
*not all the lenses is equal in quality.. better to adding up slowly... stick first with the camera, even for bottom wide, top tele or macro works.. haste makes waste...

I use raynox 52mm adapter (my wife bought it for me, cheap, when she is in japan) . as for the filter , i use b+w UV, heliopan linear polarizer, and hoya hmc 81a, all of them i got via eBay.de, and cost me around €5-10 each, very cheap considering their quality.
I think the polarizer give most useful feature, imagewise.. the UV is OK for protection (even the supplied adapter will work very fine), maybe you don't need corection filter like skylight or warming filter.

I have 0,5x wide angle lens from HAMA, but for my fz10 i found it useless... by the time you got no vigneting, fz10 lens on its widest will have more filed of view. Later on i might be investing on raynox dcr 6600 or 720.

I somehow got €30 raynox dcr 250 for macro from eBay.de, trickier to use than camera macro mode for sure... but the quality is good.

And the tripod (or monopod).. it realy useful i've got good used SLIK tripod, and enable me to do nighshot, landscape panorama, macro and 'tele' better. Teleconverter somehow got higher average price on eBay (even higher for high quality one), from now I'll stick to 72mm top and zooming by foot

As you see.. I'm running cheap (the camera itself, fz10, cost me €250), but then I have lot time (and little money) to fishing that kit out from eBay .

Bottom line is, get that camera first, it is really good, then slowly make right purchase for good (and necessary) additional accesory.

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Old Jul 30, 2005, 6:35 PM   #9
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gopalgriffith wrote:
Quote:
OK, after much umming and ahrring, I have decided to go for the FZ20 over the FZ5. This is mainly due to the fact that I am completely in love with some of the macro (close-up) pictures I have seen on these forums - I figure that the manual focus will allow me greater control.

I am going to get this from Hong Kong via ebay (I know there is a bit more risk involved) - has anyone any experience of going down this route (as opposed to dishing out another £100 to by from a uk retailer).

More importantly, which extra filters/lenses/accessories should I consider? Obviously a spare battery and a fast SD card.

I am due to head off travelling in 4 weeks time, so need to make sure that I have all the necessary adapter rings, etc.

I was thinking of a UV filter (to protect the lens as much as anything), a close-up lens (any suggestions? I htink the Nikon 4T or 6T are popular). Do I need an adapter for this?

Polarising filter? Worthwhile?

I am toying with a 1.4x or 1.7x telelens. I know that a wopping 12x is already a lot - if I get the extra teleconversion, am I just adding weight for little real gain?

Also, any suggestions as to the best place in UK (London if possible) to pick up any last minute accessories for the FZ20 cheaply?

I am budgeting about £500 for all the kit

Thanks for your advice.

Gopal
Go here into the light all questions about lenses on the FZ10, 15 or 20 are http://lovelife.smugmug.com/gallery/543892.


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Old Jul 30, 2005, 9:23 PM   #10
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gopalgriffith wrote:
Quote:
Stupid question: Is a Macro and a Wide Angle lens the same thing? If not, what is the difference? It is just that I have seen a few auctions on ebay saying things like "0.5X Wide Angle (Macro) Lens..."

I know that fish-eye lenses are like 0.2X - and give some very "artistic" results - not so interested in those, but do want to try and do those amazing close-up shots I have seen on here of grasshoppers, etc.

Thanks

Gopes

in layman's terms, a wide angle lens gives you a wide perspective of a scene. it is NOT a close-up lens. it is intended to take in as wide a view of a scene as possible, but is not designed to bring tiny objects into full-frame view.

a close-up lens allows you to focus on very small objects at a reasonable focal distance (10-14") and still make that object fill the viewfinder. also, a close-up lense will lose focus beyond about 16" (depending on the lens, this may be more or less). wide angle lenses can focus to infinity.
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