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Old Oct 24, 2005, 4:06 PM   #1
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I'd like to purchase a Zoom doubler for my FZ20 but I can't justify buying the Panasonic product. The price is really out there!

Any Ideas?


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Old Oct 24, 2005, 6:16 PM   #2
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i assume you're talking about a teleconverter... there are a number of good ones available in the 1.4-1.7x range. i have an Olympus TCON-14B which is 1.45x and cost me a bit over $100 on ebay. retail is about $175, i think. if you don't mind using stepdown rings to use a 55mm thread, you can use the Olympus TCON-17, which is 1.7 x, and can be had for between $80 and $100. it's not as well made, IMO, as the 14B, and it's a bit "softer" and more susceptible to CA, but it'slighter andoffers a little more "pull". there are others available as well in the $100-$200 range. here's a link to a site with some useful information...the site is written for the FZ10, but all the lenses will fit the '20 with an adapter.

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam/
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Old Oct 24, 2005, 7:49 PM   #3
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I have a Canon 55mm 1.4x. It is often listed for the Panasonic but don't buy it. It just is not sharp.
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 4:23 PM   #4
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squirl033 wrote:
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i assume you're talking about a teleconverter... there are a number of good ones available in the 1.4-1.7x range. i have an Olympus TCON-14B which is 1.45x and cost me a bit over $100 on ebay. retail is about $175, i think. if you don't mind using stepdown rings to use a 55mm thread, you can use the Olympus TCON-17, which is 1.7 x, and can be had for between $80 and $100. it's not as well made, IMO, as the 14B, and it's a bit "softer" and more susceptible to CA, but it'slighter andoffers a little more "pull". there are others available as well in the $100-$200 range. here's a link to a site with some useful information...the site is written for the FZ10, but all the lenses will fit the '20 with an adapter.

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam/
I would love to add one of these to my FZ 30 and I am liking what I've read about the tcon 17. I am a bit hesitant tho, because of the experience I had with my minolta 7i. After I added the tele converter which was made for this camera by Minolta, the camera took on a whole new shape, and handling characteristics were...ugh, indescribeable. (I must say tho the lense produced chrystal clear shots!) The lense could only be used after downloading software into the camera, it had to have the barrel fully extended, locked in macro position, and the only focal options were zoom at max, period. It only boosted the zoom to 10X. It was a pain to put on and take off and I had to be V E R Y careful because it weighed a ton, and I had to support it at all times with my hand under the barrel where it joined the normal lense. A N D it cost like a KINGS ransom. Here's a shot of the beast with the add on. See what I mean? How'd you like to lug this around? So my question is, how versatile is the 30 with an add on? Can you use the zoom in and out with it on? (could not with the 7i) Is it structurally sound, how careful do you have to be supporting the extra weight? Many thanks if you can shed some light here. Best regsrds,

KennethD
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 4:58 PM   #5
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With all my other FZ cameras I have used a number of add on lenses. I got fed up with fooling with adapters and big lenses that made the cameras.....well hard to use. Now the FZ30 has solved the adapter problem with the simple 55mm thread and just yesterday I read where they now have released two completely new lenses specifically for the FZ30. A W/A and a telephoto. Both are said to be smaller and lighter. I hate to think what the price will be? BUT I will wait! Frankly there is plenty to do with this camera just as it comes out of the box. I sort of solved the W/A problem by carrying my Sony W-7+the W/A attachment in my pocket. Something you can not do with a big screw on W/A lens for the FZ30. Since Imagestabilization is not all that practical with add on lenses anyway, I might just keep my $$$??
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 6:25 PM   #6
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the TCON-17 is a relatively small, lightweight (~9.5 oz or thereabouts) converter. it's a good deal smallerand much lighter than the TCON-14B which i have (and which i bought to avoid having to use steprings), but i believe it is not quite as sharp, and is just a teensy bit more prone to chromatic aberration (purple fringing). The TCON17 is less than $100, usually, so it's not a budget buster. if you shop around, you can probably get one for around $80.

for most uses, it will do very well. it's simple to use... no special settings required, no hassles. just thread onto the front of your lens and it's ready to go. it's reasonably sturdy, from what i can tell,since it will screw onto your adapter,not the lens barrel itself like your Minolta. it will definitely NOT require any changes in software, though it will definitely add some weight and bulk to your FZ30,and youwill probablywant to keep a hand under thejointbetween the converter and lenswhen shooting and carrying anyway, just because the camera will balance better that way.

i can't speak for the FZ30, since i have a '20, but with mine, the zoom is fully functional with the converter on, and i can't imagine Panasonic would change that for their new flagship model.you will get vignetting below about 4-6x, but then, you don't put a converter like this on in the first place unless your prime lens doesn't have enoughpull, so there'd be no point in using it at low zoom settings.




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Old Oct 26, 2005, 10:55 AM   #7
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Yes that's what I'mmeant. You mention the TCONs by Olympus. I'm wondering what is the sizeof the converter opening. On the FZ20 the lense size is 72mm. Is the TCON also 72mm?
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Old Oct 26, 2005, 10:58 AM   #8
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Man that looks very awkward. I hope that teleconvertors aren't all like this. It looks like you would need a tripod for the camera as well as the converter.

Looking at your picture ... with digital photography we've come a long way. You would never have been to able to explain what this picture shows.
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Old Oct 26, 2005, 1:06 PM   #9
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Take a look at: http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/l...rsionlens.html

This shows what Panasonic has planned for the FZ30 for add on lenses. Having some experience, Canon Pro90IS, Olympus C-2100UZ, Panasonic FZ1,FZ10,FZ20 and FZ30 and starting with the Olympus B-300 I have screwed a batch of add on lenses to all of them.

They were all good cameas with the C-2100UZ being outstanding. (if I could buy one new, I would) Maybe some can do it but trying to hand hold at above 10x to 12x zoom is difficult to say the very least. I got a lot of hand held photos at those extemes but never a really good keeper. So if you read the info on the Panasonic site you can see that their new lenses for the FZ30 are smaller and lighter. In other words they are addressing the problem, These are not the same lenses that went on the FZ20's. For myself I only want lenses that are designed for this camera
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Old Oct 26, 2005, 7:39 PM   #10
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telecom wrote:
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Yes that's what I'mmeant. You mention the TCONs by Olympus. I'm wondering what is the sizeof the converter opening. On the FZ20 the lense size is 72mm. Is the TCON also 72mm?
the TCON-14B has 62mm threads, and most folks who use aftermarket teleconverters have some sort of lens adapter installed, like the Phayee, which i have, or a Pemaraal or Raynox. the Phayee has 62mm threads as well, so the TCON-14B screws right on. the FZ30 has 55mm threads already on the lens (an oversight on the FZ20 that Panasonic wisely corrected with the '30), so a TCON-17 would screw directly to the lens itself.

the objective lens diamter of the TCON-14B is 86mm, and i believe it's about 77m on the TCON-17, but the latter has no front threads.


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