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Old Jan 18, 2006, 2:12 PM   #1
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I got my FZ20 last month, and being the accessory geek that I am, started buying the extras right away. I got a Lowepro case, a couple of spare batteries, an extra charger (AC/Car), the remote shutter release, a couple of lenses, and filters. My flash and tripods work with it, so I won't need anything else.

I love the long range of the Leica in the FZ, but I figured I needed to go wider for indoor shots (parties, real estate shots of bedrooms, etc) so I got a 0.45x Sakar converter with a 52mm mount. I bought it on eBay, and it came with a Bower (aluminum) tube.

It works great, and I'm happy with how wide it gets (16mm?). You have to leave the Leica at full wide, or pretty close to it, otherwise you'll get that Soft Focus effect fromold Hollywood movies. However, since it's meant for wide shots, if you don't zoom it, it's a beauty. I didn't notice any dark corners, and the pictures are crisp.

Then I got stupid and decided to go long. I'm not a birder, so the Leica's range is plenty for me, but I saw the pretty moon shots and such, that you guys post, and got a 3x teleconverter. Sakar also makes it, but it's sold as a Tokina, for <$100 with an adapter. It also has a 52mm mount, which is part of the problem, but even at full zoom, when you get out of the tunnel, it's still horrible. I could not get a sharp focus on anything. I was focusing manually, since I figured the converter wasn't helping the autofocus, but man, this is bad glass!

So, unless you're willing to spend $300-$500 for a good teleconverter, don't bother. Come to grips with the fact that 432mm is plenty long. On the other hand, it is possible to get a good, $50 wide converter for the FZ20.

Have any of you been able to find a good, cheap teleconverter? Or have worked successfully with the Tokina? Please share. Thanks.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 2:17 PM   #2
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What's highly recommended in these forums is the Olympus TCON 17 1.7x teleconverter. Olympus also makes a 3x converter which I have heard no feedback on. Generally, those Crystal Optics or Sakar lenses they sell on-line are overpriced junk. I am glad you like your wide-angle converter, but how is the barrel distortion? For wide angle I'd recommend the Raynox DCR-6600. It works fantastically on the FZ20 with the adapter tube.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 2:25 PM   #3
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rduve asked:

"I am glad you like your wide-angle converter, but how is the barrel distortion?"



It's there. Definitely noticeable. But I wasn't expecting straight edges, going that wide (for $50). It's actually not bad, not fisheye, but it is there.

I guess if I were doing something clinical, I could fix it with a Photoshop filter. However, for party pictures, or trying to show your family what the rooms are like in your new apartment, it's perfect.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 2:31 PM   #4
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Here is a shot I took with the Raynox DCR-6600 0.66x converter on my FZ20. No barrel distortion and crisp throughout. I highly recommend it.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 3:03 PM   #5
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pgomes wrote:
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Have any of you been able to find a good, cheap teleconverter?
Oly c-210 1.9x; 52mm; clean center with darker edges; $10 new on ebay.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 3:31 PM   #6
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pgomes wrote:
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So, unless you're willing to spend $300-$500 for a good teleconverter, don't bother. Come to grips with the fact that 432mm is plenty long.
not so. the TCON-17 can be had for under $100, and is a pretty decent teleconverter. the TCON-14B, which is among the best for the FZ20, is slighly more, at about $125 average on eBay, but it's among the sharpest and clearest converters out there. not as powerful as some, but at full zoom it gives you a 620mm lens, more than enought to make it useful, and the pictures you get with it are great... you'd never know there was a converter on the camera.


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Old Jan 18, 2006, 4:31 PM   #7
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Thanks, rduve and squirl. After I get my tax return I'll look into the Raynox DCR-6600 and the TCON-17.

I had considered the DCR-6600 before, but I was dissapointed by the pics on their site. The corners are noticeably darker there. Then I look at rduve's building pic, and it looks nice and clear...



http://www.raynox.co.jp/comparison/d...htm#dcr6600pro
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 4:36 PM   #8
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fmoore, I thought your "$10" was a typo, then found the open auction - heh. I think I'll try the TCON-17 first. Thanks!
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 5:20 PM   #9
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Hey! You said you wanted cheap. You can't do muchcheaper than $10 (+$3 s/h) and it aint THAT bad a tele. See comparisons (incl tcon17) with FZ5 at http://www.artmags.com/fz5/teles/ The tcon17 is really the one you want, though. If you can afford it. :?
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 7:10 PM   #10
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Nice comparison. Thanks for the link!
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