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Old Apr 11, 2006, 9:08 PM   #1
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After much back and forth, and a step in the wrong direction, I ended up getting an Olympus TCON-17 and a Raynox DCR-6600, and I'm very happy with both.

My first purchase was a 0.45x Sakar/Tokina/Digital Optics/Whatever on eBay. After I talked about it, rduve and squirl033 recommended the TCON and the Raynox. I researched both lenses, which was easy, given how popular both are on the forums, and bought them.

Here are the specs:
Standard Lens: 36mm-432mm (35mm equivalent)
Olympus TCON-17 (1.7x, 734mm), 55mm mount, $93 + Pemaraal PA55H adapter.
Raynox DCR-6600PRO (0.66x, 24mm), 55mm mount, $94 + Pemaraal PA55H adapter.
Sakar/Tokina/Digital Optics (0.45x, 16mm), 52mm mount, $48 + Bower adapter.

I realize that the multiplier is an approximation, and is only near accurate on whatever lens combination they designed it for, but... the cheap lens is way off! Check out these sample pictures, and notice how much wider the Raynox is than the Sakar, even though the Sakar claims to be 0.45x versus the Raynox 0.66x.

I took these at lunch today, from atop the Punchbowl cemetery, here in Honolulu. All of the shots are resized, but not cropped. Shot on "P" and 80 ISO. All shot from exactly the same place.
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 9:09 PM   #2
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First, here's the standard lens, full wide.
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 9:26 PM   #3
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Then the cheap Sakar/Tokina/Digital Optics (0.45x, 16mm):
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 9:29 PM   #4
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Then the other wide adapter, the Raynox DCR-6600PRO (0.66x, 24mm). Notice how even though it's wider than the Sakar, the focus gets really soft towards the right and left edges.
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 9:32 PM   #5
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Now here's the standard lens at full zoom (optical zoom only, always). First the building in the center of the above shots:
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 9:33 PM   #6
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And here's the TCON17 version of the same shot:
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 9:35 PM   #7
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Here's the standard lens again, sans adapters, this time pointing towards the UH Medical School building, which you can also see in the wide shots:
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 9:35 PM   #8
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Finally, here's the TCON17 shot of the same building.
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