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Thread: Photo equipment tests

  1. #1
    Mar 2009

    Default Photo equipment tests

    If you wish to skip directly to the (46) test images...

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lobotomyboy ... x06_12_09#

    Background: I have a hard time finding reviews on items I'd like to buy. So many Google hits are links to sellers, with “0 reviews-be the first to write one!” And some advertising masquerades as review by experts. And on low-priced items, people usually don't bother reviewing or testing. With that in mind, I'll make a contribution to the (virtually non-existent) knowledge base on a product...

    Quick tangent: I changed my signature to reflect equipment I have. I thought if we all did that, I might notice someone already owns something I'm considering purchasing and I could pick their brains, that sort of thing. Back to our story.

    I wanted a wider angle than the 28mm equivalent I already have, but the next Olympus lens would be $500+. Would I use it that much? I looked for alternatives from Sigma et al and they aren't as good, still $400 +.

    Then I thought about an auxiliary lens to screw onto my existing lens. Sony, Canon et al make them and they have multiple, multicoated elements. This Canon runs $150ish (it would actually work with my Canon P/S if I had the adapter tube). http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 ... _Wide.html
    (In fact I had considered buying it long ago, but it blocks the PS onboard flash and vignettes, according to what I'd read in amazon.)

    As for attaching it to a DSLR, I've read that such a setup may strain the motors as it tried to AF the extra weight, though you could probably MF without harm. Then I noticed that Promaster has a 0.7x wide angle auxiliary lens for $99. It's 1 or 2 element(s) only. Much lighter, smaller, claims no vignetting and AF will work, doesn't affect aperture etc. http://www.photozoneonline.com/products ... =relevance

    But I just couldn't get past the fact that they spelled it “auxillary” right on the lens. “Sher we kin bild uh gud lenz, jes ast Bubba!” And $100 is a lot to waste on total crap.

    Finally I found the Digital Kingin evil Bay. It looks remarkably the same as the Promaster; of course, a lot of companies rebadge what other companies make and sell it as their own. The brand name? Well I discovered that Digital King is affiliated with Seiko. Seiko may not be known for optics, but at least it is known for precision. Best of all, although I had to wait while it shipped from Poland, it only cost about $57, shipping included. Cha-ching? http://cgi.ebay.com/Wide-angle-converte ... .m20.l1116

    You'll note that it's listed “for Canon,” so I've already violated its intended use by strapping it on an Olympus. I would have bought one “for Olympus” if I'd found it but c'est la vie. 18-55mm Canon = 28.8~88mm; Olympus is 28-84. Close but not quite---maybe they actually studied Canon lens construction and truly optimized this? They'd get more hits with a bigger net: why not list Olympus et al as well, since it has a 58mm filter sizes?

    Functionally it performs as claimed, i.e. the filter is indeed 58mm and there are no physical issues with zooming or focusing my Olympus lens. IF I remove the UV filter on my lens, there is no vignetting. AF generally works as well as it does without the aux attached, but it seems to have a little harder time with low light. which Olympus is already weak at.

    The image deteriorates, of course. But say I'm in cramped quarters, I can't back up any more, etc. and I can either have an inferior image -or- none at all. That seems like a no-brainer.

    It's worth $50 to me. Sure, I'd like to have the Olympus lens but I don't think I can justify it at this time.

    Caveats: it doesn't work with all lenses. Sometimes elements “unsleeve,” the inner element(s) telescoping beyond the front for focusing or zooming (like a tiered wedding cake but horizontal), obviously that would smack into any filter or converter.


    Pro: Low price, compact, comes with pouch and caps. AF more or less works, doesn't vignette, but will create shadow with onboard flash (they never claimed it wouldn't). Perhaps Canon's flash has more clearance; I've bought a Metz so I should be able to avoid that. Available in 52mm sizes (“for Nikon” and “for Canon.”). Promaster makes more filter sizes but none claim to be made for a specific camera and as stated, they cost more.

    Con: Image quality; relatively slow to attach/remove, especially if you have a protective filter on the camera and want to eliminate any vignetting.

    With extreme care maybe I can find some sweet spots. Low ISO, nice and level on a tripod, middle aperture, not shooting into the light, etc. But if I need to photograph a crashed UFO in cramped quarters, it will work for that, too.

    Again, pics are here with my comments.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lobotomyboy ... x06_12_09#
    My latest photos here: http://picasaweb.google.com/lobotomyboy63

    Major gear: Olympus E520 w/2 AF Zuiko, 3 adapted Minolta MD, Metz Flash, Digital King 0.7x wide angle auxiliary, Slik tripod, Lowepro pack, intervalometer en route, + Canon & Oly PS.

  2. #2
    Stegodon Dragon's avatar
    Mar 2009
    Central Arkansas

    Default Re: Photo equipment tests

    Good idea and I like your report....

    Will work on the sig later, tired and dyslexic right now Bawahahaha
    No job is too hard for the person who does not have to do it.

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