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Author Topic: Wide Angle Lens vs. Wide Angle Converter  (Read 51761 times)
Jeff Heart
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« on: December 06, 2006, 07:40:49 PM »
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Something that has boggled me for quite some time..... A long time ago, a friend of mine said, "wide angle converters are not really wide angle lenses because they are not really shooting wide angle but rather just magnifying" HuhHuh??  So I say, "ok, so it magnifies (or demagnifies)..but it is still giving me what I want despite if i get it through magnification or through one lens already set up for that angle."

What the heck does he mean?  I had a sonyDSC-F717 for a while and a wide angle adapter.  I understand that the wide angle adapter is magnifying and the the curve of the lens is allowing it to provide me with a wide angle view on my camera with it's non replaceable lens but......if it is giving me a wide angle view, isn't that enough to qualify it as a wide angle lens?Huh?

What is the difference if I use a 20mm wide angle lens or a lens that has a wide angle converter to give me 20mm on my otherwise longer lens?Huh   Other than possible optical degradation, the converter is still a wide angle, correct?

Is it correct to say that a wide angle converter is not really a wide angle lens?  All the other questions are rhetorical.  The only question I really need defined by answer is : "What is the difference?"

thanks for the help in advance,
Jeff
« Last Edit: December 06, 2006, 07:48:47 PM by Jeff Heart » Logged

Jeff Heart
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2006, 02:42:40 AM »
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If it gives you wide angle coverage, it's a wide angle lens, or at least part of one. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc....

Whether you get decent optical quality is another matter entirely; generally you won't.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 02:43:27 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

wheatridger
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2006, 11:04:29 PM »
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"What is the difference if I use a 20mm wide angle lens or a lens that has a wide angle converter to give me 20mm on my otherwise longer lens?Huh   Other than possible optical degradation, the converter is still a wide angle, correct?"

Call it anything you want, but I won't recognize a converter as a true wide angle lens. We use different terms because they're different categories of gear. I used a Sony 0.7 Wide End Converter on a V3 for awhile, and a Tiffen Mega Plus on a V1. Neither converter took filters or common lens caps. Adding the Wide End to the V3 locked the system at its shortest length, with no zooming allowed. The converters also blocked the on-camera flash, and made the camera unpocketable, since they didn't retract into the body.

Still interested in wide abngle converters?  

I haven't talked about image quality yet, but that's the biggest difference. The Tiffen, which got raves on photo.net, was awful, extremely prone to flare. The Sony licked that problem, but both suffered from acute distortion of straight lines, especially at close range. They gave textbook "moustache" distortion, more like a compound bow than a simple curve.

Compared to that, the humble kit lens on my D40 is a masterpiece. There's next to no flare, better sharpness, and only a slight 1% or so of simple barrel distortion at the widest end.
So from my experience, a bottom-end wide SLR lens performs much better than a top-quality wide converter. Brand new, the Nikon lens cost about the same $150 as the Sony, but it includes a focusing mechanism, a focusing motor, an aperture mechanism, and it zooms and takes filters and lens caps. Still want to tell me that converter lenses are a good deal?
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wheatridger
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2006, 11:09:06 PM »
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I'll try to attach an example of the Sony V3 with wide converter. Sorry if it shows up on its side-- I'm new at posting stuff here.[attachment=1405:attachment]
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wheatridger
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2006, 11:10:32 PM »
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That sorta worked, so here's another.
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wheatridger
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2006, 11:13:01 PM »
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And finally, a similar shot with the Nikon D50 and kit lens.
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mahleu
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2006, 02:21:56 AM »
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Quote
So from my experience, a bottom-end wide SLR lens performs much better than a top-quality wide converter. Brand new, the Nikon lens cost about the same $150 as the Sony, but it includes a focusing mechanism, a focusing motor, an aperture mechanism, and it zooms and takes filters and lens caps. Still want to tell me that converter lenses are a good deal?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91308\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What about an SLR with a wide angle convertor? I've used a semi-fisheye adapter to widen the 18mm my (crap) canon lens gives me.
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wheatridger
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2006, 09:11:20 AM »
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I never tried that. I imagine it will give you some kind of wider result, but quality will suffer. It's hard to design a good ultrawide lens-- much harder, as I understand, than designing or converting a telephoto. I'm not aware of any photographer successfully using a wide converter with an SLR lens, but hey, this is art, not science. Folks make images with toy cameras and pinhole box cameras. You might get something. However, when I put my Sony Wide End converter in front of a Nikon 18mm kit lens, I get only a fuzzy circular image. And the threads don't match up to mount it. So the converter needs to be matched carefully with the SLR lens. I believe you'd do better saving for the cheapest real ultrawide lens you can find. There's no good shortcuts, when you're shooting short.
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