Saturday, March 11, 2006

My New Wide Angle: Preliminary Assessment

Here is the box my new wide angle lens came in. The company's name is Digilens; the product is a 0.5X AF 58mm wide angle/macro lens. I got it at the camera shop on ChungCheng Rd in old downtown Taichung. I bought this El Cheapo generic lens because I don't know anything about wide angle lenses and didn't want to use an expensive lens as an experimental object. The price as marked was NT$3,800 but the saleslady knocked it down to NT$1,800 without me bargaining on account of (my good looks/lucky day/extra inventory/shame at outrageous overpricing). The picture on the side of the box there is a laughable fantasy, as we shall shortly see.

Here is the lens. It comes in two parts, the wide angle lens and the macro. The black ring is a 55mm to 58mm adapter ring I had to buy, as there are no 55mm lenses.

The lens is glass and is severely top-heavy. Hence I suffer from a completely unanticipated problem: I keep nearly dropping it as I transfer from hand to hand or hand to bag, as it does not behave in the manner my body expects it to behave based on its weight and shape.

As you can see, the lens does indeed offer wide angle, although not as wide as I had expected. Any gain in angle of view is offset by the fact that the picture has to be cropped to eliminate the corners, resulting in more or less returning the pic to its original size. I assume the wide angle attachment actually made for this camera does not have this problem. This is what I get for going El Cheapo.

However, the macro attachment (unscrew the wide angle lens, leaving the macro still on the camera) turned out to be an unexpected bonus. I kept the distance from lens to target constant, and as the difference between the top and bottom pictures above shows, the macro attachment moves the object closer at least twofold. Look out, bugs of the world!


The Foreigner said...

Think the vignetting problem's caused by the adapter ring. The same thing happens when I put a wide-angle adapter onto the sky filter on my DVD camcorder. When I take off the adapter, the vignetting disappears.

But that's not an option for you, I guess. Anyways, looking forward to seeing your insect pictures.

The Foreigner said...


When I take off the filter, the vignetting disappears.

Michael Turton said...

LOL. Got some great bug shots today. I'll get'em tomorrow. We're setting up an Axis and Allies game tonight, hot pot, booze, the works. If you're in Taichung, drop me a line.


The Foreigner said...

Thanks for the invite, but I'm not in the area.

If you're playing Russia, remember to build lots of troops.