View Full Version : Wide Converter
October 8th, 2002, 11:00 PM
My XL-1s arrived today, so I’m stoked, but admittedly new to this game. My question is: What is the cheapest way to get a nice wide angle shot? I know about the Canon 3x and the Century Optics 6x, but has anybody heard of Digital Optics? They’re selling dozens of them on ebay for $199. Is it too good to be true? Should I just put up the money for the known brands? Thanks for helping out a newby.
October 8th, 2002, 11:16 PM
An important concept to grasp is that in this business, you always get what you pay for. If you choose to buy the cheapest low-ball adapter out there, that's exactly what you're going to get. And that's not a good value at all.
Consider buying for *value* -- something that will pay off for you, which is well worth the money spent and performs as advertised, with a solid reputation. I call this "spending your money wisely."
The money is something you lay down one time, but the gear is something you use over and over again (or never at all, if you buy junk).
The XL1S represents a healthy expense and if you skimp on the components that you add to it, then your production quality will of course suffer noticeably. Cheap converters may be fine for low-end consumer cams, but for a 3-chip semi-pro camera like the XL1S, you'll be wasting your money I'm afraid. Save yourself in the long run and buy the best you can possibly afford. Hope this helps,
October 9th, 2002, 02:43 AM
Currently, to my knowledge these are the best options for converters (this is zoom-through, right? as opposed to fixed focal length adapters).
I know of the .7x Century converter, which offers full zoom and (I believe) 30% more coverage than the standard 16x lens.
There is also the .6x by Century, which you've mentioned. I just ordered this one from ZGC. If you're going to spend $200, might as well spend $358 (ZGC's current price for it). You still get 8x zoom, though you have to buy a different adapter for each lens (standard 16x, manual 16x, etc.) if you want to use it with different lenses. Gives 40% more coverage than the standard 16x.
Here's the one no one knows about, and I'm sure if you're trying to save money you'll not be interested, but just for kicks: Optex has a set, containing two pieces, a .7x converter, and a .5x converter which attaches to the .7x, for $1100. It gives 50% more coverage with both pieces, 30% with just the .7x (the .5x won't work without the .7x--only the .7x is stand alone). Gives 10x zoom. I was told you could not find a matte box for this with both pieces as the second piece is simply too large (I swear Chris told me 125mm, but maybe that refers to angle of view or something), but it does come with a very shallow lens hood of its own.
There are other pieces of gear out there, but these are the ones I looked at before making a selection.
October 9th, 2002, 07:23 AM
Have read a few posts elsewhere about people being disappointed with Digital Optics adapters on GL1 and on Sony camcorders. Issues included vignetting and not as sharp as expected.
Try a google search on the adapter name, model and read user posts. Ignore most posts from retailers, they tend to be looking for a sale, not providing information as to quality. BTW: I have no first hand experience with them my self.
As Chris notes, with lenses you tend to get what you pay for. Quality does command a price, and large glass is not cheap under any circumstances short of a divorce sale by the non-photographer side of the split!
October 9th, 2002, 02:56 PM
"Currently, to my knowledge these are the best options for converters (this is zoom-through, right? as opposed to fixed focal length adapters). "
Would you mind explaining the diffrence between the two converters/ adapters: 1) the zoom though and 2) the fixed focal lenght adapters.
I was told that you cannot zoom through the optex adaptor.
I'm not sure I understand why you cannot zoom through it.
October 9th, 2002, 06:54 PM
Okay. . .I researched this even though I was pretty sure of the answer. You can technically zoom with the fixed focal length adapters---the camera will still zoom with them on. However, when zooming, you will experience vignetting, which is where the lens barrel (maybe screw on filters as well) appears in the corners of your frame. The only way to not experience this is to leave the lens to which the fixed focal length adapter is fixed at its widest setting.
With the zoom throughs, you don't get the vignetting (unless you exceed the converter's intended zoom range, I'm guessing--but don't quote me on that).