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Old March 18th, 2003, 06:15 PM   #1
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Canon's WideAngle for Powershot - can it work on MX300?

Hi, all!

Anybody tried or will check out the Canon WCD58? (Hope I wrote the model down correctly)

It's Canon's Wide Angle 0.8x adaptor for their Digital still camera POWERSHOT series, with 58mm threads, there is a 52mm available. You have to buy a sort of filter converter (a tube like thing) for the Powershot to get it to hold 52mm or 58mm filters. Then the WCD58 attaches to the front of it, as a filter.

I'm looking for opinions on construction quality (Frank, you're good at this) and actual test results whether it can allow "zoom through" with my MX300. Is it multicoated as well?

To use the beast, I plan to get a 52mm to 58mm step up ring, in addition to my existing 43mm to 52mm step up ring.

I saw it in a little Canon booth expo but I'm thinking that obviously they wouldn't like me trying it out with my PANASONIC MX300 in plain view of the public. Can someone try it out for me, please?

By the way - the shops here in Malaysia don't stock this Canon wide angle, they have to special order it, so I can't test it out in a shop. They are selling it for RM 800 (about USD $208).

I've tried ordering the Panasonic Wide Angle - nobody in Malaysia wants to stock it or even special order it for me, and Yow Cheong Hoe has tried in Singapore - same thing. Total bummer! :( :( :(

Maybe this Canon WCD will work out for me?

Thanks in advance!
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Old March 18th, 2003, 07:02 PM   #2
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Interesting things, the one of my favourite shops here says tat they can order the Panasonic WA direct, but it must be a confirmed order, no testing. Same with the Panasonic zoom mic. I guess the market is really low for these items.

Stepping up rings are available, but beware that the more you step a WA, the more you need to zoom out to prevent vignetting, unless the WA is a really large chunk of glass.

If there are protrusions on the WA lens that makes it difficult to mount onto a filter without first having a tube, I'll suggest buying a REALLY cheap UV of the right diameter (let's say 58mm) and removing the glass, that'll give about 4mm of tube at 58mm to 58mm.
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Old March 18th, 2003, 08:10 PM   #3
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Steven, I'll phone a few places but I'm pretty sure no one carries these Canan Adaptors here in Vancouver. But I'll phone a few places to just to be sure.
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Old March 19th, 2003, 06:39 AM   #4
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Thanks, Frank, for trying. Did you misspell Canon?
I don't know if Canon is big in your area / country: over here Canon is big on still cameras & lots of news gatherers use the XL-1 or XL-1s. Errr... is Canon spelt CANON or CANNON? Can't remember. But it's the company that makes the funky XL-1 & GL-2.

Thanks, Yow, for your info & the "heads up" warning. In case anyone misunderstood the purpose of the "tube" - it's an extension. It's there so that the Canon Powershot still camera can attach 52mm or 58mm filters - since the camera lens can zoom out, so one end of the tube attaches to the camera body, and the other end has a 52 / 58mm filter thread. The Canon WA should attach on the filter thread end of the tube.

The main purpose of the tube: the filter has to be in front of lens when it zooms out to the max zoom distance. Like your Fuji still cam. I definitely won't be using the tube with the MX300.

They've also got a Canon 2.0X teleconverter too!

I figure since I can stack three 52mm filters on the MX300 before vignetting, the 58mm Canon wideangle shouldn't be a problem. Since you (Yow) kindly sold me so many 52mm filters, then it should be logical if I can get a WideAngle that's as good (zoom through, no vignetting, good multicoating, good glass) as the Panasonic WA but with 52mm or 58mm threads, eh? Not limit myself to Pana's 43mm.

Hoping for some tests & opinions... thanks, guys.
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Old March 19th, 2003, 09:35 PM   #5
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I did try to use my Fuji WA and TC (both 55mm) on my MX350, but the Fuji lens has a little protrusion at the back of the lens, such that I can't screw it onto my UV filter. So I took the UV out and tried on my 52 to 55 mm adaptor, still can't, thanks, to the little protrusion. So, for the TC, I use the Fuji 55 to 55 tube on my MX350, but I can't use the WA, as the tube is about 4cm long and the WA lens will be way too far out from my main lens.

That said, I have shot VERY good scenes of the full moon two nights ago with the TC in front of my MX350. The MX350 is 12x zoom, widest 38mm, so 12 x 38 = 450mm. With the 1.5x TC, it becomes 675mm. That's about 700mm lens on a 35mm film camera! Woo hoo, can see the mountains and valleys on the moon! The moon is about 25% of the TV screen in height.

As I have mentioned before, I'll probably hack out the glass on a 55mm cheap filter ring to try out the WA on my MX350.

Just as info, I am using a Fuji S602Z Digital Still Cam.
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Old March 20th, 2003, 12:16 PM   #6
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Here is an interesting combination. I baught a 43mm to 37mm step down ring to test my old Sigma VWS-37 X0.5 wide angle lens l have been using on a Sony TR.
Amazingly no vignetting whatsoever, but l'm loosing some light. I also noticed it has a negative effect on the OIS, probably because it has changed the overall weight balance of the camera in addition it adds an extra 4.5cm length so l will only be using it when absolutely necessary.
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Old March 20th, 2003, 01:58 PM   #7
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Canon makes a 0.7mm wide angle in the 43mm size. The model number is WD43. I don't know if it has the filter threads in front. Also, it costs about $100 more than the Tiffen wide angle. The Tiffen is wider, about 0.5 something; the Canon is only 0.7.

I still think that the 2 best bets are Panasonic's wide angle and Tiffen's. Note: the Panasonic does not have filter threads in front.

Locally, these Canons can only be seen or bought with a special order. I cannot see them. Most reputable dealers recommend the Tiffen.

Personally, I would not want a wide angle lens on my cam if I have to use a step-up ring. This just places the adaptor further away from the lens, so the Kenko is out.

I've seen the Tiffen. And I think it is a quality product. The company does make high end products for the film industry. Tiffen would be my 1st choice for the MX300/350/500. Second, would be the Panasonic. I do prefer to have the option of screwing on a filter, though. So I think Panasonic screwed-up big time with their adaptors.
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Old March 21st, 2003, 07:22 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your input, guys.

Frank, I'm sorry to hear that you can't get your hands on a Canon WA easily. Thanks for trying!

I've taken a closer look at the Canon 58mm wideangle - but since I didn't have a 52mm to 58mm step up ring (I already have a 43mm to 52mm step up ring) I couldn't test it with my MX300.

It looks BIG with a small lip over the front lens (a sort of lens hood but too small to make much of a difference - about the width of a filter). No filter threads in front. The front lens is quite rounded.

It's 0.8x magnification, so that would make it equivalent to MX300's 38mm (SLR still camera equivalent) * 0.8 = 30.4mm.
Most common SLR still camera wide angles go to 28mm.

Must be multicoated 'cos I see green colored reflections of white florescent tubes nearby, on both ends of the whole lens - though bright halogen white lights reflect as white where the lights are directly perpendicular to the lens surface, else they also reflect as green.

Feels heavy - must be the glass & metal like construction. Much HEAVIER than my PLASTICish feel Sony 37mm thread wideangle. About the same weight as the Panasonic Wide Angle, if I remember correctly.

I think I remember that the Panasonic WideAngle has both green & reddish pink reflections of white florescent tubes. This should indicate at least TWO multicoats.

They don't have a 52mm wideangle on hand. The price of the 52mm is HALF of the 58mm.

I'm waiting to try with my MX300 as soon as I get my hands on a 52 to 58mm step up ring. It's rare in Malaysia :(

So, Frank, or anyone else, what else should I look for when testing this wideangle (or any other wideangle)? How would you test if you're in my shoes?

Thanks in advance!
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Old March 21st, 2003, 06:24 PM   #9
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First I'd look at the construction. Then I'd look at the edges of the glass to see how clear it is. You can tell if the lens is cheap if you see little bubbles (flaws) around the edges.

Make sure you tilt and angle the adaptor in lots of light. Finally, screw on the adaptor to the cam. If you hooked up to a large TV, that would be good---a S-video TV, even better. Now shoot with or without a tape. Check the edges of the image. Are there shadows or cut-offs? Then zoom with your cam. Notice the image. Any aberration?
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 05:57 AM   #10
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Thanks Frank! I appreciate the testing tips!

I'll be hard for me to hook up to a TV in the shop. You can guess how "backward" we are in Malaysia. :( :( I have to depend on my viewfinder & LCD.

Today I was doing a search in B&H for "canon + 58mm" brought up another model: the Canon WD-58H which is the 0.7X wideangle for the Canon GL-2. There's more info on B&H for this: 3groups, 3 elements, comes with spiffy Lens Hood, selling at the special B&H price of USD $179.95 versus the Canon reccommended price of USD $239.

Now this one sounds like the REAL DEAL / semi pro stuff. By the way, B&H info on the Canon Powershot's G1/G2/G3's 58mm adaptor didn't provide information on the groups & elements etc. rather sparse. I suspect the Powershot version only has 2 pieces of glass, in front & the back. But how can I be sure?

Most likely I need to check out the GL-2's wide angle. The price is about the same as the Powershot's (B&H sells it for USD $159.95, Canon reccommended price of USD $199) so this GL-2's WA would be a safer bet, I feel.
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 06:10 AM   #11
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Are you actually considering getting this Canon wide angle for your MX300? Steven, strongly consider the Tiffen 43mm wide instead. It costs just under $200 Canadian here in Vancouver. It's probably less expensive in the USA.

I've checked a number of wide angles, and many of them aren't good----poor quality glass.

How come you don't like Panasonic's wide angle? I realize it doesn't have filter threads, but it is zoom through. Less expensive, too, isn't it?

If you could see the Tiffen, I'm sure you'll agree that it is a quality product.

If you are worried with buying here, I can always arrange it for you...as well as hunt down the cheapest price.
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 07:42 PM   #12
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Hi, Frank.

Thanks for your concern & advice. Discussion & good advice - those are important qualities of a good forum. But I hope I'm not infuriating anybody ;)

My decision is not yet set in stone... especially since I've not tested or read user reports on the Canon GL-2's WA yet.


I am considering the Canon 58mm thread W.A. because:


1) 58mm threads.

I like the idea of "big leeway of filters before vignetting" with a 58mm wideangle. I'm now using 52mm filters with the help of step up rings. I can stack about 3 normal 52mm filters before I get vignetting. With a 58mm wideangle I am assured of less possibility of vignetting. I may change all of them to 58mm filters later.

Now that I've used 52mm filters I find 43mm very limiting. It's very hard to get 43mm filters in my part of the world. So far I could only get 43mm UV & 43mm Skylight filters. It's hard to get creative filters for 43mm here. 52mm creative filters & accessories are infinitely easier to get! And cheaper too!


2) Price, Performance & Personal Requirement issues:

You're right, the Pana WA is slightly cheaper - I can get it at USD $170 discounted, before shipping. But the Canon GL-2's WA sells at USD $179 discounted, before shipping - AND I get 58mm threads with it. If I'm lucky I can get somebody coming back to Malaysia to bring it back, so that I'll save on shipping.

Like everyone else, I want the best "bang for my buck" since I'm not rich - that's why the MX300 appealed to me with it's very good quality 3CCD at such a low price, and the size (the GL-2 / XM-2 was my second choice). If I'm forking out USD $170, I'd better check out look other WAs that are as good or better around that price range.

I'm also a Quality freak: I'm fed up of spending money on cheap WAs (less than USD $75) and getting lousy quality. No more el cheapo's for me! But I also don't want to pay *too much* for something that NOT being worth it's price.

Actually I'm very very pro Panasonic Wideangle. I've heard & read many good things about it - good glass, good balance, good multicoats. Some caveats: no vignetting if you don't stack any filters, beware if using polarizer as it may cause green purple hues in certain circumstances. The 43mm thread is another "disadvantage" for me.
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 07:49 PM   #13
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Does anyone have the specs of the Panasonic Wide Angle (AG-LW4307)?

All I know is that it takes 43mm threads, is multicoated, doesn't take filters in front, magnification 0.7x. I want to compare the specs (weight, length, number of groups / number of elements) with the Canon.

According to B&H, the Canon WD-58H for Canon GL-2 is as follows:
Magnification: 0.7x

Zoom Through: Yes

Rear Mount Diameter: 58mm

Front Mount Diameter: No Front Filter Thread

Construction, Elements, Groups: 3E / 3G

Lens Diameter: 3.1in (80mm)

Length: 1.6in (42mm)

Weight: 9.9 oz (280g).

=====
Frank, the Tiffen looks like a good alternative (cheaper with good glass). Though I emailed Tiffen about their new Digital range of 43mm WA's they said it's probably NOT zoom through. But then, nothing beats testing, right?

Does Tiffen have 52mm or 58mm threads WA's?
======

Thanks in advance!
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 08:30 PM   #14
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Hi, Thanasis Soumalias.

I've been thinking of doing the 43mm to 37mm step down procedure so that I can use my old Sony wideangles. Haven't gotten around to it yet. Those step down rings are RARE!

As for your losing light, I think I know the reason. Logically speaking, your MX is using 43mm. Your Wideangle is using 37mm. Thefore the opening on your step down ring is smaller and less light goes through.

Do you get vignetting (dark corners at the edges of your pictures / video) at the widest angle? You can also check by taking a still shot & looking at the result in a computer.
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Old March 25th, 2003, 02:09 AM   #15
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Hi Steven,

Actualy l had problems finding the stepdown ring, imported it from Kood, a UK based company. No vignetting on the LCD monitor or the TV, just a touch on the Computer and that is only if l screw it in front of the MX500 hood !! so l think it's reasonable enough. With it l'm getting a very wide angle but it is adding so much length and weight it's not very practical, it doesn't even fit in my camera bag. The Sigma is a very good lens, flat on the front, and a total length of 4cm, weight over 200gr. You can screw a hood in front of it but by that time you'll be carrying a funny looking camera around.

So if your Sony Wide angle lens is light and short l'd give it a try, the price of the step down ring was around 4 British Pounds.

Regards
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