XZ-2 or XZ-1 + Wide-Angle Converter Panasonic DMW-LWA52 - Did You Try It ?

Started Nov 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
William Ing
Regular MemberPosts: 454
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Re: XZ-2 or XZ-1 + Wide-Angle Converter Panasonic DMW-LWA52 - Did You Try It ?
In reply to Gavin Harkness, Dec 5, 2012

Here's my experience with one very good-excellent wide angle converter:

I have used the Konica/Minolta ACW-100 WA converter very successfully on the LX-3, LX-5, and the Fuji X-10. It differs from the Panny DMW-LWA52 in that it's only slightly wider (in physical size), a tad heavier, has a 49mm rear thread, and offers .8x magnification. So, when coupled with the LX-5 or the Fuji X-10, it yields an EFL of 19 and 22mm, respectively, with absolutely no vignetting. (Also, the ACW-100 works brilliantly with the Panasonic 14-45mm kit zoom lens, which was the first lens designed for Panny's micro four thirds interchangeable lens system.)

WRT the Olympus XZ-1: I use a third party tube adapter I found on Amazon at the same time I ordered my $199 XZ-1. I forget the brand name, but this is all that's engraved on the barrel: "for Olympus XZ-1 52mm." Its black finish matches that of the XZ-1 quite well and it cost about $7, if memory serves. You can find this accessory readily by going through all the "recommended" gadgets that appear when you do an "XZ-1" search on Amazon. The only add'l accessory needed is a 52 to 49 step DOWN ring that attaches the converter to the tube.

Performance on the XZ-1: In 4:3 and 3:2 aspect ratios at the 22mm setting, there is very, very slight vignetting only in the upper right and lower right corners of the frame, but this could be easily cropped out or lightened in Photoshop. Absolutely no signs of vignetting in 16:9 aspect ratio. That aside, the ACW performs brilliantly, I  think, on the Oly XZ-1, just as it does with all the other cameras mentioned above. Possibly the converter would yield totally vignette-less results on the XZ-1 if the tube could be shortened ever so slightly. Given that the ACW's performance on the LX-5 is very similar to that of the DMW-LA52, I would expect (but cannot speak through personal experience) that the DMW-LA52 would perform in a similar fashion if coupled with the aforementioned adapter tube on an XZ-1.

Lastly, be aware that a) the ACW-100, though discontinued some years ago, is still available boxed and brand new online for about $120 at at least one online site. Just do a google search. I've also seen EX condition used ACWs selling for about $60 at KEH. And b) the ACW is not tiny and not a featherweight. It will add a distinctly mushroom-like profile to your camera and make it nose heavy. There's no provision for attaching filters, short of manually holding a 72mm polarizer, UV or ND filter in front of the whole assembly. And that expansive front element can be a real magnet for fingerprints and raindrops. But if you're willing to put up with these negatives, I know of no better currently available wideangle lens converter.

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