Problems with Fz200 and B300

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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zvezdan
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Problems with Fz200 and B300
11 months ago

Being amazed with Fz200 I got greedy. After reading this forum I got
an impression that Olympus B300 teleconvertor is a good and
inexpensive addition. So I found used one for ~85$ on Amazon from Rare
Lenses Plus shop. Yesterday I got the B300 TC and I am disappointed
with the results. The seller response was that perhaps either my
handling is not sufficient or that Fz200 + B300 is tricky and maybe
needs original adapter instead of generic, some spacers or UV filter,
fiddle with options and such. Since I never handled TCs there is some
(remote) possibility that the seller is right.

So please chime in. Also add your Fz200 and Fz200+B300 examples
and HOW you take images (any spacers or filters, options).

I got myself adapter from from www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AI5IX1A
The box and adapter have "Kiwi fotos LA-55FZ200" (image below). I
think I read somewhere here that people use exactly this inexpensive
replacement adapter, right?

This is the B300 I got from Rare Lenses Plus (left is adapter)

B300 and adapter from Amazon.

B300 and adapter from Amazon.

First, while my Fz200 is brand new, lets make sure that it is working
fine. This is birdie example from yesterday at 600mm:

Birdie at 600mm (no TC).

Or, yet better my coadded moon

My better half was looking the B300 lens and said "you know that the
inner piece of the lens looks like my glasses". The problem is that
those glasses are overdue for replacement, the coating is damaged. To
see that one has to hold glasses against something dark and illuminate
it from back. I tried to do the same with this B300 piece. And after a
lot of fiddling I managed to manually focus onto the inner piece of
the lens. See here (first looking through front piece, and than back,
but focus is on the back piece):

Mikly damage on the inner piece of the lens.

Milky damage from another angle.

What you see is some milky scratchy ring! This can't be good! Though,
observe that the central part is relatively less damaged.

Still, here are 2 outdoor examples.

Fz200 600mm + B300. Not sharp.

Fz200 600mm without TC. I see more details here!

Now lets go with some proper testing. I improvised target, got 4 lamps
to shine on it, and took many images from about 9m away (see exif for
details: ISO100, auto wb, no stabilizer, heavy desk, 10s 3 images, all
possible apertures). Both JPGs and RAWs (if anybody is
interested). The matrix of 100% OOC JPG crops:

Top: 600mm without TC, middle: 600mm + B300 and TC option on, bottom: 600mm + B300 (no TC option)

600mm without TC confirms that there is indeed sweet spot for Fz200. It is
about F4.5 (and maybe F4.0 being also good). Good to know!

For B300 the best result is always at F8.0. Nowhere near what people
report about F3.5 - F5.0.

OK, 3 best results in each category full OOC JPGs:

600mm without TC at F4.5 (F4.0 is 2nd best)

600mm + B300 at F8.0 (with TC option enabled)

600mm + B300 at F8.0 (TC option off)

I am not impressed with this! Plus there is quite a lot of chromatic
abberation. I think that aperture F8.0 with TC are the best cases
because of the above milky ring on the inner lens piece. The central
part is with less of damage and limiting aperture probably helps. Now,
why should TC option be enabled and why it gives tad better result is
not clear to me.

But lets take crops from only these best cases (I used gimp with sync
interpolator to enlarge 600mm "no TC" case - this should be quite good
interpolator):

The best cases in each category.

Here I first tried to enlarge "no TC" case by 170%. Well, this being
1.7 teleconverter. But that is too much. Actually "no TC" 600mm needs
150% enlarging. What gives?!?! Am I missing something here,
complicated optics addition? Do you alsoget only 150% extra zoom?

In summary Fz200 600mm + B300 piece I got is maybe tad bit better than
without TC. And I would have to shoot at F8.0 with TC option enabled.
However, I think that the inner part of the B300 lens is damaged and
that my tests confirm that.

Please add your opinion, examples, how you made them (spacers,
filters, options).

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