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Thread: I need help with wide angle converters...

  1. #1

    Default I need help with wide angle converters...

    I have a canon 500d, and I'm looking for a wide angle converter for landscape photos. I've searched about it online and most of it were either ppl getting conned by paying exorbitant prices for them, or they were just unboxing and comparison videos. The ones that I've seen on the net are the vitacon 0.45x ones, the eBay ones that double up as a macro converter and the canon ones (apparently there are two kinds? And the WD-H58 is better than the WD-58H).

    I would like to hear from people who have used it before, and would kindly tell me what to expect besides the soft corners and vignetting (are they really that obvious?). I intend to use it on my standard 18-55mm lens. An actual wide angle lens like the 10-22mm would be beyond my reach, unless there is a cheaper alternative that is in the "$500 or less" range. Another reason why I wouldn't buy an actual lens is that I hardly use my slr and I only need the wide angle for a paid study trip to France.

    So what wide angle converters would you recommend (those that doesnt affect the picture with soft corners or vignetting) and where should I buy them to avoid paying a high price for them. Also does canon sell their WD-H58 0.7x here?

    Also, what does those numbers with the x mean? I see some third party converters with numbers like 0.45x, 0.5x and like the canon converter 0.7x.

    Thank you in advance for your help, and I look forward to hearing your valuable feedback.

    Best regards,

    Melissa

  2. #2
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    Default

    Since you have searches... But not sure why you did not come across the sticky above: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/newbi...ur-camera.html

    In general consensus, avoid these converters. You can get a used sigma 10-20 for maybe 600?
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  3. #3
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    If you really need check the B&S; there are sellers. There're a few posts there.
    Even if you WANT to buy, should not cost >$70 new; 2nd hand 30-40.
    Many are wide angle converters with macro.

  4. #4

    Default

    I never owned one, but I have seen pictures taken by one. And the photos are sub-par. In simpler terms, the pictures were fuzzy, not that sharp, and for certain converters under certain circumstances, even looks misty.

    If you do not have sufficient cash for a wide angle lens, another solution is for you to take 2 pictures and to stitch them together. There are plenty of software that do that, and some are even free.
    KF Photography
    Thanks for viewing!

  5. #5

    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyStrike View Post
    Since you have searches... But not sure why you did not come across the sticky above: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/newbi...ur-camera.html

    In general consensus, avoid these converters. You can get a used sigma 10-20 for maybe 600?
    Oh I did come across that thread...just didn't read what the rest said.

  6. #6

    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    a search on here for "Vitacon" would also have told you how... uhm... "loved" these are...
    Alpha

  7. #7
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Quote Originally Posted by melthazor View Post
    I have a canon 500d, and I'm looking for a wide angle converter for landscape photos. I've searched about it online and most of it were either ppl getting conned by paying exorbitant prices for them, or they were just unboxing and comparison videos. The ones that I've seen on the net are the vitacon 0.45x ones, the eBay ones that double up as a macro converter and the canon ones (apparently there are two kinds? And the WD-H58 is better than the WD-58H).

    I would like to hear from people who have used it before, and would kindly tell me what to expect besides the soft corners and vignetting (are they really that obvious?). I intend to use it on my standard 18-55mm lens. An actual wide angle lens like the 10-22mm would be beyond my reach, unless there is a cheaper alternative that is in the "$500 or less" range. Another reason why I wouldn't buy an actual lens is that I hardly use my slr and I only need the wide angle for a paid study trip to France.

    So what wide angle converters would you recommend (those that doesnt affect the picture with soft corners or vignetting) and where should I buy them to avoid paying a high price for them. Also does canon sell their WD-H58 0.7x here?

    Also, what does those numbers with the x mean? I see some third party converters with numbers like 0.45x, 0.5x and like the canon converter 0.7x.

    Thank you in advance for your help, and I look forward to hearing your valuable feedback.

    Best regards,

    Melissa
    Wide-angle converters don't get much in CS
    Ultra-wide angle lens is still the way to go!

    If you're not going to be using an ultra-wide angle lens much after your trip, my suggestion is to buy a 2nd hand one on CS, and then sell it off for a minimal loss after you return.
    Chances are, you may not want to sell it off after using it
    Exploring! :)

  8. #8

    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Not worth the trouble and cost.
    As you have already mentioned. Vignetting and soft corners.

    Just use your 18-55mm.
    Learn how to do stitched pano with a free software like Hugin.

  9. #9

    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Many of them exhibit softness all over, not just in corners. And if they're coated it will be really low-end coating -- most are susceptible to lens flare, ghosting etc like you wouldn't believe.
    I don't pixel peep, but these converters screw up colours, have bad distortion etc. All these you can see even in small prints, so REALLY not worth the cost, esp on a trip to France.
    Aside from the suggestion to use panorama stitching, you could a) rent a lens (if your trip isn't too long), or b) buy one for the trip and sell it when you get back (more troublesome, but may be worth it if your trip is longer, perhaps)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Your 18mm on your 18-55mm is already quite wide for your aps-c DSLR on many situation.
    If not wide enough, just move back a few steps.
    If cannot move back, take a few at different angle and join the picture up using software.

    Also, there are compact camera that can do sweep Panoramic and even Hand phone camera that can stitched automatically.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    please buy a proper wide angle lens instead of a convertor.

    unlike those convertors u usually use with point and shoot cameras, on DSLR, it is better to use a wide angle lens.

    a third party samyang 14mm f2.8 (manual focus only) cost $500+ now.

  12. #12
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Think of it this way, you are simply adding a few (normally 2) optic elements infront of your lens, you do not know how well made these elements are (and how consistent these elements are) plus a whole load of calibration thing that might go haywire.

    This doesn't sound very nice, does it? imagine these things infront of your lens, how much it will degrade your image?

    Thus, like what others had mentioned... get yourself a proper wide angle lens... and may I add... you can actually get some pretty decent deals from ebay on old manual lenses, that would still give you better image quality than a wide angle convertor.
    Last edited by rhino123; 10th May 2012 at 01:26 PM.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  13. #13

    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Actually for a budget of $500 and below, you're very close to a UWA second hand lens in our B&S section. There are quite a few UWAs around also.

    There's the Tamron 10-24, Sigma 10-20, Tokina 11-16, Canon 10-22, (and I think one or two more I can't remember)

    If you're lucky, you can find a 10-22 in the B&S for around $700 slight. Tokina is cheaper but only by a bit (for 2nd hand that is).

    Why not just save a bit more to get a nice lens? You're about $200 away.

    And it sure beats converters. Besides, UWA has more uses than just landscapes. Often, you'll find yourself using them indoors because of space constraints, and more so for group shot indoors.

  14. #14

    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Only problem I have with buying second hand is if the lens are treated properly in the owner's care. Because I'm a newbie, I'm not able to spot these flaws just by looking at the lens. My biggest fear is that the ex owner could have dropped it before...

    I will skip the idea of the converter...

    If I rent, will they allow me to take it out of the country? For 10 days, I would approximately pay 200-300 odd?

  15. #15
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Quote Originally Posted by melthazor View Post
    Only problem I have with buying second hand is if the lens are treated properly in the owner's care. Because I'm a newbie, I'm not able to spot these flaws just by looking at the lens. My biggest fear is that the ex owner could have dropped it before...

    I will skip the idea of the converter...

    If I rent, will they allow me to take it out of the country? For 10 days, I would approximately pay 200-300 odd?
    You can try to call the shops up to ask how much they charge for renting the lens. One of these shops are the Camera Library (or something like that - can be found in our forum though). And I don''t think they care where you bring their lens to, as long as you return the lens in good condition (same condition as you rented out).
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  16. #16
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Quote Originally Posted by melthazor View Post
    Only problem I have with buying second hand is if the lens are treated properly in the owner's care. Because I'm a newbie, I'm not able to spot these flaws just by looking at the lens. My biggest fear is that the ex owner could have dropped it before...

    I will skip the idea of the converter...

    If I rent, will they allow me to take it out of the country? For 10 days, I would approximately pay 200-300 odd?
    But not sure how you view it....but the rental rate is ~$25-$30 per day. 10 days and it's like you said, ~300 odd. Why not consider a 2nd hand UWA? abt double the cost at $600+ and you can still sell it off after the trip without losing too much.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  17. #17

    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Quote Originally Posted by melthazor View Post
    Only problem I have with buying second hand is if the lens are treated properly in the owner's care. Because I'm a newbie, I'm not able to spot these flaws just by looking at the lens. My biggest fear is that the ex owner could have dropped it before...

    I will skip the idea of the converter...

    If I rent, will they allow me to take it out of the country? For 10 days, I would approximately pay 200-300 odd?
    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123
    You can try to call the shops up to ask how much they charge for renting the lens. One of these shops are the Camera Library (or something like that - can be found in our forum though). And I don''t think they care where you bring their lens to, as long as you return the lens in good condition (same condition as you rented out).
    Camera Rental Centre is the most famous. Just email/sms/call in to ask. The rates they state on their website are for one-day rentals only, and multiple day rentals are cheaper. Also, they allow you to pick up the day before, and return the day after, so that's a very nice policy.

    As for not being able to spot any flaws, you should bring a friend along then. I'm sure you have friends who are also into photography who know how to spot these kind of things right?

  18. #18

    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    If I'm gonna pay 200-300 odd just to rent the lens, I might as well buy the lens as one of you mentioned. Which is exactly what I thought as well.

    My only concern is buying second hand, what should I look out for? Any help, pointers or tips?

  19. #19
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Quote Originally Posted by melthazor View Post
    If I'm gonna pay 200-300 odd just to rent the lens, I might as well buy the lens as one of you mentioned. Which is exactly what I thought as well.

    My only concern is buying second hand, what should I look out for? Any help, pointers or tips?
    get a LED torch light.

    then check for scratches on the glass elements, any traces of fungus (do a google how it looks like on camera lenses), check if AF is working (if its a AF lens).

    minor gritty - dusts inside lens (pretty common as long as its within your limits), used state on the physical appearance of the lens (eg stains).

  20. #20
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need help with wide angle converters...

    Quote Originally Posted by melthazor View Post
    If I'm gonna pay 200-300 odd just to rent the lens, I might as well buy the lens as one of you mentioned. Which is exactly what I thought as well.

    My only concern is buying second hand, what should I look out for? Any help, pointers or tips?
    My list not exhaustive:
    1) Check for any physical signs of damage, which might indicate that lens has been in an 'accident'.
    2) Open both front and rear caps, press down the aperture lever and look through. Look for damage to lens elements or coating. Also check for signs of fungus growth. Fine dust particles are inevitable.
    3) Mount and test a few shots. Check for auto-focus operation and accuracy. Focus near, then far, then near (and so on).
    4) test that aperture responds when you adjust it on your camera body
    Exploring! :)

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