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Conversion Lenses Under 100USD… Waste of Cash?

Yes there is an –es on the “Lens” word which means more than one. This morning I went and gone to Hidalgo, Quiapo – Metro Manila’s photography central with the primary objective of upping the battery life of the OM-D through another BLN-1 but there wasn’t any. Instead I ended up purchasing two conversion lenses for the price of one in another shop but these were made in China… not really ideal for glass right?!


Both lenses are constructed of metal and glass which translates to weight and makes it a little challenging to mount on the lens when its already set up on the tripod (don’t do this really… huge possibility of dropping it). The ends are 69.5mm in diameter which is quite odd and probably wont receive any attachments unless made by the same manufacturers of which there is no indication.

These mount on a 52mm thread which both the GF3 and OM-D standard kit zoom lenses are equipped with and as my brother is currently using the wider of the two, we’ll test it out on the 14-42mm (28-84mm equiv) Lumix G Vario (which apparently is also MIC)… Here we go:

P3020007 Above is the 14mm shot without the conversion lens.

P3020008 This second shot is with the wide conversion lens, that’s already plenty of elements getting into the frame… along 12mm maybe? more? cant really tell yet.

P3020009 Finally we have here the 14mm with the fisheye conversion lens; that is almost the edge of the bed visible there with some of the ceiling already and the wall on the right and the cabinet on the left as well as the lens barrel haha.

So we see how big the effect of the conversion lenses have on the standard but are these usable at all? With a little bit of postwork, the shot from the wide coversion might actually pass for printable… too bad the same cannot be said for the fisheye. Color fringing and blur is quite drastic on the objects near the edge of the circular window as we can see here:

100Percent 100% Crop above shot with ISO200 at f3.5 and 1/2 second exposure… silly me forgot to test with a smaller aperture

Objects are still pretty much discernable though so for use with screen display there shouldn’t be any problem. The field of vision of the 14 with the fisheye is about 120 degrees through my own spatial approximation.


These two conversion lenses aren’t even pretending to be capable of delivering fantastic image quality, in fact buying it for that reason is certainly a mistake on the part of the purchaser as there are specialized fisheye and wide lenses that exist. They do what they say they do and for some, like me, that is all that is required of them to accomplish… the rest is up to the user.

Updated with test shots from the 12mm wide end of the Zuiko:

12mmTest Part of the barrel for the wide conversion is already creeping on the frame however the fisheye now displays a completely rounded out window.

About the author

Mark O.

Mark is an architect and artist who endeavors to design most anything that requires a little bit of thought into it.

Although writing is not considered a primary focus, a little too much time can yield many thoughts that are just begging to be written down.

Armed with a trusty array of content creation devices and surrounded with a continuous flux of technology and life, herein lies those that are fortunate enough to have been given presence through a little bit of movement and a whole lot of iterations.

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