Q&A: LENS CONVERTERS FOR DIGITAL POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERAS
The two questions that follow are about wide angle and telephoto converters for the Canon G6, but the answers apply to many of the digital point-and-shoot camera that uses adapters to add focal length converters.
The Lensmate web site (referred to below) is especially helpful to owners of the Leica D2, Panansonic LC1, and the Canon S series, G series and A series point-and-shoot cameras. You can download full size files of photos using different brands of converters to compare image quality.
Q1: I was searching for photography tips and I came across to your site. I am impressed with your waterfall picture taken with G3! It’s amazing! Did you put any accessories (filters) on it? The picture is so alive! =)
I want to learn photography but I don’t know where to start and I need to learn it soon for my surf trip in 2 weeks. I want to get great pictures with my G6. Currently, I don’t have any accessories. I am planning to buy lens adapter, tele converter, and filters. Can you give me recommendations on the accessories and tips on how to get good pictures?
Can I buy lens adapter that is not Canon brand? If yes, what is a nice brand to get? I saw Lensmate.
Can I use a filter together with tele-converter?
Can I use a filter together with wide angle lens?
Sorry, I'm not exposed to photography, but I need all info so soon. Hope to hear from you! Thanks!
Answer 1: The waterfall picture was taken with no filters or accessories. The photo looks like it does because the lighting conditions were so good. The long exposure (and the camera on a tripod) created the nice look on the water.
I don't often use filters (other than a lens protection filter) with the exception of a polarizing filter and/or a graduated neutral density filter for landscapes. I do recommend that you get a multi-coated polarizing filter. You will need one to fit the end of your adapter (52mm and/or 58mm size) for use with the G6 lens (with no converters). If you get a wide angle lens converter to go on the end of your adapter, you will need another polarizing filter to fit it (if it has filter threads - some don't).
As examples, the Raynox wide angle converter from Lensmate goes on a 52mm adapter and takes a 72mm polarizing filter. The Canon wide angle converter goes on a 58mm adapter and does not have filter threads. The Kenko 2x telephoto converter from Lensmate goes on a 52m adapter and takes a 67mm polarizing filter.
Be aware that some polarizing filters will vignette the image on some wide angle converters.
Personally, I wouldn't use a polarizing filter on a telephoto converter if I was shooting action shots like surfing. The polarizing filter would cost too much light. If you are using a telephoto converter for landscapes, then I would use a polarizing filter. Once again, you will need one with the size to match your filter threads on your teleconverter, so you could end up with three polarizing filters.
One way to get around this is to buy a polarizing filter in the largest size you need and get step up rings to fit smaller filter thread sizes.
I do not have a G6, and I haven't tested any of the Lensmate equipment myself but they have a good reputation. You could get Canon G6 adapters, filters, and converters (both wide and tele) all from them. Just be sure to get the Hoya multi-coated (HMC) polarizing filters, not the double coated.
I do have the Canon Wide Converter WC-DC58N 0.7X which I use on my G3. It will also work on your G6 with a Lensmate 58mm adapter. The quality is very good. The downside is that it does not have filter threads so you can't attach a polarizing filter. In a pinch, you can hand hold the filter in front of the lens but this is a fiddly operation unless the camera is mounted on a tripod.
If you want a closeup lens, instead of the Hoya, I sugest you get the Canon 250D closeup filter in a 58mm size and put it on the end of a 58mm adapter from Lensmate.
Go to my photo web site, click on the Amazon link at the bottom of the page (that will help support my site) and put Canon 250D in the Amazon search bar. Buy the 58mm size. It will cost about $80 and the shipping is free.
So far as photo tips are concerned, just read the Tips section of my web site.
There are some excellent basic photography books here. Some of them are out of print, but you can get them at your local library or via interlibrary loan if your local library doesn't have them in their collection.
Q2: Is there such thing as putting telephoto converter and wide angle lens? Thanks Jim for all the tips!!! This is a lot of help. =)
Answer 2: First of all, an explanantion about focal lengths. I will use 35mm focal length equivalents.
Long focal lengths (100, 200, 300mm and longer) have a narrower angle of view so you see less, but what you do see looks closer, like looking through binoculars. Short focal lengths (35, 28, 24mm and shorter) have a wider angle of view so you see a lot more but
everything looks farther away.
This is illustrated 1/3 of the way down this page.
The angles of view and focal lengths vary with the size of the camera sensor. The 28.8mm focal length on your G6 is a long focal length and it is equal to 140mm on a 35mm film camera.
On to your question.
The telephoto and wide angle converters won't physically fit on a G6 at the same time. Even if they did fit, you wouldn't want to do that because they would cancel each other out. Plus there would be a loss of image quality by using two converters at the same time that are designed to do opposite things.
This is possible to do with SLR cameras since telephoto converters goes behind the lens and some wide angle converters screw on the front of the lens. There isn't much reason to do this in most normal photography, since they cancel each other out. (There are some rare exceptions in unusual situations.)
A telephoto converter (teleconverter) makes a lens longer (longer focal length) so there is a narrower angle of view. A wide angle converter makes a lens shorter (shorter focal length) so there is a wider angle of view.
Focal lengths of cameras like the G6 are often converted to their 35mm equivalents. The lens on your G6 has a range from 35mm to 140mm (in 35mm terms).
A telephoto converter adds to the long end of your G6 lens (140mm) to make it longer (up to 280mm depending on the brand). A wide angle lens converter adds to the short end of your G6 lens (35mm) and makes it shorter (to as short as 23.1mm depending on the brand).
There are some good telephoto and wide angle examples at the Lensmate site.