Sunday, 24 May 2015

GWC-1 - adding a filter thread

one of the criticisms of the Panasonic GWC-1 0.79x wide angle adapter is that it does not have a filter thread. On a recent discussion a fellow mentioned that he had mounted a thread on the inside of his by starting with a 55mm filter and sanding down the outside to press it into the GWC-1.

Fan-fukken-tastic idea if you aske me ... So I thought I'd give it a whack.

As you can see below, the front of the lens inner surface is smooth ... no filter thread ...

While the procedure is not for those with 10 thumbs, it certainly does not require a Master tradesman.

Please excuse the lack of process shots as while I intended to document the process, I got carried away with it and ... well soon enough it was finished and done.


You start with a 55mm filter,  of any kind and any cheapie on ebay will do.

Step 1:
with your dremel or small grinding wheel, you carefully work around the outside of the filter wearing it down evenly and periodically testing for fit. Basically you want it to be very snug so that it will hold itself in by fit alone (no cement or glue needed). Do not remove the glass of the filter yet, it will add support so you don't distort or bend your filter (soon to be just a metal thread). Be neat.

Step 2:
when this is accomplished you can now remove the glass from the filter (I used a small hammer with the filter on a bit of wood and tapped it lightly to smash it gently). Wearing leather gloves and using a pair of pliers carefully remove the glass shards. The retaining ring which held the glass in now, simply unscrews.

Step 3:
It will be obvious now that there is a thread at the back of the filter which is designed to screw into a 55mm threaded surface ... we don't need that, so again with your dremel tool (and again wearing gloves) carefully cut off the thread with the 'metal grinding cutting disc' ... be patient and just work your way around. When this comes off you can then just sand the back with some 240 grit paper on a flat surface (I use a large book).

Last step:
The filter is now ready to mount, so using the 67mm stepup ring screwed onto the front (as a holder so you don't bend it) carefully twist it onto the front of your GWC-1 as far as it will go by hand. This should be most of the way. Now remove the stepup ring so you can access the front edge of the filter, which will be almost flush with the front. Then using a bit of hard wood (such as say the handle of your hammer) holding the lens in one hand and the hammer handle in the other tap it in working your way round so that its then snuggled in tightly against the edge of the inside of the GWC-1

It will look like this:

You can see that next to none of the ex-filter(now thread) protrudes ... we want exactly this.

So now you can screw on the step-up up ring normally and then screw on the 67mm filter.

looks perfectly suited ... while you will need to remove the filter and stepup ring to replace your GWC-1 lens cap, and yes, the lens cap just goes on as it did before because you have not actually altered your GWC-1 in any way.

So here is the entire kit (man my house is dusty)...


Now, I'd picked the 67mm because previous testing showed me that (with a step up ring) that was the smallest size which did not cause obstruction of the image (you know, vignetting).

There is a weee teeny bit but it is only visible if you shoot RAW and convert without any correction for distortion.

but when you shoot JPG you never see that as the reshaping applied to correct lens distortions streches them out of visible range.


Voilla ...

So with a small amount of elbow grease, you can have a GWC-1 with a filter thread

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Cultural Differences

Around this time last year I was back living in Finland. One of the many things I like in Finland is the different (dare I say it more natural) attitude towards many things. One such topic is women, and while I will not say Finland is without gender discrimination I will say that they don't regard women to be pissweak dolls to dress up like hookers and be unable to get down and do work.

So on this topic I was walking through town and noticed an ad for an upcoming sporting event (which sadly had crap snow that year) which would seem to most Americans (and sadly increasingly large numbers of Australians) to be incongruous.

So having a history of skiing and shooting, biathlons are common sporting events in Scandinavia and of course Finland too.

Seeing a bunch of fit and strong women who can ski well and shoot straight is to me one of the things which sets Finns as being still humans and the American Dream to be more like Aldus Huxleys warnings of the brave new world.

I like Finland, and I hope to be back there again soon

Monday, 6 April 2015

buy by the Kilo (or bang for buck)


we're all familiar with the price of things by weight (either Kg or lbs depending where you're from) but most of us don't think of our photographic gear this way. Some time ago I did look at that with respect to my Panasonic G1 and a Canon EOS 5DMk ii and found that the image quality was not so different but the price per Kg was ... I thought I'd expand on that post with some more data and in a chart.

its sort of interesting that there is a reasonably linear price / kg change along the line from G1 (price when new) to Sony A7ii (price when new too) and some standouts in the "dear" range as well as the lower end.

What's also interesting is that I seem to also buy on the more cost effective side of things (interesting coincidence really).

I should probably toss in megapixels into that but to me they are about equal as image making tools.


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

party camera

I took my GF1 along to a party recently with just the 20mm f1.7 and the 45mm f1.8 ... I wanted to remain discreet (not look like I'm carrying a brick). I dislike flash so I like the GF for its larger sensor than compact cameras and this setup is great.

I was able to get great shots

and the images were acceptably clean at 1600 ISO which still gave me 1/60th (which stops enough motion). I dislike OIS in these situations because people move (no matter if the camera was on a tripod or had top shelf stabilisation).

So my 5 year old micro43 GF1 is still pulling good shots while some people struggle with their "superior" SLR cameras.

and others snap away with their phones...

its sorta clear to me why the SLR market is diminishing as phones are getting pretty good results these days (like the top shelf ones anyway).

None the less I'm not about to trade in my GF any time soon as there is no way the phones can capture stuff like this:

with that sort of subject DoF isolation ...(again, hand held, 1600 ISO 1/160th) or to step out on the balcony and get this as cleanly:

even pushing the friendship with 3200 ISO (the max) isn't too disgusting when the light gets low (I should probably have under exposed this a bit ... )

The host of the party spins a better yarn than me, although I'm not sure anyone believes his story either. Certainly with a bit more light up your shutter speed sleeve dropping the ISO to 1600 its nicer

I had a good time, my camera worked with me to get some good shots and most importantly the birthday boy was happy with it all.

Happy Birthday mate!