Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Panasonic 0.79 adapter on camera

well after looking at my post on the image quality of this adapter (over here) I thought I'd add a little of what the adapter looks and feels like on the camera as well as putting it onto the camera.

From the image below you can see that it adds a little onto the front of the GF1 with the 14mm mounted. 

Since the 14mm is already a snuggle little lens its actually not a big issue but certainly means I can't just stuff the camera into my backpack side pocket. Fortunately its really quick and simple to take the lens on and off the front but brings with it a small issue. You can't just put the lens cap back on the 14mm because the plastic adapter is in the way.

As it happens I don't find that a big problem because the plastic adapter is itself a functional protector of the lens, as the front of the 14mm lens is recessed back in there a little way. It almost acts as a sort of lens hood anyway.


it would be a simple thing for Panasonic to make another plastic cap to include with the kit, that attached to the lens side of the adapter to click on and click off, giving you a lens cap to use when you leave the adapter ring on the 14mm lens.

{update: Panasonic has now addressed this issue, see my quick review of that here}

The wide adapter with its caps on slips into a pocket no problems.

One of the things which bewildered me when I was first researching this lens was the comments on various forums about how clumsy it was to use. People remarking that it unscrewed when you removed the GWC1 from the lens side mount. Clearly they aren't looking or reading the manual. I think that the lens is so intuitive to use, that even if you can't read (to be able to write on a forum) you should see the symbols on the lens side of the adapter which make it clear what to do. <shrug>

Basically after you thread the adapter ring onto the 14mm, the GWC1 attaches with a twist. You twist in the same direction to put it on as you do to get it off. In this image green is on, red is off.
  • put down
  • twist
  • use
  • twist same way
  • lift off

This has the effect of tightening the plastic adapter collar to the right tension, so any questions on how tight should I screw it on are answered by the device itself.

Simple. I've put together a quick video of this to show this (as well as why I'm not involved as a TV presenter) in case it wasn't obvious my meaning in the above image.

So there you have it. A low priced alternative to get you into wide angle on your micro 4/3 camera. Of course if you already have the 12mm lens in your focal lengths its hardly worth it, but if you have instead the 14mm prime (as it came with your camera ... or even just the 14-42) this adapter will give you that extra width for minimal weight penalty and just a few bucks.

For instance:
  • $800 for the 12mm f2 (130g)
  • $1000 for the Oly 12-40 f2.8 (382g)
  • $1300 for the 12-35 zoom f2.8 (300g)
  • $500 for the 12-50 zoom f3.5 ~ 6.3 (211g darker and quite a bit bigger too) 
  • curve ball : $330 14mm f2.5 + $150 0.79 adapter = $480
or just $120 to put this onto your existing pancake 14mm when you just want that wee bit wider than the 14 gives. The adapter only weighs 70g so including the 55g of the 14mm lens you have a total weight of 125g (which you don't have to keep on the camera at all times). This is lighter than anything in the zoom range and about on par with the 12mm f2 (and actually nearly exactly the same size too).

Think of it as nearly the Olympus 12mm f2 but as a 2 for one lens and cheaper ;-)

Here is a composite showing the GF with (left to right) the 12mm, the 14mm and the 14mm + the GWC-1

Bugger all difference in size between the 12mm and the 14mm + 0.79 ... and you can take it off making it a "more compact lens" without taking the lens off the camera...

In fact, I like it so much I've sold my 9-18mm zoom



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review. It is a compelling arguement for remaining cost conscience, while traveling light and yet providing maximal flexibility and photo quality.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I am a big fan of this conversion lens. I think Panasonic has done a great job defining their target market for this product. The picture will be judged on the merit of its composition and subject. I chuckle every time I see a fool on the hiking trails with a THE latest super zoom lens around his neck and the gym bag sized lens bag on his shoulder. He is so busy straining and sweating, there can be no joy in that hobby. "the best camera is the one you have on you" not my quote.