Jun 102011

I love my Panasonic LX5. I have bought it more than two months ago and I have used the D300 one or two times since. Two, I think. Once because I had to for a portrait, and the other I can’t remember. It’s so small, it’s so light and it makes so perfectly usable images.

There are only a few accessories that you can buy. An electronic viewfinder (I bought it the second day, it’s great), a spare battery (I bought it the first day, it keeps me safe), a conversion lens adapter ring (also needed to mount filters), a polarizer (I already had that), a two-stop split-ND filter (my big Lee were useless with such a small lens, thus I have bought a screw-in B+W), and now I also have the last one that I can think of, the Panasonic DMW-LWA52 wide-angle converter.

It’s big, it’s heavy, it is of extremely high quality, I can’t see any detrimental effect on image quality … and I hate it.

It’s too big. It’s too heavy. In order to have its use recorded in EXIF data, one has to put the camera in converter mode using a menu setting. That’s easily done, only that it disables the zoom. Yes, really, you can’t zoom while you have that heavy chunk of glass attached. Well, you can if you put the camera out of converter mode, after all, it can’t tell if or what is attached to the ring, but then you get wrong data, although I see no difference in image quality, at least in the widest setting.

Obviously there are reasons, for instance that images at maximum zoom are very blurry in the corners. The converter is seemingly optimized for one focal length. This does not worry me, it is understandable, but it makes the converter a very specialized accessory, and given that I need it very rarely, my willingness to accept the weight penalty is limited. And while it’s a burden to carry it around in a bag, it’s worse when you actually have it on the camera. It completely unbalances the LX5, makes it front-heavy as hell. Small wonder, given that the lens has about the same weight as the camera 🙂

By the way, when I say no detrimental effect on image quality, I don’t exactly mean “no effect”, rather “no unexpected effect”. This lens distorts wildly (+7.00 in Photoshop!) and it also vignettes as mad, but I’m not going to blame it for that. In film days those traits would have been inexcusable, but today you simply don’t care. No, the real problem for me is how the lens transforms a camera that I like to carry, into a camera that I don’t like to carry. That’s it.

Which doesn’t mean that I’m going to sell it, only that I expect to rarely use it 😀

The Song of the Day is “Wide Boy” from the 1984 Flying Pickets album “Lost Boys”. A great song from a great a-capella album. Hear it on YouTube.

  2 Responses to “1693 – Wide Boy”

  1. That is a good composition, contemplative I would say. I wonder if that typewriter is still functional.

    Good analysis of the converter. On the LX3, I have an adapter ring and some filters, but very rarely I have used them, and not for quite a long time. One problem with them is the sensitivity to reflections (even more than usual, as I often forget to clean the lens).

    Hmmm… “Sensitive to reflections”, that could describe the photograph as well…

  2. I love this. The reflections are so balanced with the scene inside the window. I feel as if I am sitting on the edge of the window while viewing this scene. I love how the shapes and arrangement of the typewriter’s keys echos the shapes and arrangements of the windows in the reflected building.

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