Telephoto Conversion Lenses

Converter and conversion and lenses are accessories which often get overlooked in the shuffle. Itís typical to determine the necessity for an extra battery, camera case, extra memory card, an external flash or with an exchangeable lens camera, an additional lens as an add-on option.

Converter lenses for compact point and shoot cameras typically attach to a screw mount or bayonet to the camera lens. Many times the camera maker will furnish an available adapter to ease their use. See to the camera user manual to determine if you have a compatible model. They also can be used with numerous compact video cameras which feature lenses with a filter thread.

Adapters for exchangeable lens systems come in the guise of extension tubes and teleconverters, which sandwich between your lens and your camera. If you have changed your camera lens, you will have no issues concluding how to use a teleconverter or extension tube. With that thought, letís look at a few fun (and quite possibly, to a few of you), not too familiar lens accessories.

Fisheye and Wide-Angle Adapters

If you have a desire to widen your field of view, think about adding a wide-angle conversion lens to your camera. Exactly how much wider can you go depends upon the magnification factor. If you have a camera with a 28mm lens, which is somewhat on the wider side, attaching a 0.5x adapter can change your field of view to similar to a 14mm lens!

There are many different options to expand the horizons of your photos. Consider a 0.5x conversion lens which can be attached using filter threads from 37mm through 82mm . If you would like to expand even wider, and can put up with the distorted fisheye look, envision one that generates a 0.21x magnification ratio, features multi-coated glass and attaches using 37mm through 82mm threads.

An 0.66x converter lens is available which attaches using 37-through 82mm filter threads. Although it wonít provide as startling an effect as a 0.5x or fisheye conversion lens, it will most certainly be a benefit for those wanting to go a little wider in their photos. These also come in 37-82mm filter threads, while there is also a 0.7x version.

There is also a 0.43x wide angle conversion lens. and there is the option to attach a filter to the front thread, ideal for adding a circular polarizer. or an ND filter

Telephoto and Macro Conversion Adapters

If you're looking for an extended reach from for your photos, consider a telephoto conversion adapter. A common size is the 2.2x telephoto conversion attachment which mounts on 37-82mm threads, allowing you to photographically bring subjects in the distance much closer, and features front filter threads for filters or a lens hood. While numerous compact cameras have some pretty amazing macro abilities,

There are also those times you would just like to focus on an extremely close subject in front of your lens. Exchangeable users just beginning with the typical zoom kit lens may find they limited by a lack of macro-focus capacity. This is the time a 2.5x macro adapter can be handy. they come in thread sizes between 37mm and 82mm. When using a zoom lens, be sure and set the telephoto to the long end for maximum effect.

Conversion Lens Kits by Thread Size

37mm Converter Lens Kit - Polaroid  30/30.5/43/37mm .43x HD Wide Angle Lens With Macro Attachment + Polaroid Studio Series 2.2X HD Telephoto Lens  

52mm Converter Lens Kit
Vivitar 2.2x Telephoto and 0.43X Wide Angle High Definition w/ Macro Portion Lenses

58mm Converter Lens Kit - SAVEoN Professional Telephoto and Wide Angle Lens, and 3PC Filter Kit + Lens Adapter Tube + Lens Cap Keeper + MicroFiber Cloth

62mm HD Lens Kit Polaroid Studio Series .21x Super Fisheye Lens, .42x Fisheye Lens, 3.5X Super Telephoto Lens, .43x Wide Angle Lens, 2.2X Telephoto Lens, Hood, Cap

67mm Deluxe Conversion Lens Kit
3PC Filter Kit + 67mm 2X Telephoto Lens + 67mm 0.45x Wide Angle Lens with Macro Filter Adapter

72mm Conversion Lens Kit + Close Up Filter Set  72mm 2x professional HD Telephoto + 72mm 0.45x Wide Angle Macro Lens
2x Telephoto lens

3 Piece 77mm Kit Includes: UV, Circular Polarizer and Flourescent Filter
Attach to any 77mm mount SLR lens! Free Microfiber Cloth

82mm 3PC Filter Kit + .45x Wide Angle Lens + 2X Telephot Lens + LCD Screen Protectors + Microfiber cleaning cloth

Opteka Conversion Lenses

Opteka .35x HD Super Wide Angle Panoramic Macro Fisheye Lens

Opteka 0.5x Wide Angle & 2x Telephoto HD2 Lens Set

Opteka 2x HD2 Telephoto Lens

Opteka 2.2x High Definition II Telephoto Conversion Lens
Shop for Telephoto Conversion Lenses at these stores
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Focal Lengths
The available converter lenses have three types: fisheye, wide angle and telephoto. Normally, fisheye converter lenses are of the 0.2X type; good wide angle converter lenses are 0.7X or 0.8X, although 0.6X and some 0.25X and 0.4X semi-fisheye lenses (i.e., ultra wide angle lenses that do not correct linear distortion) are also available; and telephoto converters of 1.45X, 1.5X, 1.7X and 2.2X. The following table shows the effective focal length when a particular converter lens is used.


Fisheye 0.2X Wide Angle 0.7X Wide Angle 0.8X Telephoto 1.4X Telephoto 1.5X Telephoto 1.7X Telephoto 2.2X
7mm-84mm 24.5mm-294mm 28mm-336mm 49mm-588mm 52.5mm-630mm 59.5mm-714mm 77mm-924mm

This table may give you an illusion that with converter lenses you will have a focal length coverage from 7mm to 924mm. In reality, it is not the case for three major reasons. First, at the telephoto end, it is very likely that only the longer focal length is available. In other words, with a 1.7X telephoto converter, although theoretically you will have a focal range of 59.5mm (= 35mm◊1.7) and 714mm (= 420mm◊1.7), in practice the available focal length without vignetting is perhaps between 350mm to 714mm, and, as a result, the focal range of 59.5mm and 350mm is not usable. Second, any glass added to a lens has the potential to reduce the image quality of the lens. Hence, for better image quality, if a focal length is available with the on-camera lens, use the on-camera lens rather than a converter lens.

For example, with a 1.7X teleconverter lens, one might have a usable focal length range of 350mm to 714mm. If you need to use a 400mm focal length, use the on-camera lens rather than the converter. Third, converters, especially telephoto converters, may not be as effective as the on-camera lens in closer shooting distance. Front mounting telephoto converters have the tendency to increase the minimum focusing distance. In other words, if the on-camera lens can focus at 2 meters, the camera plus a telephoto converter combo may only be able to focus at 3 or 4 meters. As a result, if a subject can be shot at about the minimum focusing distance of the on-camera lens, use the on-camera lens rather than a telephoto. Otherwise, you will be forced to move away from the subject and, at the same time, reduce the size of the subject in the image. So, at close distance, a telephoto converter may not be very effective.

The next few images were all taken at the same position with different focal lengths. The first three were taken with a fisheye, a 0.7X wide angle and a 0.8X wide angle, respectively; the next 12 were taken with the on-camera lens at 1X, 2X, 12X; and the last three were taken with 1.4X, 1.5X and 1.7X teleconverter lenses. Approximate focal length of each image is also shown. From these images, it is not difficult to see the coverage of each focal length, and the power of the on-camera lens.

Click an image for larger view. Click again to exit.

7mm Fisheye



35mm (1X)

70mm (2X)

105mm (3X)

140mm (4X)

175mm (5X)

210mm (6X)

245mm (7X)

280mm (8X)

315mm (9X)

350mm (10X)

385mm (11X)

420mm (12X)

588mm (1.4X Tele)

630mm (1.5X Tele)

714mm (1.7X Tele)

See Also

Telephoto Conversion Lenses Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 5