Ricoh GXR: P10 Converter Experiments

Introduction | TC-1 | DW-6 | TCON14 (Peter Watson) | More Experiments by Peter Watson | Conclusions | Forum Discussions

This page presents the results of some experiments that I did with the S10 converters (TC-1, DW-6) on the P10 module.

Note: See also Pavel Kudrys' P10 converter experiments: GXR P10 + extension lenses test (GT1, TC1, TCON14)

 

Introduction

At the end of August 2010, someone in the dpreview Ricoh forum asked for experiences regarding the S10 converters TC-1 and DW-6 on the new P10 module:

As the answers showed , nobody had tried these converters on the P10 module up to then.

As I own both converters, I decided to give them a try at the P10 module. The first issue arose, however, immediately: The HA-3 adapter did not fit the P10, even though the LC-2 lens cap does. At a closer look, I found out that a small edge prevents the HA-3 to be attached to the P10 module. Here are two photos as a "proof":

Click the photos for larger versions!

 

Therefore, I decided to try two approaches: (1) holding the converter in front of the lens with my fingers, (2) attaching the converter to the HA-3 and holding the HA-3 with my fingers. Below, are my results for both, the TC-1 tele converter and the DW-6 wide angle converter.

 

TC-1 (Tele Converter)

The story of the TC-1 converter (1.88x) is quickly told. While it would be nice to have a focal range of up to 564 mm, the results are not really usable. For the TC-1, there is also a problem with the length of the HA-3: At 300mm - the only focal length where using it would make sense - the P10 lens protrudes too far. To circumvent this issue, you can hold the TC-1 with your fingers (with HA-3 attached or not), but image quality is poor, as the examples below demonstrate (some people may like the "artful" fuzziness...). Image quality improves at smaller focal lengths, but for achieving the same focal lengths, you can use the P10 alone with better results. Furthermore, at shorter focal lengths, vignetting sets in. At 28mm equivalent it is even circular.

Test Samples (P10 + TC-1)

Click the images for original samples. Originals are reduced to 50% in order to save server space.

P10 + TC-1, 52.5 = 300 mm

P10 + TC-1, 52.5 = 300 mm

P10 + TC-1, 52.5 = 300 mm

 

P10 + TC-1, 20.9 = 120 mm

P10 + TC-1, 12.2 = 70 mm

P10 + TC-1, 4.9 = 28 mm

P10 + TC-1, 4.9 = 28 mm

 

DW-6 (Wide Angle Converter)

The wide angle converter (0.79x) makes only sense at 28mm, because only at the short end it increases the viewing angle to about 22mm. Holding the converter attached to the HA-3 seems to cause more sever vignetting that holding it only with the fingers. In the latter case, you can hold the converter closer to the P10 lens. However, this also increases the danger that the converter and the lens touch and may get scratches.

The image quality of the samples without vignetting seems to be acceptable - pixel peepers may come to different conclusions...

All in all, we have to appeal to Ricoh that it will offer a suitable adapter that allows to attach the DW-6 wide angle converter to the P10 module.

Test Samples (P10 + DW-6)

Click the images for original samples. Originals are reduced to 50% in order to save server space.

First Attempt

P10 + DW-6, hand-held, 4.9 = 28 mm

P10 + DW-6, HA-3 hand-held, 4.9 = 28 mm

P10, 4.9 = 28 mm

The use of the HA-3 caused more vignetting, but that may be just by accident...

Second Attempt

 

P10 + DW-6, HA-3 hand-held, 4.9 = 28 mm

Using the HA-3 mostly causes some sever vignetting; holding the converter only with the fingers seems to cause less vignetting, but is more critical because the lenses can touch.

P10, 4.9 = 28 mm

P10, 4.9 = 28 mm

P10 + DW-6, 4.9 = 28 mm

P10 + DW-6, 4.9 = 28 mm

P10, 4.9 = 28 mm

The image above seems to be without vignetting, the one to its left shows my finger - otherwise it would also be without vignetting.

 

TCON14 (Peter Watson)

TCON14 is a tele converter from Olympus, which comes in different flavors (TCON14, TCON14B, ...). Peter Watson, UK, sent an e-mail in response to my page and told me of his converter experiments with P10, HA-3, and TCON14. I would like to mention a few details of his experiments. He somehow managed to squeeze the HA-3 on the P10 and also added a step up ring 43-46mm to extend the HA-3. The TCON14 has 1.45 magnification and thus offers a focal length of 435mm. Peter bought all this from ebay for little money.

He also sent two photos, one of the moon and one of a water airplane in the air, which I would like to present here:

So, here is the credit that Peter deserves for his experiment! As he stated himself, it helps other GXR users when modifying a camera and gives them peace of mind and tells them what to purchase and help keep the costs down.

In addition, Pavel Kudrys did some P10 converter experiments and documented them on his Ricohforum Website: GXR P10 + extension lenses test (GT1, TC1, TCON14).

 

More Experiments by Peter Watson

In February 2011, Peter Watson sent me further e-mails, in which he described his recent experiments with wide angle converters for the P10 module.

Since I contacted you last time I have been experimenting with another HA-3 adapter again and I have succeeded in fitting a wide angle lens on to a HA-3 adapter. It meant reducing the length of the adapter by sawing some of the adapter off. When reducing the adapter to a length of 25mm including the 43mm to 46mm reducer and I found that it worked. The internal part of the adapter was roughly the same as the reducer and only needed sticking in with a good glue and leaving it for a day too harden. The lens that I bought was a JACKAR 46mm mount and was a 0.6 high definition wide converter, and it vignettes a lot on the standard HA-3 adapter and that was the reason for my shortening of the adapter.

When I was cutting my adapter I cut it slightly too short but I got away with it by not sticking it in as far into the adapter. So any one trying this out should cut this at 28mm from the base and placing the reducer into the adapter with a filter fitted and then switch on the camera and let it find its own level as the reducer is not a tight fit. Then they can reduce the length of the HA-3 with sandpaper and try the reducer in again and again until they find the correct level near to the 25mm mark. Then stick the reducer in to the HA-3 and that is it.Then use a wide angle lens of there own choice. Obviously you can not use the zoom as it would touch the lens.

Below, there are some photos of the tools that I used and the end results of the adapter and lens fitted and one photo taken with the JACKAR 46mm mount 0.6 wide angle lens fitted. It was taken hand held so please do not expect too much from this photo as it is only to show you what can be done.

The tools and the prepared HA 3 adapter

 

 

 

The JACKAR 46mm mount 0.6 wide angle lens fitted to the P10 module (below)

The JACKAR 46mm mount 0.6 wide angle lens fitted to the P10 module The result...

In a further e-mail, Peter added:

Since I last wrote to you I have been thinking about the DW-6 lens and as it is 43mm like the HA-3 it will fit the HA-3 if it is reduced by removing a section of the adapter by sawing it into two pieces and reducing it with abrasive paper. For the depth then use the same idea I used with my conversion using a lens filter and turning the camera on and checking the clearance between the filter and the lens body. Then glue the top and bottom pieces together again and clean the outer surface and even spray with a black paint and make it look like one piece again. Put the DW-6 on to the HA-3 and place it onto the P10 and you will have got your self an even better all round camera and it will all fit in to a small camera case.

I would like to add that I would not dare to do such a modification myself, particularly because it is very critical that the cuts are parallel and fit together well...

 

Conclusions

The TC-1 does not make any sense on the P10 module - the results are not usable at the tele end.

The DW-6 might be usable and provide a useful extension at the wide angle range for the P10. However, the current solutions are not satisfactory: The chance to get vignetting and distortion is too high. A modified HA-3 might provide a solution to these issues, but I do not dare to modify my HA-3...

I sent an e-mail to Mr. Wutzke, my contact at Ricoh, Germany, and he replied that there are not plans at Ricoh yet to offer an wide angle converter for the P10 module. However, he promised to send such a proposal to Ricoh, Japan.

 

Forum Discussions

I posted my results in the dpreview Ricoh forum. Here is the initial post: forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1013&message=36169147

In addition, Pavel Kudrys did some P10 converter experiments and documented them on his Ricohforum Website: GXR P10 + extension lenses test (GT1, TC1, TCON14).

 

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