Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ultra Wide WC-E75 PowerShot G12!

By now you guys should have realised I love my Canon G12 (I raved about how good the little point & shoot is, here!) and I also adored ultra-wide angle lens!

Sadly, as you know; the G12 is a compact camera with a "fixed lens"; meaning, you cannot change the zoom lens that came with the camera.

Canon do made a add on conversion lens for the G's but they are mainly the telephoto variety. If you want ultra wide angle add on, you will have to go to third party manufacture or Nikon!

Of all the wide angle conversion lens ever made, Nikon's WC-E75 is, as far as I know; optically, the best!

Shot with my G12 and Sunpak RD2000 bounced.

In early 2000, Nikon made the WC-E75 for their Coolpix 8400; the conversion lens turned the 24mm zoom on the 8400 to a ultra wide of 18mm!

The launch of the NZ "Super Car" in 2005 was shot with my 8400 with the WC-E75 add on lens. Notice there were no barrel distortion at all!

In Nikon's jargon, their WC-E75 stands for "Wide Converter 0.75x"; adding this lens in front of any point & shoot lens will result in 0.75 times reduction in focal length.

Ignoring the long end, the G12 came with a 6.1 mm on the wide side; that 6.1 work out to be a 28 mm lens coverage.

You don't need a rocket scientist to tell you that by attaching the WC-E75 to that 6.1 mm, you will be rewarded with 4.75 mm (6.1x0.75); which is equivalent to a 21 mm ultra wide lens!!


Before you can take your G12 to that ultra wide heaven, you must purchase two items from Lensmate. They call themself, A "Specialty Digital Photo Products" shop in Seattle with a mission:

"At Lensmate, we think camera users can appreciate the effort made to create an adapter
that complements the design of the camera as well as enhancing its functionality."

To complete your mission, you will need...

Lensmate G12/G11/G10 Adapter - Part A (the base) @ US$ 25.95

Custom Lensmate Coplanar 58-52mm Step Ring for use with Nikon WC E75 @ US$ 12.95

(The price do not include postage)

From left, the WC-E75, the coplanar Step Ring and Part A Adapter tube.

According to Lensmate, Coplanar; meaning this ring can marry a 58mm thread and a 52mm thread with no added length - the threads are all internal. For use with the Nikon WC-E75 Wide Angle Converter.

The coplanar ring screw into the lens tube.

One ring holding the wide converter and the tube together.

This is what the WC-E75-G12 look like :) Wicked!!

The big chunk of Nikon glass add quite a bit of weight to the already heavy mother of all point and shoot! Many will say the conversion made the G12 even more of a man's compact ;) Grrr!!

The G12 came with a bayonet like mount for the add on lens, you can remove or mount the WC-E75 in a flash!

A view from the top, the lens tube actually improve the handling of this chunky P&S, now you can hold on to the lens; just like a DSLR :)

Testing... Testing...

Saturday morning was spend shooting the product for this post, somehow the E-P2 white balance was not cooperating; wasted too many minutes and ended up rushing off with only an hour to spare, before meeting up with General and friends for "Yum Cha" at the Dragons.

I ended up at the Oversea Terminal area again, the weather was absolutely glorious; plenty of sun but not much glare and the air was crystal clear!

I took this shot of my VRX, after I put my pay-and-display parking ticket on the dash.

This was a grab shot with the WC-G12, at 21mm; what a lens! There is a trace of vignette on the bottom left corner, not a big deal.

Then I remove the WC lens and took this shot at 28 mm. See how much wider the converter made!
Zooming in to 400%, the top picture was from the 28 mm and the bottom, with the WD-E75; which, seems to retain the sharpness of the standard zoom very nicely! Impressive indeed!

These two strong back lit pictures were shot "into the sun", to see how well the conversion lens handle internal reflection.

I was pleasantly surprise that it performed very well, there were some halo in the bottom picture but that was expected; what with the harsh sun hitting directly into the glass!

A collector was lovingly polishing his shinning 61 Lincoln Continental, I asked and got permission to record his passion :)

Man, wheel with all them spokes must be a real bastard to clean and polish!!

I love the shadow play in this shot, as you can see from my shadow; I raise the WC-G12 overhead for this shot. I don't think your "lesser", un-WC G12 can get the same angle! Hee hee...

Million dollars waterfront luxury... a poor photographer's dream ;)

I just cannot leave my favorite "test scene" without a shot of the scene I love! This was taken with the WC-G12.

First crop from the horizontal picture.

A second closer crop from the same picture, this is the better of the three.

All told, I spend about 40 minutes at the OST area, who say lens testing is difficult? ;)

Yum cha, I went!

Famous Last Words:

If you have a Nikon WC-E75, don't let it go to waste; go buy a Lensmate tube and ring and use it for your G10, G11 or G12! It make a great 21 mm f2.8 ultra wide!

If you only have a G10, G11 or G12 but not a WC-E75, may be you should go check out in the net and see if you can get a used one.

Or you might want to get a new one for US$ 220, it is well worth it ;)


The WC-G12 combination DOES have quite a bit of barrel distortion, especially when your subject have lots of straight lines.

The picture below was a shot of the ugly parking building where we went for our "yum cha".

The top came straight from the camera, the bottom picture was corrected with the PTLens plug-in. I am impress that PTLens even have a setting for WC-E75 lens! Priceless!!

You Might Also Like:

Canon G, Gs; You Came A Long Way!

Canon G12, Best of the G?

Bounce Flash For G12


heather said...

Didn`t I tell you!?!?! Go to the south island and you can zoom in to your hearts content!You can zoom in to Mount Cook and The Remarkables. That will be a true vindication of the lens capability, and I`m sure you will do justice.You will be in hog heaven! ( Oh... I forgot about lake Matheson )

Anonymous said...

I was delighted to read this page, as I have been searching for a decent wide-angle lens to use with my G12. I was then dismayed to learn that the WC-E75 is no longer manufactured. Plenty of WC-E75a's out there, though. Will these work with G12? The only other option I know of is the slightly cheaper Olympus WCON-07 (also discontinued). Any experience with it? Thanks, Tamas

cy.leow said...

Hi Tamas, the only way is go to a shop and measure the thread diameter of the WC-E75a; if it is 52mm then it should work. Jut to be 100% sure, email and ask them if their Custom Lensmate Coplanar 58-52mm Step Ring fit the WC-E75a or not.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Oops! Did I juz speak again?? said...

Hi Cyleow,

I'm looking high and low for this Nikon WC E75 len. Any idea where I can find that? Thanks


cy.leow said...

Hi Fee
They don't make the Nikon WC-E75 anymore, try getting one on eBay.
Did you not read all the previous comments?

Oops! Did I juz speak again?? said...

Yes I did, cy! eBay is selling closed to U$400 and basically there's only one or two sellers...

Anyway thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

This is just the post I was looking for, very useful info! I'd like to ask you: is it possible to do the same but using the canon original adaptor (Filter Adapter FA-DC58B )? And also: is it possible to attach a polarize filter to your system and if so, how should I do it?
Thanks a lot, excellent blog. Lucho from Argentina.

cy.leow said...

Hi Lucho!
The Canon Filter Adapter FA-DC58B for the G10, 11, 12 is used to mount 58mm filters to the lens barrels of the cameras. The advantage of this adapter is that it adjusts as you change the zoom angle of the lens. In this way, vignetting (the darkening of the corners in the image) is eliminated.
With the adapter in place you WILL NOT be able to mount the WC-E75 lens!
Because of the extreme curvature of the WC-E75 front element, it is NOT POSSIBLE to mount a polarizer
Regards - CY

Paul said...

Will the WC-E75 also wok with a Canon G15?

cy.leow said...

Hi Paul

The WC-E75 need a Lensmate adapter to mount on the G12, as far as I know they have stop making them; unless they come out with a G15 version, the WC-75 cannot work with G15.

alealohakai said...

Hello C.Y. Yeow,
I am happy to have found your review of the Canon G12, with the Nikon WC-E75A wide angle converter. I already have the Lensmate Adapter A, and just received the Nikon WC-E75A three days ago. I bought a regular 58-52mm step down adapter, but it did not work, it was too loose. I contacted Lensmate just a few minutes ago, and am awaiting a response. Do you know of any other company that makes the adapter thread to make this combination fit and work for the Canon G12/Nikon WC-E75A?
Happy Holidays, and thank you in advance,

Alex Tsang
San Francisco, California, USA

cy.leow said...

Hi Alex
Happy you like my post, just Google "58-52mm step down adapter" and you will notice a lot of companies actually sell this STEP DOWN RING. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to you too :) C.Y.Leow - Wellington, New Zealand.