Sunday, December 9, 2012

WC-P7700 - Ultra Wide Nikon Coolpix

Turn out to be a very pleasant cool but sunny Wellington Saturday, I had two hours to kill before picking up Le General at her line dancing. I decided to test out my new WC-P7700, an ultra-wide Nikon Coolpix point and shoot.

Don't bother searching for this Nikon model because Nikon DO NOT have such a model... bear with me ;)

If you own a Nikon Coolpix P7700 AND a Nikon WC-E75 Wide angle converter lens, you already own a WC-P7700 ultra-wide point and shoot!

I bought my WC-E75 with my Nikon Coolpix 8400 in 2005.

The optional WC-E75 wide-angle converter lens took the build in 24 mm_e zoom lens of the 8400 even wider to an unmatched 18 mm_e of ultra-wide coverage!

The same WC-E75 was used on my favorite Canon G-12, converting the 28 mm_e to a very wide  21 mm_e!

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

A shot taken with the WC-G12, you can see I am holding the camera above my head.

If you read my posting on the WC-G12, you will realise that the chunky WC-E75 glass was mounted to the G12 with the help of a tube and ring combo from Lensmate.

To my dismay, Lensmate do not have a adapter tube for the P7700!

As a matter of fact, they don't even made the tube for G12 anymore!

I can see the value of the WC-E75 with the G12 ringed tube going sky high ;)

Despaired, I try by inserting my WC-G12 combo over the protruding P7700 zoom (at 28 mm_e); holding on to the tube while I shoot.

It work! Kind of... look like the G12 Lensmate tube is too long for the P7700 lens, causing heavy vignetting on the four corners!  Hmmm... why don't I remove the tube and just hold the WC-E75 lens in front of the P7700 zoom. Just happen that the front of the zoom lens fit nicely to the rear of the WC!

This is the result!  It work!  Holding on to the chuck of WC glass in front of the Coolpix with my left hand while trying to balance and shoot with my right, is NOT easy! I nearly DROP the WC-E75 a few times!  It is also very easy to get your fingers into the ultra-wide frame too!

After a few trail, this is the best way to hold the converter lens and the P7700 can sit on the same palm :)

With the WC-E74 glass in my jacket pocket and the P7700 around my neck, I test drive my WC-P7700 at our Civic Square, down town; Wellington.

 Taken with the Nikon P7700 at 28 mm_e.

The Nikon WC-E75 conversion lens was held in front of the P7700 zoom, see how much wider it is!

 Plain Jane P7700 @ 28 mm_e again.

 With the WC-E75 in front of the P7700.

Passage way between the old Wellington City Council building and the stainless steel clad Michael Fowler Centre. 28 mm_e, P7700.

Same location as above but at a different spot, with the WC-E75.

My WC-P7700 outside Wellington City Council, Wakefield Street; notice my parked Lancer VRX?

To Market, To Market...

 P7700 @ 28 mm_e, holding above head.
WC-P7700, holding above head; see my fingers? Ha ha ha...

Famous Last Words...

It is a good idea to wrap your bare WC-E75 glass in a large lens cleaning cloth if you are trying out my WC-P7700 way, putting the unprotected chuck of glass in your jacket can cause scratches to the protruding front element!

What are you waiting for?  Go shoot with your WC-P7700 but be careful not to drop your WC-E75 glass, I was told that this rather hard to come by Nikon glass was going as high as US$ 500.00!!


Ken Nieuwenhuyse said...

I am not sure, perhaps you can try the WC-E75 plus a step-up(or down?) ring for your converter

Ron Clegg said...

There is a way to mount the WC-E75 to the P7700.... I have succeeded in doing it. First you must buy this adapter: I found it on Amazon for $10 here:
It's well made (machined aluminum), threads fit the 57mm thread on the P7700 perfectly. It comes in two pieces- use the 1st section that is threaded for the 57mm P7700 thread. The other piece is used to attach a telephoto converter (specifically the Cannon TC-DC 58D). It has a 58mm standard thread at the connection end which takes a 58mm to 52mm step-down ring precisely The WC-e75 simply screws on to the step-down ring. Once this is done, take some photos and notice the vignetting. I found a solution to this problem via this link by a Russian who fitted the WC-e63 to his P7700. The modification involves grinding down the step down ring to bring the lens close enough to the P7700 lens that the vignetting stops. See it done here:

It works very well and the sharpest aperture seems to be f4. I'm getting good results although the lens is a little soft in the corners. Very wide angle view (21mm) is impressive, and the camera handles well and feels solid. Flares and ghosts easily though. This is solved by the absolutely huge lens shade or better yet just shade with your hand.
Be sure to set your camera's lens startup setting to 28mm. I've found you can zoom to 50mm without the lens hitting the WC Adapter. If it does hit the lens it gives you a lens error message and you must reboot the camera. No damage however. One needs to take some care with this. Easy for me, but hesitant to let others use the camera with the wide angle attached.This has been a fun and successful experiment.
I'll post a few photos taken with it and a shot of the camera on a tripod with the WC-E75. Hope this answers your question .... cheers

p.s.- one other thing... at first I set the P7700 to infinity and got slightly out of focus shots. Better to let the camera focus or focus manually. Not sure why infinity doesn't work...