Canon G1 and Conversion Lenses

There are precious few reviews of the performance of the Canon G1 with third-party conversion lenses, so I put this collection of information from reviewers together.

Canon's Conversion Lenses

First, some information about Canon's conversion lenses. Both of Canon's own conversion lenses for the G1 require the LA-DC58 lens tube. This tube attaches to the camera to provide a standard 58mm filter mount for mounting the conversion lenses. Canon offers a telephoto lens, the TC-DC58, and a wide angle conversion lens, the WC-DC58. The TC-DC58 has a conversion factor of 1.5x, extending the zoom range from 102mm to 153mm (35mm equiv.). The WC-DC58 has a conversion factor of 0.8x, widening the zoom range from 34mm to 27.2mm. These lenses are fairly pricey, but you get what you pay for as the reviews on this page indicate.

Pete Rissler

On April 22, 2001, Pete Rissler sent me the details of his conversion lens test with the G1. - Ted

From left to right: Eagleeye Opticzoom 5x, Canon 1.5x, Tiffen Megaplus 2x, Tiffen Megaplus 0.75x, Sony 2x

All lenses were used with a tripod on a Canon G1 and with the remote shutter release. The G1 was set to Av mode with the aperture set to f/8 (unless noted), exposure compensation set to -2/3. Photos were saved in raw format unless used with digital zoom then they were saved in JPEG superfine mode. Images were imported into PhotoShop v6.01 and reduced to 800 x 600 (bicubic interpolation) and saved as JPEG at level 10 compression. No image manipulation was done in PhotoShop unless noted (cropping and resizing only to overcome vignetting when needed).

EagleEye OpticZoom 5x

The EagleEye OpticZoom 5x lens requires 37mm threads for mounting, and will accept 37mm filters.


f/2.5 Crop/Resize

At f/2.5, the vignetting is less pronounced than at f/8. This photo was taken in the afternoon as opposed to the other photos which were taken in the morning. Interesting to note is the chromatic aberration along the pillars are now on the opposite side as the one at f8 taken in the morning. Image is soft with considerable blurriness along the sides and corners. Contrast and detail are low. In my opinion this lens can only be used with the G1 when set to Av mode and used at f/2.5 (this is the manufacturers suggested setting), at any other f-stop there will be significant vignetting. Compare this image to the Tiffen MegaPlus 2x lens with 2x digital zoom.


f/8.0 Crop/Resize

f/8.0 2x Digital Zoom

f/8.0 4x Digital Zoom

The EagleEye OpticZoom 5x lens at f/8 produces significant vignetting. There is significant chromatic aberration (look along the sides of the pillars) poor contrast and sharpness.

The EagleEye 5x can be used with the G1 but only at an aperture of f/2.5. This produces the minimum vignetting with this lens. The lens works much better with cameras with a smaller filter size such as the Nikon Coolpix series.

Sony 2x (VCL-R2052)

The Sony VCL-2052 2x conversion lens requires 52mm threads for mounting and will not accept filters.

Sony 2x

Sony 2x has good contrast, sharpness and detail are good in the center of the image but the left side is quite blurry much more so than the right side which is also blurry. Chromatic aberrations are very strong throughout the image. With the Hi8 camcorder, these problems aren't noticeable. Not recommended for the G1.

Tiffen Megaplus 2x

The Tiffen MegaPlus 2x Conversion Lens requires 43mm threads for mounting and will accept 67mm filters. This lens gives the G1 a 35mm film equivalent focal length of 204mm.

No Digital Zoom

Center Detail

Edge Detail

2x Digital Zoom

4x Digital Zoom

The Tiffen Megaplus 2x lens has good contrast and sharpness and detail throughout the photo. Slight chromatic aberrations are apparent in the edges. Click here to see a sharpened and contrast enhanced version.

Canon 1.5x (TC-DC58)

The Canon TC-DC58 1.5x conversion lens requires 58mm threads and will not accept filters. This lens gives the G1 a 35mm film equivalent focal length of 153mm.

Canon 1.5x

Center Detail

Edge Detail

The Canon 1.5x lens has good contrast and sharpness and detail throughout the photo.

Tiffen Megaplus 0.75x

The Tiffen MegaPlus 0.75x Conversion Lens requires 43mm threads for mounting and will accept 67mm filters. This lens gives the G1 a 35mm film equivalent focal length of 25.5mm.

Tiffen Megaplus 0.75x (camera set to 7mm focal length)

Center Detail

Edge Detail

Tiffen Megaplus 0.75x (camera set to 21mm focal length)

The Tiffen Megaplus 0.75x lens has good contrast and sharpness and detail throughout the photo. This lens can be used throughout the G1's focal range of 7 to 21 mm. The above telephoto lenses can only be used at 21 mm without vignetting.

No Conversion Lens

For comparison, here's what you can do without a conversion lens.

Canon G1 7mm (35mm film equivalent: 34mm)

Canon G1 21mm (35mm film equivalent: 102mm)

Canon G1 21mm 2x Digital Zoom

Canon G1 21mm 4x Digital Zoom

Images and text in this section Copyright 2001, Pete Rissler.

Ted Felix

I tried my Sony VCL-0637H wide angle conversion lens for my camcorder on the LensMate with a 49->37 step down ring. The results were pretty poor. You can do better with the G1's built-in lens at 7mm.

Miscellaneous Rumors Collected

Both the Olympus A-28 and B-28 wide angle conversion lenses work well with the G1. Also the Olympus B-300 teleconversion lens works well.

According to this site the Olympus A-28 works fine with the G1.


Samu's Canon G1 LensMate page
Samu has been testing a number of wide angle lenses and reports poor results with most. This is not surprising as this is a difficult thing to achieve. Olympus A-28 appears to be a winner, although it is only 0.8x like Canon's. The Raynox CRW-6600 has some blurring in the corners. I wonder if he is using step up/down rings instead of using the proper lens tube. That might be making things worse.

Makers of conversion lenses for the G1. Site has image comparison photos that are high res enough to see the limitations of the lenses in some cases. However, they are not full res images, so the full extent of the distortion is not apparent. The 0.77x (26.18mm) lens looks quite good, although the subject doesn't highlight the limitations in the corners. Would need a higher res image and a better subject to know for sure. The 0.72x (24.5mm) to my eyes looks quite good. Would need a full-res image to make sure. Regardless, it might be an excellent choice if you want a little extra wideness beyond the Canon 0.8x (27.2mm) lens. The 0.66x (22.44) looks a little blurry, although the demo image is not good for spotting problems in the corners. The 0.5x (17mm) lens is definitely blurry in the corners, and will be much worse at higher res. The 0.24x (8.16mm) fisheye lens is fascinating. The corners seem sharp and there is only a moderate amount of chromatic aberration. The barrel distortion is incredible, though. I guess if you allow barrel distortion, you can have sharp corners. Interesting. I have to admit it is refreshing to see a manufacturer showing off their limitations so that a consumer can make a decent buying decision. Might be worth it to support manufacturers like this.

Olympus B-300
The Olympus B-300 1.7x conversion lens apparently works well with the G1. Should take you up to around 170mm (35mm equiv). Here's another site with B-300 samples.

Tiffen MegaPlus Lenses

<- Go Back to my Canon G1 page.

Disclaimers: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned on this page in any way other than as a customer. All trademarks are owned by their respective owners. There are no ads on this page, and there never will be. Use this information at your own risk. The reviewers and I won't be held responsible for anything that happens to you, your camera, or anyone within 5000 miles of you as a result of reading this or as a result of actions taken after reading this. Shake well before serving. The contents of this page are Copyright ©2001, with all rights reserved by me, Ted Felix.

Copyright ©2001, Ted Felix