WC-E24!

Nikon WC-E24 wide angle converter.

After using a Sony wide angle converter for a year, I decided to try the official Nikon wide angle lens for the CP950.

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Size: The lens (center) is a LOT smaller than the lens that I had been using. The Sony lens is on the right. Also shown is a neat little leather pouch that you get with the WC-E24. The Nikon lens is very light, and small enough that you might keep it on all the time.

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Native 950 full wide angle shot. (above)

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Now with the WC-E24 (the parking lot is on a hill so it looks tilted, I think that I had the tripod level...) The field of view is supposed to be 88 degrees, I didn't actually measure it. (above)

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The Sony 0.6X lens. At this scale, there isn't much difference.

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Actual size crop from the Nikon lens shot from an area near the edge so that you can compare detail.

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Corresponding area from the Sony converter shot. I think that you can see that the Nikon shot is sharper.

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Internal reflections with the lens pointing near the Sun.

Comments and summary:

This is a very nice lens. A few comments about it...

* The quality is quite good. I notice only a small reduction in image quality near the edges with the lens on. There is a slight increase in chromatic aberration near the edges. When compared to the Sony add-on converter, which is not specifically made for the Nikon, the lens really looks great. All of the lens surfaces seem to be coated. I count 4 reflections. The lens is sharp enough that you could leave it on all the time.

* The small size is a plus. The lens is small enough to keep on all the time. The small size makes it much easier to carry in your pocket in the little pouch than the big TC-E2.

* Like the TC-E2, the lens does not change the exposure when you use it. The was probably done so that the camera would calculate flash exposures correctly.

* Speaking of the flash, the lens does block the flash sensor slightly, but does not cover the flash. However, at wide angle, the lens will cast a shadow on the right side of the field if you use the internal flash. I used an external flash with the lens to very good effect. The internal flash is really not usable with the lens on, light from the flash reflects back into the sensor and will underexpose your shot.

* The lens blocks the right 30% of the optical viewfinder, if you care.

* The lens can be used in macro mode. With the lens on, you can get so close in macro mode that the object touches the lens surface and still focus. There does not seem to be much advantage in having the lens on for macro work in that the usable field of view appears to be the same as with the lens off (I had heard that it let you get closer, but that did not seem to be the case). There does seem to be more depth of field which can be good for macro though.

* I never bothered to set the wide angle lens setting in the camera. The lens does not vignette at any zoom level.

* Barrel distortion is actually pretty minimal compared to other wide angle lenses that I have tried, much better than using the Sony converter. Images are surprisingly flat near the edges on full wide. There is still some distortion however, which can make a panorama hard to line up.

* There are no threads for filters on the WC-E24, in spite of the rumors. There is a thread inside the barrel for the lens retaining ring, but there are only about 1/2 turn of threads left for you to put a filter on. Even if you did manage to attach a filter, the lens will then vignette; prove it yourself by holding a pencil point near the edge of the lens.  The lens does have a problem with internal reflections if you point it too near the sun, and you cannot add a sunshade; even if you manage to attach something the 88 degree field of view would be blocked. The problems are minor, however.

* Overall, I'm glad that I bought it!