DSLR Superwide… Super Fun… Super CHEAP

So back in the film days I was always a wide guy. I like to shoot right around 20mm. I think that look gives the untrained eye/brain that surreal – I’m taking in more visual information than I normally can – feel without being so wide that’s it obvious camera trickery. So I got a low end 20-35mm at a reasonable price and everyone was happy.

Then along came the DSLR with it’s small sensor and “1.6 crop factor” and my beloved 20mm super wide is now a 32mm piece of crap. I didn’t worry. I trusted the big corporation to look out for my needs. I waited. Then finally they saw the error in their ways and came out with a 10-22mm lens perfect for my needs. And since they love me so much they were willing to give it to me for the low low price of 700 dollars. Too much right? So I went looking for other options and found what I’ll call wide angle conversion lenses. Search for that exact phrase and you should get decent results.

I got a Digital Optics .45x. It threads on to my 18-55mm kit lens so theoretically (assuming all the focal length claims are accurate) I’m at 18×1.6x.45=13mm at the wide end! Actually… when zoomed all the way out I get some serious vignetting and distortion but that cleans up pretty quick zooming in a little or cropping in post and I’m still well under 20mm. I see them new for as low as 40 bucks and I got mine used for 20. Obviously the quality of the glass is going to be awful but hey… I love all kinds of toys with all different levels of quality so if I can be back to my 20mm for 20 bucks low quality is not going to stand in my way.

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