Cheap Bower Wide Angle Lens Converter Review

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A couple of years after shooting for a while with a 18-75 lens on my Canon 350D I wanted something wider. My budget didn’t allow for a true wide-angle lens and on Ebay I found a compromise. Most reviews I found were quite dismissive with bad lens quality being the common piece of criticism. I don’t see myself as a pixel peeper and went ahead and ordered this $45 lens converter from Bower. It’s a piece of glass that goes over your standard lens using step-up or step-down rings. The wide-angle conversion rate is 0.42 so my 18-75mm lens becomes 8.1-34mm.

The Good

This lens does transform whatever lens you have into a wide-angle view. For those looking for a toy-like camera lens, like those people buying Holga and Diana lenses for DSLR’s this lens has certain qualities that give it that toy plastic lens feeling. These qualities are certain discolorations and vignetting. This lens did allow me to take one of my most popular self-portraits on flickr.
self portrait

The Ugly

Like mentioned above, this lens does have heavy discoloration, vignetting and putting another piece of glass On my lens makes it slower and less sharp. If I want a clean image it takes quite some post-processing to get there.
boker wide angle (2)

Cartier-Bresson Top Tip

Crank up your aperture to at least f9, this will increase your depth of field and increase your chances of having your subject in focus.
boker wide angle (1)

Conclusion

If you want a lens that give your DSLR a feel and look of toycamera wideangle this lens converter is perfect. If this is not the case, I would steer clear and save up money until you can afford a true wideangle lens.

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