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Frequently-asked questions
about the OpticZoom 5x lens
Which cameras with with the OpticZoom?

Please refer to the OpticZoom camera compatibility table to see which cameras work with the OpticZoom and what parts you need to attach OpticZoom to your camera.

Are you going to carry any other lenses? Smaller magnifications, wide angle, etc.

Not at this time. We have been recommending Kenko lenses to customers, generally available from CKC Power (www.ckcpower.com) and B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio (www.bhphotovideo.com).

OpticZoom overview

OpticZoom camera compatibility table

The OpticZoom looks to be a pretty heavy lens. Does the Xtend-a-Lens hold it properly on the Kodak cameras?

Absolutely. We have no qualms at all about mounting the OpticZoom on the Xtend-a-Lens and then putting it on a DC260 or DC290. The rubber sleeve in the Xtend-a-Lens grips the barrel very tightly and provides a very secure connection.

Do you have to use the Xtend-a-Lens with the OpticZoom, or will it work with a Kodak adapter? What else do I need to use the OpticZoom lens with Xtend-a-Lens?

We've tested the OpticZoom with the Kodak adapter, and it does work okay. In order to use the OpticZoom with the Xtend-a-Lens, you will need a 49mm-to-37mm thread converter (for the Xtend-a-Lens 290) or 43mm-to-37mm thread converter (for the Xtend-a-Lens 4800). For other Xtend-a-Lens products, you may need other step down rings or lens converters.

I've heard that auto-focus is often affected by these add-on lenses because the lens barrels block the focusing beams. Does the auto-focus function work on the DC26X and DC290 cameras when you use the OpticZoom lens?

Yes, it works well. The only trick to focusing properly with the OpticZoom is to use the following steps consistently:

1. Frame the picture using the LCD.
2. Half-press the shutter release to allow the camera to focus on the scene.
3. Use the built in focusing barrel on the OpticZoom to fine-focus the picture. In sunlight, this can be difficult (the Xtend-a-View can help in this situation).

If you don't use the steps above, it's possible to get a series of unfocused shots, and you won't be able to figure out why.

Does vignetting occur with the OpticZoom?

Yes, but only below the 2x zoom position of the Kodak DC26X and DC290 cameras. Above 2x, the pictures are fine. Vignetting has been reported on some other cameras due to their shorter focal lengths. Generally speaking the vignetting is eliminated above 2.5x zoom. (Vignetting or "optical tunneling" occurs when light is blocked by the edges of optical devices. In mild cases, it appears as dark areas in the corners of an image. In more severe cases, the desired image appears inside a dark circle, as it it were being viewed through a tunnel or pipe. You can see examples of vignetting in our OpticZoom 5x lens photo gallery.)

I'm always a bit concerned about the light reduction that occurs with add-on lenses. Is this a problem with the OpticZoom?

In normal lighting situations, we haven't found a single instance where we had to adjust the exposure settings to compensate for the OpticZoom. Furthermore, there is virtually no degradation in the quality of the resulting picture either.

I've seen some of your pictures at the maximum magnification, and some others beyond that (15x and 45x!). Is it difficult to take these kinds of pictures? Do I need a tripod?

Above 10x (2x of the camera and 5x OpticZoom), a tripod is recommended, although we have been able to take handheld pictures successfully by adjusting the shutter speed of the camera to a higher setting, and leaning up against a tree or post. For the really long shots (45x), we don't use anything except a tripod. The key here is to experiment a bit. Get comfortable with the lens. Nothing happens overnight, so if you have a special project planned, take some time before the shot to become familiar with the special interaction between your camera and the OpticZoom.

What if I have questions that aren't addressed here?

Try the Xtend-a-Lens FAQ for pages related to Xtend-a-Lens, or visit the questions and answers area of our Message Board.