March 26, 2010

New lens options for budget camcorders

Many people who buy camcorders with interchangeable lenses only have one lens - mainly because video lenses can be as expensive as the camera itself. Now a small British company, Adaptimax, has brought out a range of adapters that allow you to fit stills photography lenses from Canon and Nikon to 1/3-inch or half-inch camcorders, such as Sony's PMW-EX3, HVR-Z7 or HVR-S270, JVC's GY-HM700, GY-HD 100 or 200, and Panasonic's HPX300. The Canon converter only works with Canon EF lenses and the EX3.

It previously had an EX3 adapter for Nikon lenses, but only old lenses that had an external aperture ring (a limitation that also applies to its new 1/3-inch bayonet adaptor). However, its new Adaptimax Plus (for the EX3 - pictured right) can use all Nikon lenses, including DX and G-series models, and allows users to open and close the aperture using a thumb screw.

It opens up a whole array of interesting lenses to camcorder users (a Nikon 55mm macro lens can be bought for as little as £50 on e-bay - one is pictured top fitted to the Z7). "You can also add very long lenses. When you factor in the crop factor of an EX3 (5.4), a 1000mm lens becomes 5400mm," explains Steve Shovlar, Adaptimax' sales director. "You don't lose any light, so you can stop right down." Prices range from £195 to £235.

By David Fox

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