Kodak Zi8 Mod: Wide angle lens w/ macro attachment

November 6, 2009

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DSCF0016I recently purchased this wide angle adapter lens because sometimes, it’s not possible to stand further back to get a wider shot.  This is especially true at family events where you want to capture those special moments in a single frame without having to constantly pan about the room.  Or if you’re traveling and you want to capture as much of the scenery as possible in a single shot, it would be nice if your camera has a wide-angle lens.  I got the Zi8 for it’s overall portability.  It is tiny when compared to my Canon HV20.  The tiny fixed lens of the Zi8 does not offer much versatility.  After searching online for a solution to this inconvenience, I stumbled upon a video that was made by stanovoy on youtube.  I saw the video he made with his Zi8 and this lens and knew I had to have it.

I bought it from usbfever.com I believe it’s a company based in Hong Kong.   Kudos to them for getting the lens to me in less than 2 weeks @ $2.99 for shipping (The website states 2-6 weeks for shipping. I guess I lucked out.)  I placed the order.  The next day I received a confirmation number complete with a tracking code from USPS (The United States Postal Service.) 5 days later, the lens arrived in a small beige envelope.

The Lens: The lens has two components, a front element and the macro lens.  Basically, when you unscrew the front element, you have a macro lens.  Without the macro lens, the Zi8′s minimum distant to focus is approximately 6 inches.  With this macro lens, the minimum distance is less than 1 inch.  That means, incredible close ups of anything.  For example, I tested it on some garden herbs growing in a pot on the porch.  I was able to see the hairs on the leaves in great detail.  The video is included below.

DSCF0020Installation: The installation took no time at all.  This is a magnetic set up.  Included are 2 magnetic washers.  Attach one to the camera.  The lens itself is already fitted with a magnetic washer.  The extra washer is a spare.  Attach the lens and you’re done.     Notice how the actual washer is not obtrusive.  That’s one thing I like about this particular set-up.  The magnetic washer blends in with the design of the camera.  The magnets that are used are fairly strong and does a great job holding the lens in place, but I wouldn’t hold the camera with the lens attached outside the window of a car going at 70 mph.

The lens installed:

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Screen shot 2009-11-05 at 9.52

Without Wide Angle

Screen shot 2009-11-05 at 9.44.18 PM

With Wide Angle

Screen shot 2009-11-05 at 9.46.05 PM

Screen shot 2009-11-05 at 9.46.52 PM

Screen shot 2009-11-05 at 9.45.35 PM

Sample Video:

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44 Responses to “Kodak Zi8 Mod: Wide angle lens w/ macro attachment”

  1. Del Says:

    That’s awesome dude! Ordered one for my Zi8 today based on your review..

    Thanks for posting it!!

    -Del

  2. Ryan Says:

    Thanks for the info, I just ordered this kit! I’ll let you know how it works out for me! Good write up!


  3. where can I get this lens?

  4. Kevin Says:

    Dealextreme has this for cheaper, $11.10 with free shipping!

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14953

    Too bad I already ordered from USBFever.

  5. Kevin Says:

    Also, I recommend the 2x zoom lens. usbfever and dealextreme both have it.

  6. Peter P. Says:

    Completely satisfied with the Kodak Zi8. Took it on vacation to Hawaii and captured beautiful video of paradise and vacation events. Easy to use, compact, high quality video.

  7. Dibas Says:

    Hey man,

    Nice review, I got the 170º fish eye lens from usbfever and my really happy with that…I also brought one Zi8 and I can’t w8 till it arrives.


  8. [...] a similar issue which is why both the Zi8 and Flip cameras have an active community of people that modify their camera with external lenses. I plan on purchasing a 0.67X wide angle+macro, 2X telescopic and a fisheye lens to attach to the [...]

  9. Kyle Says:

    Thanks for the post, it has really helped. I think I’m going to pick up both the wide angle lens and fish eye. Then put a magnetic ring on both my Zi8 and iPhone.

  10. Victor Says:

    Would this work with the Kodak zi6?

  11. Joel Zehring Says:

    Thanks for your excellent review and recommendation. This will go on my wish list immediately!

  12. Bob Horn Says:

    Excellent – really set a mood with the music. I had no idea that Chicago could look so good from this angle.


  13. [...] a similar issue which is why both the Zi8 and Flip cameras have an active community of people that modify their camera with external lenses. I plan on purchasing a 0.67X wide angle+macro, 2X telescopic and a fisheye lens to attach to the [...]

  14. Mike Says:

    Awesome. I’m going to be getting me a few lenses for this, do I have to remove the black ring around the lens in order to install the ring? How well does the adhesive stick on after being used for a while with putting on and removing lenses? Since the magnet is strong it makes me wonder how well this adhesive will hold up to multiple lens changes.

  15. Mike Says:

    I found this: usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=596

    and this: usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=718

    wondering if either one of these will work with the camera. I take a lot of video outdoors of animals and would like to be able to have a zoom that doesn’t make my picture grainy. If anyone has any insight to a lens like this that will work I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Kevin Says:

      Most likely you’ll have to make your own mount.
      Also, remember that
      “This is a fixed 6X optical Zoom lens, not a gradual / changeable (0 ~ 6X) optical zoom.”

      • Mike Says:

        thank you very much, I just found a way to mount it on youtube using epoxy putty, which will make a bracket and make it so you don’t damage your camera. I am aware it’s a 6x which is fine because I don’t need to zoom in or out with it for what I need the zoom for anyway. I do appreciate you informing me just in case. I’m sure that info will be helpful to anyone else that might stumble across this. Thanks again!

  16. Mike Says:

    sorry, I meant I knew it was a FIXED 6x. Left a word out on the previous post.

  17. Bob Horn Says:

    Took your advise and bought one of these babies for my Kodak Zi8. Took a little under two weeks to get it. Worked as advertised. Had a little trouble getting the metal ring centered on the lens – it’s a little off center but works fine – no soft edges. The macro piece is amazing if I ever want to follow an ant colony around. LOL The video demo you did was great! You video matched my experience with the supplemental lens perfectly. Got exactly what I expected plus more. Great JOB!

  18. Jose Castro Blunt Says:

    Wow! I stumbled to thsi site by fate and I am glad I did co’s I’m really going to enjoy my ZI8 with this amazing wide angle lense from HK. Thank you very much for sharing your priceless findings. I am also a good photographer and I can’t wait to start shooting close-up subjects when I get my new gadget. More power to you bro!

  19. Trisha Brown Says:

    What a great post, I will get my Kodak Ki8 soon.

  20. Mike Says:

    I just got my lenses in one quick question. The black ring around the lens on the Zi8 that says F 2.8/f=6.34 do you have to remove that and then put the metal ring on it or do you attach the metal ring right to this existing black plastic ring? I don’t want to take any chances of it falling off and am not sure if this is how it’s done in the video above or if it’s removed.

  21. Bob Horn Says:

    Mike,

    STOP – don’t try to remove the black ring. The silver ring with adhesive sticks to the black ring.
    Your biggest challenge is to get it centered on the black ring. Don’t press down till your sure it’s centered over the lens. If it’s off a little bit – no big disaster – it should work just fine. If you mess up placing the ring really bad, you only have one ring left. Take your time!

    I’ve had no problems with the ring coming off. Works great and it’s way cool! Good luck!

  22. Mike Says:

    Bob,
    Thank you, I wasn’t going to go and attach it until I got an answer. I figured it went over the black ring but had to ask to make sure. Didn’t want to screw up. Thank you very much for the information I really do appreciate it!!!

    • Kevin Says:

      I did remove the black ring. It’s attached with some (srong) double sided tape. Doesnt make any difference (besides looks :) )

      • Mike Says:

        Interesting, thanks for that info. I already attached it onto the black ring already. If I have any issues with it like this I will give your method a try with the other ring that comes with the lens. Thank you very much!

  23. sklerad Says:

    wow this is really informative. I should recieve my Zi8 tomorrow….im like a kid before xmas…

    Just ordered this lens attachment…really look forward to trying it out…

    thanks very much!

  24. Ideaguy Says:

    What you guys using for external mic for this camera

  25. Jonathan Says:

    Is there another option for even higher quality macro / wide angle lenses? Can you provide a link?

  26. Jake Says:

    Question. Wouldn’t the magnetic washers screw with the Cameras electronics at all?

    That being said, could you possibly use this, and a whole bunch of step-up rings to add a 35mm adapter? Or is that something you should do through a different method?

  27. Carl Kuhn Says:

    Can you tell me how I can get a replacement lens cover for my Zi8. I noticed that it came off and am unable to find one for sale??

  28. tonymain Says:

    Wow! Amazing! Gonna buy one soon… :D

  29. Glenn Says:

    Hi,
    I would also like to purchase the wide angle / macro lens for my Zi8. However, I’ve been ‘stung’ along with many other people here in the U.K by purchasing from Hong kong based companies (and U.S ones).
    Do you know any reputable companies even in the U.K that sell these. I don’t fancy getting ripped off again.
    Regards from the U.K Glenn

  30. luvbacklite Says:

    Totally amazing, you have a great eye, thank you for sharing your art!!
    jim

  31. mdcarter Says:

    Does anyone know if this can work with the Kodak Playsport ? Thanks a lot :)

  32. Dana Ross Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I love the camera but need that wide attachment. Very good.

  33. François Says:

    I’m very interested in this Web page.
    possibilité to use the angles lens and macro attachment with a camera Kodak Playsport?

    Thank


  34. [...] a similar issue which is why both the Zi8 and Flip cameras have an active community of people that modify their camera with external lenses. I plan on purchasing a 0.67X wide angle+macro, 2X telescopic and a fisheye lens to attach to the [...]

  35. Bishop Says:

    What’s the difference between these sub-$15 wide angle lenses and the lens that are about $35 to $45 (http://www.newworldvideodirect.com/productdetail.asp?productid=204690) and the “HD” wide angle for $59? http://www.newworldvideodirect.com/productdetail.asp?ProductID=249735

  36. JJ Says:

    Thanks for the website info. I bought mine for 16.99 plus 6.99 shipping. Here is the lens description. Please tell me if I bought the correct lens. Thanks!

    Magnetic / Detachable Wide Angle + Macro Lens for iPhone / iPod Nano 5th / Cellphone / Kodak Zi8.

    It also appears to be 67xmm and Macro. Just ordered it today.

  37. Lasereye Says:

    Here’s my video showing off my macro – wide angle lens adapter using my Kodak Zi8 camera. http://vimeo.com/19729517

  38. Denes Ujvari Says:

    This lense will change the way you use your camera zi8 or zi6
    The Macro adaptor is excellent , check out macro nature shots at http://www.digital-den.com.au
    Printed on canvas they look amazing …. Great product and works as described , just too easy to use .


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