Kodak Zi8 Mod: Wide angle lens w/ macro attachment
November 6, 2009
I 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.
Installation: 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:
Without Wide Angle
With Wide Angle