ZS40 with Teleconverters

 


I tested the adapter described in the previous section (here) using the ZS40 with the Nikon E15ED and Olympus C180 teleconverters.   The ZS40 plus adapter with the Olympus C180 TC attached is shown below.


ZS40 with adapter and Olympus C180 TC attached


My tests were all carried out hand-held, since my intention was to use the setup as a lightweight carry-around for bird shots and to avoid needing to carry a tripod.  Although the ZS40 has improved OIS compared with the ZS30, and it seems quite stable for shots at E720mm (720mm as 35mm equivalent) the OIS is not designed for longer optical focal lengths. 


I found that without any TC attached to the ZS40 I was able to achieve sharp hand-held images using a shutter speed of 1/60s at E720mm and f/6.4, but not at a speed any slower than that.  Therefore the TCs would need to be used at faster shutter speeds than 1/60s to ensure sharp images, meaning good light outdoors is required.



Tests at a distance of 30m (100ft)


I tested both the Olympus C180 and the shortened Nikon E15ED on the ZS40 hand-held at max zoom (E720mm) and 100 ISO at a distance of 30m from the power pole which I had used in previous tests.  The full-sized images can be viewed by clicking on the images shown below.


Above: ZS40 at 30m without any TC; f/6.4, 1/250s, 100 ISO


Above: ZS40 at 30m with Nikon E15ED; f/6.4, 1/320s, 100 ISO


Above: ZS40 at 30m with Olympus C180; f/6.4, 1/400s, 100 ISO


Above: Comparison of 100% crops


Both TCs gave good IQ with no visible vignetting.  The thread on the bolt in the crops is hardly visible in the ZS40 without TC image, whereas it is slightly visible in the ZS40+E15ED image, and quite visible in the ZS40+C180 image.


The magnification at 30m was 1.45x for the E15ED, and 1.62x for the C180.  The C180 gave some slight CA along high contrast edges when viewed at 100%, but this was generally not noticeable at normal viewing sizes.



Tests at a distance of 13m (40ft)


I tested the C180 and the E15ED hand-held as above at max zoom (E720mm) but using a life-sized polyresin bird (a galah) at a distance of 13m.  The full-sized images can be viewed by clicking on the images shown below.



Above: ZS40 without TC at 13m; f/6.4, 1/400s, 100 ISO



Above: ZS40 with E15ED at 13m; f/6.4, 1/500s, 100 ISO



Above: ZS40 with C180 at 13m; f/6.4, 1/400s, 100 ISO



Above: Comparison of 100% crops


Similar results in relation to IQ were obtained as in the 30m tests, but the magnification values at 13m were slightly less, being 1.44x for the E15ED and 1.60x for the C180.


It seems this setup is suitable for hand-held bird shots outdoors in good light using either TC.  The C180 has the advantage of being lighter in weight than the shortened E15ED (80g versus 200g) and it has a higher power (1.7x versus 1.5x for the E15ED).  However, the C180 can show slight CA in some situations whereas the E15ED generally does not.



Use with a Tripod


The Nikon E17ED is a large and heavy TC that requires the use of a tripod.  I tested the ZS40 plus adapter with the E17ED for shots of the moon, as posted on the DPR Panasonic forum here.


In this case the TC was mounted on a tripod using the bracket supplied with the TC.  The ZS40 with adapter attached, being relating lightweight, was then connected to the TC for use.


Below is a shot of the half moon using that setup (click on the image for the full sized view).



ZS40 at maximum zoom with adapter plus tripod-mounted Nikon E17ED; f/6.4, 1/100s, 100 ISO




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