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You get what you pay for (an echo), but...
on January 21, 2012
The lens is cheap, and I know enough about optics and cameras to be forewarned that I may have just thrown away $17.00. The lens arrived in a plastic bubble envelope (Sigh). I was prepared for the worst. The manufacturers box was crushed badly (second Sigh). Then I find that this is made by Vivitar, a fact not mentioned in the product description (well maybe this isn't so bad). Then I noticed that the magnification factor is 0.43 and not 0.45x as shown in the product photo (Not a real big deal, but kinda makes one wonder how careful these folks are). I tried it out on my Canon T2i 18-55 lens. There is vignetting at 18mm zoom, although the manufacturers suggestion is to use the maximum wide angle setting. However at this setting it is the equivalent of a 12mm lens (35mm film photography-I just can't get used to the small sensor focal length factors). Vignetting disappears at about 24mm zoom (16mm in 35mm equivalent). At 35 mm zoom the lens gives me a 24mm focal length equivalent. So for $17.00 I get to extend my wide angle capabilities below the 28mm equivalent on the standard Canon lens to as low as maybe 15-18mm in 35 mm equivalents with the supplementary lens. Hey not bad for a cheap lens. I'll probably only use it for those special times I need an extreme (for me) wide angle. When I did 35mm film photography I had a 21mm, 24mm, and a 28mm wide angle. Mostly I used the 28mm, sometimes the 24mm and rarely the 21mm. So right now with only a bit of testing, this looks like I didn't waste $17.00 after all.
UPDATE: I did more testing and the most significant result is that the there is significant chromatic aberration outside the central 50 percent of the photo. The aberration is most noticeable at higher magnifications. It seems that if you do some judicious cropping and don't make big enlargements is won't be so noticeable--particularly at 8 x 10 or maybe 11 x 14.