Most helpful critical review
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2011
I purchased the Kodak Wide-Angle Lens to go with my Kodak zi8 mini camcorder. I primarily use the camera to shoot punk bands in small clubs and I found I needed a wider angle to get closer to the action.
The setup was easy: Stick the magnetic ring to the camera, let is set for a day, then stick the magnetic lens to the ring. I've seen lots of complaints about the magnetic ring not adhering to the camera, but I haven't had any problems. Just make sure to clean the camera surface before sticking the ring to it and let it sit for a day to "cure". I've used this thing in some pretty extreme environments and the magnetic ring has not budged.
For the price, it does what it's supposed to do (widen the image) but don't expect miracles.
The lens is only "fair" in quality. There is a lot of distortion around the edges of the image. I don't mean that "stretchy/fisheye" kind of distortion - I'm talking about a degraded/blurry image around the edges. Since these videos are primarily for uploading on YouTube, I'm not worried about the distortion too much.
The biggest problem I've found is with the lens getting knocked off the camera. Getting slammed around in a crowded room or getting whacked by flailing arms, hair or crowd surfers will happen from time to time, but with no tether to keep the lens attached to the camera, when it's knocked off, it's gone.
After having it knocked off a few times, I was able to find and re-attach (and in all honesty, the lens is structurally well-built - after getting kicked around and stepped on, the lens was just fine) to keep shooting. But it was knocked off the last time when the guitarists long hair swiped across the camera, taking the lens with it. It was not recovered.
Perhaps if Kodak placed a little tether ring on the lens, allowing the user to loop a string through and attach it to the camera, I would give it another star, but with this and the fair-to-poor image quality, I give it 3 out of 5 stars... and that third star is only because of the low price.