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Extendable lenses, filters and lens caps

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  • Extendable lenses, filters and lens caps

    I think some of you have an aversion to extendable lenses which I can understand to an extent as it's irritating to see "the lens is locked - please extend the lens" message at just the wrong time. I've had that happen on occasions with my mFT 9-18mm. Yesterday I went out with the Panasonic Lumix 12-32mm I bought a month or two back but haven't used in earnest and have an observation. When mounting the 9-18mm I'd developed the habit of opening the lens immediately as it's just an extension of the twisting movement. Similarly when closing the lens it can be unmounted similarly. The Panny however is the opposite. When you mount the lens, to open it requires a turn in the opposite direction. I found on unmounting it that it would often start to open unless I gripped the very bottom of the lens barrel firmly. Ergonomically then the Panny is inferior in my view. Olympus' long heritage as a camera system designer shows!

    The other day I bought a Gobe polariser for the Panny, a brand I'd not come across before:

    The build quality seems very good and it's beautifully packaged in a circular tin with a foam insert, complete with a cleaning cloth, and they claim to plant five trees with every purchase. It's very slim to avoid vignetting with wide angle lenses - but therein lies a potential problem. The front fliter thread is very shallow and the Panny lens cap doesn't fit very securely. The first time it fell off I noticed and picked it up. The second time I didn't notice, so it lies somewhere in the vicinity of Smardale Bridge in the Smardale Gill Nature Reserve near Kirkby Stephen as I was too tired to walk back and look for it ...! Still, on this evidence I'd recommend Gobe filters as an alternative to other mid-market makes.