Canon WD-H43 Wide-converter Lens Tests
With A Canon HV-20 Video Camera

This page details tests I performed using a Canon HV-20 HD video camera with a WD-H43 wide-conversion lens.

Previously, I'd been using a poorly-made Raynox DVR Super Wide Angle Conversion Lens (0.5x), which provided for exceptionally poor photography/videography. That lens had been purchased for (at the time) $80.00 from B&H Photography. The Raynox had very bad edge vignetting, very bad distortion which got worse the farther you got from the lens center, and very obvious chromatic aberration problems - all of which were so bad that the lens ended up providing an optics quality very similar to cheap "Five & Dime Store" toy binocular type optics. (You'll actually get to see this, below.) Had you not known better, you might have thought that the Raynox had actually been constructed as a "special effects" lens; but I assure you that it was not.*

When the Canon WD-H43 wide-teleconverter lens was used with the HV-20, I couldn't notice any edge distortion, nor any chromatic aberration problems - whether on full/high zoom/closeup, or on full wide. There was no vignetting visible at all with the WD-H43. There was almost imperceptable vignetting when a 43mm Hoya UV lens was applied to the HV-20 and the WD-H43 attached atop that. It could only be seen in the very edges of the bottom.

While the Raynox did beat out the WD-H43 in field-of-view, the vignetting with the Raynox is so bad that by the time you're done cropping, it would probably be just about the same FOV, anyway.

I'm not going to comment on colors or brightness and such like that because I did have the camera on fully automatic when I did these particular tests and so any color and/or brightness changes could be due to automatic changes in shutter.

All the images were taken on a bright, sunny day, with few clouds in the sky.

Test Shots Using Just the HV-20

HV-20 Normal Lens - Full Wide Shot HV-20 Normal Lens - Full Zoom Shot

HV-20 with WD-H43 Lens

Canon HV-20 with WD-H43 Lens - Full Wide Shot Canon HV-20 with WD-H43 Lens - Full Zoom Shot

HV-20 with WD-H43 Lens and UV Filter

Canon HV-20 with WD-H43 Lens & UV Filter Attached - Full Wide Shot Canon HV-20 with WD-H43 Lens & UV Filter Attached - Full Zoom Shot

HV-20 with Raynox DVR Super Wide Angle Teleconverter Lens (0.5x)

Canon HV-20 with Raynox DVR Lens - Full Wide Shot Canon HV-20 with Raynox DVR Lens - Full Zoom Shot

All-in-all, I'm a lot more satisfied with this lens than I was with the Raynox, of course. It's obvious just how bad that Raynox was.

The WD-H43 lens does not have any threading on the outside of the lens, so using any kinds of filters on the outside of the lens is not possible. I do have a number of 43mm-sized filters: 2 UVs, 1 warm, 1 haze, and a polarizer. If I have to use the polarizer, at least I know that the vignetting won't be so bad, and that I can crop as far out to the edge as possible without worry of edge distortion, as it appears that there isn't any that I can see with this lens.

Note that while it's POSSIBLE to use a filter on at the neck connection end, most would not recommend it. Still, note that while there is some vignetting when the UV filter is used with the WD-H43, it is minimal and can probably be easilly cropped out without removing very much of the FOV of the scene, if not being minimal enough to just leave alone, as is, for some. There is also some loss of color, as expected.

I'll give it more testing; but it's looking like this one is going to be something I'm going to be much happier with.

Someone is bound to ask, "Why is the BEWARE OF ATTACK CAT" sign in so many different positions througout the photos. That was to help me discern which photos were taken when, using what - because after download, it sometimes becomes difficult to tell which is which. That was a method of identifying for me which photo was which, and what was going on with each photo. No sign meant no lens. Normal positioning meant just the WD-H43. Standing it up on the side indicated WD-H43 with UV filter. See? :O)

Anyway, I hope that this little test helps others who may be trying to make a decision on wide-angle lens purchases for their HV-20. I know there's one or two other WD-H43 test sites, out there. Combined, each can be compared with the others to show something of a uniformity in usage results which the purchaser can feel better about.

* I should also make an important side note, here, about the tactics of B&H Photography. At the time of purchase of the Raynox wide angle lens back in 2007, B&H only had a 14-day return policy, which is very short. I had a lot of important things going on at the time regarding a death in the family and was not able to get to the lens before that time. When I finally was able to test out the lens, found out how bad it was, and then discovered how SHORT their play time was, I was livid to say the least. (Since then, they have changed their policy to a 30-day one.)

Interestingly too, whenever I tried to write a review about how bad the lens was on their online site, they kept deleting them because they were negatively reflecting on the product, and not lauding them. They would not acknowledge me with any contact. They'd simply delete the reviews quietly, surreptitiously, without notice or warning. And I couldn't help but remember that part of their selling tactic to get me hooked on them in the first place was to note how they had "no bad reviews" for anything that they sold. They tried to get me to trust them as being more reputable then anyone else out there. I now know why they had no bad reviews on their site. That's kinda despicable. I tried repeatedly to talk with B&H myself about returning the lens and they refused, citing the 14-day policy. They weren't interested in what the excuses were. They wouldn't even let me exchange for something equivalent in price. I'd spent $80.00 on that lens, and it wasn't worth more than five & dime optics quality. B&H may be the leader in online photography deals simply because a lot of people go to them; but in this case I thought their business tactics very shady and disreputable, and their customer service handling no better than what is seen from some companies in China. While I did deal with them again in this case for the purchase of the WD-H43 lens, I hereby make note that I did so only because they were the cheapest, and because I noted that they'd changed the length of their customer testing period. But I still made that purchase with a wary caution and I most definitely made sure to test that lens right away, this time. If B&H doesn't like this review, well that's kinda tough. They shouldn't have treated me the way that they did the first time. This is one they can't make disappear, this time, because this one is under MY control; not their's.

If you'd like to see other examples of photography taken with the Raynox lens on the HV-20, you can check out my You Tube site, which has a number of videos dealing with some average storm photography, which kinda required the use of a lens with the widest possible FOV. While the Stevi B's movies I think are kinda neat...still...had I had the WD-H43, the edges would have been much sharper, and who knows how much clearer the rest of the picture would have been. :(

Other HV-20 / WD-H43-related Sites

Canon HV-20/30/40:

Canon WD-H43 Lens:

Canon WD-H43 Tests
by Todd L. Sherman / KB4MHH
Page Created: September 08, 2011.
Last Updated: November 10, 2011.

Copyright © 2011- by Todd L. Sherman / KB4MHH.
All Rights Reserved.

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