Kenko 5X Telephoto Lens

Sometimes you need to get more optical zoom than the camcorder has built in. The 2X telephotos do a good job but are not much more magnification. After researching what was available I discovered the Kenko 5X Telephoto Lens which seems to be the strongest one on the market for camcorders.

It comes threaded for a 37mm ring size with 2 additional rings, one for a 49mm ring size and one for a 52mm ring size. My initial tests show it to be fairly good quality for the $100 (67) price tag that is available at some online camera supply sites and it is small and light weight.

The Kenko 5X Telephoto Lens

There are some facts I would like to bring up with regards to a telephoto Lens. The first and most important one is that you will have a reduction of light. ALL telephoto Lens have this to one degree or another. The only time you can get reasonable light is when you spend big bucks and get a huge lens which as far as I know is only available for 35mm Cameras. Second is when you magnify the picture this much you also magnify the shake just as much. I would highly recommend a tripod as the shake is pretty bad unless you have something to brace the camera.

In addition, one final fact is when you are on wide angle you are at 1X and when you go to full zoom on a newer camcorder that is 20X and you have increased 20X in magnification. When you use this telephoto you go from 20X to 100X......that is only 5X more magnification or only 25% of the original zoom amount. It's not 80X more zoom which some people seem to expect.

The above picture is at full wide angle or 1X.

The above picture is at full optical zoom or 20X.

The above picture is with the Kenko 5X telephoto at full zoom.

The pictures are all of the same apartment penthouse 2 blocks away on a dark cloudy day using a Sony TRV-315 Digital 8 camcorder without tripod. The pictures would have been crisper especially the telephoto one had I used a tripod on a sunny day. I wanted to show its magnification if handheld which would be the most common use of it. You can get a comparable picture using the digital zoom and the camera shake is not as bad but you lose the smaller details so something like a persons face would be pixelized without this lens.

Overall, if you need a telephoto lens that has more zoom than a 2X this is your best bet and seems to be the strongest available for camcorders and has a reasonable price.