51X Ultra Super Zoom FujiFilm HS10, HS20EXR and Sony VCL-DH1758 Teleconverter

FujiFilm HS20 with a Sony VCL-HG1758 teleconverter.

FujiFilm HS20 EXR with the larger, heavier Sony VCL-HG1758 teleconverter.
 

FujiFilm HS20 with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter.

FujiFilm HS20 EXR with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter attached. With this lens attached I now have a 51x (1224mm) ultra super zoom camera in a very affordable and small package... that is when compared to a SLR camera with a 1224mm lens.
 

Sony VCL-HG1758 and VCL-DH1758 Teleconverter.

The larger Sony VCL-HG1758 (left) and the VCL-DH1758 (right) both 58mm 1.7x teleconverters.
 

JJC Shutter Release for my HS20EXR Camera

Another very useful accessory for my HS20exr is my JJC wireless shutter release that I found on Amazon.com.

While cruising the internet checking out information on the new FujiFilm HS20 EXR camera I stumbled into a 1.7x teleconverter that people are using with the HS10. After reading many remarks from others using the Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter on their HS10 cameras I had to find one of these lenses for myself. I was able to get a used lens from Adorama.com.

The lens works great on the camera! I do find that there is a little distortion towards the edges of the photos taken with the lens on the HS10. With the lens on the camera I have a 51x(1224mm) lens system. Taking video and photos of deer, elk and varmints at long range just got very better.

A few weeks after getting the lens I realized that the lens I thought I was getting wasn't the lens I got. What does that mean? Well I had no idea that there are actually two Sony lenses that are very similarly named, the VCL-DH1758 and the VCL-HG1758. The VCL-HG1758 that I have is nearly twice as heavy, weighing in at 15 oz. while the VCL-DH1758 is only 8.8 oz. In all my research around the web I thought that there was only the one lens and that it was 8.8 oz. Now that I have figured out that there are actually two(maybe more) varieties of 58mm 1.7x Sony lenses I would probably prefer the lighter of the two. The HG1758 might take better photos as it is more expensive, but it is also a little heavy on the end of my HS20 and HS10's extended telephoto lenses. That being, I are very careful when using the cameras with this heavier VCL-HG1758 lens attached. Looks like I will have to track down a VCL-DH1758 and give it a try. I would prefer the lighter and smaller lens.

Other teleconverter options would be the Canon TC-DC58C at 2.0x power which would get the camera up to 60x. This teleconverter weighs in at 12 ounces according to the specs and appears to be longer. Also checking around people are using this lens but the threads are recessed and require a little modification to attach the lens directly to the camera.

The Raynox DCR-2025PRO at 2.2x would be another teleconverter option that intrigues me the most. This would give me a 66x optical zoom. This lens is running around $275 and the lens appears to be much longer than my VCL-DH1758 I am currently using.

Update April 10, 2011: Thanks to Ebay I now have a VCL-DH1758. So far the image quality appears to be a little bit better as I am seeing less blurriness around the edges of the photos. Looks like I will use the VCL-DH1758 over the VCL-HG1758 lens as it is half the weight and I think it takes a little better photos. The only advantage that I can see from the VCL-HG1758 is that it should bring in more light with it's larger diameter.

I love my Fujifilm HS10 but found the speed in taking photos(less delay before I can take another photo) and higher resolution images of the HS20 EXR to be too tempting, and I ordered a HS20 from B&H Photo.

You can see many photos and video clips I took with the FujiFilm HS10 on my 2010 Oklahoma Whitetail Hunt — Hunting with 243 WSSM & 270 WSM Rifles journal entry.

The following bird photos are all the full frame of the original image with no cropping.
Cedar Waxwing taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter. Coopers Hawk taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr.
This Cedar Waxwing photo was taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr and a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter attached. This Coopers Hawk photo was taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr being hand held, at dusk and at 30x. Not too bad for a low light, high zoom, hand held photo.
Bullock's Oriole photo taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter. Blackheaded Grosbeak photo taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter.
This Bullock's Oriole photo was taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr and a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter attached. This Blackheaded Grosbeak photo was taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr and a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter attached.
Western Tanager photo taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter. Lazuli Bunting photo taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter.
This Western Tanager photo was taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr and a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter attached. This Lazuli Bunting photo was taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr and a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter attached.
Gold Finch photo taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter. House Finch photo taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr with a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter.
This Gold Finch photo was taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr and a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter attached. This House Finch photo was taken with my FujiFilm HS20exr and a Sony VCL-DH1758 teleconverter attached.

Spotted Tohwee photo taken with my FujiFilm HS10 with a Sony VCL-HG1758 teleconverter.

Spotted Tohwee photo taken with my FujiFilm HS10 with a Sony VCL-HG1758 teleconverter.

With the lack of antlered deer or elk to take photos of this time of the year I found a Spotted Towhee in the back yard. These Spotted Towhee photos were taken with my FujiFilm HS10 with a Sony VCL-HG1758 teleconverter. These Towee photos have been cropped some to remove the distorted outer edges.

The HS20 has a disk buffer that allows you to continue to take photos while the photos are being written to the SDHC flash memory. I like to take both raw and jpg photos at the same time and the camera allows me to take a photo about every two seconds while each photo takes about 10 seconds to write to the SDHC memory card. Where on my HS10 I was waiting the full 10 seconds between every photo before I could take another.

Although the HS20 camera does allow for me to take photos quicker it only allows me to do this with the camera in EXR or Auto modes or if I leave the manual setting the same. If I need to manually adjusting the shutter speed, ISO, or aperture I have to wait the full 10 seconds for the image to write to the SDHC card before I can change any setting.

Comparing the video of the HS10 to the HS20exr: They both have full HD 1920x1080 video options. My HS10 had an audible clicking sound in the background that I can only think came from the auto focus but I am not for sure. I do not get the clicking sound on the HS20exr. The auto focusing on the HS10 is better. The default focus setting with the HS20exr drives me crazy as it constantly is going in and out of focus even when the subject matter isn't moving or changing distance. I had to set the camera's "Movie AF Mode" to "Center" to be able to get any decent video. With it set in this mode I have to press the shutter while I am taking a video to refocus if the subject has moved to a different distance. Clicking the shutter during video capture takes a JPG only image and creates a couple second "skip" in the video. Also the high speed frame rate options of the HS10 are far superior. I enjoy taking slow motion action of bullets and the like and the high speed video options I had on the HS10 I really miss now that I am using the HS20exr. If it wasn't for the clicking sound on the HS10 it would be the hands down winner of the two when it comes to video.

One thing I really liked for the RAW photos of the HS10 was the ability to open the photos in PhotoShop and adjust them using Adobe's Camera Raw 6.3. The files on both the HS10 and HS20 have RAF extensions however Camera Raw 6.3 is not able to open the HS20's raw formatted images. Hopefully Adobe will add this format to it's list of supported raw formats soon... I'm not real fond of the software that comes with the camera to open the raw files.

Update April 27, 2011: Adobe just released Camera Raw 6.4 and it has support for the FujiFilm HS20EXR camera and other FujiFilm EXR cameras. Thank you Adobe!

Update May 30, 2011: After a month of playing around with Adobe's Camera Raw 6.4 and images from my FujiFilm HS20exr camera, I have found that the images are very noisy and difficult to impossible to remove the noise without degrading the quality of the photos. I'm learning to use "Raw File Converter EX powered by SILKYPIX" that comes with the camera to open my RAW image files. I have no noisy issues on my photos using the SilkyPix software... I just prefer and am more familiar with Adobe's software but until the images come in without all the noise I'm stuck with SilkyPix.

Oct. 2013: After a couple years of use my HS20exr developed a blurry spot in the center of the lenses internally. I have now upgraded to a HS50exr. View some of the first photos from my HS50exr.

Snow Capped Mountain Sunrise Photo Taken With A FujiFilm HS20 Camera.

Here is one of the first photos I took with my new FujiFilm HS20 camera. I was hand holding the camera as the early morning sun light was lighting up snow covered mountains near my house. These mountains I would guess are around five miles from where I am taking the photo from.

 

FujiFilm HS20exr Panorama Photo in Wyoming.
Here is a panoramic photo I took with my Fujifilm HS20exr while on a trip hunting prairie dogs in the summer of 2011.

 

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