Wide Angle Lens

Feb 10, 2005
Denton, TX
Hey guys,
I'm looking at possibly buying a wide angle lens for my camcorder, but am wondering is it really worth it? Also, what lens would you guys suggest? I shoot with a Panasonic GS-400, it has a 43mm screw on lens mount. Any help would be appreciated!
In my opinion, wide-angle video lenses aren't as useful for chasing as they may seem. There are only a handful of times you would want to use it (fulll storm structure shots) and even then you are usually going to want to zoom in on storm details (lowering/tornado, etc) at around the same time. Wide angles, even the zoom-through models, also tend to degrade the image especially when zoomed in.

I have expensive wide angles for two of my video cameras, but they weren't used at all in the Plains last year. Too much trouble to take them off and put them back on in the heat of the chase. I'd rather have the camera ready to zoom in close on a tornado and its debris. Especially since on both of those cams you have to take the lens hood off to put the wide angle on. Without the hood and with the large glass surface area, raindrops get on it a lot easier too. You can get hoods for wide angles but they are usually flimsy or very shallow.
I agree with Dan. I have a wide-angle lens attachment for my VX2100, and I've never used it in the field. I guess the only time I'd use it is pre-tornado, when I'd like to get large structure shots. Otherwise, it's a pain to take it on and off... Well, it doesn't take THAT much, but it's just not something I want to mess with when a tornado is imminent or ongoing, not with worrying about driving, next road options, taking still pictures, keeping the tornado centered on the video, etc. The wideangle adapter I have isn't very good, since I get some severe corner-darkening, but oh well.