Panasonic LX5 tricked out with a couple of accessories - Part 1

Recently I came to the realization that (for me) the LX5 is not a pocket camera.  While my Canon S90 is such a camera because it slips into my jeans pocket (it weighs under 7 ounces and is only 1.2" thick with retractable lens and self-contained lens cover), the LX5 is a bit heavier (actually nearly 50% heavier at just under 10 ounces) and thicker (1.7" with a lens that sticks out as seen in the image below and requires a lens cap). 

I can fit the LX5 easily in my cargo pants pocket if not my jeans pocket, but I find its weight causes it to flop around too much for my liking.  I find that instead of carrying it around in my pocket, I carry it around in my hand.

Once I came to the conclusion that the LX5 would not ride in my pocket, the door was open for adding a couple of accessories.

First to be added was a lens adapter.  All you need to do is remove the small ring on the lens (foreground left in the image below) and screw on the adapter (the barrel shown on the right).  This one is a third-party brand bought through EBay for about $14.  It shipped to my home in the USA from Hong Kong in about 10 days. 

The fit and finish of this lens adapter is excellent.  It screws on rather tightly, but nevertheless very smoothly. The diameter of the end that screws into the camera is 46mm.  The open end measures 52mm.  Therefore you will need a 52mm snap-on lens cap. My lens adapter came with two cheap but adequate 52mm caps.

What's the purpose of adding such an adapter?  I can think of several: (1) It makes a good lens hood; (2) at the end of the adapter you can screw in filters, a wide angle converter lens built by Panasonic especially for the LX5, or a closeup lens;  (3) you can get a grip with your left hand that will better stabilize the camera while shooting; or (4) you can power up the camera without the annoyance of having to first remove the lens cap, and when you are done shooting you can replace the cap without having to wait for the lens to first power down.

The main downside in my opinion is that the adapter interferes with flash performance, often creating a shadow on the image [edit 2011Feb13: at 24mm, 28mm and 35mm settings.  At 50mm and longer focal lengths the shadow does not exist.]

To be honest, I have not yet used the lens adapter with the LX5. But I know I will.  I use a lensmateonline.com adapter on my Canon G9 and a Pemaraal adapter on my old Panasonic FZ8 with good success.  I see no reason why the LX5 will be any different, except that I will need a 52-58 step up ring to fit my 58mm filters.

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