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This week I received the lovely Lensmate Adapter for the Canon G11. This is a must-have accessory for anyone with the G10,11, or Panasonic LX3 (I wish I had this back when I had one).
The Lensmate is beautifully crafted with machined aluminum and black to match the exterior of the camera. It is primarily a system designed to allow attachments over the retractable lens of the point & shoot camera. You get the “A” section and then add the “B” or “C” sections based on your needs of attaching Canon’s own tele-converter lens, and/or filters. The great part is that you can use standard sized filters (72mm on the “B” section) as it opens wide, like a lens hood, to eliminate vignetting. This was my main reason for picking up the adapters as there’s nothing quite like a circular polarizer on your lens to bring out the clouds, darken the sky, or see through water on the ground.
An added benefit of the Lensmate, and the makers must know this advantage too, is they’ve designed it with a criss-crossed grip around the A section. This gives your left hand a place to firmly hold the camera (as if you were focusing the lens on a SLR). Without this, my left hand tended to gravitate under the whole body of the camera, not necessarily adding any level of stabilization; to me this feels natural. Here’s an image of the lensmate on the G10 (they’re nearly identical)
The Lensmates aren’t particularly expensive either, indeed, Canon’s own LA-DC58K is $30 USD (plastic 58mm thread), while the A & B segments of the Lensmate can be purchased for about $48 USD.
These few pieces basically transform the camera into something that looks a bit more “serious.” While you do compromise the portability of the G11, I’d argue that you can hold it by the grip on the Lensmate, comfortably, without worry. The optical viewfinder also becomes VERY blocked, but at 70% coverage, I rarely squeezed my face against it. In fact, Canon’s articulating screen is exactly what I needed on a P&S to make it unique and manageable.
Lensmate have produced a great niche product consisting of smart, quality parts that look like they belong with the camera, as good as any Canon part I’ve owned (if not better)- I’m going to leave the Lensmate on my camera even when I’m not using a filter.