Monday, July 25, 2011

A Very Simple Product, The Nikon UR-E5 Adapter Works For More Than Its Stated Function.

The Good: Durable, Easy to use, Additional benefit
The Bad: Very basic piece (not included with camera or lenses), Seems expensive to me.
The Basics: Necessary for anyone attaching a telephoto lens to a Coolpix camera, the Nikon UR-E5 Lens Adapter is a simple metal ring that prevents lenses from getting damaged by spacing.

The Nikon UR-E5 Lens Adapter is a remarkably simple product; it is a metal ring designed to connect a heavier, telephoto lens to a Nikon digital camera. The UR-E5 is specific to the Nikon Coolpix series of digital cameras; my partner has a Nikon Coolpix P5000 (reviewed here!) and this is designed exactly for that. It is very important to note that the UR-E5 is not included with the Coolpix P5000 or any of the telephoto lenses that one might wish to use with the Coolpix cameras. As a result, the UR-E5 Lens Adapter becomes an essential piece of equipment for any photographer who wants to increase their versatility with the basic point and shoot camera, which is what the Coolpix is.

The Nikon UR-E5 Lens Adapter is a metal ring which has been powdercoated black to match the black matte color of the Coolpix cameras. It is a steel ring that is 1/8" thick at its widest point and is a perfect circle just under two inches in diameter. The Lens Adapter has threaded ends on either end and at its widest end it has treads to offer friction against the users fingers so it is easy to twist in or out of the camera or lens.

What is the point of this metal ring? Simple; the Nikon UR-E5 Lens Adapter connects the Coolpix cameras to the telephoto lens that one may buy separately. It is a very simple connector, nothing more, nothing less. Because of how the Coolpix camera is designed, the zoom function extends the lens from the camera out of the camera body and lens the camera comes with may not be removed. When the digital camera is at maximum zoom, the lens projects almost two inches out in front of the camera housing. As a result, a telephoto lens may not be attached directly to the camera (because telephoto lenses are not recessed within their housing - i.e. there is nowhere for the camera's lens to go within the telephoto lens when it is at maximum zoom). Telephoto lenses for the Nikon Coolpix cameras are designed to screw into the base, but because of the lens arrangement, they cannot; if one were to screw a telephoto lens into the base of the Coolpix and accidentally hit the "zoom" button, it would break the motor and lenses as the camera's lenses pushed out into the telephoto lens! Thus, the Nikon UR-E5 Lens Adapter essentially acts as a spacer, which prevents lens and motor damage on the Coolpix cameras.

This is a ridiculously easy product to use as well; the ends are threaded, so one merely screws the male end into the female end which is right around the lens on the base of the Coolpix. This is pretty much idiotproof; there is only one place to thread the UR-E5 on the Coolpix and it will only go on the one way. Then, turn the Coolpix camera on, extend the zoom lens and then take your telephoto lens and carefully screw it into the female end of the UR-E5. It is that simple. Both the telephoto lens and the adapter screw in and out very easily.

The steel body of the Nikon UR-E5 Lens Adapter makes it ideal for connecting even the largest telephoto lenses designed for the Coolpix cameras as it can handle the weight of the lens. This is very durable and easy to use. However, the bigger the telephoto lens, the more frontheavy your Coolpix camera will become and amateurs might find the camera difficult to use with a bigger lens. Pretty much any use of the UR-E5 to attach a telephoto lens will require the operator to use two hands to take photographs.

There is one additional benefit to picking up a Nikon UR-E5 Lens Adapter and that is that its muted black finish and depth can act as a screen for pictures shot at normal depth! The principle behind a screen is that usually they attach to the end of one's camera lens and they prevent ambient light from side angles from hitting the lens and causing streaks or burnout in the resulting images. The Nikon UR-E5 serves the exact same function so long as one is not zooming with their Nikon Coolpix's primary lens! Leaving the Adapter on without attaching an additional lens does not significantly change the weight or use of the Coolpix, so leaving it on only becomes a problem when one is storing their camera.

The UR-E5 adapter is made of steel, so it is built to last and after years of use, neither my wife nor I have had any problems with this showing any wear. It is a good adapter for any Nikon telephoto lenses designed for the Coolpix digital cameras. If the telephoto lens is a generic or not specifically designed for Coolpix cameras, it may require a different adapter.

The peripheral function is hardly enough to justify purchasing this simple metal ring for those who do not have telephoto lenses, but anyone who has a Coolpix and is thinking of upgrading lenses will find this is an indispensable tool.

For other products for the Coolpix P5000 or other digital camera products, please check out my reviews of:
Fantasea Waterproof Housing for Coolpix P5000
Fujifilm xD-Picture Card (256 MB)
Nikon Coolpix S60 Digital Camera


For other electronics product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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