Wide Angle Adapters for Digital Cameras

Nikon sells wide angle adapters for the Coolpix 950 and similar cameras for  $100-$200.

On Ebay, and elsewhere, you can find similar screw-on adapters for about $40

So what's the scoop?  Is Nikon ripping everyone who wants genuine Nikon equipment?
Brand X
Nikon wc-e24
Nikon wc-e63

These lenses do work, but maybe not as smoothly as parts of the original camera system.  The physical characteristics are not necessarily completely compatible. Each camera/adapter pair will have its own characteristics, but the fundamental problem which seems to be common to all these adapters is that they are larger in diameter than the underlying lens, so they tend to block other controls and sensors on the camera face.

Nikon Coolpix 950
Note the viewfinder, and flash return sensor between the flash and the lens.
Nikon Coolpix 950 + Wide Angle Adapter
Note that the auxiliary controls are blocked from the aim point of the camera.

An interior shot at Nikon Coolpix 950's widest angle
The same shot with the wide angle adapter.  Note the shadow of the lens cast by the flash (which was tricked into firing by taping over the sensor) and the severe barrel distortion.  Note that if the subject were in the center, the shadow might not be terrible.
The same image, repaired by LensDoc
An exterior with a prominent roof line, shot with the wide angle adapter.  Note the apparent curvature of the roof.
The same image, repaired by LensDoc
An exterior shot at the Coolpix 950's widest angle.
The same street with the wide angle adapter.  Since there are no really prominent straight lines, the barrel distortion isn't nearly as noticeable.

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