Adapting Lenses for Enjoyable and Revenue

Adapting Lenses for Enjoyable and Revenue

It appears that evidently when you’ve purchased right into a digicam mount, you’re caught there except you turn techniques. However, at nighttime realm of pictures, there’s a solution to cross the mysterious border between lens mounts. That’s adapting lenses – in different phrases, taking a lens from one system and mounting it to a different.

Adapting Lenses: What Is It?

Usually, you’ll be able to’t merely slap the identical lens onto completely different techniques. Even when the lens bodily mounts onto the opposite system (which is uncommon – as within the case of a Nikon F lens on a Pentax Ok digicam), it will likely be about as purposeful as a rock. Every mount has its personal bodily specs and digital communications protocols that may be as completely different as English and Hindi.

Panasonic G9 + Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 @ ISO 320, 1/125

However, like language translation, it’s typically attainable to bridge these limitations. Bodily adapters can permit the lens of 1 system to be mounted on the digicam of one other – not all the time (and even normally) with full options, however attainable nonetheless.

Specifically, there’s a risk of adapting a lens so long as the flange distance is brief sufficient on the receiving digicam (shorter than on the lens’s unique system). For this reason you’ll be able to adapt most DSLR lenses to most mirrorless techniques, however typically not the opposite manner round.

Traditionally, many adapters have been created. There are Canon EF to Nikon Z adapters, Pentax Ok to Micro 4 Thirds adapters, and others. DSLR shooters typically use Nikon glass on Canon cameras (although not the opposite manner round), whereas mirrorless shooters typically use Sony E glass on Nikon Z cameras (although once more, the opposite manner round is inconceivable).

Many adapters are purely mechanical. They permit the lens to bodily connect to the brand new system, however that’s the place the connection ends. They don’t switch any digital alerts to and from the lens. On the opposite facet of the spectrum, some adapters permit full communication. With these, options together with autofocus, computerized aperture, EXIF information, and lens vibration discount can be utilized. Utilizing these adapters feels so much like utilizing a local lens.

Though the Pentax lens I used to be utilizing right here theoretically has computerized aperture management, since I used to be utilizing a manual-only adapter, I wanted to make use of the aperture ring. Panasonic G9 + Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 @ ISO 800, 1/80

Why Would You Adapt?

One of the best cause to adapt lenses is for enjoyable. It lets you strive way more lenses than would usually be attainable in your digicam system, together with traditional lenses from older instances for a special look. And adapting lenses barely goes in opposition to the supposed use of the product, so it has the sensation of rise up! Getting photograph with an tailored lens – particularly a lens that doesn’t have any native options – makes you’re feeling an actual sense of accomplishment.

One lens I’ve had enjoyable adapting is the Tamron 500mm f/8 55BB lens. It’s a mirror lens launched within the Nineteen Eighties, and it’s extremely small for a 500mm lens. It has a singular character and may produce imagery that’s markedly completely different than a contemporary lens – to not point out that it’s as small as some fashionable 50mm lenses and prices solely $200! Though it’s guide focus solely, I take pleasure in utilizing it for these distinctive qualities that don’t exist in any of Panasonic’s native lenses.

Hen pictures with a $200 500mm lens. Panasonic G9 + Tamron 500mm f/8 55BB @ ISO 400, 1/320, f/8

If you happen to shoot with a mirrorless system, you can provide new life to older, manual-focus lenses initially made for SLRs and DSLRs. Handbook focusing could be very straightforward on mirrorless cameras, even handheld, because of options like focus peaking and magnification instantly within the viewfinder. Many mirrorless cameras even have in-body picture stabilization, permitting you to shoot in low mild situations with these lenses extra simply. Frankly, previous lenses with an adapter might be much more sensible at the moment than after they had been first made!

Panasonic G9 + Tamron 55BB 500mm @ ISO 800, 1/1000

Adapting additionally makes attempting new varieties of pictures a bit of cheaper. Older lenses might not be as fancy because the newer, computer-designed lenses, however they price a lot lower than the trendy stuff. So if you wish to strive a brand new focal size however you’re unsure you’ll prefer it, you would possibly like to select up an affordable manual-focus lens in that focal size with out first committing to a contemporary lens.

There are different causes to adapt, too. Each Nikon and Canon have created official adapters for adapting their DSLR lenses to their mirrorless techniques that work with many (although not all) of their DSLR lenses. Thus, when you’re switching to mirrorless, you don’t need to eliminate your DSLR lenses when you like them. This will additionally result in some nice values when you’re on a funds, like what Libor described in his article on shopping for used Nikon DSLR lenses, particularly supertelephotos.

Lastly, some digicam techniques might not have precisely the lenses you want, so adapting could be the solely solution to get the options you want in your present system. For instance, I used to make use of a Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens on my Micro 4 Thirds Panasonic G9 digicam. On the time, no different lens had a 600mm native focal size for Micro 4 Thirds, and I discovered this mix nice for video.

Why Ought to You NOT Adapt?

Sadly, adapting lenses can be a disappointment. For one factor, adapting doesn’t all the time work in addition to utilizing a local lens. Autofocus specifically is commonly buggy with tailored lenses, even with the dearer and superior autofocus adapters. Different options like in-body picture stabilization are likely to work higher with native lenses (you would possibly get 5 stops of stabilization quite than 3 or 4, for instance). And there’s extra room for odd errors just like the aperture not stopping down correctly, or EXIF information being recorded incorrectly.

Panasonic G9 + Tamron 55BB 500mm @ ISO 3200, 1/1300, f/8

For instance, I as soon as tried adapting the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G to my Panasonic G9 utilizing the Viltrox adapter for Micro 4 Thirds. It does work decently, however not practically in addition to it really works on the Nikon Z6 or Nikon D500. Specifically, the focusing was much more finicky, not all the time locking precisely onto my topic despite the fact that the digicam stated it was in focus.

You must do not forget that adapters are kludges designed by third events. They will open up a whole lot of alternatives for lenses that you simply by no means would have used in any other case. However they don’t promise good performance even in one of the best case.

One exception to this rule is the first-party adapters that Canon and Nikon developed, permitting you to make use of their DSLR lenses on their mirrorless techniques. With these adapters, autofocus and most different features work precisely as supposed. However they’re the exception to the rule. On the whole, I discover that adapting lenses provides you one of the best worth when the lens in query is already guide focus solely.

I have a tendency to stay to guide focus lenses when adapting, as a result of autofocus with some adapters might be buggy. Panasonic G9 + Tamron 55BB 500mm @ ISO 500, 1/1000, f/8

What about picture high quality? This can be a frequent query that folks have when adapting lenses. The actual fact is, lenses are designed for particular sensors nowadays. Significantly with wide-angle lenses, there might be points with sharpness and colour shifts within the far corners of the picture.

Spencer discovered this when testing the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM on the Nikon Z8, which revealed that the corners of this Sony lens are simply not as sharp when shot on Nikon cameras (although the middle was equally sharp). You’ll be able to see that within the following crops from the identical portion of the body:


Lastly, another excuse to keep away from adapting is that it’s a must to cope with adapters themselves. It’s one other factor to fret about, each when it comes to mechanical failures and points like weatherproofing. For instance, as soon as an adapter received caught on my digicam and I needed to dismantle it to take it off!

So, adapting just isn’t all roses. I have a tendency to take a look at adapting this fashion: It’s value it if there’s a particular look you need, or if you wish to experiment with an affordable, older manual-focus traditional. It’s additionally value it when you’re attempting to make use of Canon or Nikon DSLR lenses on their very own mirrorless cameras, utilizing the official adapter. Nevertheless it’s not value it if you wish to use the newest and best lenses from one system on one other – typically, what you acquire just isn’t value what you lose.

Does the Adapter You Need Exist?

The remaining query is, does an adapter exist to your system? As there are tons of, I can’t record all of them, however listed here are some fashionable ones to get you began:

Kind Model Management Worth
Nikon F lens to Nikon Z digicam Nikon Full Digital $249.95 at B&H
Nikon F lens to Sony E digicam Metabones Full Digital $99 at B&H
Nikon F lens to Sony E digicam FotodioX Handbook Solely $21.7 at B&H
Nikon F lens to Canon RF digicam Novoflex Aperture Ring Solely $261 at B&H
Nikon F lens to Canon EF digicam FotodioX Handbook Solely $36.6 at B&H
Nikon F lens to Micro 4/3rds digicam Metabones Handbook Solely $99 at B&H
Nikon F lens to Leica L digicam Metabones Aperture Ring Solely $139 at B&H
Canon EF lens to Micro 4/3rds digicam FotodioX Full Digital $134.95 at B&H
Canon EF lens to Canon R digicam Canon Full Digital $129 at B&H
Canon EF lens to Leica L digicam Canon Handbook Solely $59.95 at B&H
Sony E lens to Nikon Z digicam Megadap Full Digital $249.95 at B&H
Leica L lens to Sony E digicam Vello Handbook Solely $32.50 at B&H
Pentax Ok lens to Micro 4/3rds digicam FotodioX Handbook Solely $24.95 at B&H
Pentax Ok lens to Sony E digicam FotodioX Handbook Solely $19.39 at B&H
Handbook-only adapters like this Pentax Ok to Micro 4/3rds adapter are pretty low cost


For many of my pictures, I simply use lenses made for the digicam I’m utilizing. And but, adapting lenses is enjoyable and typically can provide nice outcomes. It’s not for everybody and may typically have issues, however if you get it to work, you’ll be able to experiment with much more lenses and doubtlessly add one thing new to your pictures repertoire.

Adapting works particularly properly for older lenses onto mirrorless cameras. They usually acquire a brand new life with options like manual-focus aids within the viewfinder and in-body picture stabilization. Since manual-only adapters normally usually are not that costly, it could be value a strive when you’ve got some lenses from one other system mendacity round.

Do you adapt lenses or need to strive? Any favorites? If that’s the case, let me know within the feedback!

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