Adapted lenses

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Cameras' started by fmw, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One of the advantages of mirrorless cameras is that the distance between lens mount and sensor is less than it is with a camera with a swinging mirror. That means that, with an adapter, you can mount virtually any SLR or DSLR lens to your mirrorless camera body. Here is a shot of my Fuji E2 with an old, inexpensive Nikkor zoom attached to it.

    adaptednikkor.jpg


    The adapter cost me around $15 and the lens was $30. Since the lens provides no communication with the body you are limited to manual focus and manual or aperture priority metering. All that is required is a lens with an aperture ring.

    Most mirrorless cameras provide effective manual focus aids that generally go beyond what manual focus does on a DSLR. Fuji, for instance provides three methods - ground glass, digital split image and contrast highlight. Like many others I prefer the contrast highlight aid. It is easy to use and very effective.

    How about image quality? Well, it is no different than that from a DSLR. The lens makes the image, the sensor records it and the digital converter makes a JPEG from the raw file. Below are two test shots made with this camera and lens. The first image is my garden shed and the second one is some greenery from my wife's garden. As you can see, the setup works just fine.

    shed11.jpg

    greentest.jpg

    So I have two points to make. The first is that, if you have a mirrorless, get an adapter or two and try your hand at adapted lens photography. The second is that, if you are considering a mirrorless know that a whole world of lenses - perhaps even your own will open up to you. Good shooting.


     
  2. petrochemist

    petrochemist No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks Fred

    The ability to adapt lenses was the reason I first got a mirrorless camera.
    I now have several specialist adapters as well as the bog standard extension tube type:

    One that has a built in helicoid, allowing it to mount SLR lenses and focus to infinity, while also being able to add upto 12mm of extension with the simple twist of a ring. With this I can add less than 1 mm of extension if required not something that's achievable with lenses on their native mounts.

    A focal reducer adapter that recovers some of the FOV lost from the smaller sensor on my mirrorless camera. Mine is not the expensive Metabones speedbooster, but a much cheaper version that achieves much the same effect.

    The third specialist type allows the mounted lens to be tilted gaining some of the controls available from highly specialist tilt/shift lenses. With this the plane of focus can be changed to maximize the usefulness of limited DOF, or make it effectively much shallower than the lens alone can manage.

    I've yet to find an affordable adapter that offers the shift aspect (they start at over £200) :(

    This combination of adapters allows each of my adapted lenses to effectively be 3 lenses, a macro version, a tilt version & a wider/faster version.

    All my specialist adapters go to the EF mount which is readily adapted in turn to most SLR mounts. They don't have any electrical controls so are actually of limited use for actual EF lenses - never mind I don't have any of those! I currently use them with PK, M42, OM & enlarger lenses, as well as a few others without standard SLR mounts via bellows or extra helicoids.

    One disadvantage of adapting lenses is you usually loose any electronic control of the lens. This isn't any issue with older lenses, but can in some cases remove focusing control (AF is usually lost anyway, but some lenses do not have a mechanical focusing linkage so all focusing control is lost) in many cases aperture control is lost as many newer lenses do not have an aperture ring - fortunately this only applies to a very small proportion of my lenses.

    It's not just SLR lenses that can be adapted, most rangefinder lenses can be mounted via simple adapters (But I've not seen them for the Carl Zeiss Werra mount - the only rangefinder lenses I have) as can some movie lenses such as C mount, but coverage for many of these can be insufficient even for the smaller MFT sensor. Mirrorless cameras can also mount close enough to me Newtonian scope to reach infinity focus without an eyepiece - something my DSLR can't manage :(

    All in all adapting lenses opens up a world of extra possibilities without needing huge budgets. It's fun & well worth the effort!
     
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  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well said. Thanks for the expansion of my OP. I understand that there are some adapters equipped with aperture rings to provide manual focus for some of the modern lenses not so equipped. That can be an excellent option for people with a collection of modern lenses.
     
  4. petrochemist

    petrochemist No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've yet to add one of those to my collection, but no doubt I'll eventually succumb. I'm sure it would help if I ever try DIY lens construction - If the built in aperture was combined with the helicoid adapter I'd probably have one by now to try my 10-17 fisheye with very subtle extension...

    The are also some more expensive models that translate camera body controls to EF lenses allowing AF & aperture control. Perhaps worthwhile if you already have EF lenses. I've never seen anything similar for Nikon lenses let alone the more unusual mounts I have, so I've not been tempted by that approach. :)
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I haven't seen anything like that either. Metabones has Nikon G lens adapters for Sony and Fuji. They are equipped with an aperture ring. A little pricey as adapters go but a bargain for someone who has a collection of G lenses.
     
  6. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I have a couple but haven't put much time into it. I bought a m42 and fd adapters. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but I can't seem to get them to work. It seems like I can't adjust the aperture, they are like wide open, even with aperture ring type lenses. This is what I bought. Maybe some guidance is needed.
    Fotasy Canon FD Lens to Fujifilm X-Mount Camera X-Pro1 X-Pro2 X-E1 X-E2 X-E2S X-M1 X-A1 X-A2 X-A3 X-A10 X-M1 X-T1 X-T2 X-T10 X-T20 Adapter Amazon.com : Fotasy Canon FD Lens to Fujifilm X-Mount Camera X-Pro1 X-Pro2 X-E1 X-E2 X-E2S X-M1 X-A1 X-A2 X-A3 X-A10 X-M1 X-T1 X-T2 X-T10 X-T20 Adapter : Canon Fd To Fuji X : Camera & Photo
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Everything is probably working just fine. In your menus will be a screen setup option. The submenu has an on/off setting for "preview exposure in manual mode." This setting is the equivalent of the DOF preview on an SLR. You can turn it on or off as you wish to change what you see in the finder.

    In A or M mode you should be able to see the shutter speed in the finder change as you move the aperture ring. If not, then something is wrong.

    Also you need to enable "shoot without a lens" in the menu. Otherwise you can't fire the shutter without an electronically connected lens.
     
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  8. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ooo ooo...ill play!

    Fuji X-E2 with m42 mount Tair-11a 135mm f2.8 lens.
    Using a fotasy adapter.

    [​IMG]

    Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk
     
  9. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Thanks bud, that did the trick. Cool. But, the legacy glass is so so. Probably will be better in good light.
     
  10. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Ok my good friend. Here is a sample. Thank you so much! It's not stellar but I think I can dial it in my brother. Canon FD 135 2.5. Probably smaller focus square, better light or flash.

    2017_0818_16513500-01.jpeg
     
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  11. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Excellent. Now we need some test images.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Looks good.
     

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