Pros and Cons of using lens adaptors on your DSLR


ammonite

New Member
Feb 24, 2009
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#1
This question goes out to those that are using or have used lens adaptors, can you list the pros and cons of using such adaptors? (Espeacially for the newer type of adaptors)

Lately there has been quite alot of new adaptors being released in the market. A slew of adaptors for those EVIL cams (but I am only interested in DSLR ones). And some new ones like http://www.dpreview.com/news/1007/10072602novoflexeosnikntadapter.asp

And with the Dandilion chip, you are able to auto focus with nikon lenses using those adaptors?

I also noticed that most of the adaptors are for other camera brands to mount Nikon lenses, I know Nikon lenses are good and some are reasonably priced, but is there a reason for the popularity of Nikon lenses being used by other DSLRs?

Finally do you think it is worth it pay for the US$293 Novoflex adaptor to use nikon lenses, or just get the simple ones found locally that range from $20 to $100?

Hope u don't mind me asking so many questions!
 

andeelym

New Member
Aug 27, 2009
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#2
IMHO, no point paying so much for novoflex.

If you can live with MF, just get any adapter. And if you want AF confirm, get one that is programmable. I am using the one that uses 3 presses of the DOF button for configuration. Pretty good.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#3
If you intend to use the adapters with AF confirmation chip for a recent DSLR then no issues. I noticed that these chips don't get recognized properly with film SLR sometimes. One of my chipped adapters is not recognized at all at EOS5, two others cause the EOS300 to block (display out, battery symbol blinking - but picture is taken properly). But all work well on 350D. Haven't tried the adjustable adapters yet.
Reason for Nikon lenses? Quality I guess.. nostalgic feeling .. and they have kept the adapter ring when Canon abandoned that completely and used electronic aperture exclusively. Makes it much easier to adjust aperture when the electronics don't match :) Also, the technical specs of Nikon mount makes it possible to mount these lenses on Canon bodies - but not vice versa.
 

ammonite

New Member
Feb 24, 2009
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#4
IMHO, no point paying so much for novoflex.

If you can live with MF, just get any adapter. And if you want AF confirm, get one that is programmable. I am using the one that uses 3 presses of the DOF button for configuration. Pretty good.
Sounds pretty effective, may I know which adaptor you are using?

If you intend to use the adapters with AF confirmation chip for a recent DSLR then no issues. I noticed that these chips don't get recognized properly with film SLR sometimes. One of my chipped adapters is not recognized at all at EOS5, two others cause the EOS300 to block (display out, battery symbol blinking - but picture is taken properly). But all work well on 350D. Haven't tried the adjustable adapters yet.
Reason for Nikon lenses? Quality I guess.. nostalgic feeling .. and they have kept the adapter ring when Canon abandoned that completely and used electronic aperture exclusively. Makes it much easier to adjust aperture when the electronics don't match :) Also, the technical specs of Nikon mount makes it possible to mount these lenses on Canon bodies - but not vice versa.

I thought the advantage of old Canon SLRs is that they could mount nikon lenses but not vice versa. Too bad, I think users of other bodies would like to try that special high speed zoom lens from canon with the white painted body.

Adjustable adaptors? U mean you can use for for than one brand of lens mount?

Being abit nosey (if I were to ask this question in the any of the camera brand forums they would sure tell me to buy the original brand lens and be done, so I think there must be some advantage for you to use the adaptors and lenses), as a Canon owner, why do you choose Nikon lenses instead of Canon ones? ( As Nikon lenses are still more expensive than those 3rd party Tam, Tok and Sig any other reasons besides the nostalgic feeling ) and seems like they must be popular as the adaptors are mainly for them to other bodies.
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#5
I thought the advantage of old Canon SLRs is that they could mount nikon lenses but not vice versa.
That's what I wrote .. didn't I?
Adjustable adaptors? U mean you can use for for than one brand of lens mount?
No, I mean the ones that andeelym described. The chip in the adapter will report a certain lens (focal length, aperture) to the camera which is then recorded in exif. Normal chip adapters have only one setting. Programmable adapters can be changed.

I use old Zeiss lenses that come with Contax C/Y mount or M42, mounted via adapter to my camera. Why? I just like them .. and I noticed that the slow focusing and adjusting makes me thinking more about composition. Similar why I prefer manual cars or motorcycle: I'm more involved, can make my own decisions instead of giving my brain to automatics :)
AF has it's merits, no doubts. The right tool at the right time.
 

ammonite

New Member
Feb 24, 2009
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#6
Oh I meant if you were using Canon SLR you might not need an adaptor.

But u made a good point, in order to use adaptors, I must practice my manual focusing skill, which even on a bright day outdoors with a high contrast but small subject I still struggle to get focus, that is with the split screen view finder some more!!
 

andeelym

New Member
Aug 27, 2009
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#7
Sounds pretty effective, may I know which adaptor you are using?
I am using an adapter with Optix V5 af confirm chip, its IMHO the best cos its easy to configure. Check out this youtube vid for instructions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwLXK5ivL2w) Dandilion I feel that the configuration is not as intuitive as Optix.

That is for the AF chip, you also have to look at the adapter itself. Some adapter have a spring lever (see link) and that makes it easier to remove the adapter. Most are using a small catch (see link) that you might need to use your nails to "activate" it. But its still very ok to use. Although u can always buy the adapter that you want and buy the af chip and stick it on yourself but I took the easy way out.
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#8
I am using an adapter with Optix V5 af confirm chip, its IMHO the best cos its easy to configure. Check out this youtube vid for instructions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwLXK5ivL2w) Dandilion I feel that the configuration is not as intuitive as Optix.
Where did you get them from here in SG? The website www.optixpcb.com seems to be an early draft version, only linking to youtube and the manual (pdf file).
 

andeelym

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Aug 27, 2009
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#9
Where did you get them from here in SG? The website www.optixpcb.com seems to be an early draft version, only linking to youtube and the manual (pdf file).
I dun think its available in SG cos I bought it from ebay. Perhaps you can go via that route cos I feel that it will definitely be cheaper than buying from a local source.
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
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#10
I chose Canon EOS 5D as my camera body because it's simple to operate, just like an old film SLR with huge focusing screen and view finder, and most importantly, with the correct adapters, it can mount practically all other brands of manual focus lenses out there. I have Zeiss (CY mount), Leica (R mount), Olympus (OM mount), Nikon (F mount) and Pentax (K mount) lenses. For each brand I need a different adapter and all have focus confirmation. These adaptable lenses can only be operated manually, both aperture and focusing.

Advantages: Very well built, mostly metal and require little or no servicing if kept and maintained properly. Most are smaller and more compact as compared to their AF counterparts. IQ wise, some exceptional and most are as good as the Canon L lenses. Prices are very affordable for most except the Zeiss and Leicas.

Disadvantages: Most modern DSLRs are built for AF and therefore the focusing screen and view finders are small and not contrasty enough for manual focusing. To be more effective with manual focusing lenses, choose a Canon camera with larger focusing screen and viewfinder, and make sure that alternative focusing screens can be used. Be prepared to operate such lenses manually, both aperture and focusing.

I have 12 manual focus lenses from 18mm to 200mm, five different brands, and only one AF zoom lens for times that I require AF. I don't own a single Canon lens because the old Canon manual focus lenses are all the old Canon FD mount which are not very adaptable.

There are also many other aspects you need to look at when choosing a particular brand of manual focus lens for adaptation. Talk to an experience guy before you try.
 

elgkh

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Dec 12, 2008
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#11
Try to get the thinnest adaptor possible. The thicker ones may prevent you from focusing to infinity, especially on the longer lenses.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#12
Cross adapting opens up much more options to the user. the one problem i can think of is the native lens itself might not be optimised for the camera system
for instance, a lens might have protruding rear elements that although u can cross mount easily, might not clear the mirror assembly of the recepient camera. Or the adapter does other functions on the lens such as tilt / shift for instance and the lens might not be the most optimal, producing undesirable flares etc,

for me as long as i get a sturdy adapter that focuses to infinity when it should, i am ok liao, no need to try the more atas ones.

ryan
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#13
Try to get the thinnest adaptor possible. The thicker ones may prevent you from focusing to infinity, especially on the longer lenses.

Rather, you should be getting the APPROPRIATE adapter. The correct adapter that focuses nicely to infinity ( if mechanically possible when the camera has a shorter flange focusing distance ) shld be precisely at a certain calculated distance, not too thin not too thick.
My Mamiya-Canon adapter is much thicker than my Nikon F to Canon adapter. Any thinner they will not work as they shld

ryan
 

Feb 4, 2008
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#14
Try to get the thinnest adaptor possible. The thicker ones may prevent you from focusing to infinity, especially on the longer lenses.
Thinnest is not the best. A quality adapter should be of a fixed thickness. Poorly machined ones might either too thin or too thick.
 

elgkh

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Dec 12, 2008
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#15
Rather, you should be getting the APPROPRIATE adapter. The correct adapter that focuses nicely to infinity ( if mechanically possible when the camera has a shorter flange focusing distance ) shld be precisely at a certain calculated distance, not too thin not too thick.
My Mamiya-Canon adapter is much thicker than my Nikon F to Canon adapter. Any thinner they will not work as they shld

ryan
Thinnest is not the best. A quality adapter should be of a fixed thickness. Poorly machined ones might either too thin or too thick.
I stand corrected. Too thin is not something that occurred to me. :)
 

ammonite

New Member
Feb 24, 2009
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#17
Thanks all of the info has been very helpful. Though I don't see specific brands. On the mass sales column, all I see are brandless adaptors which range from $20 to $100. Those at $100 being able to meter for you, and ofcourse it is only for Nikon. So hard to know, do you bring your DSLR and lenses to test before buying or just try your luck?

Also the newer ones are mainly for mirroless dslrs.
 

andeelym

New Member
Aug 27, 2009
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#19
Thanks all of the info has been very helpful. Though I don't see specific brands. On the mass sales column, all I see are brandless adaptors which range from $20 to $100. Those at $100 being able to meter for you, and ofcourse it is only for Nikon. So hard to know, do you bring your DSLR and lenses to test before buying or just try your luck?

Also the newer ones are mainly for mirroless dslrs.
Personally, I tried my luck cos I bought mine from ebay.

Anyway, they work more or less the same, that is to give you a confirmation once focus is achieved thru MF. The different is the functions and how to edit them and of cos, the price.
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
2,465
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38
Shunfu Road, Singapore
#20
Thanks all of the info has been very helpful. Though I don't see specific brands. On the mass sales column, all I see are brandless adaptors which range from $20 to $100. Those at $100 being able to meter for you, and ofcourse it is only for Nikon. So hard to know, do you bring your DSLR and lenses to test before buying or just try your luck?

Also the newer ones are mainly for mirroless dslrs.
Why don't you specify your camera and what lens you want to adapt, and I can tell you precisely how you can do it?
 

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