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Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch
  
 
Jeff Kott
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p.1 #1 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


lens adapters for landscpape use/ real world vs. test experience
Roger Cicala has written a note explaining that not one lens adapter tested by him would be acceptable to use for lens testing.

He does note that the misalignment caused by the adapters would probably not make a lot of difference in the real world, except in the corners for landscapes - which is a pretty big exception for the landscape photographers on this forum.

Since there are probably more landscape lens adapter users on this forum than anywhere else on the web, I was wondering if those of us who use adapted lenses for landscape have noticed any image degradation that they believe is caused by using lens adapters. Or is our experience that using adapted lenses for landscape photography does not present that kind of an issue.



Sep 30, 2013 at 09:10 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


For WA/UWA it definitely does make a difference. I sold off one pristine WA lens due to an adapter issue that I didn't learn of until after I had sold the lens.

I had a second instance where I was comparing two UWA lenses and the results were skewed by a poor adapter. Using a different adapter, I got different results.

On longer focal lengths, the diffs may not be as noticeable. But the wider you go, the more significant it is to use good adapters.



Sep 30, 2013 at 09:50 PM
hauxon
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p.1 #3 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


I've used OM 18/3.5 and Zeiss 25/2.8 ZS with (quality) adapters. Both felt tight and secure and I never felt they would have negative effect on image quality. I've however had other (longer) alt lenses with not so good adapers and too be honest I had no issues with them either. If I'd buy an OM 18/3.5 back I'd probably Leitax it. Mostly for solid feeling using it rather than of image quality concerns.

Hrannar



Sep 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #4 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


I have excellent and expensive adapters: Novoflex and Lumix for Fujifilm, M4/3, and NEX. There is something to putting expensive Leica R lenses on my cameras. Hopefully the Kipon adapter for M mount lenses for my Fujifilm and my Phigment adapter as well as my Hawk's Factory Helicoid Macro Adapter for M mount lenses to Sony NEX prove to be really good as well.

Rich



Sep 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM
douglasf13
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p.1 #5 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


That's interesting that they tested dozens of name brand adapters and camera combinations, and none of them were good enough. Wow.


Sep 30, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Krosavcheg
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p.1 #6 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


Lensrentals can't really make money off adapted glass...



Sep 30, 2013 at 11:25 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #7 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


I worte this mostly for Geek interest. An adapter can skew out test results pretty significantly (and some reviewers have used adapters to review lenses, which I think gives unfair results). I don't think a good adapter is likely to have a big effect in real-world photography.

Rustybug's point about wide-angles is probably the place where we'd see it in the real world since the effects tend to be off center.

Roger



Sep 30, 2013 at 11:25 PM
contas
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p.1 #8 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


Hi RCicala, I do a lot of converted mounts for Contax N, Contax 645, Mamiya RZ67 and I ussuallly analyse myself my landscapes mostly by their corners weaknesses.I didn't see anything like you wrote " blur on the sides of the image", or maybe my lathe mechaniks are so talented (I doubt about it- they are 3 people).The only thing I meet for adapted DIY mounts is stray lights controling, not many literature wrote about it, so I struggled alot to get rid of them but think am still struggling.

Edited on Oct 01, 2013 at 02:37 AM · View previous versions



Oct 01, 2013 at 02:28 AM
LightShow
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p.1 #9 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


I'm not really surprised, cuz when tolerances are anywhere from not reaching infinity to way past infinity, anything is possible, is thickness checked at one place? Or many?


Oct 01, 2013 at 02:29 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


Krosavcheg wrote:
Lensrentals can't really make money off adapted glass...


Actually, Roger rents a couple adapters too ... I've tossed him a few bones for some a while back. Peanuts from a business perspective obviously, but his alt spirit is in the game.

Even on regular lenses, tolerances can be an issue ... i.e. this lens is soft.
https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths

Edited on Oct 01, 2013 at 03:31 AM · View previous versions



Oct 01, 2013 at 03:07 AM
 

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philip_pj
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p.1 #11 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


Thank you for another excellent data observation in the accumulating evidence that modern sensors and high quality lenses really require excellent alignment and tolerance handling to perform as expected.

Lens adaptors seems a very likely primary context to find such problems for many reasons, and such errors tend to accentuate existing issues of body mount-sensor alignment, AF mechanism tolerances, stabilisation measures and within-lens wear.

LC has reported on D800 mount-sensor axial alignment errors and the effect they have on IQ, even for 'good' lenses. I'd like Sony to make more companion RX1 type cameras for just this reason. They themselves say you could not get the IQ the Sonnar delivers with an ILC - we'll see in time.



Oct 01, 2013 at 03:12 AM
sebboh
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p.1 #12 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


i agree with rusty here. i've noticed issues with wider angle lenses but not telephotos. i use almost all cheap adapters too. it's not bothered me much, as i don't shoot wide angle much and replaced noticeably poor performing adapters.




Oct 01, 2013 at 04:17 AM
Jeff Kott
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p.1 #13 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


RCicala wrote:
I worte this mostly for Geek interest.
Roger


Good idea Roger - those tests will really freak those Geeks out; especially the ones that use adapted lenses for landscape photography...... Wait a minute - those Geeks are us!




Oct 01, 2013 at 04:33 AM
Krosavcheg
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p.1 #14 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


RustyBug wrote:
Actually, Roger rents a couple adapters too ... I've tossed him a few bones for some a while back. Peanuts from a business perspective obviously, but his alt spirit is in the game.

Even on regular lenses, tolerances can be an issue ... i.e. this lens is soft.
https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/12/this-lens-is-soft-and-other-myths


I am not questioning a good spirit of an investigation, but cynic in me will pay direct attention to the correlation between subject and relevance of business interest.



Oct 01, 2013 at 05:08 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #15 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


I don't think Roger wrote what he did to influence LR's business one way or another. I think he's just curious about all things photographic and has the ability to objectively test out his questions. Then he shares. I honestly believe it's as simple as that.

I also don't think he's written anything all that controversial. Was anyone arguing that using a lens on it's native-mount camera isn't the optimal solution for as-intended performance?



Oct 01, 2013 at 06:11 AM
Krosavcheg
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p.1 #16 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


It might well be the case.
I also experienced native EF 16-35/2.8L producing terrible corner results compared to adapted glass. So it is all relative...



Oct 01, 2013 at 06:19 AM
Jeff Kott
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p.1 #17 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


freaklikeme wrote:
I also don't think he's written anything all that controversial. Was anyone arguing that using a lens on it's native-mount camera isn't the optimal solution for as-intended performance?


Not so controversial, but nonetheless it's very surprising to me that such a high percentage (i.e., 100%) of high quality adapters would cause poor corner performance. Of course, it would take an awful lot more testing to determine whether the poor corner performance is caused by the adapter, a de-centered lens, the lens mount or even sensor misalignment.



Oct 01, 2013 at 06:39 AM
philip_pj
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p.1 #18 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


Adapters are simply put, a fudge. 'High quality' adapters are a high quality fudge.

Made by different manufacturers, some reputable some not, all of which use different machining processes on different jigs and product that uses different metallurgy, variable QA and product finishing - all made to a price right? Of course you also introduce more slop into the system, by adding an extra 'joint'. These are not childrens' meccano toys, demands on precision grow with every generation of sensor. Very different game from a wobbly sheet of film.

Users put these on a certain body, use a lens from a second maker, using an adapter from a third company, and expect things to work out fine because it all fits, right? They won't do so very often, even using common sense. Roger's findings appear statistically and methodologically verifiable (and the material is free of commercial interest or promotion, please note).

As Roger states, this is for geeks who want top quality, not average jpeg shooters. These results tally with why I only use replacement mounts or native lenses. Research like this might compel them to lift their game, but somehow I doubt it, and this is where the cynicism of commercial interests should lie, not with the messenger.



Oct 01, 2013 at 07:27 AM
Krosavcheg
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p.1 #19 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


I am curious about assumptions in the statements.
Would it imply that marginal qualitative differences between "high-end" expensive OEM and adapted 3rd party lenses are invalidated by adaptor quality?
Or it is a generic statement implying literally any OEM glass would outperform adapted 3rd party alternative?

Additionally, wouldn't rigorous testing in ideal environment differ from everyday usage in most cases?



Oct 01, 2013 at 07:40 AM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #20 · Lens Adapters: There Is No Free Lunch


philip_pj wrote:
As Roger states, this is for geeks who want top quality, not average jpeg shooters. These results tally with why I only use replacement mounts or native lenses. Research like this might compel them to lift their game, but somehow I doubt it, and this is where the cynicism of commercial interests should lie, not with the messenger.


Philip,

Unfortunately only using replacement mounts for example with legacy MF lenses is a problem if you use multiple systems using the same lenses and/or if you change systems. In many ways following this premise puts us back to the way that things used to be that you were locked into one system for usage of your optics. This says nothing about what could be an extremely expensive proposition to changing the mounts of all of your lenses if you have an extensive array of optics.

Hopefully if we use really good quality adapters and use sufficient DOF at least in many instances will and can at least allow us to get acceptable results.

Rich



Oct 01, 2013 at 10:32 AM
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