Lens adapters and image quality

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
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JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 21,651
Lens adapters and image quality

Over in the Nikon Z forum, there were more than a handful of posts saying that lens adapters seriously damaged image quality. Since I have about 8 years of experience with adapted lenses (60+ years if you count putting a lens and shutter together with a lensboard) and feel differently, I posted some of my thoughts. One thing led to another, and I ran some experiments and did some math, and, as is often the case when you try to teach something, I ended up learning a lot.

I'm going to post some of my thoughts here in somewhat different form as there as replies to this post. is encouraged.

I will limit the scope of this discussion. I’m talking about adapters that have nothing but air in the optical path. I have no experience with those that use glass there. I’m also not talking about the autofocus performance of smart adapters, which can vary a lot from adapter to adapter and from lens to lens. I’m just talking about the effect – or lack of it – on image quality that arises from the mechanical characteristics of adapters.


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