Review - the FRINGER FR-FX1 Canon EF/EF-S to Fuji X AF adapter...

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Ben Herrmann
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Review - the FRINGER FR-FX1 Canon EF/EF-S to Fuji X AF adapter...
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Background. Many of us have used Canon products in the past and have either amassed a large collection of Canon glass (whether EF for full frame or EF-S for Canon APS-C cameras). Some of of you may still maintain Canon DSLR’s (and glass), while others may have moved on (yet still have some Canon glass laying around in boxes or drawers). The key here is that many of these Canon lenses were (are) optically superb!

How nice it would be if we could somehow use them on other brand cameras and have all of their functions work! Well, as of the past year or two, various Chinese companies such as Viltrox and Fringer (perhaps one or two others whose name I can‘t remember) have managed to pull off the previous seemingly impossible - by inventing unique adapters that allow all of the functions of a Canon lens (and other brands also) to be carried over to the likes of Fuji X cameras (such as auto focus, exposure information, adjustments, and IS).

My recent foray into this arena. A month or so ago I elected to give these adapters a try by purchasing the Viltrox EF-FX1 AF adapter which allows you to use EF (and some EF-S) lenses with your Fuji cameras (or so advertised). I purchased one from a vendor on eBay and it was only $139 at the time. I initially thought that this is too cheap a price for these types of adapters (based on some of the prices I’ve seen for the Fringer models). But I figured what the heck, I’ll give it a try. I was building up a lot of excitement about finally being able to use some of my EF-S lenses on Fuji cameras, and when the Viltrox finally arrived, my expectations were shattered by the reality that the AF functions did not work at all with my particular Fuji cameras - the X-T1, X-E2, X-A3, and X-T100. I did everything I could, first contacting the vendor (who then was in direct contact with Viltrox), making sure the latest FW updates were accomplished and reading everything I could on the Viltrox adapter. Yet all of this was to no avail. Viltrox finally had to admit that the adapter will “not” function with all EF-S lenses and select Fuji cameras (only a select few). The particular lenses I wanted to use were the inexpensive (yet superb optically) Canon EF-S 10-18 F4.5-5.6 IS STM, the EF-S 55-250 F4.5-5.6 IS STM, and the EF-S 18-55 F3.5-5.6 II IS STM. In all 3 cases, they would not auto focus at all - regardless of what I did - so the vendor accepted my return request.

This obviously put a bad taste in my mouth regarding all of this - but that little voice in the back of my mind kept teasing me with shouts of, “You get what you pay for...”

Well, this week I bit the bullet and made the decision to try the Fringer FR-FX1 Pro (not the standard model - which is manual focus only) EF to FX auto focus adapter. Before I ordered, I made sure to investigate and viewed the compatibility list with all of the EF and EF-S lenses listed (to include Tamron and other brand lenses for Canon). So I ordered it.

FYI - the vendor on eBay where I ordered it from was here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fringer-EF-FX-Pro-Canon-EF-Lens-to-Fujifilm-X-Mount-Auto-Focus-Apeture-Adapter-t/273534903890?hash=item3faff36652:g:6rEAAOSwjg1b2SK0:rk:5:pf:0

The Fringer website is here (cursor all the way down to find the compatibility list for all the Fuji cameras and Canon (and other 3rd party) lenses:

https://www.fringeradapter.com/

Finally - the arrival. OK - so the Fringer arrived. The very first thing I did was update the FW to 2.50. It is FW updatable by connecting a USB cable from it to your PC. At that time, it is recognized as a new drive. You can even view the FW version of the adapter while connected (mine was version 2.30). FW updates are very easy - so simple, it is pathetic. You just drag and drop the FW (which you download from their site to your PC) into the Fringer drive - wait 10 seconds (which is how long it takes for the FW to update) - and wallaaaaa, it’s done. No having to push in buttons that confirm the updates. Just drag and drop and wait - and then the new FW information is available to view.

But will it work? OK - so now comes the most stressful part. Based on my experiences with the previous Viltrox, I first connected the EF-S 10-18 F4.5-5.6 IS STM lens to the adapter, and then attached it to my X-E2. I turned on the camera and started half-pressing the shutter button to see what would happen. I was delighted - no make that ecstatic - to find it worked superbly. Is the AF as fast in all situations as if you were just using Fuji lenses? No - it’s about 90% or so as fast - but it functions superbly, transferring all of your shooting information, engaging your IS, and so forth. The key thing here - and I didn’t realize this at first - is that you set the aperture (if you’re in Aperture Priority mode, which I use all of the time) by turning a control ring on the Fringer adapter. The little wheel on the Fuji cameras that allows you to adjust apertures with many lenses will not function with this regard when the Fringer is attached. At first, I thought, “Oh nooooo, is this defective because I kept trying to turn the wheel to adjust my apertures (with no luck).” Then I read the small sheet of info they provide in the box, in which they tell you about the small adjustment ring on the adapter. And all works superbly.

OK - so this begs the question, “Ben, why in the hell would you want to use Canon EF or EF-S lenses on your Fuji when just buy Fuji lenses?” Good question, but cost is a factor here and being able to expand the kinds of lenses that I can attach to my Fuji cameras was enticing. Look, as many of you who have shot (and still do) Canon lenses in the past, there are some mighty fine optical choices there. And for you Fuji users only, I strongly recommend the following two Canon EF-S lenses for the following reasons:

EF-S 10-18 F4.5-5.6 IS STM. This is a very, very inexpensive super wide angle lens that gives the big (and expensive) boys a huge run for the money. Yes, it is all plastic construction, has lens-based IS (for around 2.5 to 3 stops of IS), has a plastic lens mount, and get this…you can get this lens new for around $225 and up on eBay!!!!! I’ve often read about this lens in the past - it having received many superb reviews. But I kept initially assuming (and wrongfully so), “Naaahhhh, for that cheap a price, it must be horrible!” But I did give a try and boy was I taken aback as it is exceptionally sharp. Look, you can purchase the Fuji XF 10-22 for almost a $1000, or you can spend $225 to $269 for the Canon EF-S 10-18. It is superb optically, especially when shot above F6.3 (I always shoot mine at F8). And if you combine the Fringer (which I paid $349 for) and combine it with the EF-S 10-18, it’s still hundreds of dollars cheaper than going with the Fuji XF 10-22. But more so, you can now expand your wide angle capabilities by looking at the various Canon wide angle EF-S lenses (or EF).

Here are some on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Canon+EF-S+10-18+F4.5-5.6+IS+STM&_sacat=625

EF-S 55-250 F4.5-5.6 IS STM. Here is another absolutely superb tele lens (optically) - especially for the money (actually, even less expensive than the 10-18 mentioned above). It has a great focal range and it won’t break the bank. Even more so is that optically it does exceptionally well. Remember - think of the price vs. performance ratio here.

Here are your choices on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Canon+EF-S+55-250mm+F4-5.6+IS+STM+Lens+for+Canon+SLR+Cameras&_sacat=625&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=625&_odkw=Canon+EF-S+55-250+F4.5-5.6+IS+STM&LH_TitleDesc=0

So yes, you get what you pay for with regards to these adapters that allow you to mesh other brand lenses to your Fuji X cameras. But in the case of the Fringer, which costs anywhere from 2x to 2.5x the price of a Viltrox, the difference is truly remarkable.

So from now on, if I see a focal length that I want - and the Fuji versions are too expensive - I can look at the Canon side of the house (or Tamron or Sigma lenses made for EF or EF-S mounts) to give me more options.

Considering what this adapter does - highly recommended.

Here are several sample photos - nothing special - just taken around my small home in North Carolina. These were taken with the X-E2, Fringer and Canon EF-S 10-18 F4.5-5.6 IS STM combination. Quite sharp. When I converted the JPG’s from my TIF files using Irfanview, that software tends to strip the Exif data. These images were shot in RAW mode at ISO 400 (due to the fact it was a very overcast ). I shot in Aperture Priority Mode at F8 and shutter speeds ranging from 1/60 to 1/125 second - IS engaged. These images were captured in the Adobe RGB expanded color mode and converted within ACR.

Look under each image and click on the “original size” link - click on that and it will bring up a 2100 x 1428 x 24 size much sharper file.

OK - I'm done - thanks for listening (and viewing)…

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Life can be good - if you allow it!
Bernd ("Ben") Herrmann
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina USA

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