Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

Started Dec 1, 2014 | Discussions
Sam Carleton
Sam Carleton Senior Member • Posts: 1,999
Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

I have owned the Nikon 17-35/2.8 for many years and it has worked well on my Nikon DX camera, but it is time to upgrade to a full frame camera. There is a whole host of reasons why the Sony Alpha a7II looks very appealing. I have a few questions:

  1. With all the Nikon F mount to Sony E Mount Adapter's out there, is there one that will work for me? (A lot of them look like they are designed for the smaller sensor Sony Alpha's.)
  2. Don't know the right term, but it is the whole process of keeping the lens wide open until you take the picture, then the body closes the aperture down to the correct setting. In the pictures I am seeing of all the adapters they don't have the mechanical parts to do that, so I am assuming that it is purely manual. Aka, when the lens is set to f/5.6, that is what the body is getting. Is this correct or is there an adapter that will leave it wide open until you fire the shutter?
  3. Assuming there is an adapter that will close down the apeture when you go to take the picture, is there an adapter that can also auto focus the lens or will it be purely manual focus?

Does anyone have any thoughts on how the Nikon 17-35/2.8 compares to the SEL1635Z?

Sam
developer of Photo Parata the event presentation software
http://www.PhotoParata.com

 Sam Carleton's gear list:Sam Carleton's gear list
Nikon D2H Sony a6500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +1 more
Sony a7
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le_alain Senior Member • Posts: 1,998
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II
1

Sam Carleton wrote:

I have owned the Nikon 17-35/2.8 for many years and it has worked well on my Nikon DX camera, but it is time to upgrade to a full frame camera. There is a whole host of reasons why the Sony Alpha a7II looks very appealing. I have a few questions:

  1. With all the Nikon F mount to Sony E Mount Adapter's out there, is there one that will work for me? (A lot of them look like they are designed for the smaller sensor Sony Alpha's.)

No, generally works on FF

  1. Don't know the right term, but it is the whole process of keeping the lens wide open until you take the picture, then the body closes the aperture down to the correct setting. In the pictures I am seeing of all the adapters they don't have the mechanical parts to do that, so I am assuming that it is purely manual. Aka, when the lens is set to f/5.6, that is what the body is getting. Is this correct or is there an adapter that will leave it wide open until you fire the shutter?

Yes, you close the aperture -> the camera see the aperture closed. No viewfinder full open and shot aperture closed.

It's generally not a great deal, as you have an EVF, and the same amount of lbrignhtness for your eyes, of course if you don't close to f16 indoors ....

It's easier to focus full open, but can be done with magnification, even if aperture is relatively closed

  1. Assuming there is an adapter that will close down the apeture when you go to take the picture, is there an adapter that can also auto focus the lens or will it be purely manual focus?

Manual Focus only for the moment with Nikon lenses

Does anyone have any thoughts on how the Nikon 17-35/2.8 compares to the SEL1635Z?

Sam
developer of Photo Parata the event presentation software
http://www.PhotoParata.com

 le_alain's gear list:le_alain's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Leica M Typ 240 Sony a7 III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 24-105mm F4 +1 more
jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,814
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

I haven't tried my 17-35/2.8D AFS yet on my A7r, but I suspect it will do about the same as on my D800.

With Nikon glass on my A7r I generally compose at the aperture I'll be shooting at, especially in M mode.  I have a couple of Nikon F to Sony FE adapters, one with aperture control for G lenses, but it's not needed for the 17-35/2.8D AFS.

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
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Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,907
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

A note on Nikon adapters to E mount. The Novoflex is the only one I would consider. Its expensive but you may experience bad effects from others. I have a Chinese one from Ebay, the Metabones Nikon adapter and finally the Novoflex. The first 2 gave me badly distorted images using a Nikon 14-24 on an A7r. Unuseable. The Novoflex gave images as good as the lens being on a D800e if not slightly better.

So pay the extra for the Novoflex or you may incorrectly decide the lens is not compatible with the A711.

Greg.

 Astrophotographer 10's gear list:Astrophotographer 10's gear list
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jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,814
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

Sam Carleton wrote:

I have owned the Nikon 17-35/2.8 for many years and it has worked well on my Nikon DX camera, but it is time to upgrade to a full frame camera. There is a whole host of reasons why the Sony Alpha a7II looks very appealing. I have a few questions:

  1. With all the Nikon F mount to Sony E Mount Adapter's out there, is there one that will work for me? (A lot of them look like they are designed for the smaller sensor Sony Alpha's.)

For a Nikon D lens (i.e. it has an aperture ring) just about any adapter will do as the aperture is strictly controlled by the lens aperture ring and the Sony body has no idea what the aperture is.  Metabones are very very good, but expensive.  I have a Fotodiox that's fine as well.

  1. Don't know the right term, but it is the whole process of keeping the lens wide open until you take the picture, then the body closes the aperture down to the correct setting. In the pictures I am seeing of all the adapters they don't have the mechanical parts to do that, so I am assuming that it is purely manual. Aka, when the lens is set to f/5.6, that is what the body is getting. Is this correct or is there an adapter that will leave it wide open until you fire the shutter?

Yes, if you are shooting in manual or A mode you have to have the lens stopped down to get the exposure correct.

  1. Assuming there is an adapter that will close down the apeture when you go to take the picture, is there an adapter that can also auto focus the lens or will it be purely manual focus?

As far as I know there is no adapter that can allow the camera body to control the aperture of any Nikon lens.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how the Nikon 17-35/2.8 compares to the SEL1635Z?

No, but I bet the SEL1635Z is likely to be better in the corners.  My reason for keeping the 17-35/2.8 Nikkor is due to the excellent central sharpness wide open and excellent flare/ghosting control.

Sam
developer of Photo Parata the event presentation software
http://www.PhotoParata.com

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic LX100 Nikon D800 Sony a7R II Panasonic G85 +27 more
jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,814
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

A note on Nikon adapters to E mount. The Novoflex is the only one I would consider. Its expensive but you may experience bad effects from others. I have a Chinese one from Ebay, the Metabones Nikon adapter and finally the Novoflex. The first 2 gave me badly distorted images using a Nikon 14-24 on an A7r. Unuseable. The Novoflex gave images as good as the lens being on a D800e if not slightly better.

So pay the extra for the Novoflex or you may incorrectly decide the lens is not compatible with the A711.

Greg.

These adapters are just dumb tubes without any optics, so unless they are terribly/horribly/spectacularly out of parallel (front to rear flange) or have horrible internal reflecting surfaces, they cannot distort an image in any way.  They could have light leaks though that could ruin long exposures.  I've had very good luck with Metabones (with built-in tripod foot) and a cheap Fotasy (actually the cheap Fotasy had excellent flange parallelism while the Metabones was so-so).

Give the cheap ones a try first before investing in an overly-expensive Novoflex . . .

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic LX100 Nikon D800 Sony a7R II Panasonic G85 +27 more
westlites Contributing Member • Posts: 637
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

I own this lens, and while great in terms of IQ, it's also known for having a less than robust AF mechanism. Mine has been in the shop twice for repairs.

If you will still be using it for your Nikon body, perhaps it's better not to use it for your Sony.

 westlites's gear list:westlites's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony a7 II Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +37 more
Sam Carleton
OP Sam Carleton Senior Member • Posts: 1,999
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

Actually I don't own the Sony Alpha a7II. Just an old Nikon D2H. I am debating between the Sony w/ 28-70 kit lens & Nikon adapter or Nikon D750 with 85/1.8. I am a bicycles and love the smaller size of the Sony and the fewer moving parts, bike vibrations and all. I am not too sure how hip I am on the manual aspect of the Nikon lens on the Sony.

So in short, the Nikon 17-35 would be used almost all the time on the Sony, if I go that route. Is it going to be more of a pain then it is worth?

I have started to look at the a7s, the video and low light features look very useful. I am thinking maybe hold off for the a7s ii because I like the ergonomic of the new a7 ii over the first one, I assume in time the a7s will be updated to the newer design.

Sam
developer of Photo Parata the event presentation software

http://wwwMiltonstreet.com

 Sam Carleton's gear list:Sam Carleton's gear list
Nikon D2H Sony a6500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +1 more
le_alain Senior Member • Posts: 1,998
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

Sam Carleton wrote:

I am a bicycles and love the smaller size of the Sony and the fewer moving parts, bike vibrations and all.

http://wwwMiltonstreet.com

the 17-35 is a very big hand heavy lense.

you can go really smaller and lighter with the sony, +28/70 or 24/70, or 16/35

Sony body and lenses have not the build quality level of the Nikon you mention

 le_alain's gear list:le_alain's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Leica M Typ 240 Sony a7 III Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 24-105mm F4 +1 more
westlites Contributing Member • Posts: 637
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

Sam Carleton wrote:

Actually I don't own the Sony Alpha a7II. Just an old Nikon D2H. I am debating between the Sony w/ 28-70 kit lens & Nikon adapter or Nikon D750 with 85/1.8. I am a bicycles and love the smaller size of the Sony and the fewer moving parts, bike vibrations and all. I am not too sure how hip I am on the manual aspect of the Nikon lens on the Sony.

So in short, the Nikon 17-35 would be used almost all the time on the Sony, if I go that route. Is it going to be more of a pain then it is worth?

I have started to look at the a7s, the video and low light features look very useful. I am thinking maybe hold off for the a7s ii because I like the ergonomic of the new a7 ii over the first one, I assume in time the a7s will be updated to the newer design.

Sam
developer of Photo Parata the event presentation software

http://wwwMiltonstreet.com

Suggest you sell the Nikkor then. That lens is a professional one and still worth some money. Then you can buy an E mount that you need. The Nikkor will be very big and heavy especially together with the adapter.

 westlites's gear list:westlites's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony a7 II Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +37 more
Sam Carleton
OP Sam Carleton Senior Member • Posts: 1,999
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

westlites wrote:

Sam Carleton wrote:

Actually I don't own the Sony Alpha a7II. Just an old Nikon D2H. I am debating between the Sony w/ 28-70 kit lens & Nikon adapter or Nikon D750 with 85/1.8. I am a bicycles and love the smaller size of the Sony and the fewer moving parts, bike vibrations and all. I am not too sure how hip I am on the manual aspect of the Nikon lens on the Sony.

So in short, the Nikon 17-35 would be used almost all the time on the Sony, if I go that route. Is it going to be more of a pain then it is worth?

I have started to look at the a7s, the video and low light features look very useful. I am thinking maybe hold off for the a7s ii because I like the ergonomic of the new a7 ii over the first one, I assume in time the a7s will be updated to the newer design.

Sam
developer of Photo Parata the event presentation software

http://wwwMiltonstreet.com

Suggest you sell the Nikkor then. That lens is a professional one and still worth some money. Then you can buy an E mount that you need. The Nikkor will be very big and heavy especially together with the adapter.

That is so sweet;-) recommending I sell my first born... over my dead body!!!!!! hehehe

No, seriously, the lens ain't going anywhere.  I have an old Nikon F5 that, when time allows, I will return to using and the 17-35 is going to be the primary lens!

Sam
developer of Photo Parata the event presentation software
http://www.miltonstreet.com

 Sam Carleton's gear list:Sam Carleton's gear list
Nikon D2H Sony a6500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +1 more
westlites Contributing Member • Posts: 637
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

If you are ok about carrying an F5 and a pro 2.8 Nikkor zoom, then you should get the D750, which weighs a lot less and is a lot smaller than the F5. Jeez, the weight of the 8 AA batteries for the F5 alone..

And I hear you about not selling old camera gear, cannot bring myself to do so, either.

 westlites's gear list:westlites's gear list
Sony a6000 Sony a7 II Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony 85mm F2.8 SAM Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +37 more
Sam Carleton
OP Sam Carleton Senior Member • Posts: 1,999
Re: Using Nikon 17-35/2.8 on Sony Alpha a7II

westlites wrote:

If you are ok about carrying an F5 and a pro 2.8 Nikkor zoom, then you should get the D750, which weighs a lot less and is a lot smaller than the F5. Jeez, the weight of the 8 AA batteries for the F5 alone..

And I hear you about not selling old camera gear, cannot bring myself to do so, either.

I don't think I would be carrying the F5 on my bicycle, don't know when I will be returning to shooting it, might be years!

Today I am looking for a good FF rig for general photography, about 50% of the stuff I will do will be from my bike, so being light, small, and having the fewest moving parts is pretty important.  The Sony Alpha a7 series seems to fit that bill better than the Nikon D750.  This is especially true when I factor in the lens, over time.  The Nikkor 24-70/2.8 is a beast compared to the Sony E equivalent.  I figure in time I would get the Sony 16-35 and leave the Nikkor 17-35 at home, again saving space and weight.

Since I am mostly shooting portraits and landscape, I don't think I am going to be giving up too much.  Is my impression correct that the Sony has better video then the Nikon?

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Sam
developer of Photo Parata the event presentation software
http://www.miltonstreet.com

 Sam Carleton's gear list:Sam Carleton's gear list
Nikon D2H Sony a6500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +1 more
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