CK's Lens Post: Vello Nikon F to Sony NEX Autofocus Adapter - First Impression
Got a used Vello Nikon F to Sony NEX autofocus adapter and tested it with some of my Nikon AF-S and AF-P lenses. Here is a short report of my first findings.
This is the box. Note that the adapter that I got used has firmware version 0.04, the newest one. Note also that you have to update the firmware of your Sony. I updated my Sony A7II's to version 4.0.
This is the front side of the adapter. It has all the needed contacts to be used with Nikon autofocus lenses. But, note that the adapter has no screw driver, which means those older AF and AF-D lenses are not supported. Therefore, I only tested a few AF-S and AF-P lenses, those lenses with s focus motor. The white dot indicates the alignment of a Nikon lens and this adapter. You also see the lever to close and open the aperture mechanism in a lens.
This is the rear end of the adapter. It has a tripod mount. Useful? Not really! For longer lenses, you'd better use the tripod mount of the lens.
The top of this adapter shows the adapter name LAE-SE-NF.
This is the left side of this adapter. It only has a latch for lens release. I really dislike the dot there. At the very beginning I sometimes misinterpreted it as the lens mounting alignment indicator. I do think that removing this dot and moving the white dot to this side would be a better idea.
The adapter came with front and rear caps. The following image shows the adapter on my Sony A7II.
Vello's site indicates that this adapter is compatible with Nikon's G-type and E-type lenses. A G-type lens has no aperture ring, and a E-type lens is naturally a G-type lens with electronic aperture control. I bought this adapter to be used with a Nikon E-type lens, the Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E:
Here is a list of what I found:
- For compatible lenses, this adapter does autofocus. However, focusing speed is slow to very slow. In many cases, the lens may move forward and backward once or twice, wait for a short amount of time, and start micro adjustment. Sometimes AF can fail.
- This adapter is a battery power hog. I mounted several lenses on the adapter for testing whether a particular lens can autofocus. Each lens was tried couple times using different focal lengths. Well, guess what. In less than 10 minutes, the battery indicator showed a 4% to 5% battery power decrease.
- Occasionally, it may take up to 45 seconds to power up my Sony A7II when this adapter and lens combo was used. I do not know why. Additionally, this is not uniform because for a particular lens that the camera can power up instantly this time could cause a long delay next time.
- Well, it does focus; but (1) you have to update your camera's firmware and (2) you must use a compatible lens. You may find a list of compatible lenses here. Scroll down to the Support and Learning section, click the down arrow, and retrieve the Compatibility Chart v04 link to download a PDF file. Vello does not have a comprehensive compatibility list.
I did test some Nikon AF-S and AF-P lenses in my collections, and still have a few more to go. Here is a list that includes lenses that may or may not be on Vello's list. Let me start with DX (i.e., APS-C) lenses. Note that most of these lenses can vignette at the shorter end, and, as a result, you won't use these lenses on a Sony FF body.
- AF-S DX 12-24mm 1:4G ED
- AF-S DX 16-85mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR
- AF-P 10-20mm 1:4.5-5.6G VR - This is an odd ball because the AF-P 18-55mm and AF-P 70-300mm did not work at all. Note the the prefix AF-P rather than AF-S.
The following has some FF lenses:
- AF-S 85mm 1:1.8G
- AF-S 300mm 1:4D ED - This is the old workhorse of 300mm f/4.
- AF-S 200mm 1:2G ED VR - This is the old non-N (i.e., nano coating) version.
- Tamron AF SP 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 Di VC - This is the very popular A005, which in many's eyes is better than the AF-S 70-300mm with which I do not agree.
I will update this list in the future when I could find lenses that are not on Vello's list.
My conclusion: If you have good Nikon AF-S lenses, whether they are the G-type of E-type, get a Nikon FF body such as the cheapest D610 or some better ones rather than adapting these lenses to be used on a Sony body using this adapter. Otherwise, you could be upset by the slow AF speed and hit-or-miss issues of this Vello adapter. I think this adapter is in its very early stage of development and is somewhat immature. Vello still has a long way to go. Whether Vello can make it is unknown. Hence, if you are serious, don't go in this direction.
Thanks for being a pioneer and passing your astute observations along. The tripod mount shape and crackle paint finish scream "Commlite" and "Jintu" associations. I would suspect that the Vello comes from a close source.
Nevertheless you have shown that it is probably just as difficult (probably more so) to develop a working oem competitive electronic Nikon adapter to a Mirrorless mount system.
It has taken quite a few years for Metabones (and others) to fully understand the Canon EF electronics over a wide range of lenses made and developed over a considerable number of years. The manufacturer can digress, change, and improve their product over the years in full understanding of what they are doing and in control of their technical environment. It must be a magical mystery tour for those trying to follow and re-create the twists and turns in a laboratory. And so many lenses were made ... there are still some issues with EF lenses after years of refining - but the remaining difficulties are now much smaller (almost gone).
Welcome to the slow evolution of a Nikon AF adapter ...
Just a query - does this adapter support a full electronic interface between the Sony body and the lens? If so it is a reasonable big step forward just to get full electonics and MF alone.
I have become interested in "cheap" MF-only Jintu electronic adapters EF to M4/3. These must be preferred as the affordable way to obtain control of the lens electronics including aperture control from M4/3 and Sony E/FE bodies when using EF lenses. Much better than the alternative and just as costly manual iris types which are otherwise completely dumb and locate the iris in the incorrect position.
Thanks CK, great info, appreciate you taking one for the team!
"We're the hot rodders of the camera world!" ~ Tom Caldwell
|Rainbow and Truck by dalgo|
|medieval woman with sword by summicron|
from Medieval Costumed Actors in Ancient Structures
|Yellow Slicker by Billstek|
from Just a touch of color.