Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

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Belgarchi Senior Member • Posts: 2,010
Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

Which are your favorite cameras, from a usability view point, to use adapted manual focus lenses?

Here is my experience:

- Panasonic GM5: pretty nice, ultra light, surprisingly 'sharp' images, no I.S., inadequate for heavy / large lenses, inadequate viewfinder.

- Olympus E-M10-II or -III: I.S., but not very convenient to enter focal length. Good viewfinder.

- Olympus Pen-F: allows to dedicate a button to focal length, great. Specific 'Loupe' button, again, great. I don't like it for very heavy / bulky lenses though. Good viewfinder.

- Fuji X-T20: ok but not great viewfinder. No I.S. Less adapters available than for Micro Four Thirds. The Fuji adapter for Leica M mount would be especially convenient. (never used it myself)

Note: Image Stabilization is great (allows to work at lower shutter speed for still subjects), but useless for moving subjects, and require to enter manually the focal length of the adapted lens - tedious, except with some cameras like the Pen-F.

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moedius
moedius Contributing Member • Posts: 542
Re: Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

I can't really comment on favorites, as I haven't used adapted lenses with enough bodies to make any useful comparisons.

I am interested in hearing these opinions however, particularly in regards to m4/3. I picked up a GF7 for almost nothing as a 'family camera' before the holidays (nobody but me liked the NEX5R apparently).   The GF7 fulfils that purpose admirably with the kit lens, but I found it lacking when adapting.  The peaking\mag features are nice but little things about the handling make it challenging for all but the smallest lenses (Pentax 110 18mm is about perfect!) and the screen isn't good enough to make up for the lack of EVF.  So I've been mulling over other used M43 bodies.

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photoholiko Senior Member • Posts: 2,660
Re: Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

I have adapters for Canon, micro 4/3, Nikon, Pentax and Sony. I find the best ones for lens adapting is Sony E and MFT. I get AF with Canon lenses on the Sony and AF with 4/3 lenses on Olympus and Panasonic. They both do well with MF lenses.

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GossCTP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,151
Re: Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

Belgarchi wrote:

- Fuji X-T20: ok but not great viewfinder. No I.S. Less adapters available than for Micro Four Thirds. The Fuji adapter for Leica M mount would be especially convenient. (never used it myself)

Considering recent price drops I would replace that with the X-H1 which is in many ways the same camera but with IBIS and an improved viewfinder.

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OP Belgarchi Senior Member • Posts: 2,010
Re: Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

GossCTP wrote:

Belgarchi wrote:

- Fuji X-T20: ok but not great viewfinder. No I.S. Less adapters available than for Micro Four Thirds. The Fuji adapter for Leica M mount would be especially convenient. (never used it myself)

Considering recent price drops I would replace that with the X-H1 which is in many ways the same camera but with IBIS and an improved viewfinder.

Is it easy to enter the focal length in the X-H1?

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sensiblename99 Regular Member • Posts: 419
Re: Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

I'd read somewhere that the evf on the a7riv was a significant improvement and allows much more accurate focusing without magnification, and it's mostly true. It's still better to use magnification for 100% accurate focus but the practical advantage and speed are a significant improvement. For mine, the a7riv seems ideal for adapted lenses and that is mostly how i use it including canon ef with the mc-11 adapter which gives excellent af across most of the frame (which is much better than the a7r2).

MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 39,659
Re: Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

moedius wrote:

I can't really comment on favorites, as I haven't used adapted lenses with enough bodies to make any useful comparisons.

I am interested in hearing these opinions however, particularly in regards to m4/3. I picked up a GF7 for almost nothing as a 'family camera' before the holidays (nobody but me liked the NEX5R apparently). The GF7 fulfils that purpose admirably with the kit lens, but I found it lacking when adapting. The peaking\mag features are nice but little things about the handling make it challenging for all but the smallest lenses (Pentax 110 18mm is about perfect!) and the screen isn't good enough to make up for the lack of EVF. So I've been mulling over other used M43 bodies.

I am a GM5 fan (still) even though I have other camera bodies that I quite like.

The evf might be small but it is adequate - I would not like to be using the GF7 without evf.

With eye to evf the view can be magnified (like most Panasonic cameras with touch screen) by a simple thumb-dab <<anywhere>> on the lcd.  As the evf is small the full screen magnification should be set as a magnified centre patch is useless (as I would readily agree).

Method - using evf - compose full screen - thumb dab - screen magnifies - check and adjust focus - focus peaking is good.  Soft press and the screen is full frame again to re-check composition - another thumb dab and you can be back in magnified evf screen should you so wish.  Work flow is good.  Only the flip/flop of the Ricoh GXR-M with soft press alternating full screen and lift off giving magnified view is better conceived.

I also have no issues with all sorts of lens sizes.  The GM5 can easily handle electronic adapters for EF mount lenses - Metabones adaptors work best including focal reduction.

Just support the larger lenses with your left hand - same technique as a dslr ...

The only real issue I have found is with large telephotos is where they have a tight focus action where the torque exerted makes the right hand grip on the camera body uncomfortable - even worse when combined with a very long focus throw.

These are “proper” full function cameras simply made small.  To do this many user conveniences needed to be left out.  A sort of trade-off of IBIS, articulated screen, high performance video - just for full basic camera performance in a camera body just the size of a pack of cards.

All the Panasonic bodies taken as a group have the advantage of a well thought out interface that has remained very similar across a range of bodies for some time.  Obviously looking for a standard set of control locations, but not quite there as of yet.

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Tom Caldwell

GossCTP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,151
Re: Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

Belgarchi wrote:

GossCTP wrote:

Belgarchi wrote:

- Fuji X-T20: ok but not great viewfinder. No I.S. Less adapters available than for Micro Four Thirds. The Fuji adapter for Leica M mount would be especially convenient. (never used it myself)

Considering recent price drops I would replace that with the X-H1 which is in many ways the same camera but with IBIS and an improved viewfinder.

Is it easy to enter the focal length in the X-H1?

Easy enough. It's in the main menu. There are 5 focal lengths to pick from, three of them preset and two customizable. I wish it would prompt to pick one on boot when no lens is detected like my Pentax, but it works. Unlike the Pentax it asks for the exact focal length instead of scrolling through a list, so you can set an exact value for oddball lenses.

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ProfHankD
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,855
Sony A7RII with A7II as a close second choice
4

Belgarchi wrote:

Which are your favorite cameras, from a usability view point, to use adapted manual focus lenses?

The Sony A7RII is really the sweet spot as I see it.

It's FF, with an excellent 42MP sensor (which is even enough in an APS-C crop), has IBIS, silent shutter, and even supports PlayMemories/OpenMemories camera apps. It's also significantly cheaper than the alternatives -- and so are all the old lens adapters you could ever want for it. The A7II is also an outstanding choice, but 24MP FF isn't really enough in APS-C crop mode, no electronic-only shutter, and 4K video.

Put bluntly, you can argue about ergonomics and personal preferences, but in terms of capability for making top-quality images with a wide range of old lenses, only the much more expensive Nikon Z7 and Sony A7RIV really beat it.

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Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 6,063
For high resolution: Nikon Z7, mid-resolution: Nikon Z6 or Sony A7II/III (NT)
1

CK

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 4,115
Re: Favorite cameras for adapted lenses

Have only used OMD-EM1-M1 and A7II so I can't really recommend one thing over another, and also point out that BSI sensors (eg. A7III, A7RII and up) would have no hues in lenses that have higher incidence rays (ie. likely RF wides).

E Dinkla Senior Member • Posts: 1,872
Re: Sony A7RII with A7II as a close second choice

+1  for the recommendations.

A Nikon friend with a Z however mentions that Nikon body prices are dropping fast here. Nikon seems to be in rough financial waters.

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Tomasg71
Tomasg71 Regular Member • Posts: 307
Re: Sony A7RII with A7II as a close second choice

ProfHankD wrote:

Belgarchi wrote:

Which are your favorite cameras, from a usability view point, to use adapted manual focus lenses?

The Sony A7RII is really the sweet spot as I see it.

It's FF, with an excellent 42MP sensor (which is even enough in an APS-C crop), has IBIS, silent shutter, and even supports PlayMemories/OpenMemories camera apps. It's also significantly cheaper than the alternatives -- and so are all the old lens adapters you could ever want for it. The A7II is also an outstanding choice, but 24MP FF isn't really enough in APS-C crop mode, no electronic-only shutter, and 4K video.

Put bluntly, you can argue about ergonomics and personal preferences, but in terms of capability for making top-quality images with a wide range of old lenses, only the much more expensive Nikon Z7 and Sony A7RIV really beat it.

I absolutely agree, to use vintage lenses for what they where designed to cover.I have the A7II.

I ll add the programmable custom buttons. In my case C2 for magnification (personally i also programmed C3 for it when i tilt the camera into portrait), C4 for peaking, central button for focal length selection, scroll to select the fl press and that s it,

And i also add the good range of adjustment for farsightedness in the viewfinder for some of us this can be important.

ThomasB
ThomasB Contributing Member • Posts: 689
Re: Sony A7RII with A7II as a close second choice
1

ProfHankD wrote:

Belgarchi wrote:

Which are your favorite cameras, from a usability view point, to use adapted manual focus lenses?

The Sony A7RII is really the sweet spot as I see it.

It's FF, with an excellent 42MP sensor (which is even enough in an APS-C crop), has IBIS, silent shutter, and even supports PlayMemories/OpenMemories camera apps. It's also significantly cheaper than the alternatives -- and so are all the old lens adapters you could ever want for it. The A7II is also an outstanding choice, but 24MP FF isn't really enough in APS-C crop mode, no electronic-only shutter, and 4K video.

Put bluntly, you can argue about ergonomics and personal preferences, but in terms of capability for making top-quality images with a wide range of old lenses, only the much more expensive Nikon Z7 and Sony A7RIV really beat it.

The A7R II is indeed the best choice and therefore also my recommendation.
The later models A7R III and IV don't really add much for the adaption of old MF lenses.

The A7 II wouldn't be my second choice. The old sensor design isn't really good for the usage of RF lenses and the image quality is simply far better from the 42MP sensor when you compare the pictures at same output size from both models.

With APS-C sensor my most favorite camera is still the Ricoh GXR-M as it was exclusively developed for the usage of MF lenses and it also performs best with wide angle RF lenses of any age. Still my preferred set when on the move and when the weight and size of the camera equipment is an issue.

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John Michael Winterbourne
John Michael Winterbourne Veteran Member • Posts: 3,055
Re: Sony A7RII with A7II and a Z6 as close second choices.

Indeed - I could buy a refurbed Z6 for £1,250 or so at the moment from a reputable dealer here in UK.  Not sure about Z7 - but the only thing I wasn't persuaded by in the Prof's original post was being able to extract an APS-C crop from 42 MP.  Important for some, but not for me.

I have said in earlier threads that my A7II is the 'best' platform for adapted lenses I currently have, but it isn't my 'favourite' - largely a question of ergonomics.  I've rejigged some of the buttons recently to make magnification easier to find with the camera to my eye, so I'm now a bit more comfortable with it.  But I'm pretty sure I would like a Z6 better.  I need to start doing some sums - what a Z6 would cost, how much I would get for my A7II, and is the difference worth it.

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Tomasg71
Tomasg71 Regular Member • Posts: 307
Re: Sony A7RII with A7II and a Z6 as close second choices.

John Michael Winterbourne wrote:

Indeed - I could buy a refurbed Z6 for £1,250 or so at the moment from a reputable dealer here in UK. Not sure about Z7 - but the only thing I wasn't persuaded by in the Prof's original post was being able to extract an APS-C crop from 42 MP. Important for some, but not for me.

I have said in earlier threads that my A7II is the 'best' platform for adapted lenses I currently have, but it isn't my 'favourite' - largely a question of ergonomics. I've rejigged some of the buttons recently to make magnification easier to find with the camera to my eye, so I'm now a bit more comfortable with it. But I'm pretty sure I would like a Z6 better. I need to start doing some sums - what a Z6 would cost, how much I would get for my A7II, and is the difference worth it.

It helps a lot to program the custom buttons on the A7ii. With vintage manual lenses I like the fact that one can change a camera brand a bit easier than with a full AF lens setup. Don t forget to add the cost of the new adapters though.

RivkiLocker
RivkiLocker Senior Member • Posts: 1,117
Another vote for Fuji xh1

I have only adapted using Fuji bodies but the xh1 stands out for its meatier grip - excellent for larger lenses - and ibis. An excellent choice.

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ThomasB
ThomasB Contributing Member • Posts: 689
Re: Sony A7RII with A7II and a Z6 as close second choices.
1

Tomasg71 wrote:

John Michael Winterbourne wrote:

Indeed - I could buy a refurbed Z6 for £1,250 or so at the moment from a reputable dealer here in UK. Not sure about Z7 - but the only thing I wasn't persuaded by in the Prof's original post was being able to extract an APS-C crop from 42 MP. Important for some, but not for me.

I have said in earlier threads that my A7II is the 'best' platform for adapted lenses I currently have, but it isn't my 'favourite' - largely a question of ergonomics. I've rejigged some of the buttons recently to make magnification easier to find with the camera to my eye, so I'm now a bit more comfortable with it. But I'm pretty sure I would like a Z6 better. I need to start doing some sums - what a Z6 would cost, how much I would get for my A7II, and is the difference worth it.

It helps a lot to program the custom buttons on the A7ii. With vintage manual lenses I like the fact that one can change a camera brand a bit easier than with a full AF lens setup. Don t forget to add the cost of the new adapters though.

The cost for new adapters is indeed a good argument. For me that would be a showstopper as I have plenty Minolta AF lenses which I do adapt on my A7R II with the LA-EA4. Furthermore I'm adapting almost any other MF lens with a Leica-M and the Techart AF adapter; i.e. I'm able to use any of my lenses with AF-assistance on my A7R II.
No need to magnify anything for focusing.

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Tomasg71
Tomasg71 Regular Member • Posts: 307
Re: Sony A7RII with A7II and a Z6 as close second choices.

ThomasB wrote:

Tomasg71 wrote:

John Michael Winterbourne wrote:

Indeed - I could buy a refurbed Z6 for £1,250 or so at the moment from a reputable dealer here in UK. Not sure about Z7 - but the only thing I wasn't persuaded by in the Prof's original post was being able to extract an APS-C crop from 42 MP. Important for some, but not for me.

I have said in earlier threads that my A7II is the 'best' platform for adapted lenses I currently have, but it isn't my 'favourite' - largely a question of ergonomics. I've rejigged some of the buttons recently to make magnification easier to find with the camera to my eye, so I'm now a bit more comfortable with it. But I'm pretty sure I would like a Z6 better. I need to start doing some sums - what a Z6 would cost, how much I would get for my A7II, and is the difference worth it.

It helps a lot to program the custom buttons on the A7ii. With vintage manual lenses I like the fact that one can change a camera brand a bit easier than with a full AF lens setup. Don t forget to add the cost of the new adapters though.

The cost for new adapters is indeed a good argument. For me that would be a showstopper as I have plenty Minolta AF lenses which I do adapt on my A7R II with the LA-EA4. Furthermore I'm adapting almost any other MF lens with a Leica-M and the Techart AF adapter; i.e. I'm able to use any of my lenses with AF-assistance on my A7R II.
No need to magnify anything for focusing.

I have 10 K&F Concept adapters, to buy the same for a new mount would cost me around 250 eur, so not that irrelevant but not very expensive either. I usually always buy a second hand camera, i like the prospect the i ll be able to add a Nikon Z or Canon RF body in 3, 4 or 5 years for less than 1000 eur including the cost for the new adapters.

ThomasB
ThomasB Contributing Member • Posts: 689
Re: Sony A7RII with A7II and a Z6 as close second choices.
1

Tomasg71 wrote:

ThomasB wrote:

Tomasg71 wrote:

John Michael Winterbourne wrote:

Indeed - I could buy a refurbed Z6 for £1,250 or so at the moment from a reputable dealer here in UK. Not sure about Z7 - but the only thing I wasn't persuaded by in the Prof's original post was being able to extract an APS-C crop from 42 MP. Important for some, but not for me.

I have said in earlier threads that my A7II is the 'best' platform for adapted lenses I currently have, but it isn't my 'favourite' - largely a question of ergonomics. I've rejigged some of the buttons recently to make magnification easier to find with the camera to my eye, so I'm now a bit more comfortable with it. But I'm pretty sure I would like a Z6 better. I need to start doing some sums - what a Z6 would cost, how much I would get for my A7II, and is the difference worth it.

It helps a lot to program the custom buttons on the A7ii. With vintage manual lenses I like the fact that one can change a camera brand a bit easier than with a full AF lens setup. Don t forget to add the cost of the new adapters though.

The cost for new adapters is indeed a good argument. For me that would be a showstopper as I have plenty Minolta AF lenses which I do adapt on my A7R II with the LA-EA4. Furthermore I'm adapting almost any other MF lens with a Leica-M and the Techart AF adapter; i.e. I'm able to use any of my lenses with AF-assistance on my A7R II.
No need to magnify anything for focusing.

I have 10 K&F Concept adapters, to buy the same for a new mount would cost me around 250 eur, so not that irrelevant but not very expensive either. I usually always buy a second hand camera, i like the prospect the i ll be able to add a Nikon Z or Canon RF body in 3, 4 or 5 years for less than 1000 eur including the cost for the new adapters.

Well, in theory I could also change to any other mirrorless system but I would loose my AF-functionality. All I would need is a new adapter from Leica-M to the new system. Except for some old Fujica-AX lenses (there is no adapter to Leica-M) I have all adapters from anything to Leica-M.

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