What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

Started 4 months ago | Questions
OP Pragma Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

Can't believe the number of helpful and insightful responses I've recieved, thank you all. Lots to think about and learn obviously! Glad my assessment of the Canon FD lenses is accurate to what others have found.

John Crowe
John Crowe Senior Member • Posts: 1,453
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

My favourite for 16 years has been Nikon.  Still have two from a high of nine.   Finally added three Canon FD lenses going back to my 80's roots.

I would add more FD if I had a mirrorless.

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ProfHankD
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 8,000
AOT mount
4

Pragma wrote:

Anyway just curious what your prefered mount is or what you would focus on purchasing if you could start again.

AOT mount: All Of Them mount.

Much of the fun of adapted lenses on mirrorless bodies is that you can mix & match. You don't have to pick just one mount, and each one you pick only adds perhaps $10 for the adapter (many cheaper, some more expensive).

Looking at my little list of lenses (ok, it's over 200), the ones I ranked best-in-class IQ are 8 Minolta MC/MD, 3 Sony A, 2 Sony FE, 1 Canon FD, 1 Adaptall 2, 1 T, and 1 Konica AR. So, I guess I like old Minoltas... but I knew that; in the 1970s, I used to shoot with an SRT-101 and XK professionally. However, I own lenses in over 20 different mounts -- and that's not even counting the large-format lenses which are sort-of each a different mount. I'll also add that, for example, although none of my M42 lenses is what I'd call the best in any attribute, if I were forced to just grab one fast fifty to handle unknown photographic circumstances, I'd probably grab my Mamiya/Sekor M42 55mm f/1.4 -- because it's best at nothing, but in the top few at everything. Put another way, almost every lens is really great at something, so the trick is using one that fits your needs -- there really isn't any such thing as a "best overall" lens until you specify weighting on each attribute.

Despite having a silly number of lenses, my advice is always to only buy lenses based on enabling you to make photos you want to make and can't easily make with your current lenses. Also, only spend what the lens is worth to you. The reason I have so many is largely because I've done computational photography research that benefited from having a good sampling of all types -- I wouldn't have anywhere near as many otherwise -- but I haven't spent that much, averaging well under $25/lens.

So, some more suggestions:

  1. If you haven't used manual lenses on a mirrorless camera before, start with a cheap fast fifty -- the Minolta MC/MD 50mm f/1.7 is a dirt-cheap choice that's optically and mechanically better than average.
  2. Don't be a brand snob. There are Vivitars and Spiratones that blow away some Nikons and Canons, and some Minolta and Pentax are better than some Zeiss and Leica. We didn't really know this years ago, but side-by-side testing on the same mirrorless body can break brand biases really quickly.
  3. Lenses are cheaper in mounts that were once very popular, but have been orphaned. For example, Minolta SR/MC/MD and Canon FL/FD/FDn are almost always cheaper than Nikon F, even when it's the exact same 3rd-party lens. Adaptability of M42 has kept it a little pricey. Now that Sony's waving bye-bye to A mount, the party is still just getting started for Minolta AF (aka Sony A). 
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AshleyMC Senior Member • Posts: 1,395
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

Canon EF.

My Canon background means a fairly complete set of excellent EF-mount lenses. When I eventually tried Sony and Fujifilm mirrorless cameras, the market readily offered many adapter options for EF lenses — which was great because during the initial few years there were only some E and X lenses available. When Canon introduced the M and R cameras, it simultaneously offered adapters for the new mounts, and other manufacturers followed with less expensive compatible options.

Many people also adapt Canon EF and EF-S lens to MFT mount.

For fun? The “legacy” manual lenses in M42, Canon FD and Pentax K mounts.

Goethe
Goethe Senior Member • Posts: 1,549
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

Pragma wrote:

I'm looking at picking up a new set of lenses for my Fuji X-T1 but Im essentially starting from a clean slate. I have a Canon FD 28mm F/2.8 and 28-85 F/4 left over after selling my Canon camera. I've never found the FD line of lenses to be particularly beautiful but they worked well enough and were plentiful.

I had a rather full set of M42 Takumar primea but sold them with the camera as a set - I regret doing it now as they were in mint condition but such is life.

Now I'm looking at OM lenses, Nikon F, or the Pentax K. I have a Nikon F3 with a 200mm F/4 but the lens is in such bad condition I'd never waste my time adapting. I have no time for film and that process but maybe that will change.

Anyway just curious what your prefered mount is or what you would focus on purchasing if you could start again.

Cheers!

Contrary to many comments on here so far, my favorite line is Canon FD/FL. Sitting in my camera bag right now along with a Lumix S1 is the following kit...FL 35/2.5, FD 35/3.5, FDn 50/1.4, FL 55/1.2, and an FDn 85/1.8.

Also, a set of Canon FD extension tubes just came in from KEH along with a Canon 52mm macro adapter which lets me reverse mount lenses with a 52mm thread. Included is a smart Canon Macro hood for FD/FL lenses which let you operate the aperture when the lenses are reversed along with providing a little protection for the mount side of the lens. Clever.

Canon not only made really, really good lenses but they also put out a very comprehensive line of add ons and accessories back in the day that many other brands never even attempted. They are a very good 'system' manufacturer. Nikon may be their only true challenger in this.

Anyway, I really like FD and FL lenses. I have used an old FL 55/1.2 for years first on Sony and now Panasonic to great effect. The lens is stupidly sharp wide open.

Other then vintage Canon you cant really go wrong with Minolta. They put out excellent lenses for decades. In their partnership with Leica they actually sold a few of their own lenses to the German company so Leica could rebrand them as sell them as Leica lenses. If that isnt high praise then I dont know what is. Also, the Minolta M Rokkors are still some of the finest M glass made by anyone. Get a good copy of a good Minolta lens and you will never sell it. I still have my MC Rokkor PF 55/1.7, even thought I dont really use it anymore, because it is just a damn fine lens.

As others have said the Contax Yashica mount has a LOT going for it. Some fine Zeiss glass, with some fine Yashica ML lenses to choose from as well.

One last thing...adapters. Some people claim the FD/FL mount is fiddly. Thats because it is. But this is easily solved by simply buying an adapter for every lens you have. I try to do this anyway because I find that my changing out the lens and adapter every time simply puts less strain on my actual camera lens mount. The Canon FD mount is one of the shorter vintage Japanese SLR mounts (second only to Konica AR) so putting an adapter on each lens only adds a little weight and bulk in the bag. At least it never bothers me, and is worth it not to try to mess with FD lenses in the field. I can attest to Fotasy adapter being cheap and well made. Although their FD to Leica L adapter wont let me mount my Canon FL 35/2.5 because of the bulge on the back of the lens due to its retrofocus design. However, my Metabones FD to Leica L adapter lets me mount it just fine. Weird but true. But I have ordered several Fotasy adapters over the last few weeks and have not had fitment issues with any of them.

And remember that sample variation can make ever bit of info in any of these posts completely irrelevant. One person may have a great copy of a lens and rave about it. But get a crummy example of a lens and it doesnt matter what pedigree it has.

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Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,601
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

Pragma wrote:

I'm looking at picking up a new set of lenses for my Fuji X-T1 but Im essentially starting from a clean slate. I have a Canon FD 28mm F/2.8 and 28-85 F/4 left over after selling my Canon camera. I've never found the FD line of lenses to be particularly beautiful but they worked well enough and were plentiful.

I don't mind FD, it's not my favorite mount, nFD is one of my least favourite mount, it's flimsy, wears out, many have a cam with rollers instead of a helicoid, and the rollers are rubber and suffer deterioration. My FD SSC 24/2.8 Was awesome on my NEX-7, the SSC 50/1.4 & 85/1.8 were also nice,(CA is a bit more prominent with the 85 than I'd like) they make a nice ergonomic set, all 3 are roughly the same size.

I had a rather full set of M42 Takumar primea but sold them with the camera as a set - I regret doing it now as they were in mint condition but such is life.

They are nice, well built, well worth getting again, for K mount I like the first generation (SMC K).

Now I'm looking at OM lenses,

These are fairly compact, pick the multicoated versions ( MC or Zuiko without the letter prefix) 21/3.5 and 50/1.4 were well used on my NEX-7.

Nikon F,

Not my most favorite mount, I've yet to successfully service an F mount Nikkor, always seem to get stopped by a stuck screw, I do love the early 58/1.4's rendering.

or the Pentax K.

SMC K 28/3.5 or 28/2, 50/1.4, and 85/1.8 is a nice set.

I have a Nikon F3 with a 200mm F/4 but the lens is in such bad condition I'd never waste my time adapting. I have no time for film and that process but maybe that will change.

Yeah, no interest in film here either.

Anyway just curious what your prefered mount is or what you would focus on purchasing if you could start again.

Cheers!

If I was to go back to 2005 and start again I'd focus on more rangefinder lenses, the size + quality is hard to beat, prices are higher now days since the addition of digital M's, but was worth it for the most part.

Leica R are lovely but a bit on the large size.

Yashica and Contax C/Y are popular options.

Konica are nice performers.

Topcor are definitely a favorite of mine.

Minolta SR are one of my favourites, MCII in particular, sold build and I do love the all metal construction, which explains my collection of Minolta MCII, Konica AR, Takumar, CZJ, Leica R/M/LTM, most of the German brands, Plus a number of others.

Basically in my experience any of the first party lenses have a higher chance of being better than average.

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Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 7,601
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

Alun Thomas wrote:

Anything bayonet mount is preferred by myself. Canon FD/FL mount is clunky and requires multiple moves to engage the aperture enabling lever. If the lever is not in the correct position when mounting you have to dismount the lens, reset the lever, remount the lens, then engage the lever.

FD chrome nose and SSC all have the ability to push the aperture lever to the end and it's held by a detent, this enables the aperture ring the moment the lens is mounted, it eliminates the open/close/lock ring on the adapter, this greatly simplifies the process. nFD does not feature this detent lock.

Petri mount is barely any better. M42 and other sized threadings take forever and a day to mount, and as already mentioned, may move in service.

My interest is in 1960s or earlier lenses, and in that bracket I prefer Minoltas SR mount over the rest. Nikons' F mount rotationally mount a different way from every other bayonet mount I know of. Exakta/Topcon has some very nice lenses, but the mount itself doesn't impress for security or robustness. Konica AR is also okay, but somewhat more obscure than Minolta. I also like Miranda lenses, but the mount itself doesn't impress, likewise for DKL. DKL also is very small in the size of the rear element allowed, which I believe can cause problems optically. Other mounts like Topcon UV or Kowa R are hard to find adapters for, and I've never seen any third party lenses for those mounts either.

Having said that, if the right lens comes along in a mount not particularly preferred, it still gets bid on.

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####Where's my FF NEX-7 ?????
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/447/31518420576_7916966b11_b.jpg
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Firmware request:
-A button map for toggling the EVF & LCD
-Still waiting for the minimum shutter speed with auto ISO for my NEX-7 and A7r. I know it will never happen.
-Customize the display screen layout, I'd love to have both Histogram and level at the same time.
-More peaking options, being able to set peaking sensitivity and a threshold level.
-An RGB overlay on the histogram https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/602/20236258313_c604dd9522_n.jpg
-An option to return the focus assist zoom to one button press
-An option to return to how the NEX-7 handled playback, ie. center button to zoom, then you could use the control dial to zoom in and out, then center button to exit the zoom mode.

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Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony a7R Leica Elmarit-M 24mm f/2.8 ASPH Leica APO-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar +20 more
Goethe
Goethe Senior Member • Posts: 1,549
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

Lightshow wrote:

FD chrome nose and SSC all have the ability to push the aperture lever to the end and it's held by a detent, this enables the aperture ring the moment the lens is mounted, it eliminates the open/close/lock ring on the adapter, this greatly simplifies the process. nFD does not feature this detent lock.

Thats interesting, I had no idea this was a thing. Thanks for sharing.

Since you mentioned Konicas I have a couple of questions. I generally really, really like what I see form other peoples images taken with Hexanon AR lenses. My luck with them, with the very few lenses I have had by them, has been a bit hit or miss. But it seems your general impression is that they are well made lenses?

Also, one of the things I notice with them (that drives me a bit crazy) is how 'clacky' their aperture rings are. And also the very small distance for engagement travel between values. They seem to require a lot of effort to push originally, but then the force needed to get it out of the aperture its in makes you overshoot then next aperture value. Does that make sense? Has this been you experience with them if you have a large selection of them? Curious to hear your overall take on them.

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fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 6,943
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?

Sorry to go off topic. Lol the sig. Who puts a sig about another random poster, but in this case is fully justified. I did have "ignore" him when he insisted the worst photo ever created was actually the most sublime, in spite of him being quite nice actually.

Goethe
Goethe Senior Member • Posts: 1,549
Re: What's your favourite adapted lens mount?
1

fferreres wrote:

Sorry to go off topic. Lol the sig. Who puts a sig about another random poster,

Lol, clearly I do. I enjoy being meta. Not the first time I have done this, probably not the last.

but in this case is fully justified. I did have "ignore" him when he insisted the worst photo ever created was actually the most sublime, in spite of him being quite nice actually.

Sounds like there is a story there. Message me if you want to share.

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