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AlaskaMoose

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This thread relates to Nikon and Canon mirrorless camera photographers who have decided to migrate to the new bodies, plus anybody who for wherever reason (s) desires to add to the discussion.

In my view Canon and Nikon have given a new life to the older Canon and Nikon lenses by introducing a series of lens adapters. With these adapters the older lenses, regardless of incorporating IS or not, benefit from in-body IS. The image-stabiling lenses benefit from both IS and IBIS, and the non-IS lenses still benefit from IBIS alone.

I have noticed that the demand for new and used Canon EF lenses (the ones with the older mount) remains high, along the new Canon RF lenses, which was not the case when Canon introduced the R5 and R6 plus the new line of lenses for these cameras. It seems that a lot of photographers are migrating to the new mirrorless cameras, but keeping some of the older lenses. I am using EF prime lenses (100mm, 135m, 200, 400mm), and soon one RF lens (100-500mm) with a Canon R6. Will also continue using a Canon 7D and 5D II.

If you are a Nikon Z-series camera user, how do you feel about the use of older Nikon lenses "adapted" to the new mirrorless cameras? Is it working well for you?
 

mollyc

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Aug 18, 2016
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I use adapted lenses on my z6 and have zero issues. Well actually using a tripod is slightly more cumbersome but not a dealbreaker.
 
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whiteonline

macrumors 6502a
Aug 19, 2011
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California, USA
z7 owner here. I have found no issues in autofocus or metering. And there is no loss of quality. Having Nikon lenses adapted fill the gaps in the current z mount lineup.
How do I feel adapting? It’s not ideal, but I’m not averse to it.

On a side note, the S lenses are simply amazing as compared to their F mount counterparts. The hype is real.
 

AlaskaMoose

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Apr 26, 2008
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z7 owner here. I have found no issues in autofocus or metering. And there is no loss of quality. Having Nikon lenses adapted fill the gaps in the current z mount lineup.
How do I feel adapting? It’s not ideal, but I’m not averse to it.

On a side note, the S lenses are simply amazing as compared to their F mount counterparts. The hype is real.
I hear the same about the canon RF lenses. Supposedly, the communication taking place between these lenses and the R body is slightly faster relating to IS. But the older and very expensive EF lenses that are already very sharp, from what I hear now become sharper. The problem with the older lenses is that some are quite heavy, and since they are so expensive a lot of photographers don't get rid of them. I am talking about lenses that cost from $5,000 to $12,000 or more, several of which are primes. I am certain that a lot of older Nikon lenses fall into the same categories and Canon's relating to IQ and price.

Glad to hear what both of you have said about your cameras and lenses.
 

whiteonline

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Aug 19, 2011
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California, USA
I hear the same about the canon RF lenses. Supposedly, the communication taking place between these lenses and the R body is slightly faster relating to IS. But the older and very expensive EF lenses that are already very sharp, from what I hear now become sharper. The problem with the older lenses is that some are quite heavy, and since they are so expensive a lot of photographers don't get rid of them. I am talking about lenses that cost from $5,000 to $12,000 or more, several of which are primes. I am certain that a lot of older Nikon lenses fall into the same categories and Canon's relating to IQ and price.

Glad to hear what both of you have said about your cameras and lenses.
Not sure if I buy the ”become sharper” thought. Maybe the new sensors are making them appear better. But the resolving power of older lenses tend to become the limiting factor for high-megapixel cameras.
However, I see no reason to get rid of a lens that is working perfectly fine, adapted or not. Functionally it should be near identical (exceptions exist I’m sure). The one concern is shooting in harsh conditions where weather sealing is paramount. Native should be more reliable with fewer components and connections.
 

OreoCookie

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Apr 14, 2001
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Sendai, Japan
Not sure if I buy the ”become sharper” thought. Maybe the new sensors are making them appear better. But the resolving power of older lenses tend to become the limiting factor for high-megapixel cameras.
This isn't just marketing, it is borne out by tests. And there are clear reasons why: mirrorless cameras have a clear advantage when it comes to lens design, because the back elements of the lens can be much, much closer to the sensor. That's why, e. g. mirrorless wide angle zooms are much smaller and lighter than their apples-for-apples counterparts on dslrs. In addition to that, that allows for simpler or better lens designs with mirrorless cameras (depending on the direction you want to go in). That's why Canon and Nikon both released f/1.0 AF lenses.
 

Hughmac

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Feb 4, 2012
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Kent, UK
No problems whatsoever using the FTZ adapter with my Z 50. I put the kit lens back in the box and use a Sigma 10-20mm for landscapes, and a Sigma 50-500mm for wildlife.
The 10-20 worked straight away even though it's an old lens, but the 50-500 had to be re-chipped by Sigma, which was a free service by them.
My Nikon branded lenses are working fine of course.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 

whiteonline

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Aug 19, 2011
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California, USA
This isn't just marketing, it is borne out by tests. And there are clear reasons why: mirrorless cameras have a clear advantage when it comes to lens design, because the back elements of the lens can be much, much closer to the sensor. That's why, e. g. mirrorless wide angle zooms are much smaller and lighter than their apples-for-apples counterparts on dslrs. In addition to that, that allows for simpler or better lens designs with mirrorless cameras (depending on the direction you want to go in). That's why Canon and Nikon both released f/1.0 AF lenses.
No doubt I agree on the new mounts and lens design. I was speaking to the notion that legacy lenses performed better optically on mirrorless bodies.
 

mollyc

macrumors 604
Aug 18, 2016
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Anectodally my F mount lenses generally work better (ie sharper) on my Z mount camera than they did on the F mount cameras because the risk of camera/lens miscalibration is greatly reduced.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
Older lenses were manufactured differently than current ones; these days we have nano coating and all sorts of other refinements which help prevent unwanted lens flare, chromatic aberration, etc. A current mirrorless or DSLR camera body with a large sensor / high resolution is going to show up flaws both in a lens and in a user's technique. In some instances, those perceived flaws in a lens may be acceptable and even desirable, if it is a classic, revered lens such as Nikon's original Noct, but in other situations not so much so.

As mentioned above mirrorless has made a difference in allowing for new techniques, processes and materials in lens design, which mean a difference in the images shot with those lenses. Years ago there could not have been lenses such as Sony's recent 12-24mm wide-angle zoom with its outstanding quality throughout its range that makes it equal to many primes.

As for adapters, my feeling is if I'm buying a particular brand of camera then I am going to buy native lenses which specifically mate with that camera body, not a bunch of third-party lenses. I also am not keen on the idea of buying a mirrorless camera and then sticking on an adapter in order to use my old lenses even though they are the same brand. That is why I made the switch from Nikon to Sony. Everyone makes his or her own choices, though, and as long as they're happy, that's fine.
 
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AlaskaMoose

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Original poster
Apr 26, 2008
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This isn't just marketing, it is borne out by tests. And there are clear reasons why: mirrorless cameras have a clear advantage when it comes to lens design, because the back elements of the lens can be much, much closer to the sensor. That's why, e. g. mirrorless wide angle zooms are much smaller and lighter than their apples-for-apples counterparts on dslrs. In addition to that, that allows for simpler or better lens designs with mirrorless cameras (depending on the direction you want to go in). That's why Canon and Nikon both released f/1.0 AF lenses.
Agree. Sometimes the older lenses had to be micro-adjusted in order to gain the most sharpness from the camera/lens combination. Several photographers in one of the Canon user forums i visit have reported that the EF lenses they are using adapted to the canon R5 and R6 are now much sharper.
 
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anotherscotsman

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Aug 2, 2014
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UK
R owner. I use two of my favourite EF lenses (16-35mm f4 L and 70-300mm L) with the EF/RF adapter. Faultless and probably focus faster than on my previous 6D. Difficult to say whether image quality is better given the increase in sensor resolution but certainly not inferior. No plans to replace either lens short of damage.

I replaced my older 24-105mm L V1 with the RF version and the old nifty-fifty by the RF35mm f1.8 primarily since both are walk-around lenses so losing the need for the adapter helps a bit with size. Both also came with a noticeable bump in quality in comparison with their predecessors. Adapted lens performance is a big plus imho for anyone considering an EF to RF transition.
 

AlaskaMoose

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Original poster
Apr 26, 2008
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Older lenses were manufactured differently than current ones; these days we have nano coating and all sorts of other refinements which help prevent unwanted lens flare, chromatic aberration, etc. A current mirrorless or DSLR camera body with a large sensor / high resolution is going to show up flaws both in a lens and in a user's technique. In some instances, those perceived flaws in a lens may be acceptable and even desirable, if it is a classic, revered lens such as Nikon's original Noct, but in other situations not so much so.

As mentioned above mirrorless has made a difference in allowing for new techniques, processes and materials in lens design, which mean a difference in the images shot with those lenses. Years ago there could not have been lenses such as Sony's recent 12-24mm wide-angle zoom with its outstanding quality throughout its range that makes it equal to many primes.

As for adapters, my feeling is if I'm buying a particular brand of camera then I am going to buy native lenses which specifically mate with that camera body, not a bunch of third-party lenses. I also am not keen on the idea of buying a mirrorless camera and then sticking on an adapter in order to use my old lenses even though they are the same brand. That is why I made the switch from Nikon to Sony. Everyone makes his or her own choices, though, and as long as they're happy, that's fine.
You bring up some good points, but in relation to the existing Canon EF L lenses photographers who are migrating to the R5 and R6 aren't going to get rid of these very expensive and perfectly working lenses. It makes no sense to get rid of a lens that works just as well adapted top the R5/R6 as it worked on a DSLR camera. I imagine that this is also the case for Nikon camera users.

I mentioned before that I am buying only one new lens, the RF 100-500mm, and keeping several primes up to 400 mm. The only reason that I am buying this lens is not because it is superior to lenses with EF mont (the primes I already have), but because I need a zoom lens that covers the range from one 100 mm to 500 mm. The price difference from an older EF 100-400mm lens and the new RF 100-500mm lens is only $300.00. I could buy the 100-400mm lens and a TC to stretch the distance past 500 mm, but this lens is already over 6 years old.

Plastics are used for the new lenses, and fluoride coatings on the front and rear glass. Aluminum alloys and other metals were used on the older lenses, and some included fluoride coatings on the glass. The older lenses were "built like a tank" and are quite heavy compared to the new lenses, but there is no IQ difference between the old ad new lens adapted or not, other than the length of the adapter. The older EF lens is just as much or more sharper adapted to the new body than mounted on a DSLR camera.
 
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OreoCookie

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No doubt I agree on the new mounts and lens design. I was speaking to the notion that legacy lenses performed better optically on mirrorless bodies.
Ah, ok.
Although I still think there are three ways which could contribute to better out-of-the-box performance, automated lens correction and better autofocus. AFAIK most (all?) mirrorless cameras apply lens corrections by default.* And the second variable is autofocus: mirrorless cameras can not only focus on eyes automatically (some of them), so the right thing is in focus. Also, back focussing is to my understanding not possible on mirrorless cameras. The third one is not an argument that lenses made for dslrs perform better, but rather could contribute to the perception that mirrorless cameras perform better than dslrs — people tend to only keep using very high quality dslr lenses with their mirrorless cameras. They will likely not use the adapter with a consumer zoom, because it makes little sense.


* As an aside, some manufacturers even choose to not correct certain flaws optically (e. g. simple-to-correct distortions), because that not only makes lenses lighter and cheaper, but usually correcting for these flaws means you need more lens elements, which introduces other optical flaws.
 

AlaskaMoose

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Ah, ok.
Although I still think there are three ways which could contribute to better out-of-the-box performance, automated lens correction and better autofocus. AFAIK most (all?) mirrorless cameras apply lens corrections by default.* And the second variable is autofocus: mirrorless cameras can not only focus on eyes automatically (some of them), so the right thing is in focus. Also, back focussing is to my understanding not possible on mirrorless cameras. The third one is not an argument that lenses made for dslrs perform better, but rather could contribute to the perception that mirrorless cameras perform better than dslrs — people tend to only keep using very high quality dslr lenses with their mirrorless cameras. They will likely not use the adapter with a consumer zoom, because it makes little sense.


* As an aside, some manufacturers even choose to not correct certain flaws optically (e. g. simple-to-correct distortions), because that not only makes lenses lighter and cheaper, but usually correcting for these flaws means you need more lens elements, which introduces other optical flaws.
I agree with you. The Canon DSLR cameras I use allow for micro-adjusting the lens to the camera. But when I mount the same lens "adapted" to the R6, the lens becomes as sharp it gets. The R5 and R6 AF algorithms automatically take care of any back or front focus issues with the lens.

Also, it makes no sense to me to replace a top quality EF lens for a new RF lens. The adapter solves that issue for me.
 
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OreoCookie

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Apr 14, 2001
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Sendai, Japan
I agree with you. The Canon DSLR cameras I use allow for micro-adjusting the lens to the camera. But when I mount the same lens "adapted" to the R6, the lens becomes as sharp it gets. The R5 and R6 AF algorithms automatically take care of any back or front focus issues with the lens.
Yes, and it is really one thing that is tricky to get right. I have missed focus on a few nice photos of my daughter, because she is wizzing through the frame and I can't keep up changing focus points. The focus then ends up behind her.
Also, it makes no sense to me to replace a top quality EF lens for a new RF lens. The adapter solves that issue for me.
Exactly. And if you get a new lens designed for mirrorless, they tend to perform better. In case of Nikon, I forgot to add that not just the flange distance is shorter, but the lens mount diameter is larger, which is another factor in favor of better image quality. (If memory serves, Nikon's F-mount was at a disadvantage here compared to Canon's EF-mount, because Nikon chose to keep its mount when making the transition to autofocus camera bodies and lenses, whereas Canon created a new mount.)
 
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v3rlon

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Sep 19, 2014
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Earth (usually)
This thread relates to Nikon and Canon mirrorless camera photographers who have decided to migrate to the new bodies, plus anybody who for wherever reason (s) desires to add to the discussion.

In my view Canon and Nikon have given a new life to the older Canon and Nikon lenses by introducing a series of lens adapters. With these adapters the older lenses, regardless of incorporating IS or not, benefit from in-body IS. The image-stabiling lenses benefit from both IS and IBIS, and the non-IS lenses still benefit from IBIS alone.

I have noticed that the demand for new and used Canon EF lenses (the ones with the older mount) remains high, along the new Canon RF lenses, which was not the case when Canon introduced the R5 and R6 plus the new line of lenses for these cameras. It seems that a lot of photographers are migrating to the new mirrorless cameras, but keeping some of the older lenses. I am using EF prime lenses (100mm, 135m, 200, 400mm), and soon one RF lens (100-500mm) with a Canon R6. Will also continue using a Canon 7D and 5D II.

If you are a Nikon Z-series camera user, how do you feel about the use of older Nikon lenses "adapted" to the new mirrorless cameras? Is it working well for you?
I have been on Z since the early days of Z6.
I started off with mostly adapted lenses and have been trickling down as opportunities and releases allow. I am down to the 105 micro/macro (because I never had that spectacular 135mm I wanted).

I have had no as in ZERO trouble with Nikon lenses, and nothing deal breaking with the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 I used for a while. It was an older one that you had to make sure was seated properly or it could glitch.

The Rokinon 14mm would get grumpy, but it was manual focus anyway.
 
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