Most adaptable adapter?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Bold, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. Bold

    Bold Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jun 17, 2015
    Seattle
    Hello, I'm brand new here. I have a GH4 to use for narrative filmmaking, and I am collecting vintage lenses to get a better film look. The fact that many vintage lenses are more affordable than modern doesn't hurt. I'd like to use a speed booster and then adapt the vintage lenses to that speed booster.

    For example, if I got a Canon FD to MFT speed booster, I would put FD adapters on the vintage lenses - standardizing them, so to speak. The question is, what is the most ubiquitous lens mount for this purpose? I know flange/focal plane distances are a factor, but after many hours combing the internet, I still don't have a clear idea about the best choice.

    (I'm also pleased to see that some folks here have managed to adapt fixed lenses. I have a Kowa SE and a couple Yashicas I wouldn't mind dissecting to get that nice glass onto my GH4.)

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Canon EF is probably the mount with the most adapters since it is not only the most popular DSLR mount, but it has the shortest register distance among them. It couldn't mount Canon FD, Minolta or Konica, though.

    Canon FD would be the shortest register distance option and in theory would adapt the most. In practice, though, you may find adapters are hard to find. Almost nobody is shooting FD mount bodies, much less trying to adapt odd lenses to them. For example, try to find an adapter to mount an Olympus OM lens on an FD camera body. I can't find one on ebay. I can find hundreds of options for OM to Canon EF, though.

    So I would say Canon EF. You can adapt OM, m4/3, PK, Nikon, Olympus, Contax/Yashica, Leica R, medium format lenses. There are even adapters with glass that allow shooting MD and FD, etc, with a crop factor

    If you got a metabones EF speed booster, you could even control aperture on Native Canon EF lenses, so that opens up a lot of options. Like the $275 Tamron 17-50 f2.8 that becomes a 12-35mm f2.0 on a speed booster, for example. The cheapo new 50mm f1.8 STM becomes a 35mm f1.3.
     
  3. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Just don't use the XR Di II VC (whatever all that junk means) version or you might have to buy a new speedbooster...

    If my memory serves correctly there's a common fault condition with the image stabilization which can cause it to draw enough current to burn out the electronics in the adapter (just memory of the problem, I can't recall the exact conditions or find forum posts about it now... in any case it's has the unique privilege of being the only lens banned on every smart adapter ever made under the "not supported" heading).

    YMMV however I personally wouldn't touch it when there's so many other fine options, the first that comes to mind is the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 which is by far one of the sharpest lenses available wide open (there's a reason it gets so much praise).
     
  4. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    Jan 15, 2014
    Looking at your list of lenses, I guess that's a lot of M39 and M42. I use a "genuine Canon" M42 to FD adapter on an RJ focal reducer for FD to mount a Super Tak 50/1.4 that works fine on that combo but doesn't work on the RJ focal reducer for M42 or any other M42 adapter I tried. I've looked for an M39 to FD adapter, but M39 to M42 is the closest I've found so far.

    ...adding: I have the same Russian lenses you have. They work on any adapter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
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  5. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    920
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Supertak 50 mounted on M42-FD works on FD focal reducer, doesn't work on M42 focal reducer? Funny.
     
  6. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    920
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I also believe the EF-M43 focal reducer is the most adaptable. You can fit OM, Pentax K, M42, M39, and Nikon lenses. Drawback is that it won't take FD lenses, and I have five of those. So I bought the FD-M43 focal reducer.

    I have an M42-FD adapter. I bought a Nikon-FD adapter, took it apart, and mounted an OM bayonet plate on it. Thinned it to get infinity focus. So I can shoot my M42, FD, and OM lenses with a focal reducer, but I mainly go with my FD lenses.
     
  7. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I'd support the FD reducer. While the flange distance makes it very adaptable, the bigger thing for me might be that the FD lens catalogue was over 140 Canon lenses with lots of 3rd party FD lenses as well. Anything you'd ever need would be found in there. Add in M42 lenses and there's more than you could ever possibly use.
     
  8. Bold

    Bold Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jun 17, 2015
    Seattle
    Cool. Thanks everyone - great info! I will look into getting an FD reducer
     
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I would only get FD if you want to use FD lenses almost exclusively. Doesn't look like you have any.
     
  10. Bold

    Bold Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jun 17, 2015
    Seattle
    True - I don't have any FDs at the moment, but I am considering getting rid of a few of my lenses in favor of others, possibly FD. And at some point I want to try modding my fixed Yashica & Kowa lenses, and I need to determine what mount to put on the back of them (though I might try this hack for the Kowa). I still have a lot more homework to do before committing to anything. Any pointers are welcome, as I am very new at this.

    Cheers.
     
  11. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    920
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    One thing with FD mount that should be mentioned is that it's intricate/complicated/fiddly. You can't mount an FD lens on an adapter in the dark, without looking. You can do that with M42, OM, and most other mounts.

    That's why I have two dumb FD adapters. If I take my 85mm f1.8 and 135mm f2,5, I have them on separate adapters. Not going to swap one adapter between them in the field. The focal reducer is not cheap, so I have to share it. It often takes a minute or more to get the mechanicals aligned so I can close the breech ring. I wonder if it was that hard to mount the lenses on the original cameras, or if the adapters just aren't made well enough.

    As said earlier, EF is more universal. More adapters are available for it.
     
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  12. Bold

    Bold Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jun 17, 2015
    Seattle
    Thanks HarryS!
     
  13. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    The other thing that needs saying: I rarely use my Speedbooster. The image sharpness is fine, but it produces some unusual light flares in low light. For the cost of it, you could buy a regular adapter for every camera system ever made and not worry about double-adapting at all. Unless you have a real need for super-wide adapted lenses, just go with regular glassless.
     
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  14. Bold

    Bold Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jun 17, 2015
    Seattle
    edmsnap, my plan is to do a fair amount of outdoor night shooting so I want to get all light advantage I can get. And the extra wideness is definitely a plus for me. But you raise a valid point - unwanted flares and the extra cost/complexity of double-adapting is worth considering a other strategies. Again, I'm a n00b, so I really appreciate all the input.

    Cheers
     
  15. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    920
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    There's still a lot of pluses with FD lenses that offsets the fiddly adapter situation. Most FD lenses are pretty nice. Not half as expensive as Nikon in the same focal lengths. In any case, 50mm and 135mm in any mount is usually inexpensive and you get decent optics. Trouble is, 50mm is kind of tight on M43.

    Tha is why I like my made-in-chiner relatively cheap .71X focal reducer. I usually have my Canon FD 50mm on it. The resulting 35.5 mm equivalent is a fast lens, and fun to use.