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Monday, 08 May 2017


The set of picture I can't take because of the limitations of my hardware is very small (vanishingly small) compared to the set of pictures I haven't taken because I haven't got 'round to it.

Have you ever calculated how many times "Fuji" has appeared in your hundreds (thousands?) of posts ? Might be fun to find out...just sayin'

"My personal position, and hence, TOP's recommendation, has been that it's best to use lenses for any camera that the manufacturer intended for that camera."

My own experience across the 4-5 platforms I've used most over the past 10+ years leads me to concur with you. Leica M lenses perfom their best on Leica M cameras. Canon EF lenses do their best on Canon cameras. And so on.

But there are two "but"s. Requirements for x-platform adaptations or 3rd party products are sometimes unavoidable. Fuji doesn't make a t/s lens so you'll have to use a Hartblei, for example.

But perhaps the biggest "but" ('scuse me for that) is how you FEEL. The enjoyment of photography for a great many enthusiasts is at least as dependent on process as it is on product. The photo fora are crammed with testimonials for the merits of various old lens adaptations. Lots of guys are absolutely convinced that their 50 year old Pentax lens outrenders anything on their Sony A7. And that's just fine. It's part of the fun πŸ‘

But in today's world of electronic photography lenses are very active partners with cameras. There's more processing power in a current-day lens than in the first Mercury space capsule. (OK, I made that up. But it might be true.) Cameras are truly "systems" that are designed to perform best when they can speak amongst their components. So no wonder same-brand lenses tend to perform best on their cameras!

I find playing with an older Nikon 50 f/1.2 with my Fuji XP2 and cats surprisingly fun. The challenge of nailing the focus with the thinnest dof keeps me on my toes. :=)

Roger Cicala from Lens Rentals did some testing and thinks it does make a difference https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/06/the-glass-in-the-path-sensor-stacks-and-adapted-lenses/

I couldn't work out how to give you a "Like", and if I bought an adaptor for my mirrorless camera, I'd have to buy a mirrorless camera for my adaptor.

Instead I posted a couple of photos to your Patreon page. You lucky people can now look in horror at the maniac who comments here under the byline of Roger Bradbury. : ]

There are subtle second-order effects one must be aware of. The relatively thick "optical stack" (all the filters and protective glass in front of the sensor) on Sony mirrorless cameras means rangefinder lenses with their high angle of incidence do not perform as well as on the Leica digital Ms which have a thinner optical stack for precisely that reason.

No need for a mirrorless camera to explore Pentax M-42 screwmount lenses, Mike - just get a Pentax DSLR and the genuine Pentax adapter and you're all set. I have an armload of Takumar and Carl Zeiss screwmount lenses that I use on a Pentax K3-II with no problems and lots of excellent results. For those who like using manual focus lenses as I do, this is ideal. I look forward to getting a full-frame K-1 before too long so I can get the whole visual "story" that these lenses were originally designed to convey - that is, the full original image frame, with the digital sensor substituted for film.

Micro Four-Thirds is indeed a standard but regarding one manufacturer's lenses performing equally well on another's body, it ain't necessarily so. Experience has shown me that Panasonic lenses have certain quirks (both optical and mechanical) when used on Olympus bodies, while Olympus mFT lenses perform perfectly. One well-documented case relates to the whole image stack/sensor glass debate directly (the Panny 7-14mm f4 and a dreaded "purple haze" effect when shot on the Olympus EM-1.) The Olympus wide zoom has no such problem. There's also a funny but apparently harmless "chatter" when the Pana-Leica 25mm f1.4 is mounted on the EM-1. It's an otherwise outstanding lens but the noise is a bit alarming until you get used to it.

The only thing that can be said with certainty about some standards is, "They aren't... "

Sony system cameras, for me they are a revolution! For the first time in camera history, one is not obliged to invest into the foreseen manufacturer mount (E and FE) and -its a joy- to find the adequate workaround for what one intends to shoot (with abundance of former lens jewels). Thanks Sony, I love your E-Mount cameras; but I will not invest in your lensline! (I would feel robbed)

It depends on the size of the pin, Mike.

Whether or not a cover glass affects the optical properties of camera and lens combination is not in dispute: it does if the lens is not image-space telecentric. Regular photography lenses are not. The practical matter is then how big the impact on the image is with a particular camera and sensor combination at given apertures and focus distances. Sometimes the effect is large, sometimes irrelevant.

I agree that lenses designed for a particular cameras are those that work best. But adapting can be very useful for various reasons, e.g. macro work doesn't require autofocus and cover glass thickness tends not to be an issue there, so adaptation is the way to go. In everyday shooting I've managed to get great results using Zeiss ZM lenses on Sony APS-C cameras. What works for one's own application is what's important.

> Is there any evidence that the lens designers are optimizing
> their designs for the specific sensor

Yes. Zeiss says that the optical characteristics of the sensor's cover glass is the reason why the optical formulas of their ZM lenses β€” designed for Leica-mount film cameras β€” could not be transferred unchanged to the Loxia series of lenses for the Sont E-mount cameras.


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