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Saturday, 05 February 2022


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What about a Nikon Z50 or Z fc?
I use a Z6 with my ancient manual focus Nikkor's
and it works like a charm;-)

For the MF adapted lenses, I really love the way Panasonic does the magnifier : magnified in the center of the viewfinder, but you still can see the borders to assess your framing.
MF Assist / PiP in the menu, I think.
Astonishing that they're the only ones doing that (seen that on Magic Lantern too, but I don't know if they made it run on the Rs).

The Big Storm: When I was much younger I did a lot of cross-country skiing and I always wore gaiters when I ventured out. You should check them out for those times when the snow gets as high as a beagles eye.

Developing Instructions: This Old Tony put out a video yesterday on how to weld cast iron and the first 45 seconds of the video show him pretending to develop an SD card as if it were a print. He’s got an unusual sense of humor that I kinda like. It takes him a full 12 minutes to get around to the welding part.

Please do post the comments or the results of the feedback about which cameras to best use an adapted lens. I am currently puzzling the same question for myself and I would love to hear the answers of your knowledgeable readers! I currently mount Mamiya RB and Olympus OM lenses on a Canon 5D ("classic") and, although the pictures sometimes turn out quite all right, from a ease of use perspective, it is not. the. answer.

Related to the topic of adapted, manual lenses:
I can't give a body recommendation, but in my experience so far, it seems important that the filter pack over the sensor be as thin as possible so that the loss of image quality toward the edges and corners is as minimal as possible.
The filter pack on the Sony a7 series is quite thick and I have had significant problems with it on adapted wide-angle lenses, even at 35mm and 28mm.
As far as I know, on the digital M Leicas, the microlenses are tilted slightly inward on the sensor so that the edge rays don't bend in so much. Also, the filter package is relatively thin.

cameras to best use an adapted lens. You have an a6600 - adapted lenses is its middle name.

MF adapted lenses:

According to the Phillip Reeve website, which I have been following for a couple of years, the answer is Sony Alpha full frame. The people there shot a lot, and quite well, so I am trusting their judgement.

Though so far, I have satisfied myself by adapting Pentax K mount lenses to a Pentax DSLR. Works quite well ;-)


Adapting lenses - Nikon Z Mount probably best amongst FF mounts, almost everything can be adapted, at leats for manual focus (no idea about AF lenses). And Nikon has really simple software settings allowing one to tag and remember non-electronically attached lenses so that IBIS and aperture priority / manual metering works (which to me is the most important bit - as if it’s hard to use, I won’t do it). Just note that no mirrorless camera I know of supports auto-aperture stop down - so that you will almost always need to remember to add the additional step of opening to a wide aperture to focus then stopping down for exposure before activating the shutter. It isn’t much and if I’m regularly using a MF lens, its no big deal, but I’ve become so spoilt by auto-everything cameras that I expect I would find manually winding film forward annoying these days…


In re; Lenses.

Pentax, of course. The screw-mount lenses without aperture "info" transfer can be used in stop-down metering mode with the M42-to-K adapter.

K-mounts of all vintages can be used without adapters.

Even the MEF's early autofocus lens that wasn't ready for prime time, the SMC Pentax-AF 35-70mm F2.8, can work with most newer Pentax cameras. (https://www.pentaxforums.com/compatibility/any/SMC+Pentax-AF+35-70mm+F2.8/)

Finding using older manual focus Nikkor AI lenses on a D750 working well. Easier and much nicer than on the Canon 6D body I tried.
As the man says - Your Mileage May Vary.

Re. camera as a platform for adapted lenses.

I can't really speak with a lot of experience on my back, but it was a question I mulled over quite a bit when I upgraded from my ancient Panasonic GH1 early 2021.
Despite the small m43 sensor, the GH1 camera was incapable of providing acceptable results on any adapted rangefinder lens shorter than 35mm (which would be a 70mm equivalent on m43). Corner smearing being the primary problem.

Owning a lot of manual focus lenses in Leica, Nikon F and M42 mount which are dear to me, my replacement camera needed to work acceptably with these.

Looking at the 24MP'ish mirrorless landscape anno early 2021, Nikon z6ii and Leica SL2-S seemed to provide an edge for adapted lenses, especially when looking at results from adapted wide rangefinder lenses.
Availability, and not least price, swayed me towards the z6ii.

Now, a year later, I can only say I am pleased. Even my old Voigtlander 12mm/5.6 will give acceptable results - which I never expected possible on a digital sensor.
Focusing aid is the usual enlarged view and/or focus peaking which I think any mirrorless offers these days.

I also briefly considered the Nikon Z5 but didn't find many online examples with known (to me) rangefinder lenses, and I was unsure if the lack of BSI sensor in the Z5 would make it less favorable for my pourposes.

Instagram. It's a terrible way of displaying quality photos to other people. But it is a good way of safely exchanging contact info with other photographers you meet along the way. You get a sense of what they're about, and they get the same about you. It can be an easy way of showing someone something related to the conversation you're having, using your phone, on a train or boat, in a foreign country. Generally you can follow the breadcrumbs to a portfolio, or blog, or facebook or email to stay in touch or find the photos they are really proud of. But as a unified, curated portfolio site? Bah. Yes, I'm on it, my name is the clue, not that I'm looking to increase my follower count. :-)

Oh, that photo of Erwitt by Soth! I've had a small copy of that over my computer desk for years. Another copy is on the wall in what was once my darkroom but now is just a closet adjacent to a bathroom. That picture has kept me on track over the years.

For an adaptable camera, it appears the Sony A models are the most popular for adapting lenses but I don't own one so that's just hearsay. I use adapted Voigtlanders and some of the Chinese manual focus lenses on my Fuji X-Pros and they seem to work perfectly. However, I never liked adapted lenses on my X-T1--the focus aids were not very good on that camera.

I also love using the classic Zeiss ZF.2 lenses on my Nikons as well as those lovely old manual focus Nikkors. It took a lot of practice to remember how to focus manually. Odd, that someone has to work at something that seemed easy and natural in their youth. Maybe not....

Instagram used to be a photo-centric app, but since at least 4 years ago, it became Facebook's insurgent fighter. Business reality was that the younger users in the Facebook universe were on Instagram, so the features to fight off the insurgents had to be there. Snapchat creates disappearing videos with "filters?" Instagram Stories. Tiktok? More Instagram Stories.

Even before that, Instgram had already turned from the photo sharing upstart that took all the visual interest away from Flickr into Facebook's cooler, younger sibling.

If you sense before was that Instagram was an ephemeral thing (for photographers at least), you were right before.

On your adapted lens/camera question: I've used adapted lenses on Fuji Xs (long time ago), Leica M digitals with the stick-on viewfinder, and Nikon Z7s. I recall that focusing with the old Fujis was difficult due to camera shake, because as you zoom in on the live image it's like having a huge telephoto on the camera. Any camera motion is magnified enormously. The same was true with the Ms, with which I only used adapted lenses in a pinch (long lenses since the Ms top out at 135mm). With the Z7, it's a better experience because the camera has built-in image stabilization, and the focus peaking is good. A thing to keep in mind with the Z7 is setting the non-CPU lens info for the lens you're using (for non-Nikon users this translates to telling the camera the focal length and maximum aperture of the lens you're using). Otherwise, it seems image stabilization won't kick in. It takes a bit of getting used to but I think focusing an adapted lens is no more difficult than using an old manual focus SLR, and as long as you have focus peaking and in-camera image stabilization, the make of the camera won't make much difference (but the Panasonic feature mentioned above by NikoJorj sounds like an excellent idea). After years of autofocus camera use, it will feel slow -- two reasons for that are the stiffness of the helicoid in many old lenses, and the longer throw from close to far. Lens selection may mean more than camera selection here.

There is a discussion over at Cameraderie https://cameraderie.org/threads/the-great-equalizer-a-camera-body-for-adapted-mf-lenses-only.51879/ on which body to use for adapten MF lenses. You might find it useful. I found m4/3 to do a good job but the crop factor is harsh on wide angle lenses, alas.

Meanwhile there is the utterly useless ProBowl on if you are really having American Football withdrawals today.

I am glad to hear that your A6600 is meeting your needs. I've been having a glorious time with my Leica M 240 and a just added a pair of early Nikkors - the HC 50/2 & the QC 135/3.5 to the kit giving me an EDC of 21/4, 35/1.7, 50/2, 90/4 & 135/3.5. That's as good as it gets for a rangefinder kit. Perhaps next year I'll add a superspeed 50/1.1 but not just yet. It's extremely rare for me to find a shot I can't make with the 50/2. Well, I do have a Nokton 50/1.5 which is pretty good too :)

Now if only my print of your halloween pic would get here!

Have a great day, Mike.

I never got the hang of Instagram and then they banned me for an unknown "violation of community standards". I posted 4 or 5 things several years ago and then pretty much ignored it because I could only post from my phone. A year or so ago I got an app on my desktop and tried using that but couldn't get into my account. after several tries, I gave up until recently and that's when I learned that had been "deactivated". They also made my banning irrevocable and don't reply to any of my inquiries so...

These large tech companies are hell to try to communicate with. They put up walls of FAQs that are supposed to resolve everything but, of course, don't, and attempts to reach a live body are rebuffed. I had a similar problem with Flickr many years ago. It is interesting that both revolved around my difficulties with accessing the accounts. It makes me wonder if my accounts were hacked.

The Zeiss Loxia lenses are widely believed to be made by Cosina, who definitely made the Voigtländer lens you used ten years ago, so it's an appropriate continuation of your "manual focus lens on a digital camera" experience!

I don't know about the best, but I've enjoyed using old manual lenses with my Olympus cameras, first an OM-D E-M10 II and recently an OM-D E-M5 III. I reprogrammed two of the camera buttons to correspond to focus peaking on/off (exposure compensation button) and magnify on/off (movie button). Between the two of them I'm able to nail the focus most of the time. I've also found it as fast or faster than changing the auto focus to a specific point for selective focus.

Metering is easy, I just set the mode dial to A and adjust the aperture on the lens. The camera varies the ISO (up to a set limit) and shutter speed to get the correct exposure.

I mostly use a Vivitar 28mm f/2.5 Canon FD mount lens with a Mitakon Zhongyi Lens Turbo II adapter. The Lens Turbo provides a focal reduction of 0.726 and increases the amount of light hitting the sensor by one additional stop. Between the MFT crop and the Lens Turbo the 28mm becomes a 40mm-e.

The E-M5 III has a feature (not available on the E-M10 II) to save the information for manual lenses. This saves the focal length, maximum aperture and lens name in the EXIF data. Since there is no communication between the camera and the lens the aperture value is always listed as the maximum, which may be an issue for some. It doesn't bother me, though.

Olympus has a manual to autofocus clutch on these lenses:
ED 12mm f2.0, 17mm f1.8, ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO, ED 8mm Fisheye PRO, ED 12-40 f2.8 PRO, ED 12-100mm f4 PRO, ED 17mm f1.2 PRO, ED 25mm f1.2 PRO, ED 45 mm f1.2 PRO, ED 40-150mm f2.8 PRO and ED 300mm f4 PRO.

Manual focusing vintage lenses adapted on my Canon RP (with the focus peaking feature) is often faster than AF.

The Leica SL cameras, the Sigma fp cameras and the Panasonic S1 series cameras all feature a quick punch in method to the center of the frame and available at various magnifications (controlled by the user). Using any of these cameras allows one to use any manual focus lens that will fit and get superb focusing.

With the SL cameras you will be doing your focusing on a nearly 6 mega-dot EVF. It's an accurate, comfortable and easy method for using MF lenses well.

As you are using an APS-C Sony you might also find the Leica CL capable of doing the same sort of MF focusing but in a smaller format camera.

[Yes the Sony has that too. It is indeed VERY accurate. The Sigma lens I'm using has very good-feeling manual focus-by-wire, too. --Mike]

". . . real manual focus, with a lens with a helical and an infinity stop,"

Beware that not all adapters are created equally, and accurately. Preparing for some astro shooting, I tested a couple of OM mount Oly lenses, tripod, far distant subject. The mount adapter was not the right length, short, so the lens focused past infinity before hitting the stop. That's a no-no, working in the dark. Trying a combo of an OM=>EOS and EOS to Sony E mount, infinity was perfect.

Measuring, I found the Beschoi OM to Sony-E adapter I got from Amazon was short by almost 1 mm.
If that's their strategy, to be sure of infinity focus, no matter what, it's not for me. I returned it for a Fotasy, same price, which is the correct length.

"I'd like to experiment with manual focus—real manual focus, with a lens with a helical and an infinity stop, rather than the usual "focus by wire.""

Wow, really? I have a large menagerie of MF lenses for my Alt-photography, in 7-8 different mounts. Some of these lenses were designed around 1960, and do things differently than even lenses from the mid-70s, let alone contemporary designs.

I also have quite a few LensBaby optics. Contemporary, completely manual helical focusing, designed to be intentionally bad in various, often interesting, ways.

With the focusing aids on digicams, esp. magnification, accurate manual focus is much easier than in the old days. I recall, un-fondly, peering into magnifying right angle finders trying for perfect focus.

Yep, mechanical focus is half of the solution.

The other half is a big, clear EVF, with either focus magnification or peaking. Peaking allows you to see the focus field moving forward and back very easily, which works well for certain types of photos. Focus mag works for critical focus on one object.

Electric car makers say heated seats and steering wheel are way more efficient than heating the air.

They work for me! A heated steering wheel used to seem like a silly luxury, but it warms up in seconds and makes you feel warm all over.

[It's one of the few luxuries I truly covet. --Mike]

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