Cheap Fast Glass September 3, 2016 – Posted in: Fuji Film, Photography – Tags: ,

Can you successfully mate other brands of lenses to a Fujifilm “X” camera?

Of course you can. With caveats. Read on….

As it turns out, I have some top quality glass, so I wanted to see whether it was possible to use any of it with my “X” bodies.

One of the lenses I have is the superb 70-300mm G lens. It’s ultra-sharp across its range, with SSM focusing. A really great lens with 450mm equivalent focal length on APS-C cameras. To mount it, I grabbed a manual $35 FX-A adapter (Figure 02).

Cheap Fast Glass_2

Figure 02: A closer look at the adapter. The knurled ring provides aperture adjustment by manually moving the lens’s internal aperture lever.

You could probably engrave marks to help you out here, but really, it’s not much of a deal once you see it in action. You could also fit the lens to the parent camera and engage DoF preview to see how large the aperture opening is by looking down the barrel of the lens, then do the same on the X-T2, to get a closer estimate – should you want to engrave the adapter. But I didn’t bother. And the reason I didn’t, is I can see what’s going on in the hi-res OLED viewfinder. Of course, to get proper exposure you must also balance shutter speed and ISO in the normal manner – and the histogram and usual exposure scale markings in the EVF make this easy.

If you’re using an older lens – like the superb Pentax PX 50mm f1.4 from the mid 80’s, it’s even easier. These lenses all worked the way our Fuji’s work, and have engraved aperture rings on the lens. You won’t see the aperture reported in the viewfinder, but a glance at the lens confirms aperture – and exposure will be accurate.

So what are the downsides to using an adapter and non-Fujifilm lenses?

You need to know a tiny bit more of your craft – but I’m supposing it’s one of the reasons you are reading this.

You won’t be absolutely accurate with your F-stop – unless you’re using a lens with aperture ring.

It takes a little more time to get a shot – though not much more than normal manual shooting.

$35. It’s hard to tell how much use you will get from this till you give it a go.

And the upsides?

I can use ANY A-mount lens on my Fujifilm X-Mount bodies with just one adapter. As it turns out, I have wider and longer lenses that are worth trying too. And a second adapter gives access to all the PK lenses I own.

And I had some fun.

If you have good quality off-brand lenses, you might like to try an adapter. Just hunt for “FX-A adapter”, where “A” represent your lens mount.

And don’t forget to engage “Shoot Without Lens” mode, via the menu (usually Button/Dial Setting Shoot Without Lens), or the shutter won’t respond. There’s no real need to ever turn this off, and I invariably set and forget it as part of my initial camera setup anyway.