Adapting lenses has become a lot more common in recent years as now that pretty much every DSLR and mirrorless camera out there shoots some form of video. Older lenses give us a favourable aesthetic that’s often lost with the latest high tech lenses that try to eliminate every lens imperfection possible. I’ve been doing it myself for about a decade now and it’s a lot of fun to see what some of those old lenses can do for your footage.
While adapting lenses might seem quite easy now, there are a few things you’ll want to look out for when buying an adapter and a couple of “gotchas” you’ll want to beware of. In this video, Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter walks us through the adapting process and things we will need to think about when buying adapters and using old lenses on our current cameras.
It’s usually not that difficult to adapt lenses these days. Hop onto Amazon or eBay and there are a plethora of different adapters to turn one mount type into another. There are some limitations, obviously. You can’t throw a Sony E mount lens onto a Nikon F mount DSLR, for example, simply due to the limits of physics, and flange distances – which is the first things Caleb talks about in the video. Here’s the full list of contents.
- 0:00 Introduction
- 0:34 Flange Distance
- 1:20 Potential Issues
- 2:04 Sensor Coverage
- 2:33 Adapter Types and Features
- 6:32 Recommended Adapter Brands
- 7:20 Double Adapting Method
- 8:21 Modifying Lenses
- 8:51 First Lenses to Try
- 10:37 Recommended Lens Sets
- 11:50 Conclusion
So while adapting lenses seems fairly simple on the surface, there are a few things to keep in mind. And simply buying an adapter might not always be the best option. You may need to physically modify the lens for the best results. This is a more involved process, usually permanent (so think long and hard about it first) and you often have to send a lens off in order to have it done, rather than it being something you do yourself.
Personally, I’m sticking with adapters rather than physically modifying my lenses. I use a lot of old M42 and Nikon AI-S lenses with my Panasonics for shooting video but I also use those with my old Practika, Zenit and Nikon 35mm SLR bodies for which they were originally intended, too. So, I don’t want to make those mount changes permanent!
Do you shoot with adapted lenses?