With the number of people making the shift from more traditional DSLRs to Sony mirrorless systems, adapters are often a way of life. I have a big stack of adapters myself for mounting lenses from half a dozen different systems onto four different types of camera body. It’s simply a question of versatility and providing more options. The big drawback with most adapters, though, is that there’s little-to-no communication between the camera and the lens.
One such combination that hasn’t had much love is Nikon lenses on Sony bodies. Mounting Canon lenses to Sony bodies and retaining full control over things like autofocus has become commonplace thanks to Metabones and Fotodiox’s similar adapter for Canon. Now, we can do the same with Nikon bodies with the new Fotodiox Fusion Smart AF Adapter for Nikon G mount AF-I/AF-S lens to Sony E-Mount.
Like the Fotodiox Fusion adapter for Canon, the new Nikon adapter transfers aperture control to the camera with G type lenses. Presumably, as when using a Nikon body, you would get the same ability with D type lenses that are stopped all the way down. This isn’t the first adapter to be able to do this, though. Last year, Commlite released their smart AF adapter to put Nikon glass on Sony bodies, too.
Also like the Fotodiox’s Canon adapter, this one also communicates with the lens’s AF. It only does it with AF-S (most current models) and AF-I lenses. How the speed compares to using a Nikon lens with a Nikon body or Sony lens with a Sony body I don’t know. There are a lot of complains about the Metabones adapters being pretty slow with many Canon lenses, particularly super wide stuff like the 85mm f/1.2. But, Fotodiox say there are two “high” and “low” speed AF modes and they also guarantee infinity focus.
You’re still stuck with manual focus when using AF-D lenses as they have no internal focus motor and rely on being paired with a camera body that does. Sony cameras don’t have one and it would be quite the trick to try to fit one of these into an adapter. As Nikon seem to be phasing AF-D lenses out, though, I don’t see that feature ever happening, really.
EXIF information is also passed over, so all your files should record focal length, focus distance, lens used, aperture, and all that other info you would expect. What’s very cool is that it also provides VR support for lenses that possess such a feature. How well VR will play with the built in image stabilisation on cameras like the new Sony A6500 remains to be seen.
One thing I do particularly like about this adapter is the foot, which provides an extra 1/4-20″ tripod socket foward of the camera body itself. Many DSLR lenses are quite heavy, while one of the big advantage of Sony mirrorless cameras is how little they weigh compared to a full size DSLR. This means with larger lenses, they can get a little front heavy.
With something like a 70-200mm f/2.8VR or 300mm f/4, it’s not a problem, as they come with their own tripod collars. But, there are quite a few larger lenses out there that don’t. So, this extra tripod thread just forward of the camera helps to shift a little more of that weight back, and balance things out again. While it may not be an often used feature for many, it’s a very thoughtful touch.
So, what’s the biggest difference between this and the Commlite adapter? Well, Commlite say theirs is fully compatible with only the A7II and A7RII. Fotodiox are claiming compatibility with all Sony Alpha E-mount cameras, including the A3000, A5000, A6000 series, and all A7 series Mk I and Mk II bodies.
The Fotodiox Fusion Smart AF Adapter for Nikon G-Mount is shipping and available to purchase now for $369.95.
Are you a dual system Nikon/Sony shooter? Are you partway through a Nikon to Sony transition and want to be able to utilise your existing Nikon glass? Are you sticking with both brands and planning to pick one of these up to offer you more flexibility? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.