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Thread: Using lens adapter and Canon EF lens for Samsung NX

  1. #1

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    Adrian

    Using lens adapter and Canon EF lens for Samsung NX

    Hi everyone
    I'm a little frustrated with the fairly narrow yet affordable current range of NX lenses. I've recently seen an advert for a Kiwifotos adapter which lets you fit Canon EF lenses to the Samsung. Has anyone used this combination? What are the advantages/disadvantages of such a set up? As someone new to Canon lenses is the EF series worth investing in?

    Thanks in anticipation

    Adrian

  2. #2

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    Urban Domeij

    Re: Using lens adapter and Canon EF lens for Samsung NX

    When you write "invest", I get the notion of maybe paying too much. Adapters are great for being able to use the old lenses one might have, and also when lenses can be acquired for a bargain, the adapter is a nice toy for learning how it actually works. With extension rings it is easy to shoot macro with old lenses, but for general photography, they are not very comfortable. In one sense, they pull us back about sixty years, to the time when lenses neither focused automatically nor closed the diaphragm when you pressed the button. Everything has to be done manually, and it is rather slow.

    When shooting macro, it might not be so much of a problem, at least when your subjects are still. When they are moving, you always prefer a modern lens.

    There is another aspect too with old lenses. Before the eighties, many lenses did not have very good AR coating, and this includes good quality lenses as those from Canon or any other of the better known manufacturers. In a digital camera, the filter in front of the sensor is highly reflective, and light bounced off this filter, the AA filter, then bounces back from the rear surface of the lens, back and forth, and for each reflection, it decreases contrast, particularly in the center of the image. Hence a lens that was good for shooting on film might be almost worthless for digital. This applies to just too many of the old lenses.

    There is also another caveat. Most lenses for miniature cameras have their best MTF at rather low frequencies compared to digital camera lenses, due to the larger format they had to cover. With the larger format that is OK, but the smaller digital sensor requires far better performance, and few lenses for 35 mm miniature cameras are as sharp as those made for the actual sensor size.

    So I'd say that if you have a good set of FD lenses, the investment in an adapter is reasonable, but buying one in order to invest in lenses of those days is not the brightest idea if you wish best image quality and ease of use. There are however special cases where an adapter does small wonders. For example, there are tilt adapters that enables tilted shooting with older lenses. It works best with wide angle lenses, and the learning threshold is high, but it can be rewarding if you are really interested in using this technique. A tilt adapter and a good wide angle lens that would work for the small format will be far cheaper than a tilt lens of any of the larger brands, and it might do the same job. I use one for 4/3, and it does small wonders. I mostly use it for landscape photography, where I want the focal plane along the ground, to get small things in the foreground sharp as well as the rest of the image. An example here, where you can see the little dead worm in the foreground less than a foot from the camera as well as the rest of the scene rendered sharp:
    http://uploads.ifokus.se/uploads/dd7...8f/parkvag.jpg

  3. #3
    Sponge's Avatar
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    Patrick

    Re: Using lens adapter and Canon EF lens for Samsung NX

    Hi Adrian,
    I would think that you'd be better off buying a Canon FD lens and adaptor rather than the EF line. The FD lenses can be found for a bargain and have aperture rings on them (allowing you to manually change aperture) and they can produce excellent images (I have the 50mm 1.4 with adapter on my Oly Epl2 and love it). If I'm not mistaken you wouldn't have control over aperture with an EF lens without setting the aperture on a Canon body before attaching it to your Samsung, nor would IS or AF work so you'd be paying extra for features that you couldn't use on your Samsung.
    Cheers,
    Patrick

  4. #4
    inkista's Avatar
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    Kathy Li

    Re: Using lens adapter and Canon EF lens for Samsung NX

    +1 to what Patrick says. The only way to control the aperture of an EF lens is to mount it on a Canon EOS body, stop it down, hold down the DoF preview button, and unmount it, and then put it on the adapter. If you want to change the aperture, you'll have to remove the adapter, remount it on the Canon body, and do the whole thing all over again. Better to go with a manual lens with an aperture ring like the FD/FLs, or Minolta MD/MC (that can't be adapted to dSLRs).

    However.

    One of the reasons I went with a mirrorless camera (micro four-thirds in my case) was to have a smaller camera/lens combo. SLR lenses still tend to be proportionally large compared to the native mirrorless lenses. To me, probably the best choice to go for in manual focus glass bargains would be Olympus OM lenses, which are smaller than most of the other manual focus SLR lenses. Or going a lot farther back in time and getting M39 rangefinder lenses. But if you're looking for wide angle on a crop or fast, you're going to be up against it and paying a lot, no matter what mount you choose to adapt.

    In addition, adapting lenses typically means no electronic communication from the body to the lens. No autofocus, obviously, but also no aperture control from the camera. Hence the aperture-ring advice, but there may also be quirks in terms of shooting modes (typically only M and aperture priority work, all the other modes require aperture control from the camera to the lens), and metering (typically, the lens is held wide open when metering and only stopped down by the camera before the shot is taken. So, your camera needs to be able to do stop-down metering, or the smaller you set the aperture setting, the more the metering will get thrown off). And there's also the lens information in the EXIF being blank (focal length, aperture used, etc.)

    I know this is going to sound insane, but if the lens limitations are really getting to you, you may want to consider moving to micro four-thirds. I went there, despite the smaller sensor, simply because the lens selection was large and varied enough that I don't have to adapt manual glass unless I want to. I've done that on Canon, had a great time with it and loved it, but I decided I really like having autofocus and EXIF info, and the choice of sticking with native-mount lenses.

  5. #5

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    Adrian

    Re: Using lens adapter and Canon EF lens for Samsung NX

    Hi everyone, my apologies for appearing to ignore your detailed replies but I've been away for a couple of weeks. Having read through them I honestly think I'm better off sticking with my NX11 and crossing my fingers that Samsung will release some of the rumoured new lenses this year...particularly the 55mm pancake and 80-400mm lenses

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