Tips For Using Adapted Glass On Fujifilm X-Series Cameras

One of the big draws to any mirrorless system is the ability to use old adapted glass as a way to both save money and introduce some creative imperfection into your images. Fujifilm’s X-Series cameras come with the styling of older vintage cameras, and as such many old manual focus film lenses actually look right at home on a camera like the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01A8DUR74′ text=’X-Pro 2′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a63e7138-23cc-11e7-bd2e-4704999c5609′] or [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N10DKLK’ text=’X-T20′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’acbbaaf7-23cc-11e7-b0b8-fdbdbba9b2da’].

Utilizing adapted lenses on your Fujifilm X-Series camera is pretty simple, but for those of you who may be new to the idea, let me just break it down for you real quick. There is, to my knowledge, only one adapter currently that works ‘natively’ with the X-Series cameras, and that is the Fujifilm produced Leica adapter. This adapter communicates with the camera and has some little niceties that third party adapters don’t, but unless you already have Leica glass lying around, we don’t really recommend running out and dropping money on those – at least from a budget minded perspective it makes no sense.

Tip #1: Take the time to tell the camera what focal length you are using

In the menu on your camera you can tell your body what focal length the lens you are using is. It is really easy to be lazy and not set this, but there are a few reasons that you should. First, it makes organizing your shots in programs like Lightroom easier because the EXIF information will display the correct focal length.

Secondly, on the X-Pro2 specifically, this tells the camera where to place the frame lines in the optical viewfinder so that I know what my rough framing will be. 

Thirdly, and this one is nice, you can actually set lens corrections for your adapted lenses in the camera. This can be great if you are using a lens that has distortion issues (as many older lenses do).  If you change lenses often it can be annoying jumping into the menu to change this, but I really do recommend it.

Tip #2: Use Focus Peaking

Manually focusing can be a a challenge in many scenarios, so why make it any harder than it needs to be by not taking advantage of the great focusing aides that Fujifilm has integrated into the X-Pro2? Peaking works by highlighting detail that is in focus with a color of your choice. That makes it easy and quick to see what aspects of your shot are in focus without having to punch in for critical focus right off the bat (though I do recommend doing so once you have your general focus nailed using peaking).

Tip #3: Be Ok with stopping down

Lenses were not made like they are now. Back in the film days, they had more imperfections (I like to call it character). This means if you want the best optical performance, you are going to have to stop your lens down to its sweet spot. That said, if you are like me and having razor sharp focus from edge to edge is not what you are worried about, then shooting these lenses wide open can be a fun creative exercise.

Hopefully these tips have been a little helpful for those of you getting into shooting with adapted glass on your Fujifilm X-Series bodies. If you are looking for where to find the best deals on lens adapters, we [amazon_textlink asin=’B00L7EHMMM’ text=’recommend Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’484a518f-23cc-11e7-bf80-cf5eb8bb98f2′], they have a great selection and you can find one that is right for your budget no problem. If you are looking for some lenses, Ebay is a great place to start!

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.