Lens adapters are great, but lets face it, they’re the weakest link in your setup.
We have some news to share with you that’s really quite exciting; or is it? A recent report has stated that a new lens mount adapter will allow Nikon Z6 and Z7 users to adapt Sony E mount lenses to their cameras. While this new mount is exciting from a technological standpoint, is it really exciting when you consider that lens adapters just make your camera bigger and less responsive? Do we really need so many adapters on the marketplace? Why do we continually want to add more heft to the cameras we carry around? Join us after the break to find out more.
A recent article over on Sony Alpha Rumors states that a new mount adapter from Techart will enable users of Nikon Z mount cameras to adapt and use Sony E mount lenses; and yes, autofocus, and electronic aperture selection will work. But why do we need this? It’s not like Nikon Z6 and Z7 users don’t have an official option to modify hundreds of optically amazing F mount Nikon lenses to the new platform, and I don’t think a whole lot of current Sony users will be rushing to jump onto the Nikon Mirrorless bandwagon any time soon.
The bigger issue though is why do we want to add extra bulk to our cameras when we could just use native lenses?
As great as lens adapters are, they do come with a lot of baggage. The biggest issue is the extra weight and bulk lens adapters add to a camera. Mirrorless cameras are meant to be smaller, lighter, and much more manageable. Add any lens mount adapter onto the front of a camera and you’re introducing unnecessary weight to your gear that you wouldn’t have if you just used native lenses.
Lens adapters also throw off the balance of the camera. Native lenses are designed to balance perfectly on the bodies they are designed to work with. When you throw a lens adapter into the mix your camera becomes just that little bit harder to use. Small things like this can make a big difference in the user’s overall shooting experience. There really is nothing good that can come from making your perfectly weighted camera bigger.
The next problem is that the lens adapter will become the weakest link in your setup. A lot of third party lens adapters aren’t weather sealed, so your new, expensive, weather sealed camera is now at risk of being exposed to the elements. You’re also going to be giving up a whole lot of performance when adapting lenses from a competing platform. The extra speed that Mirrorless cameras can give you when it comes to autofocusing will just be thrown away unless you use native lenses.
I’m all for innovation, but I think that the whole lens adapting trend is going just a little too far. If you’re going to be switching to a new platform, you should really do it with the intent of buying into that system 100%. Using native lenses will save you weight, they will give you the performance you paid for, and your camera will still be 100% safe when it comes to weather sealing (if weather sealing is present on the camera and lens combo of course). If the camera platform you’re thinking of switching to doesn’t offer the lenses you would need, perhaps it’s not the platform for you.
You can of course do as you wish, and if adapting suits you, go for it. For me though, if I thought Sony lenses were better than Nikon lenses, it makes more sense to me to just buy a Sony camera. If I like Canon glass, I should just buy a Canon camera and so on. There would be no extra weight, and I would be able to enjoy all of the performance gains from using native glass. Just to be clear, my concerns with lens adapters applies to all adapters. They’re really just extra weight, and expense that we don’t really need.
How do you feel about lens adapters? Do you currently use one? Does the extra bulk it adds to your camera bug you? Let us know your thoughts about lens adapters in the comment section below.