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Lens-to-Camera adapters with glass? Test yours!

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XKAES View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote XKAES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Lens-to-Camera adapters with glass? Test yours!
    Posted: 13 January 2024 at 16:56
I've been using an adapter with my digital SLR cameras for a long time -- to allow the use of my many manual-focusing lenses.

The adapter has glass in it to allow for infinity focus, and I haven't had any problems with it. It does magnify the focal length of the lens by 1.25X, however, so a 50mm lens becomes a 62.5mm lens.

I keep running across comments (not just on this Forum) that "POO-POO" adapters with glass as "degrading the image", and so forth. So I decided to run some simple tests on my gear. Like I said, I've never had a problem.

I realize that there are many different adapters and their optics won't be the same, but I'm only interested in my adapter -- an inexpensive Spiratone adapter to put Minolta-mount MF lenses on my Sony full-frame a-mount AF cameras.

Adapters may vary in quality. The same is true with lenses. I realize that my tests are comparing the results from different lenses -- one AF, the other MF. For example, I might be comparing a Sigma AF 24mm lens to a Vivitar MF 19mm lens (with adapter producing a 24mm optic).

I took pictures at f8, with the camera on a tripod using mirror lock-up and a cable release -- of high quality resolution charts at high magnification (cropping), and viewed them "unlabe;led". In other words, even though I took the pictures, I did know which was which.

In all of my comparisons, I could not pick out any of the images as better than the other -- sharper, clearer, better, etc.

So I'm convinced that using my MF-to-AF "Glassy" adapter has no quality limitation with my MF lenses -- other than the increase in focal length, lack of an auto-diaphragm, and lack of AF. None of those are big problems for me.

I realize that results may be different with the aperture wide open -- as with any tele-converter -- but normally, I try to set my aperture as close to f8 as possible.

If you've shied away from adapters with glass due to other people comments, you may want to reconsider -- and run some simple tests. Sure, there will be some limitations, but they may or may not be significant to you. You might be pleasantly surprised -- like me!
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2024 at 18:59
A few observations:

Pictures, or it didn't happen

Depending on the quality of the glass in the adapter the IQ degrading might be minimal. As Spiratone closed its doors in 1990, it is a bit of a guess what glass is in the adapter.
Having said this, if you enjoy it and the IQ is good enough, who cares? You do not use these old lenses for their IQ, modern lenses are much, much better. You use these old ones for their character and the fun of it.

Why didn't you use the Sigma 24/2.8 for both? I have that lens in A-mount and another one in SR-mount.
Did you check the corners as well or just the centre?
What camera did you use? "mirror lock-up" sounds like an older camera.
How did you focus?

With a mirrorless cameras you do not need glass in your adapter.
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XKAES View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote XKAES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2024 at 20:12
Even if I were able to compare a Sigma 24mm AF to a Sigma 24mm MF that does not mean it's a apples-to-apples comparison. Sigma made three different MF 24mm f2.8 lenses -- 7/7, 8/7, and 10/8.

And as I point out, there are differences between Glassy adapters and between lenses. I'm merely pointing out that shutterbugs should consider trying out, and testing, Glassy adapters to see if they meet their needs -- despite what they might hear on the WEB.

There's no point in posting my results for my adapter and my lenses and my cameras. That's apples to oranges for anyone else. People need to do their own tests with their own gear, and decide for themselves, instead of simply taking someone else's word for it.

Edited by XKAES - 13 January 2024 at 20:15
http://www.subclub.org
http://www.subclub.org/minman
http://www.subclub.org/minchin
http://www.subclub.org/toko
http://www.subclub.org/fujinon
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XKAES View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote XKAES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2024 at 20:19
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

A few observations: ... You do not use these old lenses for their IQ, modern lenses are much, much better.


.. and much more expensive!

Much, much better? I wouldn't go that far -- even though I have plenty.

Much better? I wouldn't say so.

Better? Perhaps some, but not all, for sure. Perhaps very sure, and maybe even very, very sure.

Edited by XKAES - 13 January 2024 at 20:24
http://www.subclub.org
http://www.subclub.org/minman
http://www.subclub.org/minchin
http://www.subclub.org/toko
http://www.subclub.org/fujinon
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2024 at 20:47
I was thinking of the AF and MF Sigma Superwide II, you used the AF 24/2.8, that is the SuperWide II and that is available in MF as well. I own them. I did not think of some older ones.

Still don't know if you looked at the whole frame or the centre. Also, the camera you used is relevant. Was it full-frame or APS-C? Was it 6mpx or 42mpx?

Much, much better is not an exact definition, if you consider modern lenses just better, be my guest. I won't die on that hill. But do you disagree that one uses these old manual focus lenses for their character and the fun of it?

Still would have liked the pictures....
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
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XKAES View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote XKAES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2024 at 23:01
As I mentioned, I used my Sony full-frame a-mount AF cameras, and, of course, the camera someone is using will have any affect on test results. That's just one of the reasons I pointed out the need for personal tests. No one's results are going to look like mine because of all the variables.

My test results confirm to me that even my oldest MF lenses hold up well -- results-wise -- when compared to my latest and greatest Sony optics. Maybe not very, very, very well.
http://www.subclub.org
http://www.subclub.org/minman
http://www.subclub.org/minchin
http://www.subclub.org/toko
http://www.subclub.org/fujinon
 



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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2024 at 10:46
Originally posted by XKAES XKAES wrote:

As I mentioned, I used my Sony full-frame a-mount AF cameras
We're almost there: A850, A900, A99 or A99m2? I don't know what full-frame Sony DSLR/DSLT you own.
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
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