When Is It a Bad Idea to Adapt Lenses?

One of the most interesting selling points of some mirrorless camera systems is their ability to adapt lenses from a wide variety of mounts, both legacy and current. But it is not always a good idea to simply throw an adapted lens on your camera and start shooting. This great video highlights the situations in which you should feel free to use an adapted lens and those in which you might want to consider using a native option.

Coming to you from Michael The Maven, this great video discusses the use of lens adapters and when it is a better to invest in a native lens. I have been using a Metabones adapter with my Sony mirrorless cameras and Canon lenses for a few years now. When I first tried this system, I quickly learned that it was not up to the task when it came to things like shooting baseball. That being said, while I still have to return to native camera and lens combinations for more demanding applications, I have enjoyed combining some of my more niche and interesting Canon lenses with the resolution and dynamic range of my Sony cameras when I could take time to either manually focus or use slower autofocus. Check out the video above to hear more. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I run native for AF and Exposure Consistency.
Very Suspicious on Third Party.

Or you could just manual focus

Petty simple for me and my Sony bodies, if I'm doing single shot autofocus still photography adapted lenses tend to be just fine such as Canon L glass via the MC11 adapter. For continuous, that nifty face/eye af or video then it's native only.

I’ve never had a problem shooting photos with adapted lenses and do it all the time on my Sony cameras.

I would never adapt lenses for video though. That’s just not going to work unless you’re manually focusing everything.

I don't know anyone shooting video professionally who doesn't focus manually.

Professionals still use AF at times. You don’t need to manually focus everything. It doesn’t make you not a professional for using AF systems on any camera.

A professional will use the tools and skills needed for the job they were hired for.

I said I don't know any. I just don't understand how you consider manual focus to be a limitation for video but not for stills.

It’s a limitation on the video that I shoot but not the photos. Limitations for certain individuals vary depending on what they shoot.

The lenses I adapt aren’t used for fast paced stills or moments that I cannot recreate. Most of us that adapt lenses know they hunt more than native ones while shooting video. During stills it’s not as bad or sometimes they perform better.

This is just my experience; that’s not hard to understand.