I’ve used more than a few camera systems over my career. In the abstract, this can be a positive thing: diversity of equipment means you’ve got a lot of different ways to capture an image or tell a story, but more practically, this means I’ve got a lot of gear that doesn’t typically communicate well with each other. Sooner or later, I find preference in one system over the other, meaning a fair amount of kit ends up collecting dust.
Prior to picking up my mirrorless kits, this presented me with a problem: few lenses were compatible with anything other than the system they were designed for. Canon didn’t fit on Nikon, Leica couldn’t fit on DSLRs, and so on. But with the advent of mirrorless setups, that all changed: suddenly, with a little bit of work, everything could fit on everything! So, when I transitioned from using my Sony a7 series of cameras to Nikon, I realized that my old Sony lenses could still be of use.
The Megadap ETZ21 Pro lens adapter is designed to bridge the gap between Sony E mount lenses and Nikon Z mount cameras, providing photographers with the flexibility to use their existing Sony glass on Nikon Z series bodies. The adapter aims to offer seamless compatibility, ensuring that photographers can maximize the utility of their lens collections across different camera systems.
One important aspect I evaluated was how the adapter performed in real-world conditions. For my purposes, I need the lens to work accurately and reliably every single time. If you’re in a high-speed scene and need to make an adjustment or swap out lenses, you can’t spend the next two minutes fiddling with gear.
During my testing, I used my Sony 35mm f/1.4 and the Lomography Nour Triplet V 2.0/64 Bokeh Control Art E-mount lenses mounted on my Nikon Z 6 and Z 6II. For a period of several weeks, I brought this setup with me on assignments and for everyday shooting and used it in a variety of lighting scenarios. For my purposes, I found this combination matched well compared to my FTZ adapter, which allows the use of Nikon SLR lenses on my Z bodies. The autofocus was fast and responsive, with no noticeable impact on image quality.
According to Megadap, the adapter will work with all E mount lenses and Z mount bodies, including those listed below. Per their website:
- Nikon Z8, Z9, Z30 and Zfc compatible (or any newer models)
- The only adapter in the market that also supports Nikon Z APS-C cameras
- Supports E mount third-party lenses, e.g. Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, Voigtlander, Samyang
- Viltrox and Yougnuo lenses are currently not supported
- 2mm thin
- Supports AF-S, AF-C, AF-F, Eye-AF, pinpoint focusing and face detection
- Smooth focusing performance during video shooting
- Supports auto aperture
- Supports the use of manual lenses
- Supports AF/MF button on the lens body
- Firmware upgradable through Nikon Z camera (with adapter and lens installed)
- Suitable for Nikon ZFC, Z30, Z50, Nikon Z5, Nikon Z6, Nikon Z 6II, Nikon Z7, Nikon Z 7II, Z9 cameras
Build and Ergonomics
The physical design of the adapter also plays an important role in its usability in the field: the machined metal felt sturdy and held up well to a variety of abuses. The lens and body fit snugly together, and the camera connected perfectly every time. The adapter itself is surprisingly thin, and was hardly noticeable between the body and lens. The ETZ21 Pro is an improvement over the previous version, with better fitting and a redesigned lens release button, making it easier to swap out glass. Additionally, you can update the firmware through camera rather than through the proprietary USB cable over the earlier model. The firmware upgrades allow for better performance in dark environments, more stable continuous shooting, and increased EXIF information saved in the metadata.
There are a few kinks though. It’s important to remember not to “hot-switch” the lenses. You need to power down the camera before swapping lenses. Ideally, you should also remove the lens and adapter separately, as this can cause the adapter to start throwing errors.
It was lovely being able to use my Sony lenses with my Nikon Z bodies, and the Megadap ETZ21 Pro worked without a hitch in real-world conditions. As an affordable and easy-to-use bit of kit, it opened up a number of possibilities in terms of available lenses.