A lens adapter is an extremely useful piece of kit for every level of photographer; it allows a camera to be fitted with a huge range of specialist lenses. Although most cameras come with three basic lenses; standard, wide angle, and telephoto, in order to obtain a more artistic quality to their work, photographers need to use particular types of lens, with certain characteristics. The variety of sizes, brands, and costs of lens adapters mean every consumer can feel confident in finding a useful, reliable product, that can optimise their existing equipment. Buyers should look at the sellers and individual items available in order to source the right lens adapter, which will be a valuable and cost effective addition to their set-up.
About Lens Adapters
Modern digital cameras are very flexible, with an impressive line-up of features and extras. However, lens adapters give cameras the ability to achieve an even wider range of results. This can include quirky and niche image effects such as tilt and shift, which the camera would not originally be capable of. Lens adapters mount onto a camera with either a screw-on movement or a bayonet style connection. The chosen lens is then attached to the lens adapter.
Many lenses will couple with one individual lens adapter; however, some photographers prefer to use a single lens adapter for each lens. This not only saves time, as there is one less coupling and uncoupling procedure, but also reduces wear and tear on the mount to lens fitment.
If it suits the shot, two lens adapters can be stacked. It is also possible to use an automatic lens with a lens adapter; however, the lens will lose its ability to communicate with the camera.
There is a great deal of range in the pricing of lens adapters, some photographers will be brand loyal and stick to a favoured product, while others may prefer to buy one expensive lens adapter, and some will choose to buy a number of cheaper items. All lens adapters do the same job and today many are compatible with a number of brands.
Choosing a Lens Adapter
To a certain extent, selecting and buying the right lens adapter will be a personal decision for each photographer. However, there are factors that each customer should bear in mind before making a final choice; these are whether a lens adapter will fit with their own equipment, the type of photographs they hope to achieve and the price they are expecting to pay.
Using a Lens Adapter
Each photographic brand designs lenses with specific strengths; no single manufacturer produces a line of lenses that are superior in every respect to others. In every brand, certain lenses will be distinctively better at achieving high quality results. So, a lens adapter allows a photographer the freedom to select and use the optimum product for their needs, even though it is made by a different manufacturer to their existing equipment.
As the lens adapter has no capacity for communication with the camera, focussing will need to be done manually. Some photographers enjoy the challenge and connection with their camera, if they have to judge a shot without technological assistance. However for this kind of work, it is vital to have a tripod handy. This allows a photographer to take their time in lining up a shot, while the camera is held steady.
Effects that can be Achieved Using a Lens Adapter
Photographers simply add a lens adapter to an existing set-up and are then able to use the lens of their choice, depending on the result they are looking for. With such a wide array of speciality lenses on the market, a lens adapter opens up a whole new realm of aesthetic possibilities, for every level of user. Fashions come and go in photography, as they do in any other genre; however, there are some optical effects that remain popular. Here are four of the most popular lenses and their photographic results; these images can all be delivered by most cameras, when using a lens adapter in conjunction with the lens.
Fisheye lenses were designed for the recording of atmospheric conditions, especially cloud formations. They take an almost spherical shot with an exceptionally wide angled lens. A full frame fisheye lens is also available; here, the rounded edges are drawn out to fit an angular conventional frame. However, as the image is so bowed and distorted, many photographers still present their fisheye lens work in a circular shot, using the more traditional lens.
Macro lenses are designed to produce very close up photos of very small subjects, like insects, snowflakes, or facial features. Although many modern cameras are able to take close-up shots, macro lenses are a favoured attachment. They reduce any abnormalities that can be caused by such extreme magnification, produce an intense depth of colour and present the image with a high degree of sharpness.
Fast lenses have a wide aperture, in practice this means they can take clear and detailed shots in reduced light. A fast lens is perfect for realist indoor photography as it requires no accessory lighting. Portraits work well, too, as the lens is able to work like a human eye, focussing primarily on one area of an image. Fast lenses are also beneficial in sunset photography; they capture more of the nuances of colour, light and hue than an average lens.
A tilt-shift lens alters the perspective of a photograph to such a degree, that the subject takes on a miniature or toy-like appearance. As the name would suggest the lens is both tilted – to include either more or less space, and shifted - altering its focal point. Tilt-shift lenses are popular in architectural photography, as the buildings in a photo do not taper towards the top; instead both sides retain their distance.
Using an Older Lens with a Lens Adapter
Vintage lenses are widely available and are often cheaper than modern lenses. However, the craftsmanship involved in their production means they are of comparable quality, despite lacking an auto focus feature. As well as presenting equally desirable results at a lower cost, they encourage a photographer to spend more time manually connecting with their camera and subject, producing a more personal set of images.
Caring for a Lens Adapter
Lens adapters are a simple but effective product; there is very little that can go wrong when using them. However, as with any delicate photographic apparatus, correct storage and maintenance will prolong their life.
If dust and grit find their way into the lens adapter's couplings, this can cause a distortion of the connection which may result in a loose fitting. To avoid this, take extra care when using and storing the lens adapter.
When positioning the lens, ensure the camera is switched off and the area is clean and dry. This will protect the camera, the lens and lens adapter from contamination. After use, wipe with a lint free cloth, take care to turn the unit over and round in order to cover every area. Only dampen the cloth if necessary to remove smudges or more stubborn marks, alternatively try using a cotton bud for a more precise clean. Then store in an airtight container.
Finding a Lens Adapter on eBay
To find the right lens adapter on eBay, begin by heading to the homepage. From here, locate the All Categories tab and then choose Cameras & Photography. Next, select the Lenses & Filters option, followed by Lens Adapters Mounts and Tubes. Finally, check the box marked Lens Adapters, in the shaded area to the left. Then browse through the various sellers and items on offer, or narrow the results further, by using the options available in the shaded area to the left of the page. Alternatively, to look for a more specific item, it is possible to enter a more detailed description into the search box; this is found at the top centre of any eBay page. For example, in order to find an unused Canon lens adapter, type 'new Canon lens adapter' into the query field.
A lens adapter is a useful and economic tool for any photographer. Lens adapters are available from a wide variety of brands and many will be compatible with the buyers existing equipment. As the requirements of each customer will be unique, the process of finding and utilising a lens adapter will vary, so be sure to select the most appropriate product. To feel confident in a purchase, research the different brands on offer and the sellers, before focussing in on individual items. If it is well maintained and used correctly, a lens adapter can help a photographer to achieve high quality images throughout many years of reliable use.