All photographers who want to take their photography seriously will need to have a flexible camera system that can easily be adapted to fit different situations and different conditions. While this can be achieved to a certain extent by using different lenses, choosing to use a lens adapter or a lens mount will offer much more flexibility as it will enable the user to fit lenses onto their camera that were not actually specifically designed for that particular brand or model of camera.
What Are Lens Adapters and Lens Mounts?
Both a lens adapter and a lens mount are not particularly technical or complex pieces of equipment. A lens adapter is a ring that fits in between the camera and the lens and fixes them together. One side of the adapter is designed to fit that particular brand and model of camera and the other size of the adapter will allow a different lens to be screwed into it. Although it may not be possible to fit every type of lens onto a camera in this way, using a lens adapter will give the option of using a much greater selection of lenses and of mixing different camera brands. A lens mount is a converter that fits over the primary lens of the camera in order to enable a secondary lens to be fitted onto the camera. Although the use of a lens mount will enable a much wider choice of lenses to be used, it will not normally be possible to mix different brands of cameras and lenses. There are several distinct advantages to using a lens adapter or a lens mount.
Most camera manufacturers have one or two outstanding lens in their range and using a lens adapter will enable the user to utilise any of these regardless of the brand of their camera. It also enables the use of older lenses which may still be in perfect condition, but which cannot be used as the particular camera that they were designed for is no longer in production.
A camera mount can also offer a greater amount of versatility to the user as a range of specialist lenses such as telephoto lenses and wide angle lenses can then easily be attached to the camera.
It can be a very cost effective option to use either a lens adapter or a lens mount on a camera. This is because it opens up the opportunity of using second hand lenses as the user is not limited to just the lenses which are currently available in the shops for that particular camera. A lens adapter can also mean that even if the user has bought a new camera that is a different brand, their favourite lenses from the old camera may not be redundant and can still be used.
A lens adapter and a lens mount will both allow different formats of cameras and lenses to be used together. For example, a 35mm camera could be used with in conjunction with a large format lens. It should be noted that it is much easy to use a large format lens on a small format camera rather than the other way round. This is because a small format lens was designed with a specific area of cover to correspond with the sensor and film that it was designed to work with. If it is used with a large format camera, then any images photographed could end up severely distorted or may even end up just as a small circular image. It is worth noting that a large format lens cannot be adapted for use on a DSLR camera unless it is attached to a special bellows type of adapter but this would allow the user to make use of features such as shift and tilt.
Points to Consider
There are a number of points to be considered when buying a lens adapter or mount. Keep these in ind and remember to check them before embarking on a purchase.
Using a lens adapter or a lens mount on a camera will have the effect of blocking the electronic automatic functions of the camera so the user must be prepared to manually adjust the focus and to stop the aperture. There are a few lens adapters available which will signal when the subject of the photograph is in focus which is a useful feature and would alleviate some of the problems caused by the loss of automatic focus.
Adaptability of Camera System
All camera systems are different and the amount to which they can be adapted also varies. The main factor to consider is the size of the lens mount. A camera which has a larger lens mount will be easier to adapt. Canon is generally acknowledged to be the easiest brand to adapt.
Using a lens adapter or a lens mount will also mean that the camera cannot communicate any EXIF information to the lens. EXIF stands for exchangeable image file and this data is normally stored by the camera for each photograph in the image file. The data includes the date and time of the photograph, the shutter speed that was used and the exposure. Photographs taken with a lens adapter or lens mount will not have this information stored. It is also possible that using a lens adapter which is equipped with a chip to confirm the focus could cause problems if it is being used to enable different brands of camera and lenses to be used together. This is because there is a risk that the camera may not recognise the information coming from the lens adapter chip if the lens is a different brand.
To Find a Lens Adapter or Mount on eBay
It is necessary to firstly open the eBay homepage in order to find a lens adapter or a mount. Then click on the All Categories link which is positioned near the top left of the homepage. A list of every category which is on eBay will then be displayed including Cameras & Photography. Clicking on this link will pull up a list of sub categories on the left of the screen and the next step is to click on the link for Lenses & Filters. The final step is to click on the link for Lens Adapters, Mounts & Tubes. A list will then be displayed of all of the different types of lens adapter and lens mounts which are currently available to buy. It is also possible to search directly for a lens adapter or a lens mount by using the search bar which can be found at the top of every eBay page. Typing keywords such as "lens adapter canon" into the search bar will display a list of that entire brand of lens adapters that are available to be bought.
A lens adapter or a lens mount can be a useful addition to the camera system of any serious photographer. It will give greater versatility by allowing a wide variety of lenses to be used and can be a cost effective option as it allows the user the option of using second hand lenses or recycling lenses from an older camera system that is a different brand. Using a lens adapter or a lens mount may cause some problems as it blocks the automatic functions of the camera and the user must be prepared to manually adjust the image which may make it unsuitable to use for some photographs. However, the advantages of using a lens adapter or lens mount generally outweigh any potential disadvantages and this makes a lens adapter or a lens mount a valuable photographic tool to own.