Adapter quality

Not all lens mount adapters are equally well made. Novoflex (www.novoflex.com) markets top-quality adapters through camera stores, but the prices are high, presumably to allow the dealer a good markup on a slow-selling item. A respected supplier with more competitive prices is Fotodiox (www.fotodiox.com). On eBay you can buy adapters directly from the machinists in China who make them.

Figure 7.9 shows what to look for. Good adapters are usually made of chrome-plated brass or bronze and often include some stainless steel. Some are made of high-grade aluminum. For higher prices you get more accurate machining, more elaborate mechanisms to lock and unlock the lens, and more blackening of parts that could reflect light.

M42 screw mount to Canon adapters are the simplest, and my experience is that they always work well. I have also had good results with an inexpensive

Figure 7.10. Homemade tripod collar for heavy lens consists of wooden block with large round hole, slot and bolt to allow tightening, and a 1"-20 threaded insert on the underside.

Olympus to Canon adapter. Each of these holds the lens tightly in place and is easy to attach and remove.

But Nikon to Canon adapters are tricky and always lack mechanical strength. When using one, always let the lens support the camera - don't let the adapter bear the weight of a heavy lens (Figure 7.10). And insist on a well-made adapter in the first place. I had a cheap one actually come apart in use as the screws stripped their threads.

The problem is that the Nikon lens mount contains springs. An adapter doesn't have room for good leaf springs like those in a Nikon camera body. Instead, the adapter relies on flexure of tabs that protrude from the lens mount itself. If these improvised springs are too weak, the lens and camera can pull apart slightly under the camera body's weight, and your pictures will be out of focus.

Another mark of a well-made Nikon adapter is that it makes it easy to remove the Nikon lens. Cheaper adapters require you to pry up a tab with your thumbnail; better ones give you a button to press.

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