As I had mentioned in my write-up on the Fuji X-T1, I intended to order a lens adapter to use my Nikon lenses on the Fuji. After doing some research, I settled on the Metabones version. This is not the SpeedBooster, just the regular mount adapter so it has no glass element.
In short, it does what it is supposed to do. It allows you to attach a Nikon F mount lens to a Fuji X mount body. The fit on both ends is quite tight. There is a tiny amount of twist possible on the camera side but the same twist is present with the native Fuji 10-24 lens as well so I’m not concerned about it. The adapter is well made and actually quite heavy.
As far as focusing and picture-taking, the same manual focusing aids are available with the Nikon lenses attached as the Fuji. You can work in either aperture priority using stop down metering or full manual. One nice thing about the camera having an EVF is that your viewfinder image does not get appreciably darker as you stop down the lens because the gain of the EVF is increased to compensate. This makes focusing with the lens stopped down a bit easier.
I went out with my 17-35 f/2.8 attached to see how it worked in the field. The company claims infinity focus and based on my testing I do believe that is accurate. I shot these at f/5.6. Stop down metering was used in aperture priority mode and the meter did a good job in all cases. All of the images can be clicked for a larger version.
I needed to do some more testing because based on these samples, while the Metabones adapter fits tightly, it appeared as though something was amiss as the off-centre sharpness was not to my liking. To verify, took my D800 and the X-T1 out, shot the D800 in DX mode which gave it, essentially, the same resolution and pixel pitch as the Fuji. Let’s see what the results are. All images were shot at f/8. The cameras were mounted on a tripod and I focused on the same area in all the pictures. Slight differences in framing are due to the size of the cameras being different which puts them on different horizontal and vertical planes and slight differences from adjusting the tripod to try and get the same scene as closely as possible framed in all shots. One set was captured using the Nikon 17-35 f/2.8 set at 24mm. A second set was made using the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4. All were shot at ISO 400. Capture sharpening was done in Lightroom but no creative sharpening. Output sharpening was applied on export.
In this more ‘like for like’ comparison, the Fuji with the Metabones fares very well. The results in the first examples could have been the result of camera movement or slightly improper focusing. But in this second set of images, using two different lenses, the Metabones adapter works very nicely.
The tripod foot on the adapter is a nice touch to deal with potential weight issues of the larger, heavier Nikon lenses putting stress on the camera side mount. The foot can be removed with an Allan key (not included). The Allan screws do not go fully through the adapter so removing the foot will not leave you with holes that have to be covered. The foot is made to fit an Arca-Swiss style head. There is also a standard 1/4-20 hole on the tripod foot to attach a tripod plate if you have a different type of tripod head.
On the downside, the adapter does not ship with front or rear caps. This means that dust can get into it quite easily and could then get transferred to the sensor or rear lens element. I would buy a Nikon body cap and Fuji rear lens cap to deal with this. The inside of the adapter is ribbed which will more easily catch and retain dust than a smooth interior. Care will need to be taken to keep this cleaned out.
Based on the image samples I’ve captured thus far I am comfortable saying that the Metabones lens adapter produces images of high enough quality that I am going to keep the adapter and use it with the X-T1.
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