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Canon EF lenses on my Z7

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Sometimes the simplest things can bring the most joy... An Altson CEF to NZ adapter arrived today as did a used Canon USM pancake 40mm I ordered. So I mounted them up and stuck them on the camera and... Nothing. The lens just made a pulsing noise. In MF or AF mode. If I tried to focus it in MF mode, it would recede back to infinity and pulse. Bummer. So I yanked it off the camera, repackaged the adapter and figured I'd try another one just to be sure because the lens is so dang cute. And tiny. As I was putting the IB for the adapter back in its box, it opened to the Firmware update instructions. Hmmm. What the heck, nothing to lose. Go to the website and DL the latest FW. Plug the adapter into my Mac via a mini usb cable (the adapter has a built in mini usb port), it shows up on my desktop as a drive. Cool. I uncompress the FW, and drag it to the root folder then eject it and slap the lens back on it and slap the combo back on my camera. And it works as advertised. AF's as fast as it would on a native Canon body, adjusts aperture just like Nikon, and even the focal length shows up in the EXIF. Sometimes you get lucky.

PS comment: Nikon could take a lesson on adapter design from Altson. This adapter weighs maybe 2 ounces, is hardly noticeable on the camera and makes the FTZ seem like something from the local hardware store plumbing department. Oh, the adapter comes with appropriate Nikon rear lens and Canon body front caps -- nice touch!

PPS edit: I failed to mention I needed to dial in a bit of AF fine tune. I adjust at one stop down, so f4 for this lens needed a -2, FWIW...

I took it out for a short walk. I like it. A lot. Enough I might search out a few other sleeper --read cheap-- USM primes to utilize until Nikon fills out their Z line.

Some samples, nothing special, but it is surprisingly good optically, at least from a sharpness and color PoV...

Taken with my cell phone for relative perspective on sizes:



Decent color and resolution, at f8:



About 1 stop of corner falloff wide open at f2.8 -- easily correctable, but I left it in on this image for example:



A couple mono conversions, first at f2.8, second at f8:





Stay tuned for more updates as I use it a little more. I can only repeat that for now I remain impressed. (And I'll add I definitely prefer Canon lens color over the Nikon sensor to it over its native sensors! :LOL: )
 
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Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Here are some 100% crops from two of the above f2.8 images so you can see edge and corner sharpness at its worst. Note these are taken from SOOC jpegs -- I suspect I could glean a bit better result if I took time to process the raws, but frankly these more than satisfy my curiosity about how the lens performs:

First vine wall, lower-mid far left:



upper far right:



Agave garden, extreme lower left corner:



mid far right edge, shows a bit of the bokeh character too -- which frankly isn't all that great IMHO:



An f8 center crop of the agave garden -- I did focus on the middle of this agave:



And finally a center crop at f2.8 of the cabinet locks:



As you can see, except for the extreme corners the lens performs pretty well wide open, and of course it sharpens up significantly as you stop down. It also shows very little CA. I am frankly a bit surprised at how good optically this lens is for what it is and what it costs.
 
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Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
I just ordered a copy of the 40 pancake's little brother, the EF-S 24 -- I know, ridiculous :LOL: The adapter allows mounting EF-S lenses without modification, so it only costs me postage if I don't like the result. I know it will vignette. But I also plan on using it with the Z7's square crop, sort of like a mini Hassleblad SWC, or should I say Kiev SWC? I do not expect optical perfection, especially at the corners, but hoping for good enough centrally with at least a pleasant effect toward the corners. We will see...
 

Joe Colson

Well-known member
Sometimes the simplest things can bring the most joy... An Altson CEF to NZ adapter arrived today as did a used Canon USM pancake 40mm I ordered. So I mounted them up and stuck them on the camera and... Nothing. The lens just made a pulsing noise. In MF or AF mode. If I tried to focus it in MF mode, it would recede back to infinity and pulse. Bummer. So I yanked it off the camera, repackaged the adapter and figured I'd try another one just to be sure because the lens is so dang cute. And tiny. As I was putting the IB for the adapter back in its box, it opened to the Firmware update instructions. Hmmm. What the heck, nothing to lose. Go to the website and DL the latest FW. Plug the adapter into my Mac via a mini usb cable (the adapter has a built in mini usb port), it shows up on my desktop as a drive. Cool. I uncompress the FW, and drag it to the root folder then eject it and slap the lens back on it and slap the combo back on my camera. And it works as advertised. AF's as fast as it would on a native Canon body, adjusts aperture just like Nikon, and even the focal length shows up in the EXIF. Sometimes you get lucky.

PS comment: Nikon could take a lesson on adapter design from Altson. This adapter weighs maybe 2 ounces, is hardly noticeable on the camera and makes the FTZ seem like something from the local hardware store plumbing department. Oh, the adapter comes with appropriate Nikon rear lens and Canon body front caps -- nice touch!

PPS edit: I failed to mention I needed to dial in a bit of AF fine tune. I adjust at one stop down, so f4 for this lens needed a -2, FWIW...

I took it out for a short walk. I like it. A lot. Enough I might search out a few other sleeper --read cheap-- USM primes to utilize until Nikon fills out their Z line.

Some samples, nothing special, but it is surprisingly good optically, at least from a sharpness and color PoV...

Taken with my cell phone for relative perspective on sizes:



Decent color and resolution, at f8:

<snip>

About 1 stop of corner falloff wide open at f2.8 -- easily correctable, but I left it in on this image for example:

<snip>

A couple mono conversions, first at f2.8, second at f8:

<snip>

Stay tuned for more updates as I use it a little more. I can only repeat that for now I remain impressed. (And I'll add I definitely prefer Canon lens color over the Nikon sensor to it over its native sensors! :LOL: )
I like the idea of a pancake lens. But the adapter adds as much (or more) length as the lens itself. Does this combo still appeal to you as a pancake or are you just experimenting? I'm waiting patiently to see what Nikon actually comes out with.

Thanks for sharing your results.

Joe
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Fair question Joe. My guess is due to design limitations, the Z 40 pancake will not be as "thin" as this Canon 40. Will it be overall shorter than the C 40 with the adapter? Probably, but no idea on how much. So for now, what I have is a relatively compact and definitely lightweight 40mm "walk around" lens for the Z, and that interests me.

The other thing I yearn for is a different look. Todays lenses, especially the dedicated Z line, are so near perfect they've all but eliminated any uniqueness to their images. Don't get me wrong, I love "perfect" glass as much as the next guy for most of what I shoot. However, I also appreciate the "something different" some lenses bring to the table. Some of those old design warts actually render an interesting look. I'll digress here with a true story that underscores my point:

My wife and I were invited to a wedding a couple years ago. The bride knew I was a photographer and asked if I'd mind taking some photos of the reception party; she had hired a professional photographer for all of the "normal stuff" but wanted to make sure she got some candid memories from the party side. I said sure. It's important to note the bride was also a Fine Art major and an extremely talented artist in her own right. Anyway, at that time I decided to use my Sony mirrorless kit because it was small. Even though I hated its ergos, it fit the bill better. I mounted a 24-70 and threw a "fun" lens in my pocket -- one of the $30 plastic Holga things. So I took a slew of candids of the party attendees all doing the party things, and then mounted the Holga and took a few dozen more. I'd swapped the Holga in for part of the Bride and Groom dance too. Back at my computer, there was just something fun about the Holga images that I felt relayed the spirit of the party -- regardless of how poor they were technically! So I took the best composed of them and batched them to a little PS action I wrote on the fly to create a sort of funky color-bleed faux Polaroid border. I'd of course already selected and worked a bunch of the "good" images, put them all on a DVD to give her. My wife sees the Holga images and says, "Erin will love these! Put just those on a disk for me." So I did and she headed for Kinkos. While they were printing off the batch of "Holga 4x6's" she grabbed a funky album off the Kinkos shelf and ordered them all into a little keepsake book for her. Long story short, the bride sees the book, has duplicates made for the parents on both sides and uses that as her final wedding album. All of the other images, including the professional wedding photos, are tucked away in her closet on a CD. The Holga album that probably cost less than $25 total to generate is what sits on her coffee table.

So yeah, this is just an experimental journey. And I will likely abandon this combo for a garage sale price that's significantly less than the $200 or so I have invested in it when the actual Z pancakes ship. But then again, depending on the final size and price of the Z version, maybe this will be good enough on its own? Or perhaps it's going to be just quirky enough to be better? ;)
 
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KeithL

Active member
Jack, I really understand and share your impatience, but to be quite honest I'm less than impressed _ admitedly it could be the fault of the jpegs. If the Nikon compacts were to deliver similar results I would reject them. Hopefully they will deliver quality performance and in a compact form.
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Of course Keith, I get it and totally respect your opinion re your needs. But as I alluded to in my little story about quirkiness above, I am at a point in my own photographic journey where perfection is not what I'm chasing...
 
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Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Okay, more for y'all to laugh at me about; my flamesuit has been donned so fire away!!! Why do I do it? I dunno, I guess because I can :LOL:



This is from the Canon 24mm EFS pancake for APS-C sensors. As I mentioned above, it fits and mounts to the Altson adapter above without modifications. Note too this is all about having fun, and getting unique but still usable results from inexpensive lenses -- this one cost me $100. First a full frame in 4:5 aspect capture mode on the Z7. Oh, BTW it also focuses to 6 inches(!) This is at f2.8, wide open for this lens or optically its worst, and I have not applied any lens corrections. Obviously it has barrel distortion, some color fringing at the edges and of course vignetted corners. But for my wants, it's not as bad as I expected. In fact I had planned on mounting it, taking a few snaps and boxing it back up and returning it -- but seeing this first in-office snap, I'm going to shoot it a bit more before sending it back. For $100, I may keep it ;)



It has pretty decent sharpness centrally -- 100% center crop at f2.8:



And not too darn shabby at the extreme edge -- 100% edge crop at f2.8. Note I plan to shoot with it in square mode, so won't get quite this far out, image will end at about edge of the far RF window on the old Kodak:




And Keith -- I *know* you'll be sold if I can just find a dead rat to photograph with it :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 
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KeithL

Active member
LOL!

Jack, as I've said, I love quirky, but I do like my quirky lenses to be obviously QUIRKY! ;)
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
A sidebar note: It app[ears C1 "is aware" that I have a Canon 24 EFS Pancake lens mounted to my Z7, as it auto applied the correction for distortions to it. Nothing more, just wanted to share what I think is a cool feature I was not formerly aware of in C1 for anybody using other-party lenses on their bodies.

From today's walk, Canon 24 pancake EFS on Z7 at f8, split-toned and 1-stop vignette added in C1:

 
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Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
I saw that, but this $60 Altson adapter from Amazon is working perfectly so I see no reason to even investigate options.
 
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