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Thread: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    I've been shooting some MF film on my Hasselblad 503cx recently, and I'm curious to use the lenses on my Sony A7rII. The crop factor with just a simple adapter isn't particularly inspiring though. I have been researching shift adapters, allowing one to take advantage of the larger image circle either for straightening converging verticals or making a larger image by stitching multiple images in post--a build-your-own MF digital back. I've seen a couple ways available to do this:

    RhinoCam adapter - seems purpose-built for this use and allowing capture of a large 66mm x 66mm image (if the lens allows), even larger than a typical 6x6 frame (at 56mm square). Includes ground glass screen for composing the full image, plus markers to help with alignment. Tripod foot on the lens side ensures the camera is shifting, not the composition. Large and a bit unwieldy-looking though.

    Tilt/shift adapters - Smaller and more flexible than RhinoCam with the option of tilt also. I see many by fotodiox (TLT ROKR), but these only seem to have +/-10mm shift, limiting your coverage to a 44 x 36mm image or 56mm x 24mm x-pan-like panorama. Kipon adapters shift +/-15mm, so you can get a 54mm x 36mm, getting pretty close to 645 or even maybe 66mm x 24mm panorama. There are also shift-only adapters out there which seem to be easier to find with +/-15mm shift.

    A further challenge with the tilt/shift adapters though is that you need the lens to stay put while you move the camera, not the other way around. So you need a tripod mount on the lens end of the adapter which I can't seem to easily find. One solution would be to combine two adapters--find a basic Hasselblad V to SLR mount with a tripod foot, and then get a shift adapter for the intermediate SLR mount to Sony E. As long as the adapter throats play nicely with each other to avoid vignetting, I don't see why this wouldn't work.

    I'm just looking into this as a hobby, but the cost isn't terrible for being able to give it a try. So before I go and buy one of these solutions, I'm curious--has anyone here has already gone down one or both of these roads before? Are there other options to look at or things I haven't considered? What are your thoughts on a setup like this, other than the limitations around moving subjects? Thanks!

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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    I've been shooting some MF film on my Hasselblad 503cx recently, and I'm curious to use the lenses on my Sony A7rII. The crop factor with just a simple adapter isn't particularly inspiring though. I have been researching shift adapters, allowing one to take advantage of the larger image circle either for straightening converging verticals or making a larger image by stitching multiple images in post--a build-your-own MF digital back. I've seen a couple ways available to do this:
    Just throwing another option out there, take a look at the Cambo Actus view camera!

    https://www.cambo.com/en/actus-series/

    There are several folks on this forum who use the Actus regularly and love what it can do. And of course when pairing Sony and Hasselblad CF lenses together you can achieve some wonderful results!
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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    Thank you, Cambo Actus looks like a very cool system. Certainly more precise and capable compared to what I've looked at so far, but at a cost

    Has anyone tried the Kipon, Weidon (chinese brand on ebay), or fotodiox tilt/shift adapters? Any comments on quality or usability?

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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    I tried the Rhinocam and was not happy. The first two I got were already damaged when they arrived. The third was okay, but it was not my thing using it. Auto-stitch in PS did not work always. I have a TS adapter and that works better for me, but its more like an add on and additional use case for my mf glass. For me it doesn’t replace MF.
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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    You have lots of options. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

    Tilt-shift adapters from Kipon and Fotodiox are a relatively inexpensive way to get some movements. You should also look at the Mirex adapters if you want to go this route. Let's just say Mirex was there first, and then all the Chinese ones started showing up, looking very similar... With all of these adapters, using only one, you can have tilt (down) combined with shift (left-right). Or you can rotate the adapter and have swing combined with rise-fall. You can't have tilt combined with rise-fall unless you use two adapters that allow shift. I used to use dual Mirex tilt-shift adapters on a Sony A7R. That's a very flexible setup because now you have tilt and swing independent from the direction of shift, rise and fall. You can also split the difference and use a tilt-shift adapter mounted onto shift adapter. If you're going to use your Sony that's a practical approach because you need medium format lenses anyway to get the image circle that allows for shift. For instance, you could use a Hasselblad to Canon EF tilt-shift adapter, and then a Canon to Sony E shift adapter. Canon EF is a good intermediary mount because it has a very large throat size.

    With tilt-shift adapters, you're effectively only getting rear standard base tilt, which has implications for the shapes of things in your pictures. You can mount the camera and then tilt the lens, but I recommend you mount the adapter to the tripod and then tilt the camera. To illustrate, one of my tilt-shift setups is based on an APS-C camera and Olympus OM lenses. I used a Novoflex collar to mount the adapter to the tripod so that I could keep the lens in the same position while moving the camera. See here: https://www.robdeloephotography.com/...tshift-on-APSC When I used a Sony A7R and those Mirex adapters, I had a tripod foot on one of the adapters; that did the same thing.

    With all of these tilt-shift adapters, you're going to have limited movements (unless you double-up). 12mm is normally the maximum shift. I got more on my dual Mirex adapters by shifting on both at the same time. However, don't get too excited about large shifts with medium format lenses. Hasselblad lenses have an image circle of around 82mm. Whether or not the image quality is any good while performing large shifts is always a question. For example, on my GFX setup, I can shift 12mm on a Pentax 645 lens, but I don't as a rule because the image quality is not acceptable at the far shifted edge.

    Other things to watch out for with tilt-shift adapters include mis-alignment, light leaks, interior reflections, and tilt droop. I haven't used any tilt-shift adapter (including the expensive Mirex) versions that was perfectly aligned or totally light tight. I had to flock my Mirex adapters on the inside to prevent reflections. Ditto the Kipon one I use on my APS-C setup. The Fotodiox Tilt ROCKR I have for my Fuji GFX 50R doesn't need flocking (they did a good job with baffles and coatings). However, the Fotodiox is very prone to tilt-droop (you can't lock it down tight enough to prevent a heavier lens self-tilting). In fact all the adapters I've used suffer tilt-droop because they all use friction to lock the tilt mechanism. The Fotodiox for my Fuji GFX was also not built properly; there wasn't space to mount my Pentax 645 lenses properly without damaging them. I had to shim the mount to get the lens mounted. Whatever you buy, make sure you can return it if it doesn't work out.

    Speaking of lenses, some work very well but you can't know in advance until you try. On my APS-C setup I settled on Olympus OM lenses and had to buy, try and sell/return a lot to get down to a group that actually worked. It's going to be the same with medium format lenses (albeit less so because they were designed for professionals so they tend to be better overall performers). I like Pentax 645 and 67 lenses because they're good quality and relatively cheap. Plus the Pentax Forum site has quite reliable reviews. The SMC Pentax-645 35mm f/3.5 is a very good choice; I used that one on my Sony A7R + Mirex outfit, and I use it again on my Fuji GFX 50R + Toyo outfit. Pentax 67 lenses are also a good choice. I just added a SMC Pentax 67 45mm f/4 to my bag. It's not quite as sharp as the 645 35mm Pentax, but it's very good and has that huge 6x7 image circle; shifting with 645 Pentax lenses is problematic past 10mm on my GFX -- but works well on Pentax 67 lenses. The Pentax 67 55mm f/4 (4th and latest addition) is an outstanding lens, but it's huge. I have options in this focal length range that suit me better, but this is the one I'd use if I didn't have those options.

    Ultimately, there are better and more flexible solutions than tilt-shift adapters. Someone has already mentioned the Cambo Actus. That's a great choice. I'm currently using a Toyo VX23D for my Fuji GFX 50R setup. It's not a "turnkey" solution like the Cambo Actus because you have to invest some time and money into building custom lens boards. However, I wanted maximum flexibility in movements, so it was worth the effort for me. Using a solution like my Toyo or a Cambo Actus also opens the door to using all kinds of other lenses. With a tilt-shift adapter, you basically lock yourself into one mount. For instance, everything that fits my APS-C tilt-shift adapter has to use the Olympus OM mount. When I shot a Sony A7R with the Mirex adapters, I used Pentax 645 lenses. On my Toyo outfit, I currently have a Pentax 645 35mm lens, a Pentax 67 45mm lens, M39 mount enlarger lenses for 60mm, and tech/view camera lenses in Copal shutters for 80mm and longer. You can have the same flexibility on a Cambo Actus by buying the various lens board you need.

    One thing to be aware of though if you go the route of a camera like a Cambo Actus or Toyo VX23D is you can't assume any lens will work with your camera if you can physically mount it. When you use a Tilt-Shift adapter, as long as the lens mount is compatible, you're good-to go because the adapter provides the necessary flange focal distance. For example, any lens that was designed to work with an Olympus OM camera will work on my Olympus OM tilt-shift adapter -- regardless of focal length or manufacturer. However, it's the Wild West with technical cameras. I'm using medium format lenses from Pentax on my Toyo setup because none of the wide angle technical cameras that I'd like to use will reach infinity on my Toyo + GFX. You will face exactly the same constraints with a full frame solution. This is where using medium format lenses can be an advantage. I can mount any Pentax 67 lens of any focal length on my Toyo + GFX; if one works, they all work. But I can't mount any medium format lens. For example, Bronica lenses won't work on my setup, but Hasselblad V lenses would.

    Good luck!
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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    Thank you so much for that very detailed and information reply! I hadn't considered doubling up on the shift adapters, which is a great suggestion. I was able to find fotodiox sells a shift-only adapter WITH tripod mount, which I could then combine with one of their tilt/shift adapters to have both movements.

    I did find mention of Mirex after I posted, but they seem to have disappeared from availability online (I'm guessing due to how expensive it was?). It's unfortunate that most of the brands seem to suffer from some construction issues, but I suppose it's expected at these tolerances and price point. And unfortunately it's hard to know how a particular adapter will work until you get it in your hands. Sounds like fotodiox is a good one to start with. The Chinese brand Weidon is the lowest priced option I could find for tilt+shift (eBay), but I wasn't able to find credible accounts with their product.

    For the intermediary mount, I found both Canon EF or Nikon F seem to be possible options. I see you mentioned mount throat size as an advantage, but I wasn't sure how this would affect results. Are the baffles too small on some of these adapters where it would hard vignette at maximum shift?

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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    Mirex is alive and well as far as I can tell. http://mirex-adapter.de/

    If you have a choice for the intermediate Mount, I would definitely go with Canon. It is significantly larger than Nikon. The advantage is you reduce one potential source of mechanical vignetting.




    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    Thank you so much for that very detailed and information reply! I hadn't considered doubling up on the shift adapters, which is a great suggestion. I was able to find fotodiox sells a shift-only adapter WITH tripod mount, which I could then combine with one of their tilt/shift adapters to have both movements.

    I did find mention of Mirex after I posted, but they seem to have disappeared from availability online (I'm guessing due to how expensive it was?). It's unfortunate that most of the brands seem to suffer from some construction issues, but I suppose it's expected at these tolerances and price point. And unfortunately it's hard to know how a particular adapter will work until you get it in your hands. Sounds like fotodiox is a good one to start with. The Chinese brand Weidon is the lowest priced option I could find for tilt+shift (eBay), but I wasn't able to find credible accounts with their product.

    For the intermediary mount, I found both Canon EF or Nikon F seem to be possible options. I see you mentioned mount throat size as an advantage, but I wasn't sure how this would affect results. Are the baffles too small on some of these adapters where it would hard vignette at maximum shift?
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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    Mirex is alive and well as far as I can tell. http://mirex-adapter.de/

    If you have a choice for the intermediate Mount, I would definitely go with Canon. It is significantly larger than Nikon. The advantage is you reduce one potential source of mechanical vignetting.
    Did you run into any mechanical vignetting with your double Mirex adapters? Most of these adapters seem to have rounded-square baffles to help reduce internal reflections, but I wonder whether they'd cause problems in certain positions. Certainly double-shifting in the same direction would probably create an issue, but I wonder whether a maximum X and Y shift with two adapters would also be a problem.

    I've been looking at combining these two to get the tripod mount on the lens (I like the clever Novoflex collar too, but I'm not sure how to find something different that would fit on the Hasselblad lenses or adapter):

    https://fotodioxpro.com/products/eos...26599fec&_ss=r
    +
    https://fotodioxpro.com/products/tlt...ca4216c4&_ss=r

    These only do +/-10mm shift, so the max image size captured would be 56mm by 44mm. I asked about Nikon F as the intermediate because the Kipon and Weidon adapters I found will do a +/-15mm shift, which combined with another +/-10mm shift adapter would enable a full 56mm square. I would just be worried that the resulting shift would vignette. I guess maybe there's only one way to find out..?

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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    I find it helpful to see this visually, like so:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ry...FuFEdQ8iX14hX1

    Sketching it out like this, it looks like you can do a 20mm rise in landscape, and a 20mm shift in portrait, assuming an 82mm image circle. But... you might not be happy with the quality of the image at the far shifted ends.

    Using a Sony A7R with dual Mirex adapters, the largest shift I can remember making was 17mm in portrait orientation. Both adapters were oriented in the same direction so vignetting was not a problem. The lens was a Pentax-A 645 35mm f/3.5, which has an image circle of roughly 72mm. A 17mm portrait-oriented shifted takes the corners of the picture outside a 72mm image circle. In reality, there was a bit more image circle there than 72mm. However, image quality at the top of the shifted area was pretty rough. The picture only worked because the top edge was sky and clouds, with the very tip of the spire of a church I was shooting down a bit into the image. The cross at the top of the spire was smeared at 100%.

    Would a a maximum X and Y shift with two adapters also be a problem? If the lens has a 82mm image circle, then my quick sketch says the shifted image would be well within the image circle.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sP...OgkYegtOD0hGk9

    I wouldn't get excited though. The only way to know if this would work is to try. There are a lot of wild cards in play:

    * Will the image quality of the lens you're using be good enough for your purposes in the far-shifted part of the picture? I can't reliably flat stitch 3 frames with my Pentax-A 35mm lens because the far shifted edges are weak -- even though there's enough image circle to cover the shifts.

    * Does the lens have an inherent distortion form that will go haywire when you shift? Case in point I had a lovely Zeiss ZF 21/2.8 that I tried as a shift lens on my APS-C sensor outfit. It was a disaster. This lens has complex moustache distortion, which turned into an unfixable mess when shifted on an APS-C sensor.

    * Will the adapters cause mechanical vignetting? I did run into this using complicated movements.

    * Will the opening of the camera cause mechanical vignetting? On my GFX outfit, because the sensor is so deep in the camera body, with some lenses the opening to the sensor cavity causes vignetting before the adapter (or my VX23D) does, and before the lens runs out of usable image circle. The A7R series has a shorter flange focal distance, but the problem is still there.

    If you have the Hasselblad V lenses already, then for the cost of the adapters you can find out. I'm curious to know if it works so please report back!

    Also, I can't tell from the link you gave if that Hasselblad V adapter has the tripod foot. You really want the tripod foot on the front-most adapter. That way you hold the lens in position and it's the camera that is moving around. This makes for much easier compositions.


    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    Did you run into any mechanical vignetting with your double Mirex adapters? Most of these adapters seem to have rounded-square baffles to help reduce internal reflections, but I wonder whether they'd cause problems in certain positions. Certainly double-shifting in the same direction would probably create an issue, but I wonder whether a maximum X and Y shift with two adapters would also be a problem.

    I've been looking at combining these two to get the tripod mount on the lens (I like the clever Novoflex collar too, but I'm not sure how to find something different that would fit on the Hasselblad lenses or adapter):

    https://fotodioxpro.com/products/eos...26599fec&_ss=r
    +
    https://fotodioxpro.com/products/tlt...ca4216c4&_ss=r

    These only do +/-10mm shift, so the max image size captured would be 56mm by 44mm. I asked about Nikon F as the intermediate because the Kipon and Weidon adapters I found will do a +/-15mm shift, which combined with another +/-10mm shift adapter would enable a full 56mm square. I would just be worried that the resulting shift would vignette. I guess maybe there's only one way to find out..?
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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    I should have mentioned earlier that I already have a film Hasselblad kit consisting of 50mm, 80mm, and 150mm CF lenses--these are what I'm intending to adapt to my Sony. My main goal would be to recreate the typical 6x6 frame coverage by shifting, which would basically be doable with an X + Y shift as nicely visualized in the second link, but would require +/-16mm in the vertical direction, not just 10mm. Creating a panoramic image with a double-shift like in the first link would be very interesting though, and I'm interested in the tilt capabilities of these adapters as well.

    With these lenses, I'm less concerned about vignette on the edge of the image circle than I am about mechanical vignetting from the adapters. From the images online showing the adapters, they all have square baffles which I thought could possibly occlude one another with maximum shifts. I see the Mirex ones look the same as well though, so if stacking shifts was mostly OK, even with a double shift up to 17mm, that suggests maybe it will work. Also, the Fotodiox "Pro Shift" (non-tilt) has a tripod foot on the Hasselblad mount side--I think it is removable; other websites (B&H, Amazon) have better images with the tripod foot shown.

    I'll definitely report back with what I find. I'm just trying to decide how to proceed here. I may first try the Nikon F adapters I found since they are cheaper ($230 for both vs. $350 for the Canon option) and it has a +/-15mm shift range for the Nikon-Sony adapter. If it works, that'd be the best one to use... again, if it works.

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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    very interesting topic, I've been using pentax 645D for landscapes for several years and the only thing I really miss is being able to tilt and shift. I used canon ts-e lenses before switching to Pentax. And now I am debating whether to go GFX for tilt/shift options or just add tilt/shift ability to my fuji x cameras and keep the pentax for now. I still enjoy my 645D, hence the doubts.

    and thank you Rob for sharing your experience with tilt shift, I've read your article about Tilt-shift on APS-C a couple of times. You mention that Most Olympus OM lenses tend not to be bitingly sharp anywhere in the frame, and that scares me a little. Is the IQ/resolution/sharpness at pixel level very different from medium format setup?




    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    I find it helpful to see this visually, like so:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ry...FuFEdQ8iX14hX1

    Sketching it out like this, it looks like you can do a 20mm rise in landscape, and a 20mm shift in portrait, assuming an 82mm image circle. But... you might not be happy with the quality of the image at the far shifted ends.

    Using a Sony A7R with dual Mirex adapters, the largest shift I can remember making was 17mm in portrait orientation. Both adapters were oriented in the same direction so vignetting was not a problem. The lens was a Pentax-A 645 35mm f/3.5, which has an image circle of roughly 72mm. A 17mm portrait-oriented shifted takes the corners of the picture outside a 72mm image circle. In reality, there was a bit more image circle there than 72mm. However, image quality at the top of the shifted area was pretty rough. The picture only worked because the top edge was sky and clouds, with the very tip of the spire of a church I was shooting down a bit into the image. The cross at the top of the spire was smeared at 100%.

    Would a a maximum X and Y shift with two adapters also be a problem? If the lens has a 82mm image circle, then my quick sketch says the shifted image would be well within the image circle.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sP...OgkYegtOD0hGk9

    I wouldn't get excited though. The only way to know if this would work is to try. There are a lot of wild cards in play:

    * Will the image quality of the lens you're using be good enough for your purposes in the far-shifted part of the picture? I can't reliably flat stitch 3 frames with my Pentax-A 35mm lens because the far shifted edges are weak -- even though there's enough image circle to cover the shifts.

    * Does the lens have an inherent distortion form that will go haywire when you shift? Case in point I had a lovely Zeiss ZF 21/2.8 that I tried as a shift lens on my APS-C sensor outfit. It was a disaster. This lens has complex moustache distortion, which turned into an unfixable mess when shifted on an APS-C sensor.

    * Will the adapters cause mechanical vignetting? I did run into this using complicated movements.

    * Will the opening of the camera cause mechanical vignetting? On my GFX outfit, because the sensor is so deep in the camera body, with some lenses the opening to the sensor cavity causes vignetting before the adapter (or my VX23D) does, and before the lens runs out of usable image circle. The A7R series has a shorter flange focal distance, but the problem is still there.

    If you have the Hasselblad V lenses already, then for the cost of the adapters you can find out. I'm curious to know if it works so please report back!

    Also, I can't tell from the link you gave if that Hasselblad V adapter has the tripod foot. You really want the tripod foot on the front-most adapter. That way you hold the lens in position and it's the camera that is moving around. This makes for much easier compositions.
    Uladzimir

    @roadsideviews

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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: MF Lenses with Shift Adapter or RhinoCam on Full-Frame/35mm Digital Body

    I acquired two fotodiox adapters recently and tested it out--it works!

    I combined a Hasselblad to Canon EF "pro" shift adapter with a Canon EF to Sony FE TLT ROKR Tilt/Shift adapter. The Hasselblad-Canon has +/-15mm of shift, and the Canon-Sony has +/-10mm. The Hasselblad adapter has a tripod foot with arca-swiss plate on the lens, as mentioned earlier in this thread it is a requirement for shifting the camera while the lens stays anchored. Both adapters allow for mount rotation, so different orientations of the sensor and shift axes of the adapters are possible.

    Two possible examples are shown below: both double-shift in one direction (by up to 25mm) and shifting horizontally (15mm) and vertically (10mm). The former allows wide panorama stitching, while the latter covers the square aspect of the original Hasselblad frame. Below is a quick photoshop showing the single frame in the middle, overlaid on the square-ish stitch and wider double-shift after rotating the sensor:



    I used my dog as the subject, but he doesn't sit still for long enough to stitch easily! This underscores a key difficulty when using this method--movement during the frames may make stitching impossible...

    I should also mention that while the Zeiss 80/2.8 does not seem to suffer mechanical vignetting from the adapter, the Zeiss 50/4 does with the most extreme shifts. Interestingly, it is on the inside corner of the frame, so a shift to the upper right will vignette in the lower left corner. I haven't fully explored, but I think it should be possible to still acquire a similar framing, but it may require some additional shots. I haven't had a chance to really put this setup to good use yet, so stay tuned.

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