In a previous post on flange focal distance, we learned that adapters are only possible because of a gap between the flange focal distances of two different systems. To show that visually, we used this graphic:
We offer over 800 different adapters, but as we learn from time-to-time we don't have every combination that our customer base is looking for. In the past article we also mentioned that medium format lenses are great for adapting since they work well with both mirrorless and DSLR interchangeable camera systems. Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee that we’ll make an adapter for all systems. For example we offer twenty-five different adapters for Mamiya 645 lenses, but only three for Rolleiflex SL 66 lenses. After years in the lens mount adapter business we’ve found that there are some mounts we can usually count on people asking about when it comes to medium format (Pentax, Mamiya, and Hasselblad.) While some other brands and mounts are requested to a lesser extent, often due to the common availability of these systems (Bronica, Kiev 88, or Contax).
When our FUJIFILM GFX family of adapters originally launched we only offered adapters for five different lens mounts. A great way to bridge the availability gap was by combining two adapters that already exist to create the equivalent adapter. When offering a double adapter solution we usually select a common intermediate mount like Canon EOS or Leica M.
We didn’t originally have a dedicated Mamiya RB/RZ67 to FUJIFILM GFX adapter; instead our original listing for this combination consisted of a RB67/RZ67 to EOS adapter in conjunction with an EOS to GFX adapter. Flash forward to the present day-now we carry a direct RB/RZ67 to GFX adapter Yet, we still offer the double adapter option as well:
Is there an objective reason to go for one option or the other? Not really, but there are certainly factors that could affect your decision:
As seen in the screenshot above, both options for the RB67/RZ67 to GFX are offered at the same price, so naturally, one wouldn’t think price as being an issue. In actuality, if you were to purchase both components of the combo adapter (RB67/RZ67 to EOS and also the EOS to GFX), the total would actually come to $279.90. This gives a discount of roughly 10% while also allowing you to use your RB67/RZ67 lenses on a Canon EOS-mount camera or your EOS-mount lenses on your GFX camera.
Using an intermediate mount can be helpful for adapting other lenses, but it can also save you a few bucks. For example, if you had lenses with the Leica M-mount, Minolta MD-mount, Leica R-mount, and Olympus OM mount, buying all of their dedicated adapters for the GFX can quickly become expensive (approximately $420.) However, if you use Leica M as an intermediate lens mount, you would get all the adapters you need for $195 (saving you about 53%). It should be noted that double-adapting is not always going to cheaper than buying dedicated mounts. On systems that offer multiple grades of adapters (consumer vs Pro), double-adapting is usually going to be cheaper than buying the Pro grade. If you don't need the Pro grade build quality, then double adapting may be an enticing option.
Broaden Your Horizons
We recently released ND Throttle Fusions for the Fujifilm X-mount, but unfortunately, it’s only compatible with Canon EOS-mount lenses, so if you wanted auto focus and variable neutral density in a single adapter, you’d be out of luck (for the most part).
But using our Fujifilm Pronto, in conjunction with a NikF-LM adapter and a Mamiya 645 to Nikon ND Throttle, we were able to achieve both the auto focus and the variable neutral density, and on a lens that was a only for manual focus on its native system:
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Even in the harsh, bright, morning sun, we were able to retain a shallow depth of field by shooting with wide-open apertures and controlling the light with the build in neutral density filter.
We did the same with a Pentax 67 to Nikon TLT ROKR. Personally, I've never seen a tilt/shift lens that features auto focus, so this seemed like an interesting combination to experiment with:
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Your creativity isn’t confined to the limits of what adapters Fotodiox offers. If you switched out the P67 to Nikon F TLT ROKR for one of Lensbaby’s specialty lenses that use a Nikon F-mount, you could use the unique effects of your Lensbaby lens, with the addition of auto focus.
Don’t underestimate the power of using a combination of two (or more) of our adapters. Our current record? Six:
Would anyone ever need to use this monstrosity? Probably not! But it’s fun to think that both options really fulfill the same purpose, even if one is over-the-top. Every now and then we get questions from our customers asking if there’s anything to lose by double adapting, and the easy answer is no. All standard adapters are made to put the proper amount of space between two systems of lenses and cameras, so ultimately using one adapter should not be different from using six (as long as everything is made within the correct specifications.)
With the right adapters, you may be able to save yourself some money, but you might also be able to achieve some extraordinarily fun and exciting combinations that are not be readily available to you.