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Didn't know where to post this... YT video of M Mount lenses on Zf with AF

Dr. G

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I didn't know where to post this, but I thought this would be the best forum as this setup would probably appeal more to SL users, myself being one.  I started a thread about a M mount camera with an EVF a few weeks ago and, although not Leica, this could be an interesting setup for using M mount lenses with Autofocus.  Full disclosure, I've never used a Nikon camera and have no idea how the image quality/color science compares to the SL.  

I'm still waiting for my X100VI as an everyday carry, but I'm thinking this may be an alternative.



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The AF speed/hunting in that video reminds me of the original Minolta Maxxum (aka Dynax in other markets?), a very long time ago.

It's a valid option if you have trouble focusing, and you need to use M lenses. I personally would rather use small light AF primes (Sigma, Lumix, Leica ASPH) instead, even though I have M lenses.

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The Techart AF adapter has been out for a few years now. I used it for a while on a Sony, never tried on Nikon.

Like everything, it has pros and cons. The biggest pro is AF with manual lenses, including eye AF. Nailing the eye with the Noctilux wide open? No problem. Works like a charm. I also find it much faster than focusing manually using the EVF. There's also the option of switching to full manual focusing, if you so wish.

Now for the cons: it can struggle a lot, especially in low light. Also the further you move the focus point from the center of the image, the more it struggles to acquire and maintain focus. The AF motors produce a whirring noise, that can be annoying and a big no no in certain situations. Lenses should not exceed a certain weight, I think it was 500g, to avoid putting strain on the motors. And, finally, this tool moves the lens body to acquire focus, whereas for manual focus you move the lens elements, so for lenses with a FLE, performance can take a hit in the corners, unless you coarse focus manually and then let the adapter fine tune the AF. Lenses without FLE have no problems.

AF speed is not the best, but it's ok. You won't be able to use it for action, but I remember using it for people casually moving on the street and I was satisfied. 

Even with the caveats above, should this adapter come to the L mount, I'd buy it immediately. It won't work in all situations, but for what it is, it does the job. Just use it when you think it would be more useful, e.g. portraits, general walkaround photography, perhaps some street, even travel if you don't want to carry that set of APO's, or simply when you want to use a M mount lens with some specific signature like the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar or the Noctilux. 

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I’ve been shooting quite a bit with a Zf lately and I bought this adapter to use my M lenses.  I don’t feel it’s confident enough in AF-C to use in dynamic situations, which is where I do most of my shooting in.  Even when using super tiny lenses like the Color-Skopar 28mm, it struggles.  AF-S is okay, but not great and still hunts quite a bit.  Kinda regret spending $400 on the adapter when I’m much faster with zone focusing or using native Z lenses and autofocus.  The Zf and Z8 autofocus is outstanding so it’s the adapter’s problems, not the lenses.  If you’re slow, deliberate, and don’t mind fine tuning focus, it maybe could work for you, but if you shoot from the hip and need to catch that moment you’ll probably have a bad time. 

Gotta say though that the Zf with native 28mm f/2.8 is a great EDC and I don’t regret picking it up.  Between it and the M10M, I barely shoot with any other digital cameras now. 

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M lenses are very fast and easy to manually focus on the Nikon Z cameras and given the reports on the Techart AF adapter I can’t see what it’s advantage is. Is it possible to turn it off?

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