This is a quick review of the FotodioX Nikon F to Fujifilm G-mount adapter, which allows mounting Nikon G-type lenses on the new Fuji GFX 50S camera. While it is always ideal to use native lenses on any camera system, the idea of using a lens from a different camera system on a mirrorless camera can be appealing for a number of reasons. Aside from potential savings, one can take advantage of the mirrorless technology (see mirrorless vs DSLR for details) and use the ability to zoom in on a subject while framing to potentially yield a higher number of in-focus shots compared to a DSLR. In addition, lens adapters also open up opportunities to use specialty lenses that are not yet available for the system, which in the case of the new Fuji GFX 50S, is certainly worth looking into, since the system is very new and only three native mount lenses are available at the moment. While shooting with the Fuji GFX 50S, I wondered how well my Nikon lenses would do on the medium format camera, so I decided to give the FotodioX Nikon F to Fuji G-mount adapter a try.
Normally, one would only consider lenses designed for a larger recording medium to be used on a smaller system. A lens designed for a larger film or sensor would have a big enough image circle to cover the whole area of the sensor, without introducing vignetting or other optical issues. In this particular case, I went the other way around by using full-frame lenses on a medium format camera. One might be wondering why anyone would even consider doing this, since images might need to be heavily cropped. However, considering that the medium format sensor on the Fuji GFX 50S is not significantly larger in comparison (43.8×32.9mm vs 35.9x24mm – see Fuji GFX 50S Considerations), some full-frame lenses might have a large enough image circle to cover the whole sensor, eliminating the need to crop images. In addition, it is unlikely that Fuji will release very fast native prime lenses for the GFX 50S (such lenses would be very costly, large and heavy), so the idea of being able to mount something like the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is very appealing for a medium format shooter – especially if they are after beautiful bokeh and even shallower depth of field.
Lens Adapter Issues
Unfortunately, all lens adapters have one big issue – they add another mount point. If manufacturing tolerances are less than ideal (which they often are), adapters end up hurting image sharpness, particularly at the edges of the frame. In addition, low-pass filter stacks can vary a great deal between different camera systems, which can negatively impact edge sharpness even more. For these reasons, I do not recommend using lenses for landscape or architecture photography (where edge sharpness is important) via adapters – it is always better to use native mount lenses that are designed to yield maximum sharpness across the frame.
However, adapters can be quite useful for shooting portraiture, where edge sharpness is not important. In such situations, using a telephoto lens with a lens adapter can result in very appealing images.
Keep in mind that the FotodioX Nikon F to Fuji G mount adapter is a “dumb” adapter, which means that you will need to manually focus with every Nikon lens – there are no AF communication capabilities.
Build Quality and Construction
While one might think that all lens adapters are the same in terms of build quality, my experience has proven otherwise. I have tested a number of adapters for the Sony A7R II in the past and I have found many of them to be average to poor in quality. Keep in mind that even a quarter of a millimeter can have an impact on image sharpness with adapters, so if you want to have the best edge to edge sharpness, you might need to go through a few of them. Interestingly, although some brands were better than others overall, tolerances were not necessarily better – sometimes using two of the same exact adapter would yield completely different results. Knowing this, in the case of the FotodioX Nikon F to Fuji G mount adapter, I did not care to test several samples for tolerances, since my goal was not to use the adapter for the best edge-to-edge sharpness. I knew that most of my landscape lenses would not do well on medium format due to smaller image circle and resulting vignetting problems, so my goal was only to see how usable my Nikon telephoto lenses would be on the Fuji GFX 50S.
The FotodioX Nikon F to Fuji G mount adapter is fully made from metal. Both the G-mount and the F-mount sides have a metallic finish as shown in the picture above, whereas the middle section of the adapter is painted black. The middle section has a smooth finish and the rotating aperture ring has two textured areas for better grip. The non-moving part of the adapter has “Fotodiox Pro Nik(G) – GFX engraving on it, whereas the moving part has aperture engravings showing large to small aperture:
There is no corresponding F-number next to aperture size, because maximum and minimum aperture vary greatly by lens. When changing aperture, the aperture ring can be either rotated by the little metallic lever on the side, or by holding the two textured areas of the ring. The ring rotates pretty smoothly, although resistance on my copy definitely decreases towards the last three dots when stopping down. When looking at the adapter from the top, one can observe the aperture lever move inside – as expected, this is a mechanical adapter, which means that it only works with Nikon’s “G” type lenses that have an aperture lever on the mount. Unfortunately, you will not be able to stop down any of the newer “E” type lenses with this adapter – those will require an electronic adapter.
Using the Adapter
There are two red marks on each side of the mount to help align the dots with the camera mount or the lens and I found them to be pretty accurate. Mounting the adapter on the camera is relatively easy and once it is in place, it clicks and stays secure. My sample was a bit tough to securely mount on the GFX 50S and required quite a bit of force to put in the clicking position. After mounting and dismounting it a few times, it got a little better.
Once the adapter is mounted on the camera, mounting a Nikon lens is no different than mounting it on a camera body – align the red dot on the mount with the white dot on the lens and rotate the lens counter-clockwise until it clicks into place. To release / dismount the lens, you will need to push in the little spring-based ear located close to the red mark first. Keep in mind that if you are planning to use an older Nikon lens with an aperture ring, you will need to stop the lens down to the smallest aperture before being able to use the aperture ring on the FotodioX adapter.
Here is the Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 mounted on the Fuji GFX 50S with the FotodioX adapter:
As you can see from the image, the lens is set to the maximum aperture – the little pointer is pointing at the first diaphragm.
Use with Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2
Personally, one of the very first lenses I wanted to try out on the GFX was the Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2, a legendary classic, one of the greatest and fastest lenses Nikon has ever made. I am a proud owner of the Noct and it is the lens I cherish more than any of the newer lenses Nikon has recently made, although they might be sharper in comparison. Check out my Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 review for more information about this little gem.
The way the Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 renders bokeh is just out of this world! To my surprise, the lens did not show any serious signs of vignetting in images. There is definitely vignetting present at the edges of the frame, but it is mostly from the beautiful natural vignetting the lens produces at large apertures.
Focusing at large apertures is tough for sure though, especially when it is a little windy outside and everything is moving. Here, I set the lens focus to minimum focus distance, then moved my body towards the flower until the area I was interested in was in focus.
Being able to shoot at f/1.2 with the GFX 50S is pretty amazing, so as soon as the sun set, I positioned my little girl Jasmine right next to a window and shot the below portrait:
As you can see, her front face and her right shoulder were lit by the weak blue light outside, while the yellow indoor bulbs illuminated her other side and the background. Focusing on her left eye was easy with the GFX 50S – the press of the rear dial zooms in to the focus point instantly, just like on the Fuji X-T2, so all I had to do on my end was move the focus ring on the Noct until a part of her eye was in focus. At such a close distance and large aperture, I had to make sure that I don’t rock back and forth while doing it, since depth of field was almost paper thin!
Use with Nikon 85mm f/1.8G
Earlier in the day, I also had a chance to test the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G with the GFX 50S. Here is a portrait of Jasmine at f/1.8:
It is no Noct, but for its price, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is an amazing portrait lens. Very sharp and renders background very smoothly. There is no vignetting to worry about and the lens covers the whole image sensor. If you own the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, it also covers the whole sensor and beautifully renders images – at f/1.4, you can get even shallower depth of field for those stunning portraits.
Tested Lenses and Notes
So far, I have tested the FotodioX adapter with a number of Nikon lenses. While many lenses are good enough to cover the whole image circle, some lenses are going to be poor choices to use with this adapter. For example, the Nikon 24-120mm f/4G is a very bad choice, because the lens shows heavy vignetting at every focal length. Its image circle is barely large enough to cover a full-frame sensor, so it does not do well at all on the GFX 50S. The same is true with a few other modern Nikon lenses. However, some of the older classics work surprisingly well with the adapter and are capable of fully covering the GFX 50S sensor:
- Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G – visible vignetting at all focal lengths
- Sigma 24-35mm f/2 Art – edge vignetting at 24mm, which completely disappears at 26mm
- Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E VR – visible vignetting at all focal lengths
- Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR – heavy vignetting, visible at all focal lengths
- Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AiS – visible vignetting at the extreme edges at infinity focus (no vignetting at close focus), will require slight cropping
- Nikon 35mm f/2.8 AiS – no vignetting
- Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AiS – heavy vignetting at the extreme edges, will require cropping
- Nikon 50mm f/1.4G – slight corner vignetting
- Nikon 50mm f/1.8G – no vignetting
- Nikon 55mm f/1.2 AiS – slight vignetting wide open, more at infinity
- Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 AiS – no vignetting
- Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – no vignetting
- Nikon 85mm f/1.8G – no vignetting
- Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G VR – visible edge vignetting at infinity focus, will require cropping
Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell which lenses do better than others, since it all depends on how big of an image circle each lens produces. Since tilt-shift lenses typically have large image circles, those should do quite well on the GFX 50S, as long as the lenses are not shifted too much. Generally, longer lenses should be less problematic, but it depends on their design. As you can see, the 105mm f/2.8G VR Macro showed visible vignetting at infinity focus, whereas much shorter focal length lenses such as the 35mm f/2.8 AiS showed no signs of vignetting.
If you have already purchased, or planning to purchase the Fuji GFX 50S medium format camera and you already own Nikon lenses, you might want to take a serious look at the FotodioX Nikon F to Fuji G mount adapter. As you can see from this review, while Fuji is busy working on producing native lenses for the GFX 50S, you can already take advantage of some of the existing Nikon glass to produce beautiful portraits. As long as the lens you are planning to use covers the whole image sensor and does not vignette heavily, you will be able to step down in lens size without major issues. Overall, I can certainly recommend this adapter to be used with Nikon lenses on the GFX 50S. It seems like a solid, quality product worth considering for those who want to mount Nikon lenses on the Fujifilm G mount.
Where to Buy
You can purchase the FotodioX Nikon F to Fuji G mount adapter at B&H Photo Video for $149.95.
- Build Quality
- Size and Weight
- Packaging and Manual
- Ease of Use
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