The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of lens adapters for the Fuji GFX system.
Fujifilm GFX cameras and lens adapters
(originally Published in April of 2021. Republished because several photographers have written and asked me about tilt/shift lenses on the GFX system)
Recently, I switched over to the Fujifilm GFX system for my aerial and location photography assignments.
For me, the advantage of shooting with a medium-format mirrorless system is the ability to use lenses designed for other camera systems.
If I want to put an older Hasselblad lens or a Nikkor from the sixties or even a Leica lens from the thirties, I can do it with the proper adapters.
The Fujifilm GFX system has become popular with professional and amateur photographers, the GFX 100s is severely back-ordered and as you could imagine, so are many of the adapters for using older film lenses.
Nikon 19mm PC-E Tilt/Shift with the SteelsRing Adapter
The Nikon 19mm PC-E Tilt/Shift lens is frankly, a phenomenal piece of glass. It is incredibly sharp, has loads of coverage and is stellar on my Nikon D850’s. It was the first lens that I ordered an adapter to use on my GFX cameras. The problems are, the PC-E Nikkors are “E” lenses, and the majority of adapters only support the “D” and “G” lenses. I ordered the Metabones adapter without realizing this and while it was fun to shoot with my 50mm f/1.2 from the seventies, it was not what I wanted. Knock that one up to experience.
I discovered a YouTube video by Australian photographer, Dylan Goldby, who lives in Korea, who purchased an adapter that supports Nikon “E” lenses on the GFX system. The adapter, The SteelsRing worked perfectly on my FujiFilm GFX 50R. Not so good on my GFX 100s. In fact, it would not work on the GFX 100s. I wrote the company an email and about a week later, there was a firmware update that corrected the problem. Quick response that I appreciated, especially since they are a very small company located in China.
Using the Canon 24mm Tilt/Shift on the GFX Fujifilm 100s with the Kipon Adapter.
This is (so far) a flawless adapter. It is back-ordered pretty much everywhere. Somehow, I was lucky enough to find one on Amazon. I had ordered a FotoDiox Canon to GFX adapter directly from FotoDiox. (the Ugly) I needed it for an assignment in Atlanta and was disappointed when what they shipped me the Canon to Fujifilm X adapter, rather than taking a few minutes to double-check the order and ship the GFX adapter. Although, FotoDiox did reply with a message expressing their regret on making the mistake and supplying me with a return label. I will not purchase from them again. I scrambled to find another adapter that would work. Hence, the Kipon I found via Amazon with next-day delivery.
Pentax 6×7 Lens via FotoDiox PT67-GFX
This was a fun one to experiment with: The Pentax 67 camera lenses are legendary for their distinctive look and sharpness. I found a clean copy of the Pentax 67 75mm Shift lens via eBay from a dealer in Japan. The lens arrived, it was flawless. A 75mm shift is a bit long for my civil engineering and architectural work, but it was fun to play with. With the older lenses, every thing is mechanical, including stopping down for metering and checking focus. The adapter worked perfectly. (basically, it is a tube with different lens mounts on each end)
Pentax 645 Lenses via the Kipon shift adapter
A photographer friend of mine (Mark Tucker) shoots with the Pentax 645Z system. He speaks highly of the 35, 45 and 55mm lenses. I attempted to find a Kipon shift adapter for the Pentax 645 Z lenses, however, they are back-ordered. Allan Koppe in Australia (a fine art photographer and cine guy) is keen on the Pentax lenses also, he uses a tilt/shift adapter with the Pentax 645 lenses. The 35mm is said to suffer from mustache-distortion when shifted. The 55mm is supposed to be stellar and that may be a lens I will purchase in the future.
Fujifilm GFX with long Nikon glass and the SteelsRing adapter
Using the 200-500mm Nikkor on the Fuji GFX 50r and 100s was a bit of a nightmare. The Focus is too slow for everyday use. Although the files are beautiful and the lens covers a good majority of the sensor size. (which surprised me) I kept a Nikon D body, so I could photograph birds.
Novoflex makes some seriously well-designed and solid adapters. I tested one for using Nikon D lenses on the GFX cameras and was impressed with how well it was designed and constructed. Solid European engineering. A friend of mine uses Novoflex adapters on his Leica SL2 system and is pleased with them.
In summary, adapters expands the reach of the GFX system, especially since Fujifilm has not made a tilt/shift lens – as yet. The Nikkor 19mm and Canon 24mm (Version II) are fantastic lenses on any of the GFX cameras and being able to use the SteelsRing or Kipon adapter rounds out the system nicely.
Would love to hear your thoughts about adapter and using them on the GFX system.
Cameron Davidson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com