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While I'm interested in a mirrorless camera, either MFT or X mount, I'd like to adapt some of my extensive collection of SLR lenses to one such camera. While I know it will defeat some of the size-advantage, this is a necesary but temporary step while acquiring lenses for the mirrorless, some of which have no present equivalent for these systems.

While the answer to this question says AF is not possible, I am more concerned with being able to control the lens aperture at all. 95% of my photography is taken in A mode and I have lenses for all but one DSLR mount.

The questions are:

  • Is it possible to control aperture while using a mount-adapter and lens which does not have an aperture-ring?
  • If so, for which combination of lens mounts is this possible?
  • Are there specific models which support this?
  • 1
    @dpollitt - Talk about added bulk and missing the moment! – Itai Dec 8 '13 at 4:53
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Is it possible to control aperture while using a mount-adapter and lens which does not have an aperture-ring?

Yes, but if you're not using an adapter that does electronic communication between the body and lens, it's a serious pain-in-the-butt. I've heard of it working the same way on both Canon and Olympus, so I'm assuming it may work on more than just those two systems, but you essentially mount the lens on a native body that does communicate with it, then you hit a DoF preview button, and unmount the lens while it's stopped down. Then adapt it.

And you have to do that every time you want to adjust the aperture. It's not particularly practical, but can work.

The easiest thing to do would be to get an adapter that supports electronic communication.

If so, for which combination of lens mounts is this possible?

Mostly the "smart" adapters have been for Canon EOS lenses (since Nikon only recently removed aperture rings with the G-series lenses, but Canon lost 'em back in the '80s) to the micro four-thirds, Sony E, and Fuji X mounts.

Are there specific models which support this?

Metabones is probably the best known maker of adapter rings that provide electronic communication when adapting to mirrorless, but with the full mount communication, they do also provide aperture control from the body. Most notably for Canon EOS to Sony E, Fuji X, or micro four-thirds (common usage pattern for some folks moving to mirrorless).

There are also adapters that come with their own aperture iris, but results can vary since the iris not being where the optical design expects it to be can introduce flare.

There are also some mounts (such as Nikon F), where the adapter ring can take advantage of an external aperture level to control the aperture on the lens from the adapter ring. This is likely to perform better than a ring with its own iris.

2

I'm not sure if you shoot Canon, Nikon, or something else, but I'm assuming Canon for the fun of it.

The Kipon adapter seems to be the main option for m4/3rds to Canon EF that is available right now. Here it is on Amazon - Kipon EOS-m4/3 Canon EOS to Micro Four Thirds Lens Adapter. A prominent photographer reviewed it here and seemed to give it favorable remarks.

If you want to go down the Sony NEX route, the Techart series seems to be the way with the Techart Canon EOS EF EF-S Lens to Sony NEX E Mount Adapter. Here is a fair review of it.

Depending on your needs, another option that is likely free to utilize is using the DoF preview button on a Canon DSLR first, then dismounting the lens at the same time. This will lock the lens to the selected aperture on the DSLR. This may be of limited value but it also may work in certain applications. I use this trick all the time for macro extension tubes for example(my set loses communication with the camera to control the aperture).

  • Perhaps I'm tired but I don't see where you discuss if aperture control is possible and if there are any limitations to it. The Kipon one you link to see to have sequential numbers on it, what are they? – Itai Dec 14 '13 at 3:32
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    @Itai - From the Philip Bloom article linked to, he discusses how aperture control works on the Kipon adapter: "This adaptor gets past this by having it’s own 14 blade iris. That in itself is pretty good, having that many blades with give you a smoother rounder bokeh on those lights, less hexagonal even when stopped down. It has a dial from 1 to 6 that is totally smooth for you to close or open your lens up. Just make sure the lens is wide open to start with." – dpollitt Dec 14 '13 at 14:39
  • As for the Techart on the NEX cameras, you actually just control it the same way you do any other lens, in the menu. You can see that in this YouTube video - youtube.com/watch?v=52qvVuo-v-o – dpollitt Dec 14 '13 at 14:41
  • Amazing! I did not realize it was possible to add an aperture in the adapter. It seems like it would be in the wrong place. Do you know how it affects optical properties? – Itai Dec 14 '13 at 17:13
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    "An aperture placed outside of the lens, risks vignetting of the image in which the corners of the image are darker than the centre. A diaphragm too close to the image plane risks the diaphragm itself being recorded as a circular shape or at the very least causing diffraction patterns at small apertures. In most lens designs the aperture is positioned about mid-way between the front surface of the objective and the image plane. In some zoom lenses it is placed some distance away from the ideal location ." wiki – Michael Nielsen Jan 7 '14 at 8:21
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Depends on the lens and the adapter.

  • YES If the lens has an aperture ring.
  • YES If the lens has no aperture ring, but the adapter has an aperture ring.
  • NO If the lens has no aperture ring and the adapter has no aperture ring.

I have a M43 camera and use C-mount lenses via a dummy adapter. The lenses have aperture ring, so I can control the aperture with it.

I use Nikon-F lenses with (D-type) and without aperture ring (G-type). I have an adapter with aperture ring, so I can control the aperture.

  • Why I downvoted: OP specifically asked "while using a mount-adapter and lens which does not have an aperture-ring", so first bullet point unneeded. Point 2 may need some elaboration on the drawbacks of physical-iris adapters, and point 3 is untrue for some combinations and certain adapters which allow for electronic communication, such as Metabones or Conurus adapters which provide for autofocus. – inkista Apr 5 '17 at 21:10
  • I put all the points for shake of completeness. Downvote was futile and unnecessary. – roetnig Apr 6 '17 at 5:59
  • I commented to pinpoint where you could improve your answer. I didn't need to tell you why. If you had corrected these issues, I would reverse the downvote. As it is, there's information in your answer that's wrong as well as information that's unneeded. Completeness is only an excuse for the latter. Futile; yes. Clearly. Unneccessary, no. – inkista Apr 6 '17 at 16:31

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