Adapting FX?

So, as you may know my “Adapting GFX” series came to a screeching halt rather quickly. My intent, as you may know, was to create a small database of lenses either I, or contributors, had first-hand experience with using on the Fujifilm GFX. The desire was to be simple and direct, limited only to information so owners could trust their considered purchase would function and provide a baseline for expectations. No charts or graphs, scientific testing or data; it was all about, “will it make satisfactory photos?” Because of my quickly evolving needs at the time, I ended up selling off my crop of Sigma 35mm lenses for Fujifilm GF glass.

Since then, a few things in the marketplace have changed, along with a few for myself. Starting with me, things have changed a little and my mobility has been diminished somewhat, forcing me to branch out into other photographic styles. I’ve chosen to experiment with macro, abstract and still life photography although I will continue to do landscape, cityscape and astrophotography whenever the opportunity arises. To work on “me” as a person, I also intend to dip my toes into street and portrait photography. These changes necessitated the purchase of one new lens so far, but there are at least 2 more I intend to buy. One of those will be a tilt-shift lens, most likely the Canon TS-E 50mm ƒ/2.8L Macro to help with depth of field when shooting at small scales. The other will probably be the Zeiss Milvus 1.4/85mm for smaller space portraits, to accompany the GF 110mm ƒ/2 I recently acquired. That said, I’ll be adding these to the database sometime early next year, so be on the lookout if you’re interested.

As for the marketplace, you may have heard that Fujifilm has opened the door slightly to third-parties regarding their APS-C based X-mount. It seems they’ve finally given in to both unrelenting pressure from their users and the reality of being able to fully flesh out their lens lineup with more niche lenses in a timely and profitable way. One example is the poor sales of the $5995 XF 200mm ƒ/2 with 1.4x Teleconverter; a specialty prime designed for sports and wildlife photographers that’s 280mm ƒ/2.8 with the teleconverter, sporting an actual field of view of 300mm and 420mm (post 1.5x crop factor). The rumor is that initial sales fell well below expectations, slowing to near zero shortly thereafter. It seems very few people “clamoring” for that sort of lens actually put their money where their mouths are and has made Fujifilm gun shy about serving up more high performance, expensive, niche lenses. However, the result is Fujifilm opening up X-mount to approved third parties and the first products to benefit from this are the Metabones AF T-Smart Canon EF to Fuji X autofocus mount adapter and the Metabones AF 0.71x Speedbooster Ultra EF to Fuji X autofocus speedbooster. Both are available at $399 and $649 respectively and take advantage of Fujifilm’s own autofocus and stabilization data.

This change on Fujifilm’s part now has me considering the purchase of the Metabones T-Smart AF adapter and the Sigma EF-S 18-35mm ƒ/1.8 DC Art and EF-S 50-100mm ƒ/1.8 DC Art combo. At $719 and $1099 respectively, they’d be a potent combo, offering the low-light capability of ƒ/1.8 with an equivalent ƒ/2.8 depth of field on my X-H1. This gives me more options and versatility, not to mention the ability to share lenses between both systems once I pick up the specialty EF glass I want for the GFX. This ability to share a lens mount also makes carrying both bodies on long hikes and climbs much more reasonable. I had tried it once before I bought the GF 100-200mm ƒ/5.6 and I promised myself I’d never do it again as the result was an extremely overweight pack for the distance and terrain, forcing me to cut short the hike.

Not only will the “Adapting GFX” database be receiving some updates in the not-so-distant future but maybe a parallel, “Adapting FX” database will be created to accompany it. Anyway, now is as good a time as ever, since Canon revealed they have ceased all EF-mount lens development and will be focusing their R&D solely on RF lenses, for now EF lenses should be tumbling in value as owners flood the market to upgrade away from EF-mount. This could be a prime opportunity to adopt EF glass for both of my systems, as long as the image quality meets my requirements. I’m also curious about the image quality when using the Metabones speedbooster plus Sigma Art lenses on the X-H1, just to avoid owning EF-S lenses altogether. The full frame Sigma 24-35mm ƒ/2 Art matches up well against the aforementioned Sigma EF-S lenses but has the added benefit of being usable on the GFX in 35mm Crop Mode.

Anyways, I swear I’ll get to reviewing both the GF 100-200mm ƒ/5.6 and 110mm ƒ/2 in the next post. I want to include photographs of the lenses so I’m waiting on my shooting table to arrive. Maybe I’ll do a quickie on the Fotodiox 20mm and 48mm Autofocus Macro Tubes for GFX in the meantime.

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