adapting lenses from another camera

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by maria, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    earlier this year when I was not sure which camera to buy I was told that there is an article on how to adapt old lenses to Canon by an active PN member. I am wondering if such adapters exist for Nikon as well. I want to use Praktika lenses. The Nikon seller did not want to tell me anything, he said to buy a Nikon lens instead ;) because this way I benefit from autofocus, which does not work in case of a Nikon camera with my old lenses, even if it has A/M options.
    I've put some photos of the lenses in a folder on my previous equipment (will add a photo of my Nikon camera soon as well)
    thank you
  2. I checked into doing this once as I really like the Canon 17mm tilt/shift lens. I was told that while you can put a Nikon lens on a Canon, you can't really do it the other way around because the lens/camera distance is different and you will lose infinity focus.
    I also own a number of historic 19th century lenses, including an ~1860 Derogy Petzval. I have figured out a way to use it on my D300. Mount the D300 to the back of my Chamonix 4x5 camera using a longer extension tube. Or, I could mount the lens to an existing Nikon bellows unit.
    Kent in SD
  3. I highly doubt it. Canon EOS cameras have the smallest lens to film/sensor distance which allows just about any lens to be adapted to them. A quick check on ebay tells me that not even Praktika lenses can be adapted to Canon though. The two lenses that I see that you have could be easily and cheaply replaced by a Nikon 50mm f1.8 AF lens. Although if you want autofocus you would have to go to the new 50/1.8 AF-S for the D3000, if that is what you have.
  4. These lenses would work better on a Canon camera than a Nikon. For one thing, with a Canon camera there is a bit of room in which to insert an adapter for your M42 screw-mount lenses -- the gap is only about 1.5mm, but that's enough. With a Nikon, there is no room for an adapter. Also, Canons automatically switch to stop-down metering mode when there is no electronic lens attached, which is just what you want.
    Autofocus will not work with your Praktica lenses on any camera. The lenses are manual-focus only, no matter what camera you put them on. The A/M switch on your lenses has to do with automatic aperture, not focus. You will want to set that switch to M when using those lenses on a modern camera.
  5. A quick check on ebay tells me that not even Praktika lenses can be adapted to Canon though.​
    There are at least two different Praktica lens mounts, so whatever your "quick check on ebay" told you may not be relevant to this case. Maria's Praktica LTL3 camera uses the M42 screw-mount, the same as the old Pentax Spotmatics. I've mounted Pentax M42 lenses on Canon DSLRs, so I don't see why the Prakticas wouldn't work. Though it could be that the Praktica lenses have some unusual projection sticking out the back that would cause problems. It's hard to evaluate your statement since you didn't provide any details from what you found.
  6. Yes, I just switched my full frame body back to Canon just so I could buy the 17 TS-E. I actually bought the lens first since it came up on the used market for a good price. I still have my D2X for sports and I can use my Nikkor lenses on the Canon will adapters.
  7. not even Praktika lenses can be adapted to Canon though​
    The only M42 and Nikon lenses that cannot be easily and cheaply adapted to Canon are a few wideangle lenses and other lenses with long rear projections from various mounts that will not clear the mirror on a "full frame" (FX) Canon body. Other lenses in many mounts adapt easily to APS-C (DX) Canon bodies.
    I think that in theory the Praktica B (Bajonnet) lenses can be mounted, but I have not seen adapters for them.
    There are Praktica>Nikon adapters, I have one, but it only allows the use of the lens for closeup work as it will not focus to infinity on the Nikon without a minus lens in the adapter somewhere.
  8. Well, I'm not too worried about the details since the point seems mute since Maria does not own a Canon body. I have run into a couple of Nikon lenses that have big projections sticking out the back. I sold a 20/3.5 UD several years ago partially due to this and I had to trim 2mm off the one sticking out of my 8/2.8 when I switched from the Kodak SLRn to Canon 1Ds. I would dearly like to know why Nikon has put these things on their lenses, and what is truly odd is that they all appear to be different. Sorry, getting a little side tracked here.
  9. John Crowe-
    You're not the only one who has wandered about those projections. The answers at may interest you, but enlightenment is on another path.
  10. Actually, the lens trouble I have had don't interfere with the mirror. It is that they will not mount since the protrusion hits the bit in the mirror box holding the lens contacts.
  11. JDM, thank-you for the interesting read!
  12. @John I think I even tried the 50mm lens today at a workshop in the park ... to be honest, I liked all other 3 lenses more (40, 85, and 18-105). Yes, I have D3000 with 18-55. Especially the 40 was nice for photographing flowers. However, I photograph more buildings and landscapes than flowers. And of course, it doesn't replace the wideangle.
    @JDM thank you.
    Thank you everybody.
    I actually did not find the zoom teleobjectiv (100-200) in my house - that would have been the most important. Unfortunately the Praktika doesn't work anymore since 2006, the shutter broke :( I looked on their webpage, they don't do digital SLR, just compact. For the analogue SRL they have a museum! (but my model is already in). I am wondering if they need pictures taken with it ;)
    Well, if I need a Canon body, I will buy it in 5 years when my Nikon will be old and I need higher resolution et co. Now the investment in the Nikon is too new (February 2011). The decisive factor for opting for a Nikon was that it has a working community in Romania with workshops, meetings, seminars, exhibitions, contests and so on. I'm going to submit to this month's contest on "old and new in architecture" :) fingers crossed
  13. I've just checked, the 50mm is more than 200 euro, which indeed corresponds to what the Nikon seller in Romania said - unfortunately it is thus also more than one months salary for me :(
  14. If one is to assume that your Praktica lenses are M42 thread mount with A/M switch there is an inexpensive adapter that has a negative lens in it that allows infinity focus of an M42 thread lens on a Nikon body. You might want to check it out.
  15. Maria,
    As a matter of fact Canon and some other brands (like Pentax, for instance) accept lens adapters much better than Nikon that apart from some M42 lenses, accept only a few more (Leica R and Hasselblad seem to be possible).
    Your Praktica LTL3 has M42, so it may be possible (but with some cautions).
    See something here:
    And here:
    (besides this one having some negative comments about quality)
    One of the problem is focusing to infinity, as the adapter needs to have a glass element and this can be a degrading factor for image quality.
    So, you have to take care about each lens, focusing, adapter quality and results. Too many question marks in the way and to you to think about.
  16. I use several old Canon Pentax and Yashica M42 mount lenses on my D300 with no problems. Yes they are manual focus and you have to preset the aperture but it is not that big of a deal. I also use a couple of enlarging lenses on my D300 as I have a LTM to F adapter.
    If you go on Ebay you can find several different M42 to F adapters even ones that will give you infinity focus.
    This was done with a Canon 135mm f/3.5 in LTM mount.
    This one was done with a Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5 in M42 mount.
    Some of these old lenses have a much different look then the new stuff. Sometimes it's not all about sharpness but about the way the lens renders the image
  17. But on the whole, isn't the reason to mount an 'alien' lens on your camera to partake of some of the 'character' of that lens-- its sharpness, clarity, contrast, etc.?
    You can. for example, find adapters for Canon FD>Canon EOS, but with minus lenses in the optical path, the consensus is that it's hardly worth the trouble.
    There's no doubt you can get a picture from an adapter with optics in it; but, since you have to degrade the original lens to do so, why not just use the excellent Nikkor and Nikon mount lenses that are both common and cheap (for the old MF ones, at any rate)? Much as I love my old East German lenses, Nikon made some of the best lenses ever (especially some of their copies of the excellent Zeiss originals).
  18. JDM
    The adapters I use the most do not have an optical element in them. The Pentax lens comes close to infinity focus the Canon does not. I use the Canon as a close focus lens that gives much smoother OOF rendition then my Micro Nikkors. The Pentax is small and light and has very good optical quality's for when I do not want to deal with the weight of my 135 f/2. I do have an adapter with the optical element in it and while I can see a little difference in the sharpness wide open once you stop down some it goes away.
    Honestly how often do you shoot with the lens focused at infinity?
    Would I use these lenses to shoot sports? Not on a bet... well maybe on a bet.. But if an inexpensive adapter will allow the OP to try different focal length who are we to tell her it is a waste of time?
  19. Honestly how often do you shoot with the lens focused at infinity?​
    Frequently, especially with shorter focal lengths.
    If, as you say, your intention with your FD lenses is specifically to use them as close focus lenses, then sure, you're basically just treating the Nikon lens mount as an invisible 4.5mm extension tube; if that gets you the results you want, more power to you. But since it doesn't allow the lens to focus to infinity, it's not a general solution.
  20. Craig
    When I said old I meant old. The Canon lens is from the early 50's I would guess. It is in LTM mount for the Canon range finder that was built back then. I do not have any FD lenses and I do not have anything against them. I just can't see using them when I have Nikon glass from the same era that does not need an adapter and is just as good if not better then the FD glass.
    Do you really focus to infinity frequently? I have and use some pretty short focal length lenses and I don't think that they are at the infinity stop all that often. But then I guess it all depends on what you use them for.
  21. Canon EOS cameras have the smallest lens to film/sensor distance which allows just about any lens to be adapted to them.​
    I think it is important to note that this comment is only referring to SLR's, not other types of cameras which have a much smaller film/sensor to lens distance, and is only referring to retrofocus SLR lenses, not normal lenses.
  22. @Antonio
    WOW, thank you, great!
    I will check it out :)
  23. @Michael
    the photos are great!
    Yes, I think it is a nice thing to have photos rendered in old fashion - to use the advantages of digital and not being exposed to something like bad quality of scans ... I still haven't worked out how to get my slides into something usable on the computer (both shop and self scanning lead to bad results)
  24. Go here.
    All the information you could want on this subject.

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