Geeking Out

Warning amateur photographer geekiness ahead!

This week has been a blur of sorts. More blur than riding, that’s for sure. One crap ride was squeezed in between storms and other duties. On Thursday I had about an hour and a half to spare, so I drove out to the Slyvan nature preserve to quickly test out some camera gear.

I picked up a Metabones Nikon F Lens to Fujifilm X-Mount camera adapter a couple days ago from B&H to use with the bag of vintage Nikon mount lenses that I was gifted recently.

The old lenses fit my Nikon cameras but the Fuji XT-1 sort of cries out for the manual focus lenses. For me, focus peaking and easy access to the ISO and shutter speed controls makes the XT-1 a great fit for film era vintage glass.

For my hike a Sylvan I took two lenses: the Lester A. Dine 105mm f/2.8 macro lens and the Nikkor 50mm F 1.2. Because of the crop sensor, the lenses (according to some quick Googled info) become 157mm and 56mm respectively.

I started off with the 105mm and really dug the way it felt. It’s a sturdy piece and feels awesome compared to some of the mostly plastic lenses that are produced today.

Even with focus peeking on (I use red/high) I’m still working on getting the hang of manual focus. Years of quick autofocus button pushing are hard to break!

After about a half of slow walk around the preserve, I switched over to the 50mm.

Using the 50mm on the X-T1 seems so right: small, compact, lightweight, yet durably constructed.

For me, the best part of the Nikkor 50mm—its large 1.2 aperture—is also its biggest problem. I have some 2.8 lenses but nothing like a 1.2 and struggle to back off to F 2.0 or smaller to make sure I get the focus I want and or need. That’s all user error, nothing to do with the lenses.

The Metabones adapter has really opened up some opportunities to get some nice images and continue learning and growing as a wannabe photographer. Focusing on the larger and heavier 105mm lens does create small amounts of play in the adapter, but none while using the lighter 50mm. A $99.00 investment has proved to a great way to enjoy the free gear I was given.

Things to remember: In the menu switch your XT-1 (or other Fuji) to Shoot Without Lens. I also turn off Auto ISO and adjust as needed. Unlike using the lenes on my modern Nikon DSLRs, the Fuji does a great job of metering the image. The EVF helps a ton of course.

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I’m looking forward to more hikes and walkabouts with the X-1 and my bag of vintage Nikon glass. If nothing else, it will have me appreciating even the slowest of autofocus cameras!


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