Having bought a lens, beginners most often think about how to supplement it with filters — protect, remove glare, add color to tone the frame without Photoshop.
But what if we shift the focus and think about adapters? With the help of them, you can change the picture so much, as if you have not one lens in the kit, but several at once. We tell you what lens adapters are and why you might need them.
Speedbooster — from crop to full frame
Speed Booster or Speed Booster is an adapter developed by Metabones that allows you to turn a crop into a full-frame or near-full-frame camera. Such adapters appeared relatively recently — in 2013.
The adapter is put on the camera in front of the lens and increases the focal length. Simply put, with it, the camera can capture more space in the frame, which distinguishes a full frame from a crop.
You can find out how much the crop factor will change by looking at the number indicated on the Speed Booster. For example, 0.71x, 0.64x. At the same time, due to the design features of the adapter, the microcontrast increases — the final picture is sharper.
Why you need a Speedbooster:
- “turn” a camera with a cropped matrix into a full-frame one;
- calmly put lenses on cropped cameras for a full frame. For example, if you decide to switch from a full-frame DSLR to a lighter mirrorless camera.
So, for example, you can use Canon lenses on Olympus, Panasonic, Sony cameras. Their crop factor is reduced from 2x to 1.4x, which will allow you to get a wider angle when shooting. For example, a 50mm lens on an Olympus camera with a Micro 4/3 mount with a regular adapter will turn into 100mm, and with a Speedbooster it will turn into 70mm;
- put non-native crop lenses on your crop camera;
- Increase lens aperture by one stop. For example, from f/1.2 to f/0.9. This is possible due to the design of the adapter — it consists of 5 lenses that collect light and “concert” it on the matrix;
- sharpen the photo by increasing its micro-contrast.
Teleconverter — turn an ordinary lens into a telephoto lens
A teleconverter is an adapter for a lens that increases its focal length. The subject in the picture will appear closer and larger than it really is. So, a 200mm lens with a 2x teleconverter will turn into a 400mm.
A teleconverter is needed if you often shoot distant objects — animals, birds, athletes, which at a great distance with a regular lens will seem tiny.
Just like a speedbooster (by the way, speedboosters are often called reverse teleconverters, since their purpose is to reduce the focal length), a teleconverter is placed between the camera and the lens. And in the same way, the multiplicity of its increase is indicated on it — 1.4x, 2x, 3x.
But keep in mind that the teleconverter greatly reduces the aperture ratio of the lens. So, a 1.4x adapter reduces exposure by 1 stop, 2x by 2 stops, 3x by 3. A lens with a maximum aperture of f / 4 will turn into f / 5, or even f / 7. In addition, a teleconverter (especially a cheap one) can increase chromatic aberration and “knock down” sharpness.
Chromatic aberration: what is it and how to remove it
What is sharpness and how to raise it in Photoshop, Lightroom and online
The macro ring is an adapter that allows you to get closer to the subject and take a picture of it larger, in greater approximation. There are no lenses inside such rings. This is a hollow ring or several rings attached to each other that reduce the focusing distance. For example, if earlier you had to move half a meter to focus on an object, then with macro rings the distance can be reduced to a few centimeters.
Macro rings are used as a replacement for much more expensive macro lenses. If you have not yet decided that macro photography is your thing, then macro rings are a great way to try your hand at a new genre and not go broke. Although many macro photographers continue to use macro rings even after buying expensive optics, they can be put on any lens and turn a macro lens into a super macro lens to take pictures even closer.
The disadvantages of macro rings are a decrease in lens aperture. That is, with the same settings, photos with them will be darker. But it is enough to raise the ISO or “lengthen” the shutter speed and the situation will improve.
Tilt/Shift adapter — to control sharpness and perspective
Tilt / shift adapter (from the English Tilt “tilt” and Shift “shift”) is a special adapter that allows you to eliminate perspective distortion and shift focus. A characteristic feature of such adapters and lenses is sharpness, which goes in a continuous sharp straight line and blur in the rest of the frame. Because of this, a “toy-like” effect is created, as if the photographer did not shoot a real street in the city, but held a photo session of a grand layout.
Such adapters are useful for architectural photographers to quickly, at the time of shooting, achieve the desired perspective and then not sit for hours in graphic editors. They are also often used in product photography to get a shot with a specific focus. This is especially true when shooting jewelry.
Tilt / shift adapter is a rare and expensive product in Russia. But finding and buying one might be more practical than spending money on a Tilt/Shift lens.
Tilt-shift lens: what is it and why is it needed
Programmable adapter with a chip for confirming focus on a lens without autofocus
Such adapters are used to put “non-native” optics on cameras. For example, you can hang a Carl Zeiss lens or the Soviet Helios 44–2 lens on a Canon camera, which is famous for its swirling bokeh.
A programmable adapter with a chip will allow you not only to use a lens from another manufacturer, set its focal length and aperture in order to understand which optics the frame was taken with, but — the most useful — to set up the ability to confirm focus. That is, in fact, when focusing manually, the adapter will “beacon” you that you are in focus. This makes it a must-have for all lovers of non-autofocus optics.