Zhongyi Lens Turbo Adapters version II for Fuji X mount cameras (FX)
Most people seem to agree that mirrorless cameras are the future, but if you are a working pro or even a keen hobbyist, then you will have a lot of lenses for your SLR or DSLR which you cannot use on your mirrorless cameras. At this point in time, my Nikon’s’ are my work cameras and my Fuji cameras are my toy cameras, my everyday camera that I play with when I am not working. Buying lenses for two systems can be expensive and storing them is a huge pain in the ass.
I have tried a Nikon to Fuji adapter in the past and it does work well, but I hated the crop factor. I want my 50mm lens to be a 50mm lens, not a 75mm lens. The ZhongYi Lens Turbo version 2 seems to be the perfect solution for me, it reduced the focal length of the lens by 0.726 magnification and increases the aperture by roughly 1 f-stop. That means I can use some of my favorite Nikon primes lenses at their native focal length and they gain an extra stop of light. Sounds perfect to me, but I was skeptical about the performance though.
The adapter arrived and unboxing it is fairly boring, there is not much in the box and it looks almost identical to a normal lens adapter when you first take it out of the box. The two adapters are almost identical in design but the Zhongyi Lens Turbo ii is slightly shorter and lighter. It is hard to really see a difference between the two adapters until you take the caps of the adapters, and see the glass element inside it, which does all the hard work and reduces the focal length and gives you your extra stop of light. It is basically like a teleconverter that is working in reverse.
Physically the two adapters appear to be identical to me, and I am pretty sure that the components are manufactured in the same factory in China but that is not a bad thing. The first adapter I had, worked well for me in the past and its build quality was good, so the fact that the ZhongYi Lens Turbo ii is exactly the same, is a good thing. The glass element in the lens is convex and does protrude a little so you should be a little careful when changes lens or putting the adapter down on the table as you could scratch it or get the lens element in the adapter dirty.
Before you can use the lens adapter, you need to make sure that you have setup up your camera to shoot without a lens attached to the body. On Fuji cameras that is done in the menus with the option “Shoot without lens” option and make sure to set the camera into manual focus so that you get Fuji focusing aids like focus peaking or digital split image.
Does this lens adapter perform well……to be honest it performs exceptionally well and far exceeds my expectations. I was skeptical in the beginning because most of my experiences with teleconverters have been bad but this time I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the image I was getting. The reduction in focal length is great, it is still not a perfect reduction to the original focal length but it is very close now. My Nikon 24mm AIS lens now behaves like a 24mm lens. The images it produces are sharp, and any distortions or softness that I can find is also present in the shots taken with the lens on a full-frame Nikon body. So as far as image quality goes, this little adapter seems to work miracles.
Now to the most important part for me is the extra stop of light that the ZhongYi Mitakon Lens Turbo ii gives. How does it affect the bokeh and the depth of field? So I have been shooting the adapter on my Nikon 50mn 1.2f AIS lens wide open for a while now and I think I have a good understanding of how this affects the rendering. You do gain some more light, and the depth of field does reduce some more, the bokeh seems to but unaffected to me and the lens characteristics seem to be intact. I love shooting the 50mm 1.2f lens wide open, as it gives an almost soft glow or a pop to the photos and this is still present with the adapter on.
The adapter can also work with Nikon G-lens which is good, but you will have a hard time controlling the aperture. You basically have two settings, either fulling open or stopped down all the way.
Focusing the lens on the Fuji cameras is really easy with the focusing aids that Fujifilm gives you. I can nail focusing on the Nikon 50mm 1.2f lens all the time and I am much faster and accurate with this lens than I am on my Nikon cameras.
Focus peaking makes uses manual focus lens extremely easy to use. I can manually focus the lens much quicker on the Fuji than on the Nikon and I shoot with a film Nikon at least 2 or 3 times a week, so I am not out of practice with using manual focus. Focus peaking just makes it so much easier to use.
This little adapter has impressed me so much, the image quality is really good, well good is subjective to the lens that you are using, but if the lens is good, then the adapter will not render a worse image. I always carry this adapter with my Fuji camera now. I tend to take my Nikon F2 film camera and the Fujifilm XE3 cameras with me and now that I can share my lens between the two systems, this makes it a perfect setup for me. I can swap bodies and lens and maintain the same focal lengths, I can shoot black and white film and color digital when I feel like it. If you are stepping into the world of mirrorless cameras and you have a lot of old lenses from your DSLR, then you need to buy this adapter. It is slightly more expensive than a regular adapter but it is so much more useful.