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Camera Lens Adapters, Mounts & Tubes

Using Lens Adapters, Mounts, and Tubes

Cameras contain a specific mount system compatible with a range of lenses, but you can also use an adapter to enable your camera to use other lens mount systems. For example, you can use an adapter to make Leica M lenses compatible with Nikon F (F-mount) cameras. In addition, you can also find extension tube adapters that increase the focal length of your lens and reduce its minimum focusing distance.

What Is a Camera Lens Adapter?

A lens adapter enables you to use a wide variety of different lenses on your camera body that would otherwise be incompatible. Rather than limiting yourself to the lenses with the same mount system as your camera body, an adapter allows you to experiment with a vast range of different brands, apertures, focal lengths, and styles.

  • One end of an adapter fits a specific lens brand and type, while the other is compatible with your camera body.
  • Most dont feature a communications bridge to operate the electronically-driven lens features, such as auto focus and auto aperture, so you need to manually adjust this before pressing the shutter release.
  • Not every lens is adaptable to every camera body system, with many adapters designed for use with older lenses. However, you can find a range of lens adapters for Leica M to function compatibly with Nikon F (F-mount) camera bodies.

How Do You Know Which Mount System Your Camera Uses?

The lens mount is the interface between an SLR, or DSLR, camera body and the lens. Different mount systems are compatible with different lenses.

  • The lens mount your camera uses depends on its brand and whether its a full-frame or cropped image sensor (APS-C) camera. Older camera models of the same brand may also use a different mount system that requires an adapter to be compatible with modern lenses.
  • The mount system your camera uses is usually clearly displayed on the product packaging, but can also be determined by a quick search of your cameras make and model.

What Is a Lens Tube?

A lens extension tube goes between your camera body and lens to effectively extend the focal length of your lens. Its not an optical element and there is no glass in its construction, but it does get your lens further away from the focal plane and reduce your minimum focusing distance.

  • An extension tube is useful when capturing macro subjects up close or when you want to fill your cameras frame, rather than just cropping the image in post-production later.
  • They can also be useful when you want to photograph images with greater detail, which is only possible by decreasing the minimum focusing distance.

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