Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Rules of Acquisition

Golden Hour in the 'Hood
X-T1, XC 16-50 OIS II

With a couple months and ~1700 images on the X-T1, I've settled into a decent working system. Right now I have 2 native lenses, the XC 16-50 f3.5-5.6 OIS II kit zoom and the 23/2 WR 'Fujinon' weather-sealed wide/normal prime, I also have the correct adapters to use all but one of the lenses I have lying around. I usually have at least 1 adapted lens with me as well as the native lenses.

In terms of what I have lying around, right now that covers 3 mounts. Specifically Nikon F, where I have a 28/3.5, 50/1.8D, 55/3.5 Micro, 50-135/3.5, 200/4 and 300/4.5, plus access to a 16-85 f3.5-5.6 VR. I also have my Nikkor 5cm f1.4 in LTM mount (with 50/75 M adapter) and an SMC Takumar 35/3.5 in M42 mount. The SMC Tak is the only lens I cannot use today on my X-T1. Thankfully it's probably the least interesting of my lenses for those uses.

In terms of currently used adapted lenses, the 55/3.5 Micro sees the most use, the 200/4 and 50-135 have also seen a fair bit and I'm pretty happy with the results from the 55 and 200. The 50-135 is a mixed bag due to handling and optics.

I'm looking at a kit which will be a mix of native lenses and a selection of adapted primes, mostly in the mild telephoto range where Fuji's selection is most limited, to round out my needs. My mount priorities as such are pretty much X & F mounts, and I want to support Leica M, Contax/Yashica & M42 because I find those interesting.

The adapter front is a little frustrating for a single reason. There are good AF adapters for Canon EF lenses, but not for Nikon F lenses (not even the all-electronic E lenses). There's certain parts of the system that I would like to pad out with less expensive small Nikon SLR lenses (I'd love the Nikkor 10-20VR for example) especially as I still have my D300 and have zero interest in getting rid of it anytime soon.

As to the current state of my adapters. I have F & M adapters today. I need to add a C/Y adapter, as that nets me C/Y and M42 support as I already have an M42 to C/Y adapter. Additionally I'd like to add a Speedbooster type adapter for Nikon F at a minimum, as that really expands what I can realistically do with Nikon kit on Fuji lenses.

Speedboosters, if you have not run across them, are adapters with integrated telecompressors, or focal length reducers. These are basically teleconverters with multipliers below 1.0. The effect is the focal length gets shorter and as a result, the f number gets wider. For a typical Speedbooster with an 0.67 multiplier, your 35/1.4 becomes a 23/1.0 which is a big win. And a 105/2.5 becomes a 70/1.7, filling a gap in the Fuji system for the very popular 105 equivalent. And for the 135/2.8, it can do double duty, functioning as a 200mm-e on the regular adapter and replacing the Fuji 90/2 when on a Speedbooster (as the 90/2 is a 135/3 equivalent in full-frame terms)

So my next steps in the system are really to acquire the 2 adapters I need, the C/Y and the F mount speedbooster. A C/&Y Speedbooster might be fun in the future, but isn't needed now. That's not a large investment thankfully. After that I'll be looking for a couple Nikkor's, specifically the 105/2.5 and 135/2.8 and probably a couple of the cheap chinese X mount primes, the Meike 35/1.7 for sure and something wider than 16mm.

All of that leads into the need to define Rules of Acquisition (lens edition).

They are, as follows:

Only buy X, F, M, C/Y or M42 lenses, in that order of priority
Only spend significant money on X or F lenses unless there is something truly unique, and even then it should be M or C/Y mount
Never sell Adapters.
No EF, no matter how tempting

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