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Gear & Apps

Budget Lens Adapters: Are they Worth It?

By Justin Heyes on October 26th 2014

There are some things you shouldn’t skimp on. Items like filters, camera bags or gas station sushi; when it comes to lens adapters, we can be a bit lax on judgment. Some great companies like Fotodiox or Metabones have decent and high-end adapters for that vintage glass of yours. When it comes to adapting manual focus lenses, it is more likely that you spend $6 on a cheap knockoff tube adapter than $300 on a titanium plated brass adapter.


[REWIND:3 Ways I Make My EOS M Work Better For Me]

It doesn’t make sense to pay 2-3x more for an adapter than you did for the lens itself. I tested three of the most popular budget adapters that you can buy to see which one is worth your money and which on your should stay away from.


Fotasy by Rainbow Imaging

At any where between $8 and $20, Fotasy is one of the most popular dumb adapters on the market. The majority of their adapters are tapered to give a more streamlined look to the lens. It is made in a 3-part construction: a metal lens mount, plastic inner ring and a metal body. The mount seemed to hold on to the lens after being repeatedly dropped, only coming lose after the third consecutive fall.

Solid lens mount
Minimal wiggle on body
Mount for any camera

Metal body is a fingerprint magnet
Lens cap does not stay on


Fotga Digital Adapters

At around $13-$15, Fotga has a matte unibody design with a solid lens mount. The springs to keep the lens tight were at the wrong angle, but it was easy to take the mount off and fix that. There are ridges inside that prevent light from bouncing (not seen on many budget adapters). It held on to the lens with each drop.

It is a little disconcerting, though, when you cannot find a website for a product (I had to get one off Amazon).

Light and solid
Matte body
Ridges to prevent light bouncing
Easy to repair

Not able to use out of the box
Fiddly lens release
Not available in every lens combination


Generic Brand Adapter

I love my combination of Fuji-Lens Turbo-Pentax glass because it constantly provides excellent results. There are times where I want that extra reach that you get from having a crop body. I invested in a generic FX-PK adapter and the results were horrific. After the first drop, my lens became jammed in the mount and the mount screws were stripped from the adapter body. At around $3, I didn’t feel bad destroying it to get my lens back


Broke after a 3 foot drop
Upside down mounting


You get what you pay for when buying cheap accessories. Saving a few dollars now can cost you many dollars and heartache down the road. If you are looking to adapt vintage glass on your modern DSLR, I recommend staying away from generic/no-name brands and stay with something more reliable.


What adapters do you use? Do you have any horror stories of broken lenses? Is there any adapters you find reliable? Leave a comment below!

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    Talking about cheap lens adapters, I have a T-mount adapter for the Canon FD mount; yea, that mount is obsolete. I use it on a Spiratone 400mm f6.3 lens; yes, that’s another cheap lens.

    It’s cheap!

    No aperture signaling to Canon FD cameras (A-1, AE-1, F-1, F-1N).
    Requires stopped-down metering.
    Got to remember to stop the lens down before shooting.

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  2. Barry Cunningham

    I’ve liked my Fotodiox manual adapters for Canon (M42 and Olympus OM) and lens reversing for macro.
    There is nothing much to go wrong with them because they are solid pieces of metal.
    They fit correctly and they are cheap.

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  3. Arnold Ziffel

    You purposely dropped a Takumar lens 9 times. There ought to be a law….

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