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Not too many years ago, in a sad and dark time, there weren’t many ways for us adventurous types to branch out in ways we used our photography gear. Namely, our camera lenses weren’t easily usable across platforms. It was possible, but adapters and converters weren’t plentiful or easy to find.
Today, mirrorless, full-frame, and crop-sensor cameras are essentially pairable with many lenses. Adapters for these lenses are relatively easy to find too. So much so, that there is an over-saturation of the lens conversion market making most lens mount adapters affordable for any budget.
Unfortunately, not all lens adapters are created equal. So when Fikaz, a company I had never heard of, approached me to test out some of their new Sony E-Mount (NEX) adapters, I was open-minded but still cautious of yet another lens adapter-maker.
Luckily, all of my reservations about the Fikaz Sony E-Mount lens adapters were unfounded. As it turns out, the two adapters I received were pleasantly high-quality pieces of kit. Let me explain to you what I thought about these nifty little adapters from one of the newest kids on the lens converter block.
As I said, the lens adapter world is a hot commodity right now and being able to use your lenses (especially manual vintage lenses) is currently in vogue. The two adapters I evaluated were the Nikon F (G) to Sony E-Mount and M42 to Sony E-Mount. Both adapters were high quality in both aesthetics and their build.
Until their recent leap into the full-frame mirrorless realm, and since the late 1950s, all of Nikon’s lens mounts have been variations of the “F” mount. So technically, virtually all Nikon lenses should be compatible with a Nikon F-mount adapter.
The caveat is that later “G” series lenses (read as modern) don’t sport a physical aperture ring on the lens itself. This missing aperture ring means that while the lens is physically shootable with most F-mount lens adapters, there is nowhere for the photographer to change the aperture. A dedicated G-mount adapter comes in handy because the shooter can use the aperture ring on the adapter to physically control the amount of light entering the camera via the lens.
The Nikon F (G) adapter is solidly built and feels extremely substantial in the hand. The aperture controller ring is a nicely contrasting silver against the black frame of the adapter.
The Nikon F (G) adapter was tested using my relatively ancient Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6 lens. Both the lens and camera sides of the adapter fit extremely snug…but not too snug…to the lens bayonet and the camera mount. Absolutely no play or movement was observed.
A well placed and crisply-springy release slider is also present on the adapter which is, again, in the visually pleasing contrasting silver tone. Fikaz has also included a highly visible red bead for easy mating of both the lens and camera with the adapter.
From what I would approximate, the aperture ring, or rather more accurately, the “aperture approximator” ring works in full stop increments with six stops of adjustment. Basing my lens at 70mm and F/4, the apertures provided from the adapter should be approximately F/4, F/5.6, F/8, and so on. The adapter has a visual representation to aid you in selecting aperture size.
I had intended to test the Fikaz M42 to Sony E-mount adapter using a fan-favorite lens, the Helios 44-2. Unfortunately, I realized far too late that my Helios was not in my bag. Seeing as I’m currently 3,000 miles from my test lens, this portion of the review shows my impressions of the build and appearance of the M42 adapter only. Which I must say, is extremely impressive for its price tag.
The M42 adapter from Fikaz is incredibly Spartan in its appearance. The majority of the converter is mostly flat black with accenting bare aluminum areas which cut an understated yet classical form. Like the Nikon adapter, the markings are well executed and quite clean. The threads on the M42 side are very uniform and smooth with no burrs or metal shavings present.
This same level of craftsmanship also holds through for the Sony bayonet end of the adapter which shows no flaws in the cutting or finish of the mount. The perimeter of the M42 adapter sports deep cut serrations offering a superb grip even with gloved hands.
In the grand scope of things, both the construction quality and thoughtfulness of design displayed with Fikaz’s first entries into the world of mirrorless adapters impressed me. Hopefully, both the build and looks of the adapters hint at great things to come too.
The Nikon F (G) adapter worked extremely well to allow a large measure of aperture control with newer Nikon lenses and mated perfectly to my 70-300mm test lens. However, I wasn’t able to test the M42 mount with a lens, the build and precision left little doubt that it would also perform well.
That said, there are some things to keep in mind about the M42 (and any other non-AF adapters). Essentially, all that is needed is a mount conversion. There is no real need for the relatively large size of the adapter which can affect infinity focus. While the M42 adapter has an excellent build, it may be beneficial to search for a slimmer “ring” adapter if you are worried about focusing issues.
On that note, the Fikaz adapters both feature black paint on their interior but no flocking to eliminate possible reflections. This shouldn’t be a problem, but maybe a concern for those seeking complete security for lengthy exposures.
Currently, the Fikaz Sony E-mount adapters are available for the following lens mounts: Nikon F (G), M42, Pentax K, and Fuji X mount. I have been informed that Canon EF mount will be available in the future. At the time this review, these adapters have a selling price of around US$24, making them a bargain. There are plenty of choices for lens adapters and converters today. Some are high quality and others, well, not so much.
I feel as if Fikaz can now join the ranks of some of the better budget adapters currently on the market. A bonus for those who are looking at a cost-effective way to use their lenses across a wide range of camera systems.