Friday, July 6, 2012

Fuji X-Pro 1 and Canon EF lenses

I was very excited when I found out that there will be an adapter to connect Canon EOS EF lenses to the Fujifim X-Pro 1 mount, and ordered it right away. I currently own the Fujinon XF 18mm and 35mm lenses that cover my mainly used focal length. But I have some nice Canon EOS EF lenses that I want to use when I need a bit more focal reach.

Obviously there are two caveat when using Canon EOS EF lenses on a X-Pro 1

1. You loose the AF and IS on the Canon lens and some of the EF lenses are not that comfortable to manual focus as these lenses are mainly built for auto focus use.

2. This is the big bummer! Let me put it in a Henry Ford style sentence: You have full control over the aperture setting on EF lenses as long as it is "wide open" ;)
The lens will only work at its open aperture - i.e. the 50mm f/1.4 will be at 1.4 when attached to the X-Pro 1 via the adapter.
But there is a hack for that! I have been using it and it has been working for me. You can set the aperture on an EF lens to stay/rest at your desired apperture when you follow these steps (at your own risk):

- I attach the desired lens (i.e. 50mm f/1.4) to my Canon DSLR camera and turn it on
- Then I choose the aperture that I would like the lens to stay at (i.e. f/4)
- Next I rest the camera on a steady safe surface such as a table
- Now I push the DOF preview button on the Canon DSLR (the aperture blades close to f/4)
- And while the DOF preview button is pushed I disconnect the lens from the DSLR
- Finally I switch off the DSLR and put the camera mount cap on it

If you now look into the front of the lens you can see that the aperture blades are still in the f/4 position - or whatever aperture you chose.

That's quite a finger acrobatics hack, isn't it?

Carrying a DSLR around with you and performing this hack every time you want to switch the aperture on your EF lens is not very practical in the field. Therefore you should choose the best "compromise" aperture for your DOF liking and use ND filters to allow you to still work at wide open apertures even in bright light situations.

I mainly shoot with the Fujinon XF lenses, but occasionaly I attach the Kipon EOS-XF adapter and a Canon EF tele lens for those situations that would not work well with my current Fuji lenses:


Fuji X-Pro 1 with EF 70-200m f4 L + 1.4x TC
The Canon EF 70-200 f/4 IS L plus 1.4x TC was the crazyest combo I came up with. The FOV 35mm equivalent is 420mm and the optical quality is pretty good!

Pink in the Rain - Fuji X-Pro 1
Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 @f/2.2

Bicycle chained to fence No. 6 / Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm lens
Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 @f/2.2 creates a nice creamy bokeh

Nautical bitt - Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm
Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 @f/2.2

EF 135mm L test @ f/2 - Lost Toy
Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 135mm f/2 L @f/2 this creates an even better bokeh

Tonights Moon over Hamburg - Fuji X-Pro 1
And finally the mother of all tele test: The Moon! Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 70-200 f/4 IS L plus 1.4x TC @f/7.1 ISO 400 and 1/500s on a tripod in standard JPG mode


The three Canon lenses I tested worked well with the Fuji X-Pro 1 and the Kipon EOS-XF adapter. Here are the settings that I prefer and thoughts about the lens combination with the X-Pro 1:

- Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 makes the most sense in terms of focal length (around 130mm FOV on the X-Pro 1), size and weight for me. The optical quality is great but there is some color fringing wide open (just like on the Canon 5D MK II). Stopped down to f/2.8 I think this is a great combo!

- Canon EF 135 f/2 L is one of the sharpest Canon lenses with a beautiful creamy bokeh. It performs very well on the X-Pro 1 shows lots of detail resolution and has a nice size focus ring to work with. But it is heavy and difficult to focus on moving subjects. The equivalent FOV of 200mm on the X-Pro 1 is more than the EVF refresh rate and 10x zoom function can cope with. It is best used with a tripod on still objects.

- Canon EF 70-200 f/4 IS L with and without 1.4x TC. I was pleasently surprised how good the optical quality was on the X-Pro 1. Especially with the 1.4x TC I get quite a bit of color fringing on my Canon 5D MK II, but I hardly got any on the X-Pro 1. I also got a much better moon shot with the lens attached to the X-Pro 1 in jpg than I ever got on my 5D MK II in RAW. The X-Pro 1 does have a 1.5 crop advantage, but the Canon also has 5 MPix more resolution...
This combo is almost a telescope at 420mm equivalent FOV and not very practical to focus. You need lots of light, a still subject and shutter time of 1/1000s or a tripod to get a usable shot.

My resume:
The three Canon EF lenses that I tried so far did resolve details very well and gave pleasing and consistent color results. In terms of size, weight and focal length the EF 85mm f/1.8 works best for me. I got very good results with the longer focal length, too. But in order to focus these lenses correctly you need to switch to EVF, use the 10x magnifier and try not to get dizzy with all the motion blurr you get at those zoom focal length. Fuji did improve the EVF refreshrate in their last FW update 1.10 and that really helped. But an even bigger improvement woul be a second, reduced zoom factor option of 5x, an even faster refresh rate or (even better) focus peaking.

But even then the hack to change the aperture on EF lenses is less than perfect. The old Canon FD mount lenses did still have an aperture ring and might be your better alternative if you still own some of them or find one cheap on ebay. Although the optical quality might not be as good as on the majority of the newer EF lenses it might be worth looking at the FD-XF adapter, too.

Let me know what you think of alternative lenses on the XF Mount in the comments or tweet me @hamburgcam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)

7 comments:

  1. I try the famous metal Zeiss ZF 100/2 macro-planar on my fuji xpro-1 . Incredible . This lens exist with a canon mount : Zeiss ZE . With this incredible lens you can use manual aperture ring...
    with the sensor of the x pro 1 it become a tele 150/2 !
    Frederic CHICHE
    France
    @obgyn43

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  2. Just got the new Kipon adapter with built in aperture ring. While I cannot guarantee a specific f stop, I can approximate it and use the LCD to develop the depth of field I'm looking for. Once I set the aperture, the camera's light meter does the rest. Have tried both my Canon 85MM f1.8 and Zeiss 100MM macro f2 and they work brilliantly. What a great way to extend the versatility of the X-Pro 1 for only $99!

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  3. Foto Bob, where did you purchase the new Kipon with adapter ring & for how much? Thank you.

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  4. Hi there, I saw your post a few weeks back and decided to order my Kipon adapter too. I finally got it but now I have a huge problem, how do you get the dang thing off? Am I supposed to push or pull the little pin? Mine doesn't budge except for a bit side-to-side. Any suggestions? The adapter is attached to my Canon 85mm 1.8 Thank you.

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  5. On my adapter I have to pull the pin towards the camera body (away from the lens). I hope this helps you in solving the problem.

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  6. Interesting article. I'm thinking of getting a series X camera, but you've convinced me I shouldn't rely on using my EF lenses with an adapter!

    You wrote:

    "The X-Pro 1 does have a 1.5 crop advantage, but the Canon also has 5 MPix more resolution..."

    That's irrelevant for astrophotography. The image is the same size on the sensor no matter what camera you're using, so the important thing is the pixel density. Your x-pro has nearly 80% more pixels per unit area than the 5d ii, so you'll get that much more detail (modulo lens performance and diffraction limits). You probably noticed that the 1:1 crop from the fujifilm was much bigger on the screen than the equivalent crop from the canon.

    Cheers,
    Pete

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