I’m going to show you something completely unnatural:
I love the Batis 135/2.8. I really like the Nikon Z7. But never the twain shall meet, I thought. On Friday, the big brown truck delivered a TechArt Sony E to Nikon Z smart adapter. If you don’t look carefully at the above image, you’ll miss it. It’s the stainless ring with the knurling right behind the black lens barrel and in front of the not-knurled shiny ring that’s the lens mount of that Z7. It’s 2 mm thick, which is the difference between the flange focal distances of the E- and Z-mount.
I mounted a Zony 55/1.8, and found that it wouldn’t focus using pinpoint (CDAF) mode. That’s not quite right. It focused quite happily, but it consistently focused somewhere other than the place I was aiming it. I switched to single point AF-S, and it seemed to do fine.
Then I mounted the Batis 135/2.8. I consider this a truly delightful lens: sharp, not too heavy, balances well, well corrected. I clipped the camera into an Arca Swiss C1 on a set of RRS legs, aimed it at a tree about 30 meters away, and made a shot wide open using AF-S and single point AF:
The above is developed in Lightroom with Adobe Color for the profile, Daylight white balance, and sharpening dialed back from the overly-aggressive new Lr default of 40 to 20. A little light falloff, but not bad.
And did the camera focus properly? Let’s look at 250%+:
There is single-pixel detail here. The image is darned near perfectly focused.
I banged off a few more shots. All looked good. This is just an informal test, but, at least in good light with a static subject, things look really good. I’m actually kind of shocked. The TechArt Nikon F to Sony E adapter didn’t impress me at all.
And here’s a bonus; even the Batis distance scale works:
I’ll be trying some other lenses, and I may get around to a quantitative focus accuracy test.
Note: The adapter comes with a USB-compatible dock for updating the firmware. It looks at first glance like a lens cap; don’t throw it away. Mine came wihth the current firmware (1.0) already installed. You can check your firmware version from the back of the camera. Menu>Wrench>Firmware Version [all the way to the bottom]. The adapter firmware is identified by the letters “MA” preceding it.
JIm, I know you will be doing more testing with this adapter, since testing seems to be in your DNA !
This is exciting, and I bet this adapter , with continued enhancements, will have great appeal for those with FE lenses who want to ease the transition pain ( $$) to Z mount. And the resulting stampede of other FE camera photogs to the Z will be just the ticket for the Z cameras to pick up momentum.
So, more testing please !
Jack Forrest says
Ah, I don’t think there will be a stampede to the Z mount. The A7RIV is quite the camera.
Perhaps you’ll see more Nikon users interested in the new, more ergonomic body with better weather sealing, better AF, oled EVF etc and come on over. Then there’s the A9 II and A7SIII within the next 6 months or so.
Anyway, good times for photogs.
Batis 135/2.8 not /2., no?
Mike Ramsay says
I have also done some preliminary testing on this combination. I found that while most functions work OK (but slow), and the image quality is as expected, the two things that seem to be an issue are:
1. Focus needs to be close in order for AF to operate. If it is far off you need to manually adjust to approx. focus then let AF take over from there.
2. IBIS appears not to work although is shows as enabled in the menu
I’m delighted that you are considering more in-depth tests using the TechArt adapter
Oskar Ojala says
I still don’t get that if you want to use FE mount lenses why just don’t use a Sony camera? Guaranteed to work, no hassle, gets the job done. I get the appeal of trying out things, used to do that when I was in my early 20s. But now I want the job done and the TechArt adapter looks to me like introducing additional complexity for no real gain.
variety is nice. no one should ever grow out of trying new things. one great thing about the Z mount is the ability to theoretically use any lens, from any manufacturer. there is nothing wrong with having more options.
I wonder if focus-bracketing will work on FE-mount lenses adapted to the Z7 via that TechArt. Does it work with your adapted 135mm Batis? Jim, would you consider adding at least a cursory test of focus bracketing functionality as you test whatever lenses you intend via that adapter?
Additionally, it’d be interesting to see how well the Sony FE 90mm macro, and perhaps the FE 50mm macro also, perform both optically and functionally when adapted to the Z7, because I don’t think Nikon has any native Z-mount macros on their lens roadmap yet, and, if I remember correctly, tests done by you, Lens Rentals, and DXOMark all show the Sony 90mm FE macro performing better optically than any similar focal length Nikon F-mount macro.
I tried Focus Shift Shooting with the Z7 and the Batis 135, and it worked just fine. I’ll look at the 90 macro later.
I tried the Sony 90 macro and the step sizes are way too big, even when set in the camera to 1.
Thanks, Jim, for checking.
A shame that the step sizes are too big for focus bracketing the Sony 90mm macro on the Z7.
It surely is.
K.C. MAN says
I am using Nikon Z7 with Batis 18mm, 25mm, 40mm,85mm and 135mm. The Quality is better than Nikkor-S line series, The Z7 and Batis AF system are perfect match. I love this combination now.
I big surprise the Lightroom and PS have Batis lens reference.
The Batis Lens images’ skin tone in Sony in shxt. and It is amazing skin tone with Nikon and Batis.
Nikon Z7 is made in Japan, and all Batis Lens are made on Japan too.
Hi, have you compared Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S and Batis 85mm?
Sorry, no. I already have too many 85s.
im just curious which S-line lenses you have compared to the Batis lenses, since 85 is the only matching focal length and the 24 S not being in a lot of hands yet. are you just saying this in a general sense? or in build quality? serious question, as ive heard great things about both lines but only have the 24-70 f2.8 S so far in the Z mount.
I haven’t compared the two lines.
Claron Krogness says
Have you tried any of the Zeiss Milvus lenses with this adapter?
Sorry, I haven’t tried the Milvus lenses on any camera. But those aren’t E-mount lenses, so they won’t work with this adapter.
Martin Goodman says
Hello, this is really interesting as I am trying to find a way to pair Zeiss with Nikon Z bodies. Thank you for posting this!
I am trying to find a lens suite from 16 – 150mm, and not be crippled by the dark lenses from Nikon, (16 – 50mm f 3.5 – 6.3…really?) nor pay £6000 for this range. Ideally I would like 2 zooms to cover this range, but after a month of looking, I doubt that is possible.
Still, this was exciting to learn about the Techart adapter. Thanks!
I am new to this thread. However I bought the adapter and I have a 135. Seems I have mounted everything as it should be but can I get auto focus to work. Is there something in camera that needs to be changed for the camera to recognize adapter and lens?
Not that I know of.
Figured it out. It was all the updates that the item needed when I received it. To date there were over 5 updates. You must each individual update as the last one does not comprised of all updates.