Straight to the point: it’s a waste of time.
Yes, you read it right. Mounting any Leica M lens in a Fuji GFX medium format camera is a waste of time.
Care to know why? Well, then keep reading.
So I happened to stumble across this cheap Leica M to Fuji G mount lens adapter in Taobao and I thought “Well, why not? For USD$ 30, let’s give it a go…”
Mind me, the mount is actually solid and well built. I mean, it’s obviously 100% mechanical with no electronics whatsoever, so there’s not much to go wrong here.
Now, this is how it looks when you mount it to a Fuji GFX 50R:
With the adapter installed, I started playing with my Leica M glass. To be precise:
- Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 ZM;
- Leica 35mm Summicron; and
- Leica 50mm Summilux.
And this is how the whole thing looks with each of the lenses above, respectively:
So my first thought after I mounted the 35mm Summicron was “what the heck was I thinking when I decided to buy this adapter?..” because the whole combo looked so weird and stupid!
I guess the photos above don’t do any justice to my statement because, trust me, in real world the small size of the Leica M glass mounted to the considerable larger mount / camera body of the GFX looks really, really abnormal and out of place.
Image quality then?
As expected, you get heavy light fall-off because the Leica M is a full frame lens, i.e. the image circle is meant to fill a 35mm full frame negative / sensor only, and not a larger medium format sensor.
Below what happens with the 35mm Summicron, shot wide open at f/2 and then at f/8. It’s clearly visible that stopping down the lens will reduce the light fall-off.
(Yeah, I know the photos below are uninspiring… But hey this is only a quick test to demonstrate my point above).
With the Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 ZM and the Leica 50mm Summilux it’s pretty much the same: heavy light fall-off wide open, stop down to f/8 and it improves. From f/8 to f/16 it’s basically the same shit, the fall-off remains.
Apart from the light fall-off, the edges of the frame are not sharp. Or, should I say, they are blurry. Again, this is not unexpected because the edges are totally out of the lens’ native image circle.
Perhaps I should go out in a bright sunny day and take some more photos outdoors for a clear assessment. But, quite honestly, I’m just not into it.
Food for thought…
I’ve read in a blog a guy that made the similar tests but, contrary to my findings here, he was überly excited with the results. But, well, he was cropping down the images to eliminate the fall-off areas…
So, you spend your money on a medium format camera, you mount a full-frame lens and, in order to make it work, you crop down the image to – guess what – full frame size?..
I mean, how stupid can you get?
As I say, it’s a waste of time. Firstly, I invested on the Fuji GFX system because I want to take full advantage of the qualities that medium format provides.
I want the ultimate image quality, not some arty-farty photos with heavy vignette. So better stick with the Fuji G mount lenses: the brand’s native lens will always give you the best performance, period.
Secondly, my Leica M lenses work best mounted to my Leica M-E. So, let’s be clear, I don’t need to use them anywhere else, and that includes my Fuji GFX 50R.
If you think otherwise, that’s fine. But, frankly, if you enjoy photos with heavy vignetting and soft edges, then you can probably achieve the same with your iPhone and some app with fancy filters.
That’s all you’ll need.