Using alternative lenses with an adapter

There are occasions when you possess a favourite lens but for one reason or another you have another camera system with a different lens mount and would like to use the lens on that camera. The solution is to use a lens adapter. There are however drawbacks, these being: loss of auto focus and metering is performed either in stop down mode (metering at the actual aperture the photograph is taken at) or manual.

For the purposes of this training module we will be using a Panasonic M4/3 camera with Nikon lenses.

The Method

To start, go into the camera menu and select the ‘Shoot W/O lens’ option.

Next remove the camera lens and fit the adapter.

Now fit the lens of choice to the camera / adapter combination.

When using a lens with an aperture ring, twist the silver ring on the adapter to the M4/3 position. Note the indicator mark on the adapter. Use the aperture ring on the lens to stop the lens down, best practice is to focus the lens at full aperture then stop down to meter, then make the exposure.

Using Nikon G lenses (or any other lens without an aperture ring) requires a different technique. Mount the lens a before.

This time aperture is controlled via the ring on the lens adapter, moving from ‘NIK(G) to M4/3. Care is needed when using this method because the clicked stops are not as easy to feel, again take note of the indicator mark. NIK(G) is lens wide open M4/3 is fully stopped down.


If you have several camera systems, this is a great way to use your lenses. Remember though, that full frame lenses will work on APSC and M4/3 bodies, but APSC and M4/3 lenses will not give full coverage on full frame bodies.

Also if you are happy to use manual focus (it’s not that hard honest!) and to meter at taking aperture it’s worth trying.

One final important point. Ensure that when hand holding the camera that you do not put undue strain on the camera lens mount, support the weight of the lens, do not let the lens pull down on the adapter.

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