A short review, after deciding I needed to grab a couple more adapters. Years back I got a rather expensive MFT to Nikon adapter for my Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and ever since I’ve been using the one adapter across several cameras. Having now a BMCC, BMPCC and Panasonic GH4, and looking to get a GH5 sometime in the not too distant future, I figured I should probably get enough adapters that these cameras can be used with my lenses if the need arises. Not wanting to spend AUD$400 per camera (and planning on getting a speed booster at some point as well) I had a bit of a scour of eBay and grabbed the ones that looked just the right balance between cheap and crappy.
Fotga make a very nice follow focus it must be said. They also have made it nearly impossible to get replacement parts for said follow focus (mine lost a bit and it’s as good as useless. Yay). That sums up my pre-existing knowledge of FOTGA. Their MFT to Nikon adapters were reasonably priced at around AUD$25 a pop, so I grabbed two.
The adapter itself is fairly solid. It uses a ring on the body of the adapter to control aperture on Nikon lenses. This works okay, though doesn’t have the nice smooth feel of my much more expensive adapter. There is also a “lock” which is just a bit of a notch at the end of the aperture ring (which seems to be mirrored at the other end for reasons we’ll never understand). This feels like a bit of a nuisance, but shouldn’t really cause any bother in day-to-day shooting.
The adapter fits nicely to the camera body and the lens body as well, yet doesn’t grip so tightly as to be a problem – important when some cheap adapters have been known to get stuck to lenses or bodies. There is a little play in the adapter when handling the lens, probably a millimetre or two. My experience with Nikon adapters is that this seems to be fairly common, even our MFT Cion Nikon mount has a little play in it. A positive locking mechanism would probably go a long way towards fixing that.
The lens release is a bit of an issue. On my other MFT adapter (and on the Cion) there are wonderful, springy locking tabs that readily release the lens when pushed in, and hold it when locked. The FOTGA adapter holds the lens in place well, but releasing it doesn’t work terribly well. The metal tab you can see sticking out does very little, and you have to squeeze in and push the body of the locking tab rather than the protruding part. This is fiddly depending on what lens is mounted. The good part is that the lenses reliably lock, so dropping a lens is unlikely. This part, like the focus ring, also feels like it could use a little oil or grease as it is quite stiff.
Overall, for twenty five bucks each I’m not complaining. My Blackmagics rarely get pulled out of the cabinet, but this at least gives me a little more flexibility in using them or renting them out. Whilst not the best adapter I’ve used, you could certainly do much worse than the FOTGA adapter.