Friday, February 10, 2012

Zeiss Zf.2 Bayonet Mount Swap

The world of digital cinematography is changing quicker than ever with new "game changing" cameras hitting the market all the time. The only things that have ever been a reliable future proof investment are lenses. PL lenses are still king among cinema level camera systems, but now DSLR lenses are becoming more widely used. Nikon F mount lenses including Zeiss ZF series, are a great go to lens choice because of their ease of adaption to various camera mounts. But what if you are like me and also have a large assortment of Canon glass that you also want to use. Well the answer would be to adapt the lenses to a common mount, but not all adapters are created equal.

With our Scarlet-X Canon mount camera on the way, I felt it was time to get all of our lenses on the same playing field. After purchasing a full set of Zeiss ZF.2s last year, we have been adapting the lenses to Canon EF using the Fotodiox F to EF adapter. This did the job but very poorly. The adapter allows for a lot of play in the connection and unless you put one on every lens, it is a pain to remove and swap to other lenses in a hurry. So after a bit of research online I reached out to Matthew Duclos at Duclos lenses to ask what they used in their shop. Matt pointed me to Leitax (www.leitax.com), a european company that manufactures a wide assortment of semi-permanent adapter mounts. I went ahead and ordered a full set of 5 mounts to convert the entire lens case over to EF.

The processes of installing the mount was fairly straightforward. The EF mount actually fits over top of the existing F mount and is held in place by 6 screws. A shim is sandwiched between the two mounts to achieve the proper flange depth. The biggest tip I can provide is to use a good quality precision screwdriver to avoid stripping the screw heads. Within about a hours time I had swapped all 5 mounts and tested them on my 7D.

The design of the mounts are superb and provide a very solid connection to the camera body. There is absolutely no play in the lens and is about as close to factory as it could get. From a price stand point the conversion was comparable in price to purchasing mid grade adapter rings. The Nikon / Zf.2 mount retails for 67 Euros, not too shabby for the quality. I am most excited to try out these lenses with our Scarlet and enjoy easy swapping between Zeiss and Canon glass without fumbling with sloppy adapters. With that all said, if you find yourself in a similar situation be sure to check out Leitax.

Brumar Films is not affiliated with Leitax in anyway and the above statements is simply my personal endorsement of a worthwhile product.