View Full Version : Leica R Lens to Nikon Body Conversion: Have you tried these?
I have found several places offering replacement rear lens flanges that will allow Leica R lenses to focus to infinity on Nikon bodies. Apparently most Leica R lenses can be used on both Nikon film SLR and DSLR bodies. The only catch is that you have to use stop-down metering. You can even get chips to provide the lens EXIF info to the camera.
I'll try to post these links, one at a time.
Does anyone have any experience to report with these replacement flanges?
Here's another supplier:
And, a third option:
I seem to have listed these in descending order of price (and perhaps confidence). The ebay auction seems to imply that theirs is the Leitax, as they reference the leitax website.
Anybody know anything about any of these?
I'm looking into this because if I were to sell most of my R outfit, I would want to keep my 90mm Elmarit-R; 135/2.8 elmarit-R; and 180 APO-Telyt to use on my Nikons. I doesn't seem to me that Nikon has anything to match these three lenses, in their own lineup. It seems like a good idea, after all people use R glass on canon bodies, and don't mind the stop-down metering; so why not on Nikons?
It's reversible, by the way. You just unscrew the one and replace it with the other when you want.
Here is a loong thread (http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=245331) at Nikon Cafe about this.
(You may need to register at NC in order to see this. It's free and they will not use your registration data for anything else.)
I am using one of the Leitax Hong Kong knockoffs myself on a lens that I'm selling, and I've used them on several other R lenses. They work perfectly, but I use mine on Nikon AF film cameras. I assume they work the same on the DSLR's.
I'm not sure the camera's metering is accurate on a manual focus camera because in my experience, as you stop the lens down, the central split prism on the focus screen darkens, throwing off the in camera's meter. It may work right, but when I tried the R lenses on Canon cameras, which use a simpler adapter that doesn't require switching the lens mount, my Canon film cameras didn't meter accurately due to this issue. The Canon's metering software also has a curve built into it, throwing the meter off when you use lenses that aren't Canon, even when you have a chipped adapter. Some of their DSLR's have this issue while other models don't.
On Nikon SLR's, I have found differences in how the camera meters, but haven't had any inaccurate metering. For example, on Nikon N8008s and N6006 SLR's, the cameras will work in A or Program modes w/ stop down metering. This means you can change the lens aperture, and the speeds will scroll up or down in sync w/ aperture changes. You get in viewfinder speed readouts as well. When I tried the same Leica R lens on an N80, this feature didn't work, and all you had was manual metering. Focus is a lot easier on the N8008s and N6006 cameras too because they have brighter viewfinders with higher magnification. The focus confirmation light in the viewfinder worked on all of these. If you have any questions about adapting a particular Leica R lens to a particular Nikon camera I would recommend contacting the Leitax people, as they're the originator of these adapters, and have the most up to date info. I absolutely love using R glass on Nikon cameras. It makes for a much more user friendly setup than on all the Leica R bodies I ever owned.
I have rebayoneted all my Leica R lenses with Leitax bayonets, including the R19 Elmarit Version 1, the 28 Elmarit R (Rom version) the 21 - 35 Elmar,
the 90 Summicron, the 100 APO Macro, the 180 APO f3.4, and the 400 Telyt f6.8. Please see
for pictures of some of the conversions and some pictures taken with the lenses.
for a picture of me with the Telyt mounted on my D700.
Here are some photos taken with the Telyt mounted on the D700:
The leica lenses work very well on the D700 - stop down metering of course but focus confirmation works up to f5.6 - although you have to remember that the focus arrows point in opposite directions due to the threads of the R focusing cams turning opposite to the threads in a Nikon lens. Aperture preferred of course.
The Leitax site has much information on changing the mounts - usually about a five minute job and reversable. I haven't used any other brand of mounts.
If you click on the folder icon about the photos that will give you an enlargement of the photo so you can see better detail.
I'm unfamiliar with stop-down metering... can someone explain this to me? Or better yet, can someone who has done the Leitax conversion for Nikon F explain the exact process by which one takes a picture in aperture priority? Do it like I'm three years old, please. Thanks very much.
Stop down metering means that you focus w/ the lens wide open, then stop it down (change the aperture) manually. On my Nikon N8008s, you may have a wide open reading of, say, 1/1000. As you stop the lens down in A or P mode, the shutter speeds will scroll down in sync w/ your aperture (which does not show in the viewfinder, just the speeds). Or, 1/1000 at f2 becomes 1/500 at the next full stop (smaller aperture) aperture, 1/250 at the next, etc. If you want to change that due to tricky lighting conditions, just lock the speeds w/ a half press of the shutter button, change your aperture, and shoot. It all happens very quickly once you get the hang of it.
Well, I'm going ahead with it. I just ordered a Hong Kong special, and a Fotodiox one to compare with. I haven't sprung for a Leotax yet, but I might. It's exciting: I will be able to shoot with 4 or 5 Leica lenses on all my film Nikons, plus my D300!
I tried a Leitax converter for Canon; the machining, fit and finish are very nice, but it doesnt focus confirm like its supposed to.
I swapped back to a pro fotodiox converter and that works like a charm.
Strange that the Leitax causes a problem, as I think they are the original real deal. It makes me feel good about having ordered the Fotodiox.
Pro Fotodiox on my 28 and 35 pc lenses. Have also used 400,560, 280 2.8 and all are superb.
Some great shots there, Howard. Love the deer especially.
There is some regret in switching away from my Leica R5 and R6, because the finders in them are second to none. But I don't like the way they feel in my hands; don't like the way aperture and shutter speeds are displayed on the R5 (and R4 I used to have); and don't like the slow mirror and shutter action on any of them. So I'm going to give them a try on the FE2 and FA. Maybe the F100 but I'm not sure that's a good idea. A lot of people seem to use Leica glass on Nikon and Canon bodies, there must be something to it.
Thanks for the comment on the pictures. Much appreciated
Lots of people realize it. There would be fewer if there were an R10 digital and full potential could be made like auto diaphragm.
It is like going back to 1960 without it. But if you do flowers and monuments, they work fine. Sports, no way. That is why I stopped with the 28/35 pc lenses. 400/560 are also full manual.
Funniest thing. The Fotodiox adapter arrived promptly. After getting out my best jeweler's screwdrivers, I easily removed the bayonet ring from my 90mm Elmarit-R. Carefully noting its position as I lifted it, I then oriented the Fotodiox ring to match and prepared to slip it on, commanding myself to use all the skill of Patek Phillipe's best watchmaker. OK, good, good, almost there . . . HEY! This thing is not large enough in diameter to fit around cams number 1 and 2. OK maybe it needs to be turned this way or that; maybe that little cutout needs to be aligned with one of the cams; no, that's not it; OK maybe line it up with this other thing . . .
No. Give up. It doesn't fit. Period. Point. Fini. Let's check the packing slip: yep, it says Leica R lens to Nikon camera mount adapter, all right. OK let's see if it fits into the camera's bayonet. Yep, fits the FE2 just like it was made for it. Oh, yeah, it was. But it won't fit my 90mm Elmarit.
WTF? :bang: Any ideas?
"when you have eliminated the impossible . . . ."
I looked at the Leitax website (Fotodiox furnishes NO instructions). You have to take off the cams. Then it fits. But after I got it all assembled on the 90 Elmarit, the aperture ring was frozen. I spent a lot of time with it, and finally decided the brass part of the aperture adjusting mechanism was binding on the conversion ring. It turned ffreely if I didn't tighten the ring all the way, but of course I wasn't going to leave it like that. Not knowing what to do about that, I put the 90 back together and put the Fotodiox ring on the 135 Elmarit instead. It works well, and the photos I took with the D300 are breathtakingly sharp and intensely colorful. I found I needed to shoot manual exposure, since on aperture priority the exposure wants to run off the right end of the histogram, even though I put f/2.8 into the camera's non-CPU data. Focus confirmation works OK.
Next step is to see if the Hong Kong knockoff works any better on the 90. I think I will also want to convert my 180/3.4 APO-telyt.
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