Lens adapters are an excellent and essential tool for any photographer. They can allow you to use different lenses that otherwise won’t work on your camera. Lens adapters are a perfect option for those who have several cameras and don’t want to let their older cameras collect dust as newer models come out. With so many options available, is it okay to stack lens adapters?
You shouldn’t stack lens adapters; however, depending on how you stack your lens adapters, it is okay to stack two adapters. If you stack too many adapters and lenses to a camera mount and the body, it can affect the photo’s quality, and it will add unnecessary weight to your camera.
Photographers have been stacking lenses for years, however, what about stacking adapters?. It takes some knowledge and skill to properly stack lens adapters for the safety of your camera and the quality of your photos. It’s suggested to research the adapters you plan on using before committing to stacking adapters, primarily due to cost.
Why Stack Lens Adapters?
Lens adapters are an excellent option for many photographers to be able to use different lenses on their cameras that may not be available for their camera. Using lens adapters can help broaden the number of tools a photographer has at their disposal and can help save money, so they don’t have to buy new lenses for new cameras.
Adapters can affect the focus and be more active or passive when using the focus on a camera. They can also change the lens speed and manipulates the lighting to change the quality of the photo. They may also be basic, which will require you to manually focus your camera, while other lens adapters can have an electronic component to them, so the focus is automatic.
Sometimes it may be necessary to stack lens adapters, but it is avoidable with the products you choose to use. Try always to make sure that you won’t need to stack the lens adapters to prevent damaging your camera.
For example, if you have a Nikon camera and a Vivitar lens, you’ll need to find a Vivitar adapter to fit a Nikon lens. If there isn’t one, the theory of stacking lens adapters may have you purchase a Canon adapter for a Vivitar adapter to place on a Nikon camera. Even saying it sounds messy, so imagine how it will be stacking adapters.
How to Stack Lens Adapters
When stacking lens adapters, you should note that it will be a slightly different process from screwing in a single lens adapter. When you screw one lens adapter in, for some cameras, you will screw the adapter onto the lens and then screw it into your camera. You will screw the adapter into the camera body and then screw the lens in other cameras.
When removing the lens, keep in mind that the adapter will sometimes stay in the camera’s body; this is okay and nothing to worry about. You’ll just need to carefully remove it according to the instructions for your lens adapter. Most lens adapters have a pin for you to adjust to remove the adapter safely.
When you are stacking lens adapters, you should take care that the adapters are compatible with each other. You should also make sure that they fit comfortably within each other. If they do not, you shouldn’t stack your adapters.
Why You Shouldn’t Stack Lens Adapters
Even though it is okay to stack lens adapters, some photographers don’t recommend stacking lens adapters for several reasons, and there are specific scenarios when and why you shouldn’t stack them:
- Your lens adapters are starting to show wear and tear. Putting worn out lens adapters into your camera mount can cause the adapter, lens, and camera mount to break. You should also never place a single worn-out lens adapter on your camera.
- You will be more active while taking photos, where you may have to move around more and/or be changing lenses. The added weight while moving can leave time for the camera and lens to be damaged, and the frequent lens changes could wear away and damage the adapters and lenses.
- You are taking action shots. When taking photos of moving subjects, it’s better to use a lens that is compatible with your camera due to the reaction time your camera has. Using a lens adapter to allow the lens to work in a camera can slow down the shutter’s speed if you’re not using a speed booster.
- You aren’t using the correct adapters, or you notice the adapter doesn’t fit snugly. You should bring your camera and the adapter to a local camera store to fix this issue and possibly exchange your adapter for a better-fitting one.
In addition to why you shouldn’t stack lens adapters, some problems can occur, even for experienced photographers, that stacking lens adapters can cause:
- Difficulties attaining an infinity focus due to an inaccurate flange distance.
- Added excess weight, and if it isn’t countered, you’ll have unnecessary tilt in your photos.
- Increased chances of light leaking into the lens, causing vignetting.
Stacking Lenses with Coupling Rings
With the idea of stacking lens adapters, some new photographers may think they stack lenses themselves, which coupling rings would be used. Coupling rings are another device for cameras that are essential for photographers. Coupling rings are used to connect two lenses, increasing the zoom and focus on their subject, often used in macro photography.
When stacking lenses, make sure that you use two good-quality lenses. Using one lens that’s a lower quality can distort the photos you’re taking. When stacking lenses, it’s also important to note that it will increase the amount of communication throughout the camera, slowing down the speed that photos are taken. Usually, to counter this, you can use a speed booster.
As with the issues of stacking lens adapters, there can be the same issues with stacking the lenses themselves. The more lenses you have stacked, the more likely you’ll experience:
- Added excess weight that needs to be countered to prevent tilt. You can use a tripod or lens support to counter the extra weight. Remember that not supporting the excess weight could also damage your camera, lenses, and mount.
- Vignetting due to light coming into the lenses and not using equally powered lenses or placing the lenses incorrectly.
How to Stack Lenses with Coupling Rings
If you’re going to stack lenses with coupling rings, the first thing you’ll need to do is purchase a coupling ring with male threads on both sides. All you have to do now is screw on the coupling ring to the first lens, then reverse the second lens and screw that into the first lens.
The process is relatively easy and can then be repeated to stack a third or fourth lens, but keep in mind the weight of each lens and having to support the appendage you added to your camera. It works best if the lens closest to the camera has a longer focal length and then attach progressively shorter focal length lenses if you’re attaching more than one.
Stacking lens adapters is okay in certain situations, especially if you know how to stack the lens properly. Before committing to stacking lens adapters, you should evaluate your experience and if it is vital before spending a lot of money and possibly encountering occasions where you could damage your camera.
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Roy is the leading content creator here at Your Photo Advisor. He is a hobbyist photographer that loves the business side of things. He blogs about IT, cybersecurity, business, and more at Davis Tech Media.