If you already own or are thinking of buying
a LUMIX S1, an S1 with the V-Log Filmmakers
Upgrade, an S1R or <gasp> the just announced
LUMIX S1H, you might be concerned that the
only lenses you have today are the 24-105
f/4, the 50 mm f/1.4 and the 70-200 f/4. Oh… it’s
just a paper cutout. There’s more lenses
coming from Panasonic, and a bunch coming
from Sigma, but did you know that you can
adapt hundreds, if not thousands, of existing
lenses… some that you may already own…
to the L-Mount? I’m PhotoJoseph, and let’s
talk about it.
Because the S1 is a mirrorless camera, there’s
very little distance between the sensor and
the lens mount, which means that pretty much
any full frame or larger lens can be adapted.
For anyone with a camera bag full of full-frame
lenses, this is great news. Odds are you can
adapt your existing lenses to the S1! For
Sigma makes the MC-21 to convert Canon EF
mount lenses to L-Mount, and they also make
an SA mount adapter.
Novoflex also makes an EF to L-Mount adapter,
but it costs more than the Sigma, and doesn’t
work as well. It doesn’t even auto focus.
They also make a Nikon F-mount adapter, and
a PL mount adapter.
Kipon makes a Mamiya 645 and a Cinema PL to
You can also adapt Hasselblad, you can adapt
L-39 mount, Contarex, Contax / Yashica, Exacta,
Canon FD, Minolta, Pentacon… there’s
a ton of ‘em! There’s a ton of options
for adapting lenses to L-Mount.
So how do these adapted lenses actually look
and perform? Well first, a HUGE thanks to
Sigma who sent me a case full of a lovely
buffet of photography and cinema lenses, and
to my friends at Panasonic who sent some adapters
along with some vintage lenses for me to play
with. I shot both stills and video with a
variety of lenses just to give you a little
taste of what these looks like.
Let’s start with still photos. I took a
few lenses to a modeling event, and shot with
the Nikon 24mm f/2, the Mamiya 80mm f/1.9
which because it’s a medium format lens
is on a 0.7 X focal reducer making it a 56mm
f/1.3, and with the Canon 85mm f/1.2. So,
let’s take a look at some photos.
The Nikon 24mm f/2 was probably the hardest
to focus, with a lot of softness around the
edges, meant I really had to focus in the
center while relying on focus peaking, then
recompose to get the shot that I wanted. I
started wide but then went in for some close-ups,
so you could appreciate the shallow depth
of field of f/2 on this 24mm wide angle lens.
It produced some interesting haloing and overall
a pretty nice look.
The medium format Mamiya was definitely my
favorite, because it created such a unique
look. The bokeh has these great big swirls
in it, and high contrast areas pretty much
glow, which is obviously not ideal for most
work but so cool in a portrait. It’s probably
not perfectly sharp anywhere while wide open,
which may limit what you can do with it, but
I adore it.
Matt, you’re gonna have to come here to
get this one back, sorry buddy.
The Canon 85mm f/1.2 has always been a gem
of a lens. Wide open at 1.2 there isn’t
much margin for error on focus, but when you
nail it, it’s so so sweet. Stopping down
a little of course gives you a bigger field
of focus while still getting lovely bokeh,
and at 1.2 and at a distance from your subject
you can still get incredibly narrow depth
of field. This is the first auto focus lens
of the bunch, so let’s talk about that.
The Nikon and the Mamiya are of course manual
focus on passive adapters, but the Canon EF
lens on this Sigma MC-21 is autofocus. As
you would expect, autofocus is slower through
the adapted lenses than on native lenses;
that’s no surprise. With the MC-21 you can
only do AF-S — single, and not AF-C — continuous
auto focus. In fact when you flip the camera
to AF-C, it tells you to go to AF-S. Which
is way better than the Novoflex, which won’t
autofocus at all, and will just tell you to
switch to manual focus. With both adapters
you can manually focus a drive-by-wire lens
like this Canon 85mm 1.2, and the manual focus
switch on the lenses functions as well. If
you use a lens with image stabilization in
it, you don’t get the I.S. from the lens,
but of course the camera has stabilization
so you still get the in-body I.S., no matter
what lens you’re using, and aperture and
focal length are also communicated to the
camera with both adapters. Effectively the
main difference between an MC-21 adapted lens
and a native lens is that the adapted one
is slower to auto-focus. So you’re not going
to be shooting action sports with these, but
for portraits, landscapes and the like, they’re
Hey before we on move to video, I wanted to
tell you that since I have a ton of videos
here on YouTube, it can be kind of hard to
sort through them and find exactly what you’re
after. But if go to my website PhotoJoseph.com,
you’ll see on there that you can easily
filter all of my videos and other tips by
product, and if you go to the top “Filter
by” menu and choose “hardware”, you
can type in the name of whatever you’re
looking for, like S1… or Think Tank… or
Godox… and quickly find all the videos related
to that topic. While you’re there, check
out the membership page too, and see the benefits
of paid membership, like access to hundreds
of software training videos, exclusive interviews,
and of course it’s a great way to support
the free content that I make here on YouTube.
Alright! Now let’s look at the video side
of things. Sigma was really generous and sent
out quite the buffet table of gear. I shot
the same setup with most of these lenses so
you could compare the looks of them. Now… um…
confession time… I kinda screwed up and
I shot all these clips at 4K60p, which I intended
to do so I could slow some shots down, but
I forgot that that meant on the S1 that I
was cropping into each lens, shooting at APS-C
instead of full-frame. That doesn’t change
the bokeh of course, but it does mean we’re
not seeing the full lens edge-to-edge. Sorry.
But hey! For those who would shoot 4K60, this
is exactly what you’ll get!
OK! These were all shot in the FLAT color
profile on the S1, and captured to an Atomos
Ninja Inferno at 4K60p. Incidentally this
video you’re watching now is in 4K30, so
if your device can handle it, hit the little
gear, wherever it is, and choose 4K. Every
shot you’re about to see here is shot wide
open on that lens. I don’t have ND filters
big enough for most of these lenses, so to
shoot wide open I’m shooting at a very high
shutter speed. There isn’t much movement
in here anyway, but when you see some staccato
motion, that’s why. I started with the Panasonic
24-105mm f/4 as a reference shot. It’s a
nice, clean, sharp lens, as you would expect.
This is the Nikon 24mm, and you can definitely
see some of that glowing creaminess around
Next is the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. I requested
this lens specifically because I know it’s
very popular among GH5 users who like to adapt
this to micro four thirds using a Metabones
adapter. So I know a lot of you already own
The Sigma 40mm f/1.4 was a beautiful surprise
for me. Quite a wide field of view, and lovely
bokeh. Definitely one for my wish list on
Ah, the Mamiya. I just love it. Check out
the bokeh rings in the background! Totally
different look. It has that soft, almost dreamy
look to it, like an Orton effect where it’s
simultaneously soft and sharp. I just can’t
get enough of this lens.
Now for the Canon 85mm f/1.2. Very sharp,
with super shallow depth of field and a very
smooth, predictable bokeh.
Next let’s switch to the Cinema lenses.
Sigma sent three of ‘em; two EF mount lenses
and one PL mount lens. For the EF mounts I
used the same MC-21 adapter, and for the PL,
I used this Kipon PL to L-Mount adapter. Now
I gotta admit this adapter is not very good.
There’s a little shim screw in here that
I had to completely remove to get the adapter
to even lock on to the lens, but there’s
significant play in the lens without the shim.
It still worked perfectly fine, but I’d
definitely prefer a PL mount that doesn’t
move so much. Novoflex and Leitz both make
PL to L-Mount adapters that are quite a bit
more expensive, but I didn’t get to test
If you’ve never worked with these types
of lenses before, let me give you a brief
tour. First off, they’re huge. Notice that
not only is each ring geared so you can connect
it to a focus or camera control system, allowing
you to change focus, aperture or zoom remotely,
but the rings are in the same position and
the lens barrel is the same size, so you don’t
have to readjust the control system when you
swap lenses. The aperture on a cinema lens
isn’t measured in f-stops, but in T-stops,
or “transmission” stops instead. T-stops
are the measure of the actual amount of light
coming out the back of the lens, not the measurement
of the aperture itself, like an f-stop is.
This allows perfect consistency between lenses.
Also, these numbers glow in the dark, which
is just awesome. Why don’t all lenses do
that? The rings are all step-less of course,
and remarkably smooth to use making it quite
easy to rack focus and stop precisely on your
mark. And in general, the quality of these
lenses is very very high. There’s more to
cinema lenses of course but those are some
The first one I used is the 20mm T-1.5, giving
a beautifully wide shot with virtually no
Then the 18-35mm T-2 zoom.
And finally, the 50mm T-1.5, on the PL mount.
These are all gorgeous, clean lenses, with
no fringing, no halos, beautiful bokeh… really,
just lovely, pristine, clean lenses. As with
everything, you get what you pay for.
I hope this was interesting for you. Now that
we know that the V-Log Filmmakers Upgrade
for the S1, and the S1H camera itself are
coming — or, already out, depending one
when you’re watching this — knowing that
you can adapt so many excellent lenses — many
that you probably already own — to this
full frame photography and filmmaking system
is pretty awesome.
If you want to know more about any of these
products, there’s links below to everything,
and of course if you like this video, be sure
to give it a thumbs up and hit that share
button to share it on the socials. And, don’t
forget to check out PhotoJoseph.com. See you next time.