Do you want to use Sony E mount lenses on your Nikon Z cameras? Maybe you want to switch systems and go from Sony E to Nikon Z, but you have some or many Sony E lenses you want to keep and use. Or maybe you just like one of the Sony GM lenses or a lens from a 3rd party that is available in Sony E but not in Nikon Z? No worries, for any reason it is, you can use Sony E lenses on your Nikon Z camera through a mount adapter.
I have been using two adapters; Megadap ETZ21 PRO and Techart TZE-01. I compare them against each other and give you my thoughts here. Let’s have a look!
- Used Equipment and Disclosure
- Real Life Tests Observations
- Support Us
- Further Reading
|Thickness (camera throat to lens mounting plate
* Price on manufacturers’ online stores (Nov. 2023)
Used Equipment and Disclosure
For this review, I used the following equipment:
- Techart TZE-01, firmware v4.6.0 (hereafter referred to as simply Techart or TA), bought by my own earned money
- Megadap ETZ21 PRO, firmware v1.26 (hereafter referred to as simply Megadap / MD), provided by Megadap for the review
- Nikon Z 7II, Nikon Z6, and Nikon Z fc, my cameras (Affiliate link)
- Sony FE 85/1.8 (SEL85F18), Sony E 20/2.8 , Samyang AF 24-70mm F2.8 FE , Samyang AF 18mm F2.8 E , Sigma 30mm f/2.8 DN Art , kindly lent by my friend Mehrad M. (Affiliate link)
- Pergear 35mm f/1.4, fully manual, kindly loaned by our reader Nikolaus B. (Affiliate link)
- TTArtisan AF 35/1.8, kindly provided by TTArtisan (Affiliate link)
- Voigtländer 15/4.5 Super Wide Heliar III E (manual focus with el. contacts) bought by my own earned money (Affiliate link)
There are two versions of the Techart adapter. The functionality of TZE-01 and TZE-02 are exactly the same. The only reason they have different names is that due to component shortage, they had to use a new chip in their later adapters. and when upgrading the firmware you need to indicate the right model/hardware so that the correct chip-specific updates can be downloaded and applied to each of the adapters. Features and compatibility are identical according to Techart though.
The first version E-to-Z adapter from Megadap
The second version E-to-Z adapter from Megadap
Improved autofocus speed and accuracy. The hardware was also improved compared to the first version. The bayonet is claimed to be stronger and it has better sealing around the circuit board. Firmware update via USB cable and a grip. Added support for Nikon Z 9 and Nikon Z fc. Compatible with Nikon Z fc, Z 50, Nikon Z 5, Nikon Z 6, Nikon Z 6ii, Nikon Z 7, Nikon Z 7ii, Z 9 cameras
Megadap ETZ21 PRO
The third (current) version E-to-Z adapter from Megadap has several improvements:
- Updating the adapter firmware is done similarly to updating a lens or Nikon’s own FTZ adapter, i.e. via the memory card and camera vs using a separate USB cable in earlier versions.
- The electric contacts for updating firmware via USB cable are removed
- Better mechanical fitting with Tamron lenses
- Re-designed lens release button
The Mounting Issue
The size and weight of both adapters are almost identical. The Techart adapter has an elevated platform at the reverse side of the adapter, where the Sony E contacts are positioned. This adds to the overall thickness of the adapter but does not add to the working thickness. This part should normally go into the camera’s mounting throat. This has a big disadvantage though. It is an obstacle for mounting the adapter on Nikon’s DX cameras.
Ease of Handling
Another difference is the lens release lever, which is a tiny lever on the Techart that has to be pushed backward (away from the lens) to release the lens, this is both fiddly and awkward as when you want to detach a lens from the adapter, you take the lens with one hand the thin adapter with the other hand, it is very little to grab on the adapter with force towards the center of the adapter, while at the same time, you need to push the lever backward. You have to perform movements in three directions. On the Megadap there is a relatively large lever that needs to be pushed in towards the center of the adapter, the same direction as when you hold it. It is easily done with the same hand that has grabbed the adapter, as both need to be held/pushed in the same direction.
The third difference in handling is the update of the firmware. Techart comes with a combined rear cap/upgrade dock, you need to attach the cap/dock to the adapter and use a micro USB cable connected to your computer to download the firmware. The micro USB cable is not included though, you have to buy it separately or use one that you already have. For upgrading the Megadap you do not need anything, as it is done the same way as you would upgrade your lens or camera; attach both the adapter and the lens to your camera, put the memory card (with the firmware on it) in your camera, and from the menu system select to upgrade the adapter.
Both adapters fit tightly and securely to the camera, while only the MD also fits tightly to the lens. The lens on the Techart has a little play.
According to the adapter manufacturers websites the following features are (/ are not) supported:
- The AUTOFOCUS, AUTO-APERTURE, and LENS STABILISATION functions can all be retained.
- Both AF-S, AF-C, and MF modes will work on the Nikon Z6/Z7.
- Face and Eye detection, EXIF reading, and Timelapse function can also be supported.
- TZE-01 does NOT work with Z50.
- Samyang / Rokinon lenses are currently NOT supported.
- MF lenses are currently NOT supported.
If you read carefully further down the page you will also find that there are some “known bugs” (underlined) and they urge you to read them before any purchase. The underlined text is a link, which if you click shows another page.
Below are some known bugs that we are currently trying to fix. It could/might be fixed in future firmware releases.
- The aperture of Sony G Master lenses can only be controlled via the camera. The aperture ring of Sony G Master lenses cannot be used.
- Correct aperture readings of Zeiss Loxia & Voigtlander E-mount lenses cannot be shown on the cameras. Suggest leaving the aperture value at max aperture value in your camera and relying on the aperture ring on the lens to change the aperture.
- Pinpoint AF mode cannot be used.
- Some of the Rokinon / Samyang AF lenses cannot be used.
- MF mode may not work for some lenses.
To conclude: You should exclude all Samyang/Rokinon and all the MF lenses and also do not use MF with the other lenses. Also, Zeiss Loxia, and Voigtänder lenses work but no EXIF, as if they were manual lenses without any contacts, and also no Pinpoint focusing, also forget about the GM aperture ring.
There is a long list of what is supported and it includes almost every possible feature you can imagine and also on all cameras specified by names, even all Nikon’s APS-C cameras. There is only a small text about what is not supported and that is:
– Viltrox and Yougnuo lenses are currently NOT supported
But if you update the firmware to v1.26, Samyang, Meike, and Yongnuo lenses will also be supported.
You can get all this info from the manufacturers’ website. I decided to test the features with a few lenses anyway (see the list of tested lenses in the “used equipment” section).
Real Life Tests Observations
I tested Pinpoint AF, Single-point AF, Wide-Area AF (S/L), Wide -area AF (L-people), Wide-area AF (L-animals), Auto-area AF, Auto-area AF (people), Auto-area AF (animals)
I also tested AF-S and AF-C. Furthermore. I tested AF in video mode too, mostly in AAF (All-time AF).
I tested two Samyang lenses on Nikon Z cameras with both adapters. The Megadap adapter worked with both in all of the tested modes both on FF and APS-C bodies. With the Techart, the Samyang 24-70/2.8 did not work at all but the Samyang 28/2.8 worked, only in Single-point AF and Wide-area AF S.
Pinpoint-AF worked with all AF lenses and all bodies when MD was used, with TA it did not work at all most of the time, but sometimes it worked but did a lot of chasing before nailing the focus.
You can not use any manual lens with the TA, the camera shutter will not work at all, but you can take pictures if the MD is on the camera.
The Side Effect of the Play
Another very annoying handling issue with TA is the play that I wrote about in the handling section. The play makes the electronic pins on the lens and adapter lose contact if the play has made the lens to come in the wrong end of the play. In that case, the camera malfunctions, and may or may not show an error message, but in any case, you cannot release the shutter.
You have to switch off the camera, push/turn the lens a little to the other end of the play so that the pins come in contact, switch the camera on, and then you can take the picture. This caused me a huge frustration for a long time as I was unable to take a picture, where I wanted and I did not know why. After a very long time, I realized the problem and could do the procedure if the error happened, nevertheless it was irritating.
When it comes to the EXIF data reported to the camera, as stated by TA itself the correct aperture reading is not reported to the camera, but it could not either report the correct max aperture or focal length, although the focal length and max aperture were set manually in Non-CPU lens data and selected during the photography. All three were reported correctly by the MD.
Not only that, TA did not report the correct lens name for any of the lenses used in this review, neither, Voigtländer, Sigma, Samyang, nor Sony. The TA reported for all the lenses the name “50mm f/1.4G”, while except for the Voigtländer, it reported the correct focal length and aperture setting.
Green in-Focus Rectangle
When you have a manual lens with electronic contacts, e.g. the tested Voigtländer, with MD the in-focus rectangle turns green when the image area is in focus as you turn the focusing ring.
With the TA it does not turn green as you turn the ring but if you set the focus by your eye judgment and push the shutter release halfway then the rectangle turns green and the camera beeps, as if the autofocus has nailed the focus, it can work as a kind of confirmation but not much help when you try to quickly focus.
In the images above the Techart was used and the “in-focus” display image was taken while I held the shutter release button halfway pushed. Here it can also be seen that the selected aperture is shown as F4.2, while this lens’s max aperture is f/4.5 and the set aperture was f/5.6, this is though a know bug and already clear from the Techart website.
The autofocus speed is completely fine, on both adapters in those cases the autofocus works. It may not be as fast as with a native Z lens but very good in both cases, when they nail the focus, actually better than I expected. MD succeeds in nailing the focus most of the time but sometime with Pin-Point focus or in eye detection modes it chases the focus a little more than the native Z lenses. The TA seems to do more chasing in most of the situations.
The MD adapter registered all tested lenses’ names correctly in the EXIF data, even the third party lenses’ names. The TA did not do it for a single lens, not even for Sony original lenses, all of them were registered as (50mm f/1.4G). Besides the convenience of seeing which lens was used long after the pictures were taken, when the names are correct, the right correction profiles available in post processing software (e.g. LR) can be applied automatically and among other things the lens distortion and vignetting of the lenses can be corrected without you needing to do anything.
Well, the Techart adapter was the first ETZ adapter on the market and when it came out, it was a sensation, I bought it soon after the release. Unfortunately, it seems that there has not been much development since then except for some Firmware updates, which you normally don’t find any info about. There seems to be some version history, for each update but they are unreadable. They are supposed to be in Chinese but on my Windows computer the characters become unreadable and I cannot even copy/paste them to Google Translate to see what they say. That is a pity.
Megadap came long after Techart, and when it came out it was better than Techart in several points. Since then Megadap has seen two new versions and now it is in its third generation. Each generation has seen some improvements, and the info about the new firmware is clear and easy to find. It has become just better and better.
If you are going to use the adapter with only Sony lenses and only on fullframe cameras the Techart adapter may be an option. However, Megadap ETZ-21 PRO is the adapter with the most features and greatest lens compatibility, with support for both full-frame and APS-C cameras. The lists of supported features, the lenses, and camera bodies are the longest among all the AF E-to-Z adapters. Handling is also much easier and straightforward. Considering that both of these adapters are sold at the same price, this would be your best choice.
Fotodiox Pro Fusion Adapter Sony E mount to Nikon Z
This adapter, like the Techart adapter, is compatible with Nikon’s fullframe cameras only. Also similar to the Techart, upgrades are done via USB cable and dock. To be clear, it does not fit the APS-C versions of Nikon Z cameras (Z 30, Z 50, or Z fc). AF is disabled for some third-party lenses (Sigma, Tamron, Tokina). Switching between image and video can cause the camera to freeze. This adapter also costs $249, so I personally prefer to get the Megadap as firstly, it supports Nikon APS-C cameras too, and secondly, the Fotodiox does not support AF Sigma and Tamron lenses.
Meike Mount Adapter ETZ
This is the most affordable autofocus E to Z adapter at only $140. The Meike can be mounted on a Z 50 (APS-C) camera too. As I have not tested it, I can not say anything about it, neither positive nor negative. You can read some user feedback on Meike’s website.
Haoge Sony E to Nikon Z
There are a couple of manual Lens Mount adapters for Sony E Mount Lens to Nikon Z on the market, they have no electric contacts, so neither any AF, lens stabilization, or EXIF info is available when using them. Haoge is one that seems to be easiest to buy for $29. Two others are Pixco and Gable. I have not tested them and don’t know anything else about them.
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