Almost Full Frame: Fuji X Camera Lens Turbo Adapter (Ver II) from Mitakon

I very much like the form factor and UI of the Fuji X-mount cameras: they are very much the poor man's Leica.

A challenge is that wide lenses are hard to find, due to the 1.5X crop factor, since the Fuji cameras are not full-frame. The only full-frame mirrorless cameras to date are those from Sony ($$$) and Leica ($$$$$) which aren't an option for me. One could use LTM lenses such as the 15mm Voigtländer Super-Wide Heliar in LTM, but it too is rather expensive.

I've used some LTM lenses (Leica Elmar 90mm f/4 and a bunch of Russian lenses) on the Fuji XE-2, and these are fine - but still no wide-angle lens. To get say a 28mm equivalent would require an 18mm focal length. Fuji makes a very nice native X-mount 18mm lens, but it's quite expensive. All of the Fuji lenses are expensive, even the kit lens.

I discovered the Mitakon Camera Lens Turbo Adapter (Ver II) which is a 0.726X focal reducer. I've used reducers on telescopes; what these devices do is reduce the effective focal length of an attached lens, increasing the f-ratio in the process (since the focal length shortens, but the lens' physical front aperture does not change). Focal reducers are a great idea in theory, but they also decrease back focus. This means the focal reducers can only be used with SLR lenses (which have longer back focus than the X-mount). LTM lenses cannot be reduced (so no full-frame Leica lenses on a non-full frame camera).

A concern with focal reducers is that they may reduce image quality; after all, we are introducing another 2-3 lens elements between the original lens and the camera sensor. To test this theory, I took a known-good lens (the Canon 180mm f/3.5L Macro) and mounted it on both a Canon 6D full-frame camera, and the Fuji XE-2 with the Mitakon Camera Lens Turbo Adapter. And here are the results:

Here's the full-frame image with the Canon 6D and 180mm lens:

And here's the same scene with the Fuji XE-2 and Mitakon focal reducer (I literally just removed the Canon DSLR body and substituted the Fuji body, since the lens was mounted using its tripod foot to a tripod). Note the obvious vignetting in the corners, and the slightly smaller field of view. The Canon 180mm Macro with the 0.726X reduction and 1.5X APS-C crop factor is effectively a 196mm lens:

Here's the center of the Canon image (with the pants hanging out of the window). I took several shots with both auto-focus and manual focus using Live View, and this was the sharpest. The lens was wide-open and the shutter speed around 1/1000 second, with everything on a tripod.

and here's the same crop with the Fuji and Mitakon adapter. It actually looks sharper than the Canon image (and is slightly narrow in FOV). This is the same lens, although I manually focused using the Fuji's focus-peaking feature. I think the Canon image can be sharper if I had taken a RAW image. Fuji JPEG processing really does seem better than Canon's, and the X-Trans sensor probably also helps.

Here's the corner of the Canon image (top-left, but not the extreme corner):

and the same from the Fuji. Note it's a bit darker and the vignetting is obvious. Sharpness seems about the same as the Canon (note that the macro lens is wide-open, since you can't stop down the aperture on a Canon EF lens if it's not attached to an EOS body):

Long story short: at least on this sample of the Canon 180mm f/3.5L macro lens, the Mitakon focal reducer does not obviously reduce image quality, when used with a Fuji XE-2 body. I'm sure the Fuji's X-Trans sensor and JPEG processing has something to do with this. It's entirely possible that the Mitakon reduces image quality from the lens, but the Fuji's in-body processing compensates for this.

I'm not inclined to test the Canon 180mm lens "native" (with no reducer) on the Fuji body, since I don't intend to use any SLR lenses un-reduced on the Fuji body. Also, the Mitakon reducer adds a layer of protection over the Fuji sensor.

Here's the Canon lens on the Fuji body, it does look a bit ridiculous:

There's just one wrinkle with the Mitakon reducer: certain lenses don't work (they don't reach infinity with the adapter) due to projecting rear elements. Here are three Pentax screw-mount lenses that I have: the Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4, Super-Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4, and Super-Takumar 35mm f/3.5 - and only the middle lens reaches infinity with the Mitakon reducer in place. The 50mm f/1.4 and 35mm f/3.5 have projecting rear elements that strike the Mitakon's front element (bad..) when racked to infinity:

There's a more complete list (80+ lenses) by A. Hillyard (with a Google sheet) that enumerates both compatible and incompatible lenses.

In summary, the Mitakon Camera Lens Turbo Adapter (Ver II) looks like a good choice for "almost full frame" on Fuji X-mount cameras, so long as you are willing to live without autofocus. It is also generally quite inexpensive (US$ 150).

Getting Oracle Linux on Amazon EC2

Edit 08-Nov-2017:

As per Oracle's instructions - adding the GPG key is no longer neededthe bad news is - the procedure documented by Oracle throws a "Broken pipe" error, and the OS left in an unusable state (all Yum configuration disappears):

How to fix (basically just nohup the script).

Start with the CentOS 6 (x86_64) - with Updates HVM on the AWS Marketplace (provided by After logging in (as the centos user) run the following commands as root:

curl -O
nohup sh &

The script does some package updating that cuts the SSH connection to the EC2 instance, and when the connection gets cut, the script dies in the middle with a "Broken pipe" and leaves the OS in an unusable state. By using nohup we avoid the broken pipe issue.

After the conversion script completes, run the following:

yum distro-sync

Step 4 will no longer be required, and you can proceed to install the Oracle software prerequisites.

Old Information Below:

If you feel the need to roll your own Oracle Linux install on Amazon EC2 (since Oracle no longer provides an officially-supported AMI, and you may not be too keen on using one of the community AMI's):

(1) launch an EC2 image using the CentOS 6.5 AMI from the Marketplace (which is free..) then log in as root (not ec2-user)

(2) import the Oracle GPG key
cd /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/
curl -O

(3) use the Oracle specific rules to convert the CentOS 6 to OL from this documentSpecifically, run the following commands as root:
curl -O

(4) Synchronize the yum repository
yum -y upgrade

Once the command completes, the end-user should have a fully-patched Oracle Linux 6.7.

If you intend to install Oracle Database 11gR2, you can apply all the necessary packages and kernel parameters with this command:
yum install oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall -y

and if you will install Oracle Database 12c R1, use the following:
yum install oracle-rdbms-server-12cR1-preinstall -y

Canon EOS 6D + 35mm f/1.4L vs Fuji XE-2 + 23mm f/2


I've been a Canon EOS user for almost twenty years, except for a brief foray with the earlier Pentax DSLR's (K10D and K20D) about ten years ago. My favorite camera for the past few years has been the Canon 6D full-frame, with the spectacular 16-35mm f/4L IS ultrawide zoom.

The 6D and 16-35mm f/4L IS is a large chunk of optics and electronics, and while it's the perfect travel combo, I have always been on the lookout for smaller alternatives. I did have a Panasonic GF2 five years ago (with the 14mm f/2.8 prime) and that experience nearly destroyed my opinion of mirrorless cameras.

Recently I was able to obtain a Fujifilm XE-2 (which is a circa 2013 body, but had a significant firmware upgrade in 2016) and the 23mm f/2 prime lens (equivalent to 35mm on full-frame). After overcoming the sticker shock (the Fuji lenses are almost without exception priced similar to Canon L glass) I figured it would be interesting to compare the XE-2 and the 23mm prime with the Canon equivalent - 6D with the famous 35mm f/1.4L.

I used a tripod, base ISO (100 on the 6D, 200 on the XE-2) on a sunny day. This resulted in 1/4000 second shutter on the 6D. For some reason the XE-2 also wanted 1/4000 ISO at the same aperture levels, even with higher ISO. Here's the entire image (the central and corner areas are highlighted):

Center Performance - Canon

I compared the Canon 35mm f/1.4L at f/2 (one step down) and f/4 (three steps down) with the Fuji 23mm at f/2 (wide-open) and f/4 (two stops down). I also threw in the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS at 35mm and f/4 (wide-open).

Canon 35mm f/1.4L at f/2 - not very sharp, low contrast, and this is one stop down!

Canon 35mm f/1.4L at f/4 - sharper

Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS at 35mm f/4 (wide-open)

 A few takeaways:
  • the 35L is not sharp! no wonder the Sigma ART has soundly thrashed it
  • even the 16-35mm zoom is equal to or sharper then the 35L (at the same aperture)
  • it is possible that I have a bad copy of the 35L, since I bought it used
  • it's also possible that the 6D is mis-focusing with the 35L
  • seems the 35L's only value is for its bokeh wide-open, since the 16-35mm f/4L IS is equally sharp at f/4 and more versatile

Center Performance - Fuji

Fuji 23mm f/2 at f/2 (wide-open)

Fuji 23mm f/2 at f/4 (two stops down)
Maybe my eyes are fooling me, or it's that magic Fuji X-Trans sensor, but the 23mm f/2 even wide-open beats the Canon 35mm f/1.4Lstopped down to f/2, and in the center, where all lenses perform their best. Also, while the Fuji sharpens up at f/4 compared to f/2, there's not much difference (unlike the Canon, where the improvement going from f/2 and f/4 is quite obvious). I would even say that the Fuji 23mm f/2 beats the Canon ultra-wide zoom, which is a very modern design.

What about the corners?

Corner Performance - Canon

Canon 35mm f/1.4 at f/2 (one stop down) - corner

Canon 35mm f/1.4L at f/4 (three stops down) - corner

Canon 16-35mm at 35mm f/4 (wide open)

The Canon 35mm f/1.4L continues to underwhelm. The 16-35mm zoom continues to amaze.

Corner Performance - Fuji

Fuji 23mm f/2 at f/2 (wide open)

Fuji 23mm f/2 at f/4 (two stops down)
Again, Fuji performance is at par or better than the much larger Canon 6D and L lenses. Here closer to the corners however, the 23mm f/2 lens is visibly sharper at f/4 than wide-open. Overall, the Fuji has lower contrast in JPEG's than a Canon.


The Fuji XE-2 and 23mm f/2 prime is optically equal or better than (my copy of) the Canon 35mm f/1.4L (version 1) and Canon 6D at all equivalent apertures. And check out the size comparison:

The XE-2, even if it is quite a old body, is worlds away from the Panasonic GF2 in terms of usability. It turns on in half a second, has an excellent EVF (that is very usable even in the dark), and competently auto-focuses. The main LCD can be turned off with a function button to mimic DSLR behavior. The XE-2 does not AF as fast as the 6D but for most common photographic situations, it will do. The 6D focuses much faster and more effectively when it gets really dark, but in bright light the XE 2 and Canon 6D with the 35L (a ring USM lens) are effectively neck to neck.

An important caveat: all of these tests were done with JPEG, not RAW. And I used autofocus for both bodies; it's possible that the 6D was mis-focusing with the 35L, and manual focus with Live View would fix that. But nobody would use manual focus and Live View with the 35L in real life.

Furthermore, the Canon has automatic lens correction, and this was quite obvious with the 16-35mm f/4L IS, where rectilinear distortion was minimized. I believe the XE-2 also has some form of lens correction built in.

However, I think this use case (autofocus, JPEG) is a very common one for travelers and other casual users.

I must rent the 10-24mm Fuji ultrawide! if its performance matches the Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS, then that lens with the XE-2 would make the perfect travel kit.

If there's any disappointment with the XE-2, it would be
  • it doesn't turn on instantly like any DSLR does
  • the 23mm f/2 lens is huge (larger than a Canon 50mm f/1.8) - this is not a Summicron