Anamorphic Day-to-Day

Fotodiox Fusion ND Throttle Auto Adapter

October 2, 2016

I don’t think I’ve ever said the word “adapter” this many times! A quick overview on the Fotodiox ND Throttle Auto Adapter, my new solution for never forgetting NDs at home.


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Tito Ferradans here for an unusual review! You might remember times when I mentioned NDs aren’t my strong suit. I got a pretty good one from SLR Magic, but then I go out to shoot and forget to pack it or, even worse, I forget the required step rings. For that reason I’ve been looking for alternatives. Someone over on Instagram pointed towards the Vizelex ND Throttle EF to E-mount adapter. Recently I was contacted by Bohus Blahut, Fotodiox’s face on YouTube and he kindly sent me a bunch of gear in trade for one of my anamorphics. Among that gear was the Fusion ND Throttle EF to E-mount Auto Adapter and since then this thing has been attached to my camera replacing the Metabones.

The reason why I prefer smart adapters (with electronic contacts) is because they allow me to control electronic lenses. I had a decent Canon arsenal until recently and that was a must, not so much for auto-focus, but for aperture control. Also, I rent my gear and lots of people shoot with Canon lenses, so smart is a requirement.

The best thing about this adapter is the internal variable ND, no doubt. The Pro version has a slot for a 1/4″ screw as support. It even has a geared control ring and hard stops – from ND2 to ND400, 1 to 8.5 stops of light reduction. It’s another layer of control over your exposure, a very useful one , as it lets me hold onto 1/50th shutter speeds. Here are shot samples with and without the adapter so you can check how sharpness is affected. Download full resolution images here. I messed up on the 8th photo, a gust of wind shook the camera and I didn’t notice at the moment.

Sharpness is practically unaffected. I shot these tests with the Contax Zeiss 50mm at f/2. There’s a noticeable green cast, but that doesn’t worry me since it’s the kind of thing that can be easily fixed in post. The maximum setting has a strong blue cast and somewhat of a shape across the image, but that’s a very extreme case. Back down from it a tiny bit and you’re fine.

Having the ND inside the adapter – instead of filter form – frees me from forgetting the step rings! It’s an obvious choice for me when shooting during daylight with the A7s2. It retails for $250, much cheaper than Metabones’ Smart Adapter. Construction is solid, all parts are metal and it feels sturdy as a rock – or a Russian lens!

There are a few downsides, though. I don’t know if the weather is to blame – Vancouver’s been crazy lately, cold, warm, cold, warm – but I’ve had a little bit of grease pooling on the outside of the control ring. Nothing leaks inside, and it’s a very small amount, but it’s there.

The more concerning issue for me is that the electronic connectors make the camera go a little nuts with super-tight fit adapters. More specifically, I had this happening with my Leitax mounts. I think the metal lets current pass through and that gets misread by the camera. My M42s are all good though, as well as any of my other lenses and adapters (Rokinon, Canon and Pentax). The fix for the problem is really simple. I just unscrew the adapter from the camera a tiny bit, so the contacts don’t touch each other, and that’s it. Since the adapter-camera fit is very strong, there is no chance of it rotating and falling down. I had no issues with my Canon electronic lenses, and they all worked perfectly with the adapter for aperture control.

Even considering these issues, I am very happy with the adapter. It’s part of my go-to gear kit already and I thank Bohus for sending it my way. My quest for the best support gear continues. If you want more videos like this one, wait no longer and subscribe. If you’re here for anamorphics, worry not! I’m Tito Ferradans and we’ll come back to that next week!