Megadap ETZ21 Sony E to Nikon Z Adapter Review: Nearly Seamless
The $250 Megadap ETZ21 Sony E to Nikon Z mount adapter allows Sony lenses to work on Nikon mirrorless cameras with full autofocus, aperture control, and in-body image stabilization in a design that is remarkably thin.
While lens adapters have become quite common, quality adapters that allow one company’s lenses to be used on another’s camera body’s with full electronic support and autofocus are rare. Most of the time, they only allow a lens to be used in manual focus mode.
The new ETZ21 adapter from Megadap fixes that problem for users looking to mount their Sony lenses onto Nikon Z mirrorless systems. According to the company, the ETZ21 adapter not only supports Sony E glass, but can also work with third-party E-mount lenses from Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, Voigtlander, and Samyang. Admittedly, I was not expecting much from this adapter, but I was pleasantly surprised with just how functional it actually is despite a few design frustrations.
For the review, our friends at Lensrentals sent me over a Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens lens to try adapted to my Nikon camera.
Design and Build Quality
The first thing that struck me about this adapter was just how small and discreet it is when compared to other (and older) adapters like the Nikon FTZ or just about any of the Metabones adapter. The ETZ21 is just two millimeters thin, making it practically invisible to anyone not paying specific attention and looking for it. It is so tiny that to initiate firmware updates, you have to use a “clamp to pin” system to connect it to a computer, and the front and rear mount covers take up more space than the adapter itself.
The ETZ21, the company’s second-generation adapter, boasts better sealing on the circuit board, an improved stainless steel bayonet, and an entirely new chip with rewritten program specific for Nikon mirrorless protocols that even supports VR/IS from the Sony lenses.
Comparing the adapter I had to test to the previous generation images available online, the construction appears improved. According to the company, this new version will also allow support for APS-C Z cameras like the Z30, Z50, and Z fc.
The design improvements, however, do not make the adapter any easier to attach or dislodge from a camera body. Attaching and removing it from a lens is rather straightforward and easy to do, but removing just the Sony lens can get a bit frustrating, as the switch for disconnecting the lens is awkwardly positioned basically on top of the FN2 button, buried in such a way that it is actually quite difficult to get to while you’re moving.
It was actually much easier to simply remove the entire system (adapter and lens) and then remove the adapter and remount on a new lens. Realistically, the process I’d recommend is to remove the lens and adapter together (from the camera), then remove the adapter from the lens and place it on a new lens before re-mounting back on the Nikon Z system.
I suspect this is the trade-off: for having such a small adapter, you shave off some of the ease of use. While it was initially a bit frustrating, it really is a small price to pay for being able to successfully use the autofocus with Sony lenses on a Nikon Z system.
It is worth noting that the ETZ21 adapter is not weather sealed. It is designed well enough that I feel comfortable using it in most situations up through light fog or rain, but in more extreme situations I’d be very cautious or would be sure to wrap the camera in an enclosure or plastic wrap to ensure that nothing (dust or water) gets into the camera. That said, Sony lenses have an undisclosed amount of weather sealing that I probably wouldn’t subject to harsh climates above fog or mist anyway.
Aside from what feels like a weird and somewhat janky clip to update firmware, the performance of the ETZ21 adapter was actually quite impressive. Testing on my Z6 and Z6 II using the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens from Lensrentals resulted in pretty impressive performance.
The autofocus was about the same speed and accuracy as what I have come to expect from the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens. The adapted Sony lens was a little bit slower, but it really did work. Not just that, but the VR and IBIS worked as well. Enabling the VR or OSS would disable the IBIS menu option of the Nikon Z camera (conversely disabling the VR/OSS on the lens would enable the menu item) allowing you full control over the lens’s features and autofocus. The improved performance over the first generation adapter even supports interval timer shooting, timelapse, focus shifting, and it even records accurate EXIF data to the RAW files which even the FTZ adapter from Nikon sometimes (often) doesn’t provide.
I used the lens and adapter for an event in Hollywood as well as on a few walks around my neighborhood with my dog, and the entire time I was totally impressed with the accuracy of the autofocus. For still shooting, the accuracy — including eye AF for humans and pets — was on point.
Tracking was accurate and focus was locking at an acceptable speed without any hiccups. I did notice that there was some significant vignetting in the corners when shooting the adapted Sony lenses at 24mm, almost as though the very last few pixels in each corner were getting cut off. Like my other complaints, this is a very minor issue if it is an adapter problem, and once you apply the official Sony Lens Profile in whatever RAW processing engine you’re using (Lightroom or Capture One), those corners are flattened and the issue disappears.
The only thing that did have me a little frustrated was shooting video. The autofocus still worked, but outside of absolutely perfect lighting conditions, it seemed to aggressively seek and lose its positioning with just the slightest adjustment or movement. Having autofocus is great, but like in most cases with video, unless you’re doing vlogger-type content, it’s always best to use manual focusing to get things done right and that is especially the case here.
Below are some sample photos I took with the adapter:
The Megadap ETZ21 Just Works
Here’s the thing: I’ve used a lot of adapters over the years, and while pretty much all of them work in the sense you can take Lens A and mount it to Camera System B, almost none of them had support for Autofocus (let alone VR/IS and Aperture controls), and those that did barely worked as many of the adapters had multiple lenses they simply didn’t support.
By contrast, using the Megadap ETZ21 surprised me with how smooth and effective it is.
The adapter is barely noticeable and it just works. The autofocus when shooting stills was accurate, the controls were smooth and seamless, and I honestly never had any real “seeking” issues with the system outside of video modes.
The only thing I did notice was the autofocus was a little bit slow, but that’s a small price to pay for a system that otherwise works exactly as advertised. If you have multiple Sony and Nikon systems, or are transitioning from Sony to Nikon, the adapter is definitely worth investing in even as it is, and that is before Megadap makes improvements via firmware updates down the line.
Are There Alternatives?
There are several adapter alternatives available for various lenses to mount to a Nikon Z system but most do not provide autofocus solutions. Some of these include the 7Artistans option, one from Fotodiox, or the Techart TZE-02. The good news is most of these adapters are within a comfortable price range starting from as low as $30 and going up to $400 depending on the mount type conversion and if they support autofocus.
It is worth noting that it’s hard to find a combination of small and performant together like exists in the $250 Megadap ETZ21.
Should You Buy It?
Yes. If you have a studio that runs both Sony and Nikon systems or are considering moving from Sony to Nikon Mirrorless and want to save some money while you sell or trade your gear and transition over, the Megadap ETZ21 adapter is worth picking up.