Laowa Magic Format Converter For Astrophotography on GFX100

With the Milkyway core now setting before Sunrise in Florida another season of Milkyway photography is coming to a close for me and my friends. It was not an easy year to get out and shoot with COVID-19 and lots of cloud cover, but I did manage to test some equipment for pushing the GFX100 further doing Astrophotography.

Laowa’s Magic Format Converter has always interested me for creating faster/wider glass combinations on the GFX for astrophotography. Below you can see some brick wall test shots, which show that the adapter isn’t perfect (which made it difficult to square off and center), but it is significantly better with the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D than the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC. I decided to test Nikon mount lenses due to my partnership with Nikonrumors and I would like to test more Nikon glass in the future on the GFX so let me know if you have any suggestions, but cloud cover has become an issue for us in FL so I will probably only be able to test a few lenses a year.

The MFC is a unique tool that expands the image circle of full-frame glass for Nikon or Canon mount lenses by magnifying the image circle by 1.4x to eliminate or reduce vignetting, but you will lose one stop of light in the process. So the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D performs like the Laowa 17mm f/4 Zero-D, but a more unique result is the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC, which is like a 34mm f/2, which would be great, but there is some heavy vignetting that can be corrected easily at low ISO but correction becomes more difficult at or above ISO 3200 due to noise.

I did not have any issues with infinity focus and it was very easy to get pinpoint stars with this combination. Surprisingly the distortion didn’t really show up when I was shooting astrophotography, so I was able to jump straight into editing to make the Milkyway pop. Out of the two lenses I tested, my favorite combination was the Laowa Magic Format Converter paired with the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D, but unless you use a Nikon F mount camera regularly the Laowa 17mm f/4 Zero-D might be a better investment since it is designed for the GFX and works great.

On the other hand, the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC provides a unique fast wide lens for the GFX, but the vignetting is an issue for astrophotography. A Photographer could find applications for this combination, but there are a few fast wide lenses out there that might pair better with the Laowa Magic Format Converter. I will likely try to test some similar lenses to the 24mm f/1.4 in the future with the Magic Format Converter.

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Name Magic Format Converter (MFC)
Lens Structure 5 elements in 4 groups
Focal Length Multiplier Increase by 1.4x
Aperture Impact Reduce by 1-stop
Focus Mode / Aperture Control Manual
Dimensions 69.6 x 44.1mm
Weight about 360g
Mounts Canon EF to Fujifilm GFX / Nikon F/G to Fujifilm GFX
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