Lens adapters are used to attach converter lenses, filters and other accessories such as close-up lenses to a digital camera. The adapter attaches to the front of a camera and fits over the lens mechanism, providing protection as the lens extends during camera operation.
Adapters generally do not interfere when zooming the lens, however some must to be removed to avoid blocking the built-in camera flash. They can be grasped while taking photos to help steady the camera and minimize camera shake.
Lens adapters are made of lightweight aluminum alloy or plastic. Some are threaded so they can be screwed onto the camera. Others have a bayonet mounting.
Lens adapters are often used with step-up and step-down rings so accessories and filters of other sizes can be attached to the camera. Accessories of a specific size can be used that are a different size from the diameter of the lens.
A lens adapter should be designed specifically for your brand digital camera. Make sure it does not cause vignetting at all focal lengths.
Read your camera manual for instructions about how to correctly mount and dismount the adapter. The manual provides information as to whether or not the adapter can be left on the camera at all times. If you plan to keep the lens adapter attached to your camera, make sure there is sufficient room in your camera bag so it fits properly.
Name brand as well as third party lens adapters can be purchased online from manufacturers. They can also be bought from retailers carrying the specific camera brand, but it’s wise to call ahead to see if the adapter you want is in stock.