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Metabones adds autofocus to Canon-NEX adapter

By dpreview staff on Nov 13, 2012 at 17:51 GMT

Metabones has updated its EF to NEX Smart Adapter II, allowing recent Canon lenses to autofocus on Sony E-mount cameras. As with most systems that attempt to use DSLR lenses on contrast-detection-based AF cameras, the focus speed is considerably lower than when used on their native cameras. However, despite not being able to use the hybrid-AF system from the NEX-5R or 6, Metabones claims performance is often better than Sony DSLR lenses being used with the original LA-EA1 adapter. The adapter costs $399, with existing Smart Adapter II owners able to upgrade for $50.


Press Release:

Metabones adds autofocus to Smart Adapter

Vancouver, Canada, November 7, 2012 - Metabones adds autofocus support for select Canon lenses to its Smart Adapter II (for mounting EF and EF-S mount lenses on Sony NEX cameras).

To ensure the best possible accuracy, autofocus is enabled only for late-model Canon-brand lenses (introduced circa 2006 or later). 

Significant effort has been put into focus accuracy research and we conclude that only lenses capable of the most precise control in their autofocus mechanisms could reliably deliver pixel-accurate results when adapted to Sony NEX cameras. Autofocus is disabled for most older Canon lenses and most third-party lenses, but aperture control, image stabilization (if applicable), EXIF and other features will continue to work just like before.

 Autofocus speed is significantly slower than on a DSLR camera. Phase detection feature of NEX-5R/6 is not used at this time. As a result, autofocus speed of a Canon EF/EF-S lens on Sony NEX is usually slower than on the new Canon EOS M. Compared with Sony's own A-mount lens adapters, Metabones Smart Adapter II is faster than LA-EA1 but slower than the translucent-mirror-equipped LA-EA2.

Smart Adapter II with autofocus support is available right now at the same price (US$399+applicable tax/duty) from Metabones' distributors in many countries all over the world and the Metabones online shop. Existing Smart Adapter II customers may send their units back for an upgrade for a nominal shipping/handling charge of $50.

Comments

Total comments: 63
stevestevefarley
By stevestevefarley (Jan 17, 2013)

I received my Nex to Canon adapter 11 yesterday for use on my Sony VG20 and can confirm it works faultlessly. Autofocus works fast and just fine.

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Nov 19, 2012)

Were is the full frame version for the NEX-VG900 ?
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8343/8194434390_dcb0dbdbea_k.jpg

0 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Nov 15, 2012)

Well, wager the aperture control and IS, EXIF data interchange pretty useful. I am not keen on the AF though , Wonder if and how those CDAF optimized STM lens Canon just bring out would fare ?

0 upvotes
nofumble
By nofumble (Nov 15, 2012)

is a Rebel body lighter and cheaper than this contraption?

2 upvotes
donmcmahan
By donmcmahan (Nov 14, 2012)

they are missing a good bet if they don't market this heavily to videographers using the NEX-VG series of video cameras

0 upvotes
tinternaut
By tinternaut (Nov 14, 2012)

It's not cheap but it gets my thumbs up for being clever. But does it AF with Canon's L glass (thinking top notch glass + APS-C sensor heaven)?

0 upvotes
stevestevefarley
By stevestevefarley (Jan 17, 2013)

Yes it does, with 100 - 400, 70 - 200, 300 fixed 100mm macro

0 upvotes
rjjr
By rjjr (Nov 14, 2012)

This is very interesting. More options for my L lenses.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
AndyHWC
By AndyHWC (Nov 14, 2012)

yeah, me too wish Metabones to produce similar adapter for NIkon/NEX.

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Nov 14, 2012)

this is SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 upvote
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (Nov 14, 2012)

To G. Davidson,
I contacted Metabones a few months back about a similar adapter for Nikon lenses since I have a respectable inventory of them. Metabones responded with a categorical NO. It may be something about the Nikon architecture that mitigates against it. Whatever the reason, they do not plan to do so. Photodiox makes a neat adapter that has an aperture ring on it for late model Nikon lenses to MFT bodies, so even if it is manual focus, you can still control the aperture on the lens. I have one and it works very well. It is their Fotodiox NIK(F)G-m4/3 model. You should see my Nikon mount Sigma 50-500 attached to the OM-D, or should I say OM-D attached to the Bigma. It works, though.

0 upvotes
Itai42
By Itai42 (Nov 14, 2012)

I think I heard somewhere that there are similarities between the mounts and therefore designing an adapter is much easier then compared to engineering an adapter for Nikon mount.

There's also an issue of back-focus distance that may be problematic when creating an adapter for Nikon lenses on a canon mount (but allows for easy albeit autofocusless adapters in the other direction). I believe though that in the case of Nikon to NEX system there's no such problem. Not really sure of the details though

0 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Nov 15, 2012)

Thank you very much for asking, Jim, much appreciated!

It's a great shame it won't be possible, but it's been known for some time that the Canon mount is more friendly to adaptation, mounting Nikon or Leica R mount lenses on it for example.

I do have a G-mount compatible adapter for M4/3 but may look into the one you suggest, as my Kiron one lacks exact aperture control, just having a vague slider. Still, MF is not very easy on these cameras without focus-peaking, so maybe if they add that it will be more usable.

I suppose the answer will be Nikon's inevitable DX mirrorless, with their excellent on sensor PD-AF technology, whenever that emerges. For me the M4/3 crop is interesting, but the V1's CX crop is pretty much overkill.

0 upvotes
masud37
By masud37 (Nov 14, 2012)

New dimension of Digital camera!!!

1 upvote
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Nov 13, 2012)

Excellent news and points to a future where we can use any lens we want on a camera with AF. Now I want one for Nikon Lenses on M4/3, it must be possible.

1 upvote
Cane
By Cane (Nov 13, 2012)

This comment section is like an old man returning soup at a deli.

7 upvotes
SHood
By SHood (Nov 13, 2012)

They say it will be slower then EOS-M. nough said.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Nov 13, 2012)

The EOS M is slow with its 22mm lens, but its Hybrid AF system means it may be able to focus DSLR lenses faster than a solely contrast-detection camera (eg most mirrorless cameras). The testing I've read suggests it does.

Almost every attempt to CDAF a DSLR lens designed for PDAF is slow. The EOS M may be faster than most, while still being disappointing by CDAF body/CDAF lens standards.

3 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Nov 13, 2012)

Richard have you guys at dpreview heard anything about EOS to m43 adapter with AF??? I would love to use my L lenses on my OM-D

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Nov 14, 2012)

I think it's fair to say that the EOS-M focuses slower than a fairly skilled photographer.

2 upvotes
zapatista
By zapatista (Nov 14, 2012)

EOS M with the adapter and the 40mm pancake is a little faster than the 22mm. Both are slower than m43 newer bodies with the 20mm (G3 & EM-5)...I do not have the 18-55 kit to test on the EOS M.

0 upvotes
rrccad
By rrccad (Nov 14, 2012)

18-55mm EF-M is much faster from all reports.
canon when the 40mm STM came out stated that the AF motors on the pancakes were made for size, not speed - and that AF would be slower than with the larger lenses.

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Nov 14, 2012)

What?! The 18-55 is already faster than the 22mm?! I tried the 18-55 in the store, it was ultra slow
Don't even bring in M43, M43 cameras WILL lock focus before the EOS-M start AFing.

0 upvotes
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (Nov 13, 2012)

2006+??

That excludes all of the Canon 50mm Primes except the 50L...excludes the excellent 85/1.8 USM, the 100/2 USM, the 28/1.8 USM, the 135L, the 200L, the 60/2.8 EF-s USM...

Basically, just a bunch of modern superzooms and mega-expensive lenses can be used...Who wants this thing?

3 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Nov 13, 2012)

The Chinese ones on ebay include all the other 50s. For example, scroll down to see the list here http://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-EOS-EF-EF-S-lens-to-Sony-NEX-E-adapter-AF-AUTOFOCUS-IS-APERTURE-NEX7-FS700-/360509211176?pt=US_Lens_Adapters_Mounts_Tubes&hash=item53f0060228

3 upvotes
KAMSA
By KAMSA (Nov 13, 2012)

There is no! ergonomics! looks like a flag on a mud barge

reg.

0 upvotes
digifan
By digifan (Nov 14, 2012)

Overduidelijk nederlands, die amerikanen en engelsen kennen dat gezegde niet hoor.
But you are quite right!

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Nov 14, 2012)

Gepolijste drol zou de moderne 'mericaan zeggen, maar dat klopt dan ook weer niet helemaal. Want geen van beide is echt een drol, alleen de combinatie is een beetje vreemd. Maar dat is niet erg want de gene die dit gaat gebruiken heeft toch gewoon nog zijn of haar EOS als hoofdsysteem.

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Nov 13, 2012)

One adapter..

..and current NEX + Canon dSLR users have no need for EOS M. And believe me, theres plenty of these guys. :)

1 upvote
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Nov 13, 2012)

I was about to become a Canon/Sony NEX user when I got my NEX-6 last week. But it was truly a maddening experience, the menu system while cute, is extremely badly designed. If they have paid half as much effort into menu design as they have paid for the graphics, it would have been much better. Hell, just copy the menu system on the RX-100 and it would have been great.

And don't get me started on the stupid app system, I have no idea why someone would design such a cumbersome system.

The camera is going back to the mail order outfit I got it from, I guess I'm back to waiting for the release of EOS 6 or something that is better than EOS M.

Simple camera performance of NEX-6 is great, but all the little annoying things added up was too much...

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Nov 13, 2012)

Even tho NEX-5N and NEX-7 menu system isnt much better, I found it quite ok to use. If you can live that you just set up camera once and never look back. But its not for everyone I guess.

1 upvote
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Nov 13, 2012)

Well, Sony's RX-100 menu was quite easy to live with, for some reason their NEX is a whole different story. All the functions are grouped really weirdly. Ah well...

1 upvote
wansai
By wansai (Nov 14, 2012)

once u have the nex setup and customise the buttons, it's pretty easy to use with minimal need to go into the menu system. It isn't the best menu system but still light years ahead of Olympus.

The Nex 7 is by far the better experience. Just a 30 minute setup and configuration and you never have to go into the menus. Never. Even the default button setup was good enough to shoot full manual right out the box. My EM-5 was terrible out the box and it took a lot of reading, searching and going to these forums for help before I could set it up so I could shoot manual properly.

2 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Nov 14, 2012)

@zycamaniac

even with my old NEX-5, I didn't have to dive in the menus and I was limited to 3 quick access customizable functions, now with the new NEX-6, I don't understand why do you have to use the menus.

0 upvotes
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Nov 14, 2012)

Yeah, how about exposure bracketing? I'm not saying Sony is generally bad or something, as I said, RX100 is quite acceptable.

I just feel really puzzled why Sony should make RX100 work quite logically, while NEX-6's system is totally whacked with 75% of every category's menu options stuffed into the system menu. The pretty icons and stuff simply isn't helping.

Talking about worst UI, old olympus setup seems to be alright, but the far worse I've ever seen is old Kodak cameras. It is about as easy to read as extraterrestrial pictograph language.

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Nov 13, 2012)

One reason I would never buy such a small camera : you are holding the lens and not the tiny camera !
It looks like a sheet of paper holding a metal tube.

0 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Nov 13, 2012)

If you're one-handing a 70-200 2.8... you're doing it wrong.

0 upvotes
Mike Sandman
By Mike Sandman (Nov 13, 2012)

If you think it looks ridiculous to mount a large lens on a small body, well, it's the appearance of the image that's important, not the appearance of the device that's producing it.

The adapter & a big lens are not something to stick in your coat pocket all the time, but it will be useful, especially for those who have full frame Canons and sometimes want the 1.5x focal length multiplier you get with an APS-C sensor.

If the price seems high, consider the cost of a Canon L-grade lens, or Zeiss lens for the NEX.

Of course you could use Canon EF and Ef-S lenses on a Canon M, but that too requires buying an adapter. And unfortunately the Canon M is designed as an upgrade for point & shoot camera, not as a small-package alternative for full-featured DSLRs.

-------

Mike Sandman

2 upvotes
KAMSA
By KAMSA (Nov 13, 2012)

+1

reg.

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Nov 13, 2012)

I don't think the idea is to put any of the Canon telescopes on it. I think there are plenty of smaller lenses that you don't need to hold the lens.

1 upvote
psn
By psn (Nov 14, 2012)

Uh, if you're not holding the lens, you're holding it wrong. Maybe this will help improve your shooting technique?

0 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (Nov 14, 2012)

these big lenses look just as ridiculous on a full sized dslr. It's truly splitting hairs to say it looks more "balanced" in any way, shape or form using a DSLR. It doesn't. It is still ridiculously proportioned.

Anyway, you should be propping the lense on your hand not one-hand shooting glass that large, no matter what body you have.

0 upvotes
kucink132
By kucink132 (Nov 14, 2012)

sony nex's short flange distance shouild benefit normal-wide angle lenses design, not telephoto. if you want to keep package compact, other than using nex's original lenses, use leica M/M39 lenses instead. Those lenses also designed for short flange distance too.

0 upvotes
cseiler
By cseiler (Nov 13, 2012)

$399 ????!!! Whouahahahahahahahhhhhhaaaaahahah...

What do they do? Cut the mount out of Rebel bodies?

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Nov 13, 2012)

How about: Spent last 2 years trying ti figure out communication protocols used by EOS lenses and writing a low-level software necessary to translate instructions from it to something NEX could understand?

10 upvotes
cseiler
By cseiler (Nov 13, 2012)

I really don't get why someone would get it for this price. You can buy a Rebel T3 for $380, and you will be able to hold the lens with the camera.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Nov 13, 2012)

Many reasons, a few examples:
- because they rather carry one body and they already have the NEX
- because the Canon doesn't do 1080P60
- becauase the Canon doesn't offer focus peaking in the original firmware
- because the Canon doesn't offer nearly as much usable DR

4 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Nov 13, 2012)

Because some might want Rebel T3 capabilities with the option of not necessary lugging DSLR bulk around? Is that really so hard to understand?

I enjoy my NEX on my 600f4. Obviously I'm a retard.

4 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Nov 13, 2012)

it is less than $300 for chinese adapters that have been selling on ebay for a while already with AF. Old news

0 upvotes
zycamaniac
By zycamaniac (Nov 13, 2012)

It's actually not that expensive to pay someone to crack the I2C communication between the lens/camera

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Nov 14, 2012)

The patent expired on the EF mount earlier this year, so why is is so hard now to decipher it? Or is that a separate issue?

0 upvotes
sproketholes
By sproketholes (Nov 13, 2012)

Why the Hell would anyone want to use Canon EF glass anyway?

2 upvotes
kelpdiver
By kelpdiver (Nov 13, 2012)

lousy Sony options. Or you already have Canon lenses. In my case, quite a few. I've looked at the Nex as a possible next gen underwater camera system, but the thought that Sony will abandon yet another product line gives me pause. There are not many E mount lenses to pick from. Having an adapter option may help the call as I wait to see what the second canon M model is like.

1 upvote
StephenSPhotog
By StephenSPhotog (Nov 13, 2012)

Because it is awesome?

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
kucink132
By kucink132 (Nov 14, 2012)

leica M lenses is NEX's best friend :)

4 upvotes
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (Nov 13, 2012)

Very clever - so others are making it easy to leave Canon and I though that Canon had that covered already since they seem bent on bringing out expensive and naff products... I'm a very unhappy Canon Fanboy...

3 upvotes
Steven-T
By Steven-T (Nov 13, 2012)

Count me in. I haven't spent money on Canon gears for 3 years, and parring down my L collections.
Will get a EOS-NEX smart adapter soon. The Metabones also features an Arca-Swiss quick release tripod mount. Nice.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Nov 14, 2012)

Yeah those Canon 1D X and 5D III users are feeling like crap these days knowing they could instead just fit a converter on a NEX.

I was amazed at the quality of NEX images coming from the major sporting like the Olympics events this year and not to forget the award winning wildlife images I always see taken with the NEX.

3 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Nov 13, 2012)

The Chinese ones on ebay have been selling for $298, a $100 cheaper FYI. Just search for EOS AF Adapter on ebay, there are several types.

My question is when are they going to make one for m43? is there less market for m43??? I'd buy one for $200 to AF my L lenses on my OM-D.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Nov 13, 2012)

Wow! Now this is a big deal if everything they say is true.

4 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Nov 13, 2012)

Old news, Chinese copies have been selling on ebay for a while

1 upvote
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (Nov 13, 2012)

I believe it is. Conurus had been trying to make the AF work efficiently for some time, but was having some issues (mostly with the size of the circuits and manufacturing). The Metabones partnership was supposed to help with reducing the size of the chips required to make it possible (Conurus is just a one person operation) and the mass manufacturing. He successfully made the Contax N system work with the EOS AF quite some time ago, so this isn't a surprise that it's finally announced.

0 upvotes
Kinematic Digit
By Kinematic Digit (Nov 13, 2012)

This is awesome news! Conurus has been a great partnership for Metabones. Now I'd like to see the FujiFilm X-Pro1 have this. I know there was a company called adapterworks working on one (for launch of last month) but still no announcement of it.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Total comments: 63