Fool Your Camera with the Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Smart Adapter
The Sony FS100 has been very popular for those wanting to own a large sensor video camera, but can’t afford the Sony F3 (plenty of you who read this site). Obviously the FS100 has its issues – like any other camera – but one of the major problems for lots of folks that upgraded from DSLRs is being able to properly use their EOS EF mount lenses on their shiny new Sony camera. If you’re one of those people, then Metabones has a product that just might solve your problems.
These are the main features of the Metabones adapter, from their website:
- True electronic integration of aperture diaphragm – let camera automatically choose aperture in P or S exposure modes, or dial in yourself on the camera body in A or M modes.
- Powered by camera body. No external power source required.
- Wide open button (opposite of depth-of-field preview function) makes manual focusing easy.
- Image Stabilization
- Electronic manual focusing
- EXIF data (focal length, aperture, lens ID)
If this is something you’ve been looking for, it seems like a well-designed and capable adapter. These smart adapters have been gaining in popularity as people keep their still lenses, but upgrade camera bodies. Since Canon stopped making lenses with a manual iris a long time ago, the majority of newer DSLR owners only have that type of lens. Until recently, the only option for NEX cameras was to use dumb adapters with an iris lever, which allow you to open and close the iris manually, but don’t actually talk to the camera in any way. With the majority of those adapters, actually knowing what f-stop your lens is set at can be a major issue, and you’re also stuck shooting in manual mode.
Now with these smart adapters, those issue are non-existent. The camera should automatically recognize that a lens is attached, and in this case, will think that you’ve got a Sony E-mount lens on the camera. On a set, this makes everyone’s lives that much easier, because you can set the iris from the camera body. You won’t have to guess about anything, and the lens will retain all of its original functions, with the exception of auto-focus. With a little bit of fiddling, the adapter also gives you Image Stabilization, which is extremely useful if you’re doing handheld work.
At $400, it is quite expensive compared to dumb adapters, but if you are going to be using the FS100 in a professional setting with Canon lenses, it’s a necessity. MTF Services and Birger Engineering are working on their own smart adapters, but if and when they do finally release them, it’s likely they will be more expensive (but possibly have more features). If you own a Sony NEX-7 or NEX-5N, the price of this adapter might be a deal-breaker, since the Metabones adapter is either one-third or two-thirds the price of the camera body alone. With the exception of the wonky image stabilization, the Metabones adapter is in a league of its own compared to the other options out there, and I know for many FS100 owners, they’ve been salivating for a product like this. In addition to NEX, Metabones also makes adapters for Micro 4/3, Leica M, and Leica S camera systems.
Is anyone with an FS100 (or any other NEX camera) thinking of buying this adapter?