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Metabones Gets Some Competition from Cheaper Canon EF to Sony NEX Smart Lens Adapter

If you’re new to the Sony NEX lens mount but you’ve been a Canon user in the past, there’s a good chance you’ve still got some Canon lenses sitting in your bag. To actually get those lenses on a Sony NEX camera (like the FS100 or FS700) and control them right from the camera, you’ll need a smart adapter like the Metabones EF to NEX. While it’s one of the more popular smart adapters for the NEX mount, at $400 it’s going to cost you. There is a challenger coming to town being sold by R.J. Camera — and at a lower price — with claims of similar performance and full control of your Canon lenses. CheesyCam was able to get a look at one of these new adapters and actually test it out.

Here is a brief rundown of the adapter:

  • Real-time electronic control of aperture
  • Draws power directly through the NEX body
  • Enable Image Stabilization functions on Canon EF lenses
  • Real EXIF data recorded in memory

The adapter does have one quirk as was mentioned in the post:

When removing the lens while the camera was still powered on, the aperture controls didn’t come back. The adapter does not like hot lens swaps. Simply powering the camera down doesn’t always help, but removing the entire adapter from the camera body and then starting over always works. There is another Metabones adapter out there that can adapt EF lenses to NEX cameras, but it’s about twice the price. I have not had the chance to test this on an FS100 or Sony FS700, but i’m hopeful it should work seamlessly.

This definitely looks like a worthy alternative to the Metabones adapter, and it’s also cheaper. Though it doesn’t have autofocus capabilities, if you’re shooting video, that’s going to be a secondary feature anyway. Image Stabilization is extremely helpful, especially if you’ve got longer lenses and you’re doing handheld work. I’ve always preferred having an IS lens on a Canon camera if I’m doing handheld for any lengthy period of time, and while the differences aren’t huge at smaller focal lengths, it can still make a difference.

The adapter will run you $250 on eBay, or $240 directly from the RJ site (though I’m not positive if that includes free shipping or not), so you’re definitely saving a few bucks from the $400 Metabones adapter. If anyone does get this adapter, it would be great if you could come back here and post your experience using it on one of the Sony NEX cameras.

What do you guys think? Do you own the Metabones adapter? If so, are you happy with it, and do you think this one looks like a good alternative?


[via CheesyCam]


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Description image 19 COMMENTS

  • Kewl! There is one with af already!

  • I should say I still love the cheesycam website, and I think em does great reviews, however, I just wanted to take a moment to lament how these websites that start for the pure interest of it all get inevitably corrupted over time. Cheesycam proclaims in its masthead that it’s for “DIY Video and Photography Projects” but it is now more or less a review and sales site for inexpensive knockoff products from Asia. It has its own business now, apparently, called “Photography and Cinema” (and maybe “Kamerar” or other variants, it’s unclear) and it’s a legit business and the products and values are in fact good. However, for the announcement of one of their recent products I posted on cheesycam a DIY way of spending only $3 rather than the $30 being asked for, and…surprise surprise, em censored it. =(

    I know this blogging thing gets boring and tedious and there needs to be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And like I said I do value the site as it is and I respect the business that it’s become. But censoring a comment that is in the spirit of what made the site what it is, even if it undermines the business a touch, is sad. Try to keep this in mind for NFS and all your other efforts please.

    (As a footnote, someone else posted the same DIY workaround for a later production run of the product, and that later time em allowed it but criticized it as not as good as the product.)

    • I see know issues with Emm censoring what others post – especially if it could possibly take away revenue from his business. Ultimately, it’s his website and you always have the option to not support it.

    • We never censor comments because of outgoing links — only because of spam, trolling, hate speech, or general whackness. We highly value workarounds/alternatives posted by the community and the next site should improve these possibilities significantly!

      • Ryan I think your site is exemplary in every way. Especially as an example of how forum moderation should be done. According to the typical forum moderator type this forum should have collapsed long ago and been locked down. But you are demonstrating how less moderation is more. Thank you.

        Anyway, my last word on the above is that in some cultures censorship is not only normal, it’s practiced zealously and continuously by the gov’t itself. But in American culture, especially Internet culture, “censorship is interpreted as damage and routed around.” By censoring something without good faith cause, the censor puts energy into the issue rather than defusing it. Transparency and openness are the things our culture can be most proud of, and the way we got where we are.

  • trackofalljades on 10.25.12 @ 1:09PM

    So how much does having all that kit between the lens and ultimately the sensor inside the Sony body effect crop factor / effective focal length? It looks like an awful lot of distance, but I don’t know exactly how the guts of an actual Canon EF camera compare to a Sony…

    • The Canon EF mount has a lot of distance between the lens and the sensor because of the physical shutter on Canon cameras. The NEX cameras don’t have physical shutters, so they can attach lenses super close to the sensor…that means to get EF lenses the right distance from the sensor, the adapter is going to be rather big.

      The adapter won’t muck anything up. All you have to worry about is how big the NEX sensor is compared to the EF sensor you’re used to using a particular lens with.

      • JkMorganChase on 10.25.12 @ 4:52PM

        Great info Gabe appreciate it, but this looks like it may be okay and a decent solution. My question to you or any members here, Can anyone tell me how effiecient , how good, or is the Metabone a good reliable product and solution with the FS100. Does anyone have any personal experience with using metabone Canon adapter with FS100. Also is the uncompressed from FS100 4,2,0 OR 422 , appreciate any community info

        • I haven’t used the adapter myself, I’ve read varying reviews about how good it is. My experience with other adapters is that it’s certainly possible for a less expensive product to out perform a more expensive one…so it’s definitely worth comparing them on their performance not their price.

          I do know that the FS100 outputs 4:2:2 from its HDMI.

      • Just when I thought people are not as dumb as they used to be because of all the ipads, iphones and the near-infinite connectivity, people like you show up and open their mouths to prove me very wrong. What’s worse is there are people willing to believe these lies as long as they’re lied to with confidence… doesn’t anyone know how to use a web-browser and a search engine in 2012?

        Both Nex E-mount and EOS EF/EF-S mount cameras have physical shutters. DSLRs (in this case the Canon EOS ones that take these lenses) have a mirror… that’s why they’re called “single lens reflex”. Look it up. The Nex ones don’t have this and that’s why they’re called “mirrorless” sheesh. Again I’m overwhelmed by the fact that there are people who can’t just use simple commonsense. Getting back to the topic… the lack of a mirror allows the Nex line’s lenses to sit closer to the focal plane (sensor).

    • First, “crop factor” and “effective focal length” are two different things.

      The point of these adapters and their widespread popularity is large due to the fact that lenses from other mounts can be used on various cameras without changing their original behavior.

      The crop factor is related to the size of the sensor. You will need to look in to how it affects the effective field of view.

      “Effective focal length” is just too deep a topic to get in to here and for now you can safely assume that the standard adapters of this sort don’t change it.

      And, Gabe’s reasoning is wrong, as explained in my reply to his post.

  • I’m very happy with my Metabones adapter on my FS700. It is very high quality and has worked well on many shoots. I would recommend spending the extra $150 and getting a model that will work on your multi-thousand dollar camera. If getting for you NEX-5/7, then do what you want. Just my 2 cents.

    • JkMorganChase on 10.25.12 @ 8:22PM

      Tony and @Gabe appreciate the info , considering fs100 because have some canon lens and cant wait forever on the black magic camera. the 4:2:2 8bit uncompressed via samuri or another recorder with proper xlr and possiblility of metabone is looking interesting.

  • Think I’ll keep recommending the Metabones for now. Not being able to hot-swap lenses with taking off the adapter sounds like a nightmare during a shoot.

  • I agree with Tony, I have the metabones adapter for my FS700 as well and it literally never leaves the camera body. I use nothing but Canon lenses on the 700. I switch lenses all the time with no issues on the Metabones adapter and I do it hot all the time. The only thing I worry about is simply stress on the mount and I usually have a support on my rails to hold heavier glass and take the strain off of the mount itself. To be completely honest I don’t know where I would be without my Metabones adapter. I have the slightly older version that has the internal reflection fix but still has a square optical path to the sensor. The RJ is cheaper but if solid operation is key and switching lenses on a fast pace set is in your future then the extra money for the Metabones is well worth it.


  • I have the Speedbooster for my FS700. I recently found a video on the Vimeo FS700 group reviewing the RJ adapter, and decided to look into it since I was considering getting the regular Metabones adapter for the “crop sensor field of view effect” as well as for an upcoming NEX-6 purchase.

    Digging around the net for a review, I stumbled across a user who said they used the RJ adapter and were noticing wear on the lens contacts from the pins on the RJ adapter. This is hearsay, and I am reluctant to bring it up without a link to the comment, but it should be easily found if you’re researching the adapter (I think I googled “RJ EOS EF to E mount adapter review”). I don’t want to cast any aspersions on a product I haven’t used, but buyer beware. Personally, I don’t want to risk damaging a $2000 L series lens to save $150 on an adapter.

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