June 4, 2015

Aputure's DEC Lens Adapter Lets You Wirelessly Control Canon Lenses on MFT & E-Mount Cameras

Aputure talked with us at NAB about their DEC lens adapter for Canon EF and EF-S lenses on Micro 4/3 and E-Mount Cameras. It allows the wireless control of both iris and focus as long as the lenses are electronic. Both adapters are shipping now and retail for $390 each:

The adapter and the controller both have built-in batteries that can be charged via MicroUSB, and as far as battery life, their website states around 5 hours for the adapter and a few days for the grip/controller (but both can be used while they're charging). Now, the big thing about this adapter is that it's not a smart adapter, so you've got to use the grip to change aperture values. While this means that it will work with both passive and active cameras (for example the Blackmagic MFT vs. Blackmagic Pocket), it also means that you can't change the focus/iris from the camera itself, and those values also won't be displayed on the camera (since there's no communication between the two).

You'll have to decide if that's a deal-breaker as an everyday adapter, but it does seem like it could be well-suited as an item for people who need something lightweight and small for controlling focus wirelessly, maybe on a shoulder rig, gimbal, jib, or slider.

Check out this video from Andyax showing off the DEC adapter:

Here's a better look at the adapter and what's included:

The hand grip and adapter communicate using 2.4GHz FSK radio signal, which allows wireless communication up to 328' away. You can manually change focus or set an A and B focus position and control the speed of the focus change. The unit allows you to quickly open the iris to set your focus and then return the iris to your shooting stop. The entire unit comes in a small hard carry case.

  • Wireless Control of Focus & Iris
  • 328' Wireless Range
  • Iris Lock for Focus Confirmation
  • Hand Grip Mounting Clamp
  • Hard Sided Carry Case Included

Aputure DEC Wireless Lens Adapter for Canon EF Lenses
For more on the adapter, check out their website, and if you'd like to buy one, head over here.


No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2015 is brought to you by Color Grading Central, Shutterstock, Blackmagic Design, and Bigstock.

No Film School's coverage of NAB is brought to you by Color Grading Central, Shutterstock, Blackmagic Design, and Bigstock

Your Comment

41 Comments

I wonder how this will perform when pairing it with something like Ronin and Movi. By the way, I hate this guy interview skills.

June 4, 2015 at 2:09PM

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Edgar More
All
1349

Great toy, I'd love to test it out. From what I can understand this would work with any lens that has autofocus, which would be great for low budget production...

June 4, 2015 at 2:14PM

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Danny T
Photographer
517

The real question is when the Metabones, speedboosted version of this product will be available. Would be a killer accessory for the GH4.

June 4, 2015 at 4:07PM

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Michael Kern
Freelance Videographer
109

Aparently Aputure is working on a SpeedBooster version of this beastie.

June 4, 2015 at 8:00PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31262

At NAB, the rep said the specs may not match the Speedbooster's. But anything is welcome.

June 5, 2015 at 1:39PM

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Charlie K
1410

Ted here from Aputure--the specs match. The actual glass is different, but we source our glass from the same place as Nikon.

June 7, 2015 at 4:08AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

Ted here from Aputure--it'll be out in the next two months. =)

June 7, 2015 at 4:06AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

Ted here from Aputure--we'll have it out in two more months!

June 9, 2015 at 3:21AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

How many more months, Ted?

January 14, 2016 at 9:15PM

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David Patterson
videographer/editor
521

As someone who just picked up a Ronin-M and isn't looking to break the bank on a robust wireless FF (Hocus? Bartech?) this may tide me over temporarily. I do wish it wasn't a rocker and was a wheel, though.

June 4, 2015 at 4:10PM

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Andy Zou
Producer
Filmmaker / Creative Director

Ted here from Aputure--we're working on a wheel! Using this tech, matching a wheel so that it is one to one with every lens out there is difficult, but believe me when I say that it is in progress. May take some time though.

June 7, 2015 at 4:09AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

Looks good but having to charge it every three hours could present a terrible workflow problem for the run and gunners this will mainly appeal to. Don't imagine they could have realistically worked in a replaceable battery but for semi-continuous shooting wouldn't you almost need to buy two of these per camera? Unless it charges super fast during coffee breaks (and you're lucky enough to be near a wall socket).

June 4, 2015 at 6:22PM

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J Robbins
505

I really, really love this idea and I can't wait to use it with a gimbal.

But, yeah, this is the major thing. There's no way I can buy a product like this if it has a built-in battery that doesn't last long. I shoot upwards of 12 hours a day on my documentary, and not having a functioning lens adapter would be a bad thing.

But I'm not naysaying. I think the next generation of this idea is going to be a must-buy.

June 5, 2015 at 12:56AM

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You voted '+1'.
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I hope No Film School is working on a fix for this double posting bug.

June 5, 2015 at 12:56AM, Edited June 5, 12:57AM

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Ted here from Aputure-- the battery can be charged while the DEC is in use. The DEC can be charged using any 5V USB charger so you could use almost anything to charge it! -- from the Ronin's USB port to a cellphone charging dongle to get the job done.

June 7, 2015 at 4:11AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

At that price, why not buy a few? You can also power down when not shooting.

Or, you could buy any USB battery pack. There are dozens, if not hundreds, for phones. Find one that fits your camera rig.

June 5, 2015 at 1:43PM

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Charlie K
1410

Ted here from Aputure-- the battery can be charged while the DEC is in use. The DEC can be charged using any 5V USB charger so you could use anything from the Ronin's USB port to a cellphone charging dongle to get the job done. =)

June 7, 2015 at 4:10AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

Great idea, mediocre execution. I'd prefer a real follow focus knob and power from a standardized, removable battery. Unfortunate for this company as I'm sure a competitor will make the improvements and profit on this companies idea.

June 4, 2015 at 7:03PM, Edited June 4, 7:03PM

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K W
442

Aputure are working on a more traditional follow-focus style contorller.

June 4, 2015 at 8:02PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31262

a logical next step :-)

June 5, 2015 at 6:56AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9589

. this automatic double post is brought to you by NFS! :-p

June 5, 2015 at 6:56AM, Edited June 5, 6:56AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9589

For less than $400?!

June 5, 2015 at 1:43PM

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Charlie K
1410

Ted here from Aputure-- the battery can be charged while the DEC is in use. The DEC can be charged using any 5V USB charger so you could use anything from the Ronin's USB port to a cellphone charging dongle to get the job done. =)

As for the wheel, we're working on it right now.

June 7, 2015 at 4:12AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

I think this thing is awesome. I can't imagine them being the only ones that produce these. I bet we'll get all kinds of designs. Cool stuff.

June 4, 2015 at 9:11PM

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Jonesy Jones
Storymaker
742

I'm waiting for the first unbiased user reviews :-)
About the battery life: I guess they wanted it to be compact without wires.
When I look at the cost of a traditional wieless FF, getting 2 of these Apurtures can be a solution to the power problem and still save money...

Although this is a pretty camera-lens-combo specific solution.

June 5, 2015 at 6:55AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9589

I just purchased this and use it this weekend on a wedding. A few things to know, number one, it does not have a mount on the bottom of it which creates a big problem. they give you a little round peg that you can mount to a plate, however that is not stable. So I put a battery grip on my a7S because it would be longer and not hit at the aperture mount. For heavier lenses there is no support. I was using a otus 85 mm, which felt a little loose on the DEC. My other lenses are a little loose now as well. You cant adjust focus on your lens directly, you must use the remote controller which is tricky to nail focus. Also know that you must have the remote controller with you if you want to change the aperture. every time I turn the camera off, and on I had to use the controller because it would reset to 1.4 every time. Also after a period of time you have to turn off and on the DEC otherwise you won't be able to change the f-stop, it's like it goes into some sort of sleep mode. This created a big problem for me, as at the time I did not have the remote in my pocket, and the bride was coming down the aisle, and I had to run back to where my gear was just to change the aperture. It is a super great idea and concept, but to get it working for professional use I think is going to need some more work. specifically a mounts on the bottom, a manual control for aperture on the side so you don't need the remote or a system like metabones where you can still change aperture on your camera, and a better locking system that doesn't loosen up over time.

June 5, 2015 at 10:33AM, Edited June 5, 10:44AM

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D dayne
Director
81

Thanks for sharing :-)

June 5, 2015 at 10:52AM, Edited June 5, 10:52AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9589

A bit more thanks than anticipated ;-)

NFS: this bug is annoying!

June 5, 2015 at 10:52AM, Edited June 5, 10:52AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9589

Hey D Dayne,
You did test this for a few hours before taking it to the wedding?

June 5, 2015 at 1:26PM

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Charlie K
1410

That is incorrect that you can't change focus manually. I have been using the DEC over the last week and haven't had a problem. The controller resetting is an annoyance as well as the need to restart the unit every so often. As far as the loose lenses, check the screws on the back of the adapter. When mine arrived they weren't tightened properly and every lens that i mounted was loose. Tightening the screws solved the problem. I wish they had a tripod mount on the DEC itself as the round spacer that comes with unit is absolutely useless and too tall. One other thing I noticed is that there is no intermediate speed when focusing. It's either very slow or very fast. Other those few niggles, it's a wonderful little gadget at an amazing price. They seem to listen to customer feedback, so here's to hoping the next version fixes those problems.

June 8, 2015 at 10:08AM, Edited June 8, 10:14AM

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Ted here from Aputure--just forwarded this to our product manager, Ray. Thanks for the feedback! =)

June 9, 2015 at 3:23AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

At NAB, I played around with a prototype on a GH4. It worked amazingly well. It's a game changer for low budget gimbals. It's this, or spend thousands of dollars to add a motor, cables, radio, and support gear.

The only challenge will be getting very wide shots. But that's a worthwhile sacrifice. The rep said another version with wider FoV should be released too.

June 5, 2015 at 1:56PM, Edited June 5, 1:56PM

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Charlie K
1410

Control for canon lenses but can't be used on canon cameras?

June 6, 2015 at 1:08PM, Edited June 6, 1:08PM

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Emmett Short
Director
74

Ted here from Aputure--we actually can't do something like this because using a native lens on a camera with an adapter changes the fragment distance from the glass to the sensor!

June 9, 2015 at 3:23AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

Just used it at Cinegear, it's an amazing little gadget!

June 7, 2015 at 1:02AM

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Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
673

All I want to say is.... Take My Money Right Now!!! I mean today... The speedbooster version for under $600? When metabones speedbooster I use is $650 adaptor alone. I feel i'm being pranked...

June 8, 2015 at 6:50AM

0
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Olufemi Bamigbetan
Director of Photography, Web Enthusiast and Animation buff
159

Does this also work with Nikon cameras and lenses?

June 8, 2015 at 5:05PM

0
Reply

Ted here from Aputure--Afraid it does not! The auto-focus motor in Nikon lenses isn't strong enough to support such functionality.

June 9, 2015 at 3:24AM

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Ted Sim
Aputure
324

Really impressive device for the price. I've had a chance to test it somewhat thoroughly. Very disappointed at lack of Canon 10-18mm EFS STM support however. Makes it less than useful for something like the Blackmagic Pocket Camera.

June 13, 2015 at 10:43PM

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Does this adapter support image stabilisation?

June 15, 2015 at 3:29AM

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I just received a used DEC off ebay, and spent an hour with it on my Ronin gimbal and shoulder rig. The unit works fine with my Sigma 18-35mm and Tokina 11-16mm lenses; smooth focus pulls and repeatable A/B rack focusing. Being able to control focus, aperture and record from the remote grip is a godsend when using a gimbal.

A few drawbacks:
• The grip's rubber coating is slippery! Considering it was designed to be used with rigs, you would expect the grip to have a different surface coating. I hope to find something to wrap around the grip for better...uh, grip!
• The rosette mount on the grip handle is non-standard, so it can't properly mate with a standard rosette. This design oversight prevents me from attaching the grip directly to my shoulder rig's rosette connection.
• The current version's battery extends below the bottom of my GH4, making mounting difficult. The DEC includes a small spacer to help when mounting, but it doesn't offer enough surface area for solid support. Using the Ronin's lens support helped, but I need to find a better solution. The upcoming DEC version (April 2016 ETA) should eliminate this issue, as the battery will be on the side.
• Both of my lens' motor noise seems louder with the DEC than without it. Not sure why this is, and I hope it doesn't effect the lifespan of the lens' motors.

Overall, I really like this unit. I intended to wait for the next version, but found a great deal on a used on, so I took the plunge.

January 20, 2016 at 9:52PM, Edited January 20, 9:54PM

9
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David Patterson
videographer/editor
521