Sunday, March 31, 2013


OK so you keep reading everywhere that you can use your Canon EF glass on the new SONY F55 and F5.So lets look at two types of solutions, PASSIVE and ELECTRONIC, that are available today!

Off I went to BandPro to buy the F55 with the intention of using all my L glass on this 4K monster. Looked like metabones was the electronic panacea answer, oops, WRONG! Not shipping yet, shades of BIRGER! No solution from my dealer so now what, passive MTF adapter? No aperture control and after spending over half a day there I walked out with my new F55 and no way to attach an EF lens to it, bummer!

OK good old eBAY where I previously found a KIPON EF to MFT adapter with a built-in manual aperture control for my AF100 Panasonic. Hey... Why not? Here's one that says CANON EF to SONY FZ !!

WOW! Two weeks later it arrives from China so I slapped it on. Hmmm not really working too well, pretty much vignetting on most of my L Glass. $300.00 bucks, what the heck. I missed the vignette warning in the text describing the adapter, my bad. This adapter worked great with my AF100 so why such a huge difference in using the same concept. More on that in the next posting re:Sensors...


P+S Technik 
Kipon which has a BUILT-IN 14 blade manual aperture/iris control.
Metabones may be introducing a smart & speedbooster related adapter for F55

How can I store the Aperture setting when using with this type of manual adapter??
First understand that with these type of adapters it is necessary to mount the EF lens on a Canon DSLR and set aperture and in some cases set the focus too! (50mm & 85mm f1.2 L glass)
Here's the procedure:

1. Mount the lens on the DSLR
2. Turn the DSLR ON
3. Set to desired Aperture.   
NOTE: If your adapter has a built-in Aperture control set lens to WIDE OPEN.
4. While holding down the "Depth of Field Preview" button, press the "Lens Release" button on the opposite side of the lens. The aperture setting is now stored.
5. Mount on the SONY F55, F5, F3 etc...

I tested the following EF lenses with  
KIPON's EF to F3, F55, F5 FZ Adapter with built-in 14 blade Manual Aperture

LENS                                           ADAPTER   # of STOPS before
                                                                                          signs of Vignetting
Canon EF IS USM 15mm         Compatible             5.0 stops
Canon EF IS USM 16-35mm    Compatible             1.5 stops
Canon EF IS USM 24-70mm    Compatible             1.5 stops
Canon EF IS USM 24-105mm  Compatible             4.0 stops
Canon EF IS USM 70-200mm  Compatible             1.0 stops
Canon EF IS USM 85mm          Compatible**       5.0 stops
Canon EF IS USM 300mm       Compatible              1.5 stops
Canon EF IS USM 300mm/2x  Compatible              1.5 stops

**The Canon 85mm f1.2 requires POWER for both Focus and Aperture (IRIS) control. You need to follow the steps above for setting FOCUS as well as aperture on a DSLR.

See Vignette video example below in OBSERVATIONS section.

One very interesting GREAT feature is the fact that all the ZOOMs tested held focus from Wide to XCU no OOF issues as have been seen using the same glass on the Canon C300 & C500! These are all varifocal not parfocal lenses so the optics on the SONY F55 do not appear to create the disparity as seen on the Canons...


UPDATED !! OPTITEK WIRELESS Prolock-i and Optitron MARK 2

Jacek from OPTITEK just clued me in on this very cool electronic solution which can also provide WIRELESS control for both **FOCUS & IRIS! It now runs off the camera's power, LESS CABLES! WOW! I believe it also powers up Canon's  "Image Stabilization" too. You will now see a readout of the IRIS settings & Focal lengths native on the F5 & F55 too! This is a GREAT IMPROVEMENT. The adapter is precision machined in fact Jacek showed us at NAB how it locks in place without rubbing metal to metal like a stock EF lens! One thing to note is that the buttons on the ProLock Mark 2 are not in an optimum position so you may very well be better off adding the Optitron remote for quick and efficient IRIS& Focus control.

You can watch the product video HERE.

The proLock-i mounting system sells for $1650.00. The OptiTron Remote is at present a hardwired controller which costs $1850.00.  It features a nice tactile slider for IRIS control and a precision knob/dial for Focus! IRIS will increment by 1/3 stops, you are still stuck with stepping and not smooth IRIS control, on all EF Lenses.

The wait at present is about 4-6 weeks. ABELCINE is selling the Prolock-i right now.



MTF Live Canon EF to F3 adaptor with Canon EF Control Unit

 So MTF always seems to be the first one out there with an amazing repertoire of adapters. This one should work with the F5 & F55 and consists of the Adapter for around $530.00 USD and the Control Unit selling around $980.00 USD so together its close to 1600.00.

The amazing thing about this controller is the claim to increment stops by a mere 1/8 increment, roughly half that of the internal step motors capability from within the lens itself. Mike Tapa showed us this product at NAB and if you move change the IRIS at a fair pace it's difficult to see it stepping! The only glitch is that if you turn on IS on the lens it resets the aperture to wide open. Easily remedied and readily displayed on the LCD readout of the Control Unit. For the full spec on these products you can click here: MTF

Got a quick response from MTF's Mike Tapa regarding 1/8 increments: "According to Mike all Canon EF lenses are all capable of 1/8th stop increments, its generally the Canon body that usually restricts this to 1/3rd stops." Jacek from Optitek mentioned their product is utilizing the built-in electronics of the Canon lens itself so 1/4 stop increments are inherited from the lens. This may also depend on the canon camera body being used. 

We'll need to get this clarified as to the actual INCREMENT capability with EF lenses and these 3rd party adapters from Canon and report back.



The KIPON adapter tests surprisingly yielded minimal effect on DOF, Depth of Field mainly due to it's inability to reach beyond a few stops without vignetting on most of the lens tested. So right now you pretty much need to set these lenses to the f-Stop desired for your shot to get the shot and look your after. So it's a manually intensive time consuming task wielding the lens back and forth from a DSLR to the SONY Camera. If you have NIKON lenses you won't have this annoying problem unique only to CANON! Great glass but all internal electronic iris! DUCLOS also makes a fantastic wide zoom cine lens out of a 11-16mm Tokina which I highly recommend. The KIPON is available on eBay, click here for under 300.00 !

PS...Viewfactor is up to something in the electronic category as well with their new OPTIMO solution!

The choice is yours!