Sony Introduces a B4 Mount for FS7 / FS7 II – Complete Your S35 ENG Kit

In order to really transform your Sony FS7 / FS7 II into a real ENG camera, you have to employ some kind of  2/3″ zoom lens which is a versatile tool to use if you happen to shoot fast-paced reality shows or news programs. The new Sony LA-EB1 B4 mount lens adapter is exactly that. When combined with the CBK-FS7BK Build-up Kit you’re up to the task. But the resulting ENG-style FS7 won’t come cheap!

B4 mount

A Sony FS7 II paired with a Fujinon ENG zoom lens. The vital link? A brand-new Sony B4 mount.

Sony LA-EB1 B4 lens mount

If you want to go on the ENG journey, you might want to take closer look at the new LA-EB1 B4 mount adapter Sony has announced, alongside the CBK-FS7BK build-up kit. With it, you can use regular B4 2/3″ ENG lenses with your FS7 / FS7 II and the nice thing is that this adapter only costs you 0.6 stops of light. What is the gain, you ask? Deploy any standard 2/3″ ENG style lens to the FS7 / FS7 II and your good to go. These lenses are not exactly cheap but compared to cine zooms with equivalent zoom ranges they come as a present.

B4 mount

Sony LA-EB1 B4 mount adapter.

While a B4 adapter for this camera is not a new thing, the LA-EB1 B4 adapter stands out here because it’s able not only to communicate with the lens attached and power it directly, but it also sends lens data straight to the viewfinder of the camera hosting it. So again, think ENG here: all the mission-critical information is right in front of you – without extra cable clutter and accessories.

B4 mount

Fs7 II with CBK-FS7BK build-up kit and LA-EB1 E/B4 mount adapter (and a 2/3″ ENG zoom lens). 

Pricing and Availability

The LA-EB1 B4 mount adapter will cost you US$5.600 (5.000€). That’s a pretty penny, when the FS7 II already costs around US$9.000 (8.100€). Just as with the The CBK-FS7BK called build-up kit, the new B4 mount adapter won’t be available until December 2019. Plus, and that might be vital, the according Sony CBK-FS7BK build-up kit (V-mount / audio extension, shoulder pad/plate and dedicated EVF) already costs around US$7.300 (6.500€). So the grand total is about $ 21.900 (19.521 €), which is not cheap at all. A proper XDCam will cost you about the same but without an EVF and without the battery plate..

Links: Sony LA-EB1

What do you think about using the FS7 / FS7 II as an ENG camera? Is it the future of TV? Are the days of traditional ENG camcorders over? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Lenny
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Lenny

B4 adapters are a waste of money. First you loose the whole reason you went with the larger sensor, the short depth of field. Then you also loose light sensitivity. There are two kinds that I’m aware of. The first, it uses a thick glass to expand the image of the 2/3″ lens to fit the super35 sensor, but here you loose at least two stops plus some sharpness because of adding another chunk of glass (it’s like using the 2x extender on your 2/3″ lens, but worst). The other option is a smaller chunk of glass that expands the 2/3″ lens to fit a super16 sensor, which is closer in size to 2/3″, and you only loose about 1/2 a stop (i’m guessing this is the case here). But for that you have to crop (in camera) your 4k sensor to 2k, and that only works in HD (maybe also in 2k?). But you still loose image quality and that short depth of field.

I am a network news cameraman and have struggled with this for a while now. I even bought the beautiful Canon 17-120 zoom, which gives me a nice range, but boy, is this monster front heavy.

I have settled into what i think is the best option for me. The Canon CNE 18-80 T4.4 ENG style zoom lens.
First, the thing is very light. Second, it’s very sharp. Third, did I mention it’s light? Well, it is. And the beauty of this lens/camera combination (I use it with my F55, but same thing with the FS7) is that if you need to go longer, just crop the sensor (in camera) and now you have a 36-160 zoom equivalent (in 2k, of course, but for news, which is 1080 or even 720, that’s fine). And this thing costs under 5k! (I have to mention here, I don’t work for Canon, or have any kind of personal relationship with them. I just think this lens is great).

If you need to go longer, just add the sister lens, Canon CNE 70-200 T4.4. Same size, same weight, same sharpness, and you are all set.

True, it’s a T4.4 (which is an F4.0), but with these FS7 cameras, you got plenty of sensitivity where that is not an issue. And yes, at T4.4 you might not blow the background out of focus at 50mm, but zoom to 80 and you are getting there, or carry another lens, a fast prime, that you can use for your sit down interviews. You are still a lot cheaper, lighter, and sharper than these B4 adapters never mind adding a current ENG 2/3″ lens.

BY THE WAY, nice to meet you guys at NAB.

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