Metabones has released an update to its EF-E Smart Adapter MARK IV and EF-E Speed Booster ULTRA, vastly improving auto focus, smoother aperture adjustments and enabling continuous auto focus on compatible Sony Alpha cameras. Many Canon-turned-Sony users will have become accustomed to the compatibility quirks of using EF lenses on a Sony Alpha body. Metabones has been an ever present stalwart in the big player camera/lens mis-match and, despite their best efforts, have always struggled with producing reliable auto focus. This hasn’t been a huge problem with filmmakers, many of whom won’t ever have the need for this feature. But many will also like to cross over to photography from time to time, one of the features that was so liberating with the Canon 5D. A lack of auto focus in stills photography is of course a much bigger deal, especially with the release of more advanced systems introduced with mirrorless cameras such as the A7RII and A7SII. The mis-match in Sony body/Canon lens compatibility has forced many into exploring the less nurtured, less developed, less exciting Sony E mount lens line. These of course make full use of the Alpha cameras’ auto focus abilities, particularly the aforementioned continuous modes in newer bodies. The firmware update that Metabones just released for its EF-E Smart Adapter MARK IV and EF-E Speed Booster ULTRA closes the gap dramatically between native E mount and Canon EF lenses. With Metabones firmware V0.50, auto focus on an EF lens is much improved, aperture changes are smoother (still clicky, but improved) and continuous auto focus is now enabled on later compatible bodies. Here’s some press: Release date: 23 Jun 2016 Benefits and improvements: Wide-open button functionality is removed on A7 series and A6300. The button of the adapter is now dedicated to the function of the customisable Focus Hold button on the A7 series and A6300. “Advanced” mode is now the default operating mode. (Note: you may permanently change the default to “Green” mode, by holding down the button on the adapter while attaching to an already-on camera, and then, without ever releasing the button, turn off the camera’s power. Changing the default back to “Advanced” mode using the same procedure.) “Native” autofocus features including DMF, Eye-AF and fast CDAF on all E-mount cameras (see Press Release for details). Support for smooth iris feature of the latest Canon and Tamron SP lenses. PDAF improvement for Canon EF 50/1.4 USM and some other large aperture fixed focal length lenses. Descriptive lens name on EXIF LensModel tag (except on older cameras and Metabones Mark I, Mark II, Mark III and the original Speed Booster). A compliant utility such as exiftool is required. Sony Image Data Converter does NOT display the LensModel tag. Fixed a focus parking issue after an exposure with some older Canon lenses. I’ve installed Metabones Firmware 0.50 on my EF-E Smart Adaptor and can confirm the improvements. As an owner of the Zeiss 25mm Batis lens, I’m fairly familiar with the continuous focus modes available on the A7R II and A7S II. Users of the Sony Alpha II/Metabones/EF combo can now look forward – under certain circumstances – to a useable focus mode when shooting video, featuring face detection, zonal monitoring, with speed and sensitivity modes. Speaking from a wealth of experience with Canon’s Dual Pixel Auto Focus, the Sony equivalent is more complicated, less reactive and less subtle, but it does the job on wide focal lengths stopped down. Whilst auto focus is vastly improved, initial experience suggests it’s not quite up to native E mount speeds, but it’s certainly getting there. You can download firmware update V0.50 now from here.Read more
Earlier this month Metabones announced firmware V0.41 for the Canon EF to E mount adaptor, promising to fix the frustrating aperture flash Sony FS7 and A7s users experience when using Canon lenses. In this article I check out how successful the update is. Many people have migrated from Canon to Sony camera systems of late, pound for pound there’s no denying Sonys dominance of the current market. Many of these people will have also brought with them an EF lens line. Sony still have a way to go in terms of offering a wide variety of professional E mount lenses, plus it makes sense financially; if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. However, users of the Sony FS7/A7s will all tell you of the… quirks when adapting EF to E mount via Metabones adaptors. The main problem lies in aperture adjustment. When opening the aperture, the iris will open to max before closing back down to the desired f-stop. The result is a bright flash every time you adjust exposure. It shouldn’t be a deal breaker, adjusting stills lenses on a native mount body won’t give you smooth adjustments like a manual aperture lens, however the flash is somewhat frustrating. Metabones Firmware Version 0.41 for the Canon EF to E mount Mark IV promises to fix the issue, along with a few other features. Here’s the list of updates: User may choose between lens OIS and IBIS using the lens’ IS switch (except for some Tamron lenses). If the lens’ IS switch is ON, lens OIS is used and IBIS is turned off automatically. If lens’ IS switch is OFF, IBIS is used instead. To turn off all IS, hold down the WO button on the adapter while switching the lens’ IS to the OFF position. IS is always turned on during magnified focus assist for ease of manual focusing Added autofocus support for some legacy lenses on A7 series Eliminated iris flicker when opening up the iris from a slower aperture to a faster aperture in Green mode on FS series, NEX-VG series and A7 series in movie mode. Eliminated iris tick noise while zooming a variable aperture zoom lens in Green mode Does it work? Check the below video where I’ve tested it. The initial clip is using the older 0.40 firmware, followed by results after 0.41 is installed. I’ve outputted to an Atomos Ninja Blade with overlays so you can see the aperture adjustment in action. Sony A7S with a Canon 50mm f/1.2 Music – Lights Motion | Our Time is Now. Provided by The Music Bed. I went ahead and tested all my in-house lenses also, I won’t bore you with the results, but after quick testing I can confirm the same results as the video for the following lenses: Canon 8-15mm f/4 Fisheye | Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 | Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 | Canon 16-35mm f/4 IS | Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS | Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Canon 50mm f/1.2 | Canon 85mm f/1.8 | Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II | Canon 100mm f/2.8 Marco L. The update now puts Sony cameras in the same boat as native EF mount camcorders (EOS C series) in terms of visual aperture adjustment. At 1/3 stop increments you’ll never get a perfectly smooth change. However this dramatic fix now means aperture adjustments may be suitable mid take for certain genres of filmmaking. Check here for download of Metabones Firmware 0.41 and instructions of how to update your adaptor.Read more
It’s official. While rumors have been making the rounds that Sony would be introducing new mirrorless cameras along the lines of the famous NEX’s, it wasn’t clear we’d see them coming so soon. Sony just announced two very potent new cameras that go head to head with the Leica concept we liked and also take on some of the bigger DSLRs as well.Read more
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