Adapting Canon EF Lenses To Various Mirrorless Compact Camera Systems

Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS M (2012)


Canon recently launched its own mirrorless camera system with the EOS-M (see Mirrorless Cams > Canon EOS M), which is based on the newly released EOS 650D. As had to be expected, the EOS M did not come with native EF mount. Instead Canon supplies this optional adapter to mount EF and EF-S lenses to the EOS M. The adapter is compatible with all existing lenses (but according to the spec sheet (Canon Germany) not compatible with extenders) and comes with a removable tripod mount.

Documentation available online 

Technical Specifications: 66.6mm x 28mm, 110g, no optical elements used, feat. 8 electronic contacts

Viltrox came up with a 3rd party alternative in 2013 - the Viltrox Mount Adapter EF-EOS M. The adapter is compatible with EF and EF-S lenses and offers AF and aperture functionality as well as a tripod mount.
 
Technical Specifications: 66.6mm x 26mm, 119g, no optical elements used, feat. 8 electronic contacts

Kipon & Co. Canon EF Lens To Sony NEX and Micro 4/3 Electronic Adapters

Back in 2012 Kipon announced to develop electronic adapters to adapt Canon EF lenses to Sony NEX and Micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras. At the moment no further details are published than that the adapters will support aperture control via camera body.

In the same year at Photokina Roxsen announced the arrival of a "Canon M adapter" as well ("coming soon"). Since Roxsen deals with Kipon, it's most likely the same story.

Viltrox indeed launched their Mount Adapter EF-NEX with electronic couplings (2013). The adapter revives the AF and iris control and offers a build-in 'anti-shaking function' as well as a tripod mount. 8 electronic contacts are presented to the lens.

Kipon & Co. Canon EF Lens To Sony NEX, Fuji FX and Micro 4/3 Dumb Mounts with Iris
MFT:
 
NEX:
|
 
The already existing dumb mount versions (also available from Fotodiox, Pro-Optic or DSLRKit, just to name a few) comes with built-in adjustable, 14-bladed iris and uses an additional lens element. Even letting alone the additional lens element an iris behind the rear element of the EF mount lens isn't quite the same as an iris in its original position within the lens. Besides other side effects, using an aperture smaller than f/6 will result in vignetting. The adapters are further not compatible with EF-S lenses. Despite not offering links to the Fuji FX mount here it does exist. Try a Google on "Kipon EOS-FX A".

Kiwi & Co. Canon EF To Sony NEX, Fuji FX and Micro 4/3 Dumb Mounts1
MFT:
 
NEX:
 
FX:
|
 
|
 
Dumb is not just a word here. No electronic coupling, not even integrated iris like the Kipons above. Will work perfectly with the Samyangs, otherwise allow for no control beyond manual focus(1).

Metabones EF - E mount (2012) a.k.a. Conurus Canon EF Lens To Sony NEX Smart Adapter

Conurus, who were already known for their conversions of Zeiss Contax N lenses to Canon EF mount using Sigma technology, together with Metabones, a company known for high quality adapters, developed an adapter to mount Canon EF lenses to Sony NEX cameras, which was released in 2012. The adapter was tested to work seamlessly with Sony NEX-3, NEX-5, NEX-5N, NEX-7, NEX-C3, NEX-FS100, FS700 and NEX-VG10 (other models are supposed to work as well, though not tested). It supported EF as well as EF-S mount (EF-S might result in some soft vignetting due to differing crop factors of EF-S (1.6x) and NEX (1.5x)). Support for electronic aperture control via camera as well as proper EXIF data from lens was given (aperture values are rounded up / down though, depending on the camera). IS functionality was tested with different lenses and should work with adapter firmwares v1.02 and newer (factory update required for older firmware versions and granted free shipping, but those were only shipped during the first few days after initial release). The IS was powered by the camera. The adapter featured a button to fully open the iris for manual focusing and bright frame preview as well as it offered a tripod screw mount. There was no AF support. E-M lenses worked flawlessly. Metabones published a list of lenses tested with the adapter. The mount was sold for an initial price of 400$.
 
In the second half of 2012 the adapter was updated to Version II, then featuring a detachable AS-style quick release plate, a round opening with anti-reflection surface and a power saving mode which reduces iris and image stabilization actuation during image preview. AF support was then given for Canon lenses majorly released since 2006* and seemingly a few third-party lenses** as well. The AF performance was not as fast as with Canon D-SLRs. According to Metabones it's slower than EOS M system or Sony NEX with their LA-EA2 adapter (for Sony A mount lenses), but claimed still faster than A mount lenses mounted using the Sony LA-EA1 adapter. For all other lenses the new version will just work like the old one. Version I Conurus adapters could be (factory) upgraded. For the FS100 and FS700 AF will work in Still Mode only, not in Movie Mode.

Conurus-Metabones Adapter v1 and v2 review / comparison at EOSHD.com.
 
Documentation available online 

 
In 2013 EF - E Mount Mark III was released by Metabones. Additionally to the above features Mark III supported the NEX VG900 (full frame cam) and seemless switching between EF and EF-S lenses (auto-crop). From this version on, Conurus was no longer mentioned nor did they post updates about the product on their site any longer. Still the mount - including the Speedbooster version - has its own subforum within the Conurus forum structuresm where I also found the following comment: "Conurus has an agreement with Metabones to supply the electronic technology exclusively to Metabones. So, unfortunately Conurus will not be able to sell the electronics to anybody else." (conurus 2013-04-24)
 
Mark IV followed in 2014. It features refined "internal structure" (coatings, electronics?). Otherwise the features list reads as / appearance looks like before.
 
Metabones also released an EF - M43 mount in 2014. See Dedicated Lenses > Adapting EF > EF to Micro 4/3 for details.
 
*These include the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, EF 22-55mm f/4.0-5.6 USM (although much older), EF 28-90mm f/4.0-5.6 III, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II, EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS USM, EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6L IS USM, EF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM, EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM and EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM.
**Third-party lenses supported are Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM (AF issues still reported at the long zoom end), Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX AT-X PRO.

Metabones Speedbooster EF - E (2013)

In 2013 Metabones, in coop with Caldwell Photographic (design of the optics), released the Speed Booster in various flavors - including EF - E mount. Speed Booster "[...] increases the aperture by 1 stop (hence its name), increases MTF [resolution] and makes lens wider by a factor of 0.71x." Full electronic control as before, with limited (slow) AF support for Canon only lenses produced since 2006. The adapter comes with detachable Arca Swiss type tripod mount. Yet no full frame NEX support, no EF-S compatibility. The adapter received the TIPA Photo Accessory Award 2013.

Documentation available online 

Warning: Do NOT use any mount adapters on it before deep-reading the manufacturer's footnotes (physical dangers as well as for electronic shortening).

Alternative: There is a number of so-called Focal Reducers or Lens Turbos available on the market, offering an increase of 1 stop, 0.72x crop and increase of MTF as well. But those are dumb mounts alltogether, and since they are offered by the usual suspects of comparable cheapness and contain optical elements, I wouldn't trust them without testing.
 
Metabones also released an EF - M43 Speedbooster in 2014. See Dedicated Lenses > Adapting EF > EF to Micro 4/3 for details.

Metabones Speedbooster review at EOSHD.com.
Metabones EF - M43 Mount (2014) is the long awaited M43 version of the Metabones EF - E Mount, but with some limitations.
 
The adapter allows to electronically control the iris directly from the camera. Also it is powered by the camera, although it is possible to power the unit externally via Micro USB as well. Like it's NEX siblings, it comes with detachable tripod socket ready for Arca Swiss, Markins and Photo Clam. Image stabilization (IS), electronic manual focusing (E-M), EXIF data entries for focal length, aperture and zoom range are all supported. There is no list of compatible or incompatible lenses (although a list of tested-to-work, which contains a few Canons, a Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 and the Zeiss 35mm f/2.0). Simply all Canon, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses and the Conurus Contax N - EF mount conversions will work (may need registration with the adapter first though). As said above, there are some limitations compared to the EF - E mount. At this point AF or Dandelions (focus confirmation chips) as well as features like peripheral shading, color fringing and distortion correction are not supported. In contrary to the Speedbooster there is no word lost on EF-S, but the tested Sigma is a DX lens.

On to pricing. They will charge 400$.

Metabones Speedbooster EF - M43 (2014) is the Speedboster version of the EF - M43 Mount. Like the Speedbooster EF - E it increases the max. aperture by 1 stop, increases MTF and increases wide angle by a factor of 0.71x. The Speedboosters feature and limitations list is otherwise identical to the EF - M43 Mount, except for adding incompatibility with EF-S lenses, although it might be possible to apply some modifications to the EF-S rear parts to make them fit. The Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 is still listed as tested compatible straight from the shelf, though that part of the page looks a bit like a possibly faulty copy-paste transaction.

Documentation available online

For the Speedbooster optics add another 200$ to the cost of the basic mount version.

MTF Effect (2011) consists of the so called Control Unit, which is wire-coupled to an electronic mount for Canon EF lenses. IS is supported. Mounts are available for MFT, Sony E (NEX and FS-100) and Sony FZ cameras. The original FZ mount was called F3 mount, since with its release in 2011 the PMW-F3 was for long the only camera with this mount (the PMW-F5 and F55 were announced in late 2012). Using the FZ mount results in a magnification factor of 1.5x. The control unit comes with illuminated display to show the current focal length and aperture (both in realtime, even during zoom with lenses not featuring constant aperture values). Aperture can be adjusted in 1/8th stop increments by turning a knob. Mark I of the control unit was powered by AA power cells lasting for a day of shooting. It will automatically shut down when idling to save energy. The only incompatible lens named (as of 2012) was the EF 1.2/85. There was no reason given, but it features E-M, which might be the reason.
 
In 2013 Control Unit Mark II was released. It is now powered by an external power source via D-Tap or 4-pin Hirose and size and weight were reduced.
 
In 2014 they aditionally added an EF to AJA Cion mount to their selection. The AJA Cion uses a standard PL mount and comes with a removable front mount plate. The MTF adapter has the front plate build-in, so the adapter will only fit the Cion, not other PL mount cameras.

About pricing ... they charge 650£ for the Control Unit and 350£ per mount (460£ for the Cion). Alternately they also offer dumb mounts, which still go between 200£ and 275£ (415£ for the Cion).
 
Read a review by Dan Chung.

Quenox & Co. Canon EF To Sony NEX and Micro 4/3 Dumb Tilt Mounts1
MFT:
 
NEX:
 
Now owning a Canon EOS and probably one of the Samyangs this one might give you one more argument to get a secondary mirrorless body instead of a C/EF T/S lens. These adapters will mount your C/EF lenses and provide an adjustable tilt range of up to 8° at a 360° rotation. For some reason there is no Tilt EOS-FX yet.

Redrock Micro LiveLens MFT (2011) is an EF mount dedicated to Micro Four-Thirds (digital still or video cameras alike). It allows to control the iris of most EF compatible lenses, including third party products, in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 stops. The unit weights 122g and is powered by an external 9V battery pack (adds another 85g and lasts for 20h of operation). The Redrock Micro LiveLens MFT is not compatible with the Redrock M2 Encore or M3 Cinema Lens Adapters ... check Dedicated Lenses > Adapting EF > EF to Misc Mounts for their LiveLens Active Lens Mount.
 
"Additional lens features that require power may not be supported." (Redrock article page - description)
"Currently the LiveLens MFT [...] does not provide power for image stabilization." (Redrock article page - FAQ)
"LiveLens mft [sic!] does not power focus by wire lenses like the 85mm f/1.2 and 300mm f/2.8. It also does not work with Canon or third party teleconverters, extenders, or macro tubes." (Redrock article page - FAQ)
 
<rant>Alright, I admit it ... I never got the point why people would rave about Micro 4/3 when I just couldn't stand to wait for Canon to release a high ISO full frame DSLR any longer. Micro 4/3 actually seemed like a bad joke to me, because at the time of it getting established on the market, most people were already swearing about the near end of even APS-C sensor sized consumer DSLRs. Lots of especially spare time photographers wanted bigger sensors for higher ISO, less noise and less crop to finally use those wide angle lenses properly again, that were left in the shelf since the end of analog times, leave alone a minimum camera size required to come in handy and balanced with lenses. So why Micro 4/3? And hey ... here we go with just another bad joke ... and guess what? It's Micro 4/3 again, although not genuine. This is really pretty weak ... a 550$ adapter, that is - if at all - interesting for film makers, but doesn't support IS (nor AF) and I guess every change of aperture will cause numerous events of camera shake, since the touch pad to change the value is fixed to the adapter and you have to go through all the stop steps until the desired aperture is set. Communication of lens data to the body? Nope. And yeah, the Redrocks aren't even bothered to set up an exactly detailed product page. It's all achieved by magic. Reading the small print section you'll note, that you have to order the battery cable separately for another 50$ and that RrM doesn't mention the format of the required battery, that - wuh-huh - comes with the cable (might well be some proprietary format, that you have to order with the cable every 20 hours of use. Also not a single word about EF-S is lost. I'd guess it's not supported, but in fact is reported by users to work flawlessly. And what do we have there? Focus by wire lenses? Hmm. Welcome to the world of Canon EF! I guess the term these guys were looking for is Electronic-Manual. WTF.</rant>
 
Finally watched their fancy video tutorial ... the "cable" actually is a wired battery pack housing an exchangeable 9V 6LR61 standard battery block (available in 1.2A max.). And there even is an option to power the mount via so-called "D-tap power cable" (no clue what connector it has on the opposite side of the D-tab) connected to an IDX Endura 10s Li-Ion power pack (14.8V, 6.3A).

 

Selected Mirrorless Camera Core Specs Compared:
  Camera Model MSRP~ Mount Color Depth2 Dyn. Range2 HQ ISO2 Crop DPreview Availability
  Canon EOS M 800$ (2012) EF-M 22.1 bits 11.2 EV 827 1.6 Preview |
  Fujifilm X-E1 1000$ (2012) Fuji X       1.5 Review |
  Fujifilm FinePix X-Pro1 1700$ (2012) Fuji X       1.5 Review |
  Sony A5000 500$ (2014) Sony E 23.8 bits 13.0 EV 1089 1.5  
  Sony NEX-C3 650$ (2011) Sony E 22.7 bits 12.2 EV 1083 1.5 Review
  Sony NEX-F3 600$ (2012) Sony E 22.7 bits 12.3 EV 1114 1.5 Review |
  Sony NEX-3N 500$ (2013) Sony E 22.8 12.5 1067 1.5 Preview
  Sony NEX-5N 860$ (2011) Sony E 23.6 bits 12.7 EV 1079 1.5 Review |
  Sony NEX-5T 700$ (2013) Sony E 23.6 bits 13.0 EV 1015 1.5 Camera Roundup
  Sony NEX-6 850$ (2012) Sony E 23.7 bits 13.1 EV 1018 1.5 Review |
  Sony NEX-7 1720$ (2011) Sony E 24.1 bits 13.4 EV 1016 1.5 Review |
                   
This is just a selection of recent models, that are expected to handle low light conditions nearly as easy as some DSLRs since a few years (ISO ratings above 1000). They all meet or exceed a minimum of 4608 x 3456 pix sensor resolution (15.9 Mpix) and 125 - 16000 ISO range. Noticed the absense of MFT mount cameras? According to available DxO tests there is no MFT camera exceeding the ISO 1000 mark. The best one there is the Oly Pen EP-M2 with a rating of 932.
For reference, the EOS 5D Mark II achieved a 23.7 bit, 11.9 EV, 1815 ISO rating, the 5D Mark III a 24.0 bit, 11.7 EV, 2293 ISO rating (see SLR Cameras > Canon EOS DSLR for more models). Sure, both are (professional) fullframe sensor models and therefore have a huge advantage in lowlight, but that's what you usually will chose to do the shooting as best as possible technically. And seriously, when it comes to high ISO Canon is not even close to beat Sony and Nikon. So the above selection in fact does pretty well compared to Canon's consumer and prosumer APS-C models (70D ratings: 22.5 bit, 11.6 EV, 926 ISO ...), and as you can see, by above named standards for this list the EOS-M would have naturally been deleted for way too bad ISO performance, if this whole page wasn't basically about EOS :(. But hey ... there is always a little grain ready to enter the eye. Do not miss to read Victor Pavlovič's take on Sony NEX.
As an almost final note, it be mentioned, that a) for some reason I currently can't remember, DxO refuses to test Fujifilm cameras and b) as you can see above, there are as of today no smart adapters available to mount EF lenses to Fuji X mount.

Some more random facts:
1) In the FinePix X-Pro1 Review you can look at a side-by-side sample shot comparison for noise levels of different cameras, that you can freely choose from a drop-down list.
2) Nauticam offers UW housings for the Sony NEX-5N, NEX-6 and NEX-7.

 

© 2007 - 2014 Canon EOS Technoclopedia