I don’t usually do this, but after using the Sigma MC-11 EF to Sony E mount adapter I felt compelled to write about it – just a little. I have the Metabones Leica M to E mount and the Novoflex Leica M to E mount adapters to use on my old Sony Nex-7. The Metabones was my first experience and it was disappointing. I stopped using it after about a week since it was a very tight fit. I did not want to wreck the lenses so I stopped using it and purchased the Novoflex, what a difference. The Novoflex is a piece of quality machining, the Metabones well lets just say it was not up to par. This got me thinking. I wonder if there is something out there for my Canon EF glass for the Sony Nex-7. I watched a video review of the Sigma EF to E adapter on the Sony A9 and there was no difference in focus speed between it and the Sony lenses. That got me thinking if this adapter was working that well on the A9 then it should be pretty good on the Nex-7. So I decided to purchase one since it was on sale at B&H for $149.
I ran a few tests right off which are not very scientific but real world. I decided that the dreary day was perfect for testing in low light indoors and I was right. This shot of my dog Kodak was done with the 16-35 using the autofocus in the camera. It was not fast but it was accurate. It took a good 2 sec to light up the focus square but I was holding the camera down near the dogs nose using the rear screen. Low light, back lit, ISO 1600 1/320 @ f 2.8. It worked! Not fast but on this ancient camera pretty darn good.
Next I went for the big heavy glass. The Canon 70-200 2.8 L IS ll. A beautiful lens to say the least. The autofocus was very slow and it would restart focusing every time you pressed the shutter button. Not really what I was looking for. That being said, this camera technology is really old so I did not expect much. I decided to use it in manual focus with focus peaking wide open at 2.8 with the IS in the lens on. Lets just say I focused faster than the camera and lens did. I’m ok with that. The lens is so beautiful I can deal with it. I started to think of how I could make this work on a news assignment with this lens since I have a bunch of graduations to do and I don’t want to carry around my Canon 7dMk2. Since the Nex-7 and lens combo does not focus fast enough to use the autofocus how can I make it work in a news situation? The big problem is getting the shot off while it’s still in focus. The answer is to shoot in high speed priority mode at 10 frames a sec. Brilliant! Since the camera really does not focus fast with any of these Canon lenses, then why use it. Well the price point is hard to beat, it’s fine for stationary subjects, all lens controls are there, the meta data is embedded, and the lenses are awesome.
I even pulled out the Canon EF 100 f 2.0 to see what it would be like with this lens. The auto focus speed was not improved. So back to speedy manual focus with peaking and high speed priority shooting at 10 frames per sec. The result was tack sharp images at f 2.
Needless to say I am happy with the purchase. If I decide to upgrade the camera to an a6500 the Sigma MC-11 adapter has a port to upgrade the firmware. Another brilliant idea! So the adapter can be continuously upgraded as new lenses and cameras come out. My conclusion is that if you are looking for speedy autofocus with the Sony Nex-7 this adapter for Canon or Sigma lenses will not provide it. But it does give you all the lens controls like IS, f stops etc. plus metadata embedded in the file. Just another tool in the gear bag. So now I can use my Canon lenses with my Nex-7 for certain things, YAY!!!