As you look, longingly, at a Sony mirrorless camera, wishing you could leave your DSLR behind …
You think of the money you’ve invested in your life-long collection of EF mount glass. You can’t imagine swapping a single one for a native E-mount version. Let me help you make the leap and keep your collection intact.
If you use a Sony E-mount camera, you have access to a huge choice of lenses. Even those beyond the Sony brand!
Many lenses can be adapted to fit on the E-mount. As many people make the switch to Sony Mirrorless from DSLRs such as Nikon and Canon, we might already have a selection of lenses we want to use.
Here’s My Using Canon Lenses on Sony Mirrorless Cameras Guide.
Why Do It?
You might have built up a collection of EF glass.
There’s a need for a specialist lens (tilt-shift) only available to Canon users.
You’re running a dual system with a Canon DSLR as a second camera and need to share a standard lens set.
Whatever your reason, here’s what you need to know.
Smart Or Dumb Adapters?
When it comes to adaptors, there are two choices. Smart or dumb. A dumb adaptor will only provide a mechanical fit between the lens and the camera body. Placing the lens at the correct distance from the sensor.
A smart adaptor does the same, but with the extra benefit of electrical connections. Giving control over the lens’ focus, aperture and image stabilisation. It also allows EXIF data to be sent to the camera body. Embedding the lens make, model, focal length, aperture settings in the image metadata.
Think about the lenses you will be using.
As you can probably guess, smart adaptors are more expensive than dumb adaptors. When considering which would work for you, think about the lenses you will be using.
For example, I have a collection of manual prime lenses. They are Samyang EF mount cine lenses. They have manual focus and manual aperture rings. I have no need for the metadata, so I can simply use a dumb adaptor.
Remember, you don’t have to stick to the traditional uses for each focal length! Your lens choices could be #JACKED – See Here
To throw some extra confusion into the mix, we have speed booster adapters. Technical name: focal reducers. When Using Canon Lenses on Sony, sometimes you might want to undo the crop factor. These are adapters with an integrated lens and they do something really witch-crafty!
Without getting into the technical (because it’s irrelevant, it just works), speed boosters reduce the crop factor of your camera. On a crop sensor, such as in the A6300, A6500, etc, a 50mm lens appears more like a 75mm would on a full frame camera. The speed booster reverses the crop factor again to make your 50mm appear more 50mm-ish.
But remember, Full frame isn’t everything. Crop does have some advantages – 5 Reasons To Not Care About Full Frame!
You get the full field of view from your lenses again.
The second advantage of the speed booster is that you gain 1 stop of light! Your f/2.8 effectively becomes an f/1.8!
So not only will you connect your existing Canon glass and have full electronic control, you will regain the full field of view of your wide angle lens and have an extra stop of light to play with.
Who Are These For?
If you are Using Canon Lenses on Sony, you need a smart adapter. Especially the modern EOS lenses. That is the way of things. The aperture control needs to be powered. There are versions for Nikon glass, and Nikon has a huge selection of manual aperture options. So if you are just starting out and want to know a lens set that will stand up to the wave of mirrorless cameras, Nikon is a good choice.
If you have a manually controlled EF mount lens, like the Samyang/Rokinon lenses, you may only need a dumb adaptor.
Although the autofocus does work, it is simply not as fast as the native Sony lenses on the Sony bodies. So if focus speed is important to you, you might want to consider native glass.
But, if you are a landscape photographer, you can take your time with the focus.
Having a smart adapter with your Canon glass has the benefit of transmitting Metadata.
This means that when you choose to manually focus, the Sony body knows it and brings up the expanded focus view for you!
What Are Our Options?
In my mind, smart adapters and speed boosters are synonymous with Metabones. Their adapters are very well made and the optics in the speed boosters are fantastic. The adapter is powered by the camera body and does not require an external battery.
They update their firmware often to accommodate new lenses and fix issues, and have a large selection of options for other mounts too.
This is a very capable, more affordable option. Although AF is not as rapid as the newer versions of Metabones, it is still useable and at a reduced price.
The build quality is not as good as Fotodiox, but is still metal. The price is also well positioned. Although, the compatibility is not as good as the Metabones. People have reported some issues with Sigma Art lenses on this mount. I never said Using Canon Lenses on Sony was easy! You need to do some research based on the lenses you would like to use.
If you exclusively use Sigma lenses, then this could be the choice for you. Compatible with a select number of Sigma’s own EF-mount lenses, but not guaranteed with those of other manufacturers.
This adapter boasts full lens performance and use of Eye-tracking AF.
FotodioX Vizelex ND Throttle Adapter
As I said earlier, when Using Canon Lenses on Sony you need electronic control of the aperture. But this gives you the ability to control the exposure of your Canon lens. A Built-in ND filter to control exposure, but not the aperture. The aperture will be wide open all the time. So, your depth of field control is, well … zero. Unless you use it in combination with a manual EF lens. Then you have two essential filmmaking tools in one, neat package.
Gobe Lens Adapter
As basic as a basic lens adapter can be. It connects the camera body at one side, and the EF lens at the other. There is no communication with the lens, but if you are into manual control, this is all you need.
The Sony Mirrorless camera systems are fantastic in many ways. One of them is their ability to accept many types of lenses. If you have a stash of Canon glass and won’t pick up mirrorless because you’ve already invested heavily, there is nothing stopping you now! Using Canon Lenses on Sony is something I do all the time.
Adapt or Die. Mirrorless is the future.
When Using Canon Lenses on Sony, check the lists of compatible lens choices for each adapter before you buy. Make sure the lenses that you want to use are on the list. Not all EF mount lenses are created equal and you may have some issues with, for example, a Sigma art lens on a Metabones adapter on a Sony body.
Thanks for reading this far, I hope you found something useful. If you know of any other options let me know. Do you use a different setup? Would you even consider moving from your DSLR to mirrorless? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks again, have a great day, speak soon,