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I currently live in the Canon ecosystem, but really like the look of the Sony a7S. But before I switch I want to know just how well I'll be able use use my old EF-mount lenses on my new a7S.

How well do the mount adapters perform?

Are there any converters that would allow me to use my old EF lenses with 100% of the original functionality (auto-focus, IS, EXIF data, etc)?

I would not normally ask, but this isn't the sort of thing I can try out in the store.

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Yes, there are adapters with full function (the pretty expensive Metabones adapter springs to mind) so you'll have aperture control, but the AF performance won't be anything near what you're used to on EOS mount. To quote from their website for the Mk III EOS->E adapter:

Autofocus is supported, with the following known limitations.

Autofocus speed is very slow and inadequate for most moving subjects. The autofocus speed is unfit for professional use for sure, and it would disappoint most enthusiasts. Only Canon-branded lenses introduced in or after 2006 are officially supported. Autofocus may be disabled for older Canon lenses and most third-party lenses, including most Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses and all Contax N lenses modified by Conurus. ...

Along with a whole mess of other caveats. So, practical upshot, you'd probably be better off trying to adapt manual-focus lenses that have an aperture ring on them. Much simpler, easier, and pretty much the same (or more) function. And if they're rangefinder lenses, then the size/weight is closer to ideal.

In the mirrorless world, to me if you're a Canon L shooter, if you're willing to sacrifice sensor size for lens selection, you go µ4/3. If you're happy to sacrifice lens selection (and speeed) for full-frame, you go Sony A7 system. And if you're happy with APS-C and fast expensive glass, then you go Fuji X.

The Sony A7 models are particularly problematic, given how there's a lack of full-frame lenses for it from Sony, they tend to be very expensive, and adapted rangefinder lenses--particularly the Leica M wide angles, have questionable performance, quite possibly due to the sensor stack thickness. In addition, to keep size and weight down, most of the full-frame E lenses are f/4, but have f/2.8 L lens prices. Best to make your peace with that before getting an A7, in my book.

  • That is... disappointing. I was really hoping for a good full-frame mirrorless option. Any idea on the lens selection for the Fuji X series? – theJollySin Jul 29 '14 at 20:45
  • Google up "Fuji X Lens Roadmap" to see what their lens aesthetic is. I think it appeals to the "Holy Trinity" L crowd, myself, as it's tough to find a sub-$500 lens in the bunch. I am a bit shallower in pocket and went m4/3, myself. To me, the A7 is probably the bees' knees if you have an M-mount 'cron 35/50/90 trio. – inkista Jul 29 '14 at 21:10
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    That's just one opinion, I shoot with an A7R and Canon lenses using the metabones adapter and it works for me. I mostly use manual focus with it. Other mirrors systems just can't quite recreate the look of full frame (though Fuji is close). – Matt Grum Jul 29 '14 at 22:06
  • @MattGrum True. And full frame is still full frame, and a few years of lens development could make a large difference--Sony seems determined not to drag their feet on glass for the A7, like they did with A-mount. – inkista Jul 29 '14 at 22:37
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    @inkista For anyone curious, I did go ahead and make the big change and I couldn't be happier. Most of what I do is landscape or portraits, so the lack of zippy autofocus on my old Canon lenses doesn't matter. And the old manual focus lenses have become my favorites. – theJollySin Jun 23 '15 at 19:15
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Roger Cicala of lensrentals.com is less than enthusiastic about converters in general, http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/09/there-is-no-free-lunch-episode-763-lens-adapters, and if you follow the link you'll see why- they can very often reduce image quality, even though they have no glass elements in them.

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    Be careful reading that, article, though. His test suite output is setup to exaggerate the results so they're more self-evident (translation: if you only look at the pictures and don't read the words, things look a whole lot worse than they really are). The bigger issue is the one Cicala found with sensor stack thickness. – inkista Jul 29 '14 at 19:39
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    No arguments here. – JenSCDC Jul 29 '14 at 19:42
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Recently I tried out the Sony A7s II in a camera shop with these four adapters (ordered by price, high to low):

  • Metabones Mark IV
  • Sigma MC-11
  • Fotodiox Pro Fusion Smart AF Adapter
  • Yongnuo EF-E Smart Adapter

and these two Canon lenses:

  • 100mm f2.8 L IS USM
  • 50mm f1.8 STM

Metabones

  • Aperture control: Works
  • Auto-expose: Works
  • EXIF data: Recorded correct f-stop and lens name
  • Auto-focus: Did not work on any lens. It did search, but could not obtain focus.

Sigma MC-11

Same as the Metabones.

Fotodiox

  • Aperture control: Does not work, lenses can only be used wide-open.
  • Auto-expose: Only in Aperture priority or Manual mode
  • EXIF data: Records f-stop as f/0.0
  • Auto-focus: Did not work on any lens. The camera recognized the lenses as manual focus only.
  • As the 50mm f1.8 STM lens is "focus-by-wire" it could not be focused at all, not even manually.

Yongnuo

  • This converter showed heavy vignetting with both lenses, so was not tested further.
  • Ouch. Those are harsh results. In the years since this post, I did make the switch to Sony, and eventually replaced most of my high-end Canon lenses with old-school, high-end lenses with no electronics. The result is extremely high image quality and a great ecosystem for outdoor/landscape photography. But I can no longer do wildlife. As you mentioned, I just didn't have autofocus. And that makes trying to snap a photo of an endangered fox pretty difficult. – theJollySin Feb 2 '18 at 18:31
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- Canon to E-Mount - Viltrox EF-Nex II Auto-Focus adapter -

I own a "Sony A7 II", I still have a "Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM" and a "Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD" from the Canon equipment that I used before.
So I bought a "Viltrox EF-Nex II Auto-Focus Canon to Sony E-Mount Adapter" to use these lenses on my Sony body.

1st of all, the AF is really slow and searches a lot compared to when used on any high-end Canon body ... and that's the BEST case scenario imaginable.

What often happens is that the Canon lens to Sony A7 body is a rather LOOSE ASSEMBLY due to the poor machining and precision of the Viltrox adapter. IT IS LOOSE ALL THE TIME.
The result is that quite often, the lenses fail to transmit aperture data to the body, and you need to turn the camera OFF, unmount the lens and adapter, mount the lens and adapter back again, and turn the camera back ON (just nerve wrecking) ... AND BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO "ROTATE" THAT LOOSE ASSEMBLY WHILE YOU WORK AROUND THE LENS.

Quite frankly, you are better off working with Sony lenses, even if some of them may have a tad less performance compared to some high-end Canon lenses ... and some third-party lenses specifically designed for the E-Mount system will also be a lot more satisfying than the "Canon to E-Mount assembly".

Well-known brands (Canon/Nikon/etc) don't share their "proprietary MOJO and compatibility standards" with other companies (such as companies dedicated to the "lens adapters domain").
As a matter of fact, adapters should include a complete ELECTRONIC INTERFACE in order to precisely translate the Canon/Nikon/etc electronic standards to the E-Mount electronic standards back and forth ... and that also means that these adapters should be POWERED in some way.

WELL ! THAT SAID !
I still managed to shoot a couple of great shots with my Canon lenses mounted on the Sony A7 body. You can't be unlucky all the time.

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