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Gear Reviews

Comparing Canon EF- Sony FE AF Adapters From Metabones, Commlite, & Fotodiox

By Anthony Thurston on April 24th 2015

One of the things that you always hear about from Sony FE mirrorless pushers is that you can use your Canon EF/EF-S AF lenses on the Sony FE mount. While that is true, even a little research will show you the performance of that AF leaves a lot to be desired.

adapters

That being said, just having the ability to use those lenses on your A7 series camera is a great thing. But the prices of these adapters range quite a bit, and one wouldn’t be remiss for thinking that spending almost $400 on the Metabones would buy you better AF performance. But is that the case?

[REWIND: Sony FE 24-70mm F/4 Reviewed]

Dave Dugdale, from LearningVideo.com (Formerly LearningDSLRVideo), recently did a great comparison between the Metabones and the Commlite, pitting a $400 adapter vs. a $100 adapter, and the results may surprise you. Dave actually ended up preferring the $100 Commlite adapter over the more expensive Metabones one.

What about the other budget adapters? A very popular brand in the adapter market is Fotodiox, how does their adapter stack up to the $100 Commlite version? Dave recently put out another video comparing the Fotodiox to the Commlite, and the results were interesting.

It seems that no matter how much you spend on these adapters, the issues and results you get will largely be the same. Now, this is not the whole story; the Metabones adapter does have some more advanced features over the cheaper versions – but as Dave pointed out, as far as actual adapter performance goes, the adapters are largely the same across the board.

I have been looking into these adapters myself recently, mainly so I can use/review some Canon lenses without needing to borrow a Canon body. I had been thinking that I would save a bit and splurge for the more expensive Metabones, thinking that it would give me better results than the budget versions. However, I think now I am just going to go get the Commlite or Fotodiox version and save that extra money towards another native FE mount lens.

Those of you who were/are also thinking about getting one of these adapters. What are your thoughts on this comparison? Which adapter were you thinking you were going for, and which do you think now after watching these videos? Leave a comment!

[via Dave Dugdale]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Morgan Ev

    I bought the Fotodiox for my A7II and all my Canon lenses work flawlessly.

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  2. Joseph Prusa

    Happy with the MB seems to work well.

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  3. eric pedicelli

    My experience with the fotodiox is similar to Humberto’s with the comlite.

    I began with the A7S + Metabones. Was shocked how poor communication is with the Canon 24-105mm USM, my go to walk around lens. Thought maybe my metabones was defective. Returned the Metabones and bought the Fotodiox.

    Sturdy build however there’s a little slack in when adapter and lens are locked in place. Sometimes lens or aperture value is not recognized but rotating the camera body off of the adapter and on again is an easy trouble shoot. The real problem is that the autofocus capability is nil. Searches and searches but no luck locking on the subject. I use this set up almost exclusively for video so autofocus is not a deal breaker for me and beyond the above mentioned problems the adapter worked just wasn’t as smart as I hoped.

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  4. humberto teski de oliveira

    Hellow folks.

    I have a sony A7s and use a lot of canon ef glasses.

    I am having problems with my comlite adapter.
    The adapter screws are loosening.
    Too many times the camera don’t recognize the lens.
    It’s frustrating. A lot of.

    Some times the camera see the aperture value and sometimes no.
    I can’t photograph social events like weding with this issue.

    Which adapter is best for ef to e-mount full frame?

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  5. Nathan Horn

    If you’re looking for something more like a camera slider but like me, don’t have the budget for something fancy, try out this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfTxC17Gapw the commlite 60 cm, I bought it for abt 70$ on amazon

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  6. Aaron Cheney

    Just got my commlite in the mail. it has a really nice solid build to it and my Canon L glass attaches to it really smoothly. I can’t wait to try it out.

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  7. Kate Jones

    Regarding Dave’s latest comparison video, what about putting some black gaff tape or thinner black artist’s tape inside to fix the reflections? Would you be able to see the tape in your image? Another idea would be to carefully paint that inner area with matte black paint.

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    • Phil Bautista

      If the problem lies with the metallic surface of the mount, tape won’t solve it. Maybe spray paint?

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  8. Phil Bautista

    Hey Anthony, could you do a comparo of Metabones speed boosters/focal reducers compared to their cheaper brethren?

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  9. Phil Bautista

    I went the “cheap” route after watching Jason Lanier’s experience with a Metabones adapter. My main reason for using a smart adapter over a dumb one is because I still get to adjust aperture through the camera. That and I get EXIF info. Autofocus is far from ideal but I’m okay with focusing manually thanks to focus peaking and zebras.

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  10. Will Gavillan

    I use the Viltrox EF-NEXII adapter with my A7ii. Autofocus is just as “fast” as with Metabones, but much cheaper.

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  11. adam sanford

    Leaving the Canon fold someday will net me a wonderful sensor and (if the move is for mirrorless reasons) a much smaller body.

    But it also would mean living in a world where adapters are less of a cool parlor trick and more of a *necessity*. Yikes. Point: Canon.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Lets be real Adam. By the time you ditch Canon there will be at least a half decent pool of native FE lenses. :P

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    • adam sanford

      The key word to stress: “By the time *I* ditch Canon…” Agree. You know me so well. :-P

      I’m 100% behind those making awesome, creative uses of their mirrorless rigs, but I just can’t leave behind the creature comforts of so many fast-focusing native EF lenses.

      But who knows, I might snag an old EF 50mm f/1.0 someday and adapt it on a tiny mirrorless rig with IBIS and love it. I can change. I think.

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