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Testing

November 26, 2013

Metabones III Electronic Lens Adapter Testing with Sony Nex-6, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L Lens

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter

In this article I will go over in detail the Metabones III Electronic Lens Adapter for Canon EF lenses and the Sony Nex E-Mount Camera System. I tested the Metabones III lens adapter using my Sony Nex-6 and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens so far, and have several high res sample photos for you to check out. I also have a detailed video review so you can see the adapter in my hands and get a closer look on how it works live on my Nex-6.

I’ve been wanting an electronic lens adapters for sometime, but I could never justify the $399 US price, considering how much my Nex-6 camera itself cost. The new Full Frame Sony A7 and A7r changed that justification though, because full frame optical coverage is going to cost a lot more money! I already have several high quality Canon lenses, so why not take advantage? The slightly larger camera body will also accommodate the larger lenses better than the Nex-6 will, although it does a great job in my opinion with the 24-105mm lens.


The Metabones III lens adapter supports Contrast Detection Auto Focus and Image Stabilization, if the lens has it. The adapter also retains the lens exif data such as aperture and focal length. I do some focus testing in the video below so you can see the speed of the AF yourself. It’s not very fast, but it works and is very accurate.The Auto modes on the camera also work, so the camera can select the aperture for you and limit the shutter speed with aperture control. This is basically all the functionality of a native E-Mount lens with a Canon EF lens. Incredible to say the least and extremely valuable to those with large lens investments from past camera systems or pro gear.
 

Metabones III Electronic Lens Mount Adapter

A closer look at the Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter.

Lens Side – Canon EF

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter

You can see the lens release lever, the usb port for firmware updates, and the mode button below that in this photo, but it’s a bit dark on the bottom side where the button is. In the video it’s much easier to see up close.

Port Side:

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter

Camera Side – E-Mount:

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter

Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter

With the Canon lens and my Sony Nex-6 mounted.

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens

The Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter goes for $399 US @ BHPhoto (Click Here), and if you have several high quality Canon EF lenses laying around like myself, you may want to consider checking this adapter out. Especially if you plan on getting on the new Sony full frame cameras or if you already have the full frame Nex-VG-900 Camcorder.

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens

 

Hands-On Video with My Sony Nex-6

In this video I will review the Metabones III Electronic Lens Adapter for Canon EF lenses to the Sony Nex E-Mount Cameras. In this case my Sony Nex-6 and the Canon EF 24-105 f/4 L IS Lens. Be sure to select the HD quality once the video starts playing!



 

A Few Sample Photos

My best bud Chubs on the deck in direct sunlight.

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 55mm, F/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 100

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 55mm, F/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 100

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 55mm, F/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 100

100% Crop – Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 55mm, F/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 100

 

Layla’s pumpkin near the end…

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/200sec, ISO 1600

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/200sec, ISO 1600

 

Layla on the deck in direct sunlight.

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/640sec, ISO 100

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/640sec, ISO 100

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/640sec, ISO 100

100% Crop – Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/640sec, ISO 100

 

Hand-held in really low light and and at the minimum focus distance to the chair baluster. IS really helps!

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/30sec, ISO 3200

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/30sec, ISO 3200

 

A lock on the ice chest outside the deli I frequent.

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/200sec, ISO 200

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 105mm, F/4, 1/200sec, ISO 200

 

A very quickly processed hand-held HDR Photograph. -2,0,+2 exposures and Photomatix were used to create the hdr.

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 24mm, F/6.3 - HDR Photograph

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 24mm, F/6.3 – HDR Photograph

 
Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 60mm, F/4, 1/320sec, ISO 100

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 60mm, F/4, 1/320sec, ISO 100

 
Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 55mm, F/4, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 55mm, F/4, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 24mm, F/4, 1/200sec, ISO 100

Nex-6, Metabones EF III, Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS Lens @ 24mm, F/4, 1/200sec, ISO 100

 

Closing Remarks

So far I’m very happy with the Metabones Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Camera Lens Mount Adapter and I’m looking forward to trying it out on the new full frame cameras and testing out more lens combinations. The image quality is excellent and I don’t notice any flaws in optical quality when using the crop factor sensor Nex-6. Corners look excellent, CA and vignette are pretty much non-existent, and the image stabilization performs excellent on the 24-105mm lens.

That is about it for now, and Happy Holidays everybody! Your support is greatly appreciated and links to the latest Sony gear and deals below…

 

New Sony Gear links, Black Friday Deals and More…



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Thanks,
Jay



About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




13 Comments


  1. Alf

    Hi Jay.

    I own the metabones speedbooster for Canon lenses, and have used it extensively. I plan to migrate to the Sony a7r and was thinking I would get this adaptor.
    But one thing concerns me, my speedbooster adaptor had contact issues. and would often loose the electronic connection while I was manually focusing as even a gentle twist could make it loose connectivity and ruing the shoot. (drove me nuts!) And the speedbooster also initially had and almost too tight fit and felt very secure to the lens, but the adaptor to camera connection seemed to be the issue. Have you felt anything similar with this adaptor? Great review, thanks.


    • Jay

      Hi Alf and great question!

      I have not had this issue with the Metabones adapter, but I have had the issue with regular E-Mount lenses such as the Sigma art series and my 55-210mm lens specifically. I think it’s an issue with my Nex-6 more than the lenses though. Surprisingly if it was my Nex-6, this should happen with the Metabones adapter and it does not/ has not yet. Zooming in an out on the 24-105mm should make this happen as it happens to you, but it does not. Works flawlessly so far in fact 😉 Not sure if it’s specific to the electronic contacts or what. It doesn’t happen all the time, so I tolerate the issue to be honest.

      That extremely tight fit is very common apparently from what I read on the web. Not sure why they machine it so tight as light leakage will not make it past the flange anyway.

      I hope that helps,
      Jay


  2. Alf

    Absolutely love the picture of Chubs by the way. 🙂


  3. P

    Hi Jay,

    Perfect timing with your review; you are doing a great job! I have just purchased the a7R and have no legacy glass (other than that for my NEX-6). My intention is to purchase Sony FE lenses as they come out, but in the meantime I am considering an adapter to give me more lens options. My research has led me to either the LA-EA4 or the Metabones MB-EF-E-BM3 (EF Mark III) and I have come to the following conclusions:

    LA-EA4:
    – Better build quality
    – Faster autofocus (PDAF, I believe)
    – Only 1 A-mount lens with optical stabilisation (due to in body stabilisation)

    Metabones IMB-EF-E-BM3 (EF Mark III):
    – All the advantages of the Canon lens catalogue, most importantly some with optical stabilisation
    – Poor build quality (have seen numerous reviews complaining about this)
    – Slow autofocus

    It is worth noting that my next lens will be a zoom as I already have the SEL35F28Z, hence why optical stabilisation is an important factor. Is there anything else I should consider and in your opinion which way do you think I should go?

    Thanks in advance,

    P!


    • Jay

      Hi P and sorry for the delayed reply. Been busy and I wanted to give you a good answer.

      Thanks for the comments! My Metabones adapter has excellent build quality, but I have heard since getting mine about a few bad units getting out. My guess is, a slip-up in production happened and some people probably got fired. I can’t see how poor machining like that would be tolerated by the owner of the company. It’s sad to hear regardless, but worth noting mine is mint and they will exchange it out @ BH no problem if yours has an issue. Just one of the reasons I always buy from them 😉

      That is a really tough call honestly. Having no lenses it’s hard to recommend not buying the LA-EA4 lens adapter, but the lack of IS is a big deal. Is it worth the slower perform AF? That depends highly on your photography demands in the speed department. The AF is dog slow on the metabones compared to a lightning fast PDAF enabled system like the LA-EA4 AF technology. Even the PDAF Nex-6 sensor is super fast in comparison. If you would rather have IS and more lens choices, than AF? Then I would say go the metabones route. Otherwise the LA-EA4, or possible buying a cheap a-mount camera like the slt-a58 or a57 for that matter. What exactly do you need the Focus and IS for?

      I hope that helps and looking forward to your reply,
      Jay


  4. Fantastic shots. The image quality is superb. Even the specific details of the subject can be clearly seen. I’ll definitely take note of this camera lens because I’m planning to try it out myself.


    • Jay

      Thanks Karl for the comments, and they really are just snapshots! I really need to get some killer sample photos for your guys 😉 Working on a new “Lab” scene now.

      Later,
      Jay


  5. I’m considering this adaptor for my Canon 70-200 which as you know is a beast. My only worry is tacking a big lens on to my shiny new A7R and any load bearing issues that may happen. How to you handle that with the 24-105 (which isn’t far off in size terms.) Thanks for the article.


    • Jay

      Hi Andy,

      My f/2.8 70-200mm is much larger and heavier than the 24-105mm lens, but how I deal with it is use the metabones lens adapter mount for my tri-pod quick re-lease plate. This puts all the stress on that. When I use my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens I use the tri-pod mount on the lens itself. The metabones mount would work, but I figure the lens should be the mount point whenever possible on these smaller camera bodies. Your A7r has a beefier chassis in the front, so it should be able to handle the stress better than the A7 I have now. That being said, I have not seen or felt and flex so far. Still have not attached my 70-200mm lens though which will prove to be the heaviest I have to try. Hand holding I would use my left hand on the lens tri-pod mount as a little notch for my hand. This allows for easy finger zooming while still supporting the load. Right hand is then free for camera buttons and shooting.

      I hope that helps and have a great day,
      Jay


  6. Having trouble wrapping my head around the cropping, so I’ll just ask: does the 1.5 crop factor still apply on APS-C cameras or is that somehow negated since the lens is held farther away from the sensor?


    • Jay

      Hi Doug,

      It’s the same, because it has to do with the size of the camera sensor, not the distance from the sensor. Full frame is physically much larger than the APS-C sized sensors, and that creates the crop factor pretty much. If you want to try and wrap your head around it, I have an article on Understanding Crop Factor this way >>

      It is a weird concept for sure,
      Jay



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