Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Commlite EOS to E-Mount AF Adapter - Initial Impression

I ordered the Commlite from eBay early this month and got it yesterday.  The cost was $80 with free shipping from China.  At the time I ordered, it was one of the cheapest AF adapters available.

The adapter is very well made and heavy, and it comes with a detachable tripod mount. Unfortunately, the tripod mount is not Arca Swiss compatible, which is a real downer. On the Canon lens mount side, the fit is nice and tight, but there is a slight play on the camera side of the mount, but it's better than the original Sony lenses. The Sony lens mount on the A7 seems to have too much tolerance on the locking pin; it's a bit too small than the locking pin slot, causing the lens to move with a twist. This is the same problem with Canon camera/lenses. I heard that Sony has fixed this on the A7 II.

Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II with Commlite Adapter on Sony  A7

So far, I have tried the following lenses:
  • EF 16-35mm f2.8L II (works ok)
  • EF 35mm f1.4L (works ok)
  • EF 40mm f2.8 STM (very fast and accurate)
  • EF 50mm f1.2L (shows maximum aperture as f1.3)
  • EF 85mm f1.2L (shows maximum aperture as f1.3)
  • EF 100mm f2.0 (very fast and accurate)
  • EF 100mm f2.8L IS Macro (would not achieve focus and IS does not seem to work.  Also it does not stay in Aperture priority (A) mode and in fact, it seems to be in P mode because it seems to change either or both the shutter speed and aperture when light changes)  
  • EF 135mm f2.0L (Focus is less sure than other lenses)
  • EF 70-200mm f4.0L IS (IS seems less effective than on Canon body  
I still have the EF 135mm f2.8 Soft Focus and the EF 180mm f3.5L macro lens that I haven't tried.  So far the only lens that refuses to AF is the EF 100mm f2.8L IS Macro, but I expect them to work fine as they are older.  The other minor issue is that the two f1.2 lenses were reported as have a f1.3 maximum aperture.  Not a big deal, but not sure why that is.  The adapter records most exif information of the lens, except the lens model.  The lens is always shown as "DT 0mm F0 SAM". Not a huge deal, but it would have been nice to report the correct lens model.

One surprise is the 40mm f2.8 pancake lens with STM motor.  This lens is by far the fastest focusing and most accurate.  Perhaps lenses optimised for contrast detect works better with the adapter. Can't verify this as I don't have another STM lens to test.

Took the Canon EF 100mm f2.0 lens with me today for some light shooting. The result was mixed. In most cases, the lens focuses pretty accurately, but occasionally it would mis-focus. The speed of focus does not seem to improve significantly in bright daylight than indoors.  Other lenses may be different though. I will update on the adapter as I shoot more with it.

Parking Lot - Canon EF 100mm f2.0 & Sony A7 with Commlite Adapter.

Skating on thin ice - Canon EF 100mm f2 & Sony A7 with Commlite Adapter


  1. My CommLite is white in colour and includes the small stub for a tripod 1/4-20 bolt. To this I guess you would attach a tripod plate of your choosing. My 135 2.0L does exhibit the same kind of focusing your mention so I just leave it in MF full time and use Focus Peaking. I am happy to see the results on the A7R is amazing. Sharp if not sharper than when it is on a 5DMk3. That's just the megapixels talking. :) I never really paid much attention to what is reported with respect to the aperture. Will pay more attention.

    1. Chester, Canon lenses are awesome, but let down by the often less than perfect focusing system, even in high end cameras. When properly focused, most Canon lenses are extremely sharp, contrary to what many says.

      As for the tripod mount, it's a pain to find a Quick Release (QR) Arca Swiss plate that will fit this built-in mount on the adapter.

  2. The f/1.3 issue, I think, got discussed a lot with the metabones smart adapter. Apparently, it's an issue of how the lens reports the aperture and then how the camera rounds that number in conjunction with how 1/3 stops are treated.

    1. Thanks for the information, Mike. You are full of useful information!

  3. Good to know that 40 pancake lens works weel. It's a cheap lens with good quality, Sony should provide a similar native lens imho ....

    1. I agree. So far the Sony Zeiss branded lenses are very expensive. We need some sort of prime line up similar to what Canon has, 28/2, 35/2, 85/1.8, etc. that are good and affordable.

  4. dear yu-lin,
    thank you for this hands on report.
    any comments regarding the register distance of the adapter?

    i am finally the owner of a used a7 ;)

    what do you think? is the combination commlite and canon pancake capable of delivering acceptable video-quality with the a7?

    greetings from vienna

    1. Congrats Michael! I am sure you like the A7. I know I do.

      The Canon pancake has amazing image quality, so if sharpness is what you are looking for, it's a perfect lens, but the f2.8 max aperture is a bit too small for my taste. The 40mm f2.8 pancake does not support continuous AF on the A7 with the Commlite, so this maybe a problem for video.

  5. Was depressed to find my Sigma 28-200mm doesn't AF. After reading this blog ordered a 40mm Canon pancake. I also use my modified Sigma 60mm Art lens on the A7 in Full Frame mode with slight vignette since it's an APS-C lens.

  6. Replies
    1. You can use EF-S lenses, but I don't have any so didn't test any.

  7. I recently got a Commlite adapter to use Sigma 35 1.4 Art with my Sony A7ii, it works pretty well. It missed focus some times but I think it's acceptable because my Batis 85 does the same.

    Because of the good result with Sigma 35 Art, I bought Canon 200mm 2.8L II and run it with Commlite adapter. It's however not stable: sometimes it runs ok (can focus) but sometimes it just hunts back and forth and cannot acquire focus.

    Still research on why this happens, just leave a comment about that here so others can have a reference on this issue.