Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Commlite EOS to E-Mount AF Adapter with Canon 50mm f1.2L

I decided to write how the Commlite adapter works with each lens, instead of one or two posts on the whole thing.  I think it's better this way.  Keep in mind that this series of articles are not in depth, and your adapter may have new/older firmware than mine, or your lenses are newer/older than mine, so the results might be different.  I can only write about how the adapter works with my lenses.

Today we are going to look at the Commlite adapter with the Canon EF 50mm f1.2L.

Commlite with Canon EF 50mm f1.2L. Click for larger.

The Canon 50mm f1.2L generally has positive experiences for most people.  It can be incredibly sharp at f1.2 if you can nail the focus.  On Canon bodies, this is usually a hit and miss deal, especially using consumer bodies.  One of the controversies is that this lens has no CRC, or Close Range Correction.  What this means is that if you focus at minimum focus distance, or close to it, and stop down the lens to, say f4, you will see focus shift.  The more you stop down, the worse it gets.  In most expensive lenses, close range correction is there to compensate for this effect.  It's not a problem if you only shoot wide open.

This is not an issue, of course, with mirrorless cameras, because the focus sensor is also the image sensor.  When focused, that how the sensor sees it and the image will be sharp, but an DSLR with mirrors, you only see the sharp image in the viewfinder, not necessarily in the final image, because it uses a separate sensor for focus, and it relies on the accuracy of the mirrors and other supporting hardware.

I only used this combination a couple of times, so it may not be a good evaluation, but so far, they perform similar to the EF 100mm f2, but slightly better in accuracy.  In most cases, the camera/adapter can focus in very low light with the Sony A7.  Most pictures taken at f1.2 are very sharp.  One weird thing is that in two occasions, the camera/lens would not achieve focus.  It seemed like it lost the reference point and wouldn't rack far enough to one end or the other to get focus.  When the camera is first turned on, the adapter drives lens from minimum distance to infinity, to establish the reference point(s). To fix this, I had to turned the power off and then back on.  Not really a big issue, but annoying nevertheless.  In terms of focus speed, again, it's similar to the EF 100mm f2. In other words, it won't win any awards in focus speed department, but it's usable.  Typically 2 to 3 seconds, and sometimes a bit more if the focus point is not very contrasty.  Also, instead of f1.2, the adapter reports f1.3 as the maximum aperture.  Not really a problem, as it doesn't close the lens down to f1.3; it's just the aperture number not correct.

Many people tend to overlook the other benefit of this adapter.  It's the ability to change aperture of the lens from the camera.  Remember, all Canon lenses do not have mechanical aperture controls, and with all dumb (passive) adapters, the aperture is always stuck at open.  You can force the lens to stay in a certain aperture using the depth of field preview trick, but every time you need to change it again, you need to mount back to the Canon body to do it.  A smart adapter, like the Commlite, lets you change aperture from the Sony camera, and you can focus manually.

I am quite satisfied with the adapter working with the 50mm f1.2L.  You may find it too slow to focus if you are used to the speed on Canon bodies.  To me, I am amazed that it actually works.  Certainly this is no small challenge and I totally understand what the engineers/designers have to overcome to get it to work this well so far.  Canon didn't open up their protocol so all this stuff needed to be reverse engineered.  I won't complain too much.  Of course I wish it could focus faster, and works more reliably.

Next time I will look at the Commlite with the Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II.

Megan - Sony A7 with Canon EF 50mm f1.2L at f1.2.


  1. Good to read more regular posts. I always enjoy them. Thanks.

  2. Yu-Lin, I picked up what looks like a Chinese copy of this adapter for my EF lenses. I'm wondering if you're seeing similar things with your 50L as I am with my 85L. Out of focus bokeh balls in the background are perfectly round, but out of focus bokeh balls are cut off on the top and the bottom because of the adapter's internal shape. It doesn't happen on the 135mm though. Do you see anything like that with the 50?

    1. Mike, I haven't used enough to see that, but I will keep an eye on this and update the blog if I find anything like what you see. Thanks.

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  4. Yu-Lin, thanks alot for very helpful reviews.

    I haven't decided yet what to buy in both Metabones IV or this commlite that you reviewd
    and I'm wondering whether you're still using this adapter or have found any details on 50mm f1.2L so far.

    Mine is A7r2 and I got 50mm f1.2L but still don't know what's the better one for me.

    Do you have any video taking for focusing objects using 50mm f1.2L on commlite?
    It will certainly be very helpful if I can see how long does it take to get the focus and other minor problems that happens you mentioned while focusing processing.

    sorry for bothering you.

    1. You are a lucky man! The A7R2 can use any cheap Smart Adapter and the focus is fast, since it uses the phase detect pixels for focus, as far as I know. I have stopped using it with my Canon lenses since it's just too painful. I don't have any video but it's not usable if you are used to the speed on Canon cameras. But as I said, the A7R2 can use cheap smart adapters to achieve fast focus. Maybe I should try one of my lenses on the A7R2 with this adapter in a camera store and see how it is. If I do, I will report back.

      Hopefully I can afford to upgrade my A7 to A7R2 in a couple of years :) In the meantime, the manual focus lenses will tie me over.

    2. Thanks again for the quick reply :)
      Hope you can upgrade your camera to A7R2 real soon!

      I was searching infos about it and I found this on Amazon US. Pls see below.


      Either works flawlessly or NOT at all depending on lens. I tested with my Sony A7RII (which has a reputation of working well with canon lenses) and the Canon 50mm 1.8 II and it did NOT WORK AT ALL: No autofocus (keeps hunting for ever) and aperture was LOCKED at 1.8 even though I changed it manually on the camera (it changed to the correct value right when I clicked to shoot, which lost ~1/4 sec and missed some shots)

      Both Autofocus and live aperture (seeing the aperture change BEFORE taking a shot) DO NOT WORK FOR THESE LENSES:
      Does NOT AF well or at all:

      - Canon EF 50 f/1.4
      - Canon EF 50 f/1.8
      - Canon EF 50 f/2.5 macro
      - Canon EF 85 1.8
      - Canon EF 100 f/2.8 Macro
      - Canon EF 100 f/2.8L IS Macro
      - Canon EF 135 f/2L
      - Canon EF 200 f/2.8L II
      - Canon EF 300 f/4L
      - Canon EF 300 f/4L IS
      - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS
      - Canon EF 70-200 F4 NON-IS older model
      - Canon EF 100-400L IS II (Longest range)

      Auto focus and live aperture change WORKS WELL for the following lenses:

      - Canon EF 11-24 f/4L
      - Canon EF 16-35 f/4L IS
      - Canon EF 17-40 f/4L
      - Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L II
      - Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II
      - Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS (works OK)
      - Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II (works OK)
      - Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS
      - Canon EF 14 f/2.8L II
      - Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
      - Canon EF 35 f/1.4L
      - Canon EF 40 f/2.8 STM
      - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
      - Canon EF 85 f/1.2L
      - Canon EF 70-200 f/4L
      - Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II
      - Canon EF 400 f/4 DO IS II
      - Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS II
      - Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS II


      think this might be helpful for you as well as other people who are considering what to buy like me.

      Thanks and looking forward to see your reviews again!

    3. more details are here :