Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sigma MC-11 EF to E Mount Converter – Initial Impression

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So I finally got the Sigma MC-11 EF to E Mount Converter for the SONY alpha 7. I got it for refurbished, came with everything and in practically new condition for a reasonable $160. I’ve been following the development of EF to E mount converter for almost two years now.
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Before the release of this sigma converter, the go to converter has always been the Metabones IV which costs $399. That’s way too expensive for a converter considering I only paid $1200 for the alpha 7 body+lens bundle. Few other options are some Hongkong, China based company products with low prices, but the reviews seem not too favorably.
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While this Sigma converter was mainly designed to work with Sigma lens for EF Mount, it also works for the native Canon lenses as well. There are also firmware updates to support newer sigma lenses, some reviewers also claim improved compatibility with native Canon lenses.
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Firmware update has to be done through the SIGMA Optimization Pro software. A proprietary USB cable is provided for connection. Latest update in October 2016, version seems to be 1.0.3.
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I’ve tried all my Canon lenses, EF 24-105 F4L, EF 24-70 F2.8L II, EF 70-200 F2.8L II, EF 40 F2.8. All four lenses work with the converter. However, on the Alpha 7 body, the focusing speed is unbearably slow. All lenses struggled in hunting for the focus point, some better than the others. 24-105 and 40 seems worst, the two F2.8L lenses work a bit better.
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I’m not sure how it works for the native Sigma lenses, another factor to consider is the alpha 7 isn’t a fast camera at focusing either, it also lacks IBIS BTW.
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I would rather use manual focus, considering alpha 7 has a dedicated auto/manual focus button coupled with focus peaking, manual focusing is actually not that bad, as long as no fast moving objects.
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Most of the metadata are preserved such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focal length.
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Only thing altered by the converter is the lens model. The EF 70-200 F2.8L II is recognized as a SONY lens designation DT 70-200mm F2.8 SAM in lightroom.
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Overall, I think it’s a keeper for me, especially considering I got a pretty good deal on it. Maybe someday I’ll get one or two Sigma ART lens to pair with it and see the focusing performance upgrade…

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