It’s no secret that not every lens adapter is built equally and buying the right lens adapter that has all the right features can help get better performance from your non-native lenses on a mirrorless camera system.
For the sake of simplicity all the adapters that I will be talking about in this article will be for Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds, however if you have another mount then tweet at us @PA2Pro and we’ll help you out.
Lens Adapter Features
There are three features that could potentially be in a lens adapter, which are aperture control, auto focus, and/or speed booster, which doubles as a focal reducer.
Now some lenses like the Canon FD line have aperture control built into the lens, however the Canon EF has no lens based aperture ring so it either has to be on the adapter, or have a lens adapter that can communicate with your camera body to tell it to close the body based aperture.
Auto focus is another key feature and for some it is a bigger deal than others. Personally I never shoot with auto turned on and rarely find myself even wishing I could use auto focus, so to me it’s not a deal breaker, but for some reliance on auto focus is the only hope to have their pictures be in focus.
Speed boosters’ benefits are two fold: increasing your effective aperture (which increases your depth of field and low light performance) and they act as a focal reducer. The two most common ratios for a lens adapter are x0.71 and x0.64. This means that the 50mm lens (that you bought because you read my article about them, right?) on your Lumix G7, which has a 2x crop factor, acts looks like a 100mm lens would on a thirty-five millimeter camera. However when you slap on a lens adapter that has a speed booster on it and it will become a either a 71mm or 64mm, depending on which speed booster you get.
Lens Adapter Buying Options
So since there are tons of options with different combinations of features let’s get started with the least expensive.
This is the bare bones lens adapter. All it will do is let you use EF lenses on your Micro Four Thirds system, no more no less. This was the first lens adapter that I bought before I knew about all the options.
Since Canon EF lenses do not have a built in aperture control this adapter is a much needed upgrade over the basic ‘dumb’ adapter. This does not have a speed booster or auto focus, so if you want either of those features you have to go high on the ladder.
Now we’re getting into the ‘smart’ adapters. This specific lens adapter allows your lens to communicate with the body of your camera to control the aperture. This specific lens adapter does not have auto focus or a speed booster and it has received mixed reviews, so I would save up for a better adapter, because there are better options. But this is still an option nonetheless.
Speed boosters are a wonderful thing, especially for a low budget film maker who might not be able to afford great lighting for indoors or at night. Most speed boosters will only boost the aperture to f/1.4 and anything higher than that it will only act as a pass through, but you still get the focal reducing element.
This is my top pick for best price to performance and features. It offers every feature that you need at a very affordable price. The only feature that this adapter is missing is that it doesn’t have auto focus.
I included this adapter in this list because it is an interesting concept. In the place of where many adapters have aperture rings it has a variable ND filter. To me this is a genius idea because it let’s you use an ND filter on every one of your Canon EF lenses instead of having to buy several different filter sizes.
The first of the auto focus adapters, this is a great adapter for those that need auto focus. Metabones makes a version of this adapter as well, but it’s a bit pricier coming in at $390. Either one of these would be a great choice as they both offer camera body iris control.
Top tier adapters. That’s what you can expect from Metabones. They are the go to lens adapter for almost every film maker. This adapter has every single feature you could think of for an adapter. Great product from a very reputable company, I cannot recommend this enough.
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