Review of Sigma MC-11 Adapter – Using Sigma Brand Canon-Mount Lenses on Sony E-Mount Cameras – Part 1
As mentioned in earlier posts I rented the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon EF and the Sigma 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro for Canon EF to use on my Sony A7 III with the Sigma MC-11 adapter. I had heard on a “The Camera Store” video that the MC-11 paired with Sigma Canon mount lenses was practically equivalent to native e-mount lenses with respect to autofocus on A7 cameras. The only caveat was that the Sigma lenses for which this was true were restricted to three series, the Art Series, the Sports Series and the Contemporary Series. Unfortunately for me I was interested in the Sigma 180mm f\2.8 macro lens which is not in any of these series. So I rent ed this lens and the 150-600mm sports Series lens to compare how they performed with the MC-11. I can now confirm that the lens series that are specified by Sigma for use with the MC-11 do indeed autofocus with Sony A7 cameras utilizing all the various capabilities of the autofocus system of the Sony A7 III (at least as far as I was able to determine). And unfortunately, I can also confirm that lenses that aren’t in those sanctioned series of lenses have much less autofocus capability than those that do. Many functions such as autofocus while remaining in magnified view don’t work at all. As far as the accuracy of the autofocus it’s not as clear whether the capability of the lenses differ that much because I was using it as a macro lens and that type of lens usually doesn’t autofocus as quickly as normal lenses. My sense is that it is less capable. It feels like the autofocus that was available on the first generation of A7 cameras.
But the main message of this post is if there are Sigma lenses that extend the lens range for the A7 cameras in one of these three lens series (Art,Sports, Contemporary) you can expect to get near native autofocus capability with the Canon mount versions on the MC-11 adapter.
Shooting Sigma Canon Mount Lenses with the Sigma MC-11 Adapter on the Sony A7 III – Part 2 – Sigma 180mm f\2.8 Macro
Because it’s been raining and cold for weeks here I took the Sony A7 III with the Sigma MC-11 Adapter and the Sigma 180mm f\2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS for Canon to a “butterfly conservatory” to get in some macro shooting.
This was a fairly challenging environment for the auto focus because the light level was low. What I found was that the autofocus works but it is far from fast and because it is a macro lens it can get lost in the focus wind up if the light level is low or the subject contrast is low. Several times I switched the lens to manual to reset it after it lost its mind. But as I said it was a fairly challenging lighting situation. My take on this is that the 180 mm Macro is an acceptable autofocus lens on the MC-11 but far from state of the art. The lens itself takes excellent macro and other photos. I am seriously thinking of getting it either in the Canon mount or possibly the amount for use with the LA-EA3. I’ll have to rent that mount version soon to check it out and see if it’s any better.
By the way, the turkey vulture wasn’t at the butterfly place. It was in a tree pretty far from my spot on a road side. It’s a pretty extreme crop so the autofocus was working well when the lens was used as a telephoto lens.
Last Thursday I received the following equipment from LensRentals.com:
- Adapter – Sigma MC-11 Canon EF to Sony E, serial 51758012
- Bag – Lowepro Lens Case 11 x 26cm, serial S810466
- Case – Sigma LS-137K , serial S814943
- Filter – Sigma 105mm Protector, serial S645658
- Filter – Sigma 86mm Protector, serial S641204
- Hood – Sigma LH1164-01, serial S498651
- Hood – Sigma LH927-01, serial S412678
- Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM A1 S for Canon, serial 51367833
- Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro EX DG HSM OS for Canon, serial 13268931
- Tripod Foot – Sigma 150-600mm S, serial S872113
- Tripod Ring – Sigma 150-600mm S , serial S872109
- Tripod Ring – Sigma TS-21, serial S454931
I mentioned in an earlier post that I watched a video that the TheCameraStore guys did that tested Metabones and Sigma (MC-11) adapters for Canon mount lenses onto Sony e-mount cameras. In the video they said that on Canon brand lenses the Metabones adapter was better than the MC-11 and had pretty good autofocus. But they also said that on Sigma brand lenses (of Art, Sport and Contemporary series) in Canon mount the autofocus was virtually identical to native Sony lens autofocus. Now that really got me thinking. Sony lacks really long glass and a 200mm macro lens. Sigma has a 150-600 that is pretty sharp and a 180mm f\2.8 macro that is also reputed to be good. The 150-600 is part of the Sports series and therefore one of the lenses that the MC-11 is tuned for. The MC-11 isn’t programmed for the 180mm macro so that was a question mark. I decided to rent them and the MC-11 and test them out.
Between work responsibilities and bad weather I’ve only had a chance to do a little testing but I have confirmed that the MC-11 does give the 150-600 truly excellent autofocus very similar to a native lens on the A7 III. And the 180 macro does not have that native autofocus programming with the MC-11. The display registers an array of rough squares for the focus points. This looks like the older autofocus from the version II A7 cameras. So I can confirm the accuracy of the description of the MC-11’s ability on the Sports series. The 180mm macro autofocus is definitely at a lesser level than with the specified series lenses.
But I still am interested in the 180 macro as the best choice for the A7 III camera. So I’ve been trying it out for some bird photos including hummingbirds. So far I like the results. Next I’ll try some butterflies if they show up in the next week or so.