EF to E mount Metabones and Commlite adapters allow you to use Canon lenses on Sony cameras and the EF to Micro Four Thirds (MFT) allow you to use Canon lenses on MFT cameras like the GH4. What exactly are The differences between a standard Metabones adapter that costs $399 and the Commlite Adapter that costs just $75?
Adapter Build quality – The metabones feels well made and sounds similar to mounting your lens on the camera with a nice solid lock sound. You have a detachable tripod foot that is tightly secured against the body via two hex bolts.
The commlite doesn’t feel exactly cheap in the hand but it does feel a little less substantial, the sound is cheaper, tinnier and I have found that with the sony adapter the lens lock pin sticks, so you often need to manually slide it forward or the lens will not lock in place.
The tripod foot is less secure and becomes annoyingly loose at times and I found it difficult to tighten once the camera is attached to a tripod or tripod plate. The EF to MFT doesn’t have a tripod foot at all and the lens lock pin never seems to stick, always working correctly. One more important point – the Metabones adapters have a micro USB port for firmware updates and in the case of this EF to M43 Speedbooster I have, that allowed me to easily upgrade the firmware and I now have autofocus capabilities when I didn’t before! As far as I know there is no way to upgrade the firmware on the Commlite adapters.
Performance – with the Metabones EF to Micro four thirds adapter, performance is very good- I have used this setup with a variety of my canon lenses over the last 8 months and never had a single connection issue or error. With the new firmware update I now have autofocus and it works well albeit slower and less sure of itself compared to native, MFT lenses. I can’t say the same about the performance of the Commlite – I have only had it a few days but It fails after just a few seconds with almost all lenses – when it works longer than a few seconds there are AF capabilities but aperture is zeroed out and trying to change aperture or taking a photo causes the connection to fail.
Clearly something is not working here and I have reached out to the company. Check back for updates. The EF to E Commlite adapter actually works, and with some lenses Autofocus is just as good as with the Metabones but when you compare the complete list of lenses I tested using the two adapters, the Metabones performs better with a greater number of lenses.
To be fair both offer a list of compatible lenses so you can check to see if the Commlite or Metabones will work for you but it was apparent that when the same lens is on both lists the Metabones will offer slightly faster and more consistent focusing. The Commlite and any lens combination never outperformed the Metabones but with the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 and the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 as well as a few other Canon lenses I tested, autofocus performance was virtually identical with both adapters.
Note about AF performance with the Sony A7R2 – Near the center of the frame, with lenses that are compatible with the adapters, it is VERY fast. Near the edges of the frame the lenses get much more confused and spend time hunting. This is true even with the best performing lenses of the bunch. I will have more to say in my full Sony a7R2 Review. Subscribe to my Youtube Channel to be notified.
Summary – I love saving money when possible, but it is clear that although expensive, the Metabones offers the best build quality, greatest compatibility and offers additional future proof-ness with upgradeable firmware. I have a hard time recommending the Commlite but if you have just 1 or 2 lenses and they happen to be on Commlites compatibility list or you don’t mind manual focus for your work, you can save several hundred dollars.
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