As most of my followers know, I’ve been shooting Nikon for the last few years, but I have also invested in some Sony A7R II bodies for specific shoots. As I’m planning to add the new Sigma SD Quattro H to my arsenal I decided the best way forward was to invest in a set of Sigma SA Mount lenses. I could then use them on Sigma bodies and the Sony’s via the MC-11.
Well, Christmas came early to Moore Mansions today with the arrival of two Sigma MC-11 SA-E AF Adapters. My trusty assistant Ricky and I shot a quick and dirty video on the iPhone just to give a wee taster of how it performs. We thought that the 150-600 Sport at 600mm would probably stress it to the max so that’s what we tried first. We will spend the weekend shooting some proper footage and testing it in more depth. Stay tuned on Monday for an update.
The Sigma MC-11 Converter is a revolutionary new adapter designed to allow compatibility between Sony FE and APS-C cameras and Sigma mount (SA) and Sigma Canon EOS mount (EF) lenses. Utilising the latest technology, the MC-11 supports fast and accurate autofocus and works in conjunction with both in-camera and in-lens stabilisation. An LED display on the adapter indicates to the user if the lens attached will work in conjunction and the MC-11. The adapter firmware can also be updated via Sigma’s USB docking station. Flocking inside of the converter allows the image to be maintained whilst the internal electronics record all EXIF data from the lens. Like all Sigma Global Vision products, each adapter is hand crafted in the Sigma factory in Aizu Japan, and like their lenses, individually inspected before shipping.
The MC-11 adapters are specifically designed for use with 15 Sigma Art, Sport and Contemporary Sigma SA and EF mount lenses. When a supported Sigma Art, Sport or Contemporary lens is mounted on a Sony camera via the MC-11, the lens no longer operates by using the original lens firmware. It then operates using the MC-11 which controls aperture, image stabilization and corrections for chromatic aberrations and distortion. The MC-11 mount converter has a USB port that allows adapter firmware to be updated for compatibility with future Sigma lenses. Sigma’s list of Sigma EF and SA lenses supported on MC-11 is listed below:
Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Sigma
24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art Lens
Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Art Lens
Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens
Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM Art Lens
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary Lens
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary Lens
Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary Lens
Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens
Please note that MC-11 is not compatible with teleconverters.
INITIAL FINDINGS (Last update 18.41 – 29.04.2016)
I’m using an A7RII with firmware 3.20. Before use, all of my Sigma SA Mount lenses were updated to the latest firmware via the SA USB dock using Sigma Optimisation Pro v1.3. The most recent firmware and compatibility list can be found here: http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/new/new_topic.php?id=578 I’ve tested the MC-11 SA-E with all the Sigma SA Mount lenses listed above and the following Focus Modes work acceptably.
Manual Focus – Lenses mounted via the MC-11 behave as a native Sony lens would. When the lens is switched to manual focus and the focus ring is turned the A7RII switches to full magnification in the viewfinder to help enable accurate focusing.
AF-S Flexible Spot S,M,L – Lenses mounted via the MC-11 behave as a native Sony lens would. Eye AF and Face Detect also work. Performance was slightly slower to equal.
Although it states in the manual that AF-C and AF-A are not compatible I tried them anyway. Excellent news…
AF-C Flexible Spot S,M,L – Lenses mounted via the MC-11 behave as a native Sony lens would. Eye AF and Face Detect work really well. Performance was equal at short to medium focal lengths and slightly slower at longer.
AF-A WIDE – Lenses mounted via the MC-11 behave as a native Sony lens would. Performance was slightly slower to equal.
Aperture – One thing I’ve noticed with lenses is that the lens diaphragm physically stop down only after focus is acquired. This is not ideal at all, Sigma have copied the same lens diaphragm control protocol as the Sony G Master lenses. and personally I think it’s a flawed system. Cameras need as much light as possible to focus quickly and this method does the opposite. It cripples your ability to shoot at high apertures in low ambient light ie: The studio. It didn’t bother me at first but I’m now finding it really irritating and in fact, it’s unworkable in the studio. Every DSLR leaves the lens diaphragm wide open and closes it to your chosen aperture value on shutter actuation (including Sigma’s). The MC-11 should be changed in a firmware update to do the same (and so should the Sony’s).
At a cost of £220.00 the MC-11 SA-E has has exceeded some of my expectations by a long shot. For my needs, it is a product that enables me to use my favourite Sigma glass on my Sony bodies. The only big bugbear I have is the lens diaphragm control protocol problem. If you can live with that, then this adapter is a great solution for anyone who wants to use Sigma Global Vision glass on their Sony E Mount bodies. With regards to AF functionality, this is the best E Mount adapter solution I’ve used to date, but please Sigma, change the lens diaphragm control protocol to work like a DSLR as it wastes a great product.