Sony a6000 with the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM + Metabones

So, I'm a Fujifilm shooter. X-Pro1 since 2012, which I later sold and got the X-T1 + various lenses. I also got the Fujifilm X-100T. My first real system camera though was a Canon 7D. I had a Nikon D50 before that, but never used it much. So Canon 7D was the first system I actually spend time with and bought several lenses for. This must have been back in 2009. I liked the auto focus and the frames per second I could get. I bought the very nice EF-S 17-55mm USM f/2.8 and the incredibly good Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM Mk II lens. And for wide angle I bought the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM.  All good lenses. But I don't use my Canon system very much I have to admit. For landscapes I prefer Fuji's better dynamic range and less noise.  Why not sell it? Well, I still go to boxing mathces and like to shoot that. And some wildlife. Though not very often. 

Recently my wife wanted a camera to carry in her purse. Something small, but still with interchangeable lenses. See, we got a son in august. I use my Fuji system myself most of the time, and she really doesn't like the Fuji that much anyway. She wanted something that did things better automaticly, but with the possibility to override it if she wanted to. So, after some research we ended up with the Sony a6000 with the 16-50mm kit lens.  I considered the Samsung NX500 too, but my wife didn't the like the idea of the lack of viewfinder on that one. She prefers a viewfinder.  Also, at the same time Sony announced the Sony A7r II. I've been longing for 4K video for some time, and wouldn't mind higher resolution full frame camera for my landscape shots. And being able to use the A7r II lenses on the a6000 sounded nice too.

A shot taken with the Sony a6000 + 16-50mm kit lens, by my wife, of our 11 month old son. This camera and the kit lens fits my wifes use very well. She takes good pictures with it, and the quality of the files with this lens is better than expected. Here at 50mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/160 sec exposure. 

We went on our summer vacation to southern Norway in July, me with my Fuji system. She with her Sony. The day before we left I read about the Metabones Canon EF to Sony E mount smart adapter Mark IV that would let me use my Canon EF lenses on the coming Sony A7r II. It would also work on the a6000. So I went and bought it. And I mounted the adapter to the Canon EF-S 10-22mm I had, and put that in the "Sony bag" we had. I wanted to try out this system for my landscape shots! I didn't have much faith in the Sony 16-50mm kit lens for the a6000. It wasn't wide enough, I like shooting at 12-14mm on APS-C. (But the Sony kit lens performed actually better than expected for its use).

Sony a6000 with the Metabones EF-E IV adapter + the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

The Sony a6000 with this system mounted is pretty large and heavy compared to with the kit lens. Now, for this kind of shooting I don't mind. I carry a lot of stuff anyway, several other lenses usually, the Lee filter system, and a Benro tripod. I wish Sony would make a 14mm f/2.8 prime lens like Fuji's XF 14mm. The Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 is small, thanks to being a prime, but is easy to manual focus with and is execellent optically. But hey - the a6000 is my wife's camera, right? She won't buy that anyway...

Sony a6000 with the Metabones EF - E IV adapter with Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens.

Features of the adapter (from Metabones homepage)

  • True electronic integration of aperture diaphragm - let camera automatically choose aperture in P or S exposure modes, or dial in yourself on the camera body in A or M modes.
  • Powered by camera body. No external power source required.
  • Wide open button (opposite of depth-of-field preview function) makes manual focusing easy.
  • The tripod foot is detachable and compatible with Arca Swiss, Markins, Photo cam ball heads.
  • High performance 32-bit processor and efficient switched-mode power supply.
  • Flocking material coating inside the inner hole to reduce the internal reflection.

Performance

So, above you have what Metabones claims. But how did this system perform in real life? Well, autofocus is supposed to work. And it does, kinda. It's just that I manage to manually focus faster than that. So forget about the autofocus with the Metabones on the Sony a6000. I tried with the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 too, same story there. Autofocus suck. It hunts back and forth so much that I didn't bother, and switched to manual focusing. 

Thankfully the Sony a6000 has a rather nice focus peaking system that helped me get the right focus quick. Though quickly setting the focus for my landscapes isn't that critical. But focus peaking system is nice, and it is customizable too with various intensity and colors.  Now compared to focus peaking on the Fujifilm X-T1 I find it easier to manual focus on the Fuji. That's because of a much better viewfinder with larger magnification and higher resolution. Also the LCD on the back is of higher quality on the Fujifilm X-T1. But, the X-T1 is much more expensive too. But hey, the a6000 focus peaking works. It just takes some time getting used to the lower resolution when coming from Fuji. 

The electronic contact between the lens, adaptor and camera makes sure that all EXIF data is recorded correctly into the files. Nice! As for the pictures I took? Well, they look sharp and nice with good colors. You won't find any test charts or pictures here. Just a few from real life shooting that I took with this system:

Lindesnes Lighthouse, southernmost place on mainland Norway. Taken with Sony a6000 with Metabones EF-E IV adapter and Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. This is at 22mm focal lenght, ISO 100, f/16, 1/6 second exposure. On a Benro tripod.

The above picture is at 22mm, so I could have tried the kit lens at that focal lenght too and compared. But I wanted to see how it was to do a full shooting with this system since I plan to use this adapter on the coming Sony A7r II. So I didn't bother to change lenses. The system becomes rather front heavy, but luckily the Metabones adapter comes with its own tripod mount under the adapter. 

My favorite wide angle focal length on my Fuji sysem is 14mm. That is same angle/fram as 21mm on a full frame cameras like the Sony A7 system. So, here's a shot at 14mm, that's wider than the kit lens can do anyway.

Sony a6000 w/Metabones adapter + Canon EF-S 10-22mm, at 14mm. ISO 100, f/8, 1/80 second exposure. 

I think it works pretty well. When studied on my monitor the files are sharp. The adapter doesn't seem to reduce quality. Let's go wider, to 12mm:

Sony a6000 w/Metabones adapter + Canon EF-S 10-22mm, 12mm focal length, ISO 100, f/11, 1/60 second exposure.

Well that looks "nice". How about a long exposure, let's make the ocean smooth... So, with the Lee filter system fitted on the lens, + Lee Big Stopper (10 stops longer exposure) I got this:

Sony a6000+Metabones+Canon EF-S 10-22mm, + Lee Big Stopper. Taken at 12mm, ISO 100, f/11, 30 second exposure. 

Now first you see that the white balance is different. The Lee filter changes that. And it's easy to adjust in Lightroom. But I never bothered doing anything special to this file. Take a look at the right part of the picture. From the top you can see an artifact, a rather long purple thick line arching downwards. Now what is this? It showed up on all my long exposures with the metabones adapter. It was not dirt on my Lee Big stopper filter cause I used it on my Fuji system the same evening. I guess it must be some kind of light leakage with the adapter mounted. Ok, so I can't do long exposures then - not with my copy of this adapter anyway. Too bad. But hey, I'm saving money for my Sony A7r II, right? Yep. Still, it's something to keep in mind for those who want to do long exposures with the Metabones EF-E Mark IV adapter. It could be just my copy though. 

 

Conclusion

So, my conclusion for Sony a6000 + the Metabones EF-E Mark IV adapter - and the Canon EF-10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is that it works. I got good results! The system becomes front heavy because both adapter and this lens is rather big compared to the Sony a6000. But it is manual focusing system only, though autofocus is possible. There's electronic contacts that makes it possible to control aperture from the camera body. Exif data is correctly recorded into files. The adapter itself seems well built and attaches easily and sits firm on the a6000 camerabody. The light leakage on very long exposures surprised me - if that is what it is then. Please post a comment below of you have other suggestions. I plan to use this adapter when I get the Sony A7r II, and then use it with my full frame Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM mkII lens. And maybe my FF Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 too. 

Who is the Metabones adapter for? Would I recommend it for people who doesn't own Canon glass already who wants to buy a particular Canon lens and then use it on the a6000 or other Sony E mount cameras? No. My opinion is that this adapter only has its value as something nice for those who already own Canon lenses, and wants to use them with their Sony E mount camera. The autofocus is so bad that it is useless on the a6000. There are rumours, and even videos on youtube, that tell us that with the coming Sony A7r II the autofocus has been improved a lot. And will be quite useable. 

Also keep in mind that while any Canon EF-S (for crop bodies) glass, like my EF-S 10-22mm in this test, probably can be mounted on full frame Sony A7 cameras with this adapter, you will not be able to use the whole sensor, only the middle of it.