I’m a huge fan of mirrorless cameras, and one of the main reasons they won me over is the ability to adapt nearly any lens to your camera body. I have a variety of older lenses from Pentax and Nikon that are great fun to shoot on a modern mirrorless camera, and inexpensive mechanical adapters work great. However, I also want to be able to use my modern, electronically controlled Canon mount lenses on a Sony E-Mount camera, so the new Sigma MC-11 EF to E-Mount adapter grabbed my attention.
The MC-11 adapter is a simple tube with no optical elements with electric contacts on both sides so your Sony camera can communicate with EF lenses. While Sigma only claims compatibility with their own outstanding lenses, I was also able to use Canon and Tamron lenses without issue. The MC-11 allows control over your lens’ aperture, and image stabilization will be carried over as well, if available. I tested the adapter with a Sony A6300 and A7R II, and the interface worked exactly as if a native E-mount lens was mounted. The MC-11 even allows rudimentary autofocus, with all of Sony’s functionality available.
The AF performance was the first thing I wanted to test, as it seems to vary quite widely between adapters. If you have a high-contrast subject or are shooting in good light I can see the AF being quite usable for more static scenes like portraits and landscape. Unfortunately, it is not at the level where I would recommend it for candids, sports or wildlife, as performance can be quite inconsistent. Sometimes focus would jump straight to my subject on the first try, other times there was some focus hunting, or at worst, no focus achieved at all. I tested the adapter with multiple lenses of different makes, and results were similar across all brands.
While that may seem like a huge limitation, I’ve been using adapted lenses without autofocus for some time, and modern tools make the process of manually focusing much more intuitive and enjoyable. Sony mirrorless cameras all include peaking (which adds a coloured border to in-focus objects) and focus magnification, which helps enormously in nailing manual focus. One feature I love with the MC-11 is that your focus distance is displayed in-camera, so there is no reason to take your eye off the viewfinder and check your lens’ distance scale. I also enjoyed seeing a zoom indicator, so I could tell when I was nearing the end of my telephoto’s range. The manual focus experience with the MC-11 was consistently enjoyable and reliable.
I enjoyed my time with the Sigma MC-11 so much that it has now become a permanent fixture in my camera kit. The price is right, and I have had no glitches or communication errors. However, if you have a Sony body with phase-detect AF points like the A6300 or A7R II, it may be worth spending the extra money on the much more expensive Metabones EF-E Mark IV T adapter, which will give much faster AF performance. On other Sony mirrorless bodies, though, the Sigma and Metabones AF performance were on par. If fast AF is not a requirement for your photography or videography, take a good look at the Sigma MC-11 Adapter at thecamerastore.com and sigmacanada.ca.