FINALLY…there is a half decent adaptor that has been released that let’s me use my Canon EOS lenses on my Panasonic GH1 cameras and also on my AF101 which is coming next week. I bought it off of ebay, thanks to my friend Suresh Kara of Documovie for sending me the link. To buy one just do this search on ebay and it should come up with it. It’s made by Kipon and at around $125 plus shipping it’s a pretty good deal. Here is why.
EOS lenses have electronic apertures which means controlling the iris on non Canon EOS cameras has not been possible as they do not communicate. So you either have a Canon body with you, set the iris, lock it off and then take it off the body and stick it on your Panasonic or simply stick with one F-Stop and live with that. Not ideal at all.
This adaptor gets past this by having it’s own 14 blade iris. That in itself is pretty good, having that many blades with give you a smoother rounder bokeh on those lights, less hexagonal even when stopped down. It has a dial from 1 to 6 that is totally smooth for you to close or open your lens up. Just make sure the lens is wide open to start with. Having this totally smooth iris is a joy, so much better than clicky still lens irises or ones controlled from stills cameras which also are not smooth. Although on the AF101 the iris is controlled in a smooth way so this would not be an issue if the lens could communicate with the camera. Of course the downside is the focus marks are slightly out on the lens as the adaptor sticks out a bit, but you can still get close up and infinity focus and of course you don’t have proper F-Stop marking. Also you cannot stop completely down as it will vignette. six is really the max, it goes past that but one some longer lenses it will not like it. So not perfect…BUT, this is easily the best adaptor I have seen so far and it will mean when I use my AF101 I have all my wonderful array of EOS lenses to use now too!
One thing to be aware of, it only works with the EF range of Canon lenses, not the EF-S. I am going to check my Tokina 11-16mm F2.8. It should work as it does not work the same way as the EF-S lenses.
There are other adaptors coming out which won’t have these issues and I am very much looking forward to them as they will give total communication with the camera which will be great for the AF-101, these will be more money.
Birger Engineering are making one that will give iris, focus and maybe even IS control…not sure when it is coming out but keep an eye on their website! For now, this is the best solution and must buy if you have a GH1/2/ AF101 and have Canon EOS lenses and need to use them today.
The Kipon adapter is a great piece of work. It is very innovative in that it has 14 aperture blades built in thus making it possible to adjust aperture on EOS lenses without any electronic coupling.
I put this test together to try out if it would vignette on different lenses and how DOF would be affected.
I used my GH13 camera on a tripod, pulled out one of my LED600 panels and one light stand to hold a ruler.
Lenses used in the test:
Canon 70-200/2.8 IS II L
Canon 100/2.8 L Macro
Zeiss 85/1.4 ZE
Zeiss 50/1.4 ZE
Zeiss 35/2 ZE
I also tested how it worked with the Canon 16-35/2.8 L and found out over 24mm it’s safe without any vignette. But this lens does not gain much in stopping down aperture. It’s the 35, 50 and 85 lenses I tend to use the most so these where the most interesting to try.