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So…do you have a lot of Canon lenses like me that you want to use on your large chip camcorders? It’s been a LONG wait. Birger have promised one since 1949 and we are still waiting with no sign of them coming out… MTF services should have one coming out soon, but I can’t find it on their site…and their box on the preproduction model is huge. Canon have a simple solution…it’s called the C300 But that’s a whole different price bracket!
It can’t be THAT hard, can it? Seems to be! The Af100 has been out for over a year, and the only adaptor out there that controls the iris is made by Redrock Micro and came out a few weeks ago…it’s based upon their old Livelens adaptor for their 35mm adaptors.
So the tech is not new, but putting a micro four thirds mount onto it is. Kind of a no-brainer. Currently though there is just one for the AF100/ M43. Not one for the FS100 (which is really needed) or the F3. ALTHOUGH, Italian company Smartsystem have been smart enough (forgive the pun) to make an adaptor to use the old live lens for the the m2/m3 35mm adaptor on the F3. Clever stuff.
So today I took my new Livelens that I bought from Redrock and put them together. It required about ten minutes of screwing and fiddling, although not that fiddly really!
You take the live lens as it is. Add an extension part onto it so it doesn’t get in the way of the F3’s bits then slide on and screw in the F3 lens adaptor part (which you access by taking off the PL mount)
It’s powered by one single 9V battery. Not sure how long it lasts. This is probably the fiddliest bit. You have to run a lemo power cable from the live lens to the little battery pack. It is designed to be velcro-ed onto something…the lemo cable is quite long and the velco part rather inelegant …oh well…you can’t have it all!
The IS (Image Stabilization) is not powered by the live lens unfortunately. I guess the 9V battery would not last long. I understand that the Birger one, when (if) it comes out, will power the IS. Also, you cannot use the Canon 85mm F1.2 on this, it needs power to let you adjust focus and it doesn’t get it. Shame really, but we cannot have everything I guess…
The Micro Four thirds one is simple. It already has the m43 bit, same system with power…
Well…it works…I can now use my Canon lenses on these cameras. Finally. It’s not perfect. No IS, fiddly power and it changes the exposure in 1/3 stop increments, but it’s better than what we had before. Lenses where we could not change ANYTHING!
To be honest, I still prefer using my Zeiss ZF glass on both as there are no battery packs, finer control over exposure with my (declicked) irises but still, those L series lenses are so nice!
The Redrock MFT live lens is just under $600 with the battery pack. Not bad considering the price of the competition
The Redrock live lens without mount (for the F3) is $495 (including battery)
One last thing I wanted to talk about was the new Berkey System chesseplates for the F3 and FS100. REALLY well made. Not too expensive at $225 and they add loads of holes for you to screw your stuff into. Essential on these cameras…it’s like the cheese plates that you get for the RED, but a lot cheaper!
The FS100 one sits over the front of the camera and takes over the cold shoe…don’t worry, it gives you a pseudo cold shoe to put the mic attachment in. A handle for the system is coming out soon.
Both of them give you stacks of 1/4-20 and 5/6 holes.
The F3 one stretches the entire length of the camera, I have the extra bit at the front which costs an extra $95. Worth it so I can add even more crap onto my camera!
Seriously though. These are very cool and so nice not to have a big price tag to balk at…of course if you live outside of the US like me then there is shipping and taxes, but still…well worth it!
You can order them here. It took about 5 days to arrive in the UK for me, then stupid Parcelforce held onto it for a week before letting me know it was there and needed me to pay the tax on it…That’s the problem with stuff sent USPS…Parcelforce take over when it gets to England…and they are pretty poor!