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Ethics statement: I bought all the products featured here myself apart from the smartsytem which was provided to me for review. I am a Redrock affiliate though, so any purchases made through links here give me a small percentage. It costs you nothing and helps me maintain my site. I only have affiliates with companies whose gear I recommend. That will never change. Please read my Ethics Statement for more info…

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)

The Smartsystem F3 adaptor for the Redrock live lens is €250

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. carlos reyes says:

    Completely unrelated to this post, but, could you or preston PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE do a blog post on lighting? I have found few useful resources online for lighting shorts/narratives/documentaries for DSLR shoots.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      blog post on lighting is not possible. It’s a big course…not a post!

      1. carlos reyes says:

        hahaha I know but a start! what gear is appropriate…

  2. Scott Thomas says:

    Looks like an army of armadillos with gun barrels for snouts.

  3. Daniel M says:

    I have noticed on previous MTF adapters that there is a magnification effect when using the adapters. Is this the case with most adapters, regardless of the manufacturer?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      There is? WHich one?

  4. Thanks for the review.

    I saw an adaptor that had its own manual iris built into it but I saw it only for Nikon. Do you know if they make one for Canon? It seems this is a great solution as some of us don’t need electronic iris.

  5. Matt Martin says:

    Any word if Redrock will produce a live lens for the Sony FS100? Or if another company will produce an EOS adapter for the basic live lens, a la the one for the F3? Come on Birger – someone…. anyone….

  6. mattdavis says:

    Cheese plates can be like handbags and shoes for cameras, but can I shout out this:

    http://shootingmachine.net/

    Not so many holes, not exactly Solid Camera, but there’s something ‘Eclair NPR’ about the end result that’s dandy. I attach the radio mic RX to the rear with rubber bands, and have the Zacuto EVF on a Noga Arm of the Gouda Plate (not so many holes as swiss cheese) over the front. Still room for a Ninja or NanoFlash too.

  7. NatureBoy says:

    I have done business with Berkey in the past. They do provide a nice product. I just wish RedRock would roll out a LiveLens device for the FS-100. Their pricing seems to be more than fair.As far as Birger is concerned, well I fear their Canon EF to FS-100 adaptor is going to be very pricey. That and I need a trailer to carry the darn thing when doing hand held work. LoL

  8. Thanks Philip. As always – great job keeping us up-to-date on the latest kit. One question – Apart from the crop factor – what’s the quality of the picture like?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hi TImothy? The picture with what sorry? With the Canons on those cameras? Great!

  9. Stuart Dennis says:

    “…Birger have promised one since 1949″

    Never thought I’d say this but…lol.As the kids apparently say.

    You’re bang on about the lack of FS100 mount: no intelligent EF adapter and no decent broadcast-style/single-operator shoulder mount solution is seriously hindering what is a very capable little camera.

  10. the mount does not power the 85 1:1.2, right?
    sad, it`s a splendid lens…

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      What do you mean by power?

      1. normally the focus on this lens does not work because it needs power, even in manual focus mode…

        if i try to use the big 85 on my canon to micro four thirds adaptor you can`t focus the lens manually…

        and i thought i read somewhere that this adaptor won`t support the 85…

  11. Kevin Bond says:

    I think bernd is referring to this from the Red Rock FAQ page:

    “Will this adapter work on all of my lenses? The Redrock Micro LiveLens MFT will work on most Canon EF Lenses. However, there are a few exceptions. LiveLens mft does not power focus by wire lenses like the 85mm f/1.2 and 300mm f/2.8. It also does not work with Canon or third party teleconverters, extenders, or macro tubes.”

    I spoke with Birger yesterday and they said January for the F3 to Canon Eos adaptor. I should point out that I spoke to Birger last August and was told November so who knows.

  12. I have a couple nice Canon lens, like the 17-40L and 85 1.8 but with no adapter I’m leaning towards grabbing some nice Nikon glass with iris adjustments. Stick with the 5D body get a $200 adapter and swap between the F3 and 5D. Any problems with a set up like that?

  13. So Philip, have you tested this adapter out on a shoot yet? Would love to hear how it faired in a “real world” shooting situation.

    All the best!

  14. Have you don any back focus tests with canon zooms done up with the smart system and red rock rig? I got really giddy when I saw this gizmo on your site I was so happy that I could use Canon L lenses on the F3 for run and gun work but I am finding that the zooms won’t hold focus well. Like you said… I guess we can’t have it all!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hi thomas, what do you mean they won’t hold focus?

      p

  15. solidd says:

    Hi Phillip,

    Enjoying your new site and hope your feeling better? I was wondering if you have any more info on a F3 to Canon lenses adaptor?
    If not, how are you getting on with your adaptor + red rock kit?
    And have you had a chance to use it on a job yet and are there any limitations?
    Thanks

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      not used it on shoot yet…

  16. Skyler Meek says:

    Wish there was a solid solution for the F3 with some sort of internal ef lens control… i’m not quite ready to wake up yet…

  17. risky95 says:

    Can someone confirm which livelens adapter was used with the smartsystem lens adapter for the sony f3? I am trying to purchase the adapter for my F3. Thanks!!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i dont even know if you can buy it anymore. I used a modified one from smart system in Italy.