IBC 2011: New Canon EF mount that controls iris for F3, FS100 and AF100/101

I am sure many of you, like me, have lots of nice Canon glass but no adaptor for F3, FS100, AF100. Just dumb mounts that cannot control the iris. I took a look at the Birger AF100 adaptor a few months back and it was excellent. Unfortunately there is still no sign of it or an FS100 version or an F3 version. What I have found surprising was no other companies were making EF mounts for this camera. Seems bizarre, as the demand is huge! With only one company developing we were getting more and more frustrated with nothing coming out.

Mike Tapa

At IBC in Amsterdam I finally got to meet Mike Tapa of MTF services. I have spoken to Mike many times over the past 2 or 3 years and have many of his adaptors for many of my cameras. I shot the video of the Sachtler tripod using his E mount to Nikon adaptor on my NEX 5N and have his F3 adaptor for Nikon, AF100 for Nikon and PL, FS100 for Nikon and PL. Great adaptors and really solid.

Mike had mentioned to me a few weeks back that he was thinking of doing an electronic Canon version. I said absolutely. It’s desperately needed! Well the day he flew out to Amsterdam he just finished making his two prototypes and he has them on display on his stand and the Sony stand at IBC. I had a play with it and it’s superb.

Mike with an F3 and the adaptor/ controller


This is still a pre-production model and much can change. But it pretty much works perfectly. It is a Canon EF mount for each camera with a cable coming out of it going to a lemo plug. Ideally it would be a lemo each end, but the way the mount sits into the camera on the F3 makes it impossible to get a lemo socket onto it. It also stops you being able to put any electronics on the outside to control it from that.

The lemo plug goes into the control box. It’s a little on the large side but not huge. You could mount it somewhere less obtrusive than it is in these pictures, it may be smaller on the production version, hopefully. It controls the iris in 1/8th of a stop increments. It’s smaller than the Birger version so better for micro control but still not smooth, so changing exposure during a shot will mean a step change of exposure. You also get the focal length displayed, so when you change your zoom it is displayed. Nice feature. If you don’t have a constant aperture zoom lens (why not?!) then as you zoom in the iris will of course change and this will be reflected in the display. The controller box works with any of the mounts. So if you have one for F3, FS and AF you can use the box on any of them. Of course the adaptor is different.

This is not the final product and there may be quite a few changes, but I have known Mike for some time and he said he should have it out within 3 months, being conservative, that feels like a pretty solid estimation to me. Price wise, he doesn’t know yet, he will make it as cheap as he can…it will be for the box and one mount. It will be great to FINALLY be able to use our lovely Canon glass on other cameras.

He expects it to support IS, he just has not had a chance to test it yet. He also hopes to make the box smaller. As a lot of it is taken up by 4 AA batteries and it looks like 2 will be more than enough for a days shoot+

Hopefully this added competition with give Birger engineering a kick up the backside to get theirs out!!  We have all been waiting far too long for something that cannot be that hard to make?


  1. As everyone owning Canon glass probably owns an EOS body … I’ve always wondered why a company didn’t just make a dumb-adapter (between lens & third party camera) attached to a long control cable that connected to a modified EOS body dust cap. Essentially a long extension cable between the EOS body and EF lens.

    No focus control, but it would be an easy / cheap fix for the iris / aperture issue. Quite frankly the only issue stopping me from buy an FS100.

  2. And I suggest this in response to Birgir & MTF putting out damned expensive devices which require even MORE boxes to carry around in the field.

    Even if I owned a third party camera, I’d still chuck the 5D in the bag … why not put it to use controlling disembodied EF lenses 🙂

  3. Wow, that’s amazingly expensive!…

    145£ gets you an old Canon body and a cheap Kitlens on ebay. solder 8 wires of the camera’s lensmount to a cheap chinese adapter + the pins (http://bit.ly/oqtVgO), mount your canon lens with the adapter to your sony/panasonic/red and get fulltime aperture control and even continuous autofocus (if your Focuspuller aims the hacked canon camera at the subject.
    Now what do i win?

    oh, by the way. Now you’re left with about 700£ for coffee and bagels =)

      1. Hi Philip.
        thanks for your advice. I’ll be looking into it =)
        Especially the thought of an optical Focuspuller feels like something refreshing and new to me =).

        Now off to ebay to buy some gear and a soldering iron =)

    1. It seems like Redrock is rapidly becoming a major player when it comes to vaporware. Still waiting on the EVF and remote follow focus… Add this to the list.

    1. Hi Phil,
      I just find simple Iris Control on Lens(any MANMUAL lens) faster to use.
      Having EXTERNAL “boxes,controls,cables) is just waste of time.
      Spending US6,000 on RED Zoom is better option or if one wants EL – Cheepo good solutions..JUST BUY SONY ALPHA 77 with SIGMA glass(20,28,50,85+Tokina 11-16) and under US$5,000 you will have good Cinematic Gear.

      I spend 11 years ago $47,000 on Thompson Camera. I make living with my equipment, I see no problems spending $20,000 on Lenses which will last me Years…..and are pleasure to use. Just sold my F330 and now considering buying Sony’s intentionally crippled F3.
      I find IBC 2011 boring this year. I expected 2 Canon video Cameras to be launched this IBC.
      One with PL and other with EF mount,APS-C sensor and 4:2:2 recording.
      I will buy Sony A77 for sure. Is Sony’s F3 Zoom T3.8 ALL the Way??
      I think Son’s Cine Alta 65 is my pick of IBC 2011…i find reading about that camera more interesting then reading about JVC’s “toy” camera. How about some real test on Russian Illuminas S35 ? Now that could be some very interesting reading!!


  4. Sounds cool, but I hope they make that box smaller! No stealth with that box. Seems like it could be smaller or integrated a bit smarter.

    Or better yet, Canon release some new cameras! But that might not happen until the next Ice Age. Hmmmm…. but with Global Warming, that could happen pretty quickly 🙂

  5. too expensive. for that kind of money you can pick up another 60D. besides with mostly manual glass, I have only 2 lenses that require electronic iris control. that adapter costs more then my tamron 70-200 2.8 which is a really great piece of glass. its got to be a couple hundred, ok under $500 to be taken seriously.

    1. why would you pick up another 60d when the point is to use Canon lenses on a different camera. Would that not be an even greater waste of money.

      Yes it is expensive and would be great if it was much cheaper but I think you don’t get how much people need an adaptor that does this. To be able to use all our Canon glass on these other cameras would be such a relief. You look at MTFs simple adaptors. Like the one I have for my F3 to use Nikon G series lenses. No electronics, just the mount and that is $400. Electronics cost. Not if you are mass manufacturing 100,000 of them in a factory in China but small numbers in the UK. Afraid so.

  6. If it could control focus it would be even more awesome ! (…and might look like a Redmote, I know)

    Anyway, it seems to be a future great product.

    Can’t wait to hear more about 5DMK3 and the EOS large chip camcorders (yes I’ve read your newsletter but it seems to be coming according to canonrumors.com).

    At IBC did you check Ikonoskop ? I’m very curious about their little camera.

  7. Nice step in a good direction!
    About the box: too big and bulky. How about the idea to take the power (AA) out of the box and have it way smaller and power it with d-tap off the camera’s power?
    Just an idea…

  8. We are almost six weeks later…

    Any more news from Birger or MTF ???
    I tried two adaptors with manual iris control, but all with bad results..

    It will be a relief to see one come out that’s fully working !

  9. i’m curious…are there any adaptors out there that simply have iris control built in ON the adaptor itself? we have FS-100 and currently use mostly zeiss contax lenses with manual iris, but we do have canon EF lenses we’d like to be able to throw on there as well. We have done it in controlled environments with a cheap EF adaptor after setting aperture on 5D, but I’d really like an option that lets us use those canon lenses in a documentary environment.

    I don’t care for (nor would I use) the focus control, and the idea of actually using a separate remote to control iris in a live environment is just completely unrealistic.

    What’d I’d love to see from a developer, is a simple adaptor, that has a wheel on it (much like an aperture ring, or even like the iris control built into the FS) where I can manually adjust the iris with my hand on the lens while filming.

    Am I missing a product out there that can do this? Thanks PB!

  10. I did receive an email from MTF that production has begun with shipping possible 2nd or 3rd week in December. 1/8 stop increments are confirmed as well as pricing.

    1 x MTF MTCONEFM43 Canon EF control adaptor to Micro 4/3rd———-£350.00 + Vat
    1 x MTF MTCONEF control unit for EF micro 4/3rd adaptor——————-£650.00 + Vat

    I have a question in re:final form factor per PB’s points above and also IS and focus support.

    On the personal opinion side, MTF did reply promptly to my inquiry with solid info. I am sure Erik Widding is a likable guy but they seem to lack proper communications to the market, engineering challenge, etc. I feel better at this point, doing business with someone more reputable as MTF.

    Good news is it seems we are close.

    1. You’re right, MTF is closer to the final costumer as Birger.. maybe because they get less e-mails and made less publicity before they knew if it would be made..

      I like the MTF adaptor because it also shows both iris and focus on the Lcd screen of the remote… You can mount this remote on the handle of the tripod and always know where you are with iris..

      I guess prices aren’t to important on this subject, as we would all like to use our canon glass on the FS100 ? And a 1000£ for both the adaptor and the remote seems a fair deal after all the engineering that went into this item..

      I can’t wait to try one out..


  11. Hello
    In the price-range of this adapter, I find it a bit strange they do not add focus pulling support to it.

    The “alleged” birger mount will have focus pulling?

    Maybe the Metabone/Conurus adapter is better value for money at the moment.

    I was really hoping the Birger mount would come out, but it seems they jump to next camera model before finishing what they started. Maybe Birger should have sold their concept to a company that can bring the products to the marked and they can focus on R&D 🙂


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