So yesterday I spent a little time testing the Aputure DEC Remote Wireless Follow Focus Canon EF Lens Adapter. Keep in mind that all of the units that other reviewers have (including mine) are just prototypes. So everything that you see could change when they go to final production.
As mentioned in my earlier article, the prototypes available today can attach a Canon EF (autofocus) Lens to a Sony E-Mount or Micro Four Thirds (MFT) Camera and allow you to change aperture values and remotely change focus via a wireless remote. Here's a little video showing the Sony E-Mount DEC Adapter in use.
Since the Aputure DEC Lens Adapter relies on the internal motors of the lens being used, each lens may provide a slightly different experience. Some lenses may offer a smoother transition, while others may have a more prominent stepping motion moving from one focus point to the next. During slower focus movements some lenses will have a louder 'stepping' type noise, while other lenses may be a bit more silent. This is all based on the lens, and at this time not a lot of testing has been done.
In the 'current user manual' it lists several Canon EF L Series lenses, but I decided to try a few different ones such as the Sigma, the Canon 40mm STM, and a 50mm F/1.8. All of the lenses worked flawlessly to adjust iris and I could control focus. I was a bit worried the system would be buggy using random lenses, but so far it's taken everything i've thrown at it.
Canon 40mm STM Pancake Aputure DEC Wireless Follow Focus Lens Adapter
So while this is still a prototype, so far I think the Aputure DEC is an awesome product for anyone who needs to adjust focus on an adapted Canon EF Lens in situations where you can't normally reach the focus ring. For example when mounted on a Jib/Crane, Steadicam, or even a Gimbal.
Typically on any of my stabilizers i'm settled in with a very wide lens with the aperture stopped down and everything in focus. With the Aputure DEC I would be able to use a Gimbal with a Shallow DOF and focus from an object in the foreground to possibly a distant subject in the background. The focus changes can be quick, or they can be slow.
Will this replace all Follow Focus systems? Obviously not as it only works with Canon EF (autofocus) Lenses, and not manual focus Cine Lenses. The DEC (prototype) also uses a stepping motion which dependent upon the lens may or may not be smooth. There are still a few things that I think still need to be refined and changed on the DEC prototypes, which i'll be sharing with the Aputure company. One suggestion is having a more traditional wireless follow focus remote as the current one could be tricky tracking a subject back and forth if they move quickly.
Sony a7s Aputure DEC Sigma 18-35mm Atomos Shogun
Once a product like this becomes available on the market, I really think this will really impact how many consider changing focus remotely on Canon EF lenses today. It certainly opens up 'options' in the industry that were never available before. Maybe not so much Hollywood, but consider the large market of event, wedding, news, or other video shooters that don't need the precision of a high end WFF system and are shooting with Sony E-Mount and MFT cameras. Compared to other Wireless Follow Focus systems, the Aputure DEC is incredibly simple to use while offering the smallest and lightest possible footprint.
NAB2014 Aputure Announced DEC Lens Adapter Remote Follow Focus
I'm going to continue testing these DEC adapters and hopefully more focusing examples. The next one i'll set up is the MFT Mount which can Start/Stop video on cameras with a LANC connection. If you have any questions so far, leave them in the comments.
Aputure DEC Lens Adapter + Wireless Follow Focus - Available NOW
Nice review indeed! Does anybody know of a wide angle ef-prime, that is compatible with the Aputure DEC? Btw, it should be a fullframe prime, and it shouldn't be that heavy. So the 1.4 primes don't work for me. I already bought the ef 24mm f2.8, but it doesn't focus on the DEC, and the iris is doing something, but definitely not the right thing. I was wondering if the ef 20mm f2.8 is compatible. Anybody know so? Or another brand like Tokina or Sigma? Thanks!
@kicap - If the Canon lens has manual focus, then yes you can do manual focus when the adapter is dead. And yes you can still add other manual lenses and use it as a 'dumb' adapter as well.
Just a quick one, when the Adapter is mounted on Sony A7s like yours, can you still do manual Focus in the event that the battery for the adapter is flat?
And can we still mount manual lenses with the adapter on? Obviously you can use the Focus or Iris function but can we still use the manual focus?
@Phi - I believe the IBIS works regardless of the lens attached, and this adapter does not communicate with the body, so in theory I guess it should work. The only thing I can think of is if the camera will still use IBIS if it can't see a lens attached.
Will the IBIS of Sony's a7II work with this?
@Tomas Suski - No the Sony A7s does not have a LANC port.
Does start/stop video works wirh sony a7s? i just received this unit and it works nice but the start stop button doesnt seem to do anything. Did you test this ?
@Stu Morgan - It's not so much the adapters as it is the lenses. These are photo lenses that use a stepping motion for iris. If you want smooth iris, you'll need a cinema lens and manual aperture.
Is the aperture change smooth? Thats the one thing that the other adapters can't do, smooth aperture changes?
How did you mount it to the gimbal. ???
it seems only have the tripod connection. Any photos ?
Emm does the IS still work for the EF lenses when used with this adaptor? Looking to get the 16-35 f/4 IS for use on a gimbal for that extra smoothness, but if it doesnt than I would rather not waste the money for a feature that will not work.
@frenchmonkeys - No, you always need the remote to change aperture settings. It does not communicate with the camera.
Will this also work without the remote as a simple EOS mount to MFT camera adapter giving AF/AF confirm/Iris control/etc.? I work with stills as well as video, and would find it convenient to use handheld without the wireless remote (without the need for Follow Focus) as well.
Is there anything that will work like this with canon cameras?
also wondering what will be the life span and how long does it take to recharge the unit or is it externally powered .
Thanks for Answer.
the question is will the IS also work as it does on the adapters? would you be able to test it for us?
@Luis M. - Yes in my tests both of those lenses seem to work really well.
dose it work with the Sigma18-35 and the Tokina 11-16, also?
@kicap - Sorry it won't work with a native Canon EF mount. It will work on the MFT or Sony E. I can't use this with my Blackmagic 4K Canon EF mount either.
Arghh..i have converted all my Blackmagic Cameras to the EF Mount version. Now I can't really use this with the EF Mount camera right? Or is there a way to still make use of it's WIRELESS FOCUS advantage?
Thanks @Emm for making this tutorial as i was also a bit confuse on what this product really was when the first launched it back then. Now it is clearer.
@eriknaso - The lens adapter is all metal, so it would be great if they can add some type of mount to it. That way the small camera bodies don't have to carry the weight of the lenses. I will try to mount the handle on a shoulder rig too, as I see this as an ideal way of focusing in and out on a small ENG setup.
The A|B hard stops is also a great way for limiting your focus. If I was shooting around a subject and knew that they would only be as close as 2 feet - 5 feet, I can set my limits and then as I pull focus I don't overshoot in any direction. Should make things easier to keep in focus. I am also still experimenting with different lenses, but all seem to work fine.
This is amazing!
Emm is the base of the adapter made of metal? or plastic. Can a tripod plate be attached like a Arca-Swiss type? I see this as a great solution for shoulder rigs. It's really hard to get to the lens and being able to attach the controller to a rosette on a rail would solve all the issues I have.
Any idea when this will ship? Im kinda sad that because I already have a Canon mount on my C100 that I cant use these cool gadgets. Or can I control focus with a LANC controller and have just been too lazy to find out :O
Price and availability would be good to know soon.
@Dodo - It's a prototype. Proof of concept works great. Useless Design? Not really, all they need is a tripod mount under adapter and that would solve everything.
@osiris Majestic - Works in full frame no problem. Just like a metabones adapter.
ok...now mount it to a gimble. Seems this adapter only works in crop mode on the a7s or am i wrong? Keep up the good work mr cheesy cam.
This construction is useless, because causes difficulty in balancing the camera on a tripod and gimbal ...
I really hoped that they make universal side handle.
I already have right handle bar for my fs7...
any word on a general release date?
How many dolla' bills will this cost??
Can you still mount this in front of a metabones speedbooster adapter on Micro 4/3 mount cameras?
Very nice product prototype! Shoulda done your test with focus peaking turned on (either on camera or on Shogun), might make it more obvious if there's stepping.
Requests I have are:
1) a tripod mount on the bottom of the adapter (better to not have large lenses hinging on the camera's mount.)
2) more buttons so that software updates can add features, like set focus points.
3) bigger/easier to hit/feel buttons.
4) showing the zoom lens focus distance on the display.
5) both camera mounts; given there's no electronics it would be easy to change out the camera mount on the back of the adapter...That way when I get around to shooting 4K on an a7S, I can change the mount to Sony E and shoot.
I'm hoping my wishes are already in the works/plans...
Nice review. Looks really interesting anyword on price?