Good news Sony a7 camera owners: the Sigma MC-11 is pretty darn reliable. For a long time now, we’ve all been looking for an affordable and reliable solution that lets us use our Canon EF mount lenses with the newer Sony a7 series of cameras while providing full autofocus, exposure information and more. At the same time, it needed to give full frame coverage without cropping! And that’s what Sigma has created with the MC-11.
Granted it has a couple of drawbacks; but if you already own Sigma lenses and haven’t touched them in a while then you’ll be very happy to return to these beautiful pieces of glass.
Pros and Cons
- Pretty fast focusing abilities with newer Sigma lenses
- The output of Sony’s full frame sensors look spectacular with the Sigma lenses
- Full TTL flash communication
- AF communication with lenses from Tamron isn’t so great
- Older lenses like the Sigma 85mm f1.4 don’t have such great speed when focusing with this
- No weather sealing
The Sony a7 was used with the Sigma MC-11, the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art, the Sigma 50mm f1.4 (first version), Sigma 85mm f1.4, Tamron 90mm f2.8 Di VC, and the Godox Thinklite TT685S TTL.
Specs taken from Sigma’s website
- Adapt Sigma Canon Mount or Sigma mount to Sony FE system
- As new compatible lenses are released, control data from MC-11 is updatable via personal computer
- Accessories Included: Front and Rear cap
Light O Green light The lens is compatible. Blinking green light The lens requires a firmware update with the USB Dock. Blinking orange light The MC-11 requires an update to read new lens data. No Light X The lens is not compatible.
The Sigma MC-11 isn’t a super, duper high tech adapter so to speak. Sure, it’s doing something that we all want, but it’s overall pretty simple when you break it down. At one end is the Canon EF mount and the other end is the Sony E mount made for the full frame a7 series cameras.
When you connect the lens to the unit, the overall package doesn’t become much larger. For the mirrorless camera user, that will be something that is very welcome.
When connected to the camera, the three mesh together very flush with a resounding click. On one side of the MC-11 is a USB port for updates and the other side has a lens release.
The Sigma MC-11 is a very solid unit. There is no weather sealing so to speak, but the side port has a nice rubber that would make me think that is sealed there. However, there is no sealing on either end of this unit–which is fine in some ways. But sealing on the unit would add a bit more value, though it would also increase the price.
Amazingly, the entire combination is very well balanced. During my use, my hand never got tired.
Ease of Use
To really get the most use out of this, you should purchase the Sigma USB dock. Using the dock, you’ll update the firmware for your lenses. The 35mm f1.4 Art had no issues, but my older lenses didn’t have firmware updates available. To me, that’s pretty sad.
With the Sony a7, the autofocus is decent but not that fast. It’s great for portraits and general shooting but I’m not sure I would use it to capture candids or street photography. With that said though, it reaffirms my believe that the Sigma 35mm f1.4 is a fantastic portrait lens.
Right out of the camera, one of the things that I was most surprised about is how much changes here vs using the lens on the Canon 6D. For example:
- Vignetting is basically gone
- The micro-contrast from this lens makes it seem like something Zeiss put out. You can see an almost 3D type of look in the image above.
- The colors are better on a Sony a7 than on the Canon 6D
- It’s great with skin tones!
- The sharpness is still there!
- The autofocus is very accurate
If you’re a Sony a7 user that wants more versatility, this is a must have item. Sure, you’re putting a big DSLR lens on the camera–but most of Sony’s highest grade lenses are pretty much as large! So when you consider this then you shouldn’t feel that awful about it. If you’re completely okay with no having the fastest autofocus as opposed to the native Sony lenses, then this is very worth it.
This is a very unconventional review; I’m not going to give the Sigma MC-11 a star rating because it’s a pretty basic thing that does a job that we really want done. But for the price point, it’s very tough for you to beat what it can do. More importantly, it’s bound to save you money in switching lenses and you can now officially use your Sony a7 camera body as a backup to your Canon DSLR if you’d like.