Thursday, January 3, 2013

Metabones EF to NEX firmware....

My FS100 can't speak Canon.  But it has a very good translator.  The Metabones EF to NEX
adapter.  This is a pretty popular and well known lens adapter which allows you to use Canon 
mount lenses on the FS100/700 as well as other NEX cameras like the VG10/20 and the NEX 5/7
and so on.  The first version had a square 'hole' which apparently allowed for some very minor
'clipping' of bokeh at F stops around 1.4.  Metabones updated the adapter with the 'Mark II' version
which apparently solved this problem.  This is the version I bought.  However, after buying it,
I some strange behavior.  Everything worked PERFECTLY with my Tamron 17-50 2.8.
Iris control, zoom bar meter, focus distance display.....everything.  However, on my 
Sigma 50-15- 2.8, about half the time everything worked great.  The other half of the
time, NOTHING worked.  Not even iris.  So you had to attach and detach the lens from
the mount, and/or the adapter from the camera several times, and finally it would start
working again.  Curious, I brought the camera into a local lens shot and tested several
Sigma lenses.  NONE of them would work at all!  So I wrote a email to Metabones.
They told me that many Sigma lenses had a 'bug' and that I needed the latest firmware
on my adapter and asked me which version of firmware I had.  I had read that only
NEX still cameras could display the firmware version of the Metabones, but apparently,
this is NOT the case.  The FS100 can as well, as long as you have updated the FS100
firmware to version II.  Here is how you do it:
Menu > Others > Version Display
If you still are unsure, take a look at the pictures below.

In my case, my lens/mount adapter had version 10.  Metabones advised me to return it to them,
which I did.  They updated it at no cost and sent it back, fairly quickly it took about a week to
get back to me in Alaska which is honestly faster than I get most things.  After getting it back,
I checked again and now had version 15 installed.  But there were a couple quirky things.
First, the zoom position bar and focus display in feet no longer worked with ANY of my
lenses.  However, the iris worked perfectly on ANY lens, and the IS worked with lenses that
have IS.  Also, the fit of the adapter to the Canon lenses seems MUCH tighter.  I think the 
Metabones is a little bit of a 'work in progress' as they have to deal with all kinds of third party
lens manufacturers and make them 'talk' to the adapter.  I am giving them VERY high marks on
customer service as they always respond quickly to emails and have went the extra mile to make
sure I am getting the functions I need from their adapter.  It seems like their adapter keeps getting
better and better and while it is annoying to have to send off for firmware updates, it seems like
every firmware update makes it a better adapter.  So check your firmware, because you can
actually do it on a FS100!

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
Digital Cinema | Websites | Consulting | Multimedia


  1. I have firmware ver.16 and focus distance display on FS100 still not working :-(

  2. OK, this is what you need to do. Turn your FS100 off. Hold down the 'wide open' button on the Metabones
    adapter. While holding it down, power your FS100 back on. Now you should have both focus distance display AND zoom position. It seems with this new Mark II version of the Metabones adapter, that they have enabled a 'green power save' mode which disables those functions in order to save battery power. So you will have to do this trick whenever you start up your camera if you want those functions.