Birger announces a lens control system for EF mount lenses on the Panasonic AF100.

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This is the official text from Birger: “The rumors are true!  Birger is coming out with a lens control system for EF mount lenses on the Panasonic AF100. Control for the iris, both auto and manual, will be from the camera.  Continuous (video-style) auto-focus will be supported on most Canon “L-series” lenses.  Power is provided by the camera for most lenses.  Image stabilization is supported on “IS” lenses, and this feature can be turned on or off from the lens.  Ships 14 February 2011.  MSRP $700 for the adapter.  Optional cinema-style remote control, available at additional cost, to be announced January 2011.  Sign up for the “General News” email list to receive updated announcements.  Photo (on top) is a prototype on an engineering sample of the AF100, and a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 lens.

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  • I’m wondering if this is just a normal mount adapter, in which case it could be used on any M4/3 camera.

    Or does it require some extra cable connected to the camera? Perhaps a socket on the AF-AG100 which other M4/3 cameras don’t have.

    This sounds very expensive …

  • Miroslav

    If that can work on any m4/3 camera, that’s awesome news – all Canon EF lenses at our disposal! Can’t wait for the first reviews. The price is too high unfortunately.

  • spam

    It doesn’t look like a realistic option for general use, but they’ve shown it can be done, the electronics and protocol conversions work (which is the difficult part). If they strip out the video specific featurs like the remote control option and shrink the price then they’d have a product they could sell for photo use. I’m not sure if the AF is fast enough for general uset though, but I’m sure someone will test it.

    • Jesper

      Yeah, many ppl are already using 4/3 lenses on M4/3, the AF speed is other than optimal, but for some usage, the AF speed is not the top priority.

      • spam

        I’ve used a Olympus macro lens on the G2 and it used around 3 seconds to focus and even longer on an E-P1, but other lenses might be faster and even a couple of seconds are preferable to MF when response time isn’t an issue. It’s also faster on the second shot (etc) when focus is already (almost) correct. I’d certainly pay quite a bit to get aperture control and reasonable AF with my Canon L telezoom on a mFT body.

  • Yeah this thing is freaking genius. It makes me want to buy canon lenses so bad.

  • at

    Though it’s priced at $700, I think it is still a good option for videography. It seems that the mount has its own control but draws power from the camera, most likely via external connector which is not available on ordinary M4/3 camera. However, we might probably connect to the external power supply as a workaround.

    • at

      …via the standard 4-pin power connector (as seen on the picture above)

  • A review of the adapter mounted on GH2 is in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

  • misu

    I am waiting for the camera to arrive in mid January with 14-140 for a start. I will try to add some f2 Olympus lenses even if I am not sure they support AF.
    the next move I’d like to see from Panasonic is a bunch of video optimized high speed zooms. I still hope Leica “master primes” will be available in a AF plastic version.
    regarding this adapter, I don’t think I would use many of the L series because of the weight. it would be very to crash an adapter with a 70-200 in many regular situations. film cameras don’t use adapters and are fitted with rods to secure the lens.

    • 70-200 has a tripod socket on it, so you could attach the tripod to that. Then the adapter would have to bear only the weight of the camera. I’ve used a GH1 with a 70-200/2.8 Nikkor this way and it seems to be no problem. The AG-AF100 presumably weighs somewhat more than a GH1, but still seems potentially workable.

    • > I will try to add some f2 Olympus lenses even if I am not sure they support AF.

      They do not support the CDAF, thus on still photography AF generally takes 1.5-2s.

      Also, having seen 12-60 (which also doesn’t support CDAF) on GH2, I’m afraid that the way the cameras perform AF (lots of small movements) might spell soon death of a focus motor inside the lenses.

      • spam

        How can you measure AF focus times on the 12-60 if AF isn’t supported?

        Also, most of the MFT F2.0 lenses are supported on the newest Panasonic bodies.

        http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/connect/g2.html

        • 1. Have tried 12-60 on GH2. The AF is slow in stills. The lens AF mechanics makes several loud jerking moves during focus acquisitions.

          2. Read carefully what the linked chart says (including the fine print) about the 12-60, 14-35 and 35-100 (the latter two being referred above as the f2 lenses).

          The lenses are not designed for CDAF (‘NG’s instead of ‘OK’s in the chart). They are not designed for video (fine print: noise during AF and AE). And the jerking moves they make during focus readjustment honestly make me quite nervous about how long the mechanics would last in conditions it is not optimized for. Considering the cost of the lenses, I’d say it is not worth the risk.

          That of course has to be leveraged against the alternatives for I do not expect Canon lenses to fare better than the Zuiko ones. But probably the makers of the adapter had something in mind.

  • birger.com is down for the second day, so sad for them 🙁

    • spam

      Nothing wrong with birger.com, worked yesterday and works today

      • your right its online, nevertheless its being blocked by my ISP, i guess they are not M43 fans 🙂

    • Miroslav

      It’s online now. Maybe huge interest from 43rumors readers lead to a crash 🙂 ?

  • arief

    i don’t think that we really need lens from canon or nikon since our 4/3 and M4/3 has better image quality in clarity and compact design

    • spam

      Really? Could you provide a link to a fast telezoom, or a mFT lens with more than 300mm focal length?

      But it’s more that MFT need a way for Canon users to use their lenses om MFT camera. Canon are after all the most sold brand in the world and they are much more likely to buy a MFT camera if they (think) they can use their current lenses.

      • I have some Canon L zooms and I don’t think I really want to use them with my MFT camera. That would be missing the point of MFT.
        If I wanted to use my L glass for shooting stills, I would just use my 5D! 😉

    • at

      Yes, fast lenses are still too limited on the M4/3 camp (especially with OIS) required to shoot high quality video.

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