Techart Pro EF to GFX smart adapter

So, I thought I was done with all the gear talk after the X-E3, XF80mm and GF45mm articles last week. But I have been testing a very exciting product for about a month and a half.

It’s the Techart Pro Canon EF – GFX smart adapter.

One of my absolute favourite things to do with my mirrorless cameras is putting all sorts of quirky non-compatible old lenses onto them. This is also in part why I decided to dive in and buy the GFX. I have written about this in the Minolta Rokkor X GFX post. The possibilities are endless.

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I have talked to a few people about this over the last 6 months, that if Fujifilm want to get a hold of a new medium format audience, that doesn’t already own a Hasselblad or a Phas One, they need to look at the crowd using high end Nikons and Canons for their professional line of work. These cameras are almost in the same price league as a GFX, and most of these photographers have a big arsenal of their all time favourite lenses for their particular system. So what if it was possible for these photographers to actually use their well known lenses, but get medium format quality files from the GFX sensor?

Problem is all about the focus. Some of the best Canon portrait lenses are focus by wire, and by using a normal “dumb adapter” you would have to set your focus and aperture on your Canon camera and then focus with your feet! – Not really a useable solution, now is it. So when I got an email from the guys at Techart, asking if I wanted to be one of the few to test out their new adapter that let you mount and AUTOFOCUS as well as control aperture in camera on Canon EF lenses my heart skipped a small beat. My first though was, that if they nailed this, then it would be so much fun! I already knew that certain lenses from the Canon EF range covered the sensor very well, and I had heard that especially the Sigma ART series more than covered it.

So I agreed to testing it, knowing very well that I would have one minor problem:

I own no Canon EF lenses – at all! 😀 

So I did what any reasonable man with a Facebook app would do. I asked my peers! – And whaddajoknow – I had the opportunity of testing some nice Canon lenses. I also went to my very good friends at Mimosa Foto store in Aarhus and Robert the store owner let me play around and borrow what ever lenses I needed to test this thing out.

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GFX – Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L mk2 wide open

I don’t want to say much about the individual lenses that I tested, only that they all covered the sensor apart from the Sigma 24-35 zoom, that gave hard vignetting at 24mm.

From Canon I tried the

300mm f/2.8 mk2
85mm f/1.2 mk2
50mm f/1.2 mk2
45mm f/2.8 Tilt Shift
40mm f/2.8 STM

From Sigma I tried the

135mm f/1.8
85mm f/1.4
50mm f/1.4
35mm f/1.4
24-35mm f/2

Of course you need to refer to some sort of lens compatibility chart if one is ever made, to know which lenses covers the sensor. But for now, if you want to jump on this train early – then it’s all trial and error.

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GFX – Sigma ART 35mm f/1.4

Autofocus and Aperture

In the video I say that the Sigma is my all time favourite lens for the GFX. I misspoke, I obviously mean favourite ADAPTED lens. The native Fujinon GF lenses are still way better in conjunction with the GFX

This is of course what this adapter is all about. The technical stuff.
The Techart Pro adapter uses the focus engine in the lenses. The adapter is just a tube with electronics and contacts. Thats it. No external motor, no nothing. Just a conversion of signal and mount. It looks incredibly sleek, and it doesn’t add extra bulk at all.
It has a USB plug for when you update the firmware. (I tried this a couple of times, and it works flawlessly)

The very clever engineers at Techart managed to get the camera to recognise the individual lenses, and pass through proper file info such as focal length and aperture. It still identifies as a GF63mm f/2.8, but the metadata is different.

You control the aperture using the front dial of the GFX – and it works bloody well! No fuss, no muss. It just works. Period!

 

Above is the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 to the left, the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 to the right. Stunning rendering lenses, and coupled with the GFX the files are awesome!

As you can see from the lens-list above, I mainly tested portraiture and short-tele focal length lenses. These aren’t usually the fastest focusing lenses in their respective systems, so I wasn’t going for lightning AF speeds with these. I had ZERO expectations about speed of autofocus. I mean, I considered it a feat if the lenses could just lock on. – But what I got was a lot more than just basic achievement of focus.
With the latest firmware updates, I was able to accurately capture people on the streets when walking or driving by on bicycles. I could even capture my oldest daughter jumping on the trampoline!

I have no way of measuring the autofocus speeds, so this is really just impressions at this point in time. It doesn’t focus as fast as native GF lenses (obviously) – It doesn’t focus as fast as with the lenses used on a native Canon camera (obviously). But it’s not really that much slower than the native GF lenses. It performs better in good lighting conditions, and it tends to hunt a little in low light. But most importantly, it does achieve focus. And it’s accurate! I caught a lot of moments with the kids that I didn’t expect to catch with this adapter setup, and even though I’m quite skilled in manual focusing, I would still not be able to do better than this adapter with the extremely narrow DOF that you get when putting an f/1.4 lens on a 0.79x crop GFX.

 

I know there are some other manufacturers working on similar adapters. I have not tried any of them out, so I do not know which of them will focus faster or more accurately. I guess we’ll have to see over time.
But the Techart Pro EF/GFX smart adapter is an amazing piece of technology that actually works really really well. Techart is committed to updating firmware to improve focusing speeds and compatibility  and from my experiences with them over the last 6 weeks I’m really impressed. SO if you’re a Canon shooter looking to switch to a GFX, this might just be your gateway drug. Or if you already own Canon lenses and a GFX this is a must-buy in my opinion. But most importantly, I would actually consider buying some of the sigma lenses for their great quality that can easily resolve and cover the GFX sensor. Then I can have access to some really fast glass to achieve great separation in my images.

This really is a great piece of gear!

you can preorder it at Techartpro.com

Samples

In the pictures below you’ll find metadata in the files. The images report the metadata wrongly since they were taken before the firmware was updated to show correct focal length and aperture. It now puts through correct focal length and aperture for all the lenses that I’ve tested.

(you can right-click and open the image for a larger image file)

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Sigma ART 135mm f/1.8
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Sigma ART 135mm f/1.8
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L mk2
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Sigma ART 85mm f/1.4
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Canon EF 50mm f/1.2
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Canon EF 45mm f/2.8 Tilt Shift
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Sigma ART 135mm f/1.8
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Sigma ART 135mm f/1.8
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Sigma ART 85mm f/1.4
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Sigma ART 85mm f/1.4
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Sigma ART 85mm f/1.4
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Sigma ART 135mm f/1.8
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Sigma ART 135mm f/1.8
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Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 mk2
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L mk2
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Sigma ART 85mm f/1.4
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L mk2
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L mk2
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L mk2
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L mk2
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Canon 45mm f/2.8 STM
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Canon 45mm f/2.8 STM
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33 thoughts on “Techart Pro EF to GFX smart adapter

  1. Fantastic write up thank you Jonas.

    I’m going to have to get that Sigma 135mm lens. I’m going to wait and see how the Steelsring adapter compares as we are only a week away from that unit going on sale too. This is a smart move on the part of Fujifilm to open up the camera base to other lenses and I’m sure the GFX50s user base will grow rapidly as a result.

    I know Techart are also working on a Contax adapter but I really like the Steelsring C645 adapter design with the slot to take the tripod collar from the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 for which there are many available on Ebay. I’ll be using the collar in conjunction with my Zeiss 210mm f/4 Sonnar and the 1.4x Mutar that are waiting patiently in the wings.

    Interesting times 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Damien. Always very humbled by your comments!
      Indeed these are such great times. I love what independent developers and communities are able to achieve with limited funds and a great work ethic!

  2. Love your reviews Jonas !! The photos are (as always) a joy to view.. actual art (unlike all the brick wall’s and test charts out there). One point.. I don’t think there is (yet) a Canon 50mm f/1.2 mk2 version.
    Best !

  3. People shoud be aware that the sony version of this adapter has had issues with screws coming loose and in one case, one of the electrical contact pins did as well, causing the adapter to lock on to the body. Just be aware and make sure to check the tightness of the screws before mounting to the camera…

  4. As always I appreciate your beautiful photos and willingness to share.

    But I am unsure about the coverage of lenses wider than 50mm, especially at distant focus. Of these you have only one sample (the Sigma Art 35).

    Everyone has a different idea of acceptable sharpness and illumination. Some people are no doubt basing their purchase decisions on your words, so I think it would be good for you to specify what you mean by “cover.”

    1. Or else post a few more examples, especially at distant focus.

      Personally I would love to have a roughly 35mm-equivalent lens for street photography, and so I am curious about the Sigma Art 50/1.4.

      1. Hey Alan. I definitely agree. For me a small amount of vignette is acceptable, as long as I can correct it in post so that it disappears.
        Yesterday I bought the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM. I added two samples. Uncropped. – It will give you a 32mm f/2.2 eq lens. – And it’s super tiny for street.
        The 35mm lens covers, but you have to vignette correct about 100% in Lightroom. Still it’s a soft vignette, so you can remove it completely 🙂

  5. Everytime i come to your site i envy the imagery instead of the gear. Which makes these review so valuable. Normally when i watch or read gear reviews i feel like i learned about gear but wasted time to become a better artist when i’m done. Your reviews leave me inspired to create. thank you!

  6. Hi Jonas, I saw you tested the TSE 45mm, but the posted image doesn’t illustrate what we need to know about i!. It has a much smaller image circle than the 17 or 24 TSEs, and we need to know if any tilt, especially is available. If you have more images to post, or a chance to try it again, please post!

    Thx for very helpful info about the other lenses,

    KIRK T

  7. Very nice, my only concern is I question if the adapter actually does control the aperture of the lens. I noticed in all of your samples that each lens was shot at it’s widest aperture, nothing stopped down. In Techart’s own video sample they also shoot wide open, except for once when they cut to a lens set to f8… not sure if they hacked it that way by removing it from a Canon camera set to f8, of if they did it using the Fuji. You’re wide open shots may have been stylistically a choice you made, but my concern is being able to stop down for technical work. Have you anything at f8, f11, and alike?

    At the end of Techart’s video they do demonstrate the aperture blades stopping down, but no live action image making taking place to share those results.

    I’m sure with firmware updates, etc., this piece is not far off, though! Thanks for taking the time to get this info out there!

        1. Thanks Jonas, great answer but the wrong questions. I like to knew how afapter FOCUS in corners? If you move the focus point left, right, up or down corner, how it focus then? Start huntung and it is useless or works fine?

  8. Hi there! Possibly a stupid question, but if you shoot at 1.2 say on the gfx using a 50mm 1.2; I get that this would be 40 something equivalent focal length, but would it also be below 1.2 aperture wise?

    The Fuji 110mm f2 works out to an 86mm f1.6 equivalent for example, so wondering how that works? Thanks for the post!
    Ed

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