Like many other people i have taken the opportunity to adapt Canon glass onto the Sony A7ii. I struggled to find any credible documentation of the Canon 85mm f1.8 being used, so i hope someone else will find this brief review useful.
I own two adapters, a Commlite purchased from Amazon for approx £51 and Metabones IV which was purchased from Wex for £340.
My initial testing was with the Commlite, whilst this worked with the 20-35, 50mm 1.8 STM and many other of my lenses, the 85mm f1.8 was very disappointing. The Commlite seems to struggle to AF the lens at all whether in good or bad light it just hunts backwards and forwards and only in the exception (i’d sasy 1 in 100 times) gives any kind of autofocus.
The Metabones showed good initial performance with some shots taken outside in both daylight and the shade of some woods (see below)
Canon EF 85mm f1.8 on Sony A7ii
Once taken back inside however the Metabones displayed the same hunting as the much cheaper adapter which was incredibly disappointing and made it unusable in some situations.
I’m not certain exactly how the autofocus (which was set to phase detect) works on the Sony A7 but it seems to be linked to available light – in some situations even outside the metabones wouldn’t focus until i’d increased the ISO on the Camera and made the resulting image lighter – this is slightly alien to me coming from Canon which seems to AF in just about any situation. Furthermore i’ve also been testing a TechArt Pro adapter and testing this using a Minolta 85mm f1.7 on in exactly the same light gave exact AF each and everytime. I contacted Metabones support and got a reply about 48 hours later. Aside from asking me to update to the latest firmware (it was already on v0.52 latest) they gave me some information on the different modes the Metabones IV supports – it comes shipped in Green mode (so called i think because it saves valuable battery life on the Sony) and also advance mode, specifically designed for the A6300, A7ii and A7Rii. Instructions and more information is here…
Once the Advanced mode as enabled a huge difference in focus performance was seen. I was sat late at night with just light from the TV and focus improved to about 95% on objects in the room around me. Advanced mode on the Metabones turned the Canon 85mm f1.8 into a very viable lens on the Sony (*A6300 A7ii and A7Rii only)
Canon 85mm 1.8 group on Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/groups/canon85mm/
Ken Rockwell’s review – http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/85mm.htm