Hands-on with the Sigma MC-21
One of the items on display at the Sigma booth at this year’s CP+ show in Yokohama was the newly-announced MC-21 adapter that allows Sigma lenses to be used on L mount cameras. There are two versions of the adapter: one that accepts Sigma SA-mount lenses and another that takes Sigma’s EF-mount lenses.
Here’ we’ve got an SA-mount version of Sigma’s 50mm F1.4 Art adapted to a Panasonic S1.
Adds compatibility for 29 Global Vision lenses
The company says both the SA- and EF-to-L adapters can be used with 29 existing Sigma lenses, including 23 full-frame lenses taken from the Global Vision range. These lenses span the Sport, Contemporary and Art series. It features a built-in tripod mount, but don’t be fooled by the pair of allen bolts on this example: we’re told this won’t be removable.
Single-AF only, for now
The MC-21 only allows AF-S mode to be used at present. This is likely to be a result of the existing SA and EF mount lenses being primarily designed for being focused by phase detection, whereas all the current L-mount bodies use variants of contrast-detection AF, which may lead to slower, less reliable performance.
Won’t need firmware updates for future lenses
The inside of the adapter features a black flocking fabric to prevent internal reflections occurring within the adapter tube. An LED on the side of the adapter shows whether the attached lens is compatible and whether it needs a firmware update. Sigma says the MC-21 comes pre-loaded with the data needed for the 29 listed lenses supported at launch but that future lenses will contain the necessary data, so the MC-21’s firmware won’t need updating to support future lenses.
SA and EF mount support
Sigma had the MC-21 on show with representative models from its L-mount Alliance partners: Leica and Panasonic. Although there are references to it around the booth, there’s no sign of even a prototype of the full-frame Foveon camera Sigma has said it will make.
As usual, Sigma makes no claims when it comes to Canon’s EF-mount lenses, but they generally work well with its MC-11 EF-to-E-mount adapter.