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Commlite Nikon F to Sony E Adapter – Review

1 year ago

1507 words

The excitement was great when the adapter arrived. Now it is possible to use my Nikon F glass on the Sony mirrorless cameras (Sony A7 Mark II and Sony A7R Mark II). But after testing the adapter with the A7 Mark II (FW 2.0) and 4 lenses (3 Tamron, 1 Nikkor) I was a bit frustrated. Hence the review is shorter than expected. Commlite has much work to do – but let’s start at the beginning. My thanks go to Photostore Werkgarner for providing me the Sony A7 Mark II and the Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 G. The three Tamron lenses are my own and I normally use them with the Nikon D750. Also I want to say that the results on an A7R Mark II may be different, but I chose the Sony A7 Mark II with FW 2.0 for this review, because I think it’s the more interesting cam for many persons with the significantly lower price.

The Commlite Nikon F to Sony E AF adapter

I opened the fancy box which says “Commlite – COMIX CM-ENF-E(1) Electric Lens Mount Adapter for Nikon F Lens to E-Mount Camera”. It also shows what functions are supported. Namely EXIF transmitting, Autofocus Support, Aperture Control and VC Function. The adapter itself was well protected. I unwrapped it and it made a very solid first impression. It is an all metal construction with a non-reflective inner barrel. The mounts are also looking very well. The tripod mounting plate at the bottom is secured with 4 screws (I already lost one of the screws, but more to that later). Nothing is wobbling or rattling and it sits very secure between the lens and the camera. I was very impressed of the quality.

Using the adapter with the Sony A7 Mark II

First you have to figure out in which order you have to combine the camera / adapter / lens combo. For me it only worked when I attached the adapter at the cam and mounting the lens last. Attaching the lens on the adapter and subsequently mounting this combination on the camera resulted in “invalid lens” – only manual focus possible. As I said before, I tested the adapter with 4 Lenses: Tamron 24-70 F2.8, Tamron 15-30 F2.8, Tamron 150-600 F5-6.3 and Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 G. The autofocus only worked with the phase detection points, which covers the middle of the frame of the A7 Mark II. (The A7R Mark II has noticeable bigger phase detection coverage). The EXIF data transfer, the apperture control and the VC also works as expected.

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Using the adapter with the Tamron SP 150-600 F5-6.3

This was the first big disappointment. It didn’t work. I was not able to use this lens with autofocus.

Using the adapter with the Tamron SP 15-30 F2.8

This was the second big disappointment. I attached the lens and everything looked fine, it worked really quickly for some focus attempts but suddenly the screen got dark and after coming back to life the AF support was gone. I was not able to use this lens with autofocus anymore. I tried different combinations when attaching and cleaned the contacts but it didn’t work again.

Using the adapter with the Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8

At first this was the third disappointment. I couldn’t attach the lens to the adapter. The tripod mounting plate was in the way. I had to unscrew it (there I lost one of the tiny screws) to attach the lens. But then there was the first success: the lens worked! It worked reasonably fast and silent and the focus was always spot on. Furthermore it never lost the autofocus ability like it happened with the Tamron 15-30 F2.8. I had the choice between the AF-S and AF-C mode and I was able to choose between “wide”, “spot” and “flexible spot” mode for AF coverage.

In regard of the performance I didn’t notice much difference between indoor and outdoor. It hunted sometimes and took its time to find the focus but it was not bad at all (When you don’t change the focus distance it’s of course faster). Also the AF-C mode was not too bad. When it locked on it kept tracking very well. As I am not a sport/action shooter it was my fault not to catch the driving cars properly, I panned to slow.

The image quality is really good; the A7 Mark II produces very sharp images in combination with the Tamron 24-70, although the pictures are noticeable darker and the vignetting is a bit heavier than with the combination Nikon D750 and Tamron 24-70 F2.8 (However, this is all depending on the settings). At future use the results ooc will be better for sure. I also did not notice any light leaks or reflections.

Here you see two videos which show the AF performance (AF-S, center Spot, at the focal lengths 24, 35, 50 and 70 mm, the speed with “flexible spot” and “wide” is the same) indoor and outdoor.

Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8 with Commlite AF adapter – indoor:

Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8 with Commlite AF adapter – outdoor:

Sample images (jpg, ooc, unedited)

I have to say, the performance of the A7 Mark II with the Tamron 24-70 F2.8 is really decent. I had fun taking the pictures in the city.

Using the adapter with the Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 G

This was the first lens where I didn’t have any troubles mounting the lens. Nothing was in the way, I attached it and it worked and also never lost the AF ability like the Tamron 15-30 F2.8. But I have to say, the Tamron performed better. The Nikkor was noticeable louder and sometimes the focus didn’t work properly. It tried to do something (you heard the attempt of the focus motor) but nothing happened (you will see that in the video below). The performance was very inconsistent at all modes but when it worked it was also spot on every time like with the Tamron 24-70 F2.8.

The image quality in combination with the A7 Mark II was very good. The images were sharp, but like with the Tamron, a bit too dark, which you have to compensate. The vignetting is not so heavy with the Nikkor (the Nikkor is generally better at vignetting than the Tamron).

Here you see two videos which show the AF performance (AF-S, center Spot, at the focal lengths 24, 35, 50 and 70 mm, the speed with “flexible spot” and “wide” is the same) indoor and outdoor.

Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 G with Commlite AF adapter – indoor:

Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 G with Commlite AF adapter – outdoor:

Sample images (jpg, ooc, unedited)

Conclusion

As much I appreciate Commlites efforts to do a Nikon F to Sony E adapter they really have much work to do. They may be on the right path, but the current version of the AF adapter is not really useable in my opinion (maybe it’s a faulty copy?). The build quality is good, but has its flaws (Tamron 24-70 only mountable with detached tripod plate). Only two out of four lenses worked, and one of them had some bigger issues. Nonetheless I had a bit of fun using the two 24-70 lenses on the A7 Mark II. I do not know which firmware version was installed on mine, but I assume it is the latest as I got the adapter very late after several delays. At the moment I stay with Nikon and when there will be more native E-mount lenses that doesn’t cost a fortune (G Master) I think about changing to the Sony A7 mirrorless system (@Tamron and @Sigma – hurry up with FE lenses!).

Feel free to comment and let me know your thinkings about the adapter. Do you own one which works better, or worse? Please let me know!

Cheers
Tom

PS: If you are Canon user you may be interested in the following blogposts at dsphotoblog where the Commlite Canon version is reviewed. It works better!

If you want to support my blog for more reviews please use following links to buy your gear! (It’s voluntary)

If you are near or in Wels, Austria, visit Photostore Werkgarner/Digistore!

Sony Alpha 7 Mark II on Amazon: US / DE/AT
Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8 (Nikon F) on Amazon: US | DE/AT
Tamron SP 15-30 F2.8 (Nikon F) on Amazon: US | DE/AT
Tamron SP 150-600 F5-6.3 (Nikon F) on Amazon: US | DE/AT

Nikon D750 on Amazon: US | DE/AT

Manfrotto 055 XPRO3 Tripod on Amazon: US / DE/AT
Sirui K30X Ballhead on Amazon: USDE/AT
Lowepro Flipside 400 AW black on Amazon: US / DE/AT
Hoya Pro ND 64 Filter 82mm on Amazon: US / DE/AT
SanDisk 64 GB / 95 MB/sec Memory card on Amazon: US / DE/AT
Transcend 64 GB / 90 MB/sec Memory card on Amazon: US / DE/AT

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10 Comments on "Commlite Nikon F to Sony E Adapter – Review"

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Johannes
Guest

Hi, what was the firmware version of the Commlite adapter in your test? I thought V2 was quite okay now? Thanks, Johannes

Martin
Guest

Thx for sharing… Please share your thoughts in combination of the Adapter and the A7RII as well… i would like to know if the A7RII Focus-system handles these lenses better.

Anyhow… so good to hear that a company is getting adapters finally to work… even little steps are great to hear for Nikon-Users compared to Canon guys who got Metabones stuff for a whole time.

Sharpest Light
Guest
Hi Thomas, we are Sharpest Light which is a distributor of Commlite products from Hong Kong. We are sorry to know that the performance of ENF-E(1) is not up to your expectation. We would like to reply to your comments and give you solution. First of all, we are 100% sure that your ENF-E(1) comes with firmware version 1. The reason why we are so sure because the latest firmware version 2 does not support Tamron lenses at all. The 2nd thing is…. Your product could be refurbished item. From last production batch in late January, all ENF-E(1) had been… Read more »
Sharpest Light
Guest
Hi Thomas, Thank you very much for your purchase and your comment! We are Sharpest Light who is Commlite distributor from Hong Kong. We are sorry that the performance of ENF-E(1) is not up to your expectation. Here we would like to reply to your comments and provide solution. First of all, we are 100% sure that your ENF-E(1) comes with firmware version 1. The reason why we are so sure because the latest firmware version 2 does not support Tamron lenses at all. The 2nd thing is…. Your product could be refurbished item. From last production batch in late… Read more »
AdamD
Guest

Did you test the nikon lens on the Sony with Af-Continuous mode. Am wanting to use the Sony for video with nikon lenses, and need the continuous focus to work smoothly and quietly, and of course accurately. Thank you!

Chris
Guest

Hi Tom,

I’m looking to get this adapter for video purposes. I have a Nikon 18-105mm, f3.5-5.6 DX lens I want to use on a Sony A7SII in APS-C mode. Do you know if focal length information is transferred to the camera body through this adapter so that the image stabilization compensates automatically when you change focal lengths on a zoom lens during recording? If it doesn’t, it’s kind of useless for me as I can’t stop to change the focal length setting in the camera during every 3 seconds when I’m shooting on the fly/doc stuff.

Thanks

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