During Photokina 2016 we ran into all sorts of strange accessories – this adaptor called Techart PRO can turn a manual focus Leica lens into an AF lens for Sony cameras (at least some specific E mount models).
The Techart PRO adaptor was actually introduced earlier this year and since than had some firmware updates. What it does is pretty amazing – it uses a built in motor to change the distance between the lens and the sensor in order to achieve focus automatically.
The concept isn’t new – Pentax used to have a similar contraption but a Sony adaptor can find a much wider use these days. There are lots of limitations to keep in mind – it does not work with all Sony E-mount cameras (currently A7II and A7RII are supported although the A6300 might work as well). Natively only Leica M mount lenses can work with the adaptor but with a simple Leica to (any specific mount you need) adaptor you can basically use any lens (or that is the calim at least – we didn’t try that ourselves).
From what we saw in the quick demo (we also tried it ourselves) focus seems relatively quick and accurate which is really impressive – we are not sure how (if at all) it will function in video recording or with different type zoom lenses, and of course very heavy lenses will not work (the company states that lenses up to 700g are supported). On the upside the adaptor has no glass elements so theoretically the performance of the lens you use should not be affected.
As an interesting anecdote – we asked Leica if they know about this product and they said that they do but they feel that it isn’t a good idea because this isn’t the way their lenses where designed to work (we are not sure if they meant that this can damage the lens or just effect the image quality in some way).
You can find more info on the adaptor on the Techart PRO website (the adaptor itself cost $380 with each extra adaptor for other mounts costing anywhere from $50-$180).
These videos are just the very first among over 20 videos and interviews that we took during the show (many more to come in the next days and weeks) and you can find them on our special channel on Youtube and on this link on LensVid.
Special thanks to our sponsors for Photokina 2016 – Manfrotto.