Impressions of the MTF Effect Aperture Controller

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For several months now, I've had the opportunity to shoot with the MTF Effect aperture conoller, mounted to both the Sony F3 and the Panasonic AF-100. The MTF Effect control and lens adapter allows the shooter to mount and control Canon EF lenses on different camera bodies that aren't ordinarily compatible with the EF mount.

Since the iris on Canon EF lenses are electronic, the shooter needs an adapter so the camera can communicate with the lens in order to control aperture. That's where the MTF Effect comes in handy. Here are a few quick thoughts, based on my experience with it so far:

  1. Prepare for a longer set up time - It will take you a few extra minutes to set up your rig when using this adapter, so prepare accordingly, especially if you will be shooting run-and-gun, documentary style.
  2. Watch your line-of-sight - The mount on the MTF Effect can be adjusted so that the controller rests horizontally, vertically, or any point in-between. Mounting the controller horizontally helps the shooter reach the iris knob easier, but the controller can block a shooter's view of the LCD screen when the camera is held down for a low-angle shot. You will have to adjust the controller to your specific comfort level.
  3. Keep fresh AA batteries handy - There is no "low battery" warning on the controller. When the battery runs out, the device will simply shut down. 
  4. Remember that there is an automatic shut-off feature - After a period of non-use, the controller's screen will start to give this warning: "About to shut down." To prevent the unit from turning off, you will need to press the iris control knob. If you miss this warning and the controller does power down, the aperture will default to its widest point. So, pay careful attention to the controller while shooting. Otherwise, your shot may become over-exposed during the middle of a take.
  5. Pack carefully - When wrapping the controller and storing it for the next shoot, be attentive to how you wrap the cable that connects the lens adapter to the controller. Over time the cable can become frayed, compromising the adapter's ability to communicate with the lens.

Overall, the MTF Effect gives the shooter flexibility in using a wide variety of Canon lenses on micro four thirds and PL mount cameras. That's a definite plus. No need to purchase any new lenses if you already have a good collection of Canon glass. Like any piece of hardware, though, the MTF Effect has its own little nuances that require attention and practice.