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Panasonic S1 with the Sigma MC-21 – autofocus test with 12 of my EF lenses

EDIT: Note the title text at the beginning of the video and the thumbnail says 15 lenses, it is in fact only 12, apologies.

I have both the Panasonic S1 and Sigma MC-21 on loan for a couple of weeks. One of the tests I wanted to perform was to see how many of the EF lenses that I personally own would work with this combo.

Officially the MC-21 is only meant to work with Sigma lenses. But it turns out every one of my EF lenses works with the S1 and MC-21. That is, to be clear, the camera is able to control the aperture of all the lenses, which is the most important element, as all the EF lenses I own have electronic aperture control.

So in practice this means at the very least all the lenses are able to used for both video and stills in manual focus, and the camera is able to control the aperture whether in Manual, Aperture or Shutter priority modes.

When it comes to autofocus the MC-21 is only able to work in AF-S (single) mode, and cannot work in a AF-C (continuous) mode. So for video this is really a non-starter in practice, and therefore you have to accept that when filming you really need to use it with manual focus – which is fine by me as I only ever film in manual focus.

With stills however, autofocus is the norm, and so this test is to see how well each lens performs. Note: I performed the test in the P (program) mode to demonstrate the camera being able to control the aperture of each lens. The reality is that although all of them work in autofocus (except the Sigma 105mm macro), the speed of autofocus is much slower than the native lenses. This is fine for landscapes perhaps, or even portraits, but not really good enough for sports I’d say. Although as it happens the Sigma 150-600 Sport lens is probably the fastest to autofocus amongst all my EF lenses when on the S1.

This is the list of lenses I test in this video (in this order):


– Tamron 15-30mm VC f2.8
– Sigma Art 20mm f1.4
– Canon 24mm IS f2.8
– Sigma Art 24-105mm f4
– Canon 35mm IS f2
– Tamron VC 45mm f1.8
– Tamron VC 85mm f1.8
– Sigma Macro OS 105mm f2.8
– Canon L 70-200mm IS f2.8 (mk1)
– Sigma Sport 150-600mm f5-6.3

– Tamron VC 10-24 f3.5-5.6
– Canon EF-S 17-55 IS f2.8

Note the APS-C lenses are mainly good for filming in 4K50/60p as that mode crops to APS-C. The Tamron however is also good for stills from 15mm onwards.


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9 thoughts on “Panasonic S1 with the Sigma MC-21 – autofocus test with 12 of my EF lenses

  1. Great video. I have the same camera and MC-21. When I try tapping on my screen nothing happens I have to use the dial/button on the back side to get focus. What setting may I be missing? I am shooting in af s mode and in manual. Thanks in advance.

  2. Fantastic review! I must applaud your choice of shooting location and subject. There is so much there that just works so well in showing the capabilities of the camera, adapter and lenses. Wonderfully done and well executed test.

  3. Great video! I've been trying to decide on a budget telephoto solution for the S1 and pretty much decided on the sigma 150-600 w/ adaptor (over the upcoming Panasonic 70-200 2.8 + 2x converter) and found your test and that just happened to be the best performing! Unreal! Thanks for the great vid!

  4. Thanks, very useful. I'm looking forward to using the MC-21 with my ART lenses on the Foveon and the S1 along with manual M lenses. Don't forget that the S1R can shoot 4K60 at its full video frame (i.e. x1.09) if you need that.

  5. nice test but why are you not shooting in aperture priority mode? in auto mode the camera is stopping down the lenses, which is a pitty. i would have liked to see the AF performance shot wide open (which is much more challenging than stopped down).

  6. Oops. Hit the wrong button on my iPad. How did IBIS work out on the Canon 70-200/2.8? it looked pretty good in the test.

  7. This is very helpful. Thanks for doing this comparison. I think the last part of the test with the EF 35/2 was missed and that's the one that interests me the most. How did you find the AF on it compared to the other lenses? Also, how did find th

  8. Thank you for doing theses test, one of the down sides of the gh5 is third party adapters compatible or lack off. If I was buying now would get s1

  9. i needed a telephoto longer than the kit lens, so i have the original canon ef 70-200/4L (non is) coming in just a few minutes. i noticed your 70-200 didn't provide the exif data which would be a minor annoyance as long as it works otherwise. was i really seeing the s1 autofocus figuring out how to focus by going past and then in front of the plane you wanted? i guess i could live with that. tks for posting, i got your link from the fb s1 group. /guy

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