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Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


This is our new Techart PRO FAQ dedicated to new LM-EA9 model (TAP II). It's based on the previous LM-EA7 FAQ started and maintained by Jonathan. -- @genji

Corrections and suggestions for additional topics are welcome. Please post them in this thread and I will update the FAQ accordingly.

The LM-EA9 adapter is available to purchase at B&H Photo for $399.

LM-EA9 adapter

What is the Techart PRO LM-EA9?

It's the company second generation Leica M-mount to Sony E-mount adapter, and it's capable of autofocus while offering reduced minimal focus distance for your M-mount lens.

The Techart PRO adapter (abbreviated as "TAP II") is an autofocus adapter for manual focus camera lenses when mounted on certain Sony mirrorless cameras. According to the Techart PRO website:
"[The TAP II] is basically a lens adapter with a motor and a printed circuit board, allowing the camera to measure the focus and communicate with the motor, [which] will move the lens closer or further away from the camera sensor to reach the focal point. The principle is similar to the Contax AX camera in that the flange distance is adjusted to reach the focus. The maximum z-shift is 4.5mm which is sufficient to cover the focusing distance for most of the lenses. And the optical performance will NOT be affected for unit focusing lenses."


What are the main features of the Techart PRO?

  1. Allows Auto-Focus when using a Leica M Lens on a Sony E-Mount body.
  2. Compatible with older and all latest Sony Full Frame & APS-C camera models.
  3. 4 radially positioned, small, quiet and light servo motors.
  4. Reliable USB Dock firmware update.
  5. Shifts Lens up to 4.5mm for Autofocus.
  6. Support heavier lenses without wobbling.
  7. Supports PDAF with AF-S & AF-C Modes.
  8. Improves Close Focusing Ability.
  9. Stack additional adapters to enjoy autofocus with literally ANY lenses (EF / F / OM/ PK/ FD / LR / L39, etc).
  10. Compatible with 3-Axis Stabilization (pitch, yaw, and roll).
  11. Drives Lenses Weighing up to 500g


Before placing my order, what are the limitations and warranty information for the LM-EA9 adapter?

From Techart:
  1. All sales is FINAL and we currently do not accept refunds when the adapter is shipped. We will arrange replacement if the adapter is proven to be defective.
  2. Like many other AF adapters in the market, the software of the adapter was made through reverse engineering.
  3. The key function of this adapter is to convert a Manual focus lens into Autofocus. Although we are very happy with the AF speed of our adapter, there is no way we should EXPECT or COMPARE the AF experience to any native AF lens. Bear in mind we are now driving the entire lens (~500g) to focus instead of driving a certain glass element (<50g) to focus (like AF lenses).
  4. We keep studying the protocols of Sony Cameras and will release firmware if there is any significant improvement. But no timetable can currently be given. It can be overnight or it can never happen.
  5. There are some limitations on this adapter (e.g. AF performance on the edge may not be perfect). Please make sure you watch sufficient reviews (both about LM-EA9 or our first generation model LM-EA7) before making a purchase. This is an extremely fun tool as long as you play within its limitation (boundary).
  6. 1 year warranty. No warranty will be provided to eBay / Amazon purchases.


How to upgrade the firmware?

  1. Download the Techart firmware upgrade software.
  2. Check the camera body to make sure the power is over 50%.
  3. Connect USB cable to the USB dock on the back cap while mounting on the adapter.
  4. Launch the software and select the firmware version from the list.
  5. Click on the "Update" button.


Which autofocus features does the Techart PRO support?

  1. Focus Mode: AF-S, AF-C
  2. Focus Area: Wide, Zone, Center, Flexible Spot (S/M/L)
  3. Focus tracking supported
  4. Smile/Face Detection
  5. Eye AF


How does the Techart PRO affect image quality?

For unit focusing lenses (i.e. those in which the entire optical assembly moves back and forward as the focusing ring is turned), the TAP II does not affect image quality. For lenses with a floating element (FLE) design (i.e. the distance between lens groups is adjusted as the lens is focused in order to improve performance at close range), the
will have an effect on image quality. In this case, if using the lens at close distances, it will be preferable to pre-focus manually before allowing the Techart PRO to achieve accurate focus.

FM member freaklikeme elaborates:
"I'm not saying it will be particularly impactful for every shooting situation, or that every lens with an FLE will be impacted the same amount. FLEs are implemented differently. Some are like the Canon FD 85L or your Summicron 75, where the rear group remains static while the other groups move, or the Samyang TS 24/3.5, where the rear collection of groups move until about 3M when the front group also starts moving. Some are like the Touit 50 that moves multiple groups at different times in different directions. How tolerant all of those lenses are to extension tubes should vary."

Using the with floating element lenses is discussed at length in this thread.


Will the Techart PRO autofocus over the full focusing range of the lens?

The autofocus range varies with the lens. According to Techart, the focusing ranges with the focus ring on the lens is set to Infinity are: 
15mm: 6.5cm –> Infinity
21mm: 12cm –> Infinity
24mm: 15cm –> Infinity
28mm: 20cm –> Infinity
35mm: 31cm –> Infinity
50mm: 60cm –> Infinity
90mm: 1.8m –> Infinity
135mm: 4.2m –> Infinity


Must the focusing ring on the lens always be set at Infinity?

No, the focusing ring on the lens can be set according to the circumstances. FM member k-h.a.w explained in this post how he divides his lenses into groups:
• Normal to WA lenses, simply set the M lens to infinity, typically no pre-focusing required.
• Lenses where the reach of the adapter's helicoid isn't large enough, so pre-focusing is necessary.
• Special lenses, e.g. with floating elements that need to be in the right position, also require pre-focusing.
• Extreme close focus, using the adapter's helicoid to achieve closer distances than possible with a rangefinder camera doesn't require pre-focusing but simply turning the M lens focus to closest distance.


How should I configure my Sony body o switch from autofocus to manual focus and back?

It's best to assign a Custom Button to do this. Choose Menu > Custom Settings (Gear Icon) > 7 > Custom Key Settings and assign AF/MF Ctrl Toggle to a button. FM member d-intrigue suggested using the Center Button whilst others prefer to use the AF/MF button.

The Techart PRO has a Parking feature which determines what the adapter does when switching from AF to MF mode:

  1. F45 parks the adapter at the current focus: Parking position when the camera is off - infinity/unchanged (factory pre-set as unchanged)

To implement this, set the aperture on the camera to the desired value, take a picture, then set the aperture on the camera back to F2. (Note that the camera must be set to change aperture in 1/3 stop increments for all of these options to be accessible.)


What is the heaviest lens that can be used with the Techart PRO?

According to the Techart PRO FAQ, the adapter can support lenses "as heavy as 500g". However, multiple FM members have reported success with much heavier lenses as long as the lens is supported firmly with one hand. In other words, instead of holding the camera and allowing the to move the lens back and forward, one holds the lens so that the moves the camera body back and forward.


Does the Techart PRO provide autofocus only with Leica M lenses?

No, other manual focus lenses with a longer flange distance (such as legacy SLR lenses) can also be auto-focused by inserting the appropriate M-mount adapter between the lens and the Techart PRO. For example, Contax C/Y or Olympus OM lenses can gain autofocus by adding a C/Y->M or OM->M adapter respectively.

Are any Leica M lenses incompatible with the Techart PRO?

FM member OpticalFlow reports that the Dual-Range Summicron does not work with the Techart PRO.
When set to infinity, the range finder coupling binds with the adapter. It can only be mounted when set to about 2m. Then, it will focus to about 10 meters with the , but when trying to focus to infinity the rangefinder coupling binds and everything locks up.


Where do I buy the adapters for non-Leica M lenses?

Techart sell a wide range of Leicaist brand adapters in their store. However, the same Leicaist adapters can be purchased at lower prices on eBay.

FM members have reported varying degrees of success with other inexpensive XX->M adapters. In order for it not to interfere with the protruding motor of the Techart PRO, the adapter needs to be quite narrow at the M-bayonet end. The Leicaist adapters are tapered to achieve this.


Do non-Leicaist XX->M adapters also work with the Techart PRO?

According to posts in the Techart PRO AF adapter now In Stock! thread some inexpensive adapters have been reported to work with the . The following list shows all the adapters that are known to work.

Canon EF(EOS)
  1. Leicaist EF->M adapter

Canon FD
  1. Leicaist FD->M adapter [Note that this adapter does NOT support Canon FL-mount lenses. However, FM member bluloo has explained how the FD->M adapter can be physically modified to work with FL lenses.]

Canon FL
  1. FM member HWH7 reported that he successfully used a Canon FL 55/1.2 with the by combining a Canon Lens Mount Converter B with an LTM->M adapter (the Lens Mount Converter B allows FL lenses to be used on L39/M39/LTM mount bodies).

Contax C/Y
  1. Leicaist C/Y->M adapter
  2. K&F CY->M Concept adapter
  3. Fotodiox CY->M adapter
  4. Gobe CY->M adapter

Hexanon AR

  1. Leicaist AR->M adapter

Leica R
  1. Leicaist LR->M adapter
  2. Fotodiox LR->M adapter
  3. K&F LR->M adapter
  4. Novoflex LEM/LER adapter

Minolta MD
  1. Leicaist MD->M adapter
  2. Fotodiox MD->M adapter
  3. Fotasy MD->M adapter

M42
  1. Leicaist M42->M adapter
  2. Fotasy M42->M adapter
  3. Fotodiox M42->M adapter

Nikon F
  1. Leicaist Nikon AI->M adapter
  2. Fotodiox Nik->L/M adapter
  3. K&F Nikon AI->M Concept adapter

Nikon G
  1. Leicaist Nikon G->M adapter

Olympus OM
  1. Leicaist OM->M adapter
  2. K&F Concept OM->M adapter

Pentax K
  1. Leicaist PK->M adapter
  2. K&F Concept PK->M adapter
  3. Fotodiox PK->M adapter

Rollei QBM
  1. Yeenon QBM->M adapter


How do I attach the Techart PRO and lens?

  1. Turn off the camera and remove the currently mounted lens.
  2. Align the white dot on the Techart PRO with the white dot on the camera's lens mount and rotate the adapter clockwise until it locks into place.
  3. If you are using a legacy SLR lens, attach the XX->M adapter.
  4. Align the red dot on the M-mount lens (or on the XX->M adapter) with the red dot on the Techart PRO and rotate the lens (or adapted SLR lens) clockwise until it locks.
  5. Turn on the camera.
  6. Set the aperture on the camera body to F2.
  7. Set the aperture on the lens to the desired working aperture.



Does SteadyShot (IBIS) work with the Techart PRO?

Yes. There are two ways to approach this:

  1. Configure either three Custom Buttons (or, alternatively, three Function Button options) for SteadyShot Adjust (Auto/Manual), SteadyShot (On/Off), and SteadyS. Focal Len. With SteadyShot (On) and SteadyShot Adjust (Manual), you can then use SteadyS. Focal Len. to set a value from 8mm to 1000mm.
  2. Set SteadyShot Adjust to Auto and set the correct focal length to be recorded by the Techart PRO as explained later in this FAQ.


How do I update the firmware?

The Techart PRO firmware is updated via rear cap Micro-B USB 2.0 port.


How do I configure the focal length of the lens so it is correctly recorded in the EXIF data?

If the Techart PRO is used as shipped from the factory, a focal length of 15mm will be recorded in the EXIF. The Techart PRO can store up to ten focal lengths, with the default settings as follows.

  1. F2.8: 12mm
  2. F3.2: 15mm
  3. F3.5: 18mm
  4. F4.0: 21mm
  5. F4.5: 24mm
  6. F5.0: 28mm
  7. F5.6: 35mm
  8. F6.3: 40mm
  9. F8.0: 50mm
  10. F9.0: 60mm
  11. F10: 75mm
  12. F11: 80mm
  13. F13: 85mm
  14. F14: 90mm
  15. F16: 135mm
  16. F18: 150mm
  17. F20: 180mm
  18. F22: 200mm
  19. F25: 250mm
  20. F29: 300mm
  21. F32: 400mm
  22. F36: 600mm
  23. F40: 400mm
  24. F13: 800mm

    ------

  25. f/45: Parking position when camera is off - infinty/unchanged (factory pre-set as unchanged).
  26. f/51: Normal focus mode. Under this mode, the focusing speed is faster but focus hesitation may occur with ultra-fast lenses.
  27. f/57: Slower focus mode for ultra fast lenses.
  28. f/90: Adapter Reset (works best with firmware v1.5 or lower)


To change the focal length to be recorded in the EXIF:

  1. Check that the camera is set to change aperture in 1/3 stop increments.
  2. After switching lenses, turn on the camera.
  3. Set the aperture on the camera body to the corresponding aperture (listed above) for the desired focal length (e.g. F5 for a 28mm lens).
  4. Release the shutter (i.e. take a picture)
  5. Set the aperture on the camera body back to F2.
  6. Set the aperture on the lens to the desired working aperture.


Why are my pictures overexposed when I set the aperture on the camera to a value other than F2?

When a legacy lens is attached via a dumb adapter the aperture value in the EVF on the LCD shows as "F--", because there is no electronic communication between the lens and the adapter. Correct exposure is then achieved by setting the camera to either A or M mode and using either a fixed ISO or ISO Auto.

However, in order to provide autofocus via Sony's 3rd party PDAF protocol, the Techart PRO emulates a Sony LA-EA3 adapter, in essence "pretending" to be an E-mount lens. The Techart engineers have chosen to emulate a 40mm SAM lens, probably because no such lens exists. Unlike a real A-mount lens whose aperture can be controlled electronically, the aperture on a legacy lens must be set manually. But the still has to to provide an aperture value and F2 was the value chosen. Consequently, no matter what aperture is set manually on the lens, the has been designed to give the correct exposure only when the aperture on the camera is set to F2. If the aperture on the camera is set, for example, to F2.8 then the camera increases the exposure to compensate and the picture will be one stop overexposed.

However, there is a way of circumventing this restriction, which is explained in the next topic.


Is there a way that I can have the actual aperture recorded in the EXIF?

Both versions of the Techart Pro adapters require the camera aperture to be set to f/2 before taking a picture to allow proper exposure. With the previous model (LM-EA7), it was possible to write the lens working aperture to the EXIF with the help of exposure compensation, The procedure was to set the aperture on the camera the same as on the lens, then compensate exposure accordingly by using the exposure compensation dial or menu. For example: If the lens’ working aperture is f/2.8, set the camera aperture to f/2.8 (instead of f/2) while correcting the exposure by using exposure compensation " -1EV". If the lens is at f/4, set exposure compensation to "-2EV" and so on…

Unfortunately this is no longer feasible with the LM-EA9 because it requires wider apertures like f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, etc...to assign focal lengths and therefore this conflicts with the aperture EXIF recording method of the past.



Resetting the Adapter Guide:

If your adapter isn't working properly, especially after updating the firmware to version 1.6.0, you can try these steps to fix it. Techart provided this guide:

1. Download and unzip the firmware updater from the attached link (for Windows) or (for Mac).
2. Connect the adapter to your computer using its rear cap.
3. Open the firmware updater and select "LM-EA9 v1.5," then click on "update."
4. The firmware will update automatically and load into the adapter. A loading icon will appear. This process takes less than 5 minutes. Once it's done, disconnect the cable.
5. Put the adapter with your lens on your camera.
6. Turn on the camera and set the aperture on the camera to f/90.
7. Manually focus on a subject to enable the shutter release.
8. Take a picture by releasing the shutter.
9. Set the aperture back to f/2.0 and check if the adapter motor responds. Sometimes it might take a while for the function to work again.
10. If the motor is still not responding, repeat steps 6 to 9.
11. Once the motor starts working again, reconnect the adapter to your computer.
12. Open the firmware updater and choose "LM-EA9 v1.6," then click on "update."


How to Keep Manual Focus with the Adapter's Current Position:

This feature is available in firmware version 1.4. However, in firmware version 1.5 or higher, when you switch to manual focus using a custom button, the focus carrier returns to the infinity position. If you're into close-up or macro photography, it's recommended to stick with firmware v1.4 for this reason alone.



Aug 09, 2022 at 12:09 PM
lattesweden
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Thanks!

Regarding using an extra "in between" adapter to be able to use SLR lenses: On the Techart LM-EA7 version, the extra "in between" SLR adapter had to be chosen to be of a type that didn't hit the motor gondola on the underside of the Techart, but on the Techart LM-EA9 that shouldn't be a problem anymore since there is no motor gondola?



Aug 09, 2022 at 02:23 PM
k-h.a.w
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Thank you Fred, much appreciated.
On which Sony cameras does this new adapter work?
I am particularly interested in the A1 and A9.

K-H.



Aug 09, 2022 at 03:14 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


k-h.a.w wrote:
Thank you Fred, much appreciated.
On which Sony cameras does this new adapter work?
I am particularly interested in the A1 and A9.

K-H.


Techart mentions:
"Compatible with all the latest Sony Full Frame & APS-C camera models (A7R4, A7R, A1, A9ii, A7C, A6600, ZV-E10, etc)"

I've tested it on the Sony A9 and Sony A6100 bodies. It works great on both cameras. I will post my review tomorrow. (Official release day)



Aug 09, 2022 at 04:12 PM
k-h.a.w
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Fred Miranda wrote:
Techart mentions:
"Compatible with all the latest Sony Full Frame & APS-C camera models (A7R4, A7R, A1, A9ii, A7C, A6600, ZV-E10, etc)"

I've tested it on the Sony A9 and Sony A6100 bodies. It works great on both cameras. I will post my review tomorrow.


Thanks again Fred for the info.
That's great.

K-H.



Aug 09, 2022 at 06:41 PM
rhawidantas
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Thanks for the new thread Fred.

Has the battery drain issue been resolved?



Aug 10, 2022 at 12:53 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


rhawidantas wrote:
Thanks for the new thread Fred.

Has the battery drain issue been resolved?


Good question. I'm still trying to figure out.
Perhaps removing bluetooth was the fix!



Aug 10, 2022 at 01:30 AM
BastianK
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Fred Miranda wrote:
Good question. I'm still trying to figure out.

I left it for 3 days each on A7III and A7rII and did not notice a drop in the battery level.



Aug 10, 2022 at 01:33 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


BastianK wrote:
I left it for 3 days each on A7III and A7rII and did not notice a drop in the battery level.


Same here. I left the adapter attached to my A9 for 30 hours and there is no change in battery level. It looks like they fixed the battery drain issue.



Aug 10, 2022 at 08:24 PM
Alan Parker
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Dustin Abbott put up his review too, with some insight on the use of the adapter:




Aug 11, 2022 at 07:25 AM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

bemei
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


They don't mention the A7r3, any reason to be worried about performance on this body relative to the latest generation?


Aug 11, 2022 at 12:14 PM
Michael Gordon
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Curiously they started the FL mapping at F2.8 vs the Tap 1 (LM-EA7) at F11 which I remapped. So if one wishes to have proper exposure aperture in EXIF on the EA9 using exp comp many of aperture settings required to input the focal length would need to be remapped. I hope there are plenty of aperture settings left to remap this. There are many more FL's available this time, but starting at F2.8 doesn't seem a wise choice. I try to edit the EXIF and put in the proper lens name, but it doesn't always happen.


Aug 11, 2022 at 04:54 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


bemei wrote:
They don't mention the A7r3, any reason to be worried about performance on this body relative to the latest generation?


It's not mentioned specifically but I'm sure it will work. I have a A7R III coming this week and I will confirm this.



Aug 24, 2022 at 10:50 AM
grahamgibson
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


So if you want the exif aperture to be accurate, the compensation adjustment will work for say f1.2 or f1.4 but once you dial in f2.8 and above the adapter is interpreting that as a focal length change?


Aug 24, 2022 at 12:06 PM
bemei
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Fred Miranda wrote:
It's not mentioned specifically but I'm sure it will work. I have a A7R III coming this week and I will confirm this.


Thanks, I'm interested in using this in the studio for product work.



Aug 24, 2022 at 10:11 PM
Alan Parker
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


DP Review put out their review too; showcasing how to work the adapter to its strenghts.




Aug 25, 2022 at 02:09 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


bemei wrote:
Thanks, I'm interested in using this in the studio for product work.


So, I've tested the LM-EA9 with the Sony A7R III and although focusing is still snappy, tracking is better with the A9, including EyeAF.



Sep 06, 2022 at 09:45 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


I sold my A7R III and just purchased a A7 IV. I've heard that the LM-EA9 works really well with the A7 IV. I know it's also optimal with the A9 series and the A1 body.

BTW, the current firmware is v1.5.



Oct 07, 2022 at 02:00 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


Thread Update:

I have used my adapter very sparingly--purchased new, mostly used the first 2 weeks for testing. No issues, worked fine with the lens I tried a trio of bodies, including an a7, a7c and a7r2.

I pull out the adapter the other day to use it, and it's exhibiting an odd behavior--it just flutters back and fourth over the subject. Even high contrast subjects in good light. Fooled around in AF-C, AF-S and different AF settings--wide, center, etc.-- and also different tracking options of "stickiness." I am using the adapter exactly as before and having issues. Won't lock, just pulses. Or locks after some time, slowly.

I think I am fully updated firmware wise, but the app gives me Chinese characters, so when I select v1.6 (Mac user), it's says update complete then quickly says no adapter detected. Anyone know how I can ascertain which firmware I have installed?

I contacted TechArt but haven't heard back yet. Is anyone else having similar issues? Never had an issue like this with the OG TAP.



Dec 22, 2022 at 01:31 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Techart PRO FAQ (LM-EA9)


nehemiahphoto wrote:
Thread Update:

I have used my adapter very sparingly--purchased new, mostly used the first 2 weeks for testing. No issues, worked fine with the lens I tried a trio of bodies, including an a7, a7c and a7r2.

I pull out the adapter the other day to use it, and it's exhibiting an odd behavior--it just flutters back and fourth over the subject. Even high contrast subjects in good light. Fooled around in AF-C, AF-S and different AF settings--wide, center, etc.-- and also different tracking options of "stickiness." I am using the adapter exactly as before and having issues. Won't lock, just
...Show more

What you've described happened with my first loan for review but the replacement unit worked fine. The way to know which firmware you have is to mount it on your Sony and verify the lens firmware version.



Dec 22, 2022 at 01:50 PM
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