Vintage Lenses Get Autofocused With Fotodiox Pro’s Pronto

October 3, 2017

By Theano Nikitas

Mixing and matching vintage lenses with digital cameras has been popular over the past several years but unlike most trends, it seems to be here to stay. Even losing features like autofocus doesn’t matter to most photographers, who are happily using manual focus in order to get that special look that vintage lenses deliver. Some photographers are just happy to dust off their old lenses and put them to use again, while others have scoured the Internet, thrift stores and estate sales to pick up an old lens or two.

Third-party mount adapters are available for a variety of lens-to-camera combos, but Pronto, the latest release from Fotodiox Pro, really caught our attention.

All images courtesy of Fotodiox Pro

Pronto is not only a mount adapter—it also enables autofocus on Sony cameras with Phase Detection AF, including the a7II, a7R II, a6300, a6500 and a9. By itself, Pronto works with Leica M mount cameras, but you can add optional lens mount adapters for autofocusing with Alpa 35, Contax/Yashica, DKL, M39, M42, Nikon G, Olympus OM, Pentax K, Leica R and T-Mount lenses.

Fotodiox promises almost native AF speed with the Pronto when shooting wide, and it supports AF-S and AF-C focusing, again on cameras with Phase Detection AF. You’ll lose Eye AF and Lock On AF with the adapter, but Face Detection is supported. But because Pronto relies on Phase Detection for AF, it's not suitable for cameras with contrast detection AF.

The adapter supports a maximum weight of 2 pounds—less is better, of course, so you don’t strain the lens mount and motor. And, one more caveat: Remove the adapter or the battery when you’re not using the camera. The adapter “may slowly drain your camera battery even when the camera is turned off,” as the company claims.

But outside of some minor limitations, the Pronto adapter is intriguing, especially for those who want to mix the old with the new and get good use out of those vintage lenses on Sony cameras.

Pronto is available now for $330.