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How to Mount any Lens on RED Monstro (Without Adapters!)

The RED DSMC2 family can easily accept many different lens types. The Monstro is a little bit more limited than the Helium, because its VistaVision sensor requires a much larger image circle than the standard Super35 sensor in the Helium. But that's only at the full 8K resolution, and should’t scare you off. It still accepts Canon EF, Leica M, and of course PL. How, you ask?

How to Attach the Lens Mount

RED’s obsession with modular design doesn’t end at the camera body - the lens mount is 100% user-swappable as well. With just four screws, the lens mount detaches from the body. While it’s not ideal, a camera assistant could even hot-swap mounts on set if you had a specialty lens you wanted for a particular shot. It’s really that simple.  

Autofocus, Aperture Control, and Metadata

All of the electronics are embedded directly in the mount unit. On all compatible lenses, the metadate for aperture, focal length, etc are all passed along cleanly from the lens to the camera. For Canon EF lenses, this ensures autofocus control, as well as electronic iris control. That’s really important, because Canon’s wildly popular L-series lenses are designed for photography, and so have less-than-optimal focus rings and lack an aperture ring all together. The more you can control electronically, the better. 

The RED Monstro supports touch AF with the right lenses, allowing for limited control of the lens directly from your touch monitor. It’s not continuous, but it’s fast enough that in some cases it will be all you need. For a quick lockdown shot on a smaller shoot, it’s easy to just boop the section of the screen with your subject. To activate it, just double-tap the left 25% of the screen. Then just make sure your Canon lens has the AF turned on, and you’re ready to go! Sorry, Nikon users - you’re not officially supported quite yet. But unofficially…

Third-Party Solutions

Of course, when something is this easy to change out, you know that there will be other manufacturers making their own replacements. Anyone shooting with Nikon lenses can at least find solace in these third-party mechanical adapters, even if they don’t have any of the electronic aperture or AF functions that Canon users enjoy. 

It even includes the screws!
It even includes the screws!

If you want to get even fancier with Panavision lenses, Canon FD, and more, P+S Technik also has you covered. These are purely mechanical adapters, but they greatly expand your possibilities. Those of you who would buy an $80k camera and shoot it with a vintage SLR lens from eBay, eat your hearts out. 

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