Advice on adapter + zoom lens combo for NEX 7

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by OhPinchy, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. OhPinchy

    OhPinchy New to TalkEmount

    Feb 8, 2014
    I have a NEX 7 and love it but find the slow autofocus on my SEL55-210 lens just isn't up to the job for what I need it for. The main usage scenario is on group cycling trips - I often give the camera to a friend to capture action shots so fast autofocus is key as the person I'm giving it to use doesn't know how to manual focus. I will also use it to take shots of wildlife on safari from a jeep.

    So it seems an adapter with the right lens is my best choice. Is there any downside to using the LA-EA4 adapter (for upgradability in case I go full-frame in future) vs. the LA-EA2? Ideally, I would be able to use all the focus functions (DMF, focus peaking etc.) when using the adapter. I'm a bit confused about the potential for image cropping given the LA-EA4 is has a full-frame-size mirror: from what I can gather, if used with an a-mount lens, it won't result in cropping, but it would be great to get confirmation from someone in the know.

    If I go with the LA-EA4, what would be the best sub-$1000 zoom lens to go with? Ideally 300mm max focal length, but 250mm might be fine? Ideally, the lens would have optical stabilization built-in, but I understand this limits options so would appreciate advice on how much of an impact this would make.

    From looking around, Sigma lenses seem to get good bang-for-buck reviews but I would like to know which ones people think should be considered a good fit for my scenario? e.g. is either of the following Sigmas or Tamron lenses a good fit for my needs?
  2. OhPinchy

    OhPinchy New to TalkEmount

    Feb 8, 2014
    After further research, I've narrowed the lens choice down to the Sony SAL70300G (here) as it looks like an excellent quality lens that will work very well for my usage scenarios. So my only question is should I get the LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 adapter to go with it? Hoping that making the question more specific might allow someone in the know to clarify. Thanks.
  3. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    Real Name:
    I just did a bunch of research on 2 vs 4...

    2 is discontinued (so you may be able to get a bargain end of stock one)
    4 is lighter than 2 (160g vs 200g)
    When used on a Nex3/5 the la-ea4 is fixed to Wide autofocus only (Nex6/7 and A7/R you can use Spot as well)
    And obviously the 4 works with FF bodies so if you do upgrade in the future you are all set...

    So with long term thoughts and current budget not being a major factor I would suggest the 4.

    My issue is having a Nex5 but planning to upgrade to a A7 this year if I get the LA-EA4 now I'll be stuck with Wide only until I get the new body - but as stated, you wouldn't have this issue.
  4. OhPinchy

    OhPinchy New to TalkEmount

    Feb 8, 2014
    Thanks a lot for that José. I'll go with the LA-EA4 in case I upgrade to A7 in the future. Thanks.
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  5. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    I have a 2 in perfect condition I need to :)
  6. garyt

    garyt New to TalkEmount

    Feb 27, 2014
    How much are you selling your '2' for?
  7. OhPinchy

    OhPinchy New to TalkEmount

    Feb 8, 2014
    Hi, I went ahead and bought a 2nd-hand Sony 70-300 G lens and an LA-EA4 adapter for my NEX 7, mainly due to finding the SEL55-210 to give shots I found not to be sharp enough (and slow focusing) for wildlife and cycling action, which were my primary usages for that lens.

    The 70-300 G is a fine lens and when using a tripod I can see it will give very good results. However, I am a newbie to photography, and though I have been doing a lot of studying up and practising, this is the first time I have had no image stablisation and I was pretty shocked by just how much shake there is, particularly at the 300 end of the lens.

    I need to get more time to really practice with it, but I'm finding in anything other than bright daylight I need to bump up the ISO to at least 400, maybe 800, to get fast enough shutter speeds to eliminate blur from shake (not sure what others think with the NEX 7 but I find 1600 ISO noise too much, can just about live with 800 but would prefer lower). That generally requires using the lens wide open, which at 300 is f5.6, which I guess is fine for a single subject, but the bokeh is significant so I'm not sure yet how it would work for a bunch of animals I was shooting from distance, can anticipate a lot of them would be out of focus. I know the LA-EA4 has cost me a bit of light, so further constrains options.

    I find the manual focus wheel is incredibly sensitive when shooting at 300, a single millimeter movement can have a big impact on focus point. I'm still getting to grips with the autofocus and need to test it out more on moving objects to appreciate if this combination will do what I really bought it for: giving sharp shots on wildlife at a distance (hoping the PDAF would make this easy) and also for taking action shots on group cycling holidays (where AF is crucial as I need to give the camera to inexperienced buddies to point and shoot). Really would appreciate any pointers as I have an upcoming safari trip in Africa and the aim is to be able to optimally capture all the wonderful animals I'll see.

    If there's a different lens and/or adapter I should go with to get stablisation with a 300m focal length for the NEX 7, I'd be interested in giving it a look, though hopefully there's some tips & tricks I can do to get sharp long-range shots from the SAL70300G. So should this combination give the results I need and it's a case of me just needing to learn how, or do I need to consider alternatives?
  8. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Real Name:
    I have the same dilemma. I want longer zoom options with auto exposure and AF.

    I have narrowed down my choices to 2 adapters; both have inherent flaws.

    The Metabones Smart Adapter III - This adapter would give CDAF, Exposure, and Image stabilization. It will give access to Canon EF and EF-S lenses as well as many third party options. This would be perfect accept I hear mixed feedback on the AF performance. Some people say it's typical CDAF. To many CDAF is unacceptable, just look at how people talk about the A7r and the NEX 7. Some people say you get DSLRT live view performance. I don't know what that means. The problem is this adapter is pretty expensive($400 USD), so there are only a few reviews on it.
    The LA-EA2/4 - These give you access to A-mount lenses with PDAF and Exposure. The biggest problem is no image stabilization on Sony A-mount lenses. As @ohPinchy, points out this can be a real issue if you want to shoot hand held. I know you can bump the shutter speed and ISO, but then you have an overall exposure problem in low light.

    I want to buy something in the next week or so. I would really love to have feedback from those that have tried any of these combinations or other similar options.
    Also, if anyone can opine on how reasonable it is to shoot without stabilization at 300mm (450mm on APS-C). I would appreciate it.

    BTW - I have the NEX 5T. I can't see how the NEX model is relevant in this discussion, so I didn't want to start a new thread. I hope this isn't an incorrect assumption.