Best short fast zoom for a7Mk2

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by THStearns, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. THStearns

    THStearns New to TalkEmount

    Apr 4, 2015
    I have an a7Mk2 and a cat. The cat moves rapidly, particularly when I want to take pictures of him so need good AF and a zoom lens longer than the kit lens. I'm wondering if the LA EA4 adapter and an A mount lens (like Minolta 70-200 2.8) would be quick enough or if I should settle for the optically slower and not well liked FE 4 70/200 G zoom?

    Also, the a7 cameras seem to eat batteries at a fierce rate, Airplane Mode or no, and no doubt the legacy lens idea gets you into heavier battery drain so even shorter life and probably part of the reason for slower AF. Thoughts?
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Real Name:
    Who doesn't like this lens? I have read almost nothing but effusive praise for it. And though I sold mine when the 24-240 became available, I'd be the last person on earth to diss it. It's a brilliant lens.
    I have to wonder what web sites you've been reading. DPReview perhaps? While it's true that the small Sony batteries used on the A7 cameras aren't as long-lasting as some of the larger ones used on traditional DSLRs, I have yet to encounter a day-long shoot where two batteries didn't suffice.
  3. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Michel Brien
    Did you ever try a traditional DSLR ?

    Going that route ( LA-EA4 with A-Mount lens) would provide you with DSLR like speed but since it is a different AF system ( AF sensors in the LA-EA4 adapter limited to 15 sensors take over the AF function) but is performing pretty well to my liking. I actually prefer the focus from my Alpha mount lenses than with e-mount native lenses in spite of the fact that is is a little more noisy. But then i only have 28, 35 and 55mm FE lenses. Same preference applied on my NEX-7 ( 10-18, 18-200, 24 F1.8 and 35 F1.8) with LA-EA2.

    As a matter of fact, my walking lens with A7r is the old Minolta AF 24-85 F 3.5-4.5 RS from 1997 ( 150$ versus 1200$ ), this thing just nails focus right now when my Zeiss 55 sometimes hesitates even in good light ( My guess is new cameras have too many focus points and get confused and get me confused on where they focused ).
    All my other tests with other lenses have been very positive since they all seem to behave like on my A77 and A900's. The only downside is the bulk added by this and makes the handling sometimes a little weird.

    These adapters ( EA2 and EA4 ) need to focus with the aperture wide open like on a DSLR and this changes the depth of field perceived in the finder since the aperture will only close when you trip the shutter. You may need to program and use the aperture preview feature but will never be able to focus at your shooting aperture unless it is the max aperture.

    Another thing you should know is in very low light, these adapted lenses can't work with the AF assist light from the camera ( it becomes disabled with no possibility of turning it on ) since the AF sensors in the adapter require an AF assist Beam of a certain pattern to operate and the AF assist light of the camera is not providing the pattern these sensors require. ( please note the difference between assist light and Pattern of light).
    So if your cat is inside in very dark environment, it may or may not work depending on contrast or details that allow focusing on.

    Beware if you get to the 70-200 G SSM or 70-400 G or any G super tele, no Sony APO teleconverter will work on the LA-EA4 (or any other LA-EA) adapter. Other brands may or may not work limiting the possibility to use these. I tried 2 Tamron's i have and one works so-so ( very slow focusing and occasional but too frequent loss of contact between lens and camera), the other just does not work or provide proper info to the camera even though on A-Mount camera with same lenses everything is fine. Trying to use an adapter plus another adapter ( a TC is some kind of adapter) is a waste of money, time quality and energy.

    If you are not already in A-Mount and don't have the LA-EA4 already with a couple more lenses to motivate its cost, i wonder how you can look at this option.

    As for batteries, i bought the Vertical grip for my A7r with the extra battery inside to survive a full day of shooting ( at first i was only using older Rokkor lenses and disabled all i could in Wi-Fi or others but still get limited autonomy. Probably due to the small size of the batteries which were designed for smaller APS-C NEX cameras.

    By the way i prefer my CAT to yours ! :laugh:
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
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  4. THStearns

    THStearns New to TalkEmount

    Apr 4, 2015
    I come from a film background shooting sports professionally where autofocus must be extremely fast and lenses must be too, ie you use f2.8's or better. I have a strong bias towards big aperture lenses because in the film era these were always the highest quality/professional glass. f4's were second grade. Also there is the theoretical resolution thing, ie bigger aperture allows higher resolution assuming good design and manufacture; the sharpest lens ever tested by one major website was the Canon 200mm f1.8 and I had one. But with digital and the incredible ISO's we have big aperture isn't as important, except in my mind it still would also mean better quality, more care in manufacture and higher resolution.

    I experimented with a Canon-to-E mount adaptor to mount my Tokina ATX-Pro 28-70mm f2.6 on my Sony but autofocus is a joke. Too bad because this is a very good lens which focuses very quickly on my A2 and 1N Canon bodies. Quick autofocus is a requirement of my shooting so I am gun shy on adapters and as the above comments shows, there are plenty of other issues which point me towards the native glass ie FE 4/70-200G, in spite of its' low speed and indifferent reviews. But I bet the already inadequate battery life drops even more powering that bigger chunk of glass.

    Don't know how you can say your cat is better than my cat----except maybe yours isn't so resentful of cameras.
  5. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    :) Ours also are very hard to capture. Sometimes my wife helps to distract them. Maine Coon is usually very active turns the head. Persian might be too sleepy to show any open eyes. This morning it was the kid upstairs making noises woke her from her noon sun nap...

    Usually I go with the smaller primes and lately even mf. AF sometimes may not hit the right spot, so stopped down aperture helps if you don't go too low light. Again I don't know where you are going to take your shots eg indoors vs outdoors / how the af compares to la-ea+lenses esp in low light. Also mfd might be important. I saw older Minolta designs has longer mfd vs newer glass eg FE 70-200 goes down to 1m~3.3ft.

    Here is some of my cat shots with different cameras and lenses:

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  6. THStearns

    THStearns New to TalkEmount

    Apr 4, 2015
    Two people make it much easier and I wish I had a handy helper. Incidentally, I have found that the Sony flashes (I have the F20-M) which use a preflash are useless with cats because the cat will close its' eyes at the preflash which means the real shot shows the beast half asleep.

    Here's a shot of my guy, done with Canon G15--he's a long-haired
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