Contemplating going with adapted lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by puckpack, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Hello,

    I recently purchased an A7 with kit, 28-70mm, and am really enjoying it. I believe I have found the right camera for me.

    As I look to build lens selection, I am considering getting legacy lenses as a cost saving alternative to adding Sony glass. I currently have a cheapo Canon and Minolta lens adapter but am wondering about trying Canon EF lenses.

    Money is a factor, but I don't want to spend less upfront and regret my purchase. What is the right balance between quality and cost when it comes to getting an adapter for Canon EF lenses? Is the perfomance passable on a A7 body? Is auto focus an option? Is it better to just stick with native Sony glass?

    I mostly shoot family function inside stuff, landscapes and wildlife. I really like using my canon 50 1.8 and rokkor 58 1.4 and have less success with vivitar 70-210.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. sven karma

    sven karma TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Oct 5, 2016
    mark evans
    Auto-focus is an option, but I dunno how compatible it is with cost-saving!

    Your adapter choice looks like the usual split between pricier stuff and cheapo China randoms. My limited adapted AF experience is that 'branded' product should work relatively OK, cheapo randoms usually cause more problems than they solve.
     
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  3. Christop82

    Christop82 TalkEmount Regular

    62
    Aug 24, 2017
    I wouldn't do the autofocus option on the A7. Without on sensor phase detection, its not going to work well. You could have exif data and electronic manual focusing though...
    IMO the best manual lenses for the money are Nikkor D lenses. Extremely sharp, fairly compact, and relatively inexpensive.
     
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  4. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    here
    There are a lot of excellent legacy lenses out there if you don't mind MF. For instance, I think old Nikkor-O 35/2 can hold its own against modern native glass. There are some excellent Canon FD, Minolta, Konica, Pentax...you get the idea. If it were me I would skip the AF adapter and just look for MF lenses that suit your need and maybe pick up as single native lens for those times when you want/need AF. When I shot Fuji I did that. I had a native 18/2 and the rest of the lenses I had and used were Nikons and Minolta.
     
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  5. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Thanks fort reply.

    I know all camera gear is expensive but I guess I was hoping I could find more options that were in my price range relating to lenses.

    What branded products have worked well for you?
     
  6. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Thanks for mf suggestions. I don't mind mf at all but I really struggle nailing decent shots ont the telephoto end. I guess I could practice and not use gear as an excuse... ;)
     
  7. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Is there a decent 300mm ish length legacy lens that won't break the bank?
     
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  8. Christop82

    Christop82 TalkEmount Regular

    62
    Aug 24, 2017
    I understand that. If you do end up buying an autofocus adapter, get a metabones. Others may work , but none work as well as the metabones.
     
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  9. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Sigma's MC-11 for Canon EF lenses compares well to the Metabones. But the issue is whether any AF adapter will work with the older A7.
    If you're looking for an AF lens alternative, you may not have viable options beyond native FE-mount lenses. A TAP AF adapter for Leica M-mount is a possibility, but I have no experience with one on the A7. With the TAP, and corresponding M-mount adapter, you can AF your Canon and Minolta primes. And any other legacy manual focus lens within the constraints of the TAP adapter's specs.

    An 'affordable' very good optical performer would be the Sigma 300mm f/4.5 APO tele. It came in AF versions for Canon Nikon.
    A more expensive recommendation is the Canon nFD 300mm f/4L. Manual-focus legacy lens.
     
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  10. BigMackCam

    BigMackCam TalkEmount Rookie Subscribing Member

    21
    Apr 4, 2018
    North East of England
    Mike
    Can I ask, how are you assessing your focus through the viewfinder - are you using focus peaking, or magnified view? Focus peaking works but requires some technique to rack the focus back and forth and find the middle position within which peaking occurs. Magnified view is much better for nailing accurate focus, and with a little practice should give you consistent accuracy :)
     
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  11. Biro

    Biro TalkEmount Regular

    86
    Oct 21, 2012
    Just a point of information. The original A7 does have on-chip phase-detection autofocus. 117 PF points and 25 CF points. The original A7R and A7S do not.
     
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  12. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    I have peaking on the highest level possible then I magnify while looking through the EVF. The magnification is there for a few seconds and then I press the button to bring it up and repeat the process. Is there a way to keep it magnified?
     
  13. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Set focus peaking to minimum for higher focus precision. The color only shows when you've narrowed down closer to an in-focus shot. Setting it to high will produce false positives.
    And yes, you can set it within the Menu to remain in focus magnified until you tap the shutter button.
    Select No Limit for Magnifier Time.

    Note: The focus peaking is based on contrast. If the subject or conditions don't yield good contrast, the peaking may not be prominent. Then it's necessary to rely on focus magnification.
    I usually assign it to C1 and use it in conjunction with peaking. The magnified view helps fine tune the focus on my subject. Unless there's movement, you'll be assured of a sharp focused shot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
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  14. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Awesome!! That is super helpful, thank you!
     
  15. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    To add to Will’s info on peaking. Because it relies on contrast detection there are times when high contrast areas may give a false positive. So it peaks like it’s in focus but it actually isn’t especially when using the higher settings for peaking. This recognition comes with experience.

    Good luck.
     
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  16. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I'll just add my thoughts here:

    The plus-
    1- Adapted lenses can be a lot of fun and a way to not spend a lot of $$$ on those expensive full frame lenses.
    2- Adapted lenses opens you up to a lot of lenses that Sony E-Mount just does not have

    The negative-
    1- No Stabilization. Especially for longer lengths this can hamper your shooting.
    2- No AF or very limited. Even with native lenses, the A7 was no AF champ.

    My personal approach is that I have and greatly enjoy several non-AF older lenses but also have several native lenses when I don't want to bother with MF.
     
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  17. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I use and trust focus peaking when at f6 and beyond. If I am shooting really tight F-Stops I always double check with magnification.
     
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  18. BigMackCam

    BigMackCam TalkEmount Rookie Subscribing Member

    21
    Apr 4, 2018
    North East of England
    Mike
    This is a good point...

    That said, although my A7II has SteadyShot, I also shoot an A-mount body where the focal length for SteadyShot can't be set by the user. When using adapted glass on that camera, I disable SteadyShot and use the reciprocal rule, keeping the shutter speed to 1/f or faster to avoid the effects of camera shake. Whilst the higher shutter speed can occasionally be limiting creatively or in lower light, it's generally not a problem and usually reliable even with longer focal lengths :)
     
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  19. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    31
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Wow, thank you all for your input. Very helpful!
     
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  20. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    300mm is pushing it with no stabilization, I used a Minolta md combo when I had my original A7 35-70 3.5 macro and f4 70/210
    Great sharp and easy to focus with peaking.
     
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