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Is NEX the best non-DSLR option for manual focus lenses?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Andrew Shieh, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Andrew Shieh

    Andrew Shieh New to TalkEmount

    Sep 30, 2011
    I'm looking for a low-cost platform for playing with old legacy lenses. In my case, I have some old Nikon glass, which still mounts fine on my Nikon DSLR, but focusing is tough.

    Which of the sub-$1000 non-SLR interchangeable lens cameras is the best at manual focus? I've read articles about people using the discontinued NEX models for old lenses, but I have no idea how they compare to the competition.

    Are there differences in compatibility?

    Do any of them meter with manual lenses?
  2. adanac

    adanac TalkEmount Regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    Watching this discussion with interest. I'm keen on using the next for the overall package of features (where size is one of those features) but would also enjoy the opportunity to mount legacy manual focus glass and am wondering what the trade offs are.

    I always enjoyed / was able to rapidly find focus with my Zeiss/Yashica glass on my Contax 139s; I like the look I get from those lenses and it would be just ideal if I could use my wide and normal 35mm glass as slightly wide and slightly telephoto glass on the NEX (7). Am keen to hear from people using MF glass on any of the NEX bodies and if there are any other former Contax/Yashica mount users who are effectively using their old glass on a NEX would love to hear from them. Or Nikon lens users too - I have a few of those kicking around that really deserve to be used again!
  3. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    If you want to use old glass on a APS-C (which is substantially larger and better than 'four-thirds') sensor then it's currently a choice between NEX models or Samsung. as far as I am aware there are no other APS mirrorless sytems,....yet!

    The NEX models are very easy to use with just about any lenses intended for 35mm SLR via cheap adaptors and many other lenses as well provided an adaptor can be devised and made economically.

    Assuming you have some semblance of a brain and are not registered blind you will have no difficulty manually focussing the lenses by means of the rear lcd. One of the rear buttons can be customised to provide 'manual focus assist' when pressed. This will bring a movable segment of the image to 7x & 14x magnification to make things even easier. Additionally there is 'peaking' to show areas of sharp focus should you prefer (personally, I don't

    When fitting an old lens to NEX you must have first set the camera shutter to activate 'without lens',....other than this there is nothing much to do except choose which aperture you want to use and letting the camera decide correct exposure and apropriate shutter speed.
  4. twinwood

    twinwood New to TalkEmount

    Sep 6, 2011
    Most of the mirrorless cameras can be used with legacy lenses. Judging from the postings on the internet and availability of cheap adapters, the Sony NEX series is the most popular one. The advantages of the Sony NEX for legacy lenses are:
    - Good focus magnifcation modes on hi-res display for manual focus.
    - Focus peaking manual focus aid.
    - Short flange distance allows adaptation of virtually any legacy lenses.
    - Excellent APS-C sensor.
    - Lots of choices for adapters of various prices/quality/capability.

    Other candidates include Samsung NX (relatively cheap due to unpopularity, including one with built-in EVF; but performing less well than Sony in above aspects, including incompatibility with lenses with short flange distances like Leica m-mount); and Olympus m4/3 (with in-camera stabilization; but lower-quality higher crop factor sensor).

    You can go to Flickr or Fredmiranda and look at some of the impressive images taken with the NEX and legacy lenses.

    You can get the older NEX 3/5 cameras on the cheap (can even sell off the kit lens to lower the cost further) and you'll have a great legacy lens shooter.
  5. adanac

    adanac TalkEmount Regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    I'd concluded the NEX / NEX 7 is probably as good as it is going to get in the intermediate term for users of legacy glass, unless Canon happens to surprise us all and come out with something similar with an APS-C sensor unlike Nikon. APS-C quality is in the range of more than good enough for many, if not most, amateurs and even including some pros. Certainly I'm more than pleased with my results from the X100 and I am absolutely in love with the portability of this class of camera.
  6. storyteller

    storyteller TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 25, 2011
    Fuji is coming out with a CSC based on a "large" sensor format which could be APS-C (or larger). Fuji has also been clear that they are targeting the luxury market so the camera is likely to be more expensive than the NEX-7.
  7. Travisennis

    Travisennis TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jasper, Indiana
    I'm interested to see what Fuji brings to the table, but I'm not anticipating whatever it is will sway me from the NEX system. The X100 is one of those cameras based on marketing and demand that everyone seemed to want. I know I did. The SeriousCompacts site seemed to become an X100 site for awhile. Everyone seemed to have bought one, but now, barely 6 months later, there is much less conversation about the X100 and people I never thought would git rid of one based on how highly they spoke of it, have sold it off. For a camera that had so many seemingly excellent qualities, I'm now getting the impression that while it was a good, even excellent, camera, Fuji missed a bit on its implementation and the lustre quickly wore off. My point with this is that I don't think it is a given that a Fuji CSC will necessarily beat the NEX, especially as a platform for using manual lenses.

    Of course, I could be wrong about the X100. Some people just want to the next big thing and eventually the X100 wasn't the next big thing any longer.
  8. adanac

    adanac TalkEmount Regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    It is a good, even excellent camera, if your copy is one of the ones not subject to various fatal flaws that require service. Mine after service performed beautifully - I never have had any complaints about image quality whatsoever save for the period of time while my X100 had the aperture blade failure issue.

    Even though I have a mostly love relationship with the X100, as I know it very, very, well, I have plenty of doubts that Fujifilm's next step up in mirror-less compacts will hit all the right notes. I think it will take them another iteration or two before they get it fully right, and I'm not willing to wait and gamble when the NEX-7 is today a really good option for me.

    It's going to be a long six weeks to wait before the 7 ships to me. When it does arrive I'm going to do a very detailed functionality comparison review between the two. In addition to looking at functionality I've got thousands of X100 images from which to draw image quality comparisons too, and in that collection are some favorites that I can repeat fairly easily.
  9. Travisennis

    Travisennis TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jasper, Indiana
    Mike, I've never used the X100 so I can't draw from the experience you have on the matter, but I think I would draw the same conclusions as you have. When you do get your NEX-7, I would be very interested to see a comparison between it and the X100.
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