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Sony/Minolta 'A' vs 'E' mounts - confused noob :-/

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Golfhacker27, May 16, 2016.

  1. Golfhacker27

    Golfhacker27 TalkEmount Regular

    26
    May 15, 2016
    So I am hoping you will take pity on a noob who is confused by the Alpha & E mount systems and adapters.

    What I think I understand:

    Older Minolta AF lenses (e.g. the Maxxum series) are A mount and will work FF on an A7 with the LA-EA3 and 4 adapters.
    • Is there any advantage to the LA-EA4 on the original A7?
    • Are there any alternative adapters?
    Same for other A mount lenses (Sony lenses for Alpha series SLR, 3rd party Sigma etc).
    Or are some of those A mount lenses for the APS-C Alphas, and those will give cropped image on FF?

    What about the E-mount lenses? I think that these will all mount direct to A7 without adapter, but how to differentiate lenses for APS-C Sonys such as NEX, 5000 & 6000 series? (that will not give FF on A7)
    And I also see some lenses with identification as SALxxxx.....

    Confused......
    And very grateful for some guidance.
     
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    With the LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 on the A7 you can use A-mount lenses of Minolta and Sony on the A7. Aperture can be set on the camera in the same way as for E and FE mount lenses, the value is shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD, and the lens data will be included in the EXIF. The LA-EA3 only allows manual focussing, the LA-EA4 enables autofocus because it houses a complete focussing system like in Sony SLT cameras (translucent mirror system); it is larger, heavier and more expensive than the LA-EA3. I have had several Sigma lenses on the A7 with the LA-EA3, they function in the same way, with the oddity that the lens designation is mostly way-off: for instance it says "28-80mm F3.5-5.6" in the EXIF for the Sigma 2.8-4/17-35mm!

    There are third-party adapters for Minolta/Sony A-mount to E-mount. These require you to open/close the aperture by a lever on the adapter which is not very accurate, quite inconvenient if you ask me. Also no lens data will be included in the EXIF data. I have no experience with these.

    E-mount lenses mount directly on the A7; the camera detects that it's an E-mount lens by virtue of the data communication between lens and camera. The camera automatically switches to APS-C crop if the setting "APS-C Size Capture" in the menu is set to Auto. I don't know if it does that for APS-C A-mount lenses when mounting those on the LA-EA3/4.

    SALxxxx lenses are Sony A-mount lenses, as opposed to SELxxxx designating E or FE mount lenses.

    Hope this helps; Sony won't win prizes for clear communication on their product lines.
     
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  3. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Ad - you forgot an important point about LA-EA3. In the past all the You said is true. With the newer A7II and A7RII AF is actually faster using the LA-EA3 than EA4. With the new cameras the LA-EA3 will use the cameras native PDAF abilities. This includes tracking etc. as long as the a-mount lens had its own focus motor.
     
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  4. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    You're right, of course. I omitted this because the OP was specifically referring to the A7.
     
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  5. Golfhacker27

    Golfhacker27 TalkEmount Regular

    26
    May 15, 2016
    Thank you Ad, that's much clearer. And I will avoid cheaper adapters.

    So any A mount will function FF on A7.
    Is there a simple way to differentiate those E mount lenses that will give FF on A7? Or do I need to consult the specs on the Sony website?

    I see lots of A lenses, especially Minoltas at cheap prices, and so investing in LA-EA adapter might be worthwhile. The Dyxum website seems useful in helping sort the wheat from the chaff amongst those A lenses; are there any other reliable review/rating resources?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  6. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Sony FF e-mount lenses will be denoted with FE for "Full E-mount"
     
  7. Chris Munden

    Chris Munden TalkEmount Regular

    40
    May 13, 2016
    Peter Bower
    I'm using a Konica Minolta 17-35 F/2.8 and a Minolta 24-85 F/3.5 via an LA-EA2 adapter on my A6000, I get the full info in the view finder and metering/auto focussing options. I also use my Sony DT 18-135 and the standard 18-55 kit lens on this adapter. However, I also use a LA-EA3 adapter occasionally with these lenses but in manual focus as its a Full frame E mount adapter and auto focus is painfully slow. Pictures are razor sharp when I get the peak focussing right, in some ways I prefer this set up to the LA-EA2, It makes me think more about picture taking than just point and shoot. As you may have seen on my other thread, I'm not too impressed with the current E mount zoom lenses mainly on price/performance, but A mount lenses both new and second hand saved the day for me.

    However, This set up is not stabilized but there is a possible option, Fotodix make a Canon EFS to E mount adapter which retains all the E mount camera functions and stabilized Canon lenses can be used, now that is worth a further look.
     
  8. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I think not, there are APS-C A mount lenses after all, at least the DT designated lenses are of that kind. Maybe someone else can shed more light on this, I don't know much about it, I only have some early A mount lenses designed for use on Minolta AF film cameras.
     
  9. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    194
    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Michel Brien
    Minolta only sold 3 A-Mount lenses with the DT designation: meaning they are for the APS-C format

    DT 18-70
    DT 18-200
    DT 11-18

    There can also be issues and incompatibility with the Power Zoom and xi series of lenses that date back to the 1988-92 era.
    The rare 3X-1X macro zoom also has issues.

    The above are not that common ( except for a couple of xi zoom lenses that are very popular on eBay and in spite of their low price just can't find buyers because of their incompatibility with modern bodies
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    I use almost entirely Minolta lenses with LA-EA4. This is largely because I cannot afford the good lenses that Sony and Zeiss have released for the A7RII and I shoot mainly with prime lenses. I am hoping this will change in the future. I would like to try the new AF Samyang lenses and the Voigtlander offerings. It would be nice to make use of the excellent pdaf system built in to the Sony camera. My only lens which does this is the FE 35mm f/2.8, which is excellent. However, the LA-EA4 does allow me to use the Minolta lenses like the AF 85mm f/1.4 and the AF 24mm f/2.8. They perform well and the AF built in to the adapter is fast and accurate.
    I do have a couple of APS-C lenses, the best of which is the E-mount 10-18mm f/4. This can be used either with the APS-C setting turned on or with it turned off. If it is turned off you get a vignette border around the picture but if you crop that off you still get more from your picture than with it turned on. Of course with it turned on you are effectively increasing the focal length by 1.5 and this may be useful in some circumstances.
     
  11. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I believe Ad's comment was in response to the statement, "So any A mount will function FF on A7." This was not specific to Minolta, but A-mount. B&H sells over 40 A-mount lenses that only cover APS-C from many manufacturers including Sony. I think we should be clear for a noob. A-mount does not mean it covers FF, and looking for DT isn't the whole story either. Take the SAL18135, it is an APS-C A-mount and it doesn't have DT in the title. I also see a lot of people saying look for "FE" when it comes to E-mount FF. This is also not true and can be misleading for a noob. Only Sony branded lenses use the "FE" designation. Zeiss, Voigtlander, Samyang and others make FF E-mount lenses and they do not call them FE as there is no such thing as an FE mount.

    The bottom line is that whether it's A-mount or E-mount you have to read the specs to be sure if it's FF or APS-C. It only takes a few seconds to be sure so relying on anything else will only get you in trouble or more confused.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
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  12. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    Good point, Gary. It also pays to check specs with more than one site, as some online retailers put erroneous specs up. There can be confusion for instance about whether a lens is ff or aps-c and also about whether it is a fisheye or a macro or other such details. Some retailers are very slack about what info they display. B & H are usually pretty reliable in that regard.