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Thread: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

  1. #1
    Member mrtoml's Avatar
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    Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    I am about to join the Sony clan. I hope it is OK to ask some basic questions.

    I am hovering between an A850 and A900. I also have a lot of manual focus Nikon lenses. Is it wise to get an adapter to mount these lenses on the Sony?

    Also can anyone tell me the advantages of the A850 over the A900. They are about the same price in the UK at the moment, but the A900 seems better in some respects (eg fps).

    If you were going to get one lens to start with what would it be (in the 28-90mm sort of range - zoom or prime - I am thinking of a 35mm or 50mm, but open to suggestions)?

    Are the older Minolta AF lenses worth buying given the high resolution of the Sony sensor or do you need more modern lenses to get the best out of it?

    I really know very little about this system, but am hearing such good things about it. I have been using mainly film for the past couple of years, but have had a Nikon D100 and Canon 5D in the past. I am currently using a Panasonic G1 which is nice, but I would like bigger files sometimes. The Sonys look like great value in this regard.

    Thanks,
    Mark
    Mark Tomlinson www.marktomlinson.org.uk/photography
    Sony A900; Nex 7; Fuji X-100; Ricoh GRD II
    Blogs at: alt-digital.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Jamesmd
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Hi , welcome .

    I have 2 minolta af, and I'm really happy with them , great performance , only perhaps a little slow , but excellent if you get good copies .

    I have 35-70 AF and 28-135 AF

    cheers

    James

  3. #3
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Hi Mark,

    For the same price, you should buy the A900 as the A850 is exactly the same with just a smaller viewfinder and less fps.

    As for lenses, I would suggest you get the 24-70, which is becoming a classic. Perhaps add a 50/1.4 for occasions when you need a lighter package. Sony is slowly introducing new glass to complete the line, so I would hold off on buying used Minolta glass, not that it is no good, but why take the risk of buying old used stuff when you can get more modern designs with warranty?
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  4. #4
    Member mrtoml's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Thanks a lot. Useful advice. I think I will go for the A900 the way things are at present.

    I will check out those lenses you guys mentioned.
    Mark Tomlinson www.marktomlinson.org.uk/photography
    Sony A900; Nex 7; Fuji X-100; Ricoh GRD II
    Blogs at: alt-digital.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    madcat207
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    I am about to join the Sony clan. I hope it is OK to ask some basic questions.

    I am hovering between an A850 and A900. I also have a lot of manual focus Nikon lenses. Is it wise to get an adapter to mount these lenses on the Sony?
    Sure, no harm in getting an adapter. One thing to note, is that "unchipped" lenses (lenses or adapters with no electrical contacts) you will not get focus confirmation or anti-shake. It is a silly limitation, but it is what it is. However, if you do get an adapter without a chip, you can buy one here:
    http://eadpt.cn.webz.datasir.com/eadpen.htm

    Also, if you plan on doing alot of MF, you may want to pick up an "M screen" for focusing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    Also can anyone tell me the advantages of the A850 over the A900. They are about the same price in the UK at the moment, but the A900 seems better in some respects (eg fps).
    The A850 has no advantages at all over the A900, other than the fact that it is supposed to be cheaper. The A900 has a better build, higher framerate, and slightly better VF.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    If you were going to get one lens to start with what would it be (in the 28-90mm sort of range - zoom or prime - I am thinking of a 35mm or 50mm, but open to suggestions)?
    On a budget, you might start with the Sony 50mm f/1.4; if you want wider the Sony 35mm f/1.4 is nice (but expensive). There are also some nicer longer primes from Carl Zeiss, in 85mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/1.8.
    Personally though, if it was one lens (and I could afford it), It would be the Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    Are the older Minolta AF lenses worth buying given the high resolution of the Sony sensor or do you need more modern lenses to get the best out of it?
    The early Minolta AF lenses are one of our best kept secrets. There are 24 years of amazing glass out there, all of which works great with the camera system. Take a peek through the minolta lens database to see how much is out there:
    http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    I really know very little about this system, but am hearing such good things about it. I have been using mainly film for the past couple of years, but have had a Nikon D100 and Canon 5D in the past. I am currently using a Panasonic G1 which is nice, but I would like bigger files sometimes. The Sonys look like great value in this regard.

    Thanks,
    Mark
    The A900/A850 is an amazing system, and one you would not regret. The colors produced especially will blow you away.

  6. #6
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Mark, you don't mention budget, what you expect from the camera, what kind of shooting you do, etc. so I may be able to offer better suggestions if you provide that info.

    If you have the budget for it I hear nothing but good about the CZ 24-70(weight concerns aside).

    If you want a budget zoom, the Minolta 28-135 f4-4.5 is a great piece of glass, though you have to watch flare and CA(the latter is generally fixable in PP). Try before you buy to make sure you get a sharp copy, they can be found for ~$300. Take a look in the Dyxum "for sale" section; I saw one there a few days ago. The Minolta 50 1.4 is a very good place to start your fast prime collection. The 85 1.4 and Minolta 100 2.8 are incredible lenses in their own right the 100 pushing the "affordability" envelope for some and the 85... let's just say I'm glad I bought mine new for $500 many, many years ago. The 100, being a macro, is one of the sharpest primes you'll lay hands on.

    One issue with adapters for MF lenses(not sure if a Nikon variant exists) is that they usually have an extra element to allow for infinity focus. I cut that out of my adapter and opened up the throat on a lathe for bellows use. I have heard that the "James Lao" adapters(see madcat's link) use a very good extra element.

    When using such adapters you will find yourself in manual metering mode, which may or may not be an issue for you.

    Using ISO 800 or higher will IMHO bring out the bad side of the Sony and Adobe RAW converters. DxO seems very promising from all that I've read, but I have not tried it yet. I'm waiting to get to the point where I have more free time before I start a trial period with that. There are some ongoing discussions in the image processing forum here that may interest you.
    α900+VG|F20|2xF58|16-35,24-70,135Z|STF|70-400G|50,85 1.4|16,20,28,100M,80-200APO f/2.8|28-135|500f/8|1x-3xMacro|2xMFC-1000|Tiltall+RRS, Bellows, etc.

  7. #7
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Mark, it really depends on your needs in regards to cost and weight. I love the ZA 24-70, but I've found myself using it less and less, simply because I like keeping a small lens on the camera when I'm on the go. My two most used lenses are the Sony 50 1.4 and the ZA 85 1.4. You may want to look into the Minolta 35 f2. Great lens, if you can find one. The Sony 35G is also great, although it's not so much razor sharp, but rather it renders beautifully. Go to dyxum.com and you can read about all of these.

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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by madcat207 View Post
    Sure, no harm in getting an adapter. One thing to note, is that "unchipped" lenses (lenses or adapters with no electrical contacts) you will not get focus confirmation or anti-shake. It is a silly limitation, but it is what it is. However, if you do get an adapter without a chip, you can buy one here:
    http://eadpt.cn.webz.datasir.com/eadpen.htm
    Just a minor correction, You DO get anti-shake but the system focal length defaults to 50mm (so if your manual lens is 50 mm or thereabouts) it will have anti-shake. If it is a different focal length, then anti-shake will be sub-optimal (still there and not as effective as when it has the accurate focal length). Chipped adaptor is recommended if you can have one. Check Chipped Adaptor Discussion on dyxum for more clarifications on the chipped adaptor recommended by MadCat.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    N
    A and E mount Too many lenses.

  9. #9
    madcat207
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Back - there are chips listed there that can hold 4 different (and switchable) lens settings, and you can ask the chip to be programmed for something else. What you said is correct, but you do have some customization options.

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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by madcat207 View Post
    Back - there are chips listed there that can hold 4 different (and switchable) lens settings, and you can ask the chip to be programmed for something else. What you said is correct, but you do have some customization options.
    Yes madcat i should have specified, i was commenting only for unchipped adaptors.

    N
    A and E mount Too many lenses.

  11. #11
    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    i suppose i could start another thread, but, at the risk of seeming to 'hijeck' can I ask what people know about Leica R lenses on the sony
    Having body stabilization seems great, but only if chip sets the FL. leitax.com has mounts to change, and they can get chips
    any experience? Seems should be similar to Nikon and M42
    I know there are Leica R to M42 mounts but isnt Sony registration too close to Leica and M42? Don't you need to change the mount?

    regards
    Victor

  12. #12
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    m42 lenses are easily useable on the A900 via adapter. Leica and Contax require a mount change, which leitax has reversible options for. Sony camera stabilization works without a chip, but not as well as when optmized with a chip that indicates focal length.

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    Member mrtoml's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Thanks for all your replies. Really useful.

    I am thinking of this as a replacement for my Mamiya 7ii. It seems to me that a camera with this resolution will satisfy me enough if I get good lenses and with the A900 at this price I am prepared to hang up the Mamiya. I probably can get around 2000 for the Mamiya and the 3 lenses I have (65, 80 and 150). I am also selling a Leica so I could have 2500+ to spend plus what I add myself.

    I like primes so I am thinking of a 28 or 35, 50mm, and something like an 85mm for portraits. I shoot landscapes, still life and portraits mostly. A zoom would be nice when walking around, but I have just found an old (20 years?) Minolta 35-70mm f4 in a cupboard from the days when I had a Minolta film camera. This would presumably do for the time being. It looks like using my old Nikons may not be such a great idea.
    Mark Tomlinson www.marktomlinson.org.uk/photography
    Sony A900; Nex 7; Fuji X-100; Ricoh GRD II
    Blogs at: alt-digital.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Good choice for digital, you will love the natural colours straight off the A900.

    Quite understand your preference for primes but if it's landscapes you might also want to consider the 16-35 F2.8 Zeiss, as it is stellar in my view. Look forward to seeing some images with whatever lenses you decide to use.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Just got my A850. But if I was allowed to choose again, A900 is better in terms of fps and finish.
    I have many more lenses to choose from however, I still prefer having a brand new CZ 24-70. My wrist really hurts and for that reason, I may simply attach a 50/1.4
    As for Nikon lenses, the only manual one is a 24/2.0 and I wonder if it performs better on a D700 body

  16. #16
    Member mrtoml's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    I am getting the A900 today with a Sony 50mm and 28mm lens for starters.
    Mark Tomlinson www.marktomlinson.org.uk/photography
    Sony A900; Nex 7; Fuji X-100; Ricoh GRD II
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    I am getting the A900 today with a Sony 50mm and 28mm lens for starters.
    Very wise decision. No Zeiss?
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Member mrtoml's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    I am waiting to see how much I get for the other gear, but these primes seem pretty fine from what I've read.

    I think the 24-70cz may be a future purchase. Also there is the new and cheaper 28-75 bundled with the A850. Has anyone got one yet?
    Mark Tomlinson www.marktomlinson.org.uk/photography
    Sony A900; Nex 7; Fuji X-100; Ricoh GRD II
    Blogs at: alt-digital.blogspot.com

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    Member mrtoml's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    It has arrived...

    The battery is charging, but my 50mm and 28mm lenses are not here due to a postal strike.

    Here it is with the old Minolta 35-70mm f4.

    Mark Tomlinson www.marktomlinson.org.uk/photography
    Sony A900; Nex 7; Fuji X-100; Ricoh GRD II
    Blogs at: alt-digital.blogspot.com

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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Mark, welcome to the club. Time to update your sig?
    α900+VG|F20|2xF58|16-35,24-70,135Z|STF|70-400G|50,85 1.4|16,20,28,100M,80-200APO f/2.8|28-135|500f/8|1x-3xMacro|2xMFC-1000|Tiltall+RRS, Bellows, etc.

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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtoml View Post
    It has arrived...

    The battery is charging, but my 50mm and 28mm lenses are not here due to a postal strike.

    Here it is with the old Minolta 35-70mm f4.

    Welcome! Have heard some surprisingly good things about 35-70f4.

    Cheers,

    N
    A and E mount Too many lenses.

  22. #22
    Member mrtoml's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_Anderson View Post
    Mark, welcome to the club. Time to update your sig?
    Updated!
    Mark Tomlinson www.marktomlinson.org.uk/photography
    Sony A900; Nex 7; Fuji X-100; Ricoh GRD II
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  23. #23
    Member mrtoml's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by BackToSlr View Post
    Welcome! Have heard some surprisingly good things about 35-70f4.

    Cheers,

    N
    I will take the camera and this lens out for a spin tomorrow. The battery has now charged, but it is too dark
    Mark Tomlinson www.marktomlinson.org.uk/photography
    Sony A900; Nex 7; Fuji X-100; Ricoh GRD II
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  24. #24
    Jamesmd
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Wellcome !! That is a great lens , it will surprise you. The Sony 50 1,4 you will love too . I would ad a cz 85 . These 3 are the ones I use most .

    For light travel I take a minolta af 28 -135 , great too.
    I had the cz 24-70 but for me it's so heavy I changed to days after buying for the cz 85 and the Sony 50. If you can do that at your store , try it first if you worry about weight


    Cheers

  25. #25
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    OK


    forgive me if i was speedreading and missed it... but the original question was about Nikon MF lenses on a FF Sony... then everybody started talking bout everything but Nikon lenses.

    Can I use a manual Nikkor on a Sony with a simple adapter or not ?

    thanks

    K

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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    OK


    forgive me if i was speedreading and missed it... but the original question was about Nikon MF lenses on a FF Sony... then everybody started talking bout everything but Nikon lenses.

    Can I use a manual Nikkor on a Sony with a simple adapter or not ?

    thanks

    K
    Yes, but you need an adapter with a glass element to achieve infinity focus, which means degraded lens quality and expensive adapter.

  27. #27
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    OK


    forgive me if i was speedreading and missed it... but the original question was about Nikon MF lenses on a FF Sony... then everybody started talking bout everything but Nikon lenses.

    Can I use a manual Nikkor on a Sony with a simple adapter or not ?

    thanks

    K

    Only with an adapter that has an optical element. You could always remove the element if you don't need infinity focus.

  28. #28
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon lenses on Sony A850/A900?

    bill, douglas

    thanks for the clear and rapid reply...

    cheers

    K

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