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Thread: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

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    Super Duper
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    NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    If this rumor is right, great news.....is just around the corner

    http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr5-f...am-ssm-lenses/

    The lens that becomes most appealing would be the new 85 since MF gets harder (with magnification) as focal length gets longer.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Lots of possibilities! Perhaps the Sigma 30/1.4? I want a fast zoom or prime in the 24-35mm range with autofocus. The Contax G 35 is lovely, but I still hope for autofocus.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    If this rumor is right, great news.....is just around the corner

    http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr5-f...am-ssm-lenses/

    The lens that becomes most appealing would be the new 85 since MF gets harder (with magnification) as focal length gets longer.
    It is a "SR5" rumor, which means they have more than one reliable source who has confirmed it. Great for the NEX shooters, especially folks who have Alpha lenses (like myself !). I just wish I still had my NEX5 around, and had not sold it.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Thank you Sony!
    I’ve been waiting for this. Now I’ll buy the adapter for my 16-35

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by roweraay View Post
    I just wish I still had my NEX5 around, and had not sold it.
    Why did you do that?
    I've been reading your enthusiastic posts here and long before that over at dyxum. Thought you were an avid NEX user.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    Lots of possibilities! Perhaps the Sigma 30/1.4? I want a fast zoom or prime in the 24-35mm range with autofocus. The Contax G 35 is lovely, but I still hope for autofocus.
    Tom, I too have been dreaming about using Sigma HSM on the NEX (in my case my lovely copy of the 50mm 1.4) but I think I'll wait and not be the guinea pig this time around. Wouldn't want to fry my NEX and/or lens... My guess is the electronics will work fine and communication between the Sigma and NEX will be there, but I'll let someone over at DPR experiment first

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    The annoying thing to me is that using Alpha lenses on NEX always focuses wide open, so you don't get full-time DOF preview like with NEX lenses or other adapted manual lenses.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by peterv View Post
    Why did you do that?
    I've been reading your enthusiastic posts here and long before that over at dyxum. Thought you were an avid NEX user.
    Yes, I am and was. Just that the announcement of the A55 was a trigger that I could not resist. I am now waiting for the A55, even though I wish I could have waited a week before selling off my NEX5 gear.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by roweraay View Post
    Yes, I am and was. Just that the announcement of the A55 was a trigger that I could not resist. I am now waiting for the A55, even though I wish I could have waited a week before selling off my NEX5 gear.
    Tha A55 really compelling. I wish they made an A55 type amount camera. Yes, skipping the mirror but a NEX EVF, GPS etc version.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    How is the Sony 28/2.8 Alpha lens? How about the 30/2.8 macro?
    V/r John

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    How is the Sony 28/2.8 Alpha lens? How about the 30/2.8 macro?
    Many choices will include the older Minoltas. Lieca lenses have me rather spoiled; I want f/2.0 or faster.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    John, lots of info, reviews, samples, etc. here:

    http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp

    You can look up both the 28 and the 30 you were asking about and lots of other A-mount lenses too. Keep in mind though that the screw drive lenses will most likely not AF on the NEX with the LA-EA1 adapter.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by peterv; 6th September 2010 at 13:18. Reason: typo

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    Many choices will include the older Minoltas. Lieca lenses have me rather spoiled; I want f/2.0 or faster.
    Not clear how many of those old Minolta lenses will be able to AF for the NEX.

    I'm one who doesn't mind zoom lenses so I could see using the E mount 18-200 suplemented by a couple of alpha primes.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    How is the Sony 28/2.8 Alpha lens? How about the 30/2.8 macro?
    The 28/2.8 is a lousy performer overall and since it does not have a built-in motor, it will not AF with the upcoming change. The 30/2.8 Macro (with a built in SAM motor), which is an APS-C lens, is supposed to be tack sharp and will AF with the firmware upgrade.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Please note that there is a Sigma 18-250 HSM lens with built-in in-lens IS, for the A-mount. That could be another option to consider.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Tha A55 really compelling. I wish they made an A55 type amount camera. Yes, skipping the mirror but a NEX EVF, GPS etc version.
    EVF, GPS, built-in body-based IS, Fully articulated/swiveling LCD for the overhead shooting that you used the NEX5 during your Ireland trip for, and ability to natively use the A-mount lenses (which I have a collection of), ability to shoot HD-video with fast tracking Phase-Detect AF (a unique situation in the world of dSLR video) including with really old screw-drive lenses etc., make it a compelling choice.

    The NEX bit the dust shortly thereafter and the A900 gets the job done in the meantime.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Not clear how many of those old Minolta lenses will be able to AF for the NEX.
    I do not know much about how that works, but of course I would not be surprised to find that they do not AF. Too bad.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    I do not know much about how that works, but of course I would not be surprised to find that they do not AF. Too bad.
    I think we need to separate out the lenses with built-in AF motor (with the SSM or SAM designation against them) and the ones without a built-in AF-motor (which rely on the body-based motor).

    The SSM/SAM lenses are expected to AF with the firmware upgrade, while the others will most probably not.

    PS: The SAM/SSM lenses include ones like the 35mm f/1.8, the 30mm f/2.8 Macro, the 85mm f/2.8, the Zeiss 16-35 f/2.8, the Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8, Zeiss 24mm f/2 Distagon, 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G, the 70-400 f/4-5.6G, the 70-200mm f/2.8G etc., in addition to aftermarket lenses like the Sigma lenses etc that come with built-in motor (with the HSM designation)
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

  19. #19
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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Great news to hear that the AF is coming as they originally promised that they were hoping to do. Explains why there wasn't a statement saying that they couldn't do it as they were obviously still working on it.
    This is certainly making the new 85mm f2.8 more attractive and I was already considering it for my A900 from a portability pov.

    Here's hoping that they might make a couple of tweaks when using manual focus lenses too:
    - I'd like the option to move the 'focus assist' onto the top button instead of the bottom
    - and I'd love it if the NEX remembered where I left the focus point; moving off-centre makes it hard to maintain composition, so I'd like to be able to quickly check composition and then quickly recheck focus. (and I might prefer it's default position on 1/3rds anyway)

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    This may be a dumb question but here goes. With the Sony Alpha series DSLRs is the focus motor in the lens or in the camera body? Do only newer lenses have a focus motor in the lens? If so, are they the only ones that AF may work with the NEX adapter? I have been looking at the Minolta and Alpha lenses but the terminology is new to me and I am not sure which may work and which series will be manual only on the NEX. I am presuming there is no focus motor in the adapter, I guess that could be wrong.
    V/r John

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    With the Sony Alpha series DSLRs is the focus motor in the lens or in the camera body?
    Yes

    Lenses with SSM and SAM have in-lens motors, and only those will AF with A-E adaptor.


    Cheers,

    N
    A and E mount Too many lenses.

  22. #22
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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Nearly every one of the original Minolta lenses are screw driven with the motors in the body of the camera. And the better cameras normally have the better motors and so giving the possibility to focus faster.

    This was continued for a while by Sony and whilst all the Alpha bodies still have the motors, more recent lenses have in-lens motors.
    (N.B. the Zeiss 135mm and 85mm were still screw driven, so two of the current signature lenses for the system need the in-body motors)

    With the in-lens motors, SSM is the better and more expensive option for the more expensive lenses, and SAM is it's cheaper cousin.

    The adaptor for the NEX does not have a motor in it, and I saw arguments to say that within the thickness of the adaptor there wasn't the space to feasibly fit a motor to drive the screw lenses. (we can still hope though and maybe some enterprising 3rd party will produce one, now that the firmware makes the option useful)

    So the only lenses in the current Sony line up that will autofocus with the new firmware will have the SAM or SSM designation, and roweraay listed those you're likely to consider above.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    If the AF of Alpha lenses on NEX is anything like what I've read about the AF of 4/3 lenses on m4/3, I'm not really that excited by the possibility.

  24. #24
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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Maybe true, but what happened to 'innocent before proven guilty' -
    You've got to at least hope that the reason that Sony took so long is because they were getting it right, particularly as pre-production cameras were supposedly already working.

    Remains to be seen if it will work with Sigmas and Tamrons too, but if so, I think the Tamron 60mm f2 macro might make my wish list

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Thanks all for the explanation.
    V/r John

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    All I know from so called insider is that the AF process drains battery too quickly that they think. Besides, there is a design problem for upcoming Zeiss lenses with E mount. The bulk will be too much if SSM is built inside the lens.

  27. #27
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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by roweraay View Post
    The 28/2.8 is a lousy performer overall and since it does not have a built-in motor, it will not AF with the upcoming change. ...
    A lot of people complain about the 28/2.8 (and less so the 50/1.7), but one of the sites showed the sharpness to be better than most zooms. I thinkthe catch is it's worse than all of the primes! Oh well. I'm not sure I would call it lousy. It took fine pics.

    I found mine to be sharp enough- the same or moreso than my other lenses at that focal length. When I was shopping for lenses, it was the cheapest a-mount prime.

    MF is going to be an issue.

    Also, some of the older (film) lenses seem to be more prone to flare or blooming (pf) or something. I can often see a difference. But sharpness and bokeh may end up looking better.... Or not. The kit lens bokeh is pretty nice.

    My thing is, unless I see a substantial quality difference over the kit lens, I might as well stick with that. I haven't had the time to do a lot of comparisons.

    So, for now, I'm not sure I'd recommend the 28/2.8, only because I think the kit lens is probably good enough, but I'd like to compare sometime.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
    All I know from so called insider is that the AF process drains battery too quickly that they think. Besides, there is a design problem for upcoming Zeiss lenses with E mount. The bulk will be too much if SSM is built inside the lens.
    People made this same comment about SSM lenses vs regular screw mount. I'm not sure it was ever proven. Perhaps the silent movement made people AF more than they realized?

    In any case, I would think that focusing mode or method is less important than lens mass. Assuming all efficiencies are similar, the only thing that would matter is how much glass is moved. A large telephoto will take more energy to focus than a small prime, regardless of focusing motor or adapter configuration.

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    Re: NEX - AF for Alpha Lenses

    One can see that on the NEX the lens is constantly pre-focusing so that AF performance will be fast, undoubtedly that consumes more power but I think it is a good trade off and better than slow AF.
    V/r John

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