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Phillip Reeve

Manual lenses on the Alpha 7 series - beginners guide

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Hey folks,

 

I have been using manual lenses on E-mount cameras for more than 3 years now. Because people were asking me many questions about manual lenses on the a7, I wrote a beginners guide which answers the most common questions about adapters, lens selection, focusing and many other aspects. So please check it out.

If I left any questions unanswered please ask them here or leave a comment and I will try my best to answer it

   

 

 

 

 

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Lately the lens attached to my a6000 is a manual lens

 

like the manual lenses over the AF lens more, because its "cheap" and most of all, it makes the process of "photograph" more interesting and fun..

 

here are some of result from modern camera (a6000) + legacy lens (minolta md 50mm/1.4 and ozunon c/y 70-200)

 

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Very interesting guide, Philip! But, while I agree with everything you are saying, there is another reason why one can want to go MF on a A7 camera, it is not in order to use old lenses with tremendous VFM, but to use new ones with tremendous IQ. The world's best 35mm lenses today are MF only, such as Leica APO Summicron 50, 75 and 90, Zeiss Otus 55 and 85, Zeiss APO 135 135 f:2.0. This is IMHO a perfectly valid reason to go MF, and the results can be awesome.

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Very interesting guide, Philip! But, while I agree with everything you are saying, there is another reason why one can want to go MF on a A7 camera, it is not in order to use old lenses with tremendous VFM, but to use new ones with tremendous IQ. The world's best 35mm lenses today are MF only, such as Leica APO Summicron 50, 75 and 90, Zeiss Otus 55 and 85, Zeiss APO 135 135 f:2.0. This is IMHO a perfectly valid reason to go MF, and the results can be awesome.

Thanks for adding your perspective! Since I couldn't afford any of those lenses my focus is on the older more affordable ones but the a7 Series would certainly be the platform I would chose if I owned any of those lenses.

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Found your guide to be a real "eye opener"

for me. That "for me" ? Very significant !

How so ? I had no idea such a guide would

be necessary, gratefully welcomed, warmly

praised etc etc. I am blowed away to find

out so many peeps really need it, to gain

new perspective on the current generation

of enthusiasts. I had no idea !

 

I watched automation gradually take on all

the "chores" of photography, and I watched

from the catbird seat. Your guide amazes

me because, of all the "arcane mysteries"

of camera operation, focusing was never in

the "mystery" category.

 

Exposure in general mystified noobs, and

especially the reciprocity between shutter

time and aperture. Even shutter time was

semi-easy to teach them ... at least when

compared to DOF. Thaz why when each

camera model had only one auto exposure

mode, it was much easier to teach a noob

to operate an S-mode camera than an

A-mode camera.

 

But, thru all that, focus was NEVER a hard

thing for them to grasp and to operate. My

take on that is that peeps already new how

to focus things other than cameras [such

as binoculars, microscopes, etc] but that

rather common experience did not translate

over to shutter and aperture settings, and

acoarst you could watch focus happen in an

SLR or TLR, but you couldn't see the effect

of shutter and aperture until the film was

processed ... so learning that was somewhat

indirect or tedious.

 

So what amazes me is not that noobs enjoy

letting AF handle all the chores. It takes

care of the hard-to-grasp concepts [such as

aperture and shutter] and even hides their

functions so well that users are prevented

from grasping the concepts. IOW it's now

no longer just a matter of a convenience,

but a "liberation" from any reason to even

understand some functions. Thaz OK ... you

don't hafta be an engineer or metalurgist

to safely drive a car.

 

Yet, clinging a bit to the driving-a-car

analogy, the easiest concept to grasp about

driving is the steering. Shifting gears and

braking are aided by automatic transmissions

and anti-skid brakes ... but steering is a

simple "see it, do it" concept. Focusing is

analogous to steering, especially with live-

view cameras. It's a simple "see it, do it"

kinda thing.

 

I hope I made it clear that I have no gripe

with the convenience, and accuracy, provided

by advanced automation. And I'm not puzzled

to meet users who have no clue about how

ISO, shutter, and aperture interact, cuz it's a

somewhat tricky 3-way juggling thing. But to

read stuff like [in your own words]:

 

"Manual Focusing – Conclusion

 

It is in fact very easy to learn

manual focusing. Over time your

focusing will become a little bit

faster so that you can react faster"

 

... reading it, as you wrote it, and seeing

grateful feedback from your readers, tells me

that noobs [and maybe some not-so-noobs]

are not just using AF as a convenience, but

are so shielded from this easiest-to-grasp

aspect of image capture that focus has now

become something that needs to be explained.

 

You did a fine job of it. I'm just shocked

that the job needed doing. I've helped fifty

zillion noobs, and had to clear up certain

mysteries for them, but focusing never was

one of the mysteries ... and now it is :-0

 

Thank you. I'm sure that I've learned MORE

from your guide than any of your intended

target audience learned. it's just that I've

learned something different than they did.

 

It still falls to me to teach new users, but I

see now that I haven't understood current

crop of noobs as well as I ought to.

 

`

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Hi Philip,

 

I just wanted to say thanks for your nice write up in this beginner's guide, including your pics with the brilliant use of light. It really helped me to choose first the right camera (A7) in order to re-use my old Rokkor line, and then expand on it. Moving on to my A7ii, these old lenses are even more used, and used well. A7ii + Rokkor 58mm 1.2 really rocks!

 

The ability to get to try out old Leica and Canon stuf is really great! Just trying out these lenses is an inspiration, and I have grown to love my Summicron 90 pre-APO and my Canon FD 135 f2.0. Part of the reason I got to these is because of the images in this beginner's guide! Well done!

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Hi Philip,

 

I just wanted to say thanks for your nice write up in this beginner's guide, including your pics with the brilliant use of light. It really helped me to choose first the right camera (A7) in order to re-use my old Rokkor line, and then expand on it. Moving on to my A7ii, these old lenses are even more used, and used well. A7ii + Rokkor 58mm 1.2 really rocks!

 

The ability to get to try out old Leica and Canon stuf is really great! Just trying out these lenses is an inspiration, and I have grown to love my Summicron 90 pre-APO and my Canon FD 135 f2.0. Part of the reason I got to these is because of the images in this beginner's guide! Well done!

I am glad to hear that it was really helpful to you :-)

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