Legacy Lens Question !

Started Feb 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
ProfHankD
Senior MemberPosts: 1,904Gear list
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Importance is not "Legacy" lenses, but "Any" lenses
In reply to wll, Feb 18, 2013

wll wrote:

Now that Sony, Sigma and others are making/starting to make lenses for the NEX series, how important is the legacy lens thing, unless you all ready own that lens.

Certainly, for many people "legacy" (meaning old, used, designed-for-film) lenses are not needed nor even worthy of serious consideration. However, that's not all that E-mount is enabling....

The key thing about E-mount cameras is that it they easily use nearly ANY lens. No brand bias. Very little mount bias. NEX cameras can pretty much get the most out of any lens covering an APS-C sensor. (In fact, I think IQ of the NEX-7 up to about ISO 1600 is as good as or better than IQ from the latest crop of full-frame DSLRs with about the same pixel count -- add a NEX-7 to the Canon EOS 6D review and judge for yourself.)

Why use lenses not intended for NEX?

  • You already have them (and know how to use them to make the photos you want to make)
  • They're often really cheap, well made, and optically excellent
  • Manual focus with peaking can be better than the best autofocus in many circumstances
  • A wider range of lens characteristics is available, allowing better matching of lens to circumstances -- another dimension of photographic control for serious art/technical photography

In fact, after the introduction of the (IMHO badly named) Speed Booster, I'm not even sure that a FF NEX would make a "more universal" body to put behind any lens.  Put another way, a 24MP APS-C NEX + SB gives the choice of high-quality (nearly) FF view angles or APS-C center crops -- a 24MP FF sensor would give FF view angles with slightly better IQ, but you'd need over 50MP on a FF sensor to offer APS-C crop quality similar to the 24MP NEX-7....

In summary, I see at least 3 separate user communities for NEX still cameras: casual shooters, people liking the nostalgia of shooting with old glass, and professional/technical users. Sony originally targeted just the 1st group, but they actually have a more compelling product for groups 2 and 3. They still haven't put everything there for group 3, such as full support for tethered control, but I think they will fairly soon. E-mount also nicely ties together Sony's still and video product lines, and cinematographers certainly love their lens choices....

One last note: I hate the fact that the developing generation of mirrorless lenses will NOT be portable between mirrorless cameras. For example, there is no compatibility between EOS-M and E-mount.

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