Sony NEX Camera + E-Mount Lens = Crop Factor???

Started May 2, 2013 | Questions thread
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Sony NEX Camera + E-Mount Lens = Crop Factor???
May 2, 2013


I just ordered the SEL50F18 50mm prime lens (it should be arriving today or tomorrow) and I've been doing a bit of reading about it. A lot of people insist that when talking about the 50mm focal length of this lens, that one needs to take into consideration the fact that the Sony NEX-5N has an APS-C sized sensor and therefore would only receive a smaller portion of the total image produced by the 50mm lens, giving an effective FOV of 75mm.

That doesn't sound right to me, though, because, as I understand it, crop factor only comes into play when using a lens designed to put an image onto a 35mm piece of film or image sensor, so if you have a camera with an APS-C sized sensor but it has a mount that's been in use since film DSLRs (like Canon's EF mount or Sony's A mount), then you have to calculate the crop factor, because physically the back of the lens will be the same distance away from the APS-C sized image sensor as it would be a piece of 35mm film.

It would seem to me that if the SEL50F18 is noted as having a 50mm focal length, then the FOV it will produce on a Sony NEX-5N will be (roughly) the same as a 50mm Prime lens designed for a 35mm camera used on a 35mm camera.

I had an old Canon Digital Rebel and the mount was an EF-S mount, and it could take EF or EF-S lenses, but according to the manual (I think... it was 10 years ago), the crop factor was only an issue using EF lenses, since the EF-S lenses were designed for the smaller sensors.

So what's the real truth here? Does 50mm == 50mm when using lenses designed for E-Mount cameras? I know there's a Sony NEX video camera out there with a full-frame sensor, but if you attach a regular E-Mount lens that's designed for an APS-C sensor, it should go into APS-C crop mode, so that tells me that 50mm == 50mm...

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Sony Alpha NEX-5N
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