LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?

Started Jun 5, 2010 | Discussions
RF-lens
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LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
Jun 5, 2010

Hi experts,

I'm an enthusiastic photographer - all types of subjects. I own hordes of classic (obviously non-digital) rangefinder cameras and lenses, as well as lots of premium Nikkor F-mount glass.

I have only one digital camera, a 5MP 8x zoom dinosaur from 2003.

This is because I've been waiting for a reasonably-priced ($3000 or less) full-frame Nikon digital SLR with more than 15 MP. I can't justify the price of a used D3x. Where's that D700X/D800/D900?

For the interim, I want a compact, non-SLR, large-sensor, interchangeable lens camera ON WHICH I CAN MOUNT (via an adapter) MY EXISTING RF LENSES (mainly Leica screw and M-bayonet & Zeiss Contax / RF Nikkor) and maybe my Nikon-F mount lenses.

Such adapters are easily available for the Micro-4/3rds cameras, most of which will allow most of my lenses to be mounted (unless the rear barrel protrudes too much). Of course, I'll lose automation; no big deal.

FIRST QUESTION!

Which Micro-4/3 model will give the maximum clearance for such lenses?

SECOND QUESTION!

The big drawback is the size of the Micro-4/3 sensor. My beautiful 25mm wideangle will become just a normal lens, in effect... So, would I be better off with a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 instead, or is there something which means no adapters will become available for their mounts (none is currently available, as far as I know)? Or should I wait for another mount to "arrive"?

Help!!

amalric
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to RF-lens, Jun 5, 2010

Strange that this is your first post since you have registered, and that you ask all these questions in a rival forum.

Do you want to raise some havoc at our expense?

Am.
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SF Photo Gal
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to amalric, Jun 5, 2010

I have to agree. Neither the NEX or the NX are m4/3 cameras, so why post here?

As far as your first question, m4/3 is the same regardless of brand, so it wouldn't make any difference.

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tedolf
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to RF-lens, Jun 5, 2010

If you really want to use your wide angles as wide angles you will need a full frame sensor because of the crop factor. With respect to crop factor there is not that much difference between APS c, NX and 4/3, u4/3. You wide angles are still going to act like normal lenses. However, if you decide that you are not going to go FF, u4/3 is fabulous for legacy lenses, particulary legacy rangefinder lenses 35mm and up. For true wide angle the native u4/3 lesnse are probably better. The E-pl1 works great for rangefinder legacy lens and gives a Leica like shooting experience. Check out some of the websites were people have been doing work with M lenses on the E-pl1. The photo's are great and at these focal lengths, telecentricity with legacy lenses doesn't seem to matter.

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Fearless_Photog
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to RF-lens, Jun 5, 2010

If you're really after a camera with the largest sensor for your old M mount lenses, it seems like a used Leica M8 would be the best option for a budget of $3000 or less. Yeah the sensor doesn't have a high megapixel count, but unless you're regularly printing large, 10 is plenty, and the pixels are especially sharp due to the lack of AA filter.

The 1.3x crop sensor is larger than either the 1.5x crop sensors in the NEX and NX, and the 2x crop sensors in m43s cameras. So it will change the effective focal length of your lenses the least.

Again I'm mainly recommending this because you already have a collection of M mount lenses, it's not a very cost effective option otherwise.

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Cephalotus
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to RF-lens, Jun 5, 2010

RF-lens wrote:

The big drawback is the size of the Micro-4/3 sensor. My beautiful 25mm wideangle will become just a normal lens, in effect... So, would I be better off with a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 instead, or is there something which means no adapters will become available for their mounts (none is currently available, as far as I know)? Or should I wait for another mount to "arrive"?

You need a camera system that you can actually manual FOCUS!

The high res viewfinders in the mFT system could be helpful here.

I don't see a wideangle problem.Just use your existing lenses and buy one mFT wide angle lens, either the 7-14 or the 9-18.

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Karsten Meyer
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to RF-lens, Jun 5, 2010
  • Get an Olympus - because of the in built anti-shake. (The Nex hasn't!)

  • Forget old wide angle lenses. Instead get the 7-14. It will be more sharp than any old glass on mFT.

  • Buy them soon and take nice photographs instead of waiting for better times.

  • Use your old normal and tele lenses with much fun.

  • A used E-P1 is so cheap that it should be no problem to get two bodies - for less changing lenses.

Regards,
Karsten (Oly E-P1, Pana G1, 7-14, 1.7/20 and many old lenses)

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to SF Photo Gal, Jun 5, 2010

"As far as your first question, m4/3 is the same regardless of brand, so it wouldn't make any difference.
SF Photo Gal"

Thanks for replying.

You are wrong.

Wideangles for rangefinders are superior because they are not retrofocus. They do not have to clear an SLR mirror. They protrude (well) into the camera chamber. The amount which they protrude varies (some can be within 3mm of the film plane, just allowing for a focal plane shutter), as does the diameter of the back part of the lens barrel.

And all Micro 4/3 cameras do not have the same dimensions of clear space behind the mount - some lenses will get snagged (for example, the 21mm f4.5 Zeiss Biogon) for sure.

Hence it DOES matter which Micro 4/3 camera is involved.

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to amalric, Jun 5, 2010

Strange that this is your first post since you have registered

Everyone has a first post. I had no need for this forum as I was content to shoot low quality / convenience shots on my c2003 Coolpix 5700, serious work on my F5 and nostalgia on my Leicas, 1950s Contaxes, Nikon RFs etc.

and that you ask all these questions in a rival forum.

I could not find a forum specifically for non-SLR (SLRs are no use as I will be mounting non-retrofocus lenses), 23.4 x 15.6 mm sensor digicams. Is there one?

Further, I am certain no adapters are (yet) available for these 2 mounts, while there are plenty of such adapters available for the Micro 4/3 non-SLR cameras. I want to know if there is some technical reason why this will remain the case, or if it is just a matter of being patient.

"Do you want to raise some havoc at our expense?
Am."

No. I want intelliigent advice, so I don't commit to Micro 4/3 if I can get a bigger sensor camera for which there will eventually be functional adapters to Leica L39/M and Zeiss Contax/Nikkor RF mounts.

Thanks.

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tedolf
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to Fearless_Photog, Jun 5, 2010

You are not going to be happy with the M8. All that money you spent on wide angle M glass will be wasted. a 1.3x crop factor is niether here nor there. Your 28mm lens will shoot like a slow 35mm lens. You will be most pleased with using your longer rangefinder glass with a 2x crop factor like on the 4/3 and u4/3 cameras. Use the kit lens for the wide angle stuff. Your 35mm now becomes a nice portriat lens and a fast one at that. Your 90mm is now a 180mm for sports (is it an f 2.0?, if so you now have a compact 180mm f2!) and your 135mm if you have one is now a fast super telephoto! All will be a nice match for a compact u4/3 like the E-pl1 which has the best implementaton for manual focus, has in body IS,etc., etc. Other than at night you can shoot all of the long stuff with a super light monopod!

Did I tell you that the E-pl1 can romotely control off camera strobes wirelessly? Think about what that could mean for portrait or wildlife photography a la Art Wolf. Get yourself a reflective umbrella, a cheap tripod and flash bracket and your off!

If you liked the Leica CL concept you will love the E-pl1 with your M and L glass.

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to tedolf, Jun 5, 2010

If you really want to use your wide angles as wide angles
you will need a full frame sensor because of the crop factor.

Partly true (see below). The problem is that the only full-frame sensor non-SLR interchangeable lens digicam is the Leica M9; its cost make it unattractive. My $3K budget is for the Nikon D700x/D800/D900, when they release it - not to be dissipated on a pocketable non-SLR.

The Leica M8 fails on all 3 counts (cost, megapixel count and crop factor of about 1.3)

With respect to crop factor there is not that much difference between
APS c, NX and 4/3, u4/3.

I respectfully disagree.

The diagonal on a 35mm full-frame is 43.266mm; on the NEX-5/NX10 flavor of APS-C it is 28.123mm and on 4/3(and Micro-4/3) it is 22.5mm. So measured on the diagonal, the crop factors are 1.538 and 1.923 respectively.

Measured by SQRT(area) (which makes better sense mathematically), the crop factors are 1.538 (same as before, as the ratio is 3:2 on these APS-C cameras, just like with 35mm) and 1.886 respectively.

The first is tolerable - at least a 25mm Topogon works almost as wide as a 35mm lens, and a Voigtlander Heliar SW 12mm or 15mm (if they can fit!) as an ultra wideangle. But on the 4/3-u4/3, even modest WA photography is out.

telecentricity with legacy lenses doesn't seem to matter.

Thanks for this and your very useful other comments, snipped for brevity.

Tell me, is there some technical reason why adapters for legacy lenses for the Samsung NX and Sony NEX mount might not become available? Is there some problem with, say, the cameras being unable to function without lens automation of some sort?

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czato
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to RF-lens, Jun 5, 2010

To sum it up:

there are no sensible lenses with AF for NEX. A lot more are avilable for m4/3rds.

If you want to use legacy lenses, probably any system via adapter will do, Samsung/Sony give you less crop, so the only advantage there is IBIS from Oly cameras.

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to Fearless_Photog, Jun 5, 2010

Thanks for your reply.

Leica M8

Its poor features, modest MP count and 1.333x crop at its cost (even S/H ones cost a bomb - and like all digicams, it has no residual investment value) ruled it out for me.

Note I'm not a megapixel-nut; I've produced many usable A2-size posters from my 5MP CP5700, carefully used.

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to czato, Jun 5, 2010

Thanks for answering.

there are no sensible lenses with AF for NEX.

Isn't it just a matter of (a little) time?

A lot more are avilable for m4/3rds.

Agreed, and likely to remain the case.

If you want to use legacy lenses, probably any system via adapter will do,

NO!

No adapters are as yet being offered or advertised, either by OEMs or third-parties, for either the NEX or NX series. That's really my main question - will some arrive, or is there some technical (or legal?) reason that will prevent this. It could be even easier, as there's more clearance at the lens throat (i.e., lens diameter is greater) for the NX and NEX mounts.

Samsung/Sony give you less crop

the only advantage there is IBIS from Oly cameras.

Is this what allows some/complete automation of Olympus SLR lenses on the u4/3 models? If so, it is no advantage for me, as I have no such lenses.

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to tedolf, Jun 5, 2010

Thanks so much for your informative comments.

You are not going to be happy with the M8.

Thanks; I had separately concluded that and ruled it out.

Your 90mm is now a 180mm for sports (is it an f 2.0?, if so you now have a compact 180mm f2!)

I have many 85mms, both the superb f2 Sonnar, 85mm f4 Triotar and the (optically inferior) f1.5 Summarex.

All will be a nice match for a compact u4/3 like the E-pl1 which has the best implementaton for manual focus, has in body IS,etc., etc. Other than at night you can shoot all of the long stuff with a super light monopod!

Is the E-PL1 definitely a better choice for me than the E-P1 or the E-P2 ? Guidance, please!

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to Cephalotus, Jun 5, 2010

You need a camera system that you can actually manual FOCUS!
The high res viewfinders in the mFT system could be helpful here.

Are you implying that this is not the case for the NEX and NX10? Please clarify - many thanks!

When I use the DPreview's "comparison chart", under "Viewfinder" the u4/3 Olympuses come up blank (!!), the NEX-5 with "None" (!!!) and the NX10 with "Electronic (100% coverage, 0.86x magnification)". How can there be no viewfinder for the E-PL1 or NEX-5?

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SirSeth
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to RF-lens, Jun 5, 2010

Humm... you have one sensor/mount choice right now if you want a non-reflex camera that has adapters for your very nice lenses. If you don't want to "commit" then get the E-PL1 or G1. With the current prices (and because you already have some really nice lenses), it's not like you're getting married. And especially the E-PL1 will resell well if you hate it. Sony and even Samsung are unknowns right now and both have negatives as well as positives and it is all a matter of perspective as to which tips the scales for you. From reading your responses in this thread, the sensor size difference tips the scales away from 4/3rds, so much so that you are considering what doesn't exist to be a better option. Comical, but we are used to hearing that. Advantages to the format are consistently overlooked for a glass half-empty perspective. You could look at it that way.

If I were take a stab at a positive perspective it would be that, currently there is simply nothing in the non-reflex market that is as perfectly matched to good legacy glass. Take the E-PL1 for example. Best JPG engine in the business if that matters to you. Noise and high ISO that is very competitive to APS-C. Lenses are sharp wide open. All your great glass becomes stabilized. You can change lenses without dust issues. The Olympus EVF, the best detachable, would assist in manual focus very nicely. All your lenses take on new qualities because of the field of view advantage of the sensor size. Wides become fast normals, normals become fast portrait and fast telephoto lenses. At the same time, the wide lenses made by Olympus and 4/3rds leave very little to criticize imo. Sure, the diagonal size of the sensor is less, you also crop less for some of the most common print sizes. Adapters and accessories are plentiful and not overly expensive, and best of all, they exist. Basically, this systemis a year ahead of the competition and is growing nicely. Sure you can wait until your perfect camera is released, but you may be waiting a long time.

Cheers,
Seth

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to Karsten Meyer, Jun 5, 2010

Thanks so much! Very explicit! Most is 100% agreed.

Get an Olympus - because of the in built anti-shake. (The Nex hasn't!)

Yes (re the NEX). But the NX10 also has built-in VR.

A used E-P1 is so cheap

But wouldn't the E-PL1 be a better fit for my needs, as someone else has suggested in this thread?

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RF-lens
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to SirSeth, Jun 5, 2010

Thanks, Seth.

you have one sensor/mount choice right now if you want a non-reflex camera that has adapters for your very nice lenses.

Yes, u4/3.

From reading your responses in this thread, the sensor size difference tips the scales away from 4/3rds, so much so that you are considering what doesn't exist to be a better option. Comical, but we are used to hearing that.

!!
But I do understand exactly what you are saying.

Nonetheless, I repeat my question - is there a technical/legal reason for there being no legacy (etc.) adapters (as yet?) for the Sony E/NEX mount and the Samsung NX mount?

At the same time, the wide lenses made by Olympus and 4/3rds leave very little to criticize imo.

This is a critical point. Even by comparison to the (old but superb) 21mm or 35mm Biogons or 35mm Planars (Zeiss has Leica beat, IMO)?

Sure you can wait until your perfect camera is released, but you may be waiting a long time.

Very perceptive of you...

After years of lobbying Nikon in Japan for a full-frame F-mount digi-SLR, they produced low-MP ones (the D3, admittedly with superb low-light abilities, surpassed lately by the D3s, with the cheap D700 in between) and a high-MP one (the D3x) but at prohibitive cost.

I've waited patiently for the lower-cost FF successor to the D700 (or non-pro version of the D3x)... for years.
So, maybe I'm skilled at waiting. A virtue - perhaps?

Back to being serious - why am I being told manual focus is better on the Olympuses, when the pixel-count of the 3" LCD viewfinders are:
NEX-5 920K
NX10 614K
E-P2 230K
E-PL1 230K (and 2.7")

I'd have thought manual focusing would be easier on the first couple, unless they lack some convenience feature that is relevant. Help!*

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tedolf
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Re: LENS MOUNT: Should I choose a Sony Alpha NEX-5 or Samsung NX10 INSTEAD?
In reply to RF-lens, Jun 5, 2010

I am an E-pl1 owner so I am biased. I looked at the e-p1 hard but did not bite. It was a little too big and I hate the control wheel in the back. It is OK on big DSLRs where it is large and has a strong detents but when implimented on smaller cameras it turns too easily and is finicky. I really don't see how you can use one of these things with the external EVF up against your face. Everything can be done from eye level if you want to with the E-pl1's button system. Just like an M6! You should ask a e-p1 owner if they had the same problem with the wheel. That same problem initially steered me away from Cannons' G10/11s. Not so with the E-pl1's button system. Lack of built in flash was also an issue. I like to use it on vacation to take the shadows out from under people's eyes in bright sunlight. Also, I tried my M lenses on the e-p1 in the store. Magnified manual focus took too many button presses to get back to composition view. With the E-pl1 you toggle the same button under your thumb (or set it up to use the movie record button if you like!) to go back and forth between magnified manual focus and live view. So, for me the E-pl1 did everything right. I don't think you will be disapointed if your expectations are realistic and the price is certaintly right.

Buy the $39.00 M to u4/3 adapter and take it with you and your lenses to the store and try it out. I think you will be impressed. Keep in mind that it willl still take you a while to get it set up the way you want it. I think all the 4/3 and u4/3 cameras have some problems with blown highlights but here again, getting the camera set up right, spot metering in those situations, etc. go a long way in resolving that problem.

You are going to have a ball.

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