What's the future of the A mount?

Started Mar 5, 2013 | Questions
WaltKnapp
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to PaddyC, Mar 7, 2013

The risk of loss of the mount and all associated with it is why I built up and pretty much completed my A mount a700 system as quickly as I could.  Now it does not matter much to me if what little is left of A mount continues or not.

Minolta cut everybody off when they switched from manual to AF and invented the A mount.  My then very complete manual system was shut off from enlargement.  One of my early experiences with system abandonment.

Minolta cut off A mount from DSLR when they did not supply an A mount replacement for the RD-175.  So I continued shooting A mount DSLR with the RD-175 for nearly 10 years. Until finally Minolta came back to A mount in digital.

Do wish I had of moved to Nikon instead of buying the Minolta 7D.  Then I'd still be using a mount system that I could expand or update.

But instead, once I bought the Minolta 7D I launched into making a complete A mount system that was as abandonment proof as I could make it.  Including DSLRs in multiples, a very wide range of lenses, flashes and accessories. I like my Sony A mount OVF DSLR system a lot. Too bad Sony is gone for DSLRs.  But I've seen that before from Minolta.

If folks are really worried about A mount (and they probably have reason to worry with Sony in charge of the mount and associated system) they can either drop what they have and go for a camera system that has trustworthy long term support like Nikon or Canon.  Or they can try to build up their A mount system so it's complete for the long term for them.  One thing they are unlikely to get is a more complete picture of the future until it's too late to do planning that's economic.

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Sonyshine
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to WaltKnapp, Mar 7, 2013

Like Canon and Nikon have never changed mounts ...... 

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WaltKnapp
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Re: It is really a pitty
In reply to goetz48, Mar 7, 2013

goetz48 wrote:

that the Japanese camera producers were not able to use a common lens mount system as it was the Practica M42 thread years before. Everyone made their own system with different flange distances, diameters, contacts and other dimensions.

Really stupid!

M42 was never even close to a universal system back then.  The grass was not greener back then.  After marriage my wife and I were shooting incompatible systems.  I had M42 and she had Minolta in the form of the SRT 101.  We choose to stay Minolta, but I don't think I'd be any better off now if we had of gone M42 back then.  M42 thread was not capable of supporting all the modern interconnects between lens and camera, which is why it's not used on modern cameras except old lenses being adapted by nostalgic folks.

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WaltKnapp
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to Sonyshine, Mar 7, 2013

Sonyshine wrote:

Like Canon and Nikon have never changed mounts ......

Their rate of change of mounts has been slower.  And they did a much better job of providing transitions.

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Glenn
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to WaltKnapp, Mar 7, 2013

seems a bit disingenuous Walt. Since Sony basically continued the A mount with all it's legacy problems instead of making it new from scratch. I believe you were saying at the time that Sony Couldn't make their own mount because of a lack of experience?  A few years later they came out with E-mount, completely new and also able to adapt all the abandoned system lenses from years past including the SR mount. And they did the whole design and brought it to market in what about a year? Otherwise the Amount would have died years ago.

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WaltKnapp
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to dlkeller, Mar 7, 2013

dlkeller wrote:

Actually it is EXACTLY these periods of stress with Minolta/KM/Sony that worry some of us. We already had to change our system when Minolta changed the mount. We saw the company change hands and a very long delay before we even got a DSLR. Then we had the concern with Sony and it's delays in producing an A700 replacement and it's increasing emphasis on NEX in advertising and sales pushes so there is good reason for concern.

Actually Minolta produced one of the earliest practical DSLRs in the RD175.  Then they abandoned producing any more A mount DSLRs until the 7D, a very long gap between. Interesting thing is that they went from RD175 DSLR to more and more P&S oriented digital cameras before coming back to the 7D too late.  A lot of similarities between that and what Sony did following the a700/a900

As far as I'm concerned Sony never produced an a700 replacement but changed to a entirely different line of cameras with entirely different emphasis, on video, on holding the hands of EVF loving folks moving from Cybershot and so on.  One wants an a700 replacement that's a true DSLR they have to go to another brand.  DSLRs are doing very well in sales there.

I've been through every changeover with Minolta, all the way from changing from MF system to AF A mount onwards.  Each change cost me plenty. But it's all history now.

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goetz48
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Re: It is really a pitty
In reply to WaltKnapp, Mar 7, 2013

No question that M42 could not support AF and electronic coding of aperture, focus and distance. But it would be nice to have a common mount for all (Japanese) FF & APS-C cameras. I think the only thing the camera companies share is one brain.

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WaltKnapp
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to Glenn, Mar 7, 2013

Glenn wrote:

seems a bit disingenuous Walt. Since Sony basically continued the A mount with all it's legacy problems instead of making it new from scratch. I believe you were saying at the time that Sony Couldn't make their own mount because of a lack of experience? A few years later they came out with E-mount, completely new and also able to adapt all the abandoned system lenses from years past including the SR mount. And they did the whole design and brought it to market in what about a year? Otherwise the Amount would have died years ago.

Maybe you should go back and read the contract announcements between Sony and Minolta in the year before Minolta quit.  Indeed the initial contracts were all about how to teach Sony to design and build DSLRs. And Sony themselves said they needed the help to learn.

Adapting the E mount to other mounts was not what Sony brought out.  That came entirely from third party sources.  Other than several tries to make a fully functional A mount adapter for E Sony was not involved.

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WaltKnapp
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Re: It is really a pitty
In reply to goetz48, Mar 7, 2013

goetz48 wrote:

No question that M42 could not support AF and electronic coding of aperture, focus and distance. But it would be nice to have a common mount for all (Japanese) FF & APS-C cameras. I think the only thing the camera companies share is one brain.

I agree it sure would be nice if there was a common mount, I'm all for that.  And in fact back in the early days T and T2 mounts as well as others gave us hope for a few years that it might occur.  Unfortunately maximizing profit and expanding technology killed that idea

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TrojMacReady
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to WaltKnapp, Mar 7, 2013

WaltKnapp wrote:

Sonyshine wrote:

Like Canon and Nikon have never changed mounts ......

Their rate of change of mounts has been slower. And they did a much better job of providing transitions.

Like how you can't fit EF-S lenses on your FF cameras?

Like how you don't have built in AF motors in any but the D7000 level and up cameras, so all your older AF-S lenses lose AF?

Like how the only OEM Nikon 1 adapter only gives center point AF, no continuous AF and only gives AF at all with AF-S lenses?

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Ralf B
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to WaltKnapp, Mar 7, 2013

WaltKnapp wrote:

Sonyshine wrote:

Like Canon and Nikon have never changed mounts ......

Their rate of change of mounts has been slower. And they did a much better job of providing transitions.

Slower than zero mount changes?

Sony has never changed the A mount but provides full backward compatibility with all Minolta AF lenses ever since they took over and saved the mount.

To keep the discussion on the intended topic: The OP is about the future of the Alpha Mount.

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PaddyC
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Re: What's the future of the A mount?
In reply to PaddyC, Mar 7, 2013

I have never thought that Sony would completely abandon the A mount. But already with the NEX adaptor (which I find rather nifty) there are ways to "support" A mount users without making A mount cameras.

IE a FF NEX with new A mount adaptor. I think this is a real possibility if Sony doesn't think it's SLT cameras are doing enough business.

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zackiedawg
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Do me a favor...
In reply to PaddyC, Mar 7, 2013

I don't know the future of A mount.  I personally don't have any concerns about it - I presume it will be going on for a long time to come, but if it ended tomorrow, it's not something that ranks among my life's devastating moments - I can get over it pretty quickly.

But I do ask a favor...if anyone in this thread figures out what the 100% guaranteed future of A-mount is, I beg that person to please shoot me a private message for my phone number...so that we can discuss applying your amazing prognostication capabilities to the future of the U.S. stock market and various sports teams' future championships.  I promise, we'll both make a mint!

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