Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

Started Jul 10, 2013 | Discussions
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roundball Contributing Member • Posts: 810
Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7
1

Based on some playing around today it looks like I don't have to shoot my FD lenses in 100% manual / manual mode after all, as Aperture Priority seems to work fine.

On my Canon bodies, a lens was held open at its maximum aperture while setting up the shot / focusing.  And even if I rotated the aperture dial manually there was no visible change in light level coming into the camera.  To actually 'see' what the final outcome would look like at a manually selected aperture, I had to momentarily use a 'stop-down lever' on the camera body.

But when I physically rotate the aperture ring on my FD lens attached to the NEX7, I can see the light level change in the view finder immediately...and the shutter speed changes right along with it as the sensor picks up changing light levels.  I thought an FD lens / NEX7 combo would only be manual / manual so this will be good.
PS:
If I've somehow misunderstood what I'm seeing / drawing the wrong conclusion, and anyone knows what I've just described to be incorrect, by all means please let me know.

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Tichon New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7
1

You are absolutely right and that's the beauty of NEX with legacy lenses. They work in all PASM modes with manual lenses.

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bzx Regular Member • Posts: 215
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7
2

With manual lens attached and in A-priority mode, you're kinda doing it strange, as you don't have "real" control over the shutter speed. You are changing the aperture on the lens manually, the camera being in A-priority adjusts the time automatically (because it's Aperture priority), but to actually have control over shutter speed you have to change the camera's aperture which will affect the shutter speed (but has no real impact on the actual aperture applied to the shot).

If you were in S-priority mode, you would be 100% manual: aperture controlled manually on the lens, shutter speed controlled via assigned control (plus control over the exposure compensation and ISO).

So basically, when using manual lens, it's better to be in Shutter-priority mode.

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t[+]m

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,172
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7
2

bzx wrote:

With manual lens attached and in A-priority mode, you're kinda doing it strange, as you don't have "real" control over the shutter speed. You are changing the aperture on the lens manually, the camera being in A-priority adjusts the time automatically (because it's Aperture priority), but to actually have control over shutter speed you have to change the camera's aperture which will affect the shutter speed (but has no real impact on the actual aperture applied to the shot).

If you were in S-priority mode, you would be 100% manual: aperture controlled manually on the lens, shutter speed controlled via assigned control (plus control over the exposure compensation and ISO).

So basically, when using manual lens, it's better to be in Shutter-priority mode.

-- hide signature --

t[+]m

A mode with an native E-mount lens means you set the aperture (with one of the control wheels) and the camera will set the shutter speed.

A mode with a legacy lens means you set the aperture (with the aperture ring) and the camera will set the shutter speed.

I'm not sure why you see this as being strange.

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Nex-7 with kit lenses, Contax G 35, and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

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roundball OP Contributing Member • Posts: 810
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

"...A mode with a legacy lens means you set the aperture (with the aperture ring) and the camera will set the shutter speed..."

That was my experience running my tests today:
I set the NEX7 in Aperture Priority mode, manually set an aperture on a Canon FD lens, then as I moved the lens around in and out of different sources of light I could see the shutter speed changing in the viewfinder...which prompted my post.

emailsucks98
emailsucks98 Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

S mode with auto ISO is my favorite so far!

Manual aperture and focus on the lens.... set the shutter speed & EV comp using the camera and the ISO adjusts in increments of 25 automatically. When you half-press the shutter the camera tells you what ISO it's selecting... you can adjust your shutter speed/aperture as you like.

SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,172
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

roundball wrote:

"...A mode with a legacy lens means you set the aperture (with the aperture ring) and the camera will set the shutter speed..."

That was my experience running my tests today:
I set the NEX7 in Aperture Priority mode, manually set an aperture on a Canon FD lens, then as I moved the lens around in and out of different sources of light I could see the shutter speed changing in the viewfinder...which prompted my post.

Canon bodies, like most SLRs, default to working wide-open so you can more easily focus. The exposure they display while you're setting up the shot is an estimate based on the known (transmitted by a pin on the lens) max aperture and the aperture you've selected. IIRC, an A-1, at least, will take a last moment measurement and adjust exposure when it stops down the lens to take the shot.

Anyway, that's default behavior. However, on most, if not all, FD bodies, you can also do stopped down AE, where the lens will be closed down to selected aperture during composition, and you can see actual depth of field rather than wide-open shallow DOF.

On the A-1, this is a plastic lever on the left of the lens; on the new F-1, it's a chrome button on the right of the lens.

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kuuan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,546
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7
1

bzx wrote:

....So basically, when using manual lens, it's better to be in Shutter-priority mode.

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t[+]m

I use S mode + auto ISO at low light light, when I need a faster shutter speed than A mode selects to freeze motion and if I reckon I try to handhold a shorter shutter speed than A mode selects to save on ISO in low light.

When using S mode during day / at bright light I constantly must be careful to choose a short enough shutter speed to not overexpose which happens when the ISO already is at the lowest and shutter speed selected is not fast enough, and if the shutter selected is too fast the ISO would go up which is to avoid, therefore during day / at bright light it's A mode + auto ISO

This of course with any manual lens that has an aperture ring, not only FDs, and me too I really like the 'permanent dof preview', that anytime I can see in my EVF / on LCD exactly what the sensor will record

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Riquez
Riquez Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

The best modes to use with manual lens are S or P.

(actually A is the same as P in this case anyway)

With S you can control the shutter speed & exposure compensation on the camera, while changing aperture on the lens.

P (or A) is kind of auto mode, where you just worry about the aperture & focus. But you can still change exp.comp.

M is not worth using because its the same as S but without exp.comp.

I use P a lot because its less stuff to worry about. You just set your aperture & focus.

If you have plenty of time to take a photo then S gives you most control, but in the moment P is easiest.

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SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,172
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

Riquez wrote:

M is not worth using because its the same as S but without exp.comp.

Exposure compensation is to adjust AE (auto exposure). M means manual, as in manual exposure. There's nothing to compensate there. When you are trying to photograph stars, for example, AE doesn't have a clue what to do.

M is far from useless, it just may be something you don't need for the type of photography you do.

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davect01
davect01 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,032
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

emailsucks98 wrote:

S mode with auto ISO is my favorite so far!

Manual aperture and focus on the lens.... set the shutter speed & EV comp using the camera and the ISO adjusts in increments of 25 automatically. When you half-press the shutter the camera tells you what ISO it's selecting... you can adjust your shutter speed/aperture as you like.

Pretty much what I do.  Set the Aperture on the lens, Speed on the camera.

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 13,572
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

emailsucks98 wrote:

S mode with auto ISO is my favorite so far!

Manual aperture and focus on the lens.... set the shutter speed & EV comp using the camera and the ISO adjusts in increments of 25 automatically. When you half-press the shutter the camera tells you what ISO it's selecting... you can adjust your shutter speed/aperture as you like.

I find I prefer A mode with manually set ISO (using the right hand button on the wheel to set ISO). Close down the lens until you get a suitable shutter speed.

Obviously it is a matter of preference and each user has to find what suits them.

Dave Lively Senior Member • Posts: 1,735
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7
1

kuuan wrote:

I use S mode + auto ISO at low light light, when I need a faster shutter speed than A mode selects to freeze motion and if I reckon I try to handhold a shorter shutter speed than A mode selects to save on ISO in low light.

That is my favorite way to shoot with a legacy lens too.

What I would really like is to be able to select the minimum shutter speed auto ISO can use.  That way I could use A mode, set the lens wide open and and not have to worry about the shutter speed going too slow.

It is uncommon to see entry level cameras that allow this much control over auto ISO but a lot of enthusiast level cameras do.  Hopefully Sony will add this ability to the next NEX-6/7 models.  When using an E-mount lens the camera uses  1/(2 * focal length in mm) for the minimum shutter speed but with a legacy lens attached it defaults to 1/60 which is too slow for a 300mm lens.

boardsy Senior Member • Posts: 2,215
yes - A mode isn't strange at all

roundball wrote:

"...A mode with a legacy lens means you set the aperture (with the aperture ring) and the camera will set the shutter speed..."

That was my experience running my tests today:
I set the NEX7 in Aperture Priority mode, manually set an aperture on a Canon FD lens, then as I moved the lens around in and out of different sources of light I could see the shutter speed changing in the viewfinder...which prompted my post.

I use A mode 99% of the time with my legacy and emount lenses. Auto-shutter speed is fast and accurate.

FDn 35/2:

Curachs (traditional Irish rowing boats) in the evening sun

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roundball OP Contributing Member • Posts: 810
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

SQLGuy wrote:

roundball wrote:

"...A mode with a legacy lens means you set the aperture (with the aperture ring) and the camera will set the shutter speed..."

That was my experience running my tests today:
I set the NEX7 in Aperture Priority mode, manually set an aperture on a Canon FD lens, then as I moved the lens around in and out of different sources of light I could see the shutter speed changing in the viewfinder...which prompted my post.

Canon bodies, like most SLRs, default to working wide-open so you can more easily focus. The exposure they display while you're setting up the shot is an estimate based on the known (transmitted by a pin on the lens) max aperture and the aperture you've selected. IIRC, an A-1, at least, will take a last moment measurement and adjust exposure when it stops down the lens to take the shot.

Anyway, that's default behavior. However, on most, if not all, FD bodies, you can also do stopped down AE, where the lens will be closed down to selected aperture during composition, and you can see actual depth of field rather than wide-open shallow DOF.

On the A-1, this is a plastic lever on the left of the lens; on the new F-1, it's a chrome button on the right of the lens.

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Nex-7 with kit lenses, Contax G 35, and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

Correct...that's the old Canon operation and stop-down lever I was referring to.

roundball OP Contributing Member • Posts: 810
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

roundball wrote:

Based on some playing around today it looks like I don't have to shoot my FD lenses in 100% manual / manual mode after all, as Aperture Priority seems to work fine.

Very glad I found this forum...like all good ones for whatever subject matter they cater to...it seems to have a wealth of information and experience .

I'm not only enjoying getting back into photography again, but even more so, enjoying getting up the learning curve on today's technology compared to my old Canon A-series & FD lenses.

But I sill have a warm place in my heart for my A1's and wish I could just open them up, insert the NEX7 technology, and keep right on using them, LOL.

bzx Regular Member • Posts: 215
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7
1

SQLGuy wrote:

A mode with an native E-mount lens means you set the aperture (with one of the control wheels) and the camera will set the shutter speed.

A mode with a legacy lens means you set the aperture (with the aperture ring) and the camera will set the shutter speed.

I'm not sure why you see this as being strange.

I didn't want this to sound ... "strange" So excuse me if I used a wrong word. I actually realized today that shooting manual on A, you can't control camera's exposure so it was my totally strange mistake.

I still prefer the S because it is more flexible, esp. when the exposure compensation is too weak.

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t[+]m

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keith1101 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

+1

SQLGuy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,172
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7

bzx wrote:

SQLGuy wrote:

A mode with an native E-mount lens means you set the aperture (with one of the control wheels) and the camera will set the shutter speed.

A mode with a legacy lens means you set the aperture (with the aperture ring) and the camera will set the shutter speed.

I'm not sure why you see this as being strange.

I didn't want this to sound ... "strange" So excuse me if I used a wrong word. I actually realized today that shooting manual on A, you can't control camera's exposure so it was my totally strange mistake.

I still prefer the S because it is more flexible, esp. when the exposure compensation is too weak.

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t[+]m

What do you mean by "... on A, you can't control camera's exposure..."?

A is still an AE mode, so the camera is controlling exposure just as it is in S. The main difference is that S acts like M if you are not using Auto ISO. It's really S that's a bit strange, because it works differently with manual lenses than it does with native ones.

So, in M, or in S with fixed ISO, you completely control the exposure. In A with fixed ISO, you control aperture and ISO and the camera selects shutter speed - modified by exposure compensation. In S with Auto ISO, you control aperture and shutter speed and the camera selects ISO - modified by exposure compensation.

It sounds like you're using S with fixed ISO, which is really the same as using M... except that M works that way for all lenses, not just legacy ones.

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Mel Snyder
Mel Snyder Veteran Member • Posts: 4,088
Re: Learning more good stuff about Canon FD lenses on the NEX-7
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