Sony AF System Questions

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Peaceful Mind
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Sony AF System Questions
4 months ago

Hi, all. I'm fairly new to Sony. I recently purchased the A7R and am deciding selling all my other gears and buy into Sony system with all those Zeiss lenses. I am also considering those ZA lenses which are in A-mount. And I want to see how to get the best AF performance from them.

As Sony is so innovative, I am confused about the AF performance on different combination.

There are:

  1. SLT
  2. E mount + LA-EA3 + OSPDAF
  3. E mount + LA-EA4 + OSPDAF + SLT

Considering FF only, if I have after AF performance with A mount lenses, I suppose A99 will be fastest? But I am thinking what if I get A7 with LA-EA4 so that it would also have OSPDAF and SLT tech? I read somewhere that it gives fewer AF points though. So how A7 with LA-EA4 would compare to A99?

And then I'm also interested in the 2nd option, e.g. A7 with LA-EA3. I read somewhere saying it should be able to AF on SSM lenses. How fast? How well it AF compare to the two combinations above?

And I'm even thinking about A6000, which have a lot of review saying that it has great review. Would A6000 + LA-EA4/3 be even better than A99?

I have read about the AF-D tech. that A99 has. Will any E-mount camera with LA-EA4 gives you that?

Thanks everyone in advance!

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Ed at Ridersite
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to Peaceful Mind, 4 months ago

Maybe try the E-mount forum:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1042?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=mainmenu&utm_medium=text&ref=mainmenu

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Gary Waugh
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to Peaceful Mind, 4 months ago

In addition to your AF questions, you need to consider that Amount lens on a Sony mirrorless has no image stabilization. If image stabilization is important to you, the A99 is your choice for Amount lens.

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IanML
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to Peaceful Mind, 4 months ago

Peaceful Mind wrote:

...

And I'm even thinking about A6000, which have a lot of review saying that it has great review. Would A6000 + LA-EA4/3 be even better than A99?

I have read about the AF-D tech. that A99 has. Will any E-mount camera with LA-EA4 gives you that?

It is too soon to answer the first question.  We have to wait for the expert reviews.

The answer to the second is no.

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Ian

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pew pew
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to Peaceful Mind, 4 months ago

Peaceful Mind wrote:

Hi, all. I'm fairly new to Sony. I recently purchased the A7R and am deciding selling all my other gears and buy into Sony system with all those Zeiss lenses. I am also considering those ZA lenses which are in A-mount. And I want to see how to get the best AF performance from them.

If you are buying new zeiss lenses why not just get the zeiss lenses for E mount, from all the reviews I saw both the 35 and 55 mm 1.8 are stellar lenses and you don´t need the adapter, the AF on the a7r is just less good in dim light situations, in the other situations is pretty good.

As Sony is so innovative, I am confused about the AF performance on different combination.

There are:

  1. SLT
  2. E mount + LA-EA3 + OSPDAF
  3. E mount + LA-EA4 + OSPDAF + SLT

The LA EA4 is the fastest to AF from all the reviews I see online, but will slightly degrade the image quality since it have a fixed translucent mirror element between the lens and the sensor.

Considering FF only, if I have after AF performance with A mount lenses, I suppose A99 will be fastest?

the a99 is faster yes.

But I am thinking what if I get A7 with LA-EA4 so that it would also have OSPDAF and SLT tech? I read somewhere that it gives fewer AF points though. So how A7 with LA-EA4 would compare to A99?

the a99 will still be faster, the LA EA4 module is the same as the sony a65 I believe.

And then I'm also interested in the 2nd option, e.g. A7 with LA-EA3. I read somewhere saying it should be able to AF on SSM lenses. How fast? How well it AF compare to the two combinations above?

not sure-

And I'm even thinking about A6000, which have a lot of review saying that it has great review. Would A6000 + LA-EA4/3 be even better than A99?

lol the adapters don´t always make the camera faster, I´m pretty sure it will slow the the a6000 a lot.

I have read about the AF-D tech. that A99 has. Will any E-mount camera with LA-EA4 gives you that?

not sure

Thanks everyone in advance!

You should post this question in the sony E mount forum, since all a7/r owners are there and will give you a more appropriatee answer

But imo if you are buying new lenses for your a7r, buy E mount lenses and not A mount lenses, the only reason to get those adapters is if you already have a lot of A mount lenses lying around.

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Peaceful Mind
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to Peaceful Mind, 4 months ago

Thanks, all.

I realize the IBIS issue. But the AF performance is more important for me.And it’s a pity AF-D doesn’t work with LA-EA4. Considering AF-D is just an application of what CDAF+OSPDAF+SLT can do, E mount with SLT adapter should receive similar application.
And I consider buying both the Zeiss E and A lenses. While FE Zeiss are great, there are not that many. So using ZA lenses are important to me if I am to sell all my other systems and use Sony alone.
I originally posted it here because I am interested in A mount lenses and SLT performance. But you are right, may be I should ask in E mount forum instead.
Thanks everyone!

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IanML
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to Peaceful Mind, 4 months ago

Peaceful Mind wrote:

...Considering AF-D is just an application of what CDAF+OSPDAF+SLT can do, E mount with SLT adapter should receive similar application.

As I recall, that is not AF-D, which uses special purpose sensors embedded in the sensor, in conjunction with particular lens characteristics, to provide rate of change of subject-to-sensor distance.

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thebustos
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to Peaceful Mind, 4 months ago

I don't think you were wrong posting here. There are some forum members here who might have both to compare. I think they might still be a minority in this forum though. AF-D is only compatible with certain lenses on the A99, though I think most of the Zeiss lenses work. I think the AF combinations are probably similar, but I have no way to make my own comparison. However one thing to consider would be lens size. The heavier Zeiss lenses may be more balanced on the A99 than the A7r with adapter. After the reviews about the FE 55mm f/1.8, you're lucky you have a native Mount for it. Also, I believe Sony said that they planned to have a total of 15 FE lenses by the end of next year. So there may not be many now, but the well be.
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Peaceful Mind
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to IanML, 4 months ago

IanML wrote:

Peaceful Mind wrote:

...Considering AF-D is just an application of what CDAF+OSPDAF+SLT can do, E mount with SLT adapter should receive similar application.

As I recall, that is not AF-D, which uses special purpose sensors embedded in the sensor, in conjunction with particular lens characteristics, to provide rate of change of subject-to-sensor distance.

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Ian

I mean the AF-D technology, on the hardware level, relies on the OSPDAF and SLT-PDAF. With those information and some pre-measured data in the software, they can then have depth information which make AF-D possible.

And of course A99 have much more PDAF points, whether on sensor or from SLT. I guess partly it is due to the lack of PDAF sensor in the A7+LA-EA4 combination, it makes it more difficult to have AF-D. But with A6000 and it huge no of OSPDAF array, I'm thinking they should be able to get AF-D on that camera at least.

Anyway, from the point of view of my own interest, surely I want the AF-D technology with A-mount lenses, with E mount cameras. That doesn't mean I am not considering a backup camera. But I would rather have two E mount cameras, e.g. A7R + A7, or A7R + A6000, than A7R + A99. In the case of having two E-mount cameras, I can use all E and A mounts lenses on both of them (with adapter) which make my life easier. In fact this is the major reason I want to sell my Nikon system. Having both a D800E and A7R turns out to be a curse to me. Because I often have to bring two system at the same time.

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dlkeller
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In reply to thebustos, 4 months ago

The E mount forum is for posts on E mount cameras.  If there are A mount users curious about these cameras they can go to the E mount forum, just as they would do if they were interesting in finding out more about a Canon they would go to the Canon forum.

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Peaceful Mind
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to thebustos, 4 months ago

thebustos wrote:

I don't think you were wrong posting here. There are some forum members here who might have both to compare. I think they might still be a minority in this forum though. AF-D is only compatible with certain lenses on the A99, though I think most of the Zeiss lenses work. I think the AF combinations are probably similar, but I have no way to make my own comparison. However one thing to consider would be lens size. The heavier Zeiss lenses may be more balanced on the A99 than the A7r with adapter. After the reviews about the FE 55mm f/1.8, you're lucky you have a native Mount for it. Also, I believe Sony said that they planned to have a total of 15 FE lenses by the end of next year. So there may not be many now, but the well be.
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Good luck and happy shooting!

Actually that is the tricky thing about Sony system. They have two mounts, two sensor formats, and they can be compatible with each other via adapters (Of course A lens to E camera only). It is actually great to unify things, but the dpreview forum do not do it accordingly. Which in practice also make sense because otherwise the forum would be messier.

But after thinking for a while, I haven't asked in E mount forum yet, since I am after A mount lenses AF performance. So if any members has A-mount lenses would be here. And although they might not have A7(R) yet, they could have been watching it closely already, to see any potential move for them to jump in. This is not true in E mount forum though, users with A7(R), like me, might not have A mount lenses, and they could be quite foreign to A mount system.

Regarding FE Zeiss 55/1.8, that's the lens I am planning to buy. It's difficult to resist after all those praise! But for lenses like 16-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 85/1.4, 135/1.8, and even the new 50/1.4, all Zeiss, probably will not have their E mount variant at all. Since from what Sony have said so far, they want to focus on developing FE lens that has great IQ but at the same time portable. In that case the aperture won't be very large.

The evidence would be 35/2.8, 50/1.8, and 24-70/4 FE Zeiss. These are all slower comparing to the list above.

But here comes the greatness of Sony system. What I'm imagining right now is, I have two E mount FF body, and a couple of FE Zeiss, and ZA Zeiss. And I can mix and match among them.

Possible combination is like

-ZA 16-35, FE 50/1.8, ZA 135/1.8

-ZA2 4/2, FE 35/2.8, ZA 85/1.4

-FE 24-70/4, ZA 135/1.8

I am even thinking about buying both LA-EA3 and LA-EA4. For AF, I use LA-EA4, landscape, LA-EA3.

I really admire the unified system approach Sony is taking. It makes life simpler. Whether I'm after portability, AF performance, big aperture, etc. can all be fulfilled by mix and match within the same system, with a minimum overlap. (and my background is I have a Nikon system already, and recently buying A7R, so right now I need to keep two systems that's not compatible. So I could end up with bringing D800E+14-24+70-200/2.8II then A7R+55/1.8, something like that).

But that's just the ideal situation I am thinking about. What I am still researching are, AF performance, reliability, Flash system, etc. And for example this post is about the AF performance. If all these areas are sufficiently good, I will sell all my other systems and join the unified system Sony built.

By the way, many people think that I like A7R a lot. e.g. after using A7R I am considering buying a whole Sony system. But I am not. I hate the A7R from the beginning, and continue to hate it almost every time I am using it. May be it is just me, but I have used camera from all brands, m43 from Olympus and Panasonic, DSLR from Canon and Nikon, and I have never been dissatisfied by a camera so much. A7R is not very easy to deal with. In software level I think it can improve a lot. But anyway.

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Peaceful Mind
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Re: Disagree
In reply to dlkeller, 4 months ago

dlkeller wrote:

The E mount forum is for posts on E mount cameras. If there are A mount users curious about these cameras they can go to the E mount forum, just as they would do if they were interesting in finding out more about a Canon they would go to the Canon forum.

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Dave

The situation is more complicated. For Canon or Nikon, they have their own "SLR Lens" forum. So if I want to use Nikon lens on Canon camera, I can go to Nikon SLR Lens forum to ask which lens is great for, let say, ultra wide. And then I can ask in Canon Camera forum (there are 3 and let say the FF one) about the compatibility with, say, the 5D III.

If I am adapting Canon EF to Sony E, I can again go to Canon SLR Lens forum to ask about which lens is great, then go to Sony E mount forum about the compatibility.

But in dpreview, there's no Sony Lens talk. It is only differentiated in two ways: A mount and E mount. But the differentiation are not distinct, because of adapters. So my dilemma is, as explained in another post, I am more concern about using those A-mount lenses. While A-mount forum member definitely have A mount lens, and probably have researched in A7(R) even without buying, E-mount forum member might only have E mount cameras, which have no interest in A mount lenses at all.

Anyway, please pardon me as I have already asked here. I think it is even worse if I duplicated this post there. And as forums should be more casual, so I hope people will be more forgiving to wrong posts. (I have seen post in Canon forum for example, talking about D800E as the 5D mark II upgrade, and in Nikon forum talking about 5D Mark III as D700 upgrade, which is, well, in that case cause a very intense debate. But hope that it is just among Sony forum anyway, you know, so no such problem exist)

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IanML
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to Peaceful Mind, 4 months ago

Peaceful Mind wrote:

IanML wrote:

Peaceful Mind wrote:

...Considering AF-D is just an application of what CDAF+OSPDAF+SLT can do, E mount with SLT adapter should receive similar application.

As I recall, that is not AF-D, which uses special purpose sensors embedded in the sensor, in conjunction with particular lens characteristics, to provide rate of change of subject-to-sensor distance.

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Ian

I mean the AF-D technology, on the hardware level, relies on the OSPDAF and SLT-PDAF. With those information and some pre-measured data in the software, they can then have depth information which make AF-D possible.

And of course A99 have much more PDAF points, whether on sensor or from SLT. I guess partly it is due to the lack of PDAF sensor in the A7+LA-EA4 combination, it makes it more difficult to have AF-D. But with A6000 and it huge no of OSPDAF array, I'm thinking they should be able to get AF-D on that camera at least.

The article I read on AF-D stated that the special sensors were of a particular and unique form (and one imagines more expensive in the manufacture).  I expect they are not included in the a6000 sensor.  It may be that the a6000 focus performance is so good that AF-D is simply not worth pursuing, in which case there may never  be another camera with it.

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Peaceful Mind
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Re: Sony AF System Questions
In reply to IanML, 4 months ago

Thanks about the information on AF-D.

I have made my final decision. I am still not ready to give up my Nikon system yet, because of the AF performance and flash reliability.

I am buying the A7 and A7R with all the FE Zeiss lenses, accompanied by the small HVL-F20M flash.

I will be waiting for the rumored hybrid E-A mount camera. If They further enhance the E-A system integration and other features also comes right, I could sell all my other lenses and buy all those Sony Zeiss ZA lenses. It's really tempting to be able to use those lenses. And I think I don't have to wait too long until that day.

Thanks everyone!

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