Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
El3bs
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Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
4 months ago

Hello All,

The a6000 has been in mind for a while, considering it once it is out. However, I've been reading a lot about the new Sony FE camera/ lens, watching reviews as well. and was thinking of getting only FE lenses instead of APS-C "E" lenses, since it will be very easy to jump to the FE system anytime I want.

Anyone has a better advice?

El3bs

Sony a6000 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony FE 55mm F1.8
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tn1krr
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to El3bs, 4 months ago

El3bs wrote:

Hello All,

The a6000 has been in mind for a while, considering it once it is out. However, I've been reading a lot about the new Sony FE camera/ lens, watching reviews as well. and was thinking of getting only FE lenses instead of APS-C "E" lenses, since it will be very easy to jump to the FE system anytime I want.

Anyone has a better advice?

I'm kind of looking this from opposite direction, the A6000 I ordered will be a backup and 2nd body for my A7R so I'll be using it with FE lenses mostly. The FE 55/1.8 seems to be very very good with APS-C sensors too, according to dxomark and I also have the FE 70-200/4 OSS incoming (let's hope it is really good, based on filter size it should not compromize much optical quality for size), that should match very well with the focus/burst capability of the A6000.

The FE 24-70/4 OSS did not really shine that much on dxomark APS-C test, but a test is just a test and there should be real world experiences available about that lens in APS-C too, so if one hopes to upgrade to FF E Mount in the future and chooses lenses wizely I see no reason not to use FE lenses with APS-C body.

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SimonOL
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to El3bs, 4 months ago

If you can afford to buy FE lenses for your A6000 and you definitely intend to go FF in future then it makes sense.

Just bear in mind that the 24mp apsc sensor has a higher pixel density than the current full frame sensors and is more demanding in terms of resolving power. FE lenses won't perform at their full potential.

Also, there are advantages to using apsc lenses other than cost - for example, E lenses tend to be a bit smaller and have OSS.

There's no point making a significant investment in apsc lenses if the A6000 is just a stop-gap, but I'd probably be inclined to have a couple of E lenses which are optimized for use on that camera.

Will FE lenses fully support the hybrid PDAF on the A6000 and allow the fast AF that is one of the A6000's main selling points?

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Jokica
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to El3bs, 4 months ago

If there is no need to rush, I would hold on for a while and stick to E-mount on A6000. No need to buy all additional lenses right away, I believe. The things can get more clear in due time, as you getting to know your camera and your needs. Besides E and FE lenses, time can add A-mount lenses to equation. Next Alpha camera is expected (or rumored) to be Hybrid E/A mount, besides, there is always LA-EA adapters.

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Kirino
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to SimonOL, 4 months ago

SimonOL wrote:

Just bear in mind that the 24mp apsc sensor has a higher pixel density than the current full frame sensors and is more demanding in terms of resolving power. FE lenses won't perform at their full potential.

Higher pixel density means more of that lens potential will be achieved. You're just giving the lens a tougher test.

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Chad Hardy
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to Jokica, 4 months ago

Jokica wrote:

If there is no need to rush, I would hold on for a while and stick to E-mount on A6000. No need to buy all additional lenses right away, I believe. The things can get more clear in due time, as you getting to know your camera and your needs. Besides E and FE lenses, time can add A-mount lenses to equation. Next Alpha camera is expected (or rumored) to be Hybrid E/A mount, besides, there is always LA-EA adapters.

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I agree, if you aren't going to buy a body right now, then just wait and see how things pan out with the lenses.  Order your first lens with your A6000 body.

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Fred Briggs
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to El3bs, 4 months ago

El3bs wrote:

Hello All,

The a6000 has been in mind for a while, considering it once it is out. However, I've been reading a lot about the new Sony FE camera/ lens, watching reviews as well. and was thinking of getting only FE lenses instead of APS-C "E" lenses, since it will be very easy to jump to the FE system anytime I want.

Anyone has a better advice?

El3bs

The high resolution FE primes will probably do well on APS-C, though maybe not as well as on FF. However, the FE zooms, for example FE 24-70, in common with similar lenses from other manufacturers will probably be disappointing on APS-C.

The reason for this is that it seems from Dxomark measurements that none of these type of standard zooms can even max out a 24 MP FF sensor. They show scores of 15-16 on Dxomark for perceptual megapixels which I believe is supposed to indicate the overall average resolution obtainable.

This appears to be confirmed by the fact that the score does not increase when tested on a 36MP sensor where available (Sony and Nikon 24-70 zooms), in other words, in reality overall system resolution is lens limited with these zooms.

I suspect that at best this type of zoom is only able to resolve about 16MP across a FF image circle. It is therefore not surprising that scores drop down to about 9 on APS-C, as although you are using the higher quality part of the FF image circle, you are only using about half of the available dimensions. APS-C lenses are designed to provide the best possible resolution across the smaller APS-C image circle and are likely to do better than most equivalent FF lenses.

So the bottom line is that I would be wary of buying an APS-C camera but only FF lenses. Firstly the equivalent focal lengths are likely to be less useful on APS-C, and secondly except for the very best FF lenses, resolution may be limited when used on a smaller than designed for image circle.

Fred

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to tn1krr, 4 months ago

El3bs wrote:

Hello All,

The a6000 has been in mind for a while, considering it once it is out. However, I've been reading a lot about the new Sony FE camera/ lens, watching reviews as well. and was thinking of getting only FE lenses instead of APS-C "E" lenses, since it will be very easy to jump to the FE system anytime I want.

Anyone has a better advice?

I'm kind of looking this from opposite direction, the A6000 I ordered will be a backup and 2nd body for my A7R so I'll be using it with FE lenses mostly. The FE 55/1.8 seems to be very very good with APS-C sensors too, according to dxomark and I also have the FE 70-200/4 OSS incoming (let's hope it is really good, based on filter size it should not compromize much optical quality for size), that should match very well with the focus/burst capability of the A6000.

The FE 24-70/4 OSS did not really shine that much on dxomark APS-C test, but a test is just a test and there should be real world experiences available about that lens in APS-C too, so if one hopes to upgrade to FF E Mount in the future and chooses lenses wizely I see no reason not to use FE lenses with APS-C body.

I agree. And as with any FF lens on crop body, I expect FE lenses to do well on E bodies. The 24-70 might have the challenge of meeting the demands of high resolution FF sensor at the widest but on E bodies, it should do better even at 24mm, making it a 35-105 equiv option.

And having FF lenses does make stepping up to FF bodies a less expensive proposition (a reason, of nearly a dozen A-mount lenses in my collection, only two are crop... and only for the extra wide angle reach from 16-24mm).

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MrT-Man
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, 4 months ago

I'll just mention that the 55 FE, in particular, performs really well on my NEX-7. It's not any sharper than the SEL50, but (as is usually the case with Zeiss) the color and contrast is better.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to SimonOL, 4 months ago

If you can afford to buy FE lenses for your A6000 and you definitely intend to go FF in future then it makes sense.

Just bear in mind that the 24mp apsc sensor has a higher pixel density than the current full frame sensors and is more demanding in terms of resolving power. FE lenses won't perform at their full potential.

Also, there are advantages to using apsc lenses other than cost - for example, E lenses tend to be a bit smaller and have OSS.

There's no point making a significant investment in apsc lenses if the A6000 is just a stop-gap, but I'd probably be inclined to have a couple of E lenses which are optimized for use on that camera.

Will FE lenses fully support the hybrid PDAF on the A6000 and allow the fast AF that is one of the A6000's main selling points?

There is no reason to believe that FE lenses will not get the hybrid AF treatment. IIRC, an early video about a6000's AF involved FE 55.

As for resolution challenges, use of FF lens on crop sensor is common and has its benefits (better corner to corner performance since the cream of the image circle is cropped). If one happens to own a Canon, Nikon or Sony A-mount APSc body, except for likes if Sony DT 35/1.8, Sony DT 50/1.8 and Nikon DX 35/1.8, chances are any prime (and longer zooms) being used on 16-24MP APSc bodies (compares to 36-54MP FF) are FF lenses.

If one has a Sony a77 and wants a sports telezoom or wildlife telezoom, the choice is usually a 70-200/G, 70-300G or 70-400G, all FF lenses. In fact people like them better on APSc bodies due to crop factor (the 70-400 works like a 105-600 on FF).

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to MrT-Man, 4 months ago

I'll just mention that the 55 FE, in particular, performs really well on my NEX-7. It's not any sharper than the SEL50, but (as is usually the case with Zeiss) the color and contrast is better.

I tried it on NEX-6 too. I bet Sony deliberately chose 55mm FL for the lens (as opposed to 50) since it provides 85mm equiv FOV for portraiture on APSc bodies. Viking actually suggested following his test/review that its actual FL is 57mm.

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tn1krr
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, 4 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

If you can afford to buy FE lenses for your A6000 and you definitely intend to go FF in future then it makes sense.

Just bear in mind that the 24mp apsc sensor has a higher pixel density than the current full frame sensors and is more demanding in terms of resolving power. FE lenses won't perform at their full potential.

Also, there are advantages to using apsc lenses other than cost - for example, E lenses tend to be a bit smaller and have OSS.

There's no point making a significant investment in apsc lenses if the A6000 is just a stop-gap, but I'd probably be inclined to have a couple of E lenses which are optimized for use on that camera.

Will FE lenses fully support the hybrid PDAF on the A6000 and allow the fast AF that is one of the A6000's main selling points?

There is no reason to believe that FE lenses will not get the hybrid AF treatment. IIRC, an early video about a6000's AF involved FE 55.

Get

Get Hybrid AF treatment? The A7 has hybrid-AF, I was under impression all FE lenses are hybrid-AF compliant out of the box?

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Richard Ettinger
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to El3bs, 4 months ago

El3bs wrote:

Hello All,

The a6000 has been in mind for a while, considering it once it is out. However, I've been reading a lot about the new Sony FE camera/ lens, watching reviews as well. and was thinking of getting only FE lenses instead of APS-C "E" lenses, since it will be very easy to jump to the FE system anytime I want.

Anyone has a better advice?

El3bs

You have a good plan here. I've followed the same path with my first DSLR, a Canon. I focused on purchasing only FF lenses with the intent of owning a FF camera when I could afford one. I now have an A7 and a couple dozen lenses. A few are AF lenses for my NEX7, most are FF legacy glass.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to tn1krr, 4 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

If you can afford to buy FE lenses for your A6000 and you definitely intend to go FF in future then it makes sense.

Just bear in mind that the 24mp apsc sensor has a higher pixel density than the current full frame sensors and is more demanding in terms of resolving power. FE lenses won't perform at their full potential.

Also, there are advantages to using apsc lenses other than cost - for example, E lenses tend to be a bit smaller and have OSS.

There's no point making a significant investment in apsc lenses if the A6000 is just a stop-gap, but I'd probably be inclined to have a couple of E lenses which are optimized for use on that camera.

Will FE lenses fully support the hybrid PDAF on the A6000 and allow the fast AF that is one of the A6000's main selling points?

There is no reason to believe that FE lenses will not get the hybrid AF treatment. IIRC, an early video about a6000's AF involved FE 55.

Get

Get Hybrid AF treatment? The A7 has hybrid-AF, I was under impression all FE lenses are hybrid-AF compliant out of the box?

Yep. It was specifically to address any assumption that things changed with a6000, bit if the lens can support one hybrid AF, it should be able to support the other (hence designed for it already).

In fact, I would think that pretty much all E-mount lenses might be hybrid ready from the beginning (the AF motor likely takes the same design approach).

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tn1krr
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, 4 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

If you can afford to buy FE lenses for your A6000 and you definitely intend to go FF in future then it makes sense.

Just bear in mind that the 24mp apsc sensor has a higher pixel density than the current full frame sensors and is more demanding in terms of resolving power. FE lenses won't perform at their full potential.

Also, there are advantages to using apsc lenses other than cost - for example, E lenses tend to be a bit smaller and have OSS.

There's no point making a significant investment in apsc lenses if the A6000 is just a stop-gap, but I'd probably be inclined to have a couple of E lenses which are optimized for use on that camera.

Will FE lenses fully support the hybrid PDAF on the A6000 and allow the fast AF that is one of the A6000's main selling points?

There is no reason to believe that FE lenses will not get the hybrid AF treatment. IIRC, an early video about a6000's AF involved FE 55.

Get

Get Hybrid AF treatment? The A7 has hybrid-AF, I was under impression all FE lenses are hybrid-AF compliant out of the box?

Yep. It was specifically to address any assumption that things changed with a6000, bit if the lens can support one hybrid AF, it should be able to support the other (hence designed for it already).

In fact, I would think that pretty much all E-mount lenses might be hybrid ready from the beginning (the AF motor likely takes the same design approach).

I was thinking more of the FW side. Several older APS-C lenses had to be upgraded to support hybrid-PDAF when Nex-6 and 5R(?) were released; I believe Zeiss Touits are soon getting their hybrid PDAF FW too. Nothing like that has been mentioned with A6000, I'd quess it is safe to assume no massive lens FW upgrades are needed.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to tn1krr, 4 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

If you can afford to buy FE lenses for your A6000 and you definitely intend to go FF in future then it makes sense.

Just bear in mind that the 24mp apsc sensor has a higher pixel density than the current full frame sensors and is more demanding in terms of resolving power. FE lenses won't perform at their full potential.

Also, there are advantages to using apsc lenses other than cost - for example, E lenses tend to be a bit smaller and have OSS.

There's no point making a significant investment in apsc lenses if the A6000 is just a stop-gap, but I'd probably be inclined to have a couple of E lenses which are optimized for use on that camera.

Will FE lenses fully support the hybrid PDAF on the A6000 and allow the fast AF that is one of the A6000's main selling points?

There is no reason to believe that FE lenses will not get the hybrid AF treatment. IIRC, an early video about a6000's AF involved FE 55.

Get

Get Hybrid AF treatment? The A7 has hybrid-AF, I was under impression all FE lenses are hybrid-AF compliant out of the box?

Yep. It was specifically to address any assumption that things changed with a6000, bit if the lens can support one hybrid AF, it should be able to support the other (hence designed for it already).

In fact, I would think that pretty much all E-mount lenses might be hybrid ready from the beginning (the AF motor likely takes the same design approach).

I was thinking more of the FW side. Several older APS-C lenses had to be upgraded to support hybrid-PDAF when Nex-6 and 5R(?) were released; I believe Zeiss Touits are soon getting their hybrid PDAF FW too. Nothing like that has been mentioned with A6000, I'd quess it is safe to assume no massive lens FW upgrades are needed.

Firmware may specifically tweak some commands to maximize performance (sort of like the firmware update coming for a7 to work with Focus Hold button on the FE 70-200G). But the lens already has to have the hardware for it. So, any lens previously said to work with hybrid AF should be able to work with any future hybrid AF system (requiring only firmware updates at best).

FE lenses being new, will have the hardware as all E lenses might as well (IIRC, even E 18-55 supported it).

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wb2trf
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Probably should stick with APS-C emount
In reply to El3bs, 4 months ago

I wouldn't buy FE lenses now.  They have only disadvantages for the A6000 over native e mount: they are larger, don't have OIS and are more costly.  They are not meaningfully sharper than available emount glass.  You can always sell your emount lenses on ebay or CL, if you want to do so later.  What I might do, possibly, is carefully buy used lenses on ebay or CL so that you minimize your costs now and later, or if so convinced that FF was in my future, buy A7 now.  It's shipping.  A6000 is not yet.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Probably should stick with APS-C emount
In reply to wb2trf, 4 months ago

I wouldn't buy FE lenses now.  They have only disadvantages for the A6000 over native e mount: they are larger, don't have OIS and are more costly.  They are not meaningfully sharper than available emount glass.  You can always sell your emount lenses on ebay or CL, if you want to do so later.  What I might do, possibly, is carefully buy used lenses on ebay or CL so that you minimize your costs now and later, or if so convinced that FF was in my future, buy A7 now.  It's shipping.  A6000 is not yet.

FE35 is smaller than E35 (by virtue of being f/2.8) and FE55 is virtually identical to E24 in size. The E50 isn't quite a small lens either.

As for OSS, it is largely because these two primes are Zeiss and place IQ above all else. It is also you will find Canon using IS on cheaper lenses but not on L primes except at very long FL.

One could go E lenses even with plans to upgrade to FF at some point but now you will have to also replace each of those lenses (E24 with FE35, E35 with FE55, E50 with FE85 and so on). Or, you could invest in FF lenses now and simply pick up a FF body.

I bought DT 35/1.8 (A-mount) and that will remain my last APSc prime on A-mount. I have since replaced it with E35 as I plan on staying APSc with E-mount. But on A-mount, none of my primes are crop sensor. They are all FF. When shopping for a macro lens, I skipped over Tamron 60/2 and picked up Sigma 70/2.8 because the former is APSc lens. Such planning can help make moving to FF easier. I keep two APSc zooms (16-50/2.8 and 18-250 OS) but only because FF zooms go from 24mm.

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SimonOL
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, 4 months ago

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

If you can afford to buy FE lenses for your A6000 and you definitely intend to go FF in future then it makes sense.

Just bear in mind that the 24mp apsc sensor has a higher pixel density than the current full frame sensors and is more demanding in terms of resolving power. FE lenses won't perform at their full potential.

Also, there are advantages to using apsc lenses other than cost - for example, E lenses tend to be a bit smaller and have OSS.

There's no point making a significant investment in apsc lenses if the A6000 is just a stop-gap, but I'd probably be inclined to have a couple of E lenses which are optimized for use on that camera.

Will FE lenses fully support the hybrid PDAF on the A6000 and allow the fast AF that is one of the A6000's main selling points?

There is no reason to believe that FE lenses will not get the hybrid AF treatment. IIRC, an early video about a6000's AF involved FE 55.

As for resolution challenges, use of FF lens on crop sensor is common and has its benefits (better corner to corner performance since the cream of the image circle is cropped). If one happens to own a Canon, Nikon or Sony A-mount APSc body, except for likes if Sony DT 35/1.8, Sony DT 50/1.8 and Nikon DX 35/1.8, chances are any prime (and longer zooms) being used on 16-24MP APSc bodies (compares to 36-54MP FF) are FF lenses.

If one has a Sony a77 and wants a sports telezoom or wildlife telezoom, the choice is usually a 70-200/G, 70-300G or 70-400G, all FF lenses. In fact people like them better on APSc bodies due to crop factor (the 70-400 works like a 105-600 on FF).

Good points!

I use legacy lenses a lot of the time on my NEX and they're all full frame. I was thinking specifically of the FE 24-70 at the time I wrote my post - mainly because that lens didn't get a great score on the NEX-7 in a recent test which lead me to think that maybe it isn't wise to assume that a good lens on a FF camera necessarily makes a good lens on apsc, despite the obvious advantages of a crop sensor (cropped corner/edges). Maybe the test results are misleading.

The existing FE primes are very good by all accounts so should pose no issues whatsoever.

Good to clear up the hybrid pdaf 'issue'!

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Scott Nicol
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Re: Sony E-lenses or FE-lenses on Sony a6000
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, 4 months ago

I've seen a copy of the a6000 brochure and specifically checked the small print re hybrid af support (on the back page) - the list included the following;

FE

z24-70 f4, z35 f2.8, z55 f1.8, the 28-70 f3.5-5.6, 70-200 f4

E

10-18 f4, z16-70f4, 18-105 f4. 20 f2.8, z24 f1.8, 30 f3.5, 35 f1.8, 50 f1.8

there were others as well like the kit lenses, some of the superzooms etc but those were the ones I was interested in. Its worth noting this looked like a final brochure but there was no version number and it had the standard disclaimer of a firmware update might be required and details correct at time of printing but subject to change.

FWIW, apart from the obvious AF and Bionz X bumf (really no more detail than what we've gleaned from previews), the brochure also pushed the customisable controls / new optics in the viewfinder and the wifi apps side of things (I noticed a star trails app and a 'smooth reflection' app marked as coming soon). Oh and theres a new screen protector size marked PCK LM17 (i dont thinks thats available yet or fits any other NEX  model?). The lens eco system was listed but nothing thats not been announced (goes as far as 70-200 f4 G OSS). Accesories are the ususal suspects (flashes, adaptors, battereis,  brown / black half case etc) and doesn't show the new bluetooth mike I've seen on the web somewhere.

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