A Beginner’s Guide to Manual Lenses on the 5N

Started Jan 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
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cactusgeorge Regular Member • Posts: 124
A Beginner’s Guide to Manual Lenses on the 5N

Many folks are beginning to explore manual legacy lenses. This post is designed to provide a no-frills, and relatively inexpensive introduction to these lenses. Therefore, I have made this introduction simplistic and specific— starting with one lens and one adapter.

1. The lens: You might want to start with a Canon FD 24mm F2.8 lens. On the NEX, this focal length is equivalent to a 36mm lens on a 35mm camera. This is the same focal length of the expensive Zeiss lens many folks is talking about. Canon FDs are good lenses and there are plenty available on E-bay and larger camera shops which carry used lenses. Finding one in good condition should not set you back more than $75 or so.

2. Adapter: Many lens adapters for a variety of mounts are available for the NEX 5N. The adapters range from inexpensive, no-name brands adapters to some which are quite expensive. Try the Fotodiox Canon FD Adapter. These are available from Amazon for about $23. Whatever you do, don’t pay the outrageous suggested list price of $129.95.

3. Setting up the camera. You will need to make a few changes in your settings.
PEAKING COLOR> YELLOW (try other colors as well)
RELEASE W/O LENS > ENABLE (you absolutely MUST do this!)

4. Focusing the lens is accomplished manually by “peaking color”. As you turn the lens focusing ring you should see portions of image highlighted by the peaking color as the subject comes into focus. (yellow highlights, if you chose that as your peaking color).

5. Manual Assist (MF ASSIST) allows you to magnify the image to make focusing much easier. Since the NEX cannot determine the kind of lens you are using, you must trigger this function manually. The bottom of the NEX’s three soft keys should read “MF”. Pressing it once magnifies the image. Pressing twice magnifies the image even more. The top soft key returns the image to the original. Note: You can also enlarge the image by touching the LCD panel.

6. Shoot Mode: Try Aperture Mode before you start experimenting with other options.

7. Aperture (F-stop) control. Obviously proper use of lens aperture is a whole different subject. Using Auto ISO may help you as you are getting used to lens. It gives you one less thing to worry about. As you stop-down the lens aperture, the camera adjusts the ISO and shutter speed to match the selected aperture and displays the effect on the LCD monitor.

8. Good luck!

(beats me why the photos are dated Dec 31, 1969 16:00:00)

Some random samples:

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