If I prefer to manually focus, should I still get the FE 55?

Started Nov 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
areichow Senior Member • Posts: 1,585
Re: If I prefer to manually focus, should I still get the FE 55?

turnstyle wrote:

areichow wrote:

If you prefer manual focus, why not go for one of the many great cheaper options? A bunch of fast 45-50mm Zeiss MF lenses you can adapt that cost a lot less.


I suppose I'm somewhat mislead by the term "legacy glass" -- as my thinking has been most people are mounting lenses they *already have*.

Is it common for people to purchase manual focus lenses, specifically for use on NEX (eg, not because you already have the lens, or another system)?

It is pretty common, at least for the enthusiast types who frequent the NEX and m43 forums. The NEX is my first system camera, but the only other E-mount lens I have is the SEL16F28. I've bought a handful of older manual lenses and I'm really enjoying it. I'm *really* enjoying the Canon FD SSC 50mm f/1.4 I recently got from KEH for $33. The price is shocking for what I got - the glass is perfect, but it was given a lower grade because a serial number is engraved onto the barrel.

KEH has Zeiss lenses for the Contax G rangefinder and Contax/Yashica mounts. The G 45mm f/2 Zeiss Planar is ~ $450 and the C/Y Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.7 can be had for $200. The C/Y is a DSLR lens and will be a bit bigger with an adapter, but not all that much longer than the NEX 18-55mm kit lens, I suspect. I haven't seen any reviews of it with the A7 and the new FE 55mm might be an even better lens. But it is supposed to be a very nice lens and it'll have a the nice manual focus and manual aperture feel that the FE 55mm doesn't.

Depending on what you're looking for, I'd recommend KEH.com for buying these lenses second hand. I've had much better luck with the quality of lenses from KEH than from eBay. Prices are generally good. Other companies sell used lenses as well, but I've not bought any legacy lenses from any sources other than KEH and eBay sellers so far. Personally, buying a legacy lens that cost more than $100 off of eBay makes me kind of nervous, though there are some sellers with near-perfect approval and a good return policy.

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