Is A7R better for legacy manual focus lenses than A7?

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Questions thread
ZoranC Veteran Member • Posts: 5,569
Re: Is A7R better for legacy manual focus lenses than A7?

Miki Nemeth wrote:

A number of postings reports some/significant success in using oldish/legacy lenses on A7 and A7R

On the other hand, several members reported not so great achievements.

"I was excited by the concept of FF E-mount at first because of the thought of using legacy RF lenses with the small NEX bodies at full potential, making a compact and affordable system (FF NEX-7 body with Contax G28, G45 & G90 - cool!), but tests of the wider RF lenses suggest performance wider than 35mm in most cases isn't so good with the current generation of sensors so really we need to look at using the A7 with the FE lenses if we want to get full benefit from it"

"I bought the A7 in the main intention to use my fine, cherry picked, and terrific legacy lenses on it "to their full potential", or so I thought. Well, I though wrong ! Sure, they do get their original field of view back, but their IQ is pretty much destroyed in the process. When I first started testing the A7 I was pretty (no, very) underwhelmed by the output. I thought 'Naah, that can't be it", and yet I was using my best, most carefully chosen SLR lenses. Then, out of curiosity for AF speed, I slapped the SEL35 (which is a good, no nonsense lens on NEX but isn't spectacular either) on it and Shabang ! All the sudden the crazy resolution, clarity and sharpness I had hoped to see from the A7 jumped at me. So here is the very paradoxal situation. This sensor is waayyyyy better with native lenses. Except there are almost none ! And the ones that exist are either very limited in speed, or scandalously expensive, or both ! NOT a good situation, if you ask me. I'm *not* saying no older SLR lens can survive on the A7. Some can. My modest Minolta 50/1.4 MD is absolutely brilliant on it (but still not as good as the lowly SEL35 though, food for thought...). My beloved PEN38 does he job, very well, too. It does lose a smidge of IQ vs. the N7, but not that much. But the one that truly suffers is my super cautiously chosen between several units OM50/1.8. This lens is *bleedingly* sharp, with top ideal contrast, on N7, on A7 it becomes instantly somewhat hazy, and downright soft."

"The lens that once was considered excellent is quite something else than that when put in front of high-res FF sensor. The coatings, computer aided design/manufacturing etc. have moved forward since than legendary 60s lens was made.. The legacy lenses that were great when adapted to APS-C reveal their weaknesses (usually bad corners...) with the FF Sensor. That said, slap a modern high end DSLR lens to A7R and the native lenses only have compactness advantage. The above mentioned Zeiss Zf.2 Makro Planar 50/2, Canon 100/2.8L IS Macro and Sony Zeiss 85/1.4 are spectacular on my A7R."

"This is really quite interesting to me owning Nex6 and 25 legacy lenses. Did you use the sel35 in crop mode? or does it not vignet so much FF ? I see we have to rebuild recommandations for legacy lenses we have snapped from ebay the last year. Price will rise for some and fall for others. Exciting !"

"I have the "made in Japan" later 4,000,000+ #SN Oly 50/1.80 - it's razor sharp on APS-C and I can't believe that it could suddenly get softer with the A7 sensor! Even poor lenses are known to get a boost from a better sensor, according to a Zeiss published paper I saw quoted elsewhere on this forum."

"The Contax g 28 does not do well on the A7r."

"I'm floored by how stunningly sharp the FE 35mm is! From the MTF charts, the 55mm should be even better! I'll probably stick with native lenses from now on - there's that much of a difference in IQ at 100%. (Though I'll still use the CZ Jena 20mm for wide shots.)"

My question is then, which camera A7R or A7 is better when used with legacy lenses?

Thank You, Miki

Before jumping to assumptions based on somebody's post you should make sure they know what they are talking about. I don't think that is 100% sure here. Please see my post in thread you are referencing for reason why.

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