Is A7R better for legacy manual focus lenses than A7?

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Questions thread
UnderDriven Senior Member • Posts: 1,089
Re: Is A7R better for legacy manual focus lenses than A7?

In the end, there will be a lot of disappointed people who imagine their old MF SLR lenses can be revived by the A7/A7R. I love the solidity and smooth focusing of my old MF lenses (and the long focus throws), but most of them really don't do very well on modern digital cameras. They tend to be soft and low contrast wide open, or have poor edge performance compared to more modern designs (probably made much worse when using a FF sensor). Add to that the lack of aperture control, and many people will gladly pay for new FE lenses after a few months of experimentation with legacy MF lenses...

In reality, only the best MF lenses are worth using on a modern FF DSLR, and they are still expensive (Contax, Leica, Zeiss, and possibly Voigtlander). Macro lenses may be the exception--they were designed to be very sharp, have minimal distortion, and have a flat field. This is where you can find bargain lenses which will still perform well on a FF DSLR. The problem is that macro lenses are usually 50mm and up. In the end, I predict that most people will buy whatever Zeiss wideangle zoom Sony produces, and forget about trying to use legacy MF lenses for anything below 35mm...

If you are really interested in using legacy MF lenses, then the A7R is better--primarily because you can crop to APS-C and still get 16MP. Or do a 1.2 crop and still get 24MP--this will probably eliminate the worst of the edge degradation on most lenses (other than wideangles). I would buy an A7R right now if it was cheaper--I'll have to wait for a year until the price comes down a bit...

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