Have RF lenses had their day ?

Started Jan 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 30,442
and in the new reality ...

parallaxproblem wrote:

The A7/r bodies have a very different design philosophy from the earlier NEX series: NEX 'embraced' legacy lenses whereas the A7/r bodies are basically built to sell the expensive Sony FE lenses

Even the LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 don't provide particularly satisfactory connectivity to Sony's own A-mount glass, being effectively lazy updates of the LA-EA1 & LA-EA2 (both of which I own) which carry on unfixed all the annoying bugs of the earlier adaptors and provide neither PDAF compatibility with the LA-EA3, nor the newer, more advanced 19-point AF system on the LA-EA4

If Sony wanted you to use legacy glass on the A7 they would have released their full AF protocols to the third party adaptor builders: they haven't which is why the DEO tech Contax G adaptor still has shaky AF performance and the various EOS adaptors are seemingly rather slow in terms of AF. Sony would also have released an ultra-wide lens option in the first batch of lens releases since there are already plenty of good 35mm and 50mm RF lenses around, but they didn't...

Sony priced the A7 and A7r low with the expectation of recovering the margin on the lenses (the NEX series bodies were always comparatively more expensive). Of course Sony won't make it so easy for us to use third party RF lenses!

Maybe the A7/r replacements will contain sensors which perform better with legacy glass (after the development costs have been recovered somewhat by the first models and early lens sales), in the same way the NEX-5n offered big improvements in this respect over the NEX-5?

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DUMP the HUMP! Campaign for *REAL* NEX replacement bodies

Well put, Sony are caught in a cleft stick, they don't have a wide range of FE lenses to offer, and they are bound to be quite expensive. Only really suitable for those well heeled enough and willing to start a completely new lens collection. Obviously by normal definition those fairly new to setting up a camera system.

Those who have been at it for years already have some (or more) good glass and have various degrees of willingness to start all over again. Those that want most of the benefits of good glass on a lens $ budget have the opportunity to get there on a legacy lens assignment. Leica Zeiss tragics of course want to use these excellent lenses forever on whatever camera they choose, preferrably a Leica, but are always interested in something more affordable.

So Sony don't want to make it too easy to use non-FE lenses but they need good volume of A7 type sales to create a market for their FE lenses, to just make it "possible". Nor do they really want any other lens that can be possibly be mounted to better what a FE lens might deliver.

I think that access to the A7 type and it's successor bodies will never be perfect, just do-able, and the friendliness to third market lenses will get less as the market penetration of FE suitable type camera bodies increases (not get more friendly). Access to lenses other than FE on the present A7 type is probably about as good as it gets. Sony want users to buy more FE lenses and plenty of them and users had better get used to the price for quality lenses which is more likely to go up than down. Of course not that far away are cheaper built kit lensed "FE" cameras both in aps-c and FF sensor build. Most new lenses, kit or otherwise, are likely to be FF sensor capable and of course will retrofit to the NEX bodies.

Happy days in the new reality.

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Tom Caldwell

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