How to shoot with manual lenses on the A7/r?

Started Jan 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
djp58 Regular Member • Posts: 351
Re: Aperture value doesn't change with manual lens attached

miro3 wrote:

djp58 wrote:

miro3 wrote:

SQLGuy wrote:

miro3 wrote:

kuuan wrote:

Miki Nemeth wrote:

Aperture priority (A) exposure mode is not applicable with a MF lens, since aperture cannot be set with the dials on the A7. M and S modes are very usable, on the other hand, along with manual or automatic ISO.

great summary Miki!

just...A mode works very well, also with manual ISO or auto ISO, only difference is that aperture is set on the lens, not on the camera

So, you have to set the aperture on the lens, and then also set the same aperture on the camera?

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photos mostly taken with manual lenses on Ricoh GXR M, Sony NEX5N, Pentax K-x and *istDs:

No. Only on the lens. You can't set it on the camera for manual lenses.

But in A mode, the top dial on the back (that sets the aperture) still rotates and changes the value of the aperture.

Isn't that value that the camera takes into account to compute the exposure?

actually, when you have a manual lens attached and camera set to A-mode, neither of the dials do anything. You should see a flashing F-- in the viewfinder/LCD. Exposure should be computed based on the actual aperture setting on your lens. If you are using a legacy lens with a smart adapter (only available for Canon EF and Contax G, I think), then you will be able to set aperture on the camera and this can have some impact on exposure , at least with the Contax G smart adapter, but that is an entirely different thread discussion.

Yes, I am using Contax G lenses with the smart adapter v. II.

So, do you know how to use those lenses and adapter in A mode?


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A7 with kit lens and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

It is a bit of a challenge to use this adapter in A-mode, but it can be done.  You will need to set your exposure with the lens aperture wide open since the camera meter assumes the lens is wide open when taking the reading and will automatically stop down when you take the shot.  Once exposure is set on the camera, you will need to stop the lens down to the correct aperture and then reduce exposure compensation by the same number of stops you changed the lens (i.e. If shooting the 90 f2.8 at f8, you would set EV compensation to -3 because you have reduced the actual amount of light reaching the meter by 3 stops and the camera still thinks it is metering with the aperture wide open.

I find it easier to use this adapter in M-mode, with live-view switched off.  Leave the lens aperture wide open and set aperture, shutter speed, and ISO on the camera to give you a correct exposure.  After you set exposure on camera, adjust the aperture on the lens to the same as the setting on the camera (camera will show you are under exposing by number of stops you adjusted the aperture on the lens), and take the shot.

Hope this helps.


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Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha a7R Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony FE 35mm F2.8 +13 more
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