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

Started Jan 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
DWMurf Senior Member • Posts: 1,193
Re: Native Sony flashes work exceptionally well with manual-focus (no-electronics) lenses on A7

djp58 wrote:

DWMurf wrote:

djp58 wrote:

DWMurf wrote:

Miki Nemeth wrote:

Hi David,

I went even further. Another friend photographer here on the forum wrote me that the A7 AUTO (exposure) mode works surprisingly well. I can confirm that AUTO mode works very well with manual-focus lenses along with native Sony flashes like the F20M, too. I never considered AUTO mode on any camera as a serious option. But, this weekend I gave my A7 to a friend, who had never heard of aperture, shutter speed, ISO before. I showed him how to use the manual focus ring on the Olympus OM 55mm/f1.2 lens, I set the aperture to 5.6 on the lens, the camera mode dial to AUTO, ISO to Auto ISO with the F20M flash on. With these settings he took a number of excellent shots outdoor and indoor alike. He told me that it was really fun how focus peaking helped him to make sharp images.

The lesson learned: even a total beginner can take excellent pictures with old/legacy manual focus lenses with Sony cameras.


Hi Miki,

That is an amazing story to tell here and valuable experience we can all learn from. These are amazing discoveries I haven't heard discussed here at all.

Are we the only ones reading this? I'm surprised no one else is responding here.

I've discovered what I know about this purely by accident, by forgetting to take my camera out Auto mode when mounting a manual lens and realizing I was getting fine photos anyway.

I also like using the multiple shot overlay modes in low light like Hand Held Twilight and Anti-Motion Blur. And then there is HDR as well.

I sometimes use Clear Image Zoom which adds some zoom to my fixed focal length lenses.

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Interesting. I've never heard of anyone complaining about not being able to use the Auto or Scene functions with a manual lens. I've been shooting E-Mount for 3 years, mostly with legacy lenses, and have used Auto and Scene modes frequently (though not exclusively). Just have to remember (and remind others who use your camera), that it is Auto EXCEPT you still have to manually set aperture on lens and manually focus;-)


Maybe for the ones in the know, like yourself, this is old hat and nothing worth discussing, but it seems that some newcomers are struggling with their legacy lenses not realizing that they haven't lost all the automation in their modern Sony cameras.

I've been using a NEX for less than a year and have been a reader here since then, but I learned this by accident while using my new camera with legacy lenses.

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Sorry if I implied that this thread was not worth discussing - on the contrary, I find it quite interesting (I've even commented a number of times!)

This is exactly the kind of thread that really helps users (old and new) better understand the capabilities these beautiful E-mount cameras have. I will probably never fully understand all of the capabilities of my cameras, but will certainly try my best to figure things out, mostly with the help from lots of folks on this forum!

The thing I found interesting was that in my nearly 3 years "lurking" on this forum, I had really never seen any thread on using the Auto or Scene functions with MF lenses. I think most folks, like me, just tried them and they worked, so not a lot of questions - and if there was a post, I probably skipped over it

I purchased my first NEX (NEX3) mainly to use some of my older legacy lenses (had 3 wonderful Contax G lenses I had just about given up on ever using on digital!). Since then, I've caught the legacy bug and now have way more legacy lenses than my wife thinks is healthy;-).

I especially love the Olympus OM lenses I've picked up, along with the Contax G's I already had (the CG45f2 is probably the sharpest, nicest lens I've ever shot!). My new FE35 and A7R might be changing my mind though;-()

Keep asking the questions and making the comments - its the best way to learn and to assist others in learning as well. Oh, and get out and shoot - that's the best part!


Thank you for your kind response and my apologies if I've misunderstood your message.

I've been thinking about getting an A7 or A7R so that my legacy wide angle lenses, my OM's in particular, will be wide angle once more. I'd enjoy learning from your own experience with this should you have time to share that here.

This thread in particular has made me realize that much about using legacy lenses on Sony cameras is unknown to new users, who like me have to discover that for themselves unless they ask questions and knowledgeable people like yourself respond. There seems to be a lot more to know about than just the Auto and Scene modes as indicated by the questions asked here.

Perhaps there is some "how to" information to steer people to, that I don't know about. I could benefit from it myself.

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