Sony lens mount nomenclature.

Started Mar 1, 2018 | Discussions
MikeRizzo Regular Member • Posts: 224
Sony lens mount nomenclature.

I've never owned a sony, but I'm considering one.  So I see the new A7lll has an E mount, but the latest GM lenses are FE, not usable on the new cam then?  Is one mount crop, the other FF?  Thanks for help on this.

Trollmannx Senior Member • Posts: 5,605
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

E-mount is the name of the mount. For all Sony mirrorless cameras.

FE-lenses cover full frame (and APS-C too).

E-lenses are APS-C only.

And then there is some in between - so always double check wether the lens is APS-C only or for full frame before finally getting one...

Stflbn Veteran Member • Posts: 3,677
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.
1

They're the same mount...  the difference is what sensor they're designed to cover.

E is APS-C

FE is Full Frame

GM is highest quality of FE full frame.

FE can be used on APS-C

E can be used on Full Frame but camera will automatically go into APS-C mode unless you specifically tell it not to.

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SilvanBromide Senior Member • Posts: 3,920
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

Stflbn wrote:

They're the same mount... the difference is what sensor they're designed to cover.

E is APS-C

FE is Full Frame

GM is highest quality of FE full frame.

FE can be used on APS-C

E can be used on Full Frame but camera will automatically go into APS-C mode unless you specifically tell it not to.

Yes (in which case most "E-only" lenses will then have heavy vignetting and/or distortion - outside the APS-C crop area - on the FF sensor).

It's also worth noting that some of the third party manufacturers only state E-Mount despite the fact that their lenses cover full frame - i.e. they don't use the FE designation that Sony does, even though their lenses are effectively FE. For example the Zeiss Batis line.

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OP MikeRizzo Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

Ah, thanks everyone.

mreynolds767
mreynolds767 Senior Member • Posts: 3,090
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

It can be confusing ; Sony is at least partially to blame but so are some lens manufactures.

For example plenty of Samyang/Rokinon lens were and I believe still are marked as E mount lens ; even though they are really full frame FE mount lens.

So FE always means full frame Sony E mount and E mount sometimes means that and sometimes means ASPC E mount.

For the first few years of Sony FE Mount this was a big issue at many retailers and even some of the rental places websites ; I think it is less of a big deal now that the cameras are quite popular and have been out for years.

Sony also has an A mount so avoid those ; if you avoid A mount any Sony lens for full frame will work with your A7 / A7ii / A7iii

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Steve W Veteran Member • Posts: 4,691
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.
2

The mount is an E-mount. It has no other name. The only other mount Sony has is the A-mount.

It takes two types of lenses. E which are APS-C and FE which are Full Frame.

This is identical to Nikon.

The mount is a F mount

Then you have DX (APS-C) and FX (Full Frame).

Steve W

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SilvanBromide Senior Member • Posts: 3,920
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

Steve W wrote:

The mount is an E-mount. It has no other name. The only other mount Sony has is the A-mount.

It takes two types of lenses. E which are APS-C and FE which are Full Frame.

This is identical to Nikon.

The mount is a F mount

Then you have DX (APS-C) and FX (Full Frame).

If it was identical to Nikon F Mount, then the full frame lenses would be EX, surely? And the APS-C lenses would be called something else that mystifyingly ended in X but without an E in it.

In other words, Sony's naming is confusing, but so is Nikons (but they manage to be confusing in slightly different ways).  ; )

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Hosko Contributing Member • Posts: 812
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

SilvanBromide wrote:

Steve W wrote:

The mount is an E-mount. It has no other name. The only other mount Sony has is the A-mount.

It takes two types of lenses. E which are APS-C and FE which are Full Frame.

This is identical to Nikon.

The mount is a F mount

Then you have DX (APS-C) and FX (Full Frame).

If it was identical to Nikon F Mount, then the full frame lenses would be EX, surely? And the APS-C lenses would be called something else that mystifyingly ended in X but without an E in it.

In other words, Sony's naming is confusing, but so is Nikons (but they manage to be confusing in slightly different ways). ; )

Nikon's naming is confusing, what does X mean. The letter "F" meaning full frame makes more sense. The issue for Sony is they couldn't call their full frame e-mount lenses EF because that is a canon term. So they moved the "F" to the front for full frame E mount to make FE. Once its explained to you it makes sense. DX makes no sense.

OP MikeRizzo Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

You guys covered it for me.  Odd though that a lens manufacturer would not want to benefit from the FE name if it did in fact cover FF.

The Ryantist Senior Member • Posts: 1,091
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

Stflbn wrote:

They're the same mount... the difference is what sensor they're designed to cover.

E is APS-C

FE is Full Frame

GM is highest quality of FE full frame.

FE can be used on APS-C

E can be used on Full Frame but camera will automatically go into APS-C mode unless you specifically tell it not to.

I think I've seen somewhere that GM is designed for best bokeh, and ZA are designed for highest contrast.

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Bruce Oudekerk
Bruce Oudekerk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,617
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

MikeRizzo wrote:

You guys covered it for me. Odd though that a lens manufacturer would not want to benefit from the FE name if it did in fact cover FF.

Mike

These naming conventions are one of my few quibbles with Sony and it bugs me all out of proportion to the ill.

All of these Sony ILC mirrorless cameras have the same E-mount. And naturally all E-mount lenses fit the E-mount. And all E-lenses are E-mount lenses and fit the E-mount. But while E-lenses fit all E-mount cameras, the E-lenses only cover the APS-C portion of the sensor. I forget of its important to make it a capital 'e' or not. Maybe no one knows.  Certainly Sony doesn't.  On the other hand, FE lenses all have the E-mount and cover the full frame sensor and thus work well with both APS_C and Full Frame E-mount cameras. Simple...except third party lens makers are even more confused that I am.  Even some retailers have no idea what product is what. The E-mount 50mm f1.8  comes in both a E-lens version and FE lens version . And of course when the FE version first came out most sellers screwed up differentiating the two and you had to rely on the manufacturer's code.  Sort of like a secret handshake.

And all ILC Sony cameras are alpha cameras designated with that squiggly little italic looking 'a' for the Greek character 'alpha '. But of course what was originally the alpha mount became the a-mount and that is the mount inherited from Minolta.  That mount and those lenses are still used with Sony's dSLRs and SLT cameras. But don't confuse the a-mount (A-mount) lenses with the alpha lenses because all Sony lenses are alpha lenses to go on their alpha (a) cameras. It would be really confusing if i could actually type the alpha 'a' and juxtapose that with the regular 'a' when discussing various aspects of the Sony family of gizmos.

Simple ...right:)

<SIGH>

...I know they do this on purpose...

Bruce

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Steve W Veteran Member • Posts: 4,691
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

This is not difficult or really confusing. We just want to make it tat way. This is not like trying to figure out which one of George Foreman's five sons called "George" we are talking about.

Its simply an E-mount with either a E size  for FE size image circle. If you cant get on board with that how do you concur the Sony menu system? :). For me I spend more time on understanding that then thinking about the mount and lens family names.

Steve

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OP MikeRizzo Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

Thanks Bruce.  I've got it now, but still, just saw a new Tamron lens described as 'FE Mount'.  Seems it should be 'FE lens' for 'E Mount'.   But what do I know, I shoot Olympus!  Mike

OP MikeRizzo Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

Steve.  Just trying to sort it out.  What you say is true, but, the term 'E Mount' and 'FE Mount' are used frequently.  They're not apparently different mounts, but different lenses.  Calling it a E Lens, or FE lens for an E Mount makes more sense to me.  Have you seen mention of the new Tamron, they're calling it a FE Mount.  The mount is a physical part on the body, doesn't change with lens choice, why call it something different depending on the lens.  I understand it now, but it's still weird!  And some people think I'm weird!  Mike

earlyadapter Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

I think the issue just isn't with Sony.

Other manufacturers of Sony E-Mount lenses (FE or E) have different ways of describing their lenses, and sales channels like B&H and Wex (in UK) also have their ways of headlining these lenses. When these two different groups appear on the same page, it's really difficult to pick out, immediately, which is which.

Here's an example:

Sony FE 50mm f1.4 ZA Planar T* Lens
Zeiss 35mm f2 Loxia Lens - Sony E-Mount Fit
Sigma 30mm f2.8 DN Lens - Sony Fit - Black

Some of this nomenclature is a hold-out from the days when there were NO FE lenses, and also manufacturers want to put their names first, with the mount name last.

This format inconsistency leads to confusion.

I don't think it's any better for other camera suppliers: it takes a while to come to terms with the camera manufacturer's range of lenses.

My advice: if it's ever unclear, dig deeper.

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Bruce Oudekerk
Bruce Oudekerk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,617
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

MikeRizzo wrote:

Steve. Just trying to sort it out. What you say is true, but, the term 'E Mount' and 'FE Mount' are used frequently. They're not apparently different mounts, but different lenses. Calling it a E Lens, or FE lens for an E Mount makes more sense to me. Have you seen mention of the new Tamron, they're calling it a FE Mount. The mount is a physical part on the body, doesn't change with lens choice, why call it something different depending on the lens. I understand it now, but it's still weird! And some people think I'm weird! Mike

What I wrote above is true (if I didn't make any typing errors) but it's also tongue and cheek. I wrote it as convoluted as possible because the the issue is completely and absolutely unnecessarily convoluted. And this issue still irks me, years after the fact.

Many, many people might refer to the FE mount but you are correct, there is no such thing . It's all E mount or e mount or e-mount or maybe its E-mount, although there might be different sized sensors involved.

While FE and E lenses can be used on all E-mount cameras interchangeably, the FE lenses cover a full 35mm frame and the the E lenses cover only an APS-C area.

This could have all been completely avoided by having a different identifier for the 'E lenses' even if they did this retroactively when the full frame lenses were introduced... maybe something like CE for Crop E mount. Then we could have CE and FE lenses associated with the E mount itself.

This whole thing only makes sense to the 'enlightened' of which you are now one. And when we are enlightened, we can call it whatever we want and our brethren will likely understand because we are all in on the joke.

Bruce

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OP MikeRizzo Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: Sony lens mount nomenclature.

Thanks Bruce, I feel proud to be of the enlightened crowd, and relieved I can buy some gear with full understanding!  Jez, I hope no one looks down on me because I actually shoot with an Olympus though.  Mike

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