There are many good reasons to adapt manual lenses to the Sony A7 series cameras. To do so you need an adapter and this article will help you to choose the right one.
We are three guys from Germany who have adapted manual lenses for many years now. By using several dozen adapters over the years we have learned the hard way, that not all adapters are created equal. We hope that the money we spent on bad adapters will help you to avoid annoying miss-buys we experienced.
In the following two parts we tell you why you need an adapter in the first place, and which issues can arise with adapters. If all you need is the right adapter for your lens you can simply jump to Adapter Manufacturers].
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I do own a macro lens (Sigma 150mm 2.8) that I use for most of my product shots on this blog, but I rarely take it out for shooting as it is quite bulky and heavy. Nevertheless I like to take a close up shot from time to time so I decided to try out the Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes, to turn my Loxia 85mm 2.4 into a macro lens.
Since a few people asked this is a short how-to on how I tune my adapters. As you will notice I am far from a perfectionist but so far my method has worked well for me and I think it could solve issues for some of you as well.
Correcting Infinity Focus
Most adapters, not only the cheap ones, are a bit too short. This means that the markings on your lens are off and you can focus your lens behind infinity so the infinity hard stop of your lens won’t work. It makes sense for adapter manufacturers to make their adapters a bit too short because your Sony’s flange focal distance varies a bit and so does lens calibration. If their adapters were exactly as thick as specified there would be quite a few cases were people couldn’t focus at infinity which is way more annoying than a focus scale which is a little off.
But a too short adapter can also have negative impact on the image quality if you use a lens with floating elements. Especially with fast wide angle lenses you can get serious field curvature issues as many users of the Metabones Canon EF adapters have found out.
I was looking for the smallest and lightest notebook possible to accompany me on my trips. It needed to have a great screen, allow me to move files from one external device to another and to do some minor photo editing from time to time. I was looking at the Ultrabooks at first, but they were still to big and heavy for my taste, so I decided to give this unusual device a try…
A manual lens needs to be focused manually? Think again! The Techart LM-EA7 turns about any manual lens into an AF lens. For the extended explanation and an in-depth assessment check out this post.
Weight limit lens
Sony a7rII, a7ii, a6300, a6500
*update* Please read this thread over at FM carefully. It seems that there is a design fault which will eventually lead some wobble of the adapted lens. Until this issue is fixed by Techart I would advise against buying the LM-EA7.
Classic rangefinder lenses focus much less close than their SLR-counterparts because of how the focusing with rangefinder cameras works. With the Voigtländer VM-E adapter you can focus these lenses much closer when using them on an E-mount camera. The adapter is not only a Leica-M to Sony E adapter but also a variable extension tube. It has its own helicoid by which you can focus your lenses much closer than with a conventional adapter. I have been using the Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter for more than a year now and it has become a valuable addition to my kit.
In case you have read some of our reviews covering rangefinder wide angle lenses on this very blog you already know there are some limitations to be aware of and you might have also heard of the “Kolari”thin filter mod as a solution. But now, thanks to Fred Miranda forum member HaruhikoT, there is another way to use rangefinder wide angle lenses up to their full potential on A7 series cameras. Update 03/03/17: Comparison for bokeh with/without 5m filter added
We decided to give you some inspiration for christmas gifts related to photography we have also used ourselves. So in case you need a gift for a friend who is also interested in photography or something for your fiance who spends way too much time on our blog you might find this article helpful :-).
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L-bracket – $20
Phillip: An L-bracket is just a lump of metal which does three things:
It provides you with a super solid connection between the camera and your Arca-Swiss tripod head in landscape orientation as well as in portrait orientation.
It offers you a better grip which made quite a difference with my a7. With the a7II’s deeper grip it is less necessary but this is of course highly subjective
It offers some protection for your camera
The L-bracket for my a7 was one of the best 20 bucks I ever spent on camera gear and I can only recommend to try one.
As a follow up to my Tripods for Mirrorless Cameras article I will now also take a look at some of the Mini tripods available (often referred to as table top tripods). Even the smallest tripod is better than no tripod at all, so let’s have a look at some ridiculously small ones you won’t find an excuse not to carry around all the time 🙂
When it comes to tripods mirrorless cameras have different requirements than DSLRs and so you can often get by with a lighter tripod. Unfortunately there are many manufacturers to chose from and even more commercial claims which are often misleading. As I have not only used quite a few myself but also witnessed the joy and frustation people experienced with their tripods during my workshops, I want to share my experiences with you.