I always found it interesting to read or hear how other photographers create their images and to learn about their workflow.
The two books which have influenced my photography the most are Ansel Adams’ Examples: the Making of 40 Photographs and “First Light” by Joe Cornish in which both authors talk about their image making process.
Over the years my gear has improved quite a bit but what has improved even more is my photographic process and I am sure that this is much more important. If I had to use the Konica Minolta Dynax 7d with that Minolta 2.8-4/17-35 today, which was my first serious camera the results would be much better than those my 18-years-old self took back in 2006, because since then I have learned a lot about light, improved my composition, can operate a camera by intuition and know when to use which setting.
My post processing has improved as well, back in the day I shot raw because I had read that raw is superior to jpg and that every serious photographer shoots raw, not because I had any idea how to really work with a raw file.
I don’t think that my 18-years-old self would have taken significantly better images with a Sony a7 because my photography was trial and error, sometimes I got a decent image but neither would I have recognized most photo opportunities nor could I have reliably turned the image I saw in front of me into a decent photograph.
What I really want to say that gear isn’t the key to better photographs, mastering the photographic process is much more important. And I hope to help other photographers to become better photographers and also to learn about other people’s workflow, there are many photographers out there which are much better than I am and I still have a long way to go.
The LA-EA4 makes it possible to use Sony A-mount lenses like the mighty ZA 1.8/135 on E-mount bodies like the Sony Alpha 7 or Nex-6 with full AF support and aperture control.
In this article I want to give an overview about its functionality and share my experience with it.
This adapter was loaned to me by Sony for this review.
The Adapter is much bigger than adapters for manual lenses because it has to include an AF module, an AF motor and a second motor to control the aperture.
It replaces the older LA-EA2 which wasn’t full-frame compatible and it can be used with APS-C cameras like the Sony Nex-6 or a5000 as well as with full-frame cameras like the Sony a7.
The LA-EA4 uses Sony’s SLT technology, so a semitransparent mirror redirects a some of the light coming from the lens to a AF sensor. This makes it possible to have liveview and fast phase detection AF at the same time. The cost for this is that 1/3 stop of exposure is lost so you have to compensate with a longer shutter speed or higher ISO.
The adapter is compatible with almost every A-mount lens made by Minolta or Sony from 1985 until today, the only exceptions are most Xi lenses and the Macro-Zoom, Sony Australia has a list of incompatible lenses.
It won’t work for older fully manual lenses which carry the MC or MD name tag. For those lenses check out my manual Minolta lenses post.
The Carl Zeiss 16-70mm 1:4 made by Sony is an expensive standard lens for the Nex / APS-C E-mount line of cameras. It combines a very useful focal range with a decent moderate speed and size.
All in all I think it is an interesting lens but it has some weaknesses which will be a deal breaker for some photographers.
About this review
I am a landscape and nature photographer and focus more on aspects which are important to me.
All images are taken with a Nex-6, processed with Adobe Lightroom 4 and can be found in full resolution at flickr by clicking on the image.
Size (diameter x length): 66mm x 75mm
Filter Thread: 55mm
Cose Focusing Distance / max. Reproduction Ration: 0.35 m / 1:4.35
Visit Sony to get the full specififcations.