Out for a Sunday Afternoon Stroll with a customized Nex 7.

The very next day after receiving the Fotodiox Sony Alpha to Sony Nex lens adapter I found a Sony branded one, the LAEA-1, on the Precision Camera used shelves so I bought that one too. Today I put my LAEA-1 on my Sony Nex-7 and put a 35mm 1.8 DT lens on that.  Then I went out for one of my long, Sunday afternoon walks. About an hour into the walk I came across a small group of people at 6th Street and Brazos who were painting each other's faces and I asked them if they'd mind me taking a few photographs.  Of course they were more than happy to oblige.

I used the lens and adapter combination in the same way I would normally use the Nex 7, minus the autofocus.  I keep describing the Sony LAEA-1 as not having autofocus capability and I keep getting corrected by sharp eyed readers who are quick to let me know that, technically, the LAEA-1 will autofocus with most of the recent and current Alpha lenses.  I am here to tell you that while the reader/correctors may be technically correct no one in their right mind would describe the painful process of LAEA-1 try-to-focus as true AF.  Let's just say that if you have infinite patience you could use the Sony adapter in the AF mode and eventually you might have a frame creep, with great hesitation, into focus. Of course your chances are better if you are in bright, bright light (say a daylight scene supplemented with an 18,000 watt HMI for fill) and a focusing target with more detail than a ten million piece jigsaw puzzle... But why stress over it when the Nex 7, in combination with the 35mm 1.8 DT lens, does an amazing and quick job of assisting you in manually focusing with focus peaking?

I'm probably just responding to the newness of the process but I'm really enjoying the pleasures of manually focusing my photographs. It seems to also give me back more control over my sense of composition.  I'm not always starting from top dead center in order to get and hold a focus lock.  The focus peaking works over the entire frame.

So have I found out anything new by using the Sony Nex7 with an adapter and an Alpha lens? Yes. I've found that the Sony Nex 7 becomes the most responsive camera you can imagine because you'll never have to wait for focus lock. The lens info even shows up in the exif info in Lightroom.  Just don't think you'll be enjoying laser fast auto focusing. It's not in the cards for the economy model adapters.


Corwin said...

Well, I should have warned you that it does have AF, but not fast or accurate one. Still, you get correct EXIF and aperture control. Focusing with peaking should be ok I think.

Tho I apologize for not writing that AF part complete.

kirk tuck said...

Corwin, no problems. I prefer the MF to the AF on this camera. The focus peaking is like magic.

andrew said...

Great Zombie pix. Kudos.

Claire said...

Hey Kirk, you did it. You getting the 7 tempted me into buying a 5N, which almost immediately made me ditch my M4/3 stuff (and God knows I loved my GX-1/PL25 combo). I'm a portraitist at heart and shallow DOF nut, and the first couple of frames the NEX delivered with a pretty average FD 50/1.8 wide open blew my socks off.
Though old enough to have shot film (which I briefly have, indeed), I'm basically a digital kid, since my true interest in photography started precisely ten years ago with my first DLSR, a Nikon D100 (venerable by today's standards, but a major breakthrough and extremely serious camera then). So the whole manual focus thing is nearly new to me (I did try some of it with the GX-1, but ended up more frustrated than pleased, despite using the EVF).
Now I can NOT stress enough how much I'm enjoying legacy glass on the 5N. As a matter of fact, I have bought a 18-55 along with it, which I have NEVER Shot (aside from checking it's functionnal, I got it pre-owned) and have no desire to. I'm putting together a little lens selection that is making my brains boil with excitement. I'm now getting the EVF for the 5N, just long enough for the 6 to be out and reviewed (7 prices plummeting in the meantime) and then will decide which one to upgrade to.
Have you encountered any magenta (or otherwise) color cast issue shooting oder fast primes wide open on your 7 ??
By the way the 1st portrait of the post is absolutely great.
Doing everything manually on my NEX is one of the most fullfilling and enjoyable photographic experiences I ever had. And yes I hate a couple of UI quirks, the horrible loud shutter sound, and the sluggish operation, but the IQ totally makes up for that.

Christopher Murray said...

Wow, that first image is really wonderful, I keep going back for another look. I'm glad to hear that the 35mm DT is useful on the NEX 7, is it a bulky combination? At one time I was going to sell all my Pentax gear just so I could use focus peaking with my beloved Zeiss ZK 35mm, then I realized that it would be an unwieldy combo.

mrbrown said...

I am using the Sony LAEA-2 happily with the 35mm 1.8 DT and it is much faster at autofocus. You do lose a little bit of light through that Translucent Mirror though.

Jared said...

I bought a E-PL2, primarily to use as an underwater camera. Then I got the OM to M4/3 adapter, bought an old 50mm f1.8, and have been having so much fun manual focusing. Don't know why that is, but hey, we do photography because we enjoy it!