A quick visual report of the use of an Alpha Lens on the Nex 6. Part of the episodic review of the Nex 6

When I did my first test of my new Nex 6 I was very pleased with the color, contrast and resolution of the 16 megapixel sensor. I think Sony does a lot of things just right and the balance of the colors and tonality, even in jpegs files seems very well balanced to me.

The one gaping blank spot in my lens inventory for the Nex cameras is in the realm of long telephotos and I'm not anxious to run out and spend more money if I can make due on my seasonal and lightly used focal lengths by using simple adapters and scavenging from the drawer of Alpha DSLT mount lenses. While it would seem churlish to buy a small body like the Nex 6 and then bolt on a hernia enducing 70-200mm 2.8 there's another lens in the drawer that makes a lot more sense. It's the 55-200 f4-5.6 Sony DT. It's made to match the smaller sensor and it's very light weight and (compared to the fast glass) well sized for a carry around lens choice.

I used the LA-EA1 lens adapter to attach the lens to the Nex 6 because I wanted to maintain as much automation as possible. The downfall of the Nex-to-LA-EA1 match up is the excruciatingly slow autofocusing (and often non-focusing) of lenses that were designed for a much different AF design philosophy: Phase detection as opposed to Contrast detection. I don't consider it a problem as I default, without a second thought, to using manual focus with all non-system lenses on the Nex cameras. Having focus peaking makes it so easy.

I will say that any unsharpness in these images stems from my inability to successfully handhold the lens at the long end. Most of these images are shot at near wide open or wide open and I consider the performance to be really good. Some credit I give to the camera and an equal measure I give to the lens. The new, cheap lenses from Sony are surprisingly good. 

It was a quick walk so, by extension, a quick test. To my eye the combination from the two Sony systems seems to work very well, with good exposure, color and sharpness. Nice to keep it all in the family. It gives me some extra flexibility while downsizing the argument that there aren't enough choice optics available for the Nex system.

Request:  Anyone out there read my book about LED Lighting?  I'd love some more reviews on Amazon if you have the time and energy to write something.

Here's where to book lives: http://www.amazon.com/LED-Lighting-Professional-Techniques-Photographers/dp/1608954471/ref=la_B002ECIS24_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354567751&sr=1-1

Thanks!  Kirk


  1. How was the focusing on the NEX6 compared to the NEX7? I ask as the NEX6 has phase detect on sensor and should focus that lens with that adapter. I thought that was the point of the phase detect on sensor. IF the focus is the same, then there would be little benefit to Phase on sensor.
    Just like to know, Thank you.

    1. David, the focus speed might be just the same between the 6 and the 7 with the LAEA-1 adapter but it is faster with the 6 with Nex configured lenses. The LAEA1 is probably the limiting factor in this scenario. It's still to slow for really convenient AF...

  2. This is the main reason I keep my m4/3s system as my small footprint camera. I just can't easily get the focal lengths I want with the NEX bodies unless I Frankenstein the system. Using adapters is fine and neat in a way that it lets you use some great glass, but I can do that with m4/3s as well. And, I can use their fantastic, small, & fast prime lenses...as well as fast zooms.

    I wanted to like the Nex 6, but I sent it back for the reasons mentioned above. It's just too tedious to cobble together a complete, compact system. And if it's not compact there's no reason to use mirror-less in the first place.

    The marginally better IQ and D-range that comes with using Nex just isn't enough reason (for me) to abandon my OMDs. I'm selling stock and making decent sized prints with m4/3s. So until the Nex system matures...or they develop a full-frame alternative based on the superb RX-1...I'll stay put.

    1. I would somewhat disagree. I really like the 6 and a small assortment of primes. The Sigma 19 and 30 are very good as is the Sony 50mm 1.8 and all are convenient to use.

    2. I had the Sigma 30 & the 50/1.8 with my Nex 6. While they are indeed fine, I found that the Sigma hunts and is slow in low-light (a trait with every Sigma I've owned) and the 50 isn't as good as the Oly 45/1.8...not in any way, shape or form. With the Nex-6 I was also getting the large-full-screen focus box as opposed to the small central box when the light got low.

      I don't mean to argue, Kirk, about the merits of each system...I'm just pointing out my experience with them. I could adapt to any system if I had to.

      When I sent back the Nex system I did keep the Sigma 30 (despite its focusing issues). I like the 45mm focal length and I figured I'd be able to pick up a cheap used Nex 6 or 7 when the next "big" thing comes along. That Sigma is indeed an incredible bargain.

      It's all good. Happy Holidays.

    3. No big arguments from me. I still miss the Leica 25mm I had on the front of my EP-3...

  3. Kirk, a little off topic, I want to thank you for all I've learned - both from your blog and your LED lighting book. I especially enjoy your no-nonsense, "call 'em like you see 'em" style of reporting on the equipment you use. I'm a long-time Canon 5 series guy who was too intrigued by the a99 to pass, so I've jut taken delivery and hope to get comfortable with it quickly. I'm also looking at the same three mirror-less cameras most everyone else is and hope to settle on a system that I can grow with soon.

    I'lll be eager to hear about your experience with the a99. As I said, I've just started to explore the menu system myself and don't feel comfortable shooting a job with it at this point. Honestly, I haven't even figured out how to change my focus point yet, which says a lot more about me than it does the camera!

    At any rate, thanks again for sharing as much information as you do on this blog. I for one have truly benefitted!

  4. The Nex 6 is a really wonderful and under-appreciated camera. If I were just starting in photography I'd probably want to start with one.

    Harry, Thanks for the compliment. I'm happy to be able to share my thoughts on something that's been so important to me for so long. Making images. I love the feedback. Please continue to read and share.


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