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07-17-2020, 03:54 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Thoughts about DSLR lens value in times of mirrorless cameras

One of the biggest and worst limitations for us consumers is the existence of incomaptible lens mounts, which basically means the manufacturers do their best to wall us in, so we have to pay their products in the future.

From this perspective I actually believe that the true value of high quality DSLR lenses even for mirrorless buyers is much higher than the new DSLM lenses, simply because it is a trade off between:
a) benefit of product improvements in DSLM mount verses same lens type in DSLR mount versus
b) cost of being walled in and knowing that you probably can not use this lens on any other camera

So basically I could understand people - especially those with focus on value - prefer DSLR lenses on adapters as they give them the freedom of choice of camera.

07-17-2020, 05:56 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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Also, there's the plain fact that DSLR lenses work on my camera, and mirrorless ones simply don't!
07-17-2020, 08:19 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
One of the biggest and worst limitations for us consumers is the existence of incomaptible lens mounts, which basically means the manufacturers do their best to wall us in, so we have to pay their products in the future.

From this perspective I actually believe that the true value of high quality DSLR lenses even for mirrorless buyers is much higher than the new DSLM lenses, simply because it is a trade off between:
a) benefit of product improvements in DSLM mount verses same lens type in DSLR mount versus
b) cost of being walled in and knowing that you probably can not use this lens on any other camera

So basically I could understand people - especially those with focus on value - prefer DSLR lenses on adapters as they give them the freedom of choice of camera.
I had a mirrorless for a while and the functionality of a lens produced for that mount was more important than being "walled in". For people that shoot entirely manual it would not make a difference. But I would think the majority of mirrorless users want fully functioning lenses. Just look at how many Sony e mounts are produced by Sigma and Tamron. I doubt many Sony users are running out and buying a new Canon lens to use with an adapter, unless they also have Canon or there is no equivalent in the e mount.
07-17-2020, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #4
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For me, the true value of a lens is whether it will be a reliable piece of equipment to take pictures with the camera I have now or will buy definitely. So, I don't see a distinction between a DSLR and mirrorless lens from that perspective. For a mirrorless camera, I will buy a mirrorless lens as many lenses designed for mirrorless have specific improvements that adapted lenses don't have. Then I just use the equipment until it stops working.

07-17-2020, 08:50 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Q shooters know the value of a good lens, no matter the mount or even intended function.
07-17-2020, 01:59 PM   #6
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But this lens has the requirement that it functions fully without it's native body. ie an aperture ring and decent focusing capabililty.
07-18-2020, 03:00 AM - 1 Like   #7
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That might be all very well if you want to use a particular special lens, like you have a Pentax 600mm and want to put it on a Nikon Z6.

However it is not going to make it simple to have a motley collection of lenses - Pentax, Minolta, Canon, Fuji, Cosina, unless you have an adaptor for each and every one of them, which is going to work out expensive and also thows away one of the [supposed] advantages of mirrorless cameras of saving space and weight.

Or a Nikon Z6 owner could keep a PK-Z adaptor on the camera and restrict his lens choice to PK lenses in which case he is back to where he started with restricted lens choice as well as the throwing away of the supposed mirrorless advantages, as above.

Last edited by Lord Lucan; 07-18-2020 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Tpyo
07-18-2020, 03:20 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by automorphism Quote
I will buy a mirrorless lens as many lenses designed for mirrorless have specific improvements that adapted lenses don't have.
Usability as in autofocus yes but what specific improvements as far as resulting image are you thinking of?

07-18-2020, 01:30 PM - 4 Likes   #9
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The practical value of a lens on any system it wasn't designed for will depend on the ability to mount it and attain the necessary flange focal distance, set the aperture, adjust focus and actuate the diaphragm before and during the shot, and - sometimes - communicate and interact with the target body. The level to which this is achievable for each lens on each target system varies significantly - especially with newer glass where the lens may have a focusing motor, electronic setting of aperture, electronic actuation of the diaphragm, and other system-dependent functionality.

Furthermore, some cameras have functionality - often AF mode related - that will only work with native lenses designed to leverage it... So, even if you can successfully adapt a different system's lens, you may not be able to use all the capabilities of the target camera with it.

Where older, fully-manual glass is concerned - say, a vintage preset M42 lens - adapting to different systems and maintaining full functionality is easy, as lens operation is completely independent from the camera (although, even here you'd have a problem adapting to Nikon F-mount because of the flange focal distance). As soon as there's any mechanical, electro-mechanical or fully electronic co-operation required between camera and lens, things become much more difficult. For the latest glass with (any or all of) in-lens AF motors, focus-by-wire MF, electronic setting and actuation of aperture, complex image stabilisation and more, fully-functional adaptation to a different system is really complicated, and often simply not possible.

On balance, I don't think the many of the very latest, high-end AF DSLR lenses will be significantly more useful on other systems than native mirrorless platform lenses

Last edited by BigMackCam; 07-18-2020 at 04:16 PM.
07-18-2020, 09:31 PM   #10
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It's so easy to sell gear and switch systems now that I don't think it's a big deal.

Also,

Pentax users generally prefer Pentax glass.
Fuji users generally prefer Fuji glass.
Canon users generally prefer Canon glass.
etc.
07-19-2020, 03:30 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I had a mirrorless for a while and the functionality of a lens produced for that mount was more important than being "walled in". For people that shoot entirely manual it would not make a difference. But I would think the majority of mirrorless users want fully functioning lenses. Just look at how many Sony e mounts are produced by Sigma and Tamron. I doubt many Sony users are running out and buying a new Canon lens to use with an adapter, unless they also have Canon or there is no equivalent in the e mount.
I agree. I think that concept of being able to adapt lenses to MILCs is great. The reality is that most people would rather have a lens that mounts without an adapter and just works. I deliberately didn't buy a bunch of older manual focus lenses for my K mount cameras. Of course they exist, but I like things like auto focus, auto metering, and being able to control my aperture from the camera body. I know that I am not alone in this either.

I have heard so many times that EVFs are better for manual focusing lenses. To which I answer, but I don't own any lenses that require manual focusing and I don't really plan on getting any either. It's like a specialized drill that does a wonderful job, but that I would never use.
07-19-2020, 03:44 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I agree. I think that concept of being able to adapt lenses to MILCs is great. The reality is that most people would rather have a lens that mounts without an adapter and just works. I deliberately didn't buy a bunch of older manual focus lenses for my K mount cameras. Of course they exist, but I like things like auto focus, auto metering, and being able to control my aperture from the camera body. I know that I am not alone in this either.

I have heard so many times that EVFs are better for manual focusing lenses. To which I answer, but I don't own any lenses that require manual focusing and I don't really plan on getting any either. It's like a specialized drill that does a wonderful job, but that I would never use.
I agree too, but I'm also one of those that prefer an EVF for manual focusing. It's the main reason I bought my A7 MkII... to shoot a variety of (mostly Soviet) manual focusing lenses with a variety of mounts, and it's excellent for that (but then, I'm fortunate to get on OK with EVFs, even though I prefer a good OVF). It also acts as a nice backup body for my SLT A-mount system, using the LA-EA4 adapter; but this is a prime example of where camera functionality is lost in the process... with the LA-EA4 and Minolta AF / Sony A-mount glass, the A7 MkII is limited to the smaller number and arrangement of AF points found in the Sony A99. Still, it works well enough that I haven't bothered acquiring a single native E-mount lens...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 07-19-2020 at 05:58 AM.
07-19-2020, 05:10 AM - 3 Likes   #13
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This topic is like a re-boot of the old K to M42 adaptor discussions. There are members here who put M42 lenses on K-mount cameras and get on fine with the arrangement. Good luck to them, and I put manual M-series lenses on my K-1 myself, but it gets silly when a complete beginner comes here for advice on their new DSLR or K1000, and being told by some of these guys to go and get some M42 lenses for it because of the marvellous bokeh or radiant radioactive colours etc etc. If I do see that, I pitch in and advise them to stick to the lenses the camera was designed for, at least until they get more experience. No doubt most of us here, being experienced, can or could cope with cross-platform lens mounting, but it is not for beginners, nor for anyone else who does not want the flaff involved.
07-19-2020, 10:14 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Usability as in autofocus yes but what specific improvements as far as resulting image are you thinking of?
Autofocus was one. But another, for example the Nikon Z format, the Z lenses are just better designed than the F-mount counterparts most of the time, and are much sharper. For example, the 50mm f/1.8G has pretty noticeable softness wide open even on my crappy laptop monitor, but the 50mm f/1.8S is pretty darn good wide open.


That's not some feature enabled by a lack of a mirror, it's just the direction Nikon took at the time. Also since mirrorless cameras often have more advanced video features, the lenses are also designed to be quieter so they don't interfere with the microphone.

Again, I'm not saying a lack of a mirror is the intrinsic reason why these lenses are better, it's just the current state of affairs with mirrorless vs dslr lenses.
07-19-2020, 01:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lord Lucan Quote
but it gets silly when a complete beginner comes here for advice on their new DSLR or K1000, and being told by some of these guys to go and get some M42 lenses for it because of the marvellous bokeh or radiant radioactive colours etc etc.
All the times I see people getting advised to use M42 it is for the reason it is a simpler adaption for the beginner. You can still use AV whereas with a bayonet mount if you are not advanced enough to go full M mode then you need the added step of the green button. It is sound advice.
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