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01-13-2018, 02:35 PM   #1
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Do all mirrorless cameras support old manual lenses?

I am aware that most DSLRs have limitation as far as metering modes are concerned and couldn't really find this addressed in numerous youtube videos I watched.

I ended up with a used Sony A6000 and have gotten adapters for Minolta MD, Nikon F, Olympus OM and Pentax K lenses and just think it's great that it meters perfectly fine in Aperture and Manual priority modes with all these both in photo and video modes. Do all the other mirrorless brands/models work this well with these types of lenses?

01-13-2018, 02:40 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Do all the other mirrorless brands/models work this well with these lenses?
So long as the adapters are available (and they seem to be, even for older mirrorless cameras like my Samsung NX11), then yes. The most important aspect is the flange focal distance (the distance from the sensor to the mount). If that's less than the flange focal distance for the lenses in question, it's usually possible to produce an adapter that will allow you to mount those lenses on the camera...

I bought my A7 MkII primarily for use with adapted lenses. I shoot M39 rangefinder, M39 SLR and M42 SLR lenses on it, plus a few K- and F-mount. Sony's mirrorless cameras work very well for this kind of thing
01-13-2018, 07:20 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Do all the other mirrorless brands/models work this well with these types of lenses?
The general answer is yes. When mounted to the adapter, the lens aperture is fully manual and metering is done using the image sensor. The analogous situation for Pentax would be an M42 lens with A/M switch in the M position and the camera in live view.

FWIW, I have switched to live view metering in M mode on my K-3 for adapted M42 as well as K/M series lenses. Stop-down meter settings are generally much more appropriate using live view than the regular viewfinder meter. I grab the setting using the green button, switch out of live view, and shoot at will until either the subject or the light changes. Works great.


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01-14-2018, 12:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I bought my A7 MkII primarily for use with adapted lenses. I shoot M39 rangefinder, M39 SLR and M42 SLR lenses on it, plus a few K- and F-mount. Sony's mirrorless cameras work very well for this kind of thing
I wanted the A6000 because of price and features especially the ability to use my old lenses. Since I have the adapters already for mine and that the A6000 and A7 mirrorless are both e mounts, I can expect the same adaptability and functionality moving to the full frame?

---------- Post added 01-14-18 at 03:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The general answer is yes. When mounted to the adapter, the lens aperture is fully manual and metering is done using the image sensor. The analogous situation for Pentax would be an M42 lens with A/M switch in the M position and the camera in live view.
Steve
It is a little disappointing that there are all these seemingly insurmountable limitations with using my old lenses on DSLRs - at a pricepoint. For instance with Nikon, I would have to go up to their premium models to have metering with old lenses. So it is very encouraging to know the alternatives that provide completely transparent use of these lenses on a A6000. I am now trying to get a hang of using these lenses for video which is my main focus at this time.


Last edited by LesDMess; 01-14-2018 at 12:14 PM.
01-14-2018, 12:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I wanted the A6000 because of price and features especially the ability to use my old lenses. Since I have the adapters already for mine and that the A6000 and A7 mirrorless are both e mounts, I can expect the same adaptability and functionality moving to the full frame?
If you buy the original A7, definitely. If you go for the A7 MkII series or later, some adapters won't fit. I believe it's something to do with the bayonet flange thickness, or the way it's cut. I have a couple of M42-to-NEX adapters that simply won't attach to my A7 MkII. It's important when buying them to check that they're specifically listed as compatible with both the A7 and A7 MkII. More recent versions of the mid-range and better quality adapters seem to work fine on all the E-mount cameras.

Other than that minor wrinkle, you'll find that lenses are equally adaptable to all of the A7 and A9 series cameras
01-14-2018, 12:46 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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I agree with what Mike said above, 100%. I have been lucky in that all of my adapters work on both my a7 and my recently acquired a7II, albeit some are tighter on the Mark II. I have had good luck with Fotodiox and Fotodiox Pro adapters.

Les, I also have the a6000, and love it. Definitely lots of bang for the minimal buck. The older NEX series are also quite nice. My old NEX-3, a 12mp camera, was obtained, unused in the box, with two batteries for $99USD shipped. All these cameras use thew same batteries and can use the same lenses.

Last edited by jlstrawman; 01-14-2018 at 12:53 PM.
01-14-2018, 12:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jlstrawman Quote
Les, I also have the a6000, and love it. Definitely lots of bang for the minimal buck.
Agreed and one of the models I usually suggest for people seeking a mirrorless camera.


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01-14-2018, 01:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
More recent versions of the mid-range and better quality adapters seem to work fine on all the E-mount cameras.

Other than that minor wrinkle, you'll find that lenses are equally adaptable to all of the A7 and A9 series cameras
I bought the cheapest adapters I could find labeled Fotasy and so far so good.

Assuming have to be in live view since it won't have the mechanical linkages. So the full frame A9 DSLR doesn't have the metering limitations as the other brands do when using the older lenses in aperture or manual modes?

---------- Post added 01-14-18 at 04:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jlstrawman Quote
Les, I also have the a6000, and love it. Definitely lots of bang for the minimal buck. The older NEX series are also quite nice. My old NEX-3, a 12mp camera, was obtained, unused in the box, with two batteries for $99USD shipped. All these cameras use thew same batteries and can use the same lenses.
My observation is that there seems to be quite a few more of the A6000s available locally compared to the other brands. Practically all I inquired about had very low shutter counts which gave me pause initially - why are they getting rid of it? But now that I've had some time on it - especially for my uses, I have no buyer's remorse except that maybe I should have gotten the 4K A6500 instead.

---------- Post added 01-14-18 at 04:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Agreed and one of the models I usually suggest for people seeking a mirrorless camera.
Steve
I initially had reservations about the LCD and VF but so far so good.

01-14-2018, 01:15 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I bought the cheapest adapters I could find labeled Fotasy and so far so good.

Assuming have to be in live view since it won't have the mechanical linkages. So the full frame A9 DSLR doesn't have the metering limitations as the other brands do when using the older lenses in aperture or manual modes?
None of the adapters I use have mechanical linkages, so you operate all the lenses manually. That can be a problem with auto-only M42 lenses, which require a modification to keep the diaphragm pin held down (on some lenses, it's an easy mod - on others, trickier, but doable). Pentax lenses with no aperture control ring (newer DA and D FA models) need an adapter with manual control of the diaphragm lever, and that works, but only in a fashion - it's not ideal.

Since the A6000, A7 and A9 are all mirrorless cameras, they're always effectively in Live View. The technique you use for focusing is to open the lens up to maximum aperture, then when you're ready to shoot, close it down to the required aperture. Metering is generally very accurate on all of these cameras (indeed, it's good on most mirrorless cameras I'm aware of, since they're metering off the sensor).

Does that answer your question?

Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-14-2018 at 01:28 PM.
01-14-2018, 01:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Since the A6000, A7 and A9 are all mirrorless cameras, they're always effectively in Live View.
Does that answer your question?
I had not really explored all these options because I limited my search to the price of the used A6000 and didn't really know these are all mirrorless! Thanks for pointing that out as I expand my next consideration.

Last edited by LesDMess; 01-14-2018 at 01:39 PM.
01-14-2018, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
My observation is that there seems to be quite a few more of the A6000s available locally compared to the other brands. Practically all I inquired about had very low shutter counts which gave me pause initially - why are they getting rid of it? But now that I've had some time on it - especially for my uses, I have no buyer's remorse except that maybe I should have gotten the 4K A6500 instead.
The reason why many have low Shuttercount is they are often used primarily for video .
01-14-2018, 07:56 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I bought the cheapest adapters I could find labeled Fotasy and so far so good.

Assuming have to be in live view since it won't have the mechanical linkages. So the full frame A9 DSLR doesn't have the metering limitations as the other brands do when using the older lenses in aperture or manual modes?

---------- Post added 01-14-18 at 04:12 PM ----------



My observation is that there seems to be quite a few more of the A6000s available locally compared to the other brands. Practically all I inquired about had very low shutter counts which gave me pause initially - why are they getting rid of it? But now that I've had some time on it - especially for my uses, I have no buyer's remorse except that maybe I should have gotten the 4K A6500 instead.

---------- Post added 01-14-18 at 04:14 PM ----------



I initially had reservations about the LCD and VF but so far so good.
The a6000 and the A7 both lack in-body image stabilization which I really like. I think that is one of the big reasons they are such good deals. Having all of your old glass image stabilized is a big deal to some people. Obviously some people primarily shoot from a tripod and don't need it, but for me it was a big deal. The a6300 & 6500 both have in-body image stabilization as do the A7II and newer bodies.
01-14-2018, 08:08 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Do all the other mirrorless brands/models work this well with these types of lenses?
I have successfully used adapted lenses such as the ones you mention on my Fuji X cameras (i.e. XPro 1, XT1, XE1, XE2) and have found that adapters work great on them. Adapters work better with "mirrorless" cameras (like the Fuji X cameras) because their register distances are shorter than SLR and DSLR cameras.

I would not recommend using those cheap adapters with the optical glass in them. The optical glass is cheaply degrade images. The only adapter I'd ever use that had optical glass in it are the ones made by Metabones (aka The "Speed Booster").
01-14-2018, 09:29 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sliver-Surfer Quote
The reason why many have low Shuttercount is they are often used primarily for video .
That's probably true in general. At first I was gonna pickup a heavily discounted open box from the store but was pleasantly surprised by the number of practically unused units on the local CL. I felt more at ease with this one coming with everything including box and receipt!

---------- Post added 01-15-18 at 12:33 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
The a6000 and the A7 both lack in-body image stabilization which I really like. I think that is one of the big reasons they are such good deals. Having all of your old glass image stabilized is a big deal to some people. Obviously some people primarily shoot from a tripod and don't need it, but for me it was a big deal. The a6300 & 6500 both have in-body image stabilization as do the A7II and newer bodies.
I definitely consider in-body stabilization very useful too and didn't even know which bodies had them. Definitely a worthwhile consideration on the next upgrade.

---------- Post added 01-15-18 at 12:35 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I have successfully used adapted lenses such as the ones you mention on my Fuji X cameras (i.e. XPro 1, XT1, XE1, XE2) and have found that adapters work great on them. Adapters work better with "mirrorless" cameras (like the Fuji X cameras) because their register distances are shorter than SLR and DSLR cameras.

I would not recommend using those cheap adapters with the optical glass in them. The optical glass is cheaply degrade images. The only adapter I'd ever use that had optical glass in it are the ones made by Metabones (aka The "Speed Booster").
Good to know other brands to consider.
Cheap adapters with glass are definitely not worth it for me.
01-15-2018, 06:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
(...)

I ended up with a used Sony A6000 and have gotten adapters for Minolta MD, Nikon F, Olympus OM and Pentax K lenses and just think it's great that it meters perfectly fine in Aperture and Manual priority modes with all these both in photo and video modes. Do all the other mirrorless brands/models work this well with these types of lenses?
Almost all of them. The Nikon One cameras (any and all of them) won't meter (at all) when not attached to a One Nikkor lens or to a Nikon-made Nikon F --> Nikon One adapter. I don't know of any other mirrorless camera that would be crippled that way.
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