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Sony NEX models compatible with Minolta lenses?

Bill Tuthill , May 11, 2010; 03:00 p.m.

DPreview has a preview of the NEX-3 and NEX-5 today. It says these mirrorless bodies are compatible with Sony Alpha lenses, with adapter, but I'm not sure what that really means.

Whaddya think?


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Richard Harris , May 11, 2010; 03:02 p.m.

Aperture control, no auto-focus. Pretty silly using a-mount lenses on e-mount, 'IMO' :-)

Fred C , May 11, 2010; 03:14 p.m.

Not as silly as leaving out body SSS ... or is it a ploy to force customers into buying new lenses?

Richard Harris , May 11, 2010; 03:26 p.m.

I don't think it's a ploy. Why on earth would you want to put a big-old slr lens on a tiny body.. which you buy *because* it's small ? In lens SSS makes it better for video, apparently. I'm surprised the cheap kit lens gets a metal casing - pleasant surprise of course.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only Alpha shooter still excited about the EX-1 :)

Fred C , May 11, 2010; 03:41 p.m.

I don't think it's a ploy.

Er, remind me why Sony cameras used to take only their Memory Sticks? Or why there isn't a normal hotshoe (not even the Minolta version) on the NEX?

Why on earth would you want to put a big-old slr lens on a tiny body..

Not me, but there are many who do this with their m4/3 cameras. And did you see the size of the new AF 18-200mm?

Besides, not all "old SLR lenses" are big either. ;)

Richard Harris , May 11, 2010; 03:59 p.m.

Ooo grumpy Fred ;P

Bill Tuthill , May 11, 2010; 04:34 p.m.

Well, if my Minolta/Sony lenses with adapter are just manual focus anyway, why wouldn't I buy a Panasonic GF1 for about the same price and get built-in flash? A Minolta AF adapter is available for micro-4/3. Maybe if the 18-200 is a stunningly great lens this would make an interesting system, but I already have a good P&S with 28-140mm lens, and I am not about to pay $700 for a non-pocket camera with 27-83mm lens.

Paul De Ley , May 11, 2010; 06:05 p.m.

Hmm actually this might be more interesting to me than I assumed before, as a pocketable second body to bring along with an alpha macro lens on it (or is a nex body more of a decoration on the lens rather than vice versa? :), when my a700 is mounted on a long lens and it's not very practical to switch frequently in the midst of dust & wilderness. Autofocus isn't much use for macro anyway.

Lack of stabilization would be a bummer for macro uses but good high iso performance might make up for that. And in a bit of reverse logic, it still doesn't make that much sense in my mind to have live view & tiltable screen on a dslr, but on a nex-like system that would be more logical to me - and especially useful for macro too.

Anyway, let's see what the reports on image quality and the new interface are like, once people start using these for real. The explanation in dpreview of the minimalist button arrangement on the nexes does make me worried though that sony might aim for a similar fluid (=confusing?) function assignment with the a7xx; maybe the minimalist rear button arrangement on the pma mockup of the a7xx is really all they're planning to put on it...>:(

Oleksandr Holovachov , May 11, 2010; 06:45 p.m.

SonyStyle in USA stated that the autofocus will work on lenses with built-in motors. It was mentioned on the web-page with details about the adapter. But now that page is down.

Robert Paul , May 11, 2010; 11:26 p.m.

I think there is some confusing about having AF when using the A-mount lenses on the NEX. From what I can see, for the time being, AF is not available. However, a software update that is expected this summer, will allow lenses with SSM/SAM to autofocus. But, with no in-body stabilization, I can't see it being easy to hand-hold a larger lens, and having to manually focus while holding the body away from you so you can watch the rear screen.

It's interesting that Sony could fit a motor in the adapter to activate the aperture linage of the A-mount lenses, but couldn't fit a motor in for the screw drive lenses.

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