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May 6, 2012

The Ultimate Lens and Lens Adapter Combos for the Sony Nex (E-Mount) Camera System!!

Metabones Adapter for Leica M Mount

I’ve been doing tons of re-search on lenses and lens adapters for the Sony Nex Camera System, and these are the Best Combos available!!

I also have the Sony E-Mount Lens Guide >>, and the Sony E-mount Lens Adapters Guide >> for your convenience ;)

The Sony lens line-up for the Nex camera system is still a little weak, and using and E-Mount to A-Mount lens adapter opens up all the Sony Alpha Lenses for you, but they are very large lenses in comparison and the adapter makes the lens even bigger. Not the lenses fault mind you, just the nature of adapting optics to different camera systems. Lenses are engineered for specific back focus distance to the sensor and all sorts of other technical stuff, so that is why the lens adapters range in size and design so much. Some adapters are thin, and some are fat depending on how far the lens needs to be away from the sensor.


Now, with the “right” lens adapter you can get some excellent range finder style lenses from Leica, Voigtlander, and Ziess! These lenses are small, and top quality. Matched to meet the rugged demands that the RangeFinder cameras are designed for. The modern style camera with similar build quality as the old school rangefinders like the Leica and Zeiss, would be the Fuji X-Pro 1.  I actually just finished reviewing (Fuji X-Pro 1 Review ), and it really was built like a tank I must say!!
 

Old School Lens Ebay Auction Master List:

Please let me know in the comments below if you have a lens that needs to be added to the list! I’m sure I missed a few killer lenses ;)

 

Lens Adapter Quick Links:

 

Killer Nex Lens and Lens Adapter Combos!!

Leica M9-P Digital Camera

Leica M9-P Digital Camera

Lets check out some adapter and lens combos that will stand the test of time and make for  great long term investments. The cool thing about these top quality lenses is even when Sony comes out with the next new Nex-9 or whatever, these lenses will still work perfectly and you can sell the old camera or whatever as the technology changes. Lens technology for the most part is tried and true, so even though these lenses are older, they are awesome. Not to mention the Nex -5n and Nex-7 has focus peaking which makes manual focusing a breeze and actually fun in my opinion. I prefer to manually focus a lot of the time for product photography and macro photography in particular ;)

Nex Lens Adapters

Leica, Zeiss, and Voigtlander are three Old School lens makers and have been around for a long time. Luckily the adapter the we need to get in order to take advantage of these lenses is all the same. The Leica M Lens to Sony NEX Camera Mount Adapter will work for all three brands M mount models.  They have other types of lenses and mounts as well, but I’m just going to cover the M style rangefinder lenses in this article;)

For adapters we have a few options. The Novoflex and Metabones adapters below look like the best quality options that I can find, but Dot Line and Fotodiox also make nice looking adapters that will certainly handle the job!!

Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Lens to Sony NEX Camera

Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Lens to Sony NEX Camera

Price: ~$267.00

Compare Prices @ BHPhoto (Click Here) Amazon (Click Here) Adorama (Click Here)

Dot Line NEX Adapter for Leica M Bayonet Lenses

Dot Line NEX Adapter for Leica M Bayonet Lenses

Price: ~$64.00

Compare Prices @ BHPhoto (Click Here) Adorama (Click Here)

Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter, Leica M Lens to Sony Alpha Nex Camera Adapter

Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter

Price: ~$70.00

Compare Prices @ Amazon (Click Here)

Metabones Adapter for Leica M Mount

Metabones Adapter for Leica M Mount

Price: ~$90.00

Metabones >>

Voigtlander Adapter for Sony E Mount Cameras--VM Mount Lens (Black)

Voigtlander Adapter for Sony E Mount Cameras – VM Mount Lens

Price: ~$179.00

Compare Prices @ BHPhoto (Click Here) Adorama (Click Here)

Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter, Leica M Lens to Sony Alpha Nex E-mount Camera Adapter

Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter

Price: ~$20.00

Compare Prices @ Amazon (Click Here)

Sony NEX-5N with Voigtländer 35/1.2 v2 and a Hawk's Factory helicoid adapter.

Sony NEX-5N with Voigtländer 35/1.2 v2 and a Hawk’s Factory helicoid adapter.

Price: ~ Ebay

Hawk’s Factory Helicoid adapters on Ebay (Click Here)

Rayqual E-mount adapters with built-in tripod mount

Rayqual E-mount adapters with built-in tripod mount

Price: ~ $150-200.00

Rayqual Website in Japanese (Click Here) on Ebay (Click Here), Japan Exposure’s (Click Here)

 

Lenses

Check out some of these old school top quality Leica Summarit M Lenses than you can then use on your Sony Nex whatever!!

Leica Summarit M Lenses

Leica Summarit M Lenses

 
Rayqual adapter for Sony nex using Leica M closeup lens mount

Rayqual adapter for Sony nex using Leica M closeup lens mount

Entire Leica Lens Line with serial #’s

Lens list courtesy of Antique & Classic Cameras.

Lens Model
~$$ Price
Serial #
15mm Hologon F8 $10,000-16,000
     
16-18-21 Tri-Elmar F4 $4,400-5,500
     
21 Super-Angulon F3.4 $ 1,400-1,800 1,967,101 – 2,917,150
21 Super-Angulon F4 $ 1,200-1,600 1,583,001-1,717,000
     
21 Elmarit F2.8 Type 1 E49 $ 1,300-1,750 2,993,701 – 3,363,299
21 Elmarit F2.8 Type 2 E60 $ 1,600-2,100 3,363,299-
21 Elmarit F2.8 ASPH $ 2,800-3,200 3,796,510 – Current
     
24 Elmarit F2.8 ASPH $ 2,700-3,000
   
28 Elmarit F2.8 Type 1 (9 element) $ 2,400-3,400 2,060,000 – 2,31x,xxx
28 Elmarit F2.8 Type 1 (9 elem. Wetzlar) $ 3,300-5,200 2,060,000 – 2,31x,xxx
28 Elmarit F2.8 Type 2 $ 975-1,250 2,31x,xxx – 2,977,500
28 Elmarit F2.8 Type 3 $ 1,100-1,450 2,977,551- ?
28 Elmarit F2.8 Type 4 $ 1,400-1,700  
28 Elmarit F2.8 ASPH $ 1,750-2,200
     
28 Summicron F2 ASPH $ 2,800-3,400  
     
28-35-50 Tri-Elmar F4 Type 1 E55 $ 3,400-3,900  
28-35-50 Tri-Elmar F4 Type 2 E55 $ 3,500-4,200 body design changes
28-35-50 Tri-Elmar F4 E49 $ 4,000-4,900 Many non-optical improvements.
     
35 Summaron F3.5 (M2) $ 600-950 1,150,xxx noted
35 Summaron F3.5 (M3) $ 450-700  
35 Summaron F2.8 (M2) $ 850-1,050  
35 Summaron F2.8 (M3) $ 600-900 1,665,xxx & 1,782,xxx noted
     
35 Summicron F2 Type 1 (M2-Chrome) $ 2,500-$4,000 1,640,000 – 2,316,000
35 Summicron F2 Type 1 (M3-Chrome) $ 1,300-2,500 1,640,000 – 2,316,000
35 Summicron F2 Type 1 (M2-Black) $ 8,500-12,000 1,640,000- 2,316,000
35 Summicron F2 Type 1 (M3-Black) $ 3,250-4,500 1,640,000 – 2,316,000
35 Summicron F2 Type 2 (S7) $ 950-1,350 2,316,000 – 2,874,000
35 Summicron F2 Type 3 (E39) $ 1,250-1,500 2,316,000 – 2,874,000
35 Summicron F2 Type 4 $ 1,500-2,200 2,970,000 – 3,731,000 Price keeps rising – used to run $ 800
35 Summicron F2 ASPH $ 2,650-3,550 3,731,000 – Current
     
35 Summilux F1.4 Type 1 (M2-Black) $ 8,000-15,000 1,760,000 – 2,166,700
35 Summilux F1.4 Type 1 (M3-Black) $ 7,000-14,000 1,760,000 – 2,166,700
35 Summilux F1.4 Type 1 (M2-Chrome) $ 2,500-3,300 1,760,000 – 2,166,700
35 Summilux F1.4 Type1 (M3 chrome) $ 3,100-5,100 1,760,000 – 2,166,700
35 Summilux F1.4 Type 2 ( S7 ) $ 1,550-2,750 2,221,xxx to 3,253,xxx noted
35 Summilux F1.4 “Aspherical” $ 6,900-10,500 only 1000 to 2000 ? made. Price varies wildly
35 Summilux F1.4 ASPH $ 4,200-5,300 Price varies widely with condition
     
40 Summicron-C F2 $ 450-675
40 Rokkor-M F2 $ 400-625  
     
50 Elmar F3.5 $ 225-375 1,124,000 – 1,913,000
50 Elmar F2.8 Type 1 $ 350-575 1,350,000 – 2,700,000
50 Elmar F2.8 Type 2 $ 650-1,100 2,700,000 – Current. Late black get more.
     
50 Summicron F2 Collapsible $ 475-700 1,124,000 -1,548,000 Wide price range – condition
50 DR Summicron F2 w/Finder $ 650-1,000 1,303,000 – 2,260,000
50 Summicron F2 Type 2 or “Rigid” $ 600-1,000 1,303,000 – 2,260,000 Wide price range – condition
50 Summicron F2 Type 3 $ 900-1,400 2,268,000 – 2,995,000
50 Summicron F2 Type 4 $ 1,400-1,975 2,967,000- ?
     
50 Summarit F1.5 $ 350-700 1,3xx,xxx ? – 1,820,000  Condition important
     
50 Summilux F1.4 Type 1 $ 1,500-2,200 1,645,300 – 1,844,000 E43
50 Summilux F1.4 Type 2 $ 1,850-2,850 1,844,001- ? optics changed E43
50 Summilux F1.4 Type 3 $ 2,900-3,600 Same optics as Type 2, but built in hood and closer focus also E46
50 Summilux F1.4 ASPH $ 4,000-5,000 depends on exact condition
     
50 Noctilux F1.2 $ 20,000-30,000 2,556,595 & 2,254,425 & 2,254,701 noted 2012 sale at $ 28K
50 Noctilux F1 Type 1 $ 4,900-5,800 2,740,000 – 2,919,656  
50 Noctilux F1 Type 2 $ 5,500-6,800 2,919,657 – 3,220,708
50 Noctilux F1 Type 3 $ 6,400-7,100 3,220,709 – Current.
50 Noctilux F.95 $ 11,000-14,000
     
75 Summilux F1.4 Type 1 (lighter body) $ 2,600-3,300 3,050,000 – 3,223,300
75 Summilux F1.4 Type 2 $ 2,800-3,600 3,223,300 – Current
75 Summicron F2.0 $ 2,800-3,750  
     
90 Rokkor F4 $ 275-350  
90 Elmar-C F4 $ 175-275 2,579,xxx noted
     
90 Elmar F4   3 Element $ 800-1,000 1,91x,xxx to 1,93x,xxx noted
90 Elmar F4 Collapsible $ 300-450 1,124,000 – 2,255,000
90 Macro-Elmar F4 $ 2,500-3,500 For complete set
     
90 Elmarit F2.8 Type 1 $ 800-1,350 1,645,300 – 2,730,000
90 Elmarit F2.8 Type 2 $ 1,425-2,250 3,480,000 – Current
     
90 Tele-Elmarit F 2.8 Type 1 (Fat) $ 800-1,100 2,000,000 – 2,585,000
90 Tele-Elmarit F 2.8 Type 1 (Fat Chrome) $ 950-1,500 2,070,806 noted
90 Tele-Elmarit F2.8 Type 2 $ 1,225-2,000 2,585,001 – 3,500,000
     
90 Summicron F2 Type 1 $ 1,000-1,400 1,459,000 – 1,650,000
90 Summicron F2 Type 2 $ 850-1,150 1,651,000 – 3,013,000
90 Summicron F2 Type 3 (E49) $ 900-1,300 2,800,000 – 3,750,000
90 Summicron F2 Type 3 (E55) $ 1,500-2,300 3,177,211 – 3,750,000
90 Summicron F2 ASPH $ 3,000-4,500 2,800,000 – Current
     
135 Hektor F4.5 Type 1 (36mm) $ 100-200 1,124,000 – 1,416,000
135 Hektor F4.5 Type 1 (39mm) $ 100-200 1,416,000 – 1,827,000
     
135 Elmar F4 $ 225-400 1,717,000 – 2,156,000
     
135 Tele-Elmar F4 Type 1 (E39) $ 350-500 2,077,000 – ?
135 Tele-Elmar F4 Type 2 (E46) $ 750-1,250  
     
135 APO-Telyt F3.4 $ 3,300-3,900  
     
135 Elmarit F2.8 Type 1 $ 400-750 1,967,000 – 2,600,000
135 Elmarit F2.8 Type 2 (S7) $ 575-900 2,600,000 -2,788,927
135 Elmarit F2.8 Type 2 (E55) $ 775-1,100 2,788,928 – 3,750,000
 

A lot of the older Leica lenses can be found on Ebay, but the current models can be purchased @ BHPhoto (Click Here), Amazon (Click Here), Adorama, (Click Here)

 

Zeiss ZM Lenses and Adapters

Zeiss is another optics manufacture that has been around forever. They also have a killer rangefinder lens line-up known as the ZM lenses. They were designed for use with the Zeiss Ikon Camera which is a gorgeous 35mm film camera seen below.

Zeiss Ikon camera

 

The adapter you would need in order to take advantage of the ZM lenses is the same as as the Leica lens adapters above which is really awesome as they are quite expensive.

The Zeiss ZM lens line-up is just as gorgeous as the Leica, check out a few pics I found on the web.

Zeiss ZM Lenses

Zeiss ZM Lenses

Zeiss ZM Lenses

Zeiss ZM Lenses

Zeiss ZM Lenses

Zeiss ZM Lenses

 

A lot of the older Zeiss lenses can be found on Ebay also, but the current models can be found on @ BHPhoto (Click Here), Amazon (Click Here), Adorama, (Click Here). BHPhoto and Adorama have a really good selection and Amazon is hit or miss I’ve found.

 

Voigtlander Lenses

Lastly we have Voigtlander Lenses made for the Leica M Mount. Another Ancient lens manufacturer that makes great Rangefinder style glass!!

Here’s a few Voigtlander lenses that look really nice.

Voigtlander 15/4.5 VM Super Wide Heliar, Voigtlander 28/2 Ultron, Voigtlander 35/1.4 Nokton

Voigtlander 15/4.5 VM Super Wide Heliar, Voigtlander 28/2 Ultron, Voigtlander 35/1.4 Nokton

Voigtlander 15/4.5 Super Wide Heliar, Zeiss 15/2.8 Biogon, Voigtlander Screw Mount 15/4.5 with M adapter

Voigtlander 15/4.5 Super Wide Heliar, Zeiss 15/2.8 Biogon, Voigtlander Screw Mount 15/4.5 with M adapter

 

 

A lot of the older Voigtlander lenses with the M Mount can be found on Ebay also, but the current models can be found on @ BHPhoto (Click Here), Amazon (Click Here), Adorama, (Click Here).

 

Closing Remarks:

As you can see there are a lot of great lens options for the Sony Nex Camera system if your willing to use a simple adapter manual focus. I know I am, but just can’t afford anything right now unfortunately.  When I do get some extra cash, I’m definitely going to get one of these adapters and start looking around for some old school glass ;)

Please feel free to share whatever lenses you are using with your Nex camera system and if you ever had the pleasure to use any of these lenses in this article we would love to hear of your experiences!! I know a lot of people are switching over from film that use these old school range finder cameras, but the Leica M9-p is $8000.00. A bit out of my price range and most of yours I bet, but the lenses are very reasonable considering the quality and totally worth investing in.

A much more re-reasonable priced RangeFinder style Camera with similar build quality as Leica and Zeiss, would be the Fuji X-Pro 1.  I actually just finished reviewing it (Click Here), and it really was built like a tank I must say. Great camera overall as well with an amazing lens line-up.

I personally still prefer the more modern Nex camera style for the incredible features and modern technology ergonomics, plus the versatility of the Sony Nex Camera System is totally un-matched when you factor in all the adapters available.

That is about it for now, and I hope you got something out of this article!!If you are interested in comparing prices on some of these lenses, be sure to click the direct links below ;)

Ebay Auction Quick Links for most common adaptable Lenses!!

Jay


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Thanks,
Jay

 

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About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




63 Comments


  1. Alan Sou

    I have to agree with using the peaking function, it works awesome on my Nex 5n! I bought a Tamron 70-210mm manual focus, that was made for a full frame Canon FD- mount, off craigslist and bought an adapter off Amazon; and i must say I’m pretty happy with how perfectly it fits. The Tamron 70-210mm is not a high quality lens but i cant complain, only spending $20, I now have a pretty decent tele-zoom lens. Me being a beginner at photography and college student Im considering on expanding my collection of lenses now.

    Great write up, Jay!


    • Jay

      Alan,

      Thanks for the comments and sharing your experience with the focus peaking, adapter and Tamron lens. It is great having that kind of zoom range, and that lens is actually quite sharp at f/8!!

      It’s great having a zoom like that as with time you will notice what focal lengths you like to use and can eventually get a prime lens to complement it. For example, a few years ago when Michele and I used to shoot weddings, I used the Canon 5d Mark II with the 70-200mm lens on it, but I also used the Canon 135, f/2 lens for several specialty type shots that the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS could not capture. Michele however loved to use the Tamron 28-300mm lens as the zoom range was awesome and she would take full advantage of it!! I remember looking at her pictures like, “WOW, I never got a picture like that with that lens. She also liked to use the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens on the 40D.

      Once you get your hands on a killer prime, you will not want to use zooms anymore though. Even if they are really high quality, they still just don’t compare to a prime lens.

      You certainly seem to be on the right track in your photography venture Alan, as the Nex-5n is pretty much the best bang for the buck camera out there. Very smart move as you can now spend time and invest in whatever lens and adapter you want and have a blast. If the lens sucks, you can always sell it on ebay or whatever ;)

      Have a great week and thanks again for sharing your experience,
      Jay


      • Dang

        Hi Jay,
        You mentioned that once one get his hands on a killer prime lens, he won’t want to use zooms anymore. I agree. I just got the NEX 6 and still have the SEL50F18 and SEL16F28 (with a 2x lens). I love them on the NEX 5N (gave it to my sister after got the NEX 6). Do you still recommend using them for the NEX 6?


      • Jay

        Hi Dang,

        Absolutely I would still use them!! I actually plan on getting both those lenses for myself shortly :)

        Best,
        Jay


    • Luis

      Alan Sou,

      I am trying to buy this same lens for my NEX 5n.

      I found a description of this lens: 70-210 F3.8-4 MACRO (58) (REQUIRES ADAPTALL) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS.

      Do you think it is the same lens that you bought?

      Thanks.


  2. Peter

    You forget Voigtlander’s official adapter from M, LTM and other mounts to NEX. They are not cheaper than Metabones, but cheaper thant Novoflex and I can tell you that they are made as well as the lenses themselves.

    Thanks for this list.


    • Jay

      Peter,

      Thank you very much for the comments and feedback! I will add those adapters as soon as I find them ;) You using them on the Nex?


  3. Peter

    Hi Alan,

    Yes, using them for my 35 nokton 1.2 and soon a 15mm heliar. Got both then 7 and 5n and replacing all my canon gear for nex. Because most of my work is based on 35mm fov, the zeiss is in great part the reason for my switch. I do need a 50 fov and a macro so the 35 nokton is brilliant on the 5n. On the 7 (albeit producing a ridiculous amount of detail in the centre half of the frame) it smudges on the edges. 5n is best fit for the nokton.

    Worth noting, in my experiencd, the zeiss 24 performs equally as well on both, though producing more detail on the 7. By far, the best 35fov/cam combo i have used after the contax g2. I know i can deliver to my clients with it.


    • Jay

      Thanks for the info Peter!! Very good to hear your experience and especially the Nex-7 higher resolution issues with specific lenses ;) I can’t wait to try some of this old school glass!!

      Best,
      Jay


      • Peter

        Sorry Jay (I meant to address you, although Alan is welcome to join the conversation)

        The NEX 7 doesnt have resolution issues, but rather, I would call it compatibility issues. Wide angle lenses have issues on the NEX 7 and other mirrorless cameras too (except m4/3 that thanks to its sensor size, it suffers much less from this)

        NEX 7, if you notice, needs to receive light from a not so slanted angle of incidence. Most 25/24mm lenses for M, thread mount, have the elements really close or beyond the mount. The case of the Sonnar 24mm for Sony is, if you notice, different because the rear element is very receded in the body of the lens, thus having a much more steep angle of incidence for the light hitting the sensor and so the edges perform noticeably better than many other wide angles.

        These days I am far more focused at maximising the RAW output of the NEX’s for low light capabilities. So far, my results tell me that the 7 is brilliant until ISO 1600 and 5n till 3200.


      • Peter

        By the way, on the captions above, the ones relating to the Zeiss Biogon and the Nokton 35mm 1.4 are mixed…they belong to the other photograph and vice versa.


      • Jay

        Whoops, Thanks all fixed!!


      • Jay

        Excellent info on the angle of incidence!! Similar to what causes diffraction sorta, but like you said the size of the sensor is really the issue. Your explanation makes perfect sense and I really appreciate you sharing the knowledge.

        As far as your raw conclusions go, I 100% agree as far as prints and client work is concerned. I prefer the Nex-5n for this reason alone pretty much, although the Nex-7 is incredible otherwise and for my photography I can usually use a tri-pod and longer shutter to keep the ISO down. Low light work is tuff and the super fast glass gives such a narrow depth of field they are hard to use at times, especially with moving subjects!! Concert work comes to mind ;)

        I really need to put my Nex-7 back together, but the A57 is so awesome and I’m having such a blast using it, the Nex-7 work will have to wait unfortunately.

        If you don’t mind me asking, did you get a good deal on those lenses?? I’m curious what kind of cash I’ll need to get a few of these guys.

        BTW, That 35mm f/1.2 looks awesome!!

        Thanks again,
        Jay


      • Peter

        Hi Jay,

        I think low light has been a no-brainer since ISO 1600 has been usable. I see that film ISO 1600 would have not been anywhere near as good as even the nex 7 today because it would have simply not held enough detail with such thick grain. That being said, All I needed was ISO 400 and an f2 lens in dim light and I could have shot so much at 1/15 or 1/8 with the G2. That camera had just about the right heft when it came to balance it for slow shutter speed. The nex 7, while nicely light, is a bit too light for that so I keep it at 1/equivalent focal length.

        When I got my nex 7, it was december and it was in Germany. I paid full price for the Sonnar and the nex. My reason behind it was not so much the rare availability at the time, but rather to know there and then whether I could sell my SLR stuff and go to a camera I actually liked using…again, liky my G2 but in digi. These days you can find the Zeiss cheaper than what I got it for, albeit apparently it is scarce. I would happily pay £850 for it new today. Besides, it exchanges almost equally money wise with my now sold Zeiss 35mm ZE for canon…so I call it a fair exchange (performs similarly so I am happy)
        The Nokton, however, was another story. A struck of luck at ebay allowed me to have one for £670 (~$1000) and I got the version II of it (I would not have minded which one I would have gotten either version, but I was lucky I got the II version.

        I was a bit disappointed when I found a photo made with the nokton where the edges just did not catch up to the centre. By that point, however, I had decided to get the 5n because of the video capabilities (better video at higher ISO, all else is equal) so I then decided to try the nokton on it and behold, it worked better. That being said, if centre sharpness is the most important, then the nex 7 will definitively serve better.

        All that aside, I have now only my 5D2 body left to sell. I am picking it up tomorrow from a friend and then flogging it on the bay. I dont even need the loupe I got for it to make video…the EVF becomes just that!

        Any questions, I can come back tomorrow to answer.


      • Jay

        Peter,

        Thanks a lot for taking the time to type that all out and share the info! Before you ditch the 5d Mark II you may want to try the Magic Lantern firmware as it adds focus peaking and a 100% zoom Picture in Picture feature. Makes the video a million times more usable and very similar to the Nex. Really brings the camera to the next level for a simple donation to a team of Guru’s. Your probably aware already.

        I wish I had some L quality glass for my Nex-7 other than the Canon stuff due to the size. The quality is incredible, but the lenses are gigantic. The lenses in this article definitely seem like the way to go for my style of shooting. The Fast AF is awesome at times, but I don’t need it 99% of the time for I personally like to shoot. HDR, Landscapes, Portraits, etc…

        As far a studio work is concerned the Nex-7 can realistically replace the 5d Mark II with the right optics mounted to it. The Canon EF 135 f/2 L Lens for example pumps out killer frames one after another, but it’s limited to a wide open aperture unless I get the fully electronic metabone adapter. I would rather sell something than buy more gear though if you know what I mean. I really need full manual range finder style lenses like the ones in this article, and what your using in order to take advantage of the Nex-7 for the least amount of cash and physical size. I don’t want to sacrifice build quality or optics though. Once you use the good stuff, it’s hard to settle for less. I will sell something if I’m confident I can replace the optics within reason.

        I won’t likely sell any of my Pro stuff though unless I really have too though as you can’t beat what is already paid for, and I may need to do some Pro work again on the side if things get really tight. I really need Pro Gear for wedding work, and I can’t afford to buy a a900 and lenses. However, once the a99 comes out I may consider selling all the Canon gear, if practical, and invest in all Sony Pro gear.

        Thanks again for all the info, and keep in touch!!

        Best,
        Jay


  4. Tom

    Jay,
    I have used the Rayqual, Voigtlander, Metabones and Fotodiox “M” adapters. Rayqual and Voigtlander are the most expensive and very good. The Metabones adapter is the least expensive and not nearly as good as the other three. I found the Metabones adpater to be way off of the miniumum and maximum focus settings. I use the Fotodiox Pro adpater and find it to be as good as the Rayqual and Voigtlander for less than half the cost.

    Tom


    • Jay

      Hey Tom,

      Thank you very much for sharing the info and quality control info ;) I’ve had good experience with the Fotodiox Adapter I have for the Canon lenses so it’s good to here this adapter is a worth wjile investment as well!!

      I’m also very surprised about the focus issues with the Metabones adapter, really good to know!! They also had issues with the fully electronic Canon EF model, although I believe it’s now fixed.

      Thanks again,
      Jay


    • Jay

      Hey Tom,

      I just added a photo of the Rayqual adapters and links, thanks again for the info!!

      Best,
      Jay


      • Tom

        Jay,
        I purchased the Rayqual adpater from Japan Exposures (www.japanexposures.com). They were very efficient and kept me informed of it’s shipping progress.

        Regards,
        Tom


      • Jay

        Thanks Tom, I just added the link ;)

        Best,
        Jay


  5. Hello, I tested different Leica M to E-mount adapters: an cheap unknown, a Metabones, the Voigtlaender and a Helicoid adapter. All work well. What differs is the built quality, VC is the best followed by the Metabones and Helisoid and noname. The VC and the Helicoid are the most exact in matching the infinity focus of different lenses. The Metabones with its modular design can be adjusted by adding a small layer of foil.
    At the moment I love most the Helicoid because the minimal focus distance becomes smaller, i.e. the Nokton 35F1.2 now goes to 25cm instead of 50cm.
    Kind Regards and thank you for the blog!


    • Jay

      Hello Reiner,

      Thanks for the comments and sharing your experience!! I added the Helicoid adapter you mention and thanks for sharing the info about he minimal focus distance, I had no idea that was a “side effect” for lack of a better word ;)

      Best,
      Jay


  6. john

    Hey SAL, I was wondering how does the light metering fair when using adapters like these on the nEx-7?


    • Jay

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the comments and question! The Light Metering works exactly the same. No light loss or anything if that is what you were thinking, as the Nex has no idea what is attached to the camera. The feature to use the camera with No lens attached needs to be enabled when using none electronic adapters like these. Off camera flash photography should also be no issue at all. The only issue that may arise, although I have no tested it yet, is using a Hot Shoe flash like the HVL-F58AM.

      I’m not 100% sure if this will work flawlessly, but perhaps somebody who has read this article has tried it??

      Best,
      Jay


  7. Johan

    Great infos on the adapters and lenses, one question for you,
    Panasonic Leica lenses like the Lumix Leica DG Summilux 25mm F1.4 would work also?
    Thanks !


    • Jay

      Hey Johan,

      I’m not 100% sure, but those lenses are made for the Micro 4/3rds sensors specifically, so I don’t think they would work as the sensor on the Nex cameras is APS-C sized. It would cause a crop basically if it was put on I think. I could be wrong about that, but I can’t find anything on it otherwise at the moment ;)

      Best,
      Jay


  8. Larry C.

    Can’t seem to find anyone who has tested legacy Minolta (MD) lenes with the NEX series. Any plans to do this?

    Regards,

    Larry C.


    • Jay

      Hi Larry,

      I would have to get my hands on a few, but I would be happy to. Perhaps BH has a few in their used department ;) Any particular lens your looking to see??

      Best,
      Jay


      • Larry C.

        Jay,

        I have been using Minolta for forty years, and counting. I am partial to my MD 28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.7 & 135mm 2.8, but I would appreciate any that you can test. I would be looking at NEX 5n, NEX C3/F3 to use with those lenses. I am also considering A37 or A57 to use with my Minolta A-Series lenses.

        Regards,

        Larry C.


      • Jay

        Larry,

        If I’m not mistaken, don’t those lenses need the gear drive off the camera for focus? I’ve never actually seen one in person ;)

        Best,
        Jay


      • Jay

        I found this on DPReview.com:

        “Yes, the lenses used on Minolta AF bodies are compatible with Sony Alpha bodies (with a few exceptions like some Sigma lenses).

        The older lenses will not have coatings on them that were developed for digital but I have several and have seen no issues.
        The older lenses will not have distance integration, but that is only a problem when taking flash photos with a reflective background.
        The older lenses will be screwdriver type focus, slower and noisier
        Sigma lens compatibility issues are with the first generation of SLT bodies (A33, A35, A55). I have three Sigmas I use on my A77 with no issues, admittedly they are post film days lenses.

        The older MD manual focus lenses are not compatible without an adapter which contains a glass element to allow focusing to infinity and degrades quality. “


  9. Larry C.

    Jay,

    While I admire Leica, and Zeiss lenses, I have never been able to afford them. Here is a link to an ebay sale for a Minolta MD to NEX.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/290565272357?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

    Perhaps one of your readers have tested their NEX with MD lenses?

    Regards,

    Larry C.


    • Jay

      Hi Larry,

      Thank you for the link and I totally understand about the Zeiss/ Leica Glass!! I know they are compatible, but with Manual focus. I’ll see what else I can find for you ;)

      Best,
      Jay


  10. Furqan

    if you suggest me one 35mm lens out of all you said which one should I get?


    • Jay

      Honestly, the New E-Mount 35mm looks awesome for the money and it has OSS, AF, and ED Glass inside!!! Relatively inexpensive and worth trying. Very easy to sell if you decide to upgrade to a Volt, Leca, etc… I just added the New Sony E-Mount Lenses to my Guide over Here >>

      I never used any of these old school ultra high quality lenses, so it would be unfair for me to pick one over the other at this point ;)

      I hope that helps!!

      Jay


  11. Lou

    http://www.pbase.com/lou_giroud/nex7_lens_tests

    I have on site dome tests with different lenses, and I will expand this as soon as I get other lenses. I will add Voigtlaender 15 and a few russain Jupiters in next future.


  12. perry

    Hello Jay,

    Just found your great set of information! Thanks so much! Back myself in nex territory after some N and mft dwellings. Oh well never should have sold the nex 5N set anyway. Now waiting for the nex 6. Going to build a set of fast and legacy glass.

    Your complete set of adapters-adaptability for nex is awesome. Thanks again. Kind regards Perry


    • Jay

      No Problem at all Perry and thanks for the comments!! I really need to update this article with more accurate updated links for the adapters in particular!! I’ll try and get it done asap, or I may just write an updated article. Like a Part 2 or something ;)

      Later,
      Jay


  13. losmi

    Hi
    looking for an adapter that will allow me to put Leitz super angulon 1:4/21mm on Sony nex 5n. Lens back group glass is too convex so adapter should be deeper than the fotodiox pro adapter which i have and it is good , using it with summicron 35/1.4 but will like to have smth more wide.
    Is on market any adapter which will aloud me to put super angulon 1:4/21mm on nex5n?
    kind regads
    losmi


    • Jay

      Hello Iosmi,

      Thant lens came with multiple mount types I believe, do you know what mount it is designed for? M possible? I need to know the mount in order to figure out which adapter should work.

      Thanks,
      Jay


  14. losmi

    Hi Jay
    This is leica M lens . with a leica m-sony fotodiox adapter on lens rear tube with glasses is 0.2 inch sticking out .just to illustrate how rear group glass is going deep in camera.
    problem is that lens back group glass is too convex so adapter should be deeper than the fotodiox pro adapter which i have.let say almost 2 times deeper than fotodiox adapter
    thx
    milos


    • Jay

      Losmi,

      This is leica M lens . with a leica m-sony fotodiox adapter on lens rear tube with glasses is 0.2 inch sticking out .just to illustrate how rear group glass is going deep in camera.
      problem is that lens back group glass is too convex so adapter should be deeper than the fotodiox pro adapter which i have.let say almost 2 times deeper than fotodiox adapter

      You have an adapter on the lens already, but it’s not the correct one for the Sony Nex E-Mount it sounds like??

      Hear are some adapters for Leica M lens mount to the Sony Nex E-Mount >>

      If the lens is deeper than what that adapter does, then perhaps the lens is not an M Mount?? Sorry, it’s really hard for me to picture what exactly you have ;)

      Jay


      • losmi

        Hi Jay

        thanks for efforts,
        here is link where you can see what i have.

        http://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/21mm-f4.htm

        you see now how back group glass is convex .it is M lens . it can not fit in Sony camera with fotodiox pro. need smth like twice the thickness of fotodiox pro
        thanks
        losmi


      • Jay

        Yeah I see what your talking about and Man is that lens Awesome!!! It has a special Lens cap and everything for the same reason. I Honestly don’t know if that lens will work on the Nex camera system Losmi. I’ll ask a few friends who know way more than I do about these old school ultra high quality Leica lenses and see if I can find out if an adapter solution is available.

        Thanks,
        Jay


      • Jay

        Losmi,

        I asked a few friends on Google Plus and it looks like that particular lens might not due to the extra thickness of the protrusion in the back. The distance of the sensor in relation to the back of the lens has to be the same if it works on the Leica correct?? Possible with an extension tube it will work, but you will loose infinity focus. Apparently a few Russian lenses suffer from the same issue. Most fit, but a few odd balls do not.

        Really sorry as that lens looks like it cost you some serious cash possible. Hopefully I’m wrong and somebody can chime in here with better news ;)

        I hope this helps,
        Jay


  15. losmi

    Thanks Jay

    i tried with extension tube , it works macro only and it is useless.
    will need to make research to find out some other cheaper M bayonet wild angle lens for my sony.
    regards


    • Jay

      Losmi,

      i tried with extension tube , it works macro only and it is useless.
      will need to make research to find out some other cheaper M bayonet wild angle lens for my sony.
      regards

      At least it mounted and worked in Macro Mode!!

      Best,
      Jay


  16. olivierboinet@gmail.com

    Here are the lenses and adapters I am using with my nex 5 with fantastic results !
    I am using the nikons for 30 years now and I must say they are also fantastic lenses with the NEX despite they are 1.5X. In order to compensate and keep short focals I also bought the voigtlander lenses. For sure I am on a budget and the voigtlander almost killed my wallet ! but I wanted to have a nice collection that I think is the best combo available for the NEX today.

    Pentax SMC FA 50 mm f/1.4
    Nikon 85 mm f/1.4 ai-s
    Nikon 105 mm f/2.8 ai-s
    Nikon 80-200 mm f/4.5n ai
    Voigtlander 15 mm f/4.5 super wide heliar ASPH M mount
    Voigtlander 28 mm f/2 ultron M mount
    Sony 18-55 mm f3.5 5.6 E mount

    Adapters:
    for Minolta: Kipon, good feel.
    for Nikon and Voigtlander: metabones, tremandous, needed a pod support too.

    I think THE BEST with the NEX is the nikon 105 mm that goes up to 145mm now and by doing so, it produces absolutly incredible results.
    The nikon 85 mm loose a bit of interest now for me but still stay in the lead.
    The pentax 50 mm is now a fabulous portrait lens and so fast !!!
    What can I say about the nikon 80-200 mm that is now a fabulous 120-300 mm !!! I am reusing it more and more and it s amazing results as it has always be.
    What about the voigtlander ? well, the 15 mm is at 20 mm and I am not used to it yet but the results are also great ( need to practice more ), despite it needs some cornerfix if not used with a circular polirizer. At 20 mm the Hoya filter now works like a charm and almost eliminate the cornerfix need.
    The voigtlander 28 mm working at 50mm is a tremendous lens too and perfect for everyday usage. Also it is the most responsive and ideal for movies , as for the pentax 50 mm, especially in low light and interior filming.
    I must say I am not using any more the Sony 18-55 mm….

    Even for sport fast scene I am not using the sony 18-55 mm anymore as with the new focus peaking that is extremly precise I can manual focus almost as fast , exept for the nikon 85 mm and the 105 mm , too hard to do. With the pentax and the voigtlander this is not a problem at all. I am using the 80-200 mm with a monopod for fast sport shooting on large fields and it s not a problem at all neither.

    I am very happy with this combo because it will be reversible and usable in FX when the nex 9 will be on the market with an FX sensor ( hope very soon ). No doubt I will buy it right away.


    • Jay

      Thank you so much Oliver for all the information and insight on the lenses and adapters!! It means a lot to folks like me who just don’t know that much about these older lenses. I’m finding them fantastic though and plan on checking out the lenses you just mentioned here :) I’ll drop a few links if I find any killer auctions.

      Thanks again, and I will comment later after going over all these lenses you mentioned!

      Jay


  17. kyle

    Hi,
    I am new to photography. I have Sony Nex 5N and I am about to buy Tamron AF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 LD for Canon Digital SLR Cameras. Can I use this lens for my NEX 5 and buy an adapter to mount it?
    If an adapter is required, then which adapter should be recommended. Canon mount for Sony NEX?
    thanks.


    • Jay

      Hello Kyle,

      Nice camera you have there, and yes you can use your canon EF mount lenses with a lens adapter. You have a few options with Canon lenses like the Metabones Speed Booster lens adapter that will give you full Autofocus abilities on the Nex-5n with your Canon EF lenses!!

      If you want to use manual focus, with the awesome focus peaking feature enabled, like most of us out there are doing, then you just need a Canon EF to Nex Lens adapter (click Here). The RainbowImaging lens adapter is one of the most affordable and works great for the old school Minolta lenses I have. I also have the Fotodiox lens adapter for my Canon EF lenses and it works great, but is much more money than the rainbowImaging.

      I hope that helps you out Kyle, and thanks for the questions!!

      Jay


  18. lara

    Hello
    I am have a NEX -5R. looking to purchase a macro lense and Sonys E mount one looks good however also keen to buy babylens tilt converter and composer. Can I use the tilt convertor as a general convertor for another macro lense and if so which ones would work?
    and any recommendation??

    Many thanks ins advance for your time


    • Jay

      Hi Lara,

      The Lensbaby Tilt Composer on Amazon (Click here) says, it’s for a Nikon mount. So, in this case you would be able to use Nikon F Mount lenses, and yes a macro F Mount lens would work in full manual mode. I really don’t know to much about the lensbaby gear though, as I never used it personally.

      I would go for the 30mm E-Mount first, or just get a cheaper lens adapter and lens combo like the Nex to MD Minolta lens adapter. You can then get an old school Minolta macro if you want? The LA-EA1 lens adapter will get you access to all the Sony A-Mount lenses. That is probably your best bet for a larger variety of Macro options. I’ve used the 90mm Tamron macro, and it’s a pretty nice lens for the money. A-mount macro Lenses on Amazon >>

      I hope that helps,
      Jay


  19. Colleen spivey

    Hi…great website. I have a question. I have a Sony NEX 5r and would like to find an adapter for my Quantaray 70-300 lens. What would I use? Thx.


  20. Jay,

    I just stumbled onto your site after researching the NEX cameras. I’ve decided on the NEX 6 based mostly on your in depth review and the positive comments from others. I still do not own an NEX still camera but I’ve been shooting for a couple of months with an NEX FS100. (Yep I’m a videoguy) I just wanted to share my experiences shooting with the Fotga MD to NEX adapter and Minolta MD lenses. I highly recommend anyone looking to shoot with vintage glass to take a close look at the Rokkor 58mm F1.4. They usually go for around $80 in good condition on Ebay and look fantastic on the FS100. The Fotga MD to NEX sells for about $12 on Ebay and is a really good quality build for the price. In fact, for the cost of a modern e-mount lens, you can get yourself a nice set of Minolta MD primes off Ebay. I also have the Rokkor 28mm f2.5, Rokkor 35mm F2.8 and a 50mm F1.4. I also have a Tokina 45mm f2 but i really prefer the build and look of the Rokkor lenses.


  21. Alfred

    Hi Jay

    I thought of buying these for my a6000:
    -Minolta 70-210mm f/4 BEERCAN AF
    -Minolta MD 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Autofocus Macro
    Since booth of them fit A-mount, would I gained Auto Focus ability by using the Sony LA-EA2 adapter?

    Appreciate your answer.
    Thanks. :)
    Alfred


    • Jay

      Hi Alfred,

      As far as I know they will work fine Alfred ;) Good luck with them bud and please let me know how you make out. Perhaps share some pics on the forum as well!

      Jay


  22. Dan

    Thanks for this guide!
    I am looking for telephoto zoom macro (about 80-200mm +/-) lense for sony a6000, manual focus affordable price.

    Do you have any recommendation what to look for?

    Thanks!



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