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Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
May 20, 2011, 11:10
Post: #1
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
As some of you may have picked up(posts passim on X-100 et al), I have a gap in my lens array between 21mm and 50mm.
I'm aware that I could have always found another decent prime(Canon or Zeiss 35mm of f1.4 or f2; Voigtlander 40mm for instance)....yet the very reason I'd like something 30-40mm-ish is to be able to quickly deploy it at "street" candid levels. Hence my tenterhooked wait for(and finally disappointment of) the Fuji X-100)...and each time I catch myself letching for the Leica X-1, "sense" tells me for that cash I could just about get the monstrously good Zeiss 35/1.4, yet then we've defeated the quick-draw object.
Now, I've had an idea: could any of advise as to its feasability please? That is:
If I bought a Sony NEX-5 body, then putting my Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8mm on it....?

You see, I'm assuming the 21mm will then "become" 30mm or so on the APS-C body.....it'll be a tiny but sturdy combo....I'm happier with manual focus for wide lenses. And I'd have a cracking street camera for a mere 500 sheets or so...
Thing is, I've no idea if there are such things or ways of converting from Sony NEX fit to Canon EF...and even less if focus-confirm function might be possible...?

What does the team think? Would I have to go from "NEX-Alpha" to "Sony-Alpha" to Canon EF? Can this be done....and if it can, is focus-confirm far too much for me to expect?
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May 20, 2011, 12:00
Post: #2
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
I do hate to be the bearer of bad news.

Zeiss uses the EF-mount electronic aperture control for the ZE lenses.

There are no EF-mount-to-something adapters with aperture control.

Sorry.
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May 20, 2011, 13:25
Post: #3
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
mmm...thank you Matthew. Have you heard of any NEX E(body) to Canon EOS(lens) that would at least "mechanically" couple and allow at least a TTL metering starting-point? I confess to being out of my comfort zone in terms of understanding.
Bah...I thought I was onto a really neat something there! Smile
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May 20, 2011, 13:51 (This post was last modified: May 20, 2011 15:33 by zedbra.)
Post: #4
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
Sorry to ask another question before my previous one has been explored:
Given my 35mm(or thereabouts) fixation...are there any 24mm primes that have been found to match really well to the NEX?(and yet I fear I'll end up in the big bucks again by thinking down this route...)

[Zig goes away and has a think at this point...]

Ah...the penny has dropped: no aperture control so of course my Zeiss is unusable..Rolleyes ....
....so am guessing that some decent elderly manual primes would match.
Now, as I do like the "waist-level finder" possibilities with the NEX, then perhaps some of the following would work...?... a Zuiko or Vivitar 24/2.8....Voigtlander 25/4...even your very own Zeiss ZM Biogons?(25/2.8?) If I can realistically manage the NEX5+adapter+lens combo for less than £900 GBP, then I may at last have a project.
Does my logic work here, or am I missing something obvious?
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May 20, 2011, 16:39
Post: #5
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
For the record, there are plenty of adapters that will couple EOS/EF lenses to other formats, but they leave the lens at the smallest aperture. Not exactly ideal.

(The alternative is to buy Nikon-compatible F-mount lenses and add a Nikon to Canon adapter for your Canon camera, but then you're left with stop-down metering and a fiddly little lever to control the aperture on the newer G-series lenses that Nikon loves to make. Also not ideal, and beside the point anyway.)

From an Aesopian point of view, it's not a great loss: the size disparity between the NEX and 21/2.8 Distagon would make it something like attaching a soup can to a dinner mint. Remember also that the lens adapter pads out the camera mount until it's the same depth as the original system, so have a look at the sensor plane mark on your Canon, and then imagine the skinny little NEX with the front of the 21/2.8 being just as far in front of the little camera as it is on your big camera.

Any other lens – with an aperture ring – will work with an adapter, but there's no focus confirmation or auto stop-down aperture action. That last means that you're manually setting the aperture to whatever it needs to be, so essentially the camera is permanently locked into depth-of-field preview mode. For most accurate focusing, you'll need to open the aperture up, and then stop it back down to take the photo. You'll also have to tell the camera when it needs to magnify the LCD preview; since there's no electronic coupling, the camera doesn't know what the lens is doing. You'll use either Aperture or Manual modes.

The little manual lenses (OM, M, K, F, etc) are all possible choices, and there should be adapter options for pretty much all of them.

Of course, you can get little bitty AF primes in (equivalent) 36mm from Olympus, 28mm and 40mm from Panasonic; 24mm from Sony; and 45mm and 24mm (coming RSN™) from Samsung.
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May 21, 2011, 06:38
Post: #6
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
Excellent mate. (As an aside to your aside point, just before getting the Zeiss ZE I did momentarily have the Nikon 12-24 jobby, the G mount one; at the time Novoflex were the only ones doing an EOS/G adapter but were experiencing supply issues...so the Nikon went back and the Zeiss came into the light.) Thanks Matthew; I'm a pretty fulltime aperture-priority guy in any case, so it should be just a mattter of getting to grips with the camera's butons and flip-screen. Show never being over till the fat Lady sings, an' all that.

I've today taken a step forward, albeit a non-commital one: I've just bought a Vivitar(serial number says it's an early Cosina) 24mm f2.8 in Canon FD fit. It just happened to be FD...the pont being that it cost less than £30(maybe $50-55??), so if I get cold feet there's no loss, and if the lens is half-decent it'll kickstart me towards a NEX-5 body just as prices drop before the new one comes out. 25 quid for a NEX/FD adapter, and we should be ready to rock with a passable 35mm equivalent(or perhaps better, if the lens is a goodun) for a total cost of about £550 GBP.
I'll have a squint through the Vivitar on Tuesday through my mate's old Canon, then apply sheer guesswork as to whether it'll be worth proceeding with the Master Plan.
Please, anyone(and Matt of course) feel free to chip in and shout caveats and the like!
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May 23, 2011, 04:54
Post: #7
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
I love the FD lenses on my GF1 zig... And my EOS-MFT adapter never gets used due to the lack of aperture control. The wide availability and cheapness of good 2nd hand FD glass makes it great.

I haven't been following this closely so I'm not sure of the reasoning you have behind going for a NEX (except that knowing you, I'm sure it has had a LOT of thought put into it). But if I were in your situation (looking for a small 35ish street combo), the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens would be pulling me hard towards the micro 4/3 camp.

Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
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May 23, 2011, 05:13
Post: #8
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
Ahhh.. I did a bit of reading of the x100 thread and can see you really want good manual focus performance Zig.
I can see why you're looking at the NEX. The Pany 20mm pancake would only frustrate you when focussing manually with its clunky focus-by-wire design, thus nullifying the drawcard of the MFT system.

Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
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May 27, 2011, 01:13
Post: #9
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
Thank you Adrian, really useful.
I think I'm pulled by the NEX because of sensor size and flippy "candid-friendly" screen...but again I wonder how much this is negated by piddling around in menus in real use.
I've just received my FD-fit Vivitar 24/1.8, which has to be the tiniest wide I've seen. Seems chunky, responsive and in good order...though now of course a major nailbiter as to whether to proceed down the NEX route: I could live with chucking 29 quid on the lens, but another 500 sheets to get the front and back end together...?.. Time to engage with some more burying my head in the sand under the guise of "research" for the moment....:|
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Jun 10, 2011, 10:05
Post: #10
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
It's worth pointing out that the NEX series is about to make a huge leap ahead of the m4/3 set for manual focus: a firmware update is coming that will allow 'peaking'. This is a feature imported from the video world, where the areas of highest contrast (="in focus") are shown with a coloured halo around them. Manual focus becomes much faster, and should make the magnified focus assist unnecessary for most photography. This could be a huge improvement, and its absence is something that I lament with my GH1.

Of course, Sony has yet to find a usability interface or gimmick that it can't flub, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Jun 13, 2011, 13:45
Post: #11
Am I mad...Zeiss 21mm(ZE) on a Sony NEX-5?
Thanks Matthew.
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