LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lenses?

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LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lenses?

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:10 am

Now that Sony has the new LA-EA2 A-mount to E-mount adaptor with PDAF, ability to focus screw-drive lenses, and provide full functionality I am wondering if it would be possible to have similar adaptors for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. AF SLR lenses that would allow full functionality? I suppose it would and I suppose that Sony (or whoever made these adaptors) would have to reverse engineer the communication protocols or pay to get them. Sigma and Tamron, as examples, probably have much of this already and much of the expertise to do it, but they would need the communication protocols from the adaptor to the NEX body. Wouldn't this be cool? Probably draw lots of people to NEX.
Last edited by bakubo on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:17 pm

Well, they have made the mount available and encourage such things. I would not be surprised if a clone in Canon mount came out before Canon can get their ILC designed...

David

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:15 pm

Of course, A-mount, Canon, Nikon, and other SLR lenses aren't ideal for NEX because of their size, but obviously some people want to use their A-mount lenses on NEX since Sony has 2 adapters to allow that to happen. With the first adapter there were lots of disadvantages since screw-drive lenses couldn't AF and even lenses with motors didn't AF so well/fast. I assume that Sigma or Tamron will one day come out with some E-mount lenses so if they do then they will have the E-mount communication protocol figured out. Of course, they would still need the SLT tech, but Sigma does have experience making AF SLRs already so they are probably pretty close. Somehow I doubt this is something Sony would do since I don't think their imagination goes that far. :) Also, it might be a bridge too far with regards to offending their fellow Japanese at Canon and Nikon. Rivals, but at the same time there may be some things that just aren't done. :lol:

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby twm47099 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:35 pm

bakubo wrote:Now that Sony has the new LA-EA2 A-mount to E-mount adapter with PDAF, ability to focus screw-drive lenses, and provide full functionality I am wondering if it would be possible to have a similar mount for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. AF SLR lenses that would allow full functionality? I suppose it would and I suppose that Sony (or whoever made these adapters) would have to reverse engineer the communication protocols or pay to get them. Sigma and Tamron, as examples, probably have much of this already and much of the expertise to do it, but they would need the communication protocols from the adapter to the NEX body. Wouldn't this be cool? Probably draw lots of people to NEX.


One issue would be that the new adapter has the PDAF module and AF system embedded in it. The original adapter wasn't that big a success for SAM/SSM lenses (as opposed to MF) because of the slow AF using the native NEX CDAF (and what ever algorithms were needed to convert to PDAF designed lenses.)

The third party lens makers know how to use the signals from the camera manufacturers AF system to control their lenses. And I assume that their a-mount lenses would work with the new NEX adapter (although with Sigma that's not necessarily a good assumption.) But that would mean that for adapting other camera brands' AF lenses having to design and build a PDAF/mirror system that would have that camera's reverse engineered AF detection, processing, and control hardware and logic. I don't think that is a very simple task. If possible there would definitely be lots of discussion why the third party AF isn't as good as Canikon's, etc.

The alternative is to make an adapter between the new Sony adapter and the other camera brand lenses. That's the same as designing the capability for any a-mount camera since the registration distance and output signals are the same as (or very similar to) those coming off the front of any a-mount camera since the Maxxum 7 (i.e. includes SSM/SAM protocols). I'm not aware that anyone has adapted Canikon AF lenses (with AF and aperture control) to an a-mount camera. And because of the number of lens types available in Canikon AF mount that aren't available from Minolta/Sony I would have expected that would have been a fairly worthwhile capability.

tom

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:39 pm

Tom - the reason no-one adapted Canon lenses if first of all that the lens-focalplane register is too short, secondly that EF-S lenses intrude into the camera and also don't cover a 1.5X sensor, thirdly that they require electronic operation and setting of the aperture (like NEX) not mechanical like Alpha. Since NEX aperture protocol could be translated to Canon, and the register distance is not an issue, and the SLT mirror does not move so EF-S lenses would not interfere with it (even if they still did not have proper corner coverage) - it could be done with NEX even if it never was practical with Alpha.

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:11 pm

I suppose that since the Canon lenses all have a motor and the aperture is controlled electronically (I think the E-mount is the same, isn't it?) it might mean an adapter for NEX could be a bit smaller than the LA-EA2 since the adapter would not need an AF motor and wouldn't need the mechanism to operate the mechanical aperture mechanism that the A-mount uses.

It seems like someone, Sony, Sigma, Tamron, or someone else really could jump on the idea and make full operation adapters which would give the effect of the long wished for universal mount. We know how popular the existing simple adapters are that allow old MF lenses to be mounted on NEX using stop down metering, MF, etc. Being able to use all or most existing AF lenses of all brands with full capability and fast AF seems to me to be very attractive.

It is easy to imagine a later NEX model with a bit larger body, larger battery, and better ergonomics that would make comfortable use with SLR lenses. Imagine using any of your various brand and mount lenses and also being able to choose the lens you want based on various characteristics, but without much regard for which mount it has?

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby UrsaMajor » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:26 am

bakubo wrote:Now that Sony has the new LA-EA2 A-mount to E-mount adapter with PDAF, ability to focus screw-drive lenses, and provide full functionality I am wondering if it would be possible to have a similar mount for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. AF SLR lenses that would allow full functionality? I suppose it would and I suppose that Sony (or whoever made these adapters) would have to reverse engineer the communication protocols or pay to get them.
If my memory is correct, I think I recall reading many months ago that Sony announced they were making public all of the lens-camera communication details for the NEX cameras to encourage third parties to make lenses for the NEX cameras.

If that is correct, there should be no obstacles to such mounts, other than the question of whether the perceived market would be large enough to attract suppliers.

With best wishes,
- Tom -

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby agorabasta » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:01 pm

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1042&message=39262037

Please follow all of that thread through. All's for real, those guys have already reverse-engineered the Canon EF-S aperture control.

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby twm47099 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:02 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:Tom - the reason no-one adapted Canon lenses if first of all that the lens-focalplane register is too short, secondly that EF-S lenses intrude into the camera and also don't cover a 1.5X sensor, thirdly that they require electronic operation and setting of the aperture (like NEX) not mechanical like Alpha. Since NEX aperture protocol could be translated to Canon, and the register distance is not an issue, and the SLT mirror does not move so EF-S lenses would not interfere with it (even if they still did not have proper corner coverage) - it could be done with NEX even if it never was practical with Alpha.

David


David,
If the idea is to use the Sony PDAF adapter, then there would be the same registration distance problem. If on the other hand, the intent is for the third party to make a specific PDAF module, then that would work, except that the SLT/PDAF module is the Sony patented breakthrough, and I wonder if Sony would be willing to license that to others or would play Apple and protect it at all costs. I've never looked at Sony as a "let's all share" company (and sharing the NEX electronic protocols is nice, but, really, history shows that they would be reverse engineered as soon as the third party wanted to make lenses for that mount anyway.) So again I don't see a simple answer to fully adapting Canon lenses to e-mount.

tom

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:29 am

UrsaMajor wrote:If my memory is correct, I think I recall reading many months ago that Sony announced they were making public all of the lens-camera communication details for the NEX cameras to encourage third parties to make lenses for the NEX cameras.


I didn't know that. Yes, it seems like that would remove the work of reverse engineering the E-mount protocol if someone other than Sony was to make some adapters.

UrsaMajor wrote:If that is correct, there should be no obstacles to such mounts, other than the question of whether the perceived market would be large enough to attract suppliers.


Of course, I am only guessing, but adapters that allow full functionality and normal, fast AF of other lenses seems to be a no-brainer as far as popularity. Sony apparently thinks the idea is so worthwhile that after they came out with one limited functionality adapter they went back and made another full functionality one that can be used to get fast AF with Sony, KM, Minolta, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, etc. A-mount lenses. If Canon, Nikon, and other mount lenses could have the same fast AF and full functionality then, as I mentioned before, it would be close to having the universal lens mount that people have wanted for decades. Of course, Sony may not see it in their big picture interest to do it. Sony would gain, but maybe also lose some. Sigma and Tamron might have fewer qualms about that though. Anyway, I have no idea if someone will do it, but the pieces seem to all be there. :)
Last edited by bakubo on Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby twm47099 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:00 pm

bakubo wrote:
UrsaMajor wrote:If my memory is correct, I think I recall reading many months ago that Sony announced they were making public all of the lens-camera communication details for the NEX cameras to encourage third parties to make lenses for the NEX cameras.


I didn't know that. Yes, it seems like that would remove the work of reverse engineering the E-mount protocol if someone other than Sony was to make some adapters.

UrsaMajor wrote:If that is correct, there should be no obstacles to such mounts, other than the question of whether the perceived market would be large enough to attract suppliers.


Of course, I am only guessing, but adapters that allow full functionality and normal, fast AF of other lenses seems to be a no-brainer as far as popularity. Sony apparently thinks the idea is so worthwhile that after they came out with one limited functionality adapter they went back and made another full functionality that can be used to get fast AF with Sony, KM, Minolta, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, etc. A-mount lenses. If Canon, Nikon, and other mount lenses could have the same fast AF and full functionality then, as I mentioned before, it would be close to having the universal lens mount that people have wanted for decades. Of course, Sony may not see it in their big picture interest to do it. Sony would gain, but maybe also lose some. Sigma and Tamron might have fewer qualms about that though. Anyway, I have no idea if someone will do it, but the pieces seem to all be there. :)


The upside to the company this is that it sells cameras. The downside is that it doesn't sell lenses. The upside to that is that Sony doesn't have a full selection of e-mount (and some would say a-mount) lenses, and it helps to meet that need (and sell cameras). (And I still don't think Sony understands "system cameras" and would rather just sell lots of cameras.)

However, it still remains to be seen what information Sony is willing to give away (or even sell). When they made the announcement, it was so that the third party lens makers could make e-mount lenses to meet the shortage (a great thing if it also finally gets rid of the Sigma future incompatibilities). Would they also give the info needed to design and interface a PDAF module? (I don't think they would want to share - it's their big competitive advantage.)

I'd like to see Canikon full function adapters. But there is still the PDAF issue (3rd party design a PDAF adapter - and why haven't they done it yet) or the registration distance issue (if using the Sony PDAF adapter), and I don't see Sony giving SLT/PDAF technology away. I also expect they would strongly defend any of their related patents.

tom

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:02 am

I read that the new Nikon V1 has PDAF on the sensor. Didn't I read somewhere that awhile back there was a digicam from another company that also had it? Is this something that can only be done with smaller sensors or can it also be done for APS-C and FF? I can't think of a reason why it would be limited to V1 and smaller sensors so I would assume we will see more of it. If so then getting rid of the SLT mirror would allow making adapters for all the different lens AF mounts and getting full functionality even easier.

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby Heidfirst » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:08 am

bakubo wrote: Didn't I read somewhere that awhile back there was a digicam from another company that also had it? .

Fuji.
Imo on-sensor AF is where the industry is headed & SLT is a stop-gap. how long it takes us to get there though ...

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:37 am

Oh, one other interesting tidbit since I started this thread months ago. Some here thought that Sony would not want to make it easy to adapt other mount lenses to NEX because it might hurt their E-mount lens sales. Of course, that is a reasonable view. But, since I started this thread I saw an interview somewhere with a Japanese Sony executive when the NEX 5N (or maybe it was the NEX 7) was announced who said something along the lines that Sony was excited that so many customers were using adapters to mount all kinds of legacy, non-Sony lenses to their cameras. I think he also suggested that focus peaking was added for this reason or partially this reason to make those lenses even more useful and encourage customers to do it even more.

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Re: LA-EA2-like adapter for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. lens

Unread postby alphaomega » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:11 am

In response to Bakubo's point above, I suggest that Sony made E-mount an open system to encourage more availability of lenses as they reasoned they were a camera company with a limited ability to bring on a wider variety of lenses in a short time and widening the lens choice would sell more NEX cameras. It would appear the strategy has succeeded.
On the other hand the high demand for NEX cameras also seems to have encouraged Sony to accelerate the release of particularly small new lenses if this interview can be relied on for accuracy http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/the-full ... anslation/


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