What is the point of the LA-EA1?

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artington
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What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby artington » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:10 pm

I've half thought about getting one of these but have decided it's pointless. Admittedly in a moment of weakness I did get one of the cheap Far East alpha lens adapters for £17 but it is not a tight fit although does have an f- ring.

However, apart from my wonderful Minolta 135/2.8 AF which is tiny by alpha lens standards I don't know which alpha lens I'd use with the NEX. The zooms are large to very large as are many of the primes (apart from the odd SAM and 50mm ones) and only 14 auto-focus, although judging by what I've read one can fry an egg while waiting for this to happen.

So you are left with the ability to change aperture with the control dial. Big deal! I can change aperture on my Rokkor lenses using their aperture rings. And these lenses are no slouches, including some of the fastest glass Minolta ever made. And Minolta glass was good - good enough for Leica to link up for a jv or two. And to cap it all these are compact lenses. And they can still be bought for a song.

So, until some decent dedicated Sony lenses appear it seems to me that the way forwards for NEX adapted Minolta glass is via the older Rokkor lenses rather than the subsequent AF (but generally not on the NEX) variants. And the converters are less expensive too, even the high quality Novoflex one.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby bakubo » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:28 pm

Yeah, I don't see much reason either. Just get a regular, cheap adapter for whatever MF mount you want (Minolta, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Konica, Leica, etc.).

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:03 am

Whether or not the LA-EA1 adapter has a market advantage or any real-world appeal, Sony is obligated to offer it for continuity of the system. Invested users would complain more loudly if it wasn't there than if it wasn't competitive with thrid-party manufacturers' offerings.

Having lots of A-mount lenses and no E-mount lenses nor an NEX camera, I would have to consider the price of an E-mount camera plus an adapter against the cost of an A-mount camera with similar capabilities. But, you can be sure that if I bought an NEX camera (based on the appeal of a lens unique to its mount), I would probably buy the LA-EA1 just to keep all the options open in my kit. If I didn't buy the LA-EA1, it would be because I a.) wanted to shoot video and b.) an affordable adapter with stepless aperture control became available.
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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby Lonnie Utah » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:34 am

The point of is for someone like me that has a lot of A mount lenses and a NEX and does a lot of hiking/treking to get my shots. I have a a200 that I lug around as a back up body in case of equipment failure when I'm far afield. The LA-ea1 lets me ditch that body and swap it out for my NEX. That combo is WAY lighter and that means ALOT when you travel this distance or elevations gains I have to get the shot....

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby artington » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:43 am

Hi Lonnie. Yes, I can certainly see where you are coming from. For a back up body this makes a lot of sense and the tripod socket on the LA-EA1 adapter will allow the use of disproportionately sized lenses without placing any strain on the NEX's lens mount (which might well happen if you were to use the body's tripod socket). Kevin's point is well made too.

I am coming from a different place in that I have a lot of both excellent Rokkor lenses and alpha mounts. The former are generally smaller and more manageable although that is mainly because they are nearly all primes. It might be interesting to do a few selected comparisons of the two types and now the Rokkors can be used digitally this is an easier exercise to perform. I might have a crack at it for a bit of fun.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby OneGuyKs » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:26 pm

bakubo wrote:Yeah, I don't see much reason either. Just get a regular, cheap adapter for whatever MF mount you want (Minolta, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Konica, Leica, etc.).


None of those adapters have full electronic contact with the camera and aperture control like LA-EA1.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:05 pm

The point of the LE-EA1 is contrast detection auto prefocus (not video tracking) when using SSM or SAM lenses.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:50 pm

artington seems to say he just has the A-mount 135mm f2.8 that he sees as worthwhile to use with the NEX -- no AF, of course. He says he has Rokkor MF lenses though. It seems perfectly sensible to me that in his case the Sony adapter doesn't make a lot of sense. If you don't have a bunch of A-mount lenses then why buy them just to use with the NEX + Sony adapter? Makes much more sense to get cheaper, nicer MF action, real aperture rings, usually smaller, etc. old MF lenses plus a cheap adapter. I am having a hard time understanding why everyone else seems to be recommending buying the adapter plus a bunch of expensive A-mount lenses that don't have aperture rings, not so good MF action, usually larger, and most can't AF to use on NEX. But, to each his own. :D

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby artington » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:11 am

My point exactly, Bakubo. I think Kevin probably nailed it when he said it was an obligation at the outset for Sony to offer some sort of alpha mount convertibility because of the then (and now) limited supply of E-Mount lenses. Olympus did the same thing with adapters for 4/3 when the MFT system came out.

I remember well that when the Minolta AF system was introduced there was lots of gnashing of teeth from people like myself with a few legacy MC/MD mount lenses who now had an obsolete system, although in that case there was no possibility of lens mount conversion. Also, there was then I suspect a considerably smaller universe of Minolta SLR users than alpha mount users today as the main consumer brands at the time as far as I can recall were Pentax and Practica. Nor do I remember was there any such option when Pentax introduced their 110 based mini-SLR system but that was pretty short lived.

New systems are breaks with the past and they live or die depending on a number of factors including the rapid availability of a decent lens set. Of course the latter is commercially dependent on a sufficient take up of the new system so there's a big element of chicken and egg here. So my feeling is that Sony is just hedging it's bets here until the NEX gains traction.

It is not impossible that big DSLRs will go the way of the old manual focus SLRs, not to forget Medium Format, in time. Change happens and right now I think that Panasonic and Sony in particular (Olympus's photo division is loss making and the company rests on it's medical products but there is a sentimental attachment to the business) are leading the way with mirror-less compact camera systems and it seems to me that Canon and Nikon had better get off their backsides if they don't want to be usurped here. I am told that Canon claims to have the technology available to launch if they choose but I personally don't buy that because this is a continuous development game which requires market presence.

Of course the joke now is that after 30 years I can finally use my fine old Rokkor lenses (admittedly mainly bought for a song over the last few years as I could never have afforded them forty years ago and had to make do with Vivitar, Soligor and Tokina variants) on a brand new digital system. So hooray! And it's been good to get back to manual focusing too as the focus assist overcomes most of the innate disadvantages of the LCD screen and FW 4 will help even more in this regard.
Last edited by artington on Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby DrScottNicol » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:56 am

I like using the easy choice primes on the NEX with the adaptor - the prime plus adaptor is no bigger than the kit zoom for example. the AF function on these primes is no speed demon but its not too bad either - certainly usable handheld landscape / portrait shots. Apart from the fact these primes have no aperture rings, its also nice to get the EXIF for aperture and focal length back on the pictures too.

So my question would not be 'what's the point' but more 'why so dear'! A sub 100 pound price point would make it much more appealing proposition.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby bossel » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:35 pm

bakubo wrote: I am having a hard time understanding why everyone else seems to be recommending buying the adapter plus a bunch of expensive A-mount lenses that don't have aperture rings, not so good MF action, usually larger, and most can't AF to use on NEX. But, to each his own. :D

I resisted to get the AF adaptor. Instead I got a MD24/2.8 for around 100 Euro (it is said to be one of the better 24mm lenses) and a MD50/1.4, MD135/3.5 (both rather small and light) and an E-mount adopter all together for another 100 Euro. They didn't get much use yet, but I am eagerly awaiting the new peaking functionality! All this for just a bit more than the price of the LA-EA1 adaptor.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby agorabasta » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:07 pm

I have two LA-EA1 adapters and quite a few Nex bodies around. Both adapters make my A-mount lenses go far beyond infinity with all those bodies, and naturally they also make the lenses lose quite a bit of the close focus ability.

The only practical use my adapters get is with the SAL 30M28 'macro' lens. Then there are also the Samyang's 14mm and 85mm, but they are much handier on a55/a700.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:07 pm

agorabasta wrote:I have two LA-EA1 adapters and quite a few Nex bodies around. Both adapters make my A-mount lenses go far beyond infinity with all those bodies, and naturally they also make the lenses lose quite a bit of the close focus ability.

I never noticed this issue with my adapter...
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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby InTheSky » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:11 am

Well ... , for me this is a fantastic adapter.
To be able to use all my Minolta lenses with all the functionality was for me a good purchase (and also getting the possibility to auto-focus on built it motor is great).

I never saw any problem and irregularities about focus distance. I have done Macro movies and telephoto movies or photo with no problem at all.

For sure, if someone invest the price of the adapter to use only one or two lenses of about the same price of the adapter, probably there is not big reason to invest. But when most of the lenses cost more than twice the price of the camera itself this is a no brainer for me.

I think Sony had no choice to offer this option because of the only 5 lenses available (including the two adapters on the 16mm 2.8). With the adapter, they push the NEX user from a very good and interesting range of lenses.

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Re: What is the point of the LA-EA1?

Unread postby agorabasta » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:00 pm

I don't know if all Sony adapters produce the problem I describe; and I surely got both my copies very early, in late July 2010.

But there's another small problem. At apertures about f/1.4 the adapter cuts away the top and bottom parts of normally round blur of larger radius. They simply made the light channel of the adapter way too narrow.


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