Monday, October 3, 2011

Sony NEX system has nine lenses and counting

Right now Sony NEX has announced nine lenses for their E-mount system.

This includes the 18-55 kit lens, 18-200, 16mm pancake, just announced this summer 55-210, 50mm portrait, 30 macro, Zeiss 24mm f1.8 and the two converters to make the 16mm, wider or a fisheye.
Enough of a system for most people I'm sure. But what if you want more?

You can put almost any lens on this system with a third party adapter plate, and this includes old classics like the Leica thread mounts (LTM) from the 50's, gear for Contax and both Nikon and Canon.

It would be kind of sad if you had lenses from all these brands, Nikon, Canon, Leica, Contax and forgotten gear from Pentax and Minolta because you would spend all your time looking at lenses instead of making photos, but if you had one lens you've always loved, that has a signature look that you could build a career around, you could mount it on the NEX camera.

In fact you could do better than that. You could shoot movies with it, on any of the NEX's or the VG10 which is the same camera but designed for video.

Video shot with that old Nikon 105 f2.5 from the 70's, now that lens had a look. Video with the chrome Canon rangefinder lens that your dad used before you were born, or video with the modern Leica 50mm f.95, a lens so fast you could shoot in a cave and get it in focus.

Plus what about the great macro options. Sony has the E-mount 30mm but you could adapt a Alpha mount 100mm macro or one of the great 200mm macro's on the market. I can just image the close-up work as the "Preying Mantis" moves across the video screen and eats the .... you get the idea. (Plus I don't really know what they eat.)

With a great story to tell, and a lens with a look.... shooting movies might be fun again. The NEX system has resurrected all those old lenses for stills and movies... most likely we'll see the prices move up on eBay too.

This is the NEX7 with the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar. It's a classic design that you can get in the M-mount new or used in different Contax mounts from earlier years.

This is the NEX7 with the Zeiss M-mount 25mm.

This is with the NEX7 and the Sony Zeiss 24.

This one was taken with the Leica M9 and the Zeiss 35mm, just to compare.
Rob Skeoch
My retail store for traditional photo supplies is
My retail store for rangefinder gear and Zeiss lenses is


  1. Rob, thanks a lot for these comparisons. There are a lot of us out ther waiting anxiously to see how Zeiss and Leica lenses perform on the NEX-7.

    I'm happy to see there doesn't seem to be colour shifts in the corners using the ZM lenses. That is great news. And the signature of the individual lenses really seems to be captured on that sensor.

    In terms of sharpness, did you find the ZM lenses as good on the NEX as on the M9? And how does the ZM25 compare to the Sony Zeiss 24? I have a Biogon 25 or order and hope I chose the right Zeiss (the Sony 24 is so tempting as well). Heeeelp ;)

  2. Hey Rob: Not sure where to post this. But can you do a test of the NEX-7's Maximum Record time in video mode? The NEX-5N had a cap at around 12min ( causing it to stop recording. Would it be possible for you to run a similar test on the NEX-7? Thanks