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Which 17-50mm f2.8 and which adapter for Sony a6500?


Inazuma
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I use the Sony 16-50 f/2.8 a-mount on my FS7 almost every day. It's a fantastic lens (when I don't want to use my Sony Zeiss primes.) It's weather sealed, has decent optics and smooth manual focus when you want it (and fast SSM focusing when you don't.) Such a good value, I bought it twice (destroyed the first one shooting a few years of the US rally series... among other things.) It will require a LEA-series adaptor. Get the one without the focus system (LEA3), and it will use the better system built into the 6500.

I previously owned the Zeiss 16-70 E-Mount (APS-C) and that was actually a pretty good lens. It runs about $1k (which is a bit over priced, imho.) It did have a tad too much distortion for me, however, and the manual focus feel was way too numb. Nice sharpness and it should have super-fast AF for photos on the 6500. 

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Cant help about which lens but there are a zillion different smart adapters for EF to E mount (I have four different ones).

How well AF works depends on the camera more than anything and with most (cameras) AF is slow and AFS only.     Only the latest cameras have fast AF I understand (IE the A7Rii, A7ii and A6500.    The A6300 MIGHT be one of those but I am not sure.

 

My experience is with the A7s and A7 is AF is slow but ok for patient adults, ducks on a pond and stationary subjects ETC.     AFC doesn't work with my of my combinations.

Some combinations didn't work at all for AF (some lenses would AF with one adapter but not another and a different adapter it would be the other way around).     MOST combinations do work for AF but all work for manual focus.      I also have the Kipon adapter for EF to M4/3 and it is a  lot faster but it doesn't work with one of my old lenses that some of the others do.      

If the A6300 works better than the first gen A7 series, it might also be ok for AFC and MAYBE AF in video but none of the older cameras is.

I have had issues with a Sigma lens and all my adapters (it works ok now for MF with one after "breaking" and also works great for AF on M4/3 and the Kipon) so there could be an issue with some of the third party 2,8 lenses and some combinations.

Some of the EF to E smart adapters are quite cheap.    I have a Fotga that cost under $100.     It is plastic mostly (the others are mainly metal) but it works ok for me and my lenses on my A7s.      It has a space that I have found I can put a 43mm filter (filter glass only) and am having fun experimenting with that (just a thought- am looking at trying soft focus filters and polarisers ETC and would love to get an apodizing filter to put there).

Some of the more expensive adapters like the Metabones have USB ports for updates, the cheaper ones don't.      Some also have a larger "hole" (scalloped inside) to work better with tilt shift lenses.

There is also a Sigma adapter that will allow AF with manual focus lenses with the latest PDAF/CDAF hybrid cameras and I THINK that will also work with the A6300 and many lenses (weight dependent) but not certain.

A mount lenses with a lens motor will be fine with an LA-EA3 I think and those without a lens motor will need an LA-EA4 (there are also LA-EA1 and LA-EA2 adapters).      There are limits with the A mount lenses adapted.     I sold my LA-EA4 and some A mount lenses though some were ok.

 

The LA-EA adapters use a much smaller AF area, EF lenses use the same area as native E mount and work to the same EV (IE my Canon lenses while slow to AF still work in lower light on my A7s than on Canon cameras.

 

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I bought the Sigma 18-35 1.8 EF with a cheap Commlite adapter (70 €). Autofocussed every now and then, because the lens wasn't recognized by the A6500 half the time, and I had to unmount and then mount the adapter again. I thought, well, that's not good, but the Sigma has an excellent manual focus ring, I can live without AF for this particular lens. I was wrong. It turned out that the camera also had no information about the focal length, and IBIS didn't work then as well.

Buy a cheap adapter only if you plan to use primes and MF!

I could have tried the Sigma adapter, but I went for the more expensive Metabones Smart adapter Mark IV (420 €). With the latest firmware (installed with USB), it improves "focus accuacy" and "Advanced Mode". With the latter, you can use clear image zoom (=crop mode). From the Metabones site:

Quote

 

Autofocus speed is very slow and inadequate for most moving subjects. The autofocus speed is unfit for professional use for sure, and it would disappoint most enthusiasts.

(...)

Continuous AF is not supported.

 

Well, AFC does work so-so. As you know, the AFC of the A6500 doesn't hunt. It focusses or it doesn't (if the contrast of the motif's outlines is too weak). The focussing speed is noticeably slower than with native Sony lenses, but for video it's actually useable, as long as the focus doesn't change drastically throughout the shot (too long way to travel from, say, three feet to infinity). Here is a test with the Sigma, decide for yourself.

I will use native E-Mount lenses for AF, because they are faster and quieter (a bit). The cheap (under 500 € in Germany) SELP18105 only has f4.0, but end-to-end, it's famously truly parfocal, AFC works best (@ f4.0 anyway), and the sharpness and general image quality aren't bad either. Imo very underestimated.

Nothing in this price range reaches the Sigma though. It's edge-to-edge sharpness wide open is phenomenal. It is almost parfocal at continous f1.8, the focus and zoom rings are a dream. Sigma, why did you never make an Art-version for E-Mount? 

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So I've looked into this further and it does seem like the Sony SSM 16-50mm f2.8 with the LA-EA1 or 3 will give me the best results. The Sigma MC-11 has the advantage of giving eye detection but can be generally slow, innaccurate or cause crashes if not attached to one of their recent lenses. That said, a fair number of none Sigma lenses seem to work well with it. And Sigma has made at least one firmware update that improves compatibility with such lenses, though I can't find anything concrete on the Tamron/Sigma 17-50. I wish Sigma would release a new version of the 17-50. Something lighter would be great. 

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21 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

I read the thread and I am more confused that I was before.

Which ones work sufficiently with AF? Metabones is still at the top? What about the Sigma one?

The metabones website states that AF is not supported in video. It might work anyway but ive not looked into it. A guy on youtube has a video of the sigma mc-11 working pretty well for AFC with the sigma 18-35 and canon 70-200 on the a6500. Another guy has the tokina 11-20mm showing it focusing fast and accurately for stills and said in the comments it works well for video too. But ive seen other videos where certain lenses wouldnt focus or would even lock up the camera. So its all a bit hit and miss. Ive seen another one showing the Sigma 17-50 and 17-70 "C" both working for stills and the old 17-50 was actually working better than the 17-70. No word on video tho. 

 

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I have the mc-11, SB ultra IV, sigma 18-35, 50-100 and a6500. Performance in movie mode is unacceptable for af-c.  Also even though you can see the mc-11 18-35 combo work on YouTube, what they don't show is that the AF motor is constantly chugging even if everything is static.  The SB combo is slightly better in that eventually the AF motor chugs less but it is still working almost all the time. I don't think the AF motors were designed for this and Im not willing to tempt fate and burn out the AF motors.

Imo the only option that works well are native e mount lenses for af-c in movie mode. Even on the sony 18-105 the AF motor (very quiet, I have to put my ear right next to it) sounds like it is also always on but doesn't make any weird noises so I assume it is designed for af-c mode.

Had I known about the AF motors constantly chugging and hunting on adapted lenses I would probably not have bought all this stuff and waited for a different option.  

For af-c I just stick to the Sony 10-18 and 18-105.  Otherwise it's manual focus for me. 

My guess is that they should somehow change the adapters to read an average step direction over time for the AF motors instead of constantly moving back and forth even in static scenes.  But I assume it's more complex than that to reverse engineer it.

Also my canon 70-200 f2.8 and f4 don't seem to like the adapted combo very well and don't focus over half the time.  I think the f4 is even worse since it's older and doesn't even focus in photo mode. I haven't used it in a while so I forgot exactly what issues these combos have.

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47 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

I have the mc-11, SB ultra IV, sigma 18-35, 50-100 and a6500. Performance in movie mode is unacceptable for af-c.  Also even though you can see the mc-11 18-35 combo work on YouTube, what they don't show is that the AF motor is constantly chugging even if everything is static.  The SB combo is slightly better in that eventually the AF motor chugs less but it is still working almost all the time. I don't think the AF motors were designed for this and Im not willing to tempt fate and burn out the AF motors.

Imo the only option that works well are native e mount lenses for af-c in movie mode. Even on the sony 18-105 the AF motor (very quiet, I have to put my ear right next to it) sounds like it is also always on but doesn't make any weird noises so I assume it is designed for af-c mode.

Had I known about the AF motors constantly chugging and hunting on adapted lenses I would probably not have bought all this stuff and waited for a different option.  

For af-c I just stick to the Sony 10-18 and 18-105.  Otherwise it's manual focus for me. 

My guess is that they should somehow change the adapters to read an average step direction over time for the AF motors instead of constantly moving back and forth even in static scenes.  But I assume it's more complex than that to reverse engineer it.

Also my canon 70-200 f2.8 and f4 don't seem to like the adapted combo very well and don't focus over half the time.  I think the f4 is even worse since it's older and doesn't even focus in photo mode. I haven't used it in a while so I forgot exactly what issues these combos have.

Thanks for the info! How about AF-S? Do the lenses pull focus smoothly?

@mercer I don't have it yet actually. Should be here in a few days.

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Jut remembered, there is an adapter that is (was) sold as being able to use AFC with some combinations.     The Saker Falcon lite and also a clone from Tech Art (I think).

Not sure how well they work and can not seem to find much on them (and the website I was watching has gone).

I have always intended getting one of these to try with my A7s even though AFC needs a PDAF hybrid camera (AFS was supposed to be a bit faster and I may well get a hybrid E mount camera sometime). 

They would probably still not work good enough for AF in video, even if AFC works.

 

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9 hours ago, forofilms said:

Apparently there is a new metabones adapter coming that will allow AFC to work with Sony's PDAF with Canon lenses. 

Where did you hear that?  Would be awesome if true but they just released their latest gen with the positive lock for e-mount...

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14 hours ago, Inazuma said:

 

@mercer I don't have it yet actually. Should be here in a few days.

I see. Then you need to know a few things:

> The rolling shutter of the A6500 is really, really bad. To an extend where it's unacceptable to shoot handheld without IBIS. That means you can't use a zoom lens if it can't communicate with the camera. Old zooms can't (=you can't use them), new ones only can if the adapter is reliable. On the other hand, if you have IBIS (or Dual-IS), this spares you a cumbersome rig. You can adapt old *primes* with cheap adapters (of course they must have an aperture ring then too) and still have IBIS, because you can record w/o lens and set the focal length manually.

> AFC of the A6500 is very useable. The E-Mount AF-lenses tend to have servo-rings for focus (slippery, bad for MF) with very short ways, which makes the AF quieter and faster. But of course, with very shallow DoF and if the AFC area is not permanently set to center, you will have problems even with native lenses. 

> with the said Sigma 18-35 and the MB, AFC works for short distances (short ways), but is then too slow for a bigger focus transition with open aperture. This would take too long. My advice: forget AFC with non-native E-mount AF lenses altogether!

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On 24/03/2017 at 0:49 AM, scotchtape said:

Where did you hear that?  Would be awesome if true but they just released their latest gen with the positive lock for e-mount...

http://metabones.com/products/details/MB_SPEF-E-BT3

"Fast contrast-detect AF on all E-mount cameras.Phase-detect autofocus support on A7RII, A7II, A6300 and A6500."

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