Guide to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapters

One of the best features of mirrorless cameras is that due to their thin body design, it’s possible to mount a huge array of lenses on them using lens mount adapters.

Sony A7A7RA7S and A7II are the only cameras that allow you to use virtually every make of 35mm lenses with the full angle of view for which those lenses were designed.

I tested a wide array of lens mount adapters while writing my new book for Peachpit Press, ‘Sony A7/A7R: From Snapshots to Great Shots‘. For more about these cameras, be sure to check out my Sony A7R Field Test and Sony A7S Field Test.

Here’s a guide to the best lens mount adapters available for Sony A7A7RA7S and A7II series cameras.

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Sony A-Mount to E-Mount Lens Adapters

Before we jump into a discussion of third-party lens mount adapters, I should first mention a pair of Sony lens mount adapters made for mounting Sony A-Mount or Minolta Maxxum lenses on Sony A7/A7R/A7S series cameras.

Sony LA-EA3 lens adapter transmits the lens data to the camera to control aperture and uses the A7/A7R/A7S focus system to provide AF on SSM lenses. The LA-EA3 is and ideal choice for landscapes or architecture or any application where fast lighting focus isn’t needed but you wish to capture the highest possible resolution. ($199 at Amazon | B&H)

Sony LA-EA4 lens adapter adds full-time continuous Phase Detection AF using Sony’s Translucent Mirror Technology making this adapter well-suited for shooting fast moving action or when shooting with older screw-drive lenses. According to DxO, the light loss from the translucent mirror is only 1/3 stop.
($349 at Amazon | B&H)

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Sony LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 lens mount adapters

sony 70-400 G on sony a7r with la-ea4 adapter
Sony A7R with LA-EA4 lens mount adapter on the Sony 70-400 G lens

PLEASE NOTE: While the Sony Adapters listed above come supplied with front and rear caps – most third-party adapters do not. My advice is that whenever purchasing a third-party adapter, you also purchase a Sony R1EM Rear Lens Cap and Body Cap for the lens mount you’re adapting.

Three third-party lens adapter manufacturers have worked closely with Sony. Novoflex is the priciest of the three, Metabones hits a sweet mid-point of price and quality and FotodioX offers an extremely wide range of adapters at a very good price.

Canon EOS to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapters

There are now several options that provide AF & AE with Canon EF and EF-S lenses. None are what I’d call “fast” AF so I wouldn’t suggest any of them to shoot sports – but they work fine for portraits and landscapes. They work in AF mode with all Canon SSM lenses made since 2006, but non-SSM lenses, like the original 85/1.2 and 50/1.0, operate with manual focus only. Due to their extremely wide apertures, focus really pops in and out of focus making them extremely easy to focus with focus peaking.

Metabones Canon EF to Sony E-Mount Smart Adapter IV ($400 at Amazon | B&H) the latest update of the original – and most popular – AF lens adapter for Canon EOS to Sony E-mount. It adds improved anti-reflective interior coatings and offers better performance with tilt/shift lenses than version III.

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Metabones Canon EF to Sony E-Mount Smart Adapter IV (Amazon | B&H)

Techart Canon EF to Sony NEX AF Adapter III [Falcon] (eBay) is a mid-priced option. It has a built-in wireless firmware upgrade module to allow users easy future upgrades and manufacturer specs list it with 20% faster AF than previous version 2. ($250 at eBay)

Viltrox EF-NEX II Auto Focus Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX and Full-frame A7/A7R Cameras is the best of the budget priced options. It’s not quite up to the build quality of Metabones – yet better built than other adapters in it’s price range. (Roughly $100 at Amazon).

Activating Focus Peaking and Manual Focus Assist

Most of the following lens adapters are ‘passive’ adapters that don’t communicate lens data with the camera. Unless otherwise noted below, auto functions like automatic diaphragm, auto-focusing, or other electronic functions will not operate correctly while using lens adapters, however aperture priority or manual exposure modes work just fine. Make certain ‘Release without Lens’ is enabled. Press Menu > Custom Settings 2 > Release w/o Lens. Then press center of the Control wheel to set to Enable.

Focus Peaking is a great tool to quickly confirm focus with manual focus lenses. It takes bit of practice, but when focus peaking is enabled in manual focus mode, in-focus areas appear highlighted in red, yellow or white in your EVF or LCD. To activate focus peaking, press Menu > Custom Settings 2 > Peaking Level, and then select High, Mid, or Low. I find that the Mid setting works best.

Peaking-Level-2

Next, press Menu > Custom Settings 2 > Peaking Color, and then choose Red, Yellow, or White. This allows you to pick the peaking color that works best for a given scene. I use yellow in low light and red when shooting bright, high-key subjects.

Peaking-Color-2

To activate Manual Focus Assist, press Menu > Custom Settings 1 > MF Assist > On. Rotate the focus ring on the lens, and watch through the viewfinder as it magnifies the center of the scene. Use the top/bottom/right/left of the Control wheel to redirect the magnification. Keep turning the focusing ring until you what you want to focus on is in focus.

If you shoot a lot with manual focus lenses, you’ll find it really handy to program the AF/MF Button to magnify fine focus.

Menu > Custom Settings 6 > Custom Key Settings > AF/MF Button > Focus Magnifier

Then simply press the AF/MF Button with your thumb to zoom in to confirm focus.

Leica M to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapters

sony a7r with leica m lens mount adapter
Since the debut of the original NEX-5, I’ve been using Leica M to Sony E adapters to use my Vintage Leica, Zeiss and Voghtlander M-mount glass on Sony mirrorless bodies. I’ve tried quite a few from the inexpensive Chinese ebay adapters to the top of the line Novoflex and they all work fine – though the cheaper ones need a bit more upkeep like occasional tightening of the mount. Metabones Leica M Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapters ($90 Amazon | B&H) hit a sweet spot between price and quality.

However there is one Leica M to Sony E adapter that stands out from the rest. The biggest problem with rangefinder lenses is that they rarely focus as closely and SLR glass. It’s not unusual for a 50mm M-Mount lens to focus no closer than one meter. That’s where the Voigtlander VM-E Close Focus M-Mount to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapter ($309 at Amazon | B&H) comes in handy. Its Helicoid focus extension allows you to rack out an additional 4mm focus extension to the nearest focus point the lens. That’s enough to go from half body to a tight face when shooting with a 50mmm.

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Voigtlander VM-E Close Focus M-Mount to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapter with Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1

Please see Part 2 of this review for information about Leica R lens adapters.

Nikon to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapters

You can pick up fast manual focus Nikon AIS glass at a great price these days. Metabones Nikon F to Sony E-Mount Adapter II ($90 at Amazon | B&H) is a great choice to mount them on A7/A7R. I recently picked up a Nikkor 55 f/1.2 for $350 which combined with the Metabones adapter makes for a killer combo for available light that’s hard to beat for $450.

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Metabones Nikon F to Sony E lens adapter with Nikkor 55 f/1.2

However, if you plan to use Nikon G lenses, which have no aperture ring, a better choice is to use the Novoflex Nikon to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($293 at Amazon | B&H)Metabones Nikon G to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($139 Amazon | B&H),  Vello Nikon G Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($60 B&H) or FotodioX Adapter for Nikon G to Sony E-Mount ($60 at Amazon | B&H) which allows you to control the aperture of Nikon G lenses. You can use Nikon F lenses on Nikon G adapters – but Nikon F adapters can’t control the aperture of Nikon G lenses.

Lensbaby Tilt Transformer for Nikon F to Sony NEX

Sony-A7R-tilt-transformerOne more quite interesting choice for Nikon lenses is the Lensbaby Sony NEX Tilt Transformer. This adapter allows you to turn any Nikon lens from 8mm to 800mm into a tilt lens.

This can come in handy for adjusting the focus plane when shooting landscapes or product photography. Since Nikon manual focus glass is available with fast apertures, this adapter works great for selective focus enabling users to to limit focus to just a small part of the frame.

This adapter can be found on Amazon for $349.

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Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive shot at dusk with A7R and Lensbaby Tilt Transformer with Nikon 55 f/1.2

Pentax K to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapters

Pentax K users who’d like to bring their favorite glass like the 31mm f/1.8, 43mm f/1.9 or 77mm f/1.8 Limited lenses with them, have three good choices in lens mount adapters: the Voigtlander Pentax K to Sony E Lens Mount Adapter ($179 at B&H) and Novoflex Adapter for Pentax K Lens to Sony E-Mount ($292 at B&H) or Dot Line NEX Adapter for Pentax K Lenses ($50 at Amazon | B&H).

CONTINUE READING: SONY A7 / A7R LENS MOUNT ADAPTERS – PART 2

• Leica R to Sony E-Mount Lens Mount Adapters
• Canon FD to Sony E-Mount Lens Mount Adapters
• Contax G to Sony E-Mount Lens Mount Adapters
• Contax N to Sony E-Mount Lens Mount Adapters

Legacy Lens Mount Adapters for Sony E-Mount

Sony A7A7RA7S and A7II are the only cameras that allow you to use virtually every make of 35mm lenses with the full angle of view for which those lenses were designed. The best lens bargains can be found among legacy lenses discontinued lens mounts or camera systems. These include many great lenses from Leica R, Contax/Yashica, Contax G, Minolta MD, Canon FD and Hasselblad V. Here’s a round-up of the best lens mount adapters for Sony E-Mount cameras. For an explanation of how to use Focus Peaking and Manual Focus Assist with manual focus lenses – See Part 1 of this review.

Canon FD Lens Mount Adapters to Sony E-Mount

Legacy Canon FD lenses are a bargain and in some cases these lenses outperform their autofocus EOS counterpart for a fraction of the price. The Fotodiox Canon FD/FL to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapter ($30 at Amazon), Metabones Canon FD Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($99 at Amazon | B&H) or Novoflex Adapter for Canon FD Lens to Sony E-Mount adapter ($212 at B&H) are all good choices for Canon FD lenses.

Contax G Lens Mount Adapters to Sony E-Mount

There are a number of Contax G to Sony E lens mount adapters on the market, but your best choice for AF is the Techart Contax G to Sony NEX AF Adapter III ($300 at eBay). The latest Mark III version of this adapter has been updated for improved AF focusing speed. This adapter works best when focusing wide open and results vary depending on the lens used. According to the manufacturer, the Contax G 21mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/2 focus fastest followed by the 28mm f/2.8 and 45mm f/2 with the 90mm f/2.8 the slowest. The 16mm f/8 Hologon is manual focus only and 35-70mm f/3.5-5.6 is not compatible with this adapter.

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Techart Contax G to Sony NEX AF Adapter III

If you can live with manual focus, save yourself a few dollars with the Metabones Contax G Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($130 at Amazon | B&H) or the FotodioX Contax G to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($90 at Amazon | B&H)

Contax/Yashica and Contax N Sony E-Mount Lens Adapters

If you’re searching for bargains on Carl Zeiss glass, Contax/Yashica Zeiss are available on ebay and from used camera dealers at a great price. They can be mounted on Sony A7/A7R using adapters like the Novoflex Adapter for Contax/Yashica Lens to Sony E-Mount ($212 at Amazon | B&H)

While a bit pricier, the newer Contax N lenses are exceptional and can be mounted on A7/A7R using FotodioX Contax N to Sony E-Mount Adapters ($90 at Amazon | B&H).

Hasselblad V Lens Mount Adapters to Sony E-Mount

The A7/A7R won’t be able to take advantage of the full 6x6cm lens coverage Hasselblad lenses are designed for, but then again, medium format digital backs can’t cover that either.

If you happen to have a few favorite Hasselblad V series lenses that you can’t bring yourself to part with, but no digital back to go with them, the FotodioX Hasselblad V to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($80 at Amazon | B&H) might be just the adapter for you. I could never bring myself to part with my Hasselblad Carl Zeiss 110mm f/2 Planar, which was easily among the sharpest lenses ever made for Hasselblad.

The fit and finish of the FotodioX Hasselblad V to Sony E-Mount Adapter is really top quality just as you’d expect for a high-end product. It has a stainless steel lens mount that won’t expand or contract like brass.

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Leica R to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapters

If you’re looking for great glass at a great price, Leica R lenses represent the ultimate legacy lens mount bargain. Leica R lenses like the 60mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R are available for bargain prices compared to their Leica M counterparts. They can be mounted on Sony A7/A7R/A7S using adapters like the Metabones Leica R to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($99 at Amazon | B&H) or Novoflex Adapter for Leica R Lens to Sony E-Mount ($212 at Amazon | B&H)

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Metabones Leica R to Sony E-Mount Adapter and Leica 60mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R lens

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Sony A7R with Metabones Leica R to Sony E-Mount Adapter and Leica 60mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R lens

Sony A7R with Leica 60mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R lens
Macro shot using Leica 60mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit-R lens on Sony A7R with Metabones Leica R to Sony E-Mount Adapter

Mamiya 645/Phase One Lens Mount Adapters to Sony E-Mount

While you won’t be able to take advantage of the full 6 x 4.5cm lens coverage Mamiya 645 or Phase One lenses are designed for, you can mount them on A7/A7R using the FotodioX Adapter for Mamiya 645 to Sony E-Mount lens adapter ($70 at Amazon | B&H)

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FotodioX Adapter for Mamiya 645 to Sony E-Mount lens adapter

Minolta MD Lens Mount Adapters to Sony E-Mount

You can trace Sony’s roots directly back to Minolta Maxxum. But going back from there will take you back to some excellent Minolta MD Rokkor glass. The FotodioX Adapter for Minolta MD/MC to Sony E-Mount($60 at Amazon | B&H) is a good choice for these lenses.

Sony A7R in with FotidioX Minolta MD to Sony E Adapter
Sony A7R in with FotidioX Minolta MD to Sony E Adapter and Minolta MD 58mm f1.2

Olympus OM Lens Mount Adapters to Sony E-Mount

Due to their compact size, Olympus OM Lenses are ideally suited for Sony A7/A7R/A7S. FotodioX Adapter for Olympus OM to Sony E-Mount ($60 at Amazon | B&H), Metabones Olympus OM to Sony E-Mount Adapter ($99 at B&H) and Novoflex Adapter for Olympus OM Lens to Sony E-Mount ($212 at Amazon | B&H) are all good choices for these lenses.

PL Lens Mount Adapters to Sony E-Mount

For you’re looking to mount PL mount cinema lenses on Sony A7/A7R/A7S, you’ve got quite a few options. The most reasonably priced is FotodioX Pro Lens Mount Adapter Arri PL to Sony E-Mount ($120 at AmazonB&H). Pricier options include 16×9 Inc. Cine Lens Mount PL to Sony E Mount ($500 at Amazon | B&H) and MTF Services Ltd PL to Sony E Mount Adapter ($460 at B&H)

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FotodioX Pro Lens Mount Adapter Arri PL to Sony E-Mount

CLICK HERE TO FIND THE LENS ADAPTER YOU NEED

LINKS FOR SONY E-MOUNT LENS ADAPTERS

Sony A-Mount to E-Mount Lens Adapters

• Sony LA-EA3 Lens Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Sony LA-EA4 Lens Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)

Metabones Lens Adapters for Sony E-Mount

• Metabones Alpa Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Arriflex Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Canon EF to Sony E-Mount Smart Adapter IV (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Canon FD Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Contax G Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Leica M Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Leica R to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Nikon F to Sony E-Mount Adapter II (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Nikon G to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Metabones Olympus OM to Sony E-Mount Adapter (B&H)

Novoflex Lens Adapters for Sony E-Mount

• Novoflex Adapter for Canon FD Lens to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Novoflex Adapter for Contax/Yashica Lens to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Lens to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Novoflex Adapter for Leica R Lens to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Novoflex Adapter for M 42 Lens to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Novoflex Adapter for Minolta MD or MC Lens to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Novoflex Adapter for Nikon Lens to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Novoflex Adapter for Olympus OM Lens to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Novoflex Adapter for Pentax K Lens to Sony E-Mount (B&H)

FotodioX Lens Adapters for Sony E-Mount

• FotodioX Adapter for Canon EF to Sony E-Mount(with Iris Control (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Canon EF/EF-S to Sony E Mount Vizelex ND Throttle (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Contax G to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Contax N to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Exakta to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Hasselblad V to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Konica AR to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Leica M Mount to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• Fotodiox Pro M42 to Sony E-Mount Lens Adapter with Macro Focusing Helicoid (Amazon)
• FotodioX Adapter for Mamiya 645 to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Minolta MD/MC to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Nikon G to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Olympus OM to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for PL to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Rollei 35mm to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Topcon to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)
• FotodioX Adapter for Yashica 230AF to Sony E-Mount (Amazon | B&H)

Vello Lens Adapters for Sony E-Mount

• Vello Canon EF/EF-S Lens to Sony E Camera Adapter (B&H)
• Vello Leica M Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (B&H)
• Vello Nikon F Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Vello Nikon G Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (B&H)
• Vello T Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter (B&H)

Voigtlander Lens Adapters for Sony E-Mount

• Voigtlander VM-E Close Focus M Mount to Sony E-Mount Adapter (Amazon | B&H)
• Voigtlander M Mount to Sony E Mount Adapter (Black) (B&H)
• Voigtlander M Mount to Sony E Mount Adapter (Silver) (B&H)
• Voigtlander Nikon F to Sony E Lens Mount Adapter (B&H)
• Voigtlander Pentax K to Sony E Lens Mount Adapter (B&H)

Source: http://briansmith.com/sony-a7-a7r-lens-mount-adapters-2/

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