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Legacy Can Be Good

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One of the joys of the current crop of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras like the Sony NEX-3N and NEX-6 which Beth and I use now is that because the sensor is so close to the lens mount you can use old SLR lens on them with the aid of a cheap conversion shim. This opens up all sorts of possibilities as there's a lot of great lens out there from the still very expensive to the remarkably cheap.

Beth in particular has been having a lot of fun with a couple of lens from her old Olympus OM10 and last night I tried her 50mm out for the first time. For the technically minded this is the Olympus Zuiko 50mm F/1.8 and was the OM10 kit lens at one time. You can pick them up on eBay for about £20.

The lens can't talk to the camera so the adaptor stops the lens down (very old school) and the camera meters based on that. As for focusing it would be hard to get sharp focus, especially for Beth with only the rear screen not an EVF but there's a magic trick called "peaking level" which solves this. The way it works is that it highlights any pixels in the image which it believes are in focus in white, yellow, or red (yellow seems to work best). This makes it really easy to get the focus exactly where you want it as they sparkle in yellow which is a real joy when you've got the aperture wide open.

I took the same photo the night before using the Sony 16-50mm kit lens and the autofocus chose the leaf, presumably as it had stronger verticals, over the flower. This time I could decide precisely where the centre of focus was, right on the stamen and that fly, and how deep it was to still pick up the leaf (do click on the image to see it full size - it's worth it).

I'm very impressed. It's slower to use than full auto of course, it's back to the old days from when I started out ... only better as peaking level makes it very easy to get the focus just right.

I shall be playing with legacy lens again.

Tags: photos, toys Written 28/07/14
File Name:20140727_175652_01023.jpg
File Size:3360KB
Make:SONY
Model:NEX-6
Date/Time Taken:2014-07-27 17:56:52
Exposure Time:1/60s
F Number:unknown
ISO:160
Focal Length:50mm
Focal Length In 35mm Film:75mm
Lens Model:Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.8

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