My DSLR to Mirrorless Switch: Affording More Glass with Sony’s Shapeshifting Cameras

dslr to mirrorless

Photo Credit: Cody Smith -|| The Full Frame Sensor of the Sony a7S

Nevermind that the “Sony” brand is likely to call to mind Walkmen & TVs more than cameras; ever since Cody Smith made the switch from his trusty Canon DSLR to a Sony mirrorless “shapeshifter,” he’s been on a mission and he ain’t never going back.  HERE’s his review.

The problem that had plagued his photography career up until fairly recently was this: The 50mm prime lens that had become his constant companion was adequate, but in order to diversify his kit to include some of the higher end glass he’d dreamed of, he would have to shell out a whole lot more dough than he was prepared to.  But then he made friends with the Sony a7 series mirrorless.

The great thing (one of many, he assures us) about the design of this camera is that “these full-frame E-mount cameras are capable of supporting ANY lens I could even dream of using on a digital camera.” 

dslr to mirrorless

Photo Credit: Cody Smith || – Custom re-housed for cinema, this Zeiss-Contax 135mm f/2.8 looks great on the a7s and its Metabones PL to E-mount adapter

How can this be?

Because there is no mirror assembly enforcing a separation between the lens mount and the sensor, it’s easy to fit an adapter that will accommodate dozens of lens designs from any number of manufacturers, past and present.  This, in turn, introduced Cody to the pleasures of using ‘vintage’ glass.  He was able to pick up such classic lenses as the Nikkor-S AI 50mm f/1.4 and the Nikkor AI 35mm f/2.8 for under $100 per.  And he rhapsodizes that these older lenses are in almost every way as good as their current counterparts that run upwards of $1000.  Far from dropping $10,000 on a kit of L-series lenses, he is looking forward to spending considerably less, thanks to his purchase of an E-mount adapter that will support all Nikon lenses manufactured since 1959.  (Wow.)  Another inexpensive adapter has enabled him to justify the purchase of a couple of Hasselblad V-mount lenses that he can now also use with his Sony a7s.  Yet another adapter has enabled him to use with his a7 the super high-end cinema lenses that he uses in shooting motion.

dslr to mirrorless

Photo Credit: Cody Smith || Sony a7s with Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4

Disadvantages? 

The main one is that, with vintage lenses, you’re going to have to deal with manual focusing, which may not be your thing.   However, features like digital zoom and focus peaking render manual focusing as nearly painless as can be imagined.

Read his full review [here].