Well, as you have figured out, I am a Canon fan. Nikon, Pentax, Leica, they all make good equipment, but, I began with Canon and so here I stay. However …. I have to say it …. I have bought a Sony mirrorless. No, I’m not changing sides. But, well, it just happened.
This is my NEX C3. It is an older camera but very capable. Now, using my old lenses there is no image stabilization and focus is manual. So there are challenges.
The M-39 adapter is very well made. It cost only a few dollars on E-bay. It is just a mount with no electronics.
Because the Flange Distance on the Sony is shorter than that of the Canon M-39 and FD lenses they can mount on the camera by simply making a ring of the right thickness and having a Sony mount for the camera and an M-39 mount for the lens. This is the camera with the M-39 mount mounted.
I have been thinking about buying a mirrorless camera for some time now because I have wanted to play with my older lenses without having to go through the film processing. I’m not going to stop shooting film. But I wanted a more direct path to experiencing my lenses.
I came across a Sony NEX C3 in excellent condition for $100. It was an opportunity to test the waters with a small investment. So I bought it and ordered M-39 and FD mount adapters. About a week ago the M-39 adapter arrived. Impatient as I am I immediately ran out and took some pictures: on my way to work, out of the car windshield, on the roadside, anywhere I could.
My preliminary assessment is very positive. This is going to be fun! And I have already learned a great deal. This camera is really impressive. To start with, 16 megapixel. Very decent. It lacks a viewfinder but the LCD on the back is bright and sharp. There are various focusing assists which make focusing easy. And I assumed when I stopped down the lens that the view finder would darken. No, it compensates to some degree, and the screen stays reasonably bright. I am sure there are more features that I’ve not come across yet.
That said, I have not had a chance to really spend some “quality time” taking serious pictures with this camera. I think that is going to involve a tripod and an outing or two by myself where I can enjoy and just take pictures. But so far, I’m impressed.
My NEX with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 rangefinder lens. This is the lens that took the photographs below.
The NEX with a collapsible 50mm Canon Serenar. The lens will not collapse more than half way because of the shape of the interior but the sensor is protected.
So how did my first picture efforts turn out? I am amazed they turned out at all I was so rushed. It quickly became obvious that focusing using the LCD screen was not easy. The camera held out at arms length to see the screen is not a stable platform to work with. You can’t brace yourself effectively holding the camera out in front of you. A viewfinder allows you to hold the camera firmly against your face which is much more stable.
It is difficult to manipulate the camera and lens controls and hold the camera out where you can see the LCD screen all at the same time. The image was jumping all over the screen. But, to my surprise, my test images turned out well. However, playing with this camera will involve a tripod.
Another street on my way home from work. I am amazed at the sharpness in the tree branches over the street. The focus assist features in this camera work really well and, considering my old eyes, that is a good thing!
Here we are back in my little stand of trees I photograph so often. This is a good test site because there are trees close and distant and everywhere in between. Something will be in focus. In this case, it was the trees I was trying to focus on! As you can see, this camera takes a good picture. But what really amazed me was the Canon lens. 50mm f/1.4 rangefinder lens from the 1950’s and it is sharp!
If we take the center out of the picture above and look at the treee in the middle you can see incredible detail. And this sharpness seems to go right out to the edges. The color is pleasing as well. So far, I cannot say enough good things about this lens and the camera.
Now this is what I wanted the mirrorless camera for: I can take one of my old lenses and very quickly see images that it produces. I look very forward to the arrival of my FD mount because that will open up a host of very interesting lenses to play with. This is great!
I will write more about my mirrorless adventures as I encounter them. And hopefully, I will show you some great photography with interesting lenses. My head swims with things I want to try.