Sony A7ii and the Nikon 100mm f2.8 Series E Lens

My new Sony A7ii camera has been an absolute joy to use.  I bought it with the Sony / Zeiss 35mm f2.8 and the results have been fantastic.  The cameras size, weight, feel and looks make this set up a very pleasurable experience and the images that are coming out of it are amazing.  Not wanting to be limited to only a 35mm field of view and being on something of a budget, I have to wait to pick up my next Sony/Zeiss lens.  In the mean time I’ve been reading a lot about adapting “legacy” glass, old lenses, that will work with the A7ii by using any of the available adapters.

Sony A7ii with Nikon Series E 100mm / f2.8. Photo taken with iPhone 5s

Looking around the garage I came across a box full of old lenses and old film bodies.  Amongst them I found a Nikon Series E lens (not one of Nikon’s better lenses), a 100mm, f2.8.  It looks to be in near perfect condition and so I found the appropriate adapter, a cheap one by Fotasy $12.00, and mounted it on the A7ii.  

Nice fit, easy to attach, looks good.  Once attached however there is no more AF (auto focus) but in the A7 you can turn on “focus peaking” which makes manual focusing very easy, even for my tired somewhat older eyes.

Camera in hand, adapter in place, legacy lens mounted, out I go to give it a try and see how it performs.

The first thing I notice is that I need to shoot this lens at 1/125s at a minimum for a steady shot or I need to be mounted on a tripod, especially if I want to stop it down to f5.6 or f8 and beyond.  But when I was able to hit the sweet spot it seemed to perform very well.

Sony A7ii, Nikon Series E 100mm / f2.8 1/640s (f8 maybe) ISO100 Tacoma, Washington

Not being much of a manual focus guy, I wear glasses, I’m older, I’m slower than I used to be, I was very worried that I couldn’t pull this off.  But Sony’s built in “Focus Peaking” feature works wonders for those of us who need that kind of help.  It’s not perfect and there is a little learning curve, but it’s easy and can be managed in one afternoon of shooting.

Sony A7ii, Nikon Series E 100mm / f2.8 1/640s at f8 ISO 400 Tacoma, Washington

Judging by the look in his eyes and the expression on his face, may be not that happy that I took this shot.

Sony A7ii, Nikon Series E 100mm / f2.8 1/320s / f8 ISO100 Tacoma, Washington

No problem with detail in this lens.

Sony A7ii, Nikon Series E 100mm / f2.8 1/640s / f8 ISO200

Awwww!  Another Geezer out doing his thing.  Nice.

Sony A7ii, Nikon Series E 100mm / f2.8 1/125s / f2.8 ISO2000

Eli, my good dog.

Bottom line here for me is the “legacy” lenses may or are worth pursuing.  The new Sony/Zeiss lenses are absolutely amazing in every way.  But if you’re on a tight budget, want to work a learning curve a little, which by the way is really a lot of fun, then for next to nothing you can pick up these lenses or rummage around your own garage for something you may already have laying around.

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