Stopping down and mirrorless with vintage lenses

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matt
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#1
In the old days we had lens apertures that were activated by mechanical levers at the point of exposure although they were fully open during focussing and exposure calculations.
With a mirrorless camera do you have to stop down to the taking aperture before focussing and if so does that dim the viewfinder making manual focussing difficult or does the viewfinder compensate so you can see to focus. If it's the latter how do you know if the exposure will be correct?
 

StephenM

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Stephen
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#2
I can only comment on the Sony a7 cameras. The lens is stopped down to the taking aperture permanently - the lens adapter sees to that. Electronic viewfinders are adjusted to show what will be recorded, and I can visually see from the viewfinder if the exposure compensation needs to be applied. Whether the lens is set to f/1.2 or f/16 the image in the viewfinder is the same brightness.

I'll just add that I sometimes focus with the lens fully open just to minimise depth of field, to make the point of focus easier to find.
 
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Mike
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#3
Most if not all mirrorless cameras can/will brighten the viewfinder so you can focus in poor light. In some cases such as shooting stars & the moon I've found this has been overdone & ends up dazzling me.
The view in the OVF has never been any good for judging exposure the human eye adjust too much for that, but TTL metering usually gives an indication (even in manual mode) & auto review can be set up to check the image in the EVF straight after taking it, if desired. This is quite similar to using a DSLR IMO.

Many viewfinders can also be set to mimic the blur from the selected shutter speed too.
 
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Jeff
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#4
Never noticed a problem on the g80
 
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MatBin
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#5
Thanks all. I have some lovely old FD lenses that I'd like to use as well as reducing weight, so I'm exploring all avenues at present.
 
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Keith
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#6
In the old days we had lens apertures that were activated by mechanical levers at the point of exposure although they were fully open during focussing and exposure calculations.
With a mirrorless camera do you have to stop down to the taking aperture before focussing and if so does that dim the viewfinder making manual focussing difficult or does the viewfinder compensate so you can see to focus. If it's the latter how do you know if the exposure will be correct?
This is done automatically on many ML cameras nowadays. The lenses do open up wide to gain focus then stop down as you shoot, but you won't even notice it's happening because the modern lenses are so quiet. Some slightly older lenses will produce noise known as aperture chatter while this is happening. You can over-ride this by choosing a live exp preview [the wysiwyg preview in the evf or on the lcd] and using manual modes [to set SS and aperture] - this way the blades do stop down to match your setting. Using old adapted lenses of course this is up to you to perform manually or not
 
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#7
I was thinking about old legacy lenses because of their small size due to lack of modern "features" (af etc).
 
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#8
I was thinking about old legacy lenses because of their small size due to lack of modern "features" (af etc).
Legacy lenses can get a whole new lease of life when adapted to modern ML cameras. On many of them you get the benefit of IBIS for one. So that old 50mm Takumar you may have neglected now gets image stabilization! And mirrorless cameras also have focusing aids like colour peaking and zoom focus check that make manual focusing all the easier. You get the exposure that you will end up with both in the evf and on the LCD, if it's too dark on there then the image is going to be well underexposed isn't it? A good evf actually helps you to better expose correctly, there's no real downside. You only need to switch off Live exp preview when using flash, the evf/lcd will compensate for no light by ramping up the light for the display only, so you can focus. Take a test shot, adjust accordingly and off you go.

Depends on the camera you're considering, but most of them have evf now that IMO, are superior in every way to OVF on dslr - the better ones would easily fool you into believing they were OVF when you first try them
 
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#9
Legacy lenses can get a whole new lease of life when adapted to modern ML cameras. On many of them you get the benefit of IBIS for one. So that old 50mm Takumar you may have neglected now gets image stabilization! And mirrorless cameras also have focusing aids like colour peaking and zoom focus check that make manual focusing all the easier. You get the exposure that you will end up with both in the evf and on the LCD, if it's too dark on there then the image is going to be well underexposed isn't it?

Depends on the camera you're considering, but most of them have evf now that IMO, are superior in every way to OVF on dslr - the better ones would easily fool you into believing they were OVF when you first try them
Stop it, my bank balance cant take any more :)
 
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#10
Stop it, my bank balance cant take any more :)
Doesn't have to be expensive, look at MPB or WEX, they have tonnes of cheap older model mirrorless cameras that have all of these features. You can get something like an Olympus em5 for about £130 - it's got IBIS, an evf [not an amazing one but workable] decent image quality, it's a great little cam for adapting old lenses - feels very like an old fim cam really but with all the mod cons.
 
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MatBin
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#11
I was looking at e-10 mk2/3?
 
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Keith
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#12
I was looking at e-10 mk2/3?
Even better, I would save a bit and go for the mk2 tbh, the mk3 didn't add anything significant bar 4k and the mkii is actually more solidly built [for some strange reason they changed the base and upper plates on the mkIII to plastic over aluminum]
 
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Jonathan Fussell
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#13
In the old days we had lens apertures that were activated by mechanical levers at the point of exposure although they were fully open during focussing and exposure calculations.
With a mirrorless camera do you have to stop down to the taking aperture before focussing and if so does that dim the viewfinder making manual focussing difficult or does the viewfinder compensate so you can see to focus. If it's the latter how do you know if the exposure will be correct?
On my Olympus OMD EM1 mk ii you can set the EVF to show the actual image or boosted for optimal viewing or optimized for dark scenes. I then use focus peaking to check I get the image sharp. (Have mine set in red & high intensity).

I use this for both manual and fully compatible lens's.
 
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Alan
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#14
I use Canon FD's on my Sony A7 in Aperture and Manual modes. It's easy and it's fun. I have Novoflex adapters which aren't cheap but I also have cheap adaprters bought off evil bay and they seem to work just as well.

Focusing with the magnified view is very very accurate but time comsuming. You can shoot quicker with focus peaking but it's not as accurate. You can also shoot using hyperfocal or Merklinger method.
 
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MatBin
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#15
Eventually decided on a 2nd hand Fuji X-T10 plus a kit lens to get me going for my hols then get an adapter so I can have a play with my FD lenses if I get on with it.
 
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