The Sony A7 III is one of the best current cameras on the market and we will take advantage of all the features that the camera has to be able to use manual lenses, and be able to test each of the lenses using the same camera for all of them.
These are the main reasons why we will use the Sony A7 III for the tests:
1) Without a mirror (fullframe): The cameras without a mirror have a very small distance between the sensor and the frame where the lens goes. So to use lenses from other cameras we just have to use an adapter that compensates the focal distance between the two types of optics.
2) Optical Faces: By having Sony that few optics and be very expensive at the beginning, came a wide market of adapters that allow the use of other brands of Sony objectives, because the customers of these cameras had the need to recycle those objectives that they had at home, without making a high outlay with the new optics. Currently, prices are already moderating and big brands such as Tamron and Sigma are already taking out optics at half the price of the Sony Zeiss.
3) 5 Axis Stabilizer: The A7 III includes a stabilizer in the camera itself that will allow us to take clear pictures with an improvement of up to 5 steps compared to the conventional shooting speed.
4) Focus Peaking && Zoom: This helps the focus of some of the Sony cameras helps us to focus correctly with a manual optics. To do this, when we are focusing, we will zoom in on the image to bring what we want to get closer, then the focus Peaking will paint that part of the image that is sharper so it will facilitate manual focus.
5) ASP-C Crop: The lenses or manual lenses are usually 35mm and are perfect for use in fullframe cameras because they take full advantage. But it also allows the use of ASP-C lens that we have from other more modern cameras without seeing black edges around the photo. You can also use this functionality to use only the central part of the sensor that usually produces sharper images, but this generates images of about 10.6 MP instead of the 24 MP that the camera has.
6) Configurable Buttons: The menu of the Sony cameras is very complex to use initially, but it has a very important part that allows us to configure all the buttons that our camera has with the functionality we want. Thus we can adjust for the use with manual objectives all that we usually use without having to be entering the menu to change it.
7) Weight and Size: The cameras without mirror are usually less heavy and smaller, that facilitates its use, but we must bear in mind that if we use manual telezoom lenses that are large and heavy, correctly balancing the camera will be complicated, although the stabilizer help in these cases.
Configuring the camera for manual lenses
All cameras usually have a manual mode that allows you to modify all the necessary parameters to make a photograph as correct as possible, but its use leaves it to the photographer to be well exposed and clear, so to facilitate that work in the sony we must activate the following features:
1) Focus Peaking: To activate this option we go to the first menu of the camera to the tab 13 that is called "Focus Assistance", there we activate the option "MF Assistance" and in the next option the adjustment level.
2) Zoom Focus: In the same previous menu we will activate the option "Focus time" to No limit so once we assign the zoom to a button we can focus more clearly that part of the image we want to highlight. The option "Initial Focus Increase" will be marked x5.9 so that when you click on the button, zoom in enough to focus on a certain part of the photo.
3) SteadyShot: This option is the one that activates the stabilizer of the camera, for this we go to menu 2 in tab 4 "Shutter / SteadyShot" and activate the stabilizer if it is not active. From the option "Steady Shot Settings" is where we indicate that we want to work in manual and select the focal length of the manual lens that we use. As it is usual to change this option we will see later as configurable so that it is quickly accessible. Finally, it would only be possible to enable the option "Release without aim" in this same tab, which will allow us to shoot with manual targets.
4) Quick Keys Settings: As we have mentioned the Sony allows you to configure all the buttons of the camera for easy use and we will take advantage of this functionality to assign the most common options in manual photos. To be able to configure access to the second menu tab 8 "Custom Operation 1", in that menu we first select "Settings Me"
You can also review the following video that explains all the functions of the Sony A7 III camera menu.
Once the camera is configured to use manual lenses comes the most important part, the adapters, which allow to use the different objtivo mounts (M42, Pentax, Canon FD, Minolta, etc) in the sony camera A7 III that uses a bayonet FE .
One of the advantages of sony is that they have a large number of adapters on the market that allow us to use almost any lens with this camera.
We will differentiate between two types of adapters those that allow to maintain the autofocus of the automatic lenses and those that are completely manual, since they do not have contact to pass the information of the objectives to the camera.
In the first group we found two adapters above the rest the Metabones and the sigma MC-11 that allow to maintain the autofocus correctly, you can find many videos on the internet with tests of these adapters.
We will focus on the second group which are completely manual and we can find several brands, but for quality and price to start testing manual targets, we recommend the K & F and Neewer.
The Neewer are the cheapest that we can find in the market that have a certain quality and we can find them in amazon of 10-15 euros, they are solid and strong finish and they are coupled quite well without leaving almost movement to the target, a very important point to consider.
The second recommended brand is the K & F these have a little more quality and are sent inside a plastic box adapter. They tend to give better results than the Neewer and the price on Amazon is between 20-30 euros, so it is a rather recommended price not to make a large outlay.
You can find more information about adapters on the following page: