Why I like my Sony a6000 better than my Olympus E-M1: Part 4: Focusing with old manual lenses

What I am talking about here is using manual lenses with adapters on the a6000 (and Olympus E-M1).  Obviously one difference is that the focal length of any given lens differs on these two cameras.  For example, my Tamron 90mm macro lens works out to an effective 135mm on the Sony and 180mm on the Olympus, due to the respective crop factors of 1.5x and 2x. On the Sony it's a nice portrait length.  On the Olympus, not so much... but it gives a nice reach for flowers at botanic gardens.

What I like about the Sony is how it handles focusing with my old manual Minolta, Nikkor,and Tamron lenses.

One of my favorites.  A Nikkor 58mm.
At a 1.5x crop factor it makes a very nice portrait lens with an
equivalent focal length of about 85mm. And it's F1.4!

According to the serial number this is about 50 years old.
I inherited it 40 years ago.  Though I am slowly selling off my old manual lenses,
I doubt I will ever sell this one.  It was my first lens!

Like the Olympus, Sony has focus peeking, and I do use it. With focus peaking activated via the Sony menu, it will function without touching the shutter. Just hold the camera up to your eye or watch the LCD and focus the lens with your left hand. But more importantly to me, Sony's focus peeking feature operates even while half pressing the shutter.

This is what I do: 

I press the shutter half-way and hold it there while I am focusing the lens with the left hand.  When the subject shimmers from the peeking (I like the yellow peeking choice, but you can choose also white or yellow... my E-M1 offers only white) I then fully press the shutter. I like the fact that once I've focused, my shutter finger is already half-way to activating the shutter.

On the other hand, with the Olympus I feel there is too much of a delay between reaching focus and activating the shutter.  This is because the peeking only works with the shutter button unpressed.  As soon as you half-press the shutter the peaking unfortunately ceases.  It may be all in my head, but this makes me feel momentarily lost.


Basically with the Sony, once you have achieved focus you are only a half-press away from capturing the image. With the Olympus, you are a full press away. Especially for macro photography I feel it's easy to lose focus with the Olympus during the full press of the shutter.  (Please note that I am not talking about native lenses. What I've described is how these cameras function with non-native lenses.)

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