First shots with the old Minolta 100mm macro plus Sony A6000

In my prior post, I talked about my experience with an old Minolta 100mm macro lens on my Olympus E-M1.  With this adapted lens, I felt there were some focusing challenges with the Olympus that resulted in fewer "keepers" than I had hoped for.

It seemed to me that the lens was very sharp, and I certainly enjoyed its smooth action.  But I missed focus more than I was prepared for.  In other words, sometimes the area that turned out to be in focus, when viewed on my computer, was slightly off from the area I intended to be in focus.

Missed focus is inevitable with flowers out doors.  It was caused by either my slight movement or the movement of the flowers, or both.  A tripod would have prevented camera movement but not flower movement.  Bringing the flowers indoors and using a tripod would obviously have been a solution.  But to my way of thinking, it wouldn't have been much fun.

The reason I wanted to try this same lens on the Sony a6000 is that the Sony has focusing assistance that is, in some ways, the opposite of what's available on the Olympus.  I feel that with Olympus, there is too much lag between achieving focus and releasing the shutter.

Sony A6000 plus Minolta 100mm F3.5 macro plus Nissan i40 flash

Bottom Line:  I think I get more accurate results with the Sony.

Here are the differences in how one focuses these two camera bodies, at least when using adapted manual focus lenses.

1) Focus Peaking:

a) The Olympus focus peaking, when shooting macros, shows too great an area in focus... more than what actually is in focus.  The Sony focus peaking shows a narrower and more accurate (IMO) area of focus, though if there is not enough contrast, sometimes the peaking does not work at all! Again, I'm only concerned here with macro focusing.

b) The Olympus focus peaking works when the shutter is unpressed.  However, it disappears when half pressed, leaving an operator time-lag between focus and shutter release.  The Sony focus peaking works when the shutter is unpressed, but continues to work when half pressed. The photographer can therefore ride the shutter button half-pressed while focusing.  This reduces operator time-lag between focus and shutter release.

2) Magnification:

a)  Both systems offer magnification choices.  The Olympus allows magnification of 3x, 5x, 7x, 10x and 14x.  The Sony offers 5.9x and 11.7x.

b) The Olympus maintains the magnification all the way through the shutter press.  This helps me maintain focus.  However, you are unable to see your overall composition.  The Sony loses magnification at the half press which makes me feel I've lost focus.  On the other hand because it pops to full view when half pressed, I am able to confirm my composition.  For landscapes, I would prefer the Sony choice. YMMV.

A few sample images:

1 comment:

Dennis Mook said...


Lovely images. I really enjoy your macro work. I like everything about them. I agree about the issue of focus peaking being too inaccurate with the E-M1. I don't use it. Also, I have found it somewhat better with the Fuji X-T1 in the same manner as you have with the A6000. Both have APS-C sized sensors, which have less depth of field. Beyond engineering, that may account for some of the difference.