Sony A7r III Fast Start

Lesson 18/26 - Sony Lenses


Sony A7r III Fast Start


Lesson Info

Sony Lenses

Let's talk a little bit about Sony lenses. So here on this Sony camera, it has a E mount that uses FE lenses. Think of that as full frame for the E mount lenses. The Sony 6500, another popular camera from Sony uses an E mount but has a smaller size sensor and uses a different collection of lenses, E lenses. And so these lenses can be swapped back and forth. And so you can take an E lens and you can put it on this camera and what happens when you do that is that it doesn't cover the full image area and you're not gonna be able to make use of all 42 megapixels. You get about 18 megapixels out of it but you can use it. You can use FE lenses on the smaller crop frame cameras without that sort of problem because it's providing you with an even larger image and there's not really as much downside to that other than you're not utilizing the entire image area of that lens. Sony also makes a different series of cameras and lenses. The Sony A99 mark two right now is their top of the line camera.

This is the lens mount that they inherited from Minolta when they bought that technology. And they have a full frame and they have a crop frame version of that and those are using something called an A mount and they do have adapters so that if you wanna use A mount lenses on your E mount camera, you can do that. You can't go the other direction though. There are a number of issues when you do adapt lenses of course, even when it's Sony lenses and a Sony adapter, there will be some things that don't work quite the same on the camera but it is possible. And so that difference between the FE for the full frame lenses versus the E lenses is that they are designed for different size sensors. And so if we have light coming through an FE mount lens it's providing a very large image circle to cover the entire image area of that full frame sensor. As light goes through an E mount, it is a smaller image for that smaller size sensor. Which means they are designed exactly for those sensors. And so as I said, you can switch these around, you can use an E mount but you're only gonna get about 18 megapixels of usable data off that full frame sensor. You can use your FE lenses on the APS-C sensors without the same problem but you are not getting the same angle of view as you would on a full frame camera. So one of the nice things about a mirrorless camera, and this mirrorless camera in particular, is its very short flange distance, the distance between the lens mount and the image sensor. Sony's designed their own lenses and they've been coming out with quite a few of these lenses recently that fit on here and are perfectly designed for this camera and they are kind of the ideal choice on this lens. But if there are other lenses that you would like to adapt, it's possible. But the problem is that some of these are designed for SLRs which have a much different flange distance and first off, they don't mount on there. Secondly, even if they did, the distance isn't right because they're not projecting the image properly so there are lens adapters that you can get. And so you can get these lens adapters so that you can mount these additional lenses onto the camera. Now you can do this with Sony products. There's two different adapters and I'm not gonna go through the particulars of what these two adapters do but they are making it possible to use the older A mount lenses on this camera so that if you do have an A mount system, you can slowly transition your way over to the newer cameras and the newer lenses. But there are other manufacturers that make adapters as well that you can put onto your camera. Now, if you do put these on, there are a number of issues with doing it. And so there's a few features that are not going to work in the camera as well. And I did bring in a couple of lenses that I have adapters for that I'm gonna grab. And we're gonna do a quick little lens test here. And we're gonna need another volunteer here in a moment so just get yourself ready. And so what I've got here is I've got a Canon 85, 1.2 lens and I have the Metabones and this is the mark four adapter on this. And we're gonna try some I-AF with this. So I'm gonna take off our standard lens and I'm gonna put on our Canon lens which has the adapter here. And so we've got the lens here and we've got the adapter here. And so I've got one adapter on there, get the white dot, where's my white dot? Gotta find my white dot, there we go. Okay, and so if we could have our model up here, we're gonna see how well this focuses 'cause this is, the 85, 1.2 is one of the more difficult lenses to focus and so I'm gonna jump into the menu system real quick just to make sure that we still have the right thing on custom button number one. It is still on I-AF. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna press down on I-AF and it looks like it's picking it up. So let's make sure that we're shooting this at wide open. So it's as shallow as depth of field as possible. And go ahead and take a couple steps closer to me, just walk straight towards the camera. And it doesn't look like it's picking it up there. It's picking up a face of sorts. Let me, I'm gonna change this over to continuous focusing. And you'll notice right here that I don't have all the options in the focusing modes and that's because I've put on the adapter. So I'm gonna go to continuous and we're gonna try this again. And so there it is, now it's picking up. Go ahead and just step back and give me a head bop from side to side. Try to throw this off. And it's really focusing this. Okay, we're gonna make you do the spin. Walk towards the camera and then do a spin. Stop there and spin and turn around completely. And so it missed it for a second while you turned off to the side but it's doing a pretty good job. And so I could be shooting any of these pictures, okay, let's try this. Go back to the stand and we've got the camera in the motor drive and walk towards the camera. (camera shutter) Okay so it fell off on that one and so it wasn't able to track. Thank you very much. And so it was able to pick it up for a single shot but it wasn't able to track it in that mode as well. So it's one of those areas where adapting lenses are gonna have some issues from time to time. So, I am gonna take this non-Sony product off of this Sony camera and go back to my Sony where everything works right. And once you have the Sony lens and everything works right, it's nice to be able to adapt lenses but it is a bit of a pain when you don't get everything that you were normally expecting to work with. So I prefer working with the Sony lenses but you can get the other ones to work. Let's talk about some of the lenses that are available. So first up is my category of, these are some good, solid zooms and these in many cases are their F4 lenses. We do start reaching into their G Master series here with the 100 to 400. But these are all gonna be really good quality zooms. I like the fact that they have fixed maximum apertures on them. They're not extreme, they're not the top of the line fastest amount of light that you can get in the lens but these are some good general purpose for general photography, also very good for travel photography in my mind. For those who are wanting the top of the line zoom lenses, the 2.8 lenses and they make the what is commonly known as the holy trinity of lenses going from 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200. These are all really top notch, very good quality lenses that they've come out with over the last few years. They do have a number of other very good pro primes. One of the things that Sony is getting known for is making some very, very good glass. Albeit at large and expensive glass, but it is very good quality glass out there. And so all of these options are very nice and they seem to be adding quite quickly to this system and so their ranks of serious shooters and professional shooters is growing very, very quickly. A few other favorites of people out there, they've recently introduced the 24- which is a great general purpose range. The 85, 1.8 is not a lot of money but it's a fantastic portrait lens for anyone who wants a very good value lens. As well as the normal 50s and just a nice, fast, wide 28 that's not really large. And so they do have a great number of lenses. As you can see in the middle of the screen I brought up a lot of the letters that Sony uses and what they mean. And so you can check into those as for more specific information as far as the features about them. One of the ones that's kind of unusual I will mention here, just one they have designed for video and so everyone who shoots video knows that video has very different needs than still photography. And they've addressed it in this particular lens here. There's a lot of other adapted lenses that you can get but if you want something that has everything in the camera that works, all of the auto-focus, all of the menu features work, everything in there is gonna work with this lens 'cause it is fully dedicated to the system. And it's a pretty good general purpose zoom range. Normally on 28-135 lenses, you don't have tripod mounts but it does so in this case so that you can properly mount it and put lots of other accessories, matte boxes and focusing and other adjustments on here so that you can control this in shooting video. And so it's a good lens for doing that. Certainly not the only one that you can get working on here but it's the only one that Sony makes that's fully auto-focus for this. If you are interested in lenses and you wanna know more about choosing the right lens, I do address this series of lenses in this class called choosing the right camera lens. And so I do talk about a variety of lenses here from Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, and of course the Sony, the full frame and the crop frame models in this and we go through all the different things that you would wanna look at and think about in choosing a lens. And that class is available here at Creative Live. Kenna, this might be a good time to check in with you on any sort of questions. What about the Metabones green and advanced mode? Does that make sense? The Metabones green and advanced mode. So she might be asking about using the Metabones adapter in the full auto mode. Okay. That would be my interpretation of that question. And I can't say that I've run that test yet. I don't use the auto mode too much. I did test the camera but I was trying to use it with the Sony lenses as much as possible and my guess is that it's gonna be about 90-95% capable of all the different features in the camera. There's gonna be a few, we saw some auto-focus things that it couldn't do. For instance, in the auto mode, it auto AF and it won't be able to do that and I'm not sure which mode it would switch to.

Class Description

Get the most out of your new Sony A7r III with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features. You'll learn why this camera is highly sought after by enthusiasts and professional photographers alike. Join expert photographer John Greengo as he gives you all the information you need to understand the camera's buttons, menus, and functions.

In this Fast Start class John will discuss:

  • Improved performance at 10fps for shooting action shots
  • High speed continuous shooting
  • Improved 5 axis image stabilization
  • Faster, lower-noise image processing
  • High quality 4K video

John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. With over 50 Fast Start classes in the CreativeLive catalog, he will discuss the complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Sony A7r III settings to work for your style of photography.


Angela Sanchez

Super great clearly explained guide for the Sony a7r III. John is always a fantastic knowledgeable instructor who knows how to teach all about cameras in a super clear organized way. I love John Geengo classes!

Craig Markham

As always, John shines as a teacher extraordinaire! His visuals, pacing of presentation, clarity, and and adherence to the class objectives are all spot-on. As a devoted A7r II user for the past 2 years, this was a great review of the shared features, and gave me the best information for evaluating the cost/benefit of an upgrade to the A7r III now.


John Greengo is the man. I've been watching CreativeLive classes for years and there is no better instructor than him. I recently upgraded from the A7r II to the III and had been waiting for this course to be offered. John is incredibly knowledgeable and, with great dedication, provides all pertinent information related to operating and knowing your new camera. If it weren't for John, I wouldn't know the ins and outs of my new camera and would struggle with optimal settings which would decrease the best output possible. You rock, John. Thanks again!