I’ll be writing a series of posts on lenses that I use with the A7 cameras (and other Sony mirrorless cameras as they appear). In addition to e-mount lenses, there are a-mount lense that can be used with the Sony adapters (LA-EA3 and LA-EA4). And as everyone is aware almost any other lens that can be found has some kind of an adapter to put it on the A7 cameras.
The first lens I’ll look at is the Minolta 200mm f\4 Macro.
One of the things that the Sony a-mount (and also of course the e-mount) lacks is a native 200mm macro lens. When I was shooting a-mount cameras I found the out of production Minolta 200mm f\4 macro available on ebay for what I thought at the time was a ridiculous price of $1,500. Of course I bought it and it was one of the best lenses I’ve ever used on the Sony cameras. I use it for both typical macro shots and also to chase butterflies and dragonflies. The lens is a screw-drive type so back when I was using the A-850 dslr I could autofocus it but on the A7 cameras the LA-EA-3 provides only manual focus. The LA-EA-4 will autofocus but interposes a “translucent” mirror into the light path. Well life is full of compromises. I don’t think Sony will be releasing an LA-EA-* adapter that autofocuses screw-drive lenses without a translucent mirror (although I’d really love that option). But even with the restrictions on its use, I feel the 200 macro is one of the best lenses available on the Sony system. Of course there are probably Nikon and Canon equivalents (which in some cases could be used as autofocus lenses) and the Sigma 180mm for Canon could be used with a metabones adapter on an A7 (I think). But I intend to keep the Minolta. I find it excellent and I love the photos it produces. I’ve used it for macro, portraits, landscapes, short telephoto, wildlife and general interest. It never lets me down.