The Sony LA-EA2 is a Sony A-Mount to E Mount (NEX) adapter that
contains a pellicle mirror, focus sensors and a focus motor, allowing
full Phase Detection Auto-Focus (pdaf) for all Sony/Minolta A-mount
lenses on the NEX series. It came out at $400 but is already down to
$300 at Amazon. Before ordering the LA-EA2 I'd seen people complain
that it was too large, and others say it wasn't as big as it looked.
Compared to any other adapter, included the LA-EA1, it's bulky. The
bottom of the adapter houses the autofocus motor and projects almost an
inch below the bottom of the NEX-7. It's also 70% the weight of a
NEX-5N body. For most users utilizing adapted lenses, this size
addition isn't too much, but if say, you wanted to put a LA-EA2 on a Sony NEX-5N with an EVF mounted, it's too tall
to fit into a Pelican 1200
case. Don't worry, Pelican isn't going to get the case to close on
that Nikon dSLR they have in their product imagery either.
Build quality is good, reminiscent of a $1,000 "prosumer" lens,
no complaints here. The adapter works and functions as it should,
although surprisingly often I had problems with the lens maintaining
full electronic communication with the adapter. In ten days this issue
popped up three or four times, where the camera thought no lens was
attached. Remounted the lens solved the issue, but this shouldn't
happen with a $400 adapter. In the end I had three complaints about the
LA-EA2 and ended up returning it. First off, like most (but not all)
pdaf systems, the focus sensors are all too close the center. What's
the point of having fast auto-focus if you have to focus and then
recompose your image?
The second is really more of a firmware issue with the
camera. The NEX cameras are a system, and a system is only as strong as
the weakest link in the chain. And the NEX-7 has a weak link when it
comes to auto-focus. On all high end cameras, it's possible to make it
so that the shutter release button does not trigger AF. Instead there
is a rear AF-ON button so the user can use AF when they want and
release the shutter independently. The ability do do this is one
of my favorite advantage of the NEX-7 over the NEX-5N. Unfortunately
Sony has crippled it. In Nikon cameras you choose to set AF to AF-ON
only, and you still have access to all AF options (AF sensor,
Continuous or Single, Mode ect). Tragically on the NEX-7, to un-tether
the AF from the shutter, you have to set AF to OFF. This then disables
any ability to change anything AF related until you turn AF back on to
the shutter release. Want to change an AF sensor? You have to go into
the menu, turn AF to ON, switch AF sensors, then turn AF to OFF. Really
Sony, is there any disadvantage to letting the user change auto-focus
settings when AF is turned off? This isn't a beginner camera. It's a
painful tedious process to change AF settings when using the rear AF/MF
button as an AF-ON button and it should be fixed in the firmware. Any
advantage of having fast auto-focus is lost because it takes too long
to control settings when using the AF/MF button as an AF-ON.
Between the firmware AF issues and centering of AF points,
I didn't find the Sony LA-EA2 nearly as useful as I had imagined and
returned it. With wider AF points and a firmware fix I would use it,
because pdaf is great for tracking moving objects with a longer lens,
like shooting big water kayaking. It's worth noting that Sony is
obviously having issues getting rid of it, as it's one of the few items
on their site that's discounted.
vs the standard PBR can.
The base is thick.
The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN is smaller and lighter than the LA-EA2
Looking at the translucent mirror. Like the NEX-7 this came with dust
already in it and had to be cleaned on arrival.