February 9 2011 - Photo Jottings

February 9 2011


 Sony announces it will allow other manufacturers to copy their E-mount lens design and “basic specifications” without fee, which I think is fine and dandy.  However, some people are wondering if Sony will provide full lens-to-camera communication codes to the other companies “without fee.”  Well, I’m no genius, but anyone can produce a physical E lens mount or adapter, and they do it right now, but with little or no information passing between the lens and camera to provide proper operation.  So, to allow other companies to simply copy a lens mount, with partial communication makes no sense.  If you read the official Sony press release, it becomes pretty clear that Sony is going to give up their full comm codes for a little well-deserved compensation.  Can you imagine buying a Carl Zeiss lens that costs $1000 and find it won’t work right on your Sony camera?  In other words; basic specifications are free, and full communication codes will be provided upon signing a “license agreement.”  Read part of the press release below;

Sony Corporation announced today it will disclose the basic specifications of its “E-mount” for interchangeable single lens cameras, without fee, to manufacturers of lenses and mount adaptors, starting April 1, 2011.  This opens the way for manufacturers of various lenses and mount adaptors to effectively develop products conforming to “E-mount” specifications.  Users of the Sony’s “NEX-3”, “NEX-5”, “NEX-VG10” and other “E-mount” compatible Sony digital imaging products to be launched in the future will now be able to use interchangeable lenses from both Sony and various other manufactures, while they will also be able to attach non-Sony lenses to their Sony digital imaging products via a mount adapter.  Sony believes the growth of digital imaging products employing the “E-mount” will further increase the enjoyment of photography and video shooting among an even wider range of users.

These basic specifications will be disclosed to manufactures of lenses and mount adaptors following a predefined process of approval and the signing a license agreement with Sony.

In my opinion, after-market manufacturers (Zeiss, Sigma, tamron etc.) signing any agreement with Sony will receive all info for correct and complete operation on a Sony Camera.  So we shall see!

Read the whole press release here.


Sigma’s 120-400mm F/4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM for Sony is now available at B&H photo.  I haven’t been able to review one yet, but hopefully I can later on this year.  A reader named Anthony wrote and wondered about using the OS with Sony’s Steadyshot simultaneously.  I don’t know how that would work, if at all.  Anybody have any knowledge about that?  Or which system is better?  I’d
like to check that out and write a comparison review.

If you’re in the market for a large capacity memory card, check out the stuff below.  I bought two of the Sony 16gb Memorystick Pro HG duo HX ($53.08 each) a couple of months ago; they’re fast, very reliable and provide about 428 RAW images (according to the LCD) with the A900, (I usually get more than that), or 1600 using fine Jpegs.  I’ve never had a Sony Memorystick go bad, I have had troubles with other brands and types.  If you want a professional Extreme Sandisk 16mb card, and work under seriously harsh conditions, indulge yourself, they’re on sale for $94.95 after mail-in rebate.

sandisk extreme 16gb
Sony MemoryStick pro duo HG 16gb HX
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