Alpha Universe Story Detail
Alpha Universe Story Detail
Testing the LA-EA5 Lens Adaptor 

Gustav Kiburg 

The Sony LE-EA5 is a brand new adaptor, designed to maximise the use of A-mount lenses on the latest E-mount bodies, offering fast and accurate autofocus along with high speed continuous shooting.

Thanks to its built-in motor, it can even autofocus those A-mount lenses that don’t have one built in, while still taking advantage of the focal-plane phase-detection of the camera. All of this capability is concealed in a compact, elegant cylindrical design.

sony le ea5 lens adaptor

“I’ve been an avid Sony shooter for years, but having switched to E-mount bodies a few years ago, my old Alpha 99 II has been gathering dust in my cupboard. I’d amassed quite a few nice lenses over the years and although I’d gradually been replacing them as the E-mount system grew, there were a couple that I’d hung on to, in particular the 300mm f/2.8 SSM which was one of my favourite lenses for wildlife, and the 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II, which was always such a sharp lens. Naturally, I was very pleased when Sony asked me to test the new LA-EA5 adapter as it gave me an excuse to dust off my old lenses and see if they were as good as I remember them.

sony alpha 9M2 with le-ea5 adaptor and 70-200mm a mount lens

Sony Alpha 9 II with the LE-EA5 mounted on the 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II

I’ve gotten so used to the focus speed of my Alpha 9 II and 7R IV using my FE lenses, but I was eager to see how the cameras would cope with my older lenses via the adapter. My first location was in a forest near the village of Hulst. It’s a favourite of mine and I’ve been many times to photograph the beautiful red squirrels that thrive there and I opted for the 300mm f/2.8 SSM mounted on my Alpha 7R IV. The first thing I noticed about the new adaptor is how small and comfortable it is - it doesn’t have the bulky underhang that the old adaptors have.

gustav kiburg sony alpha 7RM4 red squirrel standing on a branch

© Gustav Kiburg | Sony α7R IV + 300mm f/2.8 G | 1/1250s @ f/2.8, ISO 640

I positioned myself near a pond and it wasn’t long before the squirrels put in an appearance and once I’d fired off a few shots, I almost forgot that I was using an old A-mount lens - the focus speed and accuracy were superb. I wasn’t sure how the animal Eye-AF would work either, but it didn’t fail to pick up the squirrel’s eye, and every shot was tack sharp. I prefer to shoot hand-held as it gives me the flexibility to quickly reframe when the squirrels are active, and the in-camera stabilisation coped with any slight movements from me with ease.

gustav kiburg sony alpha 7RM4 red squirrel standing with his paws outstretched

© Gustav Kiburg | Sony α7R IV + 300mm f/2.8 G | 1/400s @ f/3.2, ISO 800

A friendly bird also came down to the pond for a drink!

gustav kiburg sony alpha 7RM4 bird drinks from a forest pond

© Gustav Kiburg | Sony α7R IV + 300mm f/2.8 G | 1/640s @ f/2.8, ISO 800

My next port of call was Rotterdam harbour. There are often many speedboats active on the water and I was keen to see if my old 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II would cope with focus tracking a moving subject.

gustav kiburg sony alpha 9M2 sequence of speedboat images at high speed

© Gustav Kiburg | Sony α9 II + 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM II | 1/4000s @ f/4.0, ISO 400

As you can see I couldn’t fault the AF, and once it had locked on to the boat, it tracked focus accurately.

The last lens I wanted to try was my old Zeiss 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II which was a fabulous piece of glass. I must admit, I haven’t missed this as much because my G Master 16-35mm f/2.8 is so sharp, but I was enjoying using the adaptor so much, I wanted to see how it performed.

gustav kiburg sony alpha sun shining through clouds over a still pond at dawn

© Gustav Kiburg | Sony α7R IV + 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II | 1/13s @ f/18, ISO 50

My overall experience using the LE-EA5 adaptor with my old A-mount lenses was extremely positive. All the lenses I tried reacted quickly and gave me precise focus, and what surprised me the most was the accuracy of the Eye-AF and AF tracking. For those photographers still sitting on their old A-mount lenses, the LE-EA5 is a worthy investment!

Please note

1. As of Sept. 2020, focal plane phase-detection is supported for SSM/SAM lenses on the α7 III, α7R III, α7R IV, α6100, α6400, α6600, α9, α9 II, and α7S III. Focal plane phase-detection is supported for lenses that do not have internal focus motors on the α7R IV and α6600.

 2. STF lenses are manual focus only. Teleconverters are not supported.


Featured Products
α7R IV 35mm full-frame camera with 61.0MP


α9 II full-frame camera with pro capability


Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II


70-200mm F2.8 G SSM II


300mm F2.8 G SSM II


LA-EA5 Adaptor


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