What is the Deal with Rangefinder Lenses on Sony Mirrorless Systems – Detailed Guide

If you have a sony mirrorless system you might want to know what the deal with its lenses is.

We will tell you exactly that.

What is the Deal with Rangefinder Lenses on Sony Mirrorless Systems?

There are different kinds of lenses that the company offers for its mirrorless cameras. These include zooms, autofocuses, and rangefinders.

Rangefinders are unique because they’re designed for a specific type of camera — namely, cameras that use rangefinding technology.

Mirrorless vs DSLR Cameras

Mirrorless cameras were initially seen as a threat to the DSLRs, which had been the reigning kings of the camera world since their introduction in the 1980s.

There was a heated debate among photographers between mirrorless cameras and DSLR cameras.

Which one is better?

Mirrorless cameras keep getting better at startup speeds. Both mirrorless cameras and DSLRs keep evolving and improving with the latest innovations in digital photography.

Mirrorless vs DSLR: What’s the Difference?


A DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) is a type of digital camera that captures images using an electronic image-sensing device rather than photographic film.

Light enters through the camera lens, which reflects off a mirror inside the camera body. The mirror then sends the light into the view­finder where it’s visible for you to see.

Once you press the button, the mirror swings up and exposes the digital sensor. It takes the light from the scene and converts it into an electrical signal that’s stored in memory.


A mirrorless camera has no built-in optical viewfinder, so there’s no natural way to preview an image before taking it. However, because they’re simpler and more compact than DSLRs, mirrorless cameras tend to be significantly smaller and lighter.

Mirrorless vs DSLR Comparison

When comparing mirrorless vs DSLR digital cameras, we’ll first examine their differences in terms of the most important specifications and features.

Size & Weight

When choosing between different models, size and quality are usually the two main factors to consider.

However, if you plan to use the camera for activities where mobility is not an issue, then the smaller the camera, the better it will perform.


A major advantage of a mirrorless camera over a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) is its portability and its significantly lighter body weight.

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider buying a mirrorless system. It just means that you need to think carefully before making your decision.


DSLRs are usually larger and heavier than their mirrorless equivalents because they require a full-sized mirror, a pentaprism, and a second autofocusing mirror as well as other components of the autofocusing systems.

Some APS-C DSLRs can also be lightweight.


Cameras are expensive.


When it comes to quality for money, the DSLRs win the race. You can buy an inexpensive DSLR camera at a reasonable price and still get decent specs and a wide range of features.


On the lower end of the price range, most mirrorless cameras will lack in terms of image quality, and they won’t have a viewfinder.

On the more professional side of things, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are equally good.

With either a mirror­less camera or DSLR, you get the same number of features and roughly the same performance, and the price range will be similar.



Because DSLRs have been around for so long, they’ve had plenty of time to develop their own lens lineup.

If having a large selection of lenses is important for you, then a DSLR camera is the best choice right now.


As mirrorless camera sales continue to rise, so too has the number of lenses available for them.

Mirrorless cameras already have a growing range of compatible lens options available for purchase. If mirrorless users want to take advantage of DSLR-sized optics, they can buy an adapter from their respective manufacturers’ online stores.

However, if you use certain settings for your mirrorless camera, it may affect its performance such as

  • Focal point
  • Zoom quality
  • Slow autofocus

Battery Life

Mirrorless cameras continue to fall short here, but they’re not necessarily a bad thing for photographers who shoot in the field for extended periods of time.

Larger mirror cameras tend to use larger batteries, and they’re not always easy to carry around. They’re also more inconvenient than their smaller counterparts.


Viewfinder superiority partly depends on personal preferences between the two cameras.


A DSLR has optical viewfinders which show the picture that’s going to be taken. The mirror inside the camera then sends the picture to the viewfinders.


The mirror-less camera doesn’t have a physical mirror to reflect light onto, so the viewfinder is created electronically.

It’s not quite as easy as taking a picture using the built-in viewfinders of DSLRs, but this mirrorless view­finder system has the advantage that it reflects the image with the shutter speeds, ISO, white balances, and other in-cam­era settings taken into consideration.

Shooting in the Field

There are three main factors that determine how easy it is for someone to use a camera in the wild: Its physical dimensions, its ability to shoot under low light conditions, and its autofocus abilities. Here we see some differences between DSLR cameras and mirrorless ones.


Compact digital SLR cameras are gaining ground against mirrorless cameras in terms of size.

If you want the most compact camera system possible, then mirrorless is the one to go for.


With regard to autofocus and low–low-lighting, DSLRs have traditionally been king, but this has begun changing with some mirrorless low-lighting monsters like the Sony a6300.

With mirrorless autofocuses having improved so much, DSLRs still offer better autofocusing performance when shooting fast-paced subjects, such as sports or nature photography.

Image Quality

Both DSLR and mirrorless camera designs are capable of producing high-quality images due to their use of the latest and greatest full-frame sensors available today.

After all, sensor size is the biggest factor that determines image quality. Things like autofocusing, low-lighting shooting, and even the number of megapixels won’t be able to give one particular brand of digital camera an advantage over another.

When comparing the image quality of two equally capable DSLRs and mirrorless camera systems in a controlled environment, there is no difference between them.

Video Quality

Every camera these days has a built-in feature for recording videos, but it will all come down to which one produces better-looking videos.


High-resolution DSLR cameras may have a wide variety of lens options, but only high-resolution DSLR cameras can produce 4K or ultra HD video.


That’s why, for this particular example, mirrorless camera bodies have an advantage over DSLRs because they can produce such high-quality images even with inexpensive models.

Mirrorless vs DSLR: Which is the better camera?

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are both good choices for photographers looking to get into digital photography.

The DSLR has a larger selection of interchangeable lens options, longer battery life, and better low light shooting than the mirrorless camera.

On the one hand, mirrorless cameras tend to be lighter, more portable, provide better video quality even in cheaper models, and can shoot up to four times as many photos per second as DSLRs.

Do Professionals Use DSLR or Mirrorless?

One of the myths surrounding mirrorless cameras versus DSLRs is that professionals exclusively use DSLRs.

Mirrorless cameras are easier to carry than DSLRs, faster than SLR cameras, and quieter than point-and-shoot cameras. They’re used by photojournalists and travelers alike.

At the same moment, you’ll find photographers who are always in love with their DSLR cameras.

When it comes to professional photography, having both a mirrorless camera and a DSLR is the best option. You can always switch between them depending on the situation.

Among the most popular camera models used by professional photographers are:

Mirrorless Cameras

  • Sony Alpha 9 II and Sony Alpha 7R IV were used by photographers Paul Nicklen and David Slater for action shots, respectively, as fine art photographs.
  • Canon EOS R 5 used by photographer Keith Ladzinksi for climbing photos and videos

DSLR Cameras

  • Phase One 645 DF was developed by Albert Watson for large-format photography.
  • Nikon D810 was the camera used by Annie Leibowitz for editorial and portraiture photography.
what is the deal with rangefinder lenses on sony mirrless systems

What is the Deal with Rangefinder Lenses on Sony Mirrorless Systems?


With mirrorless cameras, you can layer viewfinders, including camera settings, levels, and histograms, and they can also display an instant magnifying view of the focusing area and let you play back photos and video in the EVF.

If you have any more questions make sure to tell us in the comments below.


  • Sarah Wilson

    Sarah is a content consultant at The Outdoor Stores where she is ready to guide you through the features of a good firearm for your outdoor activities and hunting hobbies. Her expert knowledge and intellectual skills have helped The Outdoor Stores greatly.

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