I grew up in my student days on manual focus, with a beloved Contax 139 and Zeiss 50mm,(which dates me); however, have happily lived and relied upon auto-focus for the last 20 years, only occasionally switching to manual focus when the situation needed it or if I pulled an old 6×6 out of the attic (I exclude using my manual-only voigtlander 20mm lens as the depth of field is so large that it requires no effort, just leaving near infinity).
Back now in manual-focus only land, with the Sony a7ii and Metabones Nikon adaptor, is romantically part of the appeal; however, I had forgotten how much the ergonomics of a lens matter – the feel of the focus ring, how far it travels, switching between the focus and aperture ring etc. Not criteria I have used in a while with my DSLRs, where lens criteria has just been about the likes of maximum aperture, optical performance, weight and cost.
It has, however, now suddenly come back to me how much ergonomics matter. I have had for some time a fine Nikon 50mm f1.4G lenses, which will not work with the simple Metabones adaptor (G lenses, no aperture ring). No problem, I just bought online inexpensive, but still optically very good, Nikon AF-D f1.8 50mm
A simple solution in theory, but I had forgotten about ergonomics. The adaptor pushes the aperture ring forward (same for all lenses) away from the camera which is good and works well; however, with this 50mm lens the focusing ring is thin and right at the end of the lens, which with my big hands and fingers is quite fiddly and annoying – so much so, that if I had tried before I bought, I probably would have looked for an alternative that worked in my hands better. Not the end of the world, but a good lesson for me to learn for next time.
The old Zeiss 50mm, from the Contax, on the other hand still feels perfect (hey, that is the romance of long term relationships) and is begging me to get an adaptor for it, so it can join the fun.