The LA-EA1 adapter has been out almost as long as the NEX, but as I don’t own one I had to borrow one from “AL/EX”. So first off a big thanks for letting me use it.
The LA-EA1 allows you to use Sony/Minolta AF lenses on a NEX body. But it wasn’t until recently that Auto Focus was supported. Last last year Sony bought out a new Firmware for both the NEX (firmware version 3) body and the LA-EA1 (firmware version 2). Once you have upgrades both firmware versions the camera will support auto focus for SSM and SAM lenses. Lenses with the screw mount AF system still have to be focuses manually.
The LA-EA1 also supports “manual” and “auto” aperture control through the camera body, with out the need for a firmware upgrade.
Upgrading the firmware may sound daunting to some but the steeps are very easy and clearly described on the Sony website.The only SSM lens I have is a Zeiss 24-70mm2.8. You can imagin how it looks that such a large lens and adapter on such a tiny camera:).
I found that the NEX had to hunt (focus back and forth) a bit before it had focus lock. It also drained the camera battery very quick. But when it had found its focus it was very very sharp as you would expect. As this is the first firmware version and first generation of NEX cameras I hope Sony will keep working on this feature so the slight hunting problem is improved.