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Sony A7R: Leica M Lenses

Field day—shot all of my Leica M lenses, not yet analyzed. The experience of using the high-res Sony EVF is so night and day superior to the Leica VF-2 EVF (blurry with about half the res) that it was downright exciting to experience. Sony EVF is way more usable, more precise, easier to discriminate focus, and a lot more enjoyable. The M lenses match the A7R very well in size and weight/balance. But performance remains to be seen, due to the ray angle issues.

My usage notes to follow in my review of the Sony A7R (with respect to general adapter function and behavior on the A7R), with detailed lens performance for M lenses in Guide to Leica (non-native lenses always covered in their respective Guides).

Update: quick examination of my shoot shows some serious issues with wides in color and sharpness (bummer). I will be documenting the behavior of every lens I have: 18/3.8 (when back from repair), 21/3.4 , 24/3.8, 28/2, 28/2, 35/1.4, Zeiss 35/2, 50/0.95, 50/1.4, 50/2 APO, 75/2 APO, 90/2 APO and perhaps the 16/18/21 Tri-Elmar assuming I can borrow it. And maybe a few more after that, but that's a load to start.

I will also soon discuss some recommendations for Zeiss DSLR lenses on the A7R (25/2 Distagon looks excellent).

All this takes time, and I will publish “answers” only with good solid data. In private photo consulting I am happy to pass along “likely” suggestions and partial evaluation ideas, but I don’t like to publish anything I don’t have unequivocal data on.

Blue light of dusk on creek whirlpool
Sony A7R + Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH, 30 seconds

Peter W writes:

Nice! Just got home, unwrapped the LensRentals Voigtlander M to E adapter, and snapped a couple with the Noctilux. Wow!

Moving the focus patch around with the control wheel, while looking through the VF, is a huge plus on Noct (or 90 f/2) compared to M.

I agree with your comments about the Sony EVF 10,000% (vs. Oly EVF2). I was thinking about this point this morning, as you had already commented that the A7R is a seminal moment in photography. I felt the reason is clearly the EVF, :)…. sure, the sensor is great, but the reason this camera is more significant than the D800E is that the A7R has a breakthrough VF while the D800E has a sadly compromised OVF (silly AF functionality that degrades MF substantially).

I really like the stainless mounts on both faces of the Voigtlander adapter. I am canceling the unavailable Novoflex LEM/NEX and getting one of these.

DIGLLOYD: Indeed, the best part of the Sony A7R (and A7) other than the sensor is the terrific EVF for manual focusing, though by not allowing exposure adjustment while zoomed in it has some irritations.

I would note that a Nikon D4x with at least optional high-res EVF and a ~54 megapixel sensor would gap the A7R idea considerably; that extra mass is a plus in some situations; the real issues for me are focusing and the EVF is key.

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