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Sony A7 II as an Accessory: Can it Turn a Classic 180mm f/2.8 Into a Keeper?

Leica 180f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R

Following the short focal length examples with the Sony A7 II, a challenge came to mind: the Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R had been a nettlesome failure in field usage on DSLRs for years (on both Canon and Nikon). If not for missed focus (optical viewfinders with manual focus are a cruel joke at 180mm), then shutter issues and/or mirror slap. Very high failure rates.

Might not the Sony A7R II with its Live View EVF (for focusing) along with image stabilization and zero-vibration exposure be just the ticket for turning a venerable 180mm design into an eminently usable medium telephoto?

Moreover, for a fraction of the price of the Leica M240 with its toy-grade EVF, might not the Sony A7 II be a real solution to the challenge of shooting at 180mm manually?

Sony A7 II @ 180mm: Focusing and Field Shooting (Leica 180/2.8 APO)

Commentary is on both results and shooting experience.

I considered shorter focal lengths for the “challenge” (85mm, 135mm), but for me 180mm is the cutoff for success rate with manual focus—very hard to reliably focus and expose at 180mm on up. And the shutter vibration of the Leica M240 makes 100mm on up problematic for use with R lenses and the Leica R-Adapter-M (very unstable rig).

Sculler
f5.6 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 100; 2015-02-07 16:10:39
Sony A7 II + Leica 180mm f/2.8 APO-Elmarit-R

[low-res image for bot] (actual pixels)

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