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Reader Comments on Leica M Lenses and Zeiss ZM Lenses on the Panasonic S1R

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist and Is L-Mount in Your Photography Future? for thoughts on the significance of the L-mount alliance.

The Panasonic S1R can mount Leica M lenses and Zeiss ZM lenses vi a lens adapter such as the Leica M-Adapter L or the Novoflex Leica M Lens to Leica SL/T Camera Body Lens Adapter. Since the Leica offering is backordered, I have the Novoflex adapter coming.The Leica adapter is presumably preferable because it transmits the 6-bit lens code if present. But whether the Panasonic S1R uses this code is unclear.

Panasonic S1R

In the past, clickbait reviews have made a considerable contribution to the mass hallucination that Leica M lenses work on Sony mirrorless or Nikon mirrorless—sure they do, but with very poor performance as I show in diglloyd Leica*, with various field tests as well as the special Zeiss full apeture series MTF charts for the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon, including a through-focus MTF chart.

* Lens reviews always go into the native publication for the lens, regardless of camera platform.

* Leica M lens coverage on any platform goes into diglloyd Leica.







Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

Reader Peter K writes:

I think M-lenses should be used on M-camera’s. All former reviews about M-lenses on Sony camera’s where s..t. It looks like all pictures I shot today do not have any sharpness.

Pictures made with the LEICA APO-Summicron-M 50mm/2.0 ASPH on my LEICA M10 are always looking great!

Pictures made with the LEICA APO-Summicron-M 50mm/2.0 ASPH with the PANASONIC DC-S1R with pixel shift [187megapixel] are nothing special [I mean bad], even downsampled.

I think you have to use this camera with native lenses like the LEICA Summilux-SL 50mm/1.4 [or like Apo-Elmarit-R 180mm/2.8]. So for now I have nothing bad to say about this camera. Only the combination of the S1R with with three different Leica M-lenses sucks.

DIGLLOYD: this poor-performance finding of Peter K corresponds with my expectations which I had hoped were wrong. And it is opposite to the comments by Roy P below. Camera: I think that M lenses should be used on the best camera—and without question a superior camera platform could exist, and it need not be from Leica or an M camera at all.

I will have a definitive finding for a variety of Leica M/Zeiss ZM lenses on the Panasonic S1R, so that the reality of is laid bare for any with open eyes to see.

An equal comparison which does not speak to absolute performance would be the 47MP Panasonic S1R image downsampled to the 24 megapixels of the Leica M240/Leica M10. However, since non-native sensor cover glass severely perturbes field curvature with most lenses, comparisons cannot be compared very well in any particular area of the frame—better to just see the severe consequences, as I showe in my review of the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon on the Nikon Z7.

CLICK TO VIEW: Lens Adapters for Panasonic SlR

Reader Roy P writes:

Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon

I got a chance to see and play with the Panasonic S1R today. There were two Panasonic reps on hand, with a couple of S1 and S1R bodies and some lenses, including the Panasonic 24-105/4 and 70-200/4, and I think they also had an Leica 50/1.4.

I went over to specifically check how the S1R worked with my M-mount lenses via the Leica M to L adapter. Specifically, I brought my Leica 21mm f/1.4 Summilux, Leica 28mm f/1.4 Summilux and Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux, and Zeiss ZM 35mm f/1.4 Distagon. I figured if these lenses worked reasonably well, pretty much all M mount lenses would likely work well, too. Bottom line: the S1R impresses. I can’t recall seeing this level of performance from my M mount lenses from any M camera, let alone Sony bodies. One of the reps told me they (Panasonic working with Leica) built a completely new micro lens array for the S1R that delivers a far superior IQ than the M or SL cameras. They even had big posters illustrating this new design – it shows a thinner glass plate and also taller micro lenses that look more like LEDs than lenses.

Whatever, the darned thing seems to work very well for my use case, which is to use this as a camera for my M lenses. The live view and loupe zoom works exactly as I was hoping, and focus peaking works very well, too. In fact, the focus peaking is so good that live view is almost (but not entirely) unnecessary.


Net-net, I’m pretty excited that I now have a camera that I can really use with my Leica M lenses, and I’m planning to get the S1R.


DIGLLOYD: looks like a total contradiction between Roy P and Pieter K: “better than M peformance” versus unacceptable.

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