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Author Topic: Leica M lenses on Sony A7R  (Read 3303 times)
To2n
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« on: November 23, 2013, 11:36:07 PM »
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In a shop I tried all my Leica M lenses on the Sony A7R and was initially delighted with the handling and especially the speed and apparant exactitude of (manual) focussing on this camera. For the first time I (thought) I could do something approaching 'fast snapshotting' (pardon my English) with my Noctilux f1. The results looked promising on the little screen and with a large measure of sentiment I already saw my M9 body traded in.....
Oh ye, (or rather, 'me') of little faith!
When at home with my rather crude 'test photo's' both in RAW and JPEG I discovered that only Iridient could recognize the RAW format and that Phase One and DxO could only play around with the JPEG's. Unfortunately the majority of my photo's came out kind of flat, bleached, lacking any punch. In contrast, what came out of my M9 that same afternoon, trying out my newly arrived Voigtlander 35/1.2 was nothing short of spectactular or was at least very satisfying. I am convinced that the fault lies with me (bleak morning light vs flaming sunset) I got a similar negative result with an earlier try with the then new NEX 7, this in contrast with all web published reviews. I might also mention the fact that earlier test photo's made with the Sony RX1R came out very nice....Any idea's?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2013, 12:09:04 AM »
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Hi,

It would help if you posted some of those images. It is hard to comment without seeing them.

I would not expect Leica M wide angles play well with the A7r sensor but long focals should do well.

When a new camera arrives it takes some time until it is fully supported by raw converters. I use LR5.3RC and it works on A7r raws.

Best regards
Erik

In a shop I tried all my Leica M lenses on the Sony A7R and was initially delighted with the handling and especially the speed and apparant exactitude of (manual) focussing on this camera. For the first time I (thought) I could do something approaching 'fast snapshotting' (pardon my English) with my Noctilux f1. The results looked promising on the little screen and with a large measure of sentiment I already saw my M9 body traded in.....
Oh ye, (or rather, 'me') of little faith!
When at home with my rather crude 'test photo's' both in RAW and JPEG I discovered that only Iridient could recognize the RAW format and that Phase One and DxO could only play around with the JPEG's. Unfortunately the majority of my photo's came out kind of flat, bleached, lacking any punch. In contrast, what came out of my M9 that same afternoon, trying out my newly arrived Voigtlander 35/1.2 was nothing short of spectactular or was at least very satisfying. I am convinced that the fault lies with me (bleak morning light vs flaming sunset) I got a similar negative result with an earlier try with the then new NEX 7, this in contrast with all web published reviews. I might also mention the fact that earlier test photo's made with the Sony RX1R came out very nice....Any idea's?
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EgillBjarki
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 01:09:08 AM »
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Look forward to hear your experience with the new setup. Adobe has often been fast updating DNG converter, when it can convert the A7R files, you can use any raw converter.
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To2n
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 02:06:38 AM »
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Well Erik, since my crude testresults were not encouraging, I didn't purchase the camera and decided to wait, do nothing, go for the RX1R or try again later. At least I can re-evaluate what I shot with the probably soon available other converters but Iridient didn't really solve anything drastically.
Anyway, I will return later to this 'thing' since it puzzles me and again: I must be doing something wrong.....
Thanks for your reply.
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jrp
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 12:45:47 PM »
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You could always try with Sony's own raw processor -- image data converter -- or Lightroom / ACR.

The samples already out there suggest that the a7 is slightly better that the a7r with Leica lenses (in terms of corner smearing, colour shading, etc), particularly for wide angles. The Sony bodies suffer less from Infra Red contamination, however.
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To2n
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 02:36:55 PM »
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I will (try to) post relevant images, both JPEG and RAW but give me  a day or two (or three). BTW I accidently called 'Egil' 'Erik' - which is you. Confusing, sorry - both of you!
I tried LR5 the demo of which I downloaded but it didn't 'see' the ARW images from the A7R - I'll get into that again.
JRP mentioned that the A7 would be better with Leica lenses than the A7R but I understood the opposite due a.o. to the microlens configuration (much like the Leica has). Ah, well maybe I should check that out too.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 02:54:04 PM »
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Hi,

The version that works with A7r files is 5.3RC (Release Candidate), see below:

Lightroom version: 5.3 RC [932991]

According to Sony, both A7 and A7r have offset microlenses, but the smaller pixels on the A7r aggravate the problem. There is also a problem with symmetric wide angle designs (like Biogon) that the optical package in front of the sensor causes astigmatism. On Leica M, Leica reduced the physical thickness of the IR filter on M8 it was 0.3mm and on the M9 it is 0.8mm. The M (240) uses a CMOS sensor developed for Leica by CMOSIS whit shallower wells than the Exmoor. Leica also designed the M-series without OLP filtering. I am pretty sure that the OLP filter on the A7r is replaced with optical glass of equivalent thickness.

Finally, the M-series has also a lot of problems with wide angles, but they compensate for it in firmware. Camera reads the bar code on the lens and estimates aperture by comparing ambient light and exposure, so they can do a firmware correction for the lens issues.

Best regards
Erik

I will (try to) post relevant images, both JPEG and RAW but give me  a day or two (or three). BTW I accidently called 'Egil' 'Erik' - which is you. Confusing, sorry - both of you!
I tried LR5 the demo of which I downloaded but it didn't 'see' the ARW images from the A7R - I'll get into that again.
JRP mentioned that the A7 would be better with Leica lenses than the A7R but I understood the opposite due a.o. to the microlens configuration (much like the Leica has). Ah, well maybe I should check that out too.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 04:12:17 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

michael
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 03:14:49 PM »
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I am currently shooting with 7 Leica M lenses on the A7r. Results range from mostly good to exceptional, but it depends on the lens and the use of appropriate tools, such as the latest Lightroom, and the latest Adobe Lens Cast Correction plug in.

Even then there are a few insurmountable problems.

But, with the lenses that do work, and with some effort on the few that need help, the combination with the A7R is extraordinary.

My report will be up in a couple of weeks.

Michael
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Telecaster
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 03:38:42 PM »
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I am currently shooting with 7 Leica M lenses on the A7r. Results range from mostly good to exceptional, but it depends on the lens and the use of appropriate tools, such as the latest Lightroom, and the latest Adobe Lens Cast Correction plug in.
Even then there are a few insurmountable problems.
But, with the lenses that do work, and with some effort on the few that need help, the combination with the A7R is extraordinary.
My report will be up in a couple of weeks.

Great, looking forward to it. I don't need the A7r's photosite count, but my M lenses on a 35mm body with an EVF that allows you to move the magnified focusing area around in the frame...that has appeal.

-Dave-
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EgillBjarki
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2013, 03:40:33 AM »
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My report will be up in a couple of weeks.

Michael

Look forward to it!
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 05:57:03 AM »
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I am currently shooting with 7 Leica M lenses on the A7r. Results range from mostly good to exceptional, but it depends on the lens and the use of appropriate tools, such as the latest Lightroom, and the latest Adobe Lens Cast Correction plug in.

Even then there are a few insurmountable problems.

But, with the lenses that do work, and with some effort on the few that need help, the combination with the A7R is extraordinary.

My report will be up in a couple of weeks.

Michael

Are you also going to shoot wider than 35 mm?
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To2n
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2013, 11:45:06 AM »
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Okay, I must try to keep this simple since minds considerable greater than mine will post better and more systematic material and it seems posting doesn't work so I give a link to

http://toonvieijra.smugmug.com/Sony-A7R-with-Leica-M-lenses-S

The DSC00007 is an earlier Sony RX1 picture and the DSC00068LR ed. is a Sony A7R with a Leica Summicron 28/2 asph. attached with a - if I remember and observe correctly f-stop of something around 8. I upped the contrast and downed the brightness of that JPEG somewhat to match the other picture. Of course the time of day and different weatherconditions and autumn sinking in make for two very different looks.
I have other samples with other lenses but I think I was so unsystematic that it will only cloud the issue.
My personal, practical and ultra-short experience with these two camera's boils down to the 'fact' that everything from the RX1 immediately looked great and most of the others from the A7 needed a lot of help. It seems as if my M lenses feel more at home on my M9 (at the moment).
The RX1 ARW was treated with Capture One.
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Andrew L
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2013, 11:46:39 PM »
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I have an A7. My early results are:

Less problem with colour shifts with wide angle than the M240. A shift towards blue rather than a shift towards red as Leica does. 35mm and above don't really need any correction. 25mm needs correction but you can get away without it if you aren't too fussy.

The free software CornerFix does an excellent job of generating corrected RAW DNG files. I have used the CV15mm f4.5 on both the Sony A7 and the Leica M240 with excellent results. The corners can have noise, however. If you use CornerFix you really only have to profile your lens at f16 and a single ISO. I did a test at every ISO and found little difference. I bought a translucent white kitchen cutting board and used it for calibration. it worked excellent. Just put it directly on the lens and point it outside on a cloudy day. About as uniform as you can get.

Bad news.

With my adapter sharpness is bad in the corners. With my 50mm f1.4 sharpness on the A7 doesn't catch up to the M240 until about f5.6 With my 25mm Zeiss on the A7 it is bad up to f8 and not usable at f2.8. On the Leica it is usable at all apertures and sharp from f4.

I found noise to be a bit worse on the A7 than the M240 - however - the M240 has banding noise in the shadows at high ISO. Still, both are similar and for me useable up to ISO6400 with a little care in post.

I put a "shim" under one of the screws of the adapter and the Zeiss became notably better. My shim consisted of two layers of tin foil. The adapters are very sensitive to misalignment. There is a nice discussion over at the LensRentals blog about this.

I am going to try "shiming" my adapter to see if I can make improvements but the alignment question is a big one. What happens if the NEX mount bends?

So..... A7 not really a Leica replacement. What is needed are high end adjustable adapters. Welcome to the (money) bleeding edge.


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jschone
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2013, 09:24:16 AM »
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Hi,

I got the A7r today. Tested the camera with the Summicron 50 (Non-APO) and a Novoflex adapter against my Leica M9.
I've used the Sony RAW converter and the beta version of RPP (which supports A7R files).

Very disappointing results to say the least. The photos lack in sharpness. Small details in trees, leaves, grass etc. look smeared. Corners are plain bad. The files look like 24 mp files interpolated to 36 mp. In fact, when downsampling the file to the M9 dimensions, the M9 files just look better.

Maybe I am expecting too much of this camera or maybe the Summicron 50 doesn't work well. Will try the 35 summicron but I don't have great expectations. Guess camera goes back in the box and wait untill Zeiss comes with Manual focus lenses for the A7r.

Curious to hear Michael's findings with the Leica lenses.

Best, Jochem
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peterottaway
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2013, 05:12:13 PM »
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What converter are you using. There are an increasing reports of different problems ie soft on left side, soft on right side or simply certain lenses are ok, some excellent and others poor - all with the adapter.
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jschone
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2013, 02:00:41 AM »
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I am using the Novoflex. I did more testing and results are repeatable. It seems the a7r files with the summicron 50 and 35 lack "resolution", they feel like interpolated files. Tried various landscapes with trees, grass, houses etc.

Maybe it's CMOS sensors that I am not used to, maybe it's the adaptor, maybe the summicrons don't play well with the a7r.
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