Leica Cheap Chinese-made M-mount 50mm f1.1 "Sonnar" Lens

BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
The Nokton is a Planar formula lens- very different rendering. This is Suped-up Sonnar, closer to an 8-element 1940s prototype that was designed to reduce field curvature. I'll be doing more comparisons over the next few weeks. Also note that I had to add one layer of copper tape to the Nokton RF cam for correct focus on the M9.
 

BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
We went up to Skyline drive today-

Wide-Open and at closest focus,

Wide-Open
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr


At F2.8,

Shot at F2.8
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr


Focus shift is well within parameters for a Sonnar, I am very used to it. I focus using the RF then give a slight bump. Same for the 50/1.1 Nokton, which also has a lot of focus shift.

at F4,

Shot at F5.6
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr


Shot at F4
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr


All shots with a Y2 filter. I used a 55mm filter and hood. The one change I will make: use a 55 to 58 step up ring, the combination of filter and hood prduced some vignetting at the edges when used at Infinity.

Infinity, F5.6
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
 

BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
SHot at F1.5, 1-stop down from F1.1 and at typical Sonnar aperture.

Shot at F1.5
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

I "instinctively" bump the focus slightly closer when using a Sonnar formula lens stopped down. I will do a formal test on focus shift as time permits. Who wants to spend time doing formal focus tests when your daughter is out of school and wants to go somewhere with her Dad? NOT ME!

I do not see this lens as competition with the Nokton, which is much closer in design to the 50/1.0 Noctilux. The only modern lens that compares with this one is the 50/1.1 Sonnetar. The only lens that has an optical formula similar to this is the Zunow 5cm F1.1. The latter will run over $5,000 in LTM.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Raid

All-Pro
Dec 15, 2011
Thank you for the tests, Brian. You seem to be happy with what the lens can do, and you know what to do to adjust it if needed.I will use my lens as is until we meet again.
 

dante

Rookie
Nov 18, 2015
Hey Brian -

How does it compare to the Sonnetar? Any reason to get one of these if you already have the MS?

Dante
 

BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
I don't have the Sonnetar- but will becomparing this one against the C-Sonnar and others fairly soon. The Sonnetar is basically the 5cm F2 design without the "Filler" in the front triplet. This lens is basically the Zunow with out the filler glass.
 

BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
I've read two accounts of early-users that have had the Set Screws loosen up on the focus ring. I examined mine, they are tight. I found that a 1mm HEX wrench fits the screws. I will keep an eye on mine, if they loosen will use my favorite Red Lacquer (Nikki's finger nail polish) to set.
 

Hamish Gill

Rookie
Jul 18, 2017
I've read two accounts of early-users that have had the Set Screws loosen up on the focus ring. I examined mine, they are tight. I found that a 1mm HEX wrench fits the screws. I will keep an eye on mine, if they loosen will use my favorite Red Lacquer (Nikki's finger nail polish) to set.
Hi Brian,

Is this a common trick - I assume it sets the drew in place but is readily broken in case it needs undoing?

:)
 

BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
I've just received a tracking number on the Black 7artisans lens that I bought- this should be the modified lens to work with older Leica m film cameras. I will test on the M3DS.
 

BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
$369- from the same dealer as I bought the chrome lens. He had not raised prices, seems a lot of them spiked- then came back down.
 

BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
The second lens arrived today- The lens will fit over the M3DS mount, but "in my best Scotty Voice", Captain! The locking pin din't engage, and I don't know Why!"

I took measurements with the digital micrometer- this thing should work just fine. Goes on the Leica CL- but I did not engage the CDS cell. Focus is perfect on the M9, "ever so slightly different" from the first lens- BUT the focus between my M9 and M Monochrom is also slightly different. This new lens is better on the M9, the chrome lens is better on the M Monochrom. The screwdriver is included if I want to make an adjustment- I wanted to set them up for each camera anyway.
 

SParis

Rookie
Sep 5, 2017
Beverly Hills, Michigan
Scott Paris
I ordered the first version, then sent it back when it wouldn't mount on my M3.
Ordered the new version (Black, from 7Artisans on Amazon.) Now it's arrived, but I just moved and my basement looks like this:



I can't find my M3! It's down there somewhere.
It does appear that they tweaked the CNC machine, and the base of the lens body is cut at a slightly steeper angle, so it should clear the guard around the lens release button.
Pulled some Fujichrome out of the freezer yesterday, bought some flowers at the grocery store, and shot some focus tests on an M6, a Konica RF and a Zeiss Ikon and sent the film off to be developed and scanned.
I don't have any digital cameras at the moment that I can put a Leica mount lens on, so I'll just have to wait.
Maybe get an adapter for my Fujis.
The lens is very big and very heavy, and I have lots of 50mm lenses, so I'm thinking that after the new wears off I'll probably only use it when I want the dreamy wide open effect, or I'm shooting in really low light. That is, wide open only. But for $365, I'm glad I have it.

7Artisans makes a number of lenses, mostly manual focus in Fuji, Sony and m4/3 mounts. The 50mm f1.1 is their flagship, and i'm hoping they expand their Leica mount offering, if the big 50 goes over well. How about a (much smaller) 50mm f1.4 for $300? Or a much smaller but very good 50 1.4 for $500 or $600?

Handevision brought out a whole line of lenses that look a lot like Leica's, but they're all f2.4, and all priced around 600 or $700.
I think they'd be great if priced around $300; at $700 they're a marketing mistake.

I think 7Artisans can do better.
 

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