New Article: what's best as a Leica M backup - Panasonic GH2 / Sony NEX 5 / Olympus E

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
Good reading.

IMO, the NEX seems like the best the choice for mounting manual focus lenses with its peaking feature. I haven't tried peaking yet, but it seems to be a more accurate and quicker way to manually focus lenses than using a magnify feature on either the Pany G or Oly Pen, unless the magnify feature is an auto-magnify feature (magnifies at the turn of the focus ring), which will not happen with lenses without electronic couplings.

Peaking might actually be better than using a rangefinder patch! Yes, quite sacreligious, particularly coming from the mouth (or keyboard) of a Leica user! But I suppose I better not spew such venom from my mouth just yet, given that I haven't tried peaking yet!
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
123
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
Good reading.

IMO, the NEX seems like the best the choice for mounting manual focus lenses with its peaking feature. I haven't tried peaking yet, but it seems to be a more accurate and quicker way to manually focus lenses than using a magnify feature on either the Pany G or Oly Pen, unless the magnify feature is an auto-magnify feature (magnifies at the turn of the focus ring), which will not happen with lenses without electronic couplings.

Peaking might actually be better than using a rangefinder patch! Yes, quite sacreligious, particularly coming from the mouth (or keyboard) of a Leica user! But I suppose I better not spew such venom from my mouth just yet, given that I haven't tried peaking yet!
Peaking is indeed pretty cool. it may not be the answer to manual focusing, but certainly appears to be an excellent tool to go along with magnifying. I fully expect peaking to appear in Panasonic's cameras sooner rather than later - it's not an uncommon feature in video cameras, an area in which Panasonic (and Sony) excel.
 

Brian

Top Veteran
Jul 7, 2010
103
I kept the M8 as a backup to the M9. I also use the EP2 with Leica mount lenses, especially the Nikkor 5cm F1.4. The latter can focus to 18", easy with a mirrorless camera.
 

123compact!

Regular
May 19, 2011
18
Peaking is nice for smaller apertures but I'm not sold on its usefulness when shooting wide open. This has been a bit of a disappointment but overall, it is a nice extra tool to use in some situations.

Regardless, while the E-P2 with the VF-2 was a great MF solution and closest to the M experience in terms of camera position, focusing on the NEX is just so damn fun and for me has resulted in more keepers than I ever had on the Oly setup.

Beyond the shooting experience, results matter and to my eye, the NEX creates images that are closest to what I can get with a Leica body and lenses.

So NEX gets my vote but I'm not even considering the X100 since it feels more like an M9 replacement than a backup! Heheheh.
 

usayit

Veteran
Sep 4, 2010
44
I certainly believe that any camera can serve as a backup.... depending on personal uses. More accurately, does one need a BACKUP or a COMPLIMENTARY camera? Two very different things:

My backup to the M9 is no doubt the M8. Its the same batteries, same lenses, same focusing technique, same feel, same operation, almost identical layout, similar advantages, and similar disadvantages. Most importantly, there is almost no mental switching when going between the cameras. Something that was a bit annoying when the Epson R-D1 was a backup to the M8. Obviously the best backup is well.. another M9. :p No need to rethink focal lengths because both cameras would be full frame.

Now if slightly switch thought here and think of "complimentary" cameras, the 2x crop factor actually works in my favor. Why? Because I can take the same exact 90mm Leica lens and treat it as a longer telephoto with an equiv FOV of 180mm. See? 1 lens two uses. The M43 cameras also provide telephotos beyond what is feasible with a rangefinder, Autofocus when I want it, AND Macro. All things a rangefinder may not be the best tool for the job.... and with a compact size (body + lens) that doesn't weigh too much more than the M-system by itself.
 

flash

Veteran
May 6, 2011
103
Gordon
Now if slightly switch thought here and think of "complimentary" cameras, the 2x crop factor actually works in my favor. Why? Because I can take the same exact 90mm Leica lens and treat it as a longer telephoto with an equiv FOV of 180mm. See? 1 lens two uses. The M43 cameras also provide telephotos beyond what is feasible with a rangefinder, Autofocus when I want it, AND Macro. All things a rangefinder may not be the best tool for the job.... and with a compact size (body + lens) that doesn't weigh too much more than the M-system by itself.
Well said. For me, a backup is a camera that can replace my primary in virtually every way. That means it's usually the same model, for my working cameras. But for personal use a complimentary system is, to me, more useful and more interesting. As much as I prefer using the M9, my m43 system is much better at many things (long lenses, macro, AF.....). I can shoot nearly anything with either but I prefer to have both.

Gordon
 

lovinglife

Regular
Jul 25, 2011
18
I know this is not on your list but....

Funny as it may sound. A very cheap backup solution is the Nikon D40 + the 35mm f/1.8 Nikon lens.
The IQ is superb and its quite small. Of course - you can't use the M lenses on it ;-)
I've seen the D40 go for $250-300 on craigslist and the 35mm lens is $200 new.
 

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