Leica Some Thoughts About the Sony A7R as a Leica M Replacement

asiafish

All-Pro
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Real Name
Andrew
Wow. If I knew and had the money at that time I would have bought it instantly.

The ones I see on GetDPI, Fred Miranda and RFF are all in the $4000 range, have issues or are very high mileage.
 

Amin

Hall of Famer
Mine had about 13,000 clicks on the shutter and on the FM scale was a 9/10 condition. Others were selling at FM for similar prices at that time.
 

VINCETAN

Top Veteran
Here is a quick snap at my backyard this afternoon using the Tri Elmar set at 16mm on F4.0
 

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Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Location
Western NC
Thanks for sharing your experiences so far with the new Sony. I should probably not comment as I guess you could call me a Leica "Fanboy"!

I think its a testament to Leica's long standing position in the photography field when many try to figure a way to get Leica's lenses to work on anything other than a Leica body. Of course it wasn't Sony's intention for this to happen with their latest body, the A7(R). But as a full fledged replacement to shooting with a Leica M and Leica lenses I don't think so.

But if one only shoots with say the 50mm or longer then this may give one a chance to experience a partial Leica experience as I've seen most lenses wider than the 50 have one issue or another on especially the A7R. As an aside my move to Leica came about after shooting a year with the Ricoh GXR-M with Leica Summicron 35mm. The Ricoh was a nice camera but with its cropped sensor there weren't too many options finding a suitable fast wider lenses.

Having said that, Sony has gotten a lot of attention creating such a small body with an excellent sensor. We will just have to see how their lens roadmap develops as in my opinion this is still an experimental system just as Canon and Nikon SLRs were in their early days. It's takes more than a couple prime lenses and a zooms to make a complete system.

I think its amazing what Leica has been able to do with their existing lens inventory and adapting them to today's technology. I'm not saying they're perfect or the best in every way. But as a mature "system" and one that is very compact in relation to the other full frame cameras Leica's product is hard to beat.
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Real Name
Andrew
Thanks for sharing your experiences so far with the new Sony. I should probably not comment as I guess you could call me a Leica "Fanboy"!

I think its a testament to Leica's long standing position in the photography field when many try to figure a way to get Leica's lenses to work on anything other than a Leica body. Of course it wasn't Sony's intention for this to happen with their latest body, the A7(R). But as a full fledged replacement to shooting with a Leica M and Leica lenses I don't think so.

But if one only shoots with say the 50mm or longer then this may give one a chance to experience a partial Leica experience as I've seen most lenses wider than the 50 have one issue or another on especially the A7R. As an aside my move to Leica came about after shooting a year with the Ricoh GXR-M with Leica Summicron 35mm. The Ricoh was a nice camera but with its cropped sensor there weren't too many options finding a suitable fast wider lenses.

Having said that, Sony has gotten a lot of attention creating such a small body with an excellent sensor. We will just have to see how their lens roadmap develops as in my opinion this is still an experimental system just as Canon and Nikon SLRs were in their early days. It's takes more than a couple prime lenses and a zooms to make a complete system.

I think its amazing what Leica has been able to do with their existing lens inventory and adapting them to today's technology. I'm not saying they're perfect or the best in every way. But as a mature "system" and one that is very compact in relation to the other full frame cameras Leica's product is hard to beat.

Within the range of 35mm to 90mm I absolutely agree that Leica is hard to beat. Longer or wider are of course possible, but the rangefinder concept becomes something of a kludge at that point. YMMV, as many do quite well with 28mm and even 24mm without resorting to auxiliary viewfinder, and if you shoot a film M with a high magnification finder 135mm is also quite useable, but on the digital Ms of today (not counting M240 using live view), 35mm to 90mm is clearly the sweet spot.

Where the Sony does very well is allowing choice among almost any lens ever made for SLRs, and also doing quite well with almost all RF lenses of 50mm or longer, and from the reports I've read and images posted, it also works very well with some RF wides, while having trouble with many.
 

Mijo

Veteran
Location
San Francisco
Asiafish - Check Popflash for used M9s, I saw two on their website a few weeks ago that were listed for under $4k. They sold within a couple of days. Since your in CA there's also Camera West, they have a lot of used Leica gear as well. I've purchased used Leica gear from both of these dealers and never had a problem.

Thanks for the insight on the new A7R, I'm kinda glad that the wides don't work as well on it (otherwise I might be more tempted).
 

flash

Veteran
Real Name
Gordon
Im using an A7 (not R) and I'm having few if any real issues with the wide lenses I own, when comparing them to the M9. Both my 12mm 5.6 and 21mm 1.8 CV lenses are better on the A7 than they are uncoded on the M9. If I apply a code the 12mm is somewhat better and the 21mm has less vignetting. But the raw data has been altered, of course. I would think the A7 is better with RF lenses and a better comparison to the M than the R.

I also have the kit zoom for the A7. For a $300 lens it's actually rather good. It reminds me a bit of the Fuji kit zoom for the XE1 and everyone drooled over that when it came out. Neither are as good as the Panasonic or Olympus offerings but the price is right and the AF is both very snappy and appreciated. Its build doesn't inspire confidence but it performs OK. I would imaging quite large sample variation at this price point.

I'm putting one of my M9s up for sale. I don't think I need both any longer and I have one that had fhe shutter, sensor and board replaced in October. So now might be a good time. But I'm keeping one for the look of the sensor. Nothing else really looks the same.

Gordon
 

serhan

Hall of Famer
Location
NYC
Ron's updated on rf glass on A7 & A7R in comparison to M9:
http://www.ronscheffler.com/techtalk/?p=251
Lenses compared:
CV12, CV15, ZM18, 21 Lux, ZM21/2.8, 21 SEM, ZM25, 28 Cron, CV35/1.2 II, ZM35, Canon 35/2 LTM, RX1's 35/2 Sonnar, ZM35C, FE35, CV40, 50 Lux ASPH, Canon 50/1.4 LTM, CV50/1.5 LTM, ZM50C, ZM50P, FE55, CV75/1.8, ZM85/4, 90 Summarit.

Most lenses performed better or more 'naturally' on the M9. The widest decent non-native lens were the CV12 and 15 with very similar edge performance on both cameras, though both also have very strong vignetting and color shift. The CV35/1.2 II was the widest and least problematic. The 21 Lux also wasn't too bad, but lags in the outer zone until around f/5.6. The FE55 bests the other 50s for across frame consistency, though the Lux showed higher central performance while the ZM50P was decent, but seemingly a bit lower on the resolution scale. Everything longer than 50 was pretty much a draw, as would be expected...
 

flash

Veteran
Real Name
Gordon
Lots of fluff about little. So far i have yet to see any issue with Sony raws from the A7. Then again since there's no lossless mode, how would I know. I do know I saw a difference on my M9's.

Gordon
 
The Df has compressed and uncompressed mode, I just switched to uncompressed. The difference - if there is one - should be in shadow detail. This was a huge difference on the M8 when using uncompressed Raw mode.
 
Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals did a teardown of the A7r.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...de-sonys-awesome-full-frame-mirrorless-camera

Of interest- the IR cover glass of the A7r is 1.5mm thick, about twice what is used in the M9 and 3x the M8. Why so thick? Speculation- the IR cover glass also acts as a "weak" AA filter, which is most likely why images from the M8 are more crisp than from the M9. I notice more aliasing artifacts with the M8, not as pronounced when using the same lens on the M9.
 

VINCETAN

Top Veteran
Back in November of last year, I sold my M 240 and decided to switch to the Sony A7. Overall, I really love the IQ of this camera. There are some quirks that I thought I could live with. In my last 2 outing with the A7 however, I started not liking the EVF. The issue is, during bright sunny day, when the ground is covered with snow, I am finding it very hard to focus with the EVF. In very dark scene, the EVF also struggles. I really miss the Optical VF of the M. As a replacement, I don't think it can be. I also find that it slow startup (sometimes) can be irritating. I think the A7 can be a good complement for the M since it can also handle AF lens. The M is not a perfect camera either, especially with very long teles. I think the A7 can do better at that arena once Sony release long tele lens for the A7. For me, I am still keeping it but I also just added the M back into by camera bag.
 

VINCETAN

Top Veteran
One other thing, it is weird how I am struggle to focus my 90 APO-Summicron when it is mounted on the A7 even with the magnify view. On the M where I thought I was going to have more problem, I ended up not having as much issue with this lens.
 

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