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Author Topic: Sony a7rii & Leica M compact 90mm f/4  (Read 901 times)

Paul Roark

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Sony a7rii & Leica M compact 90mm f/4
« on: November 28, 2017, 11:23:34 AM »

For those who like the most compact gear and the sharpest images, you might be interested in my experience with this combination.  The Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f/4 Lens is a collapsible that is essentially as sharp at f/4 as f/8 -- i.e., very sharp.  With an adapter, it works well on the Sony a7r series.  The main optical defect is some red fringing that the profile in the PS ACR converter profile takes care of.   I doubt there is a sharper, more compact solution for medium telephoto.  It makes a very good combination for travel if you appreciate compactness and Leica prime optic sharpness.  EBay has decent prices (relatively, for Leica).  (I also tested the 50mm collapsible; don't bother.)  For my light Sony travel system this 90 and the Loxia 21mm are the stars.  I use the OEM 35mm f/2.8 for the middle, which is used much less than these end points of my light travel setup range.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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adriantyler

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Re: Sony a7rii & Leica M compact 90mm f/4
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 01:49:40 PM »

yes this is indeed a wonderful combination, the way the lens "draws" is nothing short of magical, erwin puts recons it's one of leicas best! i wish there was a 50mm to match the image quality and look of this lens...
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Paul Roark

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Re: Sony a7rii & Leica M compact 90mm f/4
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 11:26:01 AM »

One issue with the Sony is that the cover glass over the sensor is on the thick side.  This damages the performance of  lenses less than 90mm.  The 50mm lenses made for the Leica don't work well on the Sony.  In effect, their field of focus becomes curved.  The Leica M9 (& M10, I assume, though I never had or tested an M10) has a very thin cover glass that minimizes its impact on the image.  The Sony can have a thin cover glass installed by Kolarivision.  I had this done on my older Sony.  It makes most Leica M optics  shorter than 90mm noticeably better, but it still does not allow the Leica M wides to perform the way they should.  The thin cover glass also, however, damages the performance of the Loxia 21mm, which is so good -- uniquely excellent for an optic that wide on the Sony -- that I decided to save the Loxia 21 and forgo the benefits to some Leica wides that the thin cover glass would improve.  (Note that I have a WATE 15-18-21mm, which is retrofocus and works well with the Sony, particularly with the thinner cover glass.  The Loxia 21 with the standard Sony cover glass is better than the WATE even with the thin cover glass.  Zeiss has a real winner with the Loxia 21.)

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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adriantyler

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Re: Sony a7rii & Leica M compact 90mm f/4
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 04:47:34 PM »

i have been trying out a v5 summicron 50mm (the one with the collapsible hood) on the a7rII and it works very, very well.  there is no colour smearing at all and at f2 there is just a hint of edge softness in the extreme corners, at 2.8 and below it's sharp across the board, lovley bokeh at f4-5.6. i had the sony 55mm and although it is outstandingly sharp etc. etc. it never inspired me. the summicron on the other hand is a little gem on this camera. IMO.
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