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Author Topic: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?  (Read 1745 times)

henrikfoto

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What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« on: April 23, 2019, 05:13:41 pm »

I have many older manual focus lenses and am thinking of buying a camera to use mainly with these lenses. What camera has the best assisted mf-system?  I am thinking of the A7r3 or the D850. Or maybe another camera is better? Some of these mf lenses are very high resolution and I would like the best possible system.
Any ideas?

Henrik
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mcbroomf

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 05:41:17 pm »

The Nikon D850 might well limit the lenses you can use, depending on what you have of course, due to the camera flange distance (46.5mm).  For example you cannot put any RF lenses on the D850 without loosing infinity and Rokkor, Olympus, M42, Pentax for eg all have flange distances less than 46.5mm, so they have a similar issue, or need some work to fit a custom mount (Leitax for eg) or a visit to a machine shop.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance


Pretty much any SLR lens will work on any mirrorless camera; Sony and the new offerings from Nikon, Canon and Panasonic.  I've only used Sony so I can't speak for physical or menu ergonomics of the others.  Wide RF lenses tend to have trouble with the thick(er) coverglass on most mirrorless compared to film or Leica digital so I suggest you search around for compatibility (corners get smeared) or list what you have.  Fred Miranda forum is a good resource
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 06:59:54 pm »

I have many older manual focus lenses and am thinking of buying a camera to use mainly with these lenses. What camera has the best assisted mf-system?  I am thinking of the A7r3 or the D850. Or maybe another camera is better? Some of these mf lenses are very high resolution and I would like the best possible system.
Any ideas?

In the Nikon world I would definitely go with the Z7 over the D850 for MF lenses. My Voigtlander 125mm f2.5 APO, Otus 55mm f1.4 and Leica 180mm f2.8 APO work great on it.

- the EVF makes it a lot easier to focus
- you have IBIS
- it is smaller and lighter which is a better match for many of the smaller MF lenses
- you can adapt many more lenses on it, including Sony FE lenses btw
- it is a future proof platform with many great native lenses on their way if you wish to get on that wagon (the new 24-70mm f2.8 S is amazing just to give one example).

Cheers,
Bernard

henrikfoto

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 03:43:24 am »

Thanks to both of you!
I think now the choice is between Nikon Z7 and Sony A7r3.

But does both of these cameras have vr in the camera? And which one has the best
system to see focus when you adjust manually?

I have been trying to look for this on youtube etc., but canˋt find any comparisons.

Henrik
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Fraktal

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2019, 06:49:37 am »

I have both and the Sony  A7RM3 is far better for focussing especially in low light conditions.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2019, 07:47:31 am »

I have both and the Sony  A7RM3 is far better for focussing especially in low light conditions.

Are you speaking about AF or MF lenses focusing.

Cheers,
Bernard

Fraktal

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2019, 07:56:41 am »

MF only,
Cheers
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henrikfoto

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2019, 08:00:49 am »

I have both and the Sony  A7RM3 is far better for focussing especially in low light conditions.


Thank you very much!!

Henrik
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2019, 09:12:08 am »

MF only,
Cheers

OK, I find that a bit surprising because I overall find the EVF of the Z7 to be clearly superior, but my experience with MF lenses on the a7RIII is very limited so I'll trust you on that. ;)

One issue some people have had with the Z7 is that if you don't input manually a focal length for the non chipped MF lenses, then IBIS isn't functional, which makes focusing a lot more challenging.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 09:17:52 am by BernardLanguillier »
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Fraktal

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 09:58:58 am »

Bernard, in recently i did a lot of timelaps videos often with 5 different cameras simultaneously on tripods. Olympus E1M2, Sony A7R, Sony A7RM2, Sony A7RM3, Nikon Z7 , and Nikon D810 different focal lengths but same light conditions  ( starting nearly 2 hours before sunrise ) The Sony A7RM3 can be focussed with a slow lens (Sony GM 100-400) while with the other cameras i have to wait 15 - 30 minutes or so ( even longer with the Olympus) untill my mf focussing is reliable enough. Of course I would have to use the same lens parallel on both bodies to judge, but for me the Sony beats the Nikon in this application.
Cheers,
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henrikfoto

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2019, 10:38:30 am »

And can the focus-shift be done with a manual lens also or must a Sony af lens be used?
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mcbroomf

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2019, 10:46:59 am »

The IBIS on the Sony also needs to have the FL input for dumb MF lenses, otherwise the image will 'dance' as the IBIS tries to adjust for the wrong length.

For dumb lenses a trick to see better in the dark is to set the meter with say F8, then focus magnify, then open the aperture wide.  In focus mag the metering will not change so the image gets bright, easy to focus, the stop down and take the image. This on top of highest ev offset will allow focus in all but blackest of settings.  This is for the Sony, and also only dumb lenses as one with aperture control in the body will kick you out of focus mag when you change the aperture.
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mcbroomf

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2019, 10:49:04 am »

Focus bracketing?  Do it with any lens any camera, but no automation in the Sony. Not sure about Z7.
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MattBurt

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2019, 11:22:49 am »

Focus bracketing?  Do it with any lens any camera, but no automation in the Sony. Not sure about Z7.

No automation on any camera with manual focus lenses.
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henrikfoto

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2019, 11:38:47 am »

I am not talking of focus-stacking. Only the multishot-type of
shooting where the camera changes position 4 times and combine
the shots later to increase resolution.

Possible with manual lenses?
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MattBurt

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2019, 11:50:09 am »

I am not talking of focus-stacking. Only the multishot-type of
shooting where the camera changes position 4 times and combine
the shots later to increase resolution.

Possible with manual lenses?

Sure, but of course the focus adjustments need to be made manually. I assemble focus stacks from MF lenses in Affinity Photo from time to time.
Not sure I'd call that "automation".
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Fraktal

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2019, 12:55:58 pm »

I am not talking of focus-stacking. Only the multishot-type of
shooting where the camera changes position 4 times and combine
the shots later to increase resolution.

Possible with manual lenses?
If you mean pixelshift mode, yes it can be done with any lens.
Cheers,
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henrikfoto

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2019, 01:24:21 pm »

If you mean pixelshift mode, yes it can be done with any lens.
Cheers,


Sorry for using wrong words. Yes, I mean pixelshift mode. Thank you!


Henrik
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MattBurt

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2019, 03:30:30 pm »


Sorry for using wrong words. Yes, I mean pixelshift mode. Thank you!

Henrik

Oops, I believe that is correct!
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Paul Roark

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Re: What is the best camera to use with mf lenses?
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2019, 10:43:27 am »

I have many older manual focus lenses and am thinking of buying a camera to use mainly with these lenses. ...


I use the Sony a7Rii with Leica M lenses.  Be sure to look at whether you should have the KoloriVision Ultra Thin cover glass modification.  My Leica M glass was made for film.  The Sony, like most digital cameras, has a rather thick cover-glass over the sensor.  This will cause curvature of field, particularly with wide angle lenses.  The KoloriVision modification gets rid of that.  The OEM Sony lenses, of course, were designed for the thick cover-glass.  So, one has to make a decision as to what set/type of lenses you want to use.  This issue affects all of my lenses shorter than 90 mm.  Above that it doesn't matter.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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