Couple of weeks after with the A7 and Leica lenses...

Discussion in 'Sony E-Mount (incl. NEX, A7, A7R, A3000) Forum' started by Chrisnmn, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn SC Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    Chris Leskovsek
    Hey guys,

    I thought i would update some of my impressions on this Sony A7 plus Leica lenses combo.

    Lets start with the good.

    This is a resolution monster machine. Im constantly in awe!.
    The camera is super snappy and easy to work with. No weird freezes, glitches, or anything.
    Every button, wheel, and menu work like a charm!. good on ya Sony!. This is not and it doesnt behave like a "half cooked product" as some websites and blog have said/thought.
    IQ IQ IQ IQ and IQ....this is all about IQ. put a good lens in front of it, and even the most hardcore pixel peeper will struggle in finding a "but" to it.

    Now, the bad, or at least my doubts and problems ive been finding when paired to manual lenses.


    We all know that one of the many reasons you get the A7 or A7r is to use it with your favorite manual lenses. The most famous and apparently "best" adapter is the Novoflex but costs something in between $200-$300 which i think its almost absurd for a "piece of metal", then, the second best is the Voigtlander (according to people suggestion on different forums) that costs something in between $150-$200 but it was not available in NZ, then theres is an whole infinite of options that go from anything in between $20 to $150 on ebay.

    I decided to pick up a Phottix one that costed me around USD$70, and it fits and clicks beautifully with both the camera and lenses.

    Then I bought a second adapter and the Voigtlander 15mm Heliar Aspherical II f4.5 and here is were problems began.

    First, the adapter (phottix) would not click in place with the Voigtlander lens. So i had to return the adapter and I was given a different "no brand" from the same store that it did in fact click with the voigtlander lens, the camera and my leica lenses. I left the store thinking i got a bit screwed by this new adapter, even-though it fitted both the camera and lenses perfectly, i felt it didnt cost the same USD$70 and would probably be in fact a "$20 dollar chinese ebay one". But to be honest, so far so good.

    Now the voigtlander clicked in place but now i cant get anything in focus. weird. I thought it was the adapter. Then i noticed that with both adapters (the "no brand" and the Phottix) that said 'focus at infinity guaranteed', truth is, i simply cant focus anything at infinity because everything in the frame is completely out of focus. I have to pull the focus ring back a notch and everything is sharp.

    I thought it was a lens thing, as my voigtlander 25mm f0.95 on my EP5 behaved the same. BUT, the other day i went out shooting with a friend, and he brought a voigtlander 35mm skopar f2.5 with him. I thought i would try it in my A7 as the lens is impressively small. As small or perhaps smaller than a Panasonic 14mm pancake. Yes, that small!. and when i tried the lens i was telling my friend about the infinity focus on my leica lenses, and when i set the focus at infinity, guess what?....everything was actually IN FOCUS!.

    So now i wonder, do leica lenses dont focus properly at infinity? meaning where the focus tab stops? or what?. Can any leica shooter help with this, or any sony a7/r shooter with leica lenses and a voigtlander or novoflex adapter confirm they get everything sharp at infinity, or not.

    Another problem is focus peaking.

    I've been struggling with the peaking in this camera and with anything faster than f2. Peaking works great from f2 and smaller apertures but not the other way around. I even read about Steve Huff turning peaking off at wider apertures. So i gave that i try and to my surprise i get more shots in focus without the peaking than with the peaking at any aperture wider/faster than f2. In fact i believe there is something not right going on but most of the times that peaking show me anything in focus beyond f2 90% of the time is OOF. while i do it without peaking 90% of my shots are IN focus. incredible.


    another 'bad' thing is that the camera paired with any the Leica 35 or 50 ASPH summilux are 'heavy' for a compact camera.


    as for the shutter sound and shutter mushiness, hmm over it already and the camera feels solid and snappy. the peaking and infinity focus thing would be my only 'problems' i found.

    also there is some sort of shutter shock or something but i definitely dont shoot anything under 1/125s, in fact below 1/80s is just a matter of luck. by 1/60s apparently im not steady enough for this camera. most of my shots end up blurred.


    battery performance, is absolutely 'normal' for mirrorless camera. I carry 4 batteries in total. ive never used more than or two tops. So the bad performance reviews ive read here and there have not been true in my experience.

    personal comments

    also, Ive learnt that with FF cameras F8 and F11 is what you want/need to get a descent DOF for street shooting or fast shooting.

    one last thing, and perhaps this is just a bit of nonsense, is not good nor bad is just....well...Im a raw shooter but i love sharing some OOC jpegs for instagram and i cant find any sort of 'in camera' processing. weird. maybe im missing something.

    mobile app and remote control work like a charm on my nexus 4.

    well thats it for now. thoughts? help? advice?
    • Like Like x 4
  2. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    You can try to increase the sharpness when you focus w/o peaking at wider apertures. Some people are using it like that. I tried, it was working for close distances. I haven't tried it outside. I usually use focus magnification and it is couple steps but it is very accurate. I use also dmf mode w/ af lenses and it shows the peaking w/ the af box which I like and also easily manual focus w/ magnification when I turn the lens mf...

    Also the rf lenses are metal so they are much heavier then any mirrorless lenses which are made light esp to focus faster. I think RX1 has one of the heavy lenses so the af is slower...