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Archive 2013 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?
  
 
f.hayek
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


I've got a quandary and maybe some of you still hooked on manual focus lenses might have some wise suggestions.
I owned a D700 for four years with a Katz Eye screen. Intrigued by the then just-announced specs of the D800e, I sold off the 700 for top dollar and reserved an 800e. To my chagrin, once it materialized I didn't care for the ergonomic feel in my hands, was daunted by the file size, left focus sensor malfunctioned (of course) and despite rumors to the contrary, no alternate focusing screen options materialized. I've picked up quite a few Nikon AIS lenses over the years, including a NOCT and got a considerable bit of change sunk into Leica R MF lenses, including tele APOs (nothing like them shooting wildlife, landscapes in the mountains).

Go back to the D700? Roll the dice again on the D800e? Anyone care to comment on MF by dead reckoning on the D800?
Or wild cards...Fujifilm XE-1 with a Metabones adapter (NEX is way too small though love the focus peaking)? Toss it all (except for the R's) for the controversial and unknown Leica M?

-Sam



Feb 27, 2013 at 04:15 AM
mawz
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


Love the focus peaking? Shoot AI-S and R? Sounds like you want an A99 and a bunch of Leitax mounts.

The A99 retains all the focusing advantages of the NEX bodies, gives you an excellent 24MP sensor, great handling and there are Leitax kits available for R and AI-S lenses.

And I agree, the D800 (and D600) just feel wrong in the hands, unlike the D700. I was considering a D600 myself for a bit until I actually held one and shot with it a little.



Feb 27, 2013 at 05:00 AM
Tarocco
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


I'd say either a Canon 6D with an EG-S focusing screen or a NEX-6/7 with the Canon EOS mount Speedbooster. EOS is the most alt-friendly dSLR mount and the 6D has amazing high iso performance and really nice ergonomics. Obviously the Canon sensors are a bit behind Sony on base iso dymanic range but it all depends on your needs and priorities.

If you want to go the EVF route for manual focus I'd choose a speedboosted Nex over the A99. Mostly for the smaller size, versatility and slight high iso hit on the A99 due to the translucent mirror. Focus peaking is a must have for me so Fuji would be out until they add it in a firmware update.



Feb 27, 2013 at 05:26 AM
douglasf13
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


You can remove the A99's mirror if you don't need the phase detect AF.


Feb 27, 2013 at 06:36 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


I wouldn't bet on the Leica M for your needs until there has been sufficient user feedback with actual production units. From the preproduction feedback so far, a number are saying it's better for 'considered' live view work, meaning, for when you have time and timing isn't critical. One benefit would be not needing to Leitax any lenses. Depending on how many you have, that could be costly. But since you were already Nikon based, perhaps you've already done so with many of the Rs? Bottom line, if you like the lenses, try to keep them. Find a solution, even if in the interim it's not ideal. Something better is bound to appear in the next year or so if FF NEX rumors are true. I would also guess such a camera will be somewhat larger than the current NEX bodies, if only for ergonomics, assuming Sony doesn't go RX1 and try for the smallest possible size. I wouldn't put it past them.


Feb 27, 2013 at 06:59 AM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


NEX with the Speed Booster.


Feb 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Jman13
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


Despite some quirks, I much prefer the X-E1 to the NEX cameras...cleaner files and feels like you're operating a camera rather than a consumer electronics gadget. EVF is better than the NEX-7's, but should be similar to the NEX-6's from what I hear. No focus peaking, but quick enlargement available by clicking on the rear dial, plus the ability to set EXIF data for focal length, which I just like to have. They have speedboosters for the X-E1 too (though not AF with EOS lenses).

Unless you are shooting a bunch of moving stuff in darker light with native lenses, where the Fuji's AF isn't at the level of the NEX cameras at all.



Feb 27, 2013 at 12:33 PM
ISO1600
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


Are you willing to go to a crop sensor/format? It seems like you are, but are you REALLY?
That is something I thought I could do, and I tried, but wound up back with FF (6D).
I, like you, LOVE the D700's build. There isn't any currently-produced DSLR that I know of with the same feel and controls.

I would say your best bet to get the most out of those lenses would either be 6D, 5DIII, D700 (for native mount simplicity and great handling), or NEX + Speedbooster.



Feb 27, 2013 at 01:06 PM
f.hayek
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


Some pearls from above resonate: I need to consider an interim solution because you're right, something better and FF will present imminently. And though focus peaking is fantastic, an A99 requires new mounts for everything. I am really drawn to the Fuji (have an old IS-Pro and the colors -using a UV/IR cut filter- are really something unique compared to the D200) and the software updates seem on the way to addressing the crazy fractal-like issues on some files from the new sensor. I have Leitaxed the Leica crew (28 v2, 90AA, 100 Makro, 180 Elmarit APO, 280 Telyt APO) so getting a Metabones for Nikon would solve the immediate issues. May be worth renting a NEX and a Speedbooster-for-Nikon (due out next month). The Leica M is bocoup cash at $10k for a limited digital camera when all is said and done, and remains unproven. That may be worth a wait and see. The D700 hasn't much budged in price, I guess, as mentioned above, nothing quite like it out there.

You guys are good!

Edited on Feb 27, 2013 at 01:15 PM · View previous versions



Feb 27, 2013 at 01:11 PM
ISO1600
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


Yeah, the D700 is kinda pulling what the 5DII did on the used market for a few years. Hovering around a price that all things being equal makes it fairly unappealing, unless you understand the reasons for having it. If all I cared about was shooting stills, I'd ditch my 6D and get another 700.


Feb 27, 2013 at 01:15 PM
 

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SoulNibbler
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


Another vote for the A99, it even does things better than the nex's. I pulled out the mirror and use it with a MiREX adapter. One of the nicer tricks is that pressing the MF magnify button first brings up a box which you can move and then zooms in with a second push. On the nex7 one press zooms you to where-ever you were which for me makes it all to tempting to recompose to the magnified box.

The other bit is that with a chipped adapter you get steady shot. There is evidently even a newer chinese chip that doesn't require pre-programming so you can use one m42 adapter for multiple lenses.

Sadly there are drawbacks:
no leitax OM lenses
no k-mount or nikon
and no canon.

Also the ergonomics are a bit iffy for big hands as compared to the A900.



Feb 27, 2013 at 01:57 PM
douglasf13
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


f.hayek wrote:
Some pearls from above resonate: I need to consider an interim solution because you're right, something better and FF will present imminently. And though focus peaking is fantastic, an A99 requires new mounts for everything. I am really drawn to the Fuji (have an old IS-Pro and the colors -using a UV/IR cut filter- are really something unique compared to the D200) and the software updates seem on the way to addressing the crazy fractal-like issues on some files from the new sensor. I have Leitaxed the Leica crew (28 v2, 90AA, 100 Makro, 180 Elmarit APO, 280 Telyt APO)
...Show more

Now that most of the raw converters do an ok job with Fuji X-Trans files, it's a matter of picking slightly better high ISO with Fuji vs. slightly better lower ISO with Nex. Pick your poison.

I personally wouldn't buy an EVF based camera without focus peaking, if I was buying it for manual lenses.




Feb 27, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


I would say A99, you can convert Nikon lens to it, when chipped you have even SSS active (given you chip them to appropriate focal lenght).

Other way around is trying to get biggest OVF, means A900 or Canon 1Ds MK3. Later is better. Plus Canon mount is most versatile from all dSLR, which is another reason. And it has pretty ok LiveView.

Or just keep whatever you have and wait for FF NEX.



Feb 27, 2013 at 05:09 PM
genji
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


f.hayek wrote:
Some pearls from above resonate: I need to consider an interim solution because you're right, something better and FF will present imminently. And though focus peaking is fantastic, an A99 requires new mounts for everything. I am really drawn to the Fuji (have an old IS-Pro and the colors -using a UV/IR cut filter- are really something unique compared to the D200) and the software updates seem on the way to addressing the crazy fractal-like issues on some files from the new sensor. I have Leitaxed the Leica crew (28 v2, 90AA, 100 Makro, 180 Elmarit APO, 280 Telyt APO)
...Show more

You might want to take a look at this thread on the Leica User Forum where k-hawinkler has tested the Sony NEX-7 + Metabones Speed booster + Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:4/280 combination (he's using a Leica R to NEX Speed Booster). His conclusion is that "it doesn't make much sense to use the Speed Booster on long tele-lenses" but "the situation is completely different for short tele, normal, and wide angle lenses". (You'll have to register in order to see his sample images.)



Feb 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM
f.hayek
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


As appealing as the A99 is, the cost of converting the glass is prohibitive. I agree with one of the contributors that an absence of focus peaking in the Fuji is a big negative; heard manga rumor that the software fix is impending but haven't seen one mention of it from reliable sources. Anyone know of one?

Fujifilm and rationale software decisions are not synonymous.



Feb 28, 2013 at 08:24 PM
xenor
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


ISO1600 wrote:
Are you willing to go to a crop sensor/format? It seems like you are, but are you REALLY?
That is something I thought I could do, and I tried, but wound up back with FF (6D).


I thought that too but I took a chance and got a Fuji X-E1 and I LOVE it! It is very easy to use with MF lenses and has really good image quality and I am very picky (I have been using 5DII and 5DIII since 5DII came out). The Fuji has a great sensor and produces really lovely colors. The MF is easy: a push on the control for 3x mag and turn it to change between that and 10x, a half-press on the shutter button and the mag cancels - nice. I am using OM 2.8/24, OM 1.8/50, Pentax M 1.4/50, SMC Takumars 1.4/50 and 1.8/55 and all my EF lenses (except 40mm) as well as TS-E 90 and I'm looking at FD 2.8/100. The image quality is wonderful. Using this camera and a 5DIII reminds me of the old days using an M6 and a Pentax 6x7.



Feb 28, 2013 at 08:41 PM
philip_pj
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


Mine, frederick (economist in-joke) - the a99. It's the rational choice. Now press on regardless ;-)


Feb 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM
zhangyue
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


For this kind of leica R collection, use NEX and Fuji is not an option to me. You need a DSLR for it. If you don't mind aged body, D700 is pretty sweet for manual focus. and build quality still the best at this size. I though about D600 and used D800e. D600 should have been good, but it feel like a crap in hand. in no way I can buy it for long term use. D800's body also not very good compare to D700, and 36M is way too much for my every day use, especially for manual focus those lux R.

I am limited to Canon 6d or 5dIII, I tried both, both feel great in hand. 6d's poorer spec compare to D600 don't really mean anything to me. But 5DIII's handling is just about right.

A99 is a good option, I try it in sony store and feel its EVF is good even for f2.8 lens for me. But, that is big decision to me to go fully electric world. I still prefer analog way to see world. I guess that is also the reason holding its sell as most of people don't want/ready for change like this. MILC is different as it give size advantage.

I might get 5dIII with aftermarket focus screen. However, I heard people say even stock one is pretty good.




Feb 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM
f.hayek
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


philip_pj wrote:
Mine, frederick (economist in-joke) - the a99. It's the rational choice. Now press on regardless ;-)


Touché

zhangyue wrote:
For this kind of leica R collection, use NEX and Fuji is not an option to me. You need a DSLR for it. If you don't mind aged body, D700 is pretty sweet for manual focus. and build quality still the best at this size. I though about D600 and used D800e. D600 should have been good, but it feel like a crap in hand. in no way I can buy it for long term use. D800's body also not very good compare to D700, and 36M is way too much for my every day use, especially for manual focus
...Show more

Thanks for your words of wisdom. I have to agree on all accounts. May go back to the D700 in the absence of a focus peaking option in the Fuji.



Mar 01, 2013 at 03:00 AM
f.hayek
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Suggestion on best DSLR/mirrorless for MF lenses?


Thanks for all the thought-provoking suggestions.
Ater much delberation, i arrived at the following conclusion-synopsis of all the analysis above--: The A99 was the most appealing alternative of those mentioned but the effort and cost involved in Leitaxing all my glass made it impractical. The Fuji/NEX was ruled out on the basis of poor high ISO, absence of focus peaking (Fuji) and terrible ergonomics (NEX). I considered the 5D III but without a viable MF screen option, there wasn't much point. The Leica M did appeal but from the images thus far posted, the sensor seems to have deficiencies one ought not to see with what amounts to a $10k+ outlay (camera, adapter, grip and a 35 Summicron).

I went back to a low-shutter actuation D700 and will send it off for a Katz Eye as soon as I can confirm it's in good working order. At least until something better comes along in a year or two (and the US/World economy hasn't collapsed from the stellar management thereof)...



Mar 19, 2013 at 06:24 PM
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