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Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless

  
 
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


I thought I might start a thread for images shot with Leica M lenses (and now including all rangefinder lenses), but on mirrorless cameras. Leica M lenses can be shot on almost all mirrorless systems even though sometimes there performance is affected. Many of these lenses still make very nice images. I will start with a few of my favorites.




Leica M 135 f/3.4 APO at F/6.8 on Nikon Z7 camera






Leica M 50 f/2 APO at f/2 on Sony A7r II






Leica M 90 f/2 APO at f/2 on Sony A7r II






Leica M 28 f/1.4 Asph on Sony A7r II



Edited on Nov 07, 2019 at 07:10 PM · View previous versions



Oct 27, 2019 at 02:00 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


I use my mirrorless FF camera (unconverted Sony A7R) most of the time with M-mount lenses. It works so well that I never even intended to purchase an E-mount lens. Advantage for me to do so is that I can use my M-mount lenses both on Leica film cameras and on my MLC with quite high resolution. Good stuff!


Collapsible chrome Leica 90/4 Elmar M-mount lens



Collapsible chrome Leica 90/4 Elmar M-mount lens



Collapsible chrome Leica 90/4 Elmar M-mount lens



Leica 50/2 Summicron V M-mount lens



Leica 35/2 Summicron IV M-mount lens



Leica 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit I M-mount lens



Leica 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit I M-mount lens


Are Leica LTM lenses also included in this thread or only M-lenses? Other wider M-lenses I commonly use on my A7R are CV-lenses which don't seem to be part of this thread.



Oct 27, 2019 at 02:17 PM
nikonos6
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Steve Spencer wrote:
I thought I might start a thread for images shot with Leica M lenses, but on mirrorless cameras. Leica M lenses can be shot on almost all mirrorless systems even though sometimes there performance is affected. Many of these lenses still make very nice images. I will start with a few of my favorites.


Very different but good shots.
The Ferrari is extremely beautiful!
How do these lenses compare on the Sony vs. the Nikon Z7 ?



Oct 27, 2019 at 03:54 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


nikonos6 wrote:
Very different but good shots.
The Ferrari is extremely beautiful!
How do these lenses compare on the Sony vs. the Nikon Z7 ?


I started a thread about performance of M-lenses on Z7 and S1R cameras a while ago: https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1582863/
The thread lacks examples and performance reviews so far, maybe this here will help.



Oct 27, 2019 at 04:10 PM
jankap
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Sorry, but these lenses are ok. The critical ones are the wide angles (under 35mm) for M and LTM (Leica Thread Mount).


Oct 31, 2019 at 02:41 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


jankap wrote:
Sorry, but these lenses are ok. The critical ones are the wide angles (under 35mm) for M and LTM (Leica Thread Mount).


One person's critical lenses are not necessarily another person's critical lenses. That said one Leica M lenses that is quite wide angle and does pretty well on mirrorless cameras is the Leica WATE (16-21 f/4), and as in the example above in my experience the Leica 28 f/1.4 Asph works pretty well too (even though it is a bit better on a Leica M camera). Here are a couple of examples:





WATE at 16mm and f/8 on Sony A7r II







Leica M 28 f/1.4 Asph at f/4 on Sony A7r II




Oct 31, 2019 at 04:22 AM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


This is an image taken with my recently purchased A7rII and my Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZM Distagon ZM. I did struggle somewhat with the focus in the magnified view (I am not sure if this had has to do with the lens and the thick Sony Sensor and the lens itself at f1.4 and moving the focus point). Results are/were still good. I do intend to send the camera to Kolari in January to have them install the UT sensor cover for the camera to be used with my M-mount lenses and hopefully focus will be easier. The camera will be become my first camera to be used with my M-mount lenses and my A7r V3 Kolari Thin Sensor modified camera will become my second camera for my M-mount lenses.

Photo taken at 5:44 PM.

Looking across Jordan Creek at Autumn Color.
Tripod mounted "my new" Sony A7rII and Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Distagon ZM lens.
ISO 200, f11, 1/30 second,
Exposure corrected +0.24 Stops

October 28, 2019
Along Jordan Creek. Trexler Nature Preserve, Schnecksville, PA.

Rich








Oct 31, 2019 at 06:54 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


jankap wrote:
Sorry, but these lenses are ok. The critical ones are the wide angles (under 35mm) for M and LTM (Leica Thread Mount).


Unfortunately I can't post my good examples with further wide and ultra-wide M lenses in this thread since my wider lenses are all Voigtlander lenses, and this thread is dedicated to Leica lenses only. In the past I posted photos with them in other similar threads as well as into the Sony FE Images thread. I am using the CV 12/5.6 II, 21/1.8, 28/2.0 M-lenses. One wide CV lens which does not work at all on the Sony FF sensor is the compact CV 25/4 Snapshot-Skopar lens which I only use on my Leica M and LTM film cameras (but there it serves its purpose perfectly well). The well proven rule of thumb is confirmed here again - the wider (or larger the distance of) the rear glass of the lens, the better the wide lens M-performance on a non-Leica branded MLC sensor.

In summary, (ultra)wide M-lenses might require a bit more PP to remove color cast in the corners of the frame with unmodified MLC cameras but otherwise results are mostly very good IMO.



Oct 31, 2019 at 08:54 AM
Kingfishphoto
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Arizona StateFair, October 2019. Leica M 90 F2 Summicron and 135 M F2.8 lens heads on Leica 16462 focusing mount.
Cross posted from Sony Forum.
Harry Palmer





Mask-90MM .

  ILCE-7RM2    ---- lens    0mm    f/0.0    1/250s    100 ISO    -1.3 EV  




Oct 31, 2019 at 03:26 PM
Kingfishphoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Other images. 135 F2.8 is Elmarit lens head.





Carousel Horse-90MM.

  ILCE-7RM2    ---- lens    0mm    f/0.0    1/500s    100 ISO    -0.3 EV  







ETs-90MM.

  ILCE-7RM2    ---- lens    0mm    f/0.0    1/1600s    50 ISO    -1.3 EV  







Carousel Horses-135MM.

  ILCE-7RM2    ---- lens    0mm    f/0.0    1/1600s    50 ISO    -0.7 EV  







Native American Hoop Dancer -135MM.

  ILCE-7RM2    ---- lens    0mm    f/0.0    1/2000s    500 ISO    -0.7 EV  




Oct 31, 2019 at 03:36 PM
 


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genji
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Steve Spencer wrote:
I thought I might start a thread for images shot with Leica M lenses, but on mirrorless cameras. Leica M lenses can be shot on almost all mirrorless systems even though sometimes there performance is affected. Many of these lenses still make very nice images. I will start with a few of my favorites.


Steve, was it your intention when you created this thread to restrict it to Leica-branded M-mount lenses? If so, I hope you’ll reconsider because I believe that the thread will be way more popular if both M and LTM lenses of any brand are acceptable.



Oct 31, 2019 at 08:14 PM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Below are some images of Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah NP several weeks after the park had 16" of rain taken October 19, 2015 with my tripod mounted stock A7r and my Leica M WATE.

The first 3 images are cropped to 16" X 20" proportions, lens set to 21mm.

The last 2 images are full frame, lens set to 18mm.

Rich



























Oct 31, 2019 at 09:30 PM
genji
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


I think this thread has great potential and, since I have lots of photographs taken with M and LTM lenses on Sony mirrorless cameras, I'm going to try to keep the thread alive. I purchased a Tele-Elmar 135/4 a few months ago and discovered that:
1) I couldn't focus it accurately using the M10-P's rangefinder;
2) I didn't enjoy focusing it accurately using the Visoflex 020 EVF.
So I decided to try it on an A7R3 and liked that experience a lot better. Consequently, I've resolved to stop being a Leica purist and to use a few of my M and LTM lenses on the Sony camera instead. One prime candidate for this change in policy is the M-Hexanon 50/1.2, which back focuses severely on the M10-P. Anyway, here's a shot with the Tele-Elmar...







Nov 05, 2019 at 10:10 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


genji wrote:
Steve, was it your intention when you created this thread to restrict it to Leica-branded M-mount lenses? If so, I hope you’ll reconsider because I believe that the thread will be way more popular if both M and LTM lenses of any brand are acceptable.


No, it never was my intention to keep the thread to Leica branded M and LTM lenses. The more the merrier, but let's keep it to M and LTM mount lenses (others have lots of places to post).



Nov 06, 2019 at 04:06 AM
jankap
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Please note the f/stop to the pictures. Wide open is the most interesting.
Somewhere I have found, that at f/11 one can also use the bottom of a Cola bottle. Difficult, never seen a leicabranded Cola bottle with an f/stop.



Nov 06, 2019 at 04:10 AM
genji
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Steve Spencer wrote:
No, it never was my intention to keep the thread to Leica branded M and LTM lenses. The more the merrier, but let's keep it to M and LTM mount lenses (others have lots of places to post).


Great, thank you. I'm hoping that we'll see pictures made with M and LTM mount lenses on a variety of mirrorless bodies--Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma... Perhaps you might consider changing the thread title to include LTM lenses.



Nov 06, 2019 at 04:26 AM
phuang3
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


I'd say the SEM21/3.4 Asph is not good on EOS R. It's very sharp in the center, but totally not acceptable toward the edge.
















Nov 06, 2019 at 05:04 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


Steve Spencer wrote:
No, it never was my intention to keep the thread to Leica branded M and LTM lenses. The more the merrier, but let's keep it to M and LTM mount lenses (others have lots of places to post).


Okay, then I have a few more with CV lenses in M-mount and with LTM lenses (I second making a change in the thread title). Here a few examples:


CV 12/5.6 II M-mount lens on Sony A7R



CV 12/5.6 II M-mount lens on Sony A7R



CV 21/1.8 M-mount lens on Sony A7R



CV 21/1.8 M-mount lens on Sony A7R



CV 21/1.8 M-mount lens on Sony A7R



Canon 35/2.8 Serenar LTM-mount lens on Sony A7R



Nov 06, 2019 at 06:23 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


phuang3 wrote:
I'd say the SEM21/3.4 Asph is not good on EOS R. It's very sharp in the center, but totally not acceptable toward the edge.

http://kspqm.kymco.com/ckfinder/resource/johnny/image/sem21eosr.jpg

http://kspqm.kymco.com/ckfinder/resource/johnny/image/sem21eosr2.jpg


No surprise here. Leica ASPH lenses with slower f-stop tend not to work well with thicker sensor glass. I made a similar/worse experience with the Leica 35/2.0 ASPH lens on my A7R (the predecessor non-ASPH Leica 35/2.0 versions work great on the other hand, see my example above). For 21 mm M-mount, I recommend getting the CV 21/1.8 instead - only rarely a tiny bit of purple fringing in the corners of the frame which can be easily be removed in PP (Adobe Flat Field plugin). Not sure how older Leica 21 mm M-lenses perform either (also lots more expensive in comparison with the CV).



Nov 06, 2019 at 06:34 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Rangefinder lenses on Mirrorless


I think this is a very interesting thread (thanks, Steve!) since I believe that quite a large number of M/LTM glass users is using them on non-Leica based mirrorless cameras. Reasons for this are known all too well, so no need to dive deep into this which was discussed in other threads. I have only personal experience with combinations of M/LTM-lenses on my A7R camera (as shown above), but I am reading that many of these lenses seem to work very well on Z6/Z7 cameras also. Not so much info comes out with latest FF Panasonic MLCs, but from what I am reading online with a very limited number of M lenses tested is that they don't perform there as good as anticipated. There is always the option to have the sensor modified with KolariVision and a thinner glass cover, but first this is adding some cost and second then the camera is more limited to rangefinder glass only.

I am using now to more than 80% of time when shooting M-lenses on my A7R - it works so well for me that I never saw the need to get any E-mount lens. My shooting style does not require AF, I even prefer manual focusing. The size of the first A7-series camera series is perfect for my needs - in fact I prefer it over the successor models with thicker handgrip and more bulky built. For rangefinder lenses, the smaller camera layout is better IMO.

To the general public it still seems fairly unknown that MLCs allow to use different branded lenses on cameras. I made this experience a few weeks ago when entering a library after shooting fall photos in my neighborhood and had the A7R with vintage Leica 90/4 Elmar lens dangling from my shoulder. The younger librarian asked me what kind of camera this since she never saw this kind of metallic lens. She was very surprised to hear how old the lens was and that it can be adapted to newer camera systems. Even in photo groups nearly all other MLC shooters stick to the same camera-lens brand environment and are surprised to see me using other lens brands on my A7R.



Nov 06, 2019 at 07:15 AM
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