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CSC : Digital Compact System Cameras - This new category of digital Compact System Cameras with interchangeable lenses was mislabeled for a time as "Mirrorless Cameras" by those forgetting about "Mirrorless" Rangefinder cameras.  Such confusion is easily understandable, since interchangeable rangefinder cameras were only recently introduced in 1932.  hmm.    CSC or Compact System Camera is probably the best category description to date, although I am fond of the old RFF desigation of  CEVIL  indicating Compact Electronic Viewfidner Interchangeable Lens.   This forum is here at RFF because via adapters these cameras offer an inexpensive way to use rangefinder lenses on digital cameras -- in addition of just about every 35mm SLR lens you can think of.  All  offer the photo enthusiast an incredible array of adopted lenses which was not possible before these new digital formats.   This group continues to grow in popularity and new camera models! 

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Is the nex5n the best CSC option for m lenses
Old 10-20-2012   #1
hamish_gill
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Is the nex5n the best CSC option for m lenses

I have read quite a bit online recently on this subject and it seems the 5n is perhaps the most consistent when it comes to using various m mount lenses...

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I am interested in he view of folks here?

if not, what would you go for?

Im very attracted to the idea of focus peaking having experimented with it on my rx100
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Old 10-20-2012   #2
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Given how low the prices are going, I would say its still a great option. I couldn't fault the files but the camera was too small for me to focus well.

But now that it is getting cheaper...I must say I'm tempted again
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Old 10-20-2012   #3
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NEX-5N is the one camera that seems to play well with just about every rangefinder lens out there.

Some people here will recommend the X-Pro1 or the XE-1, but right now, at this very moment, nothing else can beat the performance and the amazingly small package of the NEX-5N for the ~$498 price of the kit at Amazon and B&H.

I highly recommend the EVF (FDA-EV1S Sony XGA OLED Electronic Viewfinder) along with the NEX-5N. It is a ~$250 investment, but to me, it is an inseparable part of this camera. It uses the same OLED panel as the NEX-7, Sony Alpha A99, and the Fuji XE-1.
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Old 10-20-2012   #4
GaryLH
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Ricoh gxr w/ m adapter is the best. no AA filter and micro lenses specifically setup for m rf. the adapter guarantees u correct infinity focus. Focus peaking and multiple levels of mag assist.

Next comes the Fuji x series.. Has special m adapter that handles lens correction. Two levels of focus mag missing focus peaking. Nex5 is third place in my mind due to no lens correction but it does have focus peaking and two levels of mag. Assist.

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Last edited by GaryLH : 10-20-2012 at 16:14. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old 10-20-2012   #5
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Both other options Gary offers are reasonable, but at this time, for the price the 5N is selling for, there are not alternatives. If you don't like it, $500 isn't THAT big of a loss. GXR with A12 attachment will cost over a $1000 new. Fuji XE-1, same deal. X-Pro1 is way more expensive. NEX-5N ... $500 ... with a relatively good kit lens.
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Old 10-20-2012   #6
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I actually just got a 5N for an incredible deal and I am in LOVE. Since sony doesn't offer any AF lenses that interests me, I am using it primarily with LTM lenses. Focus peaking is useful but not perfect and the tilt screen is surprisingly very useful. At the price point and usability, NEX 5N is currently the best choice especially with Hawk's helicoid adapter. I tried using my GF1 for ltm lenses but due to the 2x crop factor, I find most lenses harder to use (no longer a more useful focal length) and although images are pretty good, I wanted more flexibility with the ability to edit.

I was contemplating between the usual suspects, nex 7, 5n, and fuji XE-1 (same sensor as xpro1) but decided on 5N due to incredible value for the amount of money.

I would recommend going for a good used deal since the price is dropping like no other due to new releases from Sony. New is okay deal but if you are paying $500 for a new 5N, might as well wait to see how 5R or 6 perform with rangefinder lenses.
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Old 10-20-2012   #7
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If you are considering the NEX-5N + EVF, take a look at the new NEX-6 -- also has a 16MP sensor, but has the OLED EVF in body, flash, and an ISO hot shoe so you can easily throw a wireless flash trigger of the like on there.

If you go with a NEX body, the Hawk's close-focus M adapter is a must-have, if you ask me. Adds a lot of versatility to those RF lenses.

The 5N may be the best value right now, as it is being discounted due to the new 5R (basically the 5N + Wi-Fi) hitting store shelves now.
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Old 10-20-2012   #8
Godfrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamish_gill View Post
I have read quite a bit online recently on this subject and it seems the 5n is perhaps the most consistent when it comes to using various m mount lenses...

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I am interested in he view of folks here?

if not, what would you go for?

Im very attracted to the idea of focus peaking having experimented with it on my rx100
Ricoh GXR with A12 Camera Mount. Better corrected for a larger range of RF lenses than any other, native M-bayonet mount. Better focus peaking displays too. Image quality coming out of the 12Mpixel GXR-M is remarkable, and surpasses anything I've seen out of the 16Mpixel cameras with adapters. The raw files are also native DNG which is a plus for me.
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Old 10-20-2012   #9
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Have owned the NEX-5N and currently own the GXR and M Mount A12 unit.

I would look carefully at both; also check out the NEX-6.

While it is true the GXR/M will provide you with the best image quality you can get from M (and adapted LTM) lenses, there can still be reasons to prefer the NEX.

I found that IQ on NEX and GXR was roughly equal except when focused out towards infinity. For distant landscapes with lots of detail the GXR will generally do a superior job particularly if you are using wider angle lenses and particularly so if those lenses are of a symmetrical design instead of telecentric.

Working closer in, I found either camera did well and the advantages in terms of edge to edge sharpness were less pronounced.

NEX with a Hawk Helicoid adapter makes every single one of your M lenses a close focusing lens. For example my Zeiss 25mm ordinarily focuses to 50 cm; with the Hawk adapter I could focus on objects as near as the width of my hand - roughly 6 - 8cm from the front of the lens. I do miss this flexibility and the NEX was very good at rendering close up objects with these lenses.

The GXR build wise is far more robust. With the module and lens attached it feels like it was carved out of a block of metal. All controls feel great and that they'll last... although you will want to consider a screen protector as the anti-reflective coating is known to wear on the Ricoh.

With the NEX you have the option of using autofocus lenses when you want; with the GXR/M you don't but you can pick up a Camera Unit module which replaces the M, offering different focal lengths in a lens-sensor modular approach. Check on-line for more details.

The current camera is getting dated. Some of us feel it is fine as-is. Others run into its limitations. NEX provides better low noise performance at higher sensitivities. This can be a roadblock for some users and for others is completely immaterial. That is about the only aspect of the sensor which gets in my way from time to time, although I would also like a higher resolution sensor to afford more cropping opportunities in post.

The NEX-6 is something of an unknown quantity but *probably* will do the job for M lens users as well as a NEX-5N. Might it do better? No idea. One can hope.

Ultimately which would be a better choice for you will depend on what sort of photography interests you and you engage in. Maybe you could expand on that.

PS: I haven't mentioned the Fujifilm because I consider focus peaking more than simply useful for manual focus lenses - a pre-requisite. Why Fujifilm doesn't implement focus peaking is a mystery to me. I'll never buy a Fujifilm body for use with M lenses unless they do... but I also won't buy a Fujifilm body until they clear up the mess they have with third party raw conversion support for the X-Trans sensor implementation. *That* definitely is a roadblock for me.
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Old 10-20-2012   #10
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^^ One of the bests posts regarding the two cameras i've read in awhile, thank you for sharing your insight..

(I currently own an NEX-5n with plans to get an adapter for M mount and Sony 35/1.8 in future, I mostly use it for product photos/random)
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Old 10-20-2012   #11
Tom Diaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamish_gill View Post
I have read quite a bit online recently on this subject and it seems the 5n is perhaps the most consistent when it comes to using various m mount lenses...

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I am interested in he view of folks here?

if not, what would you go for?

Im very attracted to the idea of focus peaking having experimented with it on my rx100
To me, there's no question that the Ricoh GXR-M is the best option. I assume from your question that you already have some M lenses you like. (If not, I would answer very differently!) The Ricoh will do better with them than the alternatives, especially if the lenses include some wide ones. The Ricoh has excellent focus-peaking features that make for fast, accurate focusing. it has no AA filter and has microlenses set up for M lenses.

To me, neither the Sony nor the Ricoh has a super-interesting set of lenses of its own. (The Ricoh's are a little more interesting but not enormously.) But anyway, I decided that I wanted to shoot mostly with my M lenses, either on a Leica body or a backup body, so the Ricoh came in as the backup body.

Tom
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Old 10-21-2012   #12
hamish_gill
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Some superb answers here thank you!

Yes I have 8 ltm/m lenses, 3 of which I use regularly on the R-D1, and 1 of which that I really want to use with a CSC!
The first thing that brought me to this idea was wondering if anyone had made an adapter/extention tube arangement that would allow closer focusing with a recently aquired ltm summarit.
I found one of these helicoid adapters on eBay which was designed for e-mount and started reading ...
I guess this rules me out of the Ricoh ... I very rearly shoot landscape with my rf's anyway so this advantage at distances would mean little to me.
Lack of focus peaking (and ) rules the fuji out
I'd not concidered the 5R, whilst the possibilities of "apps" and wifi interest me, I would rather wait until the technology matures a bit before getting bogged down in it.
The 6 I had not concidered, but I am going to assume it to be prohibitively expensive ... Especially concidering my primary goal is closer focusing with one lens.

It sounds as though the 5n might not be the best per se, but might be the best for me!


A couple of questions

Mention of focus peaking not being perfect has been made ... How so?
I think I can imagine it might not always be completely reliable? My experience is only on the rx100 where dof is invariably broarder than I it is going to be on a aps-c camera with a 50mm 1.5 lens ... Where I have used it, it has worked every time though, even when focusing fairly close.
So yeah, what are people's experiences of it? For example maybe, with fairly close portrait work?

Secondly, I found a helicoid adapter on eBay for around 50, obviously this was from the far East... What's the deal with the hawk one? I've read about cv fixed adapters being a lot better than the cheaper ones ... Better fit, finish and reliable infinity focus I guess? Are there other ways the hawk excels?
For the sake of experimentation, I'm very tempted to take a punt on a cheap one to start with to be honest ... ... ?
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Old 10-21-2012   #13
hamish_gill
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I should also add, I'm not realy interested in any brands own lenses ... I have large enough investment in two sets of lenses.
This is a camera body to solve a particular itch of an issue with current lenses (as I mentioned)
The Sony kit lens will stay though as I can see the missis liking it
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Old 10-21-2012   #14
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Ricoh GXR is best for pure image quality on M lenses--aside from leica Ms.

Nex advantage:
EVF is far superior (yes you should get one)
can take ANY lens. From hassy to whatever you can think of-- if its an interchangeable mount you can get it on the nex.

Soon to come: working AF for canon EF and contax g (via adapters of course)

n5n+cv 35 skopar last week


n5n + cv 50/1.1
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Old 10-23-2012   #15
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I have owned both a Nex 5N and Ricoh GXR. I bought, used, and sold both, only to go back some months later when I really missed smaller cameras and the sharp RF glass (the 25mm ZM Biogon and the 45mm Contax G Planar (with adapter on 5N, converted to M on the GXR).

When I went back, I chose a GXR again, against the Nex 7, 5N, X-Pro-E-X-1 thingies. The 5N has a wonderful sensor and a very useful mount. In using M glass, the one clear advantage over the GXR is the Hawk macro adapter. Brilliant. It had nothing else for me, however. It was so small that I had a rough time getting shots that didn't have a fine blur in them. And miserable menus.

The GXR, which also has no stabilization, wasn't as much of a problem and I'm not sure why. It's just a bit bigger and heavier but I suppose that makes enough of a difference.

The Ricoh has a lot of great features. The electronic shutter is utterly unique (far as I know) in the CSC world and when you need a camera that makes *zero* noise, this is it. Not even a "snick!" like the OM-D. Silent. I love the Ricoh diorama filter...silly I know, but it has a lot of controls....in-focus size and placement. Very smart. And my favorite: it has an intervalometer built into the firmware. Why oh why don't other camera makers do this? They must get paid off by the factories that produce cumbersome USB timers that add yet another piece of gear to the bag. Only Nikon is nice enough to include this, but only on their high-end bodies.

I do wish Ricoh had though to add a close focus helicoid to the M-mount module. There's quite a bit of that module that is just metal tube, and it easily could have had an extra helicoid and lever built in there. That would have been amazing!

Will there by a follow on the GXR? Nobody really knows. But right now it remains a unique camera and no other camera has the same feature set. I just bought another 25mm ZM lens...which is so wicked sharp it's amazing. I usually don't worship at the altar of sharpness, but the 25ZM's rendering gives images a remarkable depth.
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Old 10-23-2012   #16
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Another plug for the GXR, I started with a NEX still have it and use it just not any where as much as the GXR. The Ricoh works with all the wide angle RF lenses without worrying about softness in the corners or funny colors. Plus it feels so much better then the Sony. But I do wish that Ricoh also had the flip up screen that Sony has.
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Old 10-26-2012   #17
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Cheers folks!
I decided 100% in the end that the lack of helicoid option and price really rule out anything but the 5n ...
I'm picking up one tomorrow

Had a play with the focus peaking on a demo one in a shot ... Looks to be very good!
Just got to wait for the damn mount adapter now!
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Old 10-26-2012   #18
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I'm also considering the Nex/GXR options...can anyone pass any comment regarding the use of longer M lenses, 75 and 90mm?

And do I understand that the Sony EVF is superior to the Ricoh one?

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Old 10-26-2012   #19
hamish_gill
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Michael
If it is of interest, LCE in worcester are selling nex5n with the 18-55, case of some sort, strap of some sort and a spare battery for 349
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Old 10-26-2012   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
I'm also considering the Nex/GXR options...can anyone pass any comment regarding the use of longer M lenses, 75 and 90mm?
Seems to do very nicely with the M-Rokkor (Elmar-C) 90mm f/4 ...


Ricoh GXR-M + M-Rokkor 90mm f/4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
And do I understand that the Sony EVF is superior to the Ricoh one?
I've looked through both of them side by side now. The Sony has a bit more magnification and a bit more resolution. The GXR's EVF is functional if not glorious. But the GXR produces better results and I like its controls a lot more.
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Old 10-27-2012   #21
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Having owned both I have to say that the GXR handles much more like a real camera. Superb really. And while the EVF is inferior, peaking is better implanted.

Also, there are plenty of adapters for M mount. You can use OM, Nikon, R, MD, etc. with the GXR
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Old 10-27-2012   #22
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What about the Samsung CSC with APS? Haven't heard anything about them, but they seem to have real hot shoes and go for NEX-ish prices.
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Old 10-27-2012   #23
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Leica-M lenses won't fit.

I'm still waiting for the adapter for my Fuji X-E1...
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Old 10-29-2012   #24
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Althought the Ricoh sounds the most 'camera like' for a oldie I must say the current price of the Sony makes it very attractive and a good way of finding out whether one likes M lenses on digital...

Michael
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Old 10-29-2012   #25
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"likes"...I liked using them on the GXR much more than on the NEX. Image quality as well as usability is better. Much better.
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