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Sony NEX / Full Frame Alpha non DSLR Cameras Sony does a lot of things well. Naming their cameras so the nomenclature makes sense is not one of them. The NEX series has now become the Alpha NEX series, not to be confused with their Alpha DSLRs. Huh ? IS the person who misnamed the Leica M10 the Leica M240 now working for Sony? The new full frame Alpha 7/7r are incredibly successful. I wonder how long it will take the other manufacturers to make their version of the 7/7r full frame cameras.

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M240 vs A7 vs A7r
Old 12-24-2013   #1
CameraQuest
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M240 vs A7 vs A7r

Has anyone compared the image quality between the M240, A7, and A7r?

How close, how different are they ?

Stephen
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This has my interest!
Old 12-25-2013   #2
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This has my interest!

Well, I am very interested in this, especially when my favorite two lenses are the Leica Noctilux and the 35mm f1.2 Nokton (thanks to Cameraquest!). I see a lot of negative comments about certain wide lenses. For me the sweet spot of Leica has always been for me 35mm and 50mm. I do not feel like dumping 7k on a body that costs too much and will not perform as well as what Sony made especially at f1.0 and f1.2. I had a chance to mount my Noctilux and Nokton at the Photo Plus Expo and felt Sonys implementation brilliant! With peaking, my Noctilux and Nokton were dead on focus with little effort. My M8 left me with many less keepers at wide f stops. Moving subjects and lens calibration are a pain! I can say that just for these two lenses alone, the A7 and A7r are worth it . I would like to see comparisons between the M240 and A7r with the 35mm Nokton and 50mm Noctilux specifically.
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Old 12-25-2013   #3
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Very recently there has been a great deal of discussion in on-line articles and forums reporting shutter shock (excessive vibration) with the A7r.

Some people claim they never see it with focal lengths below 100 mm. Others see it with a 55 mm lens.

Some claim it only happens on a tripod while others find otherwise. The same goes for native and adapted lenses.

The A7 has a different shutter.
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Old 12-30-2013   #4
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The 35 1.2 is great on the A7R (genuinely very good, even in the corners) and the 50 noct will be great too. No focus shift to worry about and easy to nail focus.

The 35 1.2 is probably one of the best M mount lenses on the A7/R under 50mm, if not THE best. Its tack sharp on centre of course and, when corner to corner sharpness is not required, its stunning at every aperture. By f4 its sharp in the corners and by 5.6 essentially perfect. If you're shooting landscapes, it will not be wider than this anyway, not if you are looking for overall image sharpness.
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Old 12-30-2013   #5
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Is this either version of the 35mm 1.2 ?
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Old 12-30-2013   #6
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well, they aren't the same type of camera, but Cicala did compare the M240 with the A7r using a 50 Lux ASPH and the difference was definitely significant.

very few digital cameras do much I like, output wise, but Ive been EXTREMELY impressed with Sony's color, noise control and the Zeiss lenses themselves. The output is about D800e level for the R, with the A7 being a bit behind, obviously.

one thing I will say is that I have seen some lenses that normally don't look that great on digital (50/1.4 planar, 50/1 nocti, etc) that are STUNNING on the a7(r).
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Old 12-30-2013   #7
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^Can you post the link to the comparison?
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Old 12-30-2013   #8
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With the lenses I had access to, the M 240 delivered better edge-to-edge performance across the board. The A7 does a better job with color shift with the Voigtlander 15mm, but I found that edge and corner sharpness suffered compared to the 240.

Here are the numbers and some sample images :

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428025,00.asp (A7)
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428078,00.asp (A7R)

The only modern RF lenses I had on hand were the 50 Lux ASPH, the 28 Elmarit ASPH, and the Voigtlander 15mm (LTM version). I also looked at the Pentax 31mm on the A7 and A7R, as I had previously tested it with the M240. Even with a retrofocus SLR wide-angle, the M did better at the edges; but it wasn't a dramatic difference.

My controlled tests were all Imatest charts. Jim Kasson (http://blog.kasson.com/) has been doing some more extensive real-world side-by-side testing with the A7R and M 240. There are some good comparisons showing the corners with the same lens on the M240 versus teh A7R. The native Zeiss 55mm holds up a lot better (both in Jim's outdoor test shots and my boring-to-look-at test chart.) He's got 30+ posts on the A7R.

(Personally, if I was buying the A7R, I'd glue the ZA 55mm f/1.8 to it and leave the 50mm Lux ASPH at home most of the time.)
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Old 12-30-2013   #9
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http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013...-all-the-boats

my bad, it was the APO summicron, not the Lux ASPH
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Old 12-30-2013   #10
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I believe Steve Huff has comparisons on his site.
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Old 12-30-2013   #11
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I would like to see a comparison shot from both the A7r and M9 (or m240 i guess) with the 50 Summilux ASPH. Just a regular portrait…shoulder up…wide open.
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Old 12-30-2013   #12
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I would do this but I need a SONY A7r as a loaner.
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Old 12-30-2013   #13
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A7r is not great with 50 lux.

50 cron it likes.

But I like A7 better than R with everything. My CV 35/1.2 is much better on the A7, even.

The A7r can deliver spectacular results with native glass, but MF lenses with some exceptions have trouble at wide aperture on the edges.

Which is not to say that we won't see excellent photos with all sorts of lenses and the R, but for technical shots, where you need it crisp across the frame, the R wants its processor working with the natives.

Something I learned the hard way
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Old 12-30-2013   #14
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My Typ240 will be offered up for sale soon.
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Old 12-31-2013   #15
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So, all of you that are leaving Leica for Sony never cared about rangefinders in the first place? It was only about the lenses?
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Old 12-31-2013   #16
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I'm not. I didn't have 100 percent confirmation, but I had a very good source telling me that these cameras were coming prior to taking delivery of the M 240 in August. I just like the rangefinder experience too much to give it up. Having the Live View/EVF option is a bonus, and makes the 240 a more versatile tool that fills some gaps (I need to shoot product shots fairly often, and that requires either an extension tube or an SLR macro lens + adapter.)

Can't say that I wasn't tempted after getting some time in the field with the A7/A7R, however. If I had opted for the M Monochrom instead of the 240, I could see myself using one of the Sony bodies for color work.

And obviously, if I hadn't scrimped and saved (and sold enough gear) to afford a 240, the price tag on the Sony cameras would have been a serious consideration. At a certain point you realize you're paying $5,000+ for an optical viewfinder/rangefinder patch and better edge performance with certain lenses.
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Old 12-31-2013   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
So, all of you that are leaving Leica for Sony never cared about rangefinders in the first place? It was only about the lenses?

Rangefinders are nice but generally, Leica lenses are more reliable than their rangefinders, my Epsons however,are still the finest for me.
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Old 12-31-2013   #18
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For rangefinder lenses, I prefer M9/M240 to Sony A7/A7r. I am only interested in Sony for Leica R lenses.
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Old 12-31-2013   #19
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I've got a whole series of R lenses. Anyone know how they perform on the A7r. One would think that the added space between the rear of the lenses and the sensor would eliminate any poor edge effects.
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Old 12-31-2013   #20
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I also have a set of Leica R lenses from 19mm to 180mm. I don't have an A7r yet. But from what I'v read and seen so far, Leica R lenses will be terrific on the Sony 36MP sensor.
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Old 12-31-2013   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zleica View Post
For rangefinder lenses, I prefer M9/M240 to Sony A7/A7r. I am only interested in Sony for Leica R lenses.
That makes perfect sense.
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Old 12-31-2013   #22
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It gets easier after a while to not chase after more systems when you have an excellent set of lenses (1 or 2 or 3 or ...) in one system. I like my Leica lenses and also the few Zeiss Sonnar lenses in ltm mount. I just don't see (anymore) a thrill or a usefulness in getting into new systems to use other lens mount lenses anymore. It was fad for me for a while. It may have to do with your age. I am too busy in life and work to chase after new systems. I am glad that I manage to squeeze in a few hours per week for snapshot taking here and there. Maybe, when I am retired, then I will return to chasing new systems?
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Old 12-31-2013   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
So, all of you that are leaving Leica for Sony never cared about rangefinders in the first place? It was only about the lenses?
Not necessarily.

There are a number of reasons to not go to Leica for digital - I'm classifying this as such because the M240 is just that: digital - yes it has a rangefinder but it is a digital camera.

1) Cost / Price -
A new M240 is approx $8000 CDN after taxes. The new Sony A7 is approx $1900 CDN after taxes

2) Digital vs Digital -
The M240 sensor is 24MP maxing out at ISO6400 (CMOS)
The Sony A7 sensor is 24MP maxing out at ISO25600 (CMOS)
The Sony A7r sensor is 36MP maxing out at the same (CMOS) but without the AA filter

3) Viewfinders -
The M240 has the classic rangefinder - you can easily see what is entering the frame.
The Sony cameras have a very good electronic viewfinder but you can't see what's entering the frame

4) Built-In WiFi
None in the M240
Sony has built in WiFi and NFC

5) Versatility
The M240 accepts M mount lenses and LTM mount lenses with an LTM-M mount adapter
The Sony has a myriad of choices in terns of lenses due to a multitude of adapters along with very very very good (currently) 55mm and 35mm Zeiss designed prime lenses (Sonnar design)

6) Corner Sharpness
Apparently the M240 and lenses designed for it offer corner to corner sharpness
The Sony cameras may have difficulty with corner sharpness on wides or colour shift problems


For me, at the end of the day I am willing to live with, for what I shoot and how I shoot, the "issues" that may cause many to NOT choose the Sony cameras. The biggest item in my list above is item #1 and to a lesser extent #2,#4 and #5. It's not that I never cared about rangefinders; I still have the M7 I have owned for the past 5+ years - and have been using rangefinders since 2005 when I 'got back into' film photography. This is more about, to me, ergonomics and versatility than it is about the type of viewfinder on a digital camera.

It doesn't hurt that Sony's sensors are very good and can handle the high ISO's, should I require them, as well.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 12-31-2013   #24
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Dave, I didn't mean for those who have thought long and hard about the pluses and minuses. I guess I just felt that the Sony A7 is so far away from the M philosophy that the die hard Leica folks would never bother. I understand value for the money (I don;t use digital Leicas anymore either), but I always used Leicas for their bodies and not the lenses.
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Old 12-31-2013   #25
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Dave,

Good points for the most part (especially #1--the cost difference, for most of us, is huge).

#4 is mostly solved by a $50 Eye-Fi Mobi card; I set the camera to shoot Raw+small JPG and the JPGs automatically move to my phone for tweeting or the like.

#5, well, I use Pentax K and Nikon F adapters with the M, and while the add-on EVF isn't in the same class as the A7/A7R OLED EVF, it's easy enough to connect lenses from other mounts to the the 240 and use them just as you would with the A7/A7R.

From my perspective, one point to add is that focusing RF glass with an RF is faster than working with the EVF. I'm regularly able to nail focus with an M with decent speed, but when working with the EVF I really need to magnify that frame to get the image as crisp as I want it to be.

Jim
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