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Sony a7II and leica lens? Real life experience?
Old 09-06-2017   #1
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Sony a7II and leica lens? Real life experience?

Hi!
I just won a brand new Sony A7II in a photo contest. I shoot with a Fuji X-Pro2 and i love it. But im really curious about the A7II with Leica lenses. I miss shooting with manual and zone-focus. I know that i can buy adapters to the fuji but the A7II is full frame.

Is the A7II + Leica lens just a gimmick or are people actually using it? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 09-06-2017   #2
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Not a gimmick.
I'm using earlier Sony A7 model with great results.
Many Leica M mount wide angle lenses will suffer on the Sony FF sensor.
I don't use anything wider than 35mm and so far am having great luck.
The Canon ltm 50mm f1.2 is especially nice for me. Also liking the Skopar f2.5/50mm and the Zeiss Contax SLR lenses.
I can imagine the A7ii with it's nicer grip and stabilized sensor is even nicer.
Congrats on the contest!
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Old 09-06-2017   #3
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Lucky you! Best way to know is to try it, but from what I've read (and seen), it is not a myth. There are many youtube videos also showing how to manually focus
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Old 09-06-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Not a gimmick.
I'm using earlier Sony A7 model with great results.
Many Leica M mount wide angle lenses will suffer on the Sony FF sensor.
I don't use anything wider than 35mm and so far am having great luck.
The Canon ltm 50mm f1.2 is especially nice for me. Also liking the Skopar f2.5/50mm and the Zeiss Contax SLR lenses.
I can imagine the A7ii with it's nicer grip and stabilized sensor is even nicer.
Congrats on the contest!
Thank you! The thing is that i don't want to spend all the money to test. If i try this i want to use my old best friend the summicron 35. I loved it when i shot with Leicas. But i sold it when switching to Fuji. To buy a new one i need to sell my Fuji :P. Luxury problems..

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Originally Posted by huntjump View Post
Lucky you! Best way to know is to try it, but from what I've read (and seen), it is not a myth. There are many youtube videos also showing how to manually focus
Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2017   #5
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I`m using my Leica and Zeiss lenses (widest 21) on an A7s ....
Best thing I`ve done ... congrats on winning.
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Old 09-06-2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Markey View Post
I`m using my Leica and Zeiss lenses (widest 21) on an A7s ....
Best thing I`ve done ... congrats on winning.
It is starting to sound hopeful!
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Old 09-06-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landberg View Post
Thank you! The thing is that i don't want to spend all the money to test. If i try this i want to use my old best friend the summicron 35. I loved it when i shot with Leicas. But i sold it when switching to Fuji. To buy a new one i need to sell my Fuji :P. Luxury problems..



Thanks!
I use Fuji for autofocus and events and things I do for other people.
I would not sell my fuji to have the Sony and Summicron.
The Lenses I use I already had, I Added a used a7 for a 1/3 of new price to use as a universal back.... it's great.
In your case you may want to sell the camera while it's new.
Others may disagree but.... I would not change from Fuji to Sony system.... especially would not give up pro-2 and Fuji glass
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Old 09-06-2017   #8
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Congratulations on the free camera!

Yes, many Leica-mount lenses will work just fine on the a7 series. For the most part, the lenses that cause problems are the older non-retrofocus wide angle designs that have the large rear elements. Leica M digital bodies have special microlenses as part of their sensor arrays that let them use these older designs; Sony cameras obviously don't have these. If you're primarily a 35mm & longer shooter or have few/none of these older lenses, this may not be a problem for you at all.

That said, I mostly use my a7r w/old manual focus SLR lenses, especially for defunct camera systems (Contarex, etc.). If I use Leica-mount lenses it's usually to take advantage of the Sony special features (waist level viewing, closer focusing w/Cosina Voigtlander adapter that has a built-in helical) or to use lenses that are out-of-spec/problematic (e.g., prone to focus-shift) on my Leica digital bodies.

This (fairly) recent thread covers a lot of the same ground as your question:

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=161454

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landberg View Post
Hi!
I just won a brand new Sony A7II in a photo contest. I shoot with a Fuji X-Pro2 and i love it. But im really curious about the A7II with Leica lenses. I miss shooting with manual and zone-focus. I know that i can buy adapters to the fuji but the A7II is full frame.

Is the A7II + Leica lens just a gimmick or are people actually using it? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 09-06-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
I use Fuji for autofocus and events and things I do for other people.
I would not sell my fuji to have the Sony and Summicron.
The Lenses I use I already had, I Added a used a7 for a 1/3 of new price to use as a universal back.... it's great.
In your case you may want to sell the camera while it's new.
Others may disagree but.... I would not change from Fuji to Sony system.... especially would not give up pro-2 and Fuji glass
That is my fear. I think i will stay with the Fuji. OR, sell them both and buy a Leica!
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Old 09-06-2017   #10
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i have been very satisfied with my regular A7 with summicron asph 35 and 75 vc lens. produce great prints as well (BW and color). i see no reasons to switch to a used M240, esp since i can use my A7 to scan film and have no real issues with dirt on sensor as the leica digitals. once you get used to click to zoom and focus it's fast.
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Old 09-06-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuanvinh2000 View Post
once you get used to click to zoom and focus it's fast.

Now that`s something that I have found yet
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Old 09-06-2017   #12
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I use an original A7 to test lenses (with adapters) at my work, primarily Leica glass. It is a great alternative to a digital M, especially at a fraction of the cost. Seeing the full-coverage of a lens is great, and I can imagine it being great for personal / paid work as well.

However, my go-to digital body is a X-Pro1. I prefer the focus aid on the Fuji WAAAAAAAAAAY more than the Sony, plus you get those Fuji colors. The crop factor is something I've grown to like too, as it kinda "doubles" my lenses.

The A7II really shines with the in-body stabilization. I could see this being very beneficial with using longer length lenses. Using a 35mm, you'll have no problem on either camera.

Either way, both cameras are great for adapted lenses. I guess it would just come down to if you need full frame coverage and in-body IS.
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Old 09-06-2017   #13
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How about autofocusing and image stabilization with an 80 year old lens?

Yep. It can be done with the A7-II.

If you find you don't want it, I'm looking to buy one.
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Old 09-06-2017   #14
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I do not have an Sony A7 (yet) but do regularly use a Sony NEX 7 with Leica glass (and legacy SLR glass also). I can vouch for the relative efficiency and usability. Yes, it works pretty well. I do find however, that because I tend to like shooting wide open I do not necessarily find focus peaking a perfect solution to manual focusing. Even when focus peaking is set to the "Low" setting, the camera still does not identify the exact focus point - though it is useful to identify the approximate focus point. This means it is not brilliant for using a fast lens wide open. When focus peaking is set to "high" it is even less accurate (though more easily seen).

However I find the menu setting that allows the camera to automatically zoom when the zoom ring is rotated ideal when using Sony AF lenses. You can refine focus manually just by turning the focus ring and when you do the image automatically zooms. But with non electronic/ AF lenses that lack a CPU it is necessary to first press a button to manually magnify the image in the viewfinder. I presume the A7 is the same. This can be less than ideal with a moving subject (being slower) but works fine in other circumstances. It also helps to have a button within easy reach of the thumb which allows the zoom to be triggered without removing the eye from the viewfinder. Never the less overall I prefer the Nikon SLR focus system which provides focus confirmation in the viewfinder even when using a manual focus lens that lack a CPU (a dot lights up when the lens is exactly focused). This alleviates the need to fritz about with pressing buttons when focusing a manual lens.

Nevertheless overall I am happy with Sony cameras and Leica glass.
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Old 09-06-2017   #15
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I have the A7SII, which I bought because I often shoot in very low light. It is a marvel for that. I do not have any e-mount lenses yet. I only use m-mount lenses, or ltm lenses with an ltm-to-m converter and an m-to-sony converter. I have not shot wider than 40mm (the Nokton which is a wonderful lens). I am rediscovering the joys of the older Canon lenses I bought when I was a buying lots of lenses, mostly back in my Epson days. Currently, I have been using the Canon 50 F.1.4 ltm and the "Canon Serenar 85mm f2.0 LTM". The latter is a joy to use on it, weight aside, and I like it better on the Sony than on my M9 (because I can compose and focus better on it.)
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Old 09-06-2017   #16
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^^^
You are getting some great work with yours Severes_Babylone.
I really enjoy your flickr feed. All the concert stills are great!
The great low light work was a contributor to my seeking a used a7 for my Canon ltm f1.2/50mm.
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Old 09-07-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Markey View Post
Now that`s something that I have found yet
the button C1 next to the shutter is the zoom in to focus. I click that button before i decide to shoot so when i bring to my face i can manual focus like a focus patch. Then i touch the shutter once to come back to normal view to compose and shoot. take seconds to get dead focus, about the same time it takes to use the rf patch. even my gf who is non-technical knows how to use it. As any tools, use it enough and it's part of your workflow. it starts being transparent.
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Old 09-07-2017   #18
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Thanks a lot .... how did I miss that duh.
That makes it a lot easier .
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Old 09-08-2017   #19
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I love my x-pro2 but i am so tempted to use Leica lenses with a full frame body.
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Old 09-25-2017   #20
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I´m getting the camera tomorrow. I´m thinking of buying the Voigtländer color-skopar 35/2.5 to test how i like the manual lens feeling. Anyone used this combo?
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Old 09-25-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landberg View Post
I´m getting the camera tomorrow. I´m thinking of buying the Voigtländer color-skopar 35/2.5 to test how i like the manual lens feeling. Anyone used this combo?
Which adapter?

I have a modified A7R that I use with M-mount lenses -- 21,25,28 35, 50. The Hex-M 28 and the longer FL's worked well before I got the thin filter modification from Kolari. The 21 and 25 were awful (smearing on the edges) before the mod, but completely fine after.

For an adapter, I use a Hawk close focus adapter which allows you to focus closer that the lens' minimum focusing distance. The mount is a a little wobbly on mine (version 1), but I think the latest one (version 5) has a tighter fit. The only other M to E mount focusing helicoid that I know of is the Voigtlander VM-E--it has better fit and finish, but a bit pricey (>$300).

The MFD on the Skopar is 0.7 meter. A focusing helicoid reduces that, if that's important to you.
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Old 09-25-2017   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
Which adapter?

I have a modified A7R that I use with M-mount lenses -- 21,25,28 35, 50. The Hex-M 28 and the longer FL's worked well before I got the thin filter modification from Kolari. The 21 and 25 were awful (smearing on the edges) before the mod, but completely fine after.

For an adapter, I use a Hawk close focus adapter which allows you to focus closer that the lens' minimum focusing distance. The mount is a a little wobbly on mine (version 1), but I think the latest one (version 5) has a tighter fit. The only other M to E mount focusing helicoid that I know of is the Voigtlander VM-E--it has better fit and finish, but a bit pricey (>$300).

The MFD on the Skopar is 0.7 meter. A focusing helicoid reduces that, if that's important to you.
What does the mod do? Thanks for the advice. Do you have any photos taken this way i can look at?
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Old 09-25-2017   #23
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I've owned an A7R that was also modded* and used it with M-mount lenses such as M-hexanon 35mm and VM Nokton 50mm 1.5.

Ultimately I sold the camera due to it's loud shutter. The image quality was very good, but the camera didn't feel intuitive or comfortable in my hands. The Pentax K-1 has been a big step up in build quality and ergonomics, and still stuffed with features. My favorite being in-body image stabilization which new sonys have of course.

From my understanding the A7rii with the same mod is a much improved camera. It looks like an interesting option with the techart auto focus adapter** for some of my rangefinder lenses as well as my Pentax K manual focus lenses. Especially my SMC K 85mm 1.8


* https://kolarivision.com/product/son...-lens-upgrade/

** http://techartpro.com/product/techar...focus-adapter/
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Old 09-25-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landberg View Post
What does the mod do? Thanks for the advice. Do you have any photos taken this way i can look at?
Hi Landberg, before you do any modification, see if your lenses work to your satisfaction. I have 1st version 28mm Elmarit that all the internet experts would say should perform badly due to the rear element being close to the sensor. I used it on a trip with an A7ii and the photos were fine, and I thought it was just me not being sensitive to what's in the corners. But even looking in the corners, I don't see it. Try before you buy (kolari mod)...
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Old 09-25-2017   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuanvinh2000 View Post
the button C1 next to the shutter is the zoom in to focus. I click that button before i decide to shoot so when i bring to my face i can manual focus like a focus patch. Then i touch the shutter once to come back to normal view to compose and shoot. take seconds to get dead focus, about the same time it takes to use the rf patch.
I second this. Works great. Equal or better to any manual focus experience I've had. The Sony implementation of focus magnification or just focus peaking w/o magnification makes focusing very effective.
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Old 09-25-2017   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
Hi Landberg, before you do any modification, see if your lenses work to your satisfaction. I have 1st version 28mm Elmarit that all the internet experts would say should perform badly due to the rear element being close to the sensor. I used it on a trip with an A7ii and the photos were fine, and I thought it was just me not being sensitive to what's in the corners. But even looking in the corners, I don't see it. Try before you buy (kolari mod)...
+1
I have not seen any corner issues with my lenses.
I've seen images online of corner issues and improvements from the modification.
The lenses I have do not apply. You may find the same.
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Old 09-25-2017   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landberg View Post
What does the mod do? Thanks for the advice. Do you have any photos taken this way i can look at?
The mod improves edge and corner performance for adapted RF wide angle lenses. My Zeiss 25/2.8 Biogon is one of my favorites but there was a lot of edge smearing when I mounted his lens on my A7R. The mod eliminated the smearing (at least to the naked eye). Same with the 21mm. The Hex-M 28, my 35's and 50's were fine even before the mod.

As others have said, shoot that combo first before making any mods. That body and lens combo could very well be fine even without the mod.

As for photos, I don't think I have any of the 'before' photos so I can't really show a before and after comparison. The 'after' photos won't help much because they just appear like 'normal' images, which was the intent.


Here's some background from the Kolari site:

https://kolarivision.com/product/son...-lens-upgrade/
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Old 09-27-2017   #28
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I got the camera today with a 28-70. Lovely camera. Now i'm going to buy a RF lens!
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Old 12-30-2018   #29
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The Techart autofocus adapter for Leica M is the bee’s knees for adapting Leica lenses for the A7 II and later cameras. Used in conjunction with an LTM to M adapter, you can autofocus with lenses up to 90mm, and use the lens helical to allow close focus. It can also be used with M adapters to many other legacy lenses. Yes, it is quite pricey, but it lets you use autofocus on so many classic lenses.

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Old 12-30-2018   #30
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Yes, the TechArt Pro is fantastic. They were on sale a couple of weeks ago for $100 off at B&H.

It will autofocus above 90mm too. The 135mm setting defaults to AF off but that can be changed with their app or just turned on in camera. AF above 50mm may require some pre-focusing as the TAP focusing range may not be enough for close focus on longer focal lengths. The ability to focus in really close is nice too.

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Old 12-30-2018   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
Yes, the TechArt Pro is fantastic. They were on sale a couple of weeks ago for $100 off at B&H.

It will autofocus above 90mm too. The 135mm setting defaults to AF off but that can be changed with their app or just turned on in camera. AF above 50mm may require some pre-focusing as the TAP focusing range may not be enough for close focus on longer focal lengths. The ability to focus in really close is nice too.

Shawn
This was at a focal distance of about eleven inches using a Zeiss Biogon LTM. It also eliminates the edge smear that I got with this Bigon using a normal LTM adapter.


DSC06684 by Mike Novak, on Flickr
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Old 12-30-2018   #32
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I really wish I had seen the $100 sale for the Tech Art adapter in time. Bummer.

Seems like a great option fo shoot RF lenses on a Sony. I've been using the Voigtlander VM-E and it's wonderful. Having the closer minimum focus possibilities is quite handy, and with some lenses that on the A7Rii would focus just a tad past infinity you can just correct infinity on the adapter easily and then just focus the lens like you'd normally do.

As many have said, wides can display too much field curvature so you get wide open shots with melted backgrounds that get in focus towards the corners. looks weird. But it's not like it will drive you mad 100% of the time. More like 30%.

This is the ZM Planar 50/2 wide open on a Sony A7Rii.



and a 1:1 crop
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Old 12-30-2018   #33
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It was a great deal at $249 from B&H with free shipping. I use mine mostly with RF lenses. Works well and focuses fast. I really like it with a Canon RF 50 1.2. The lens has an infinity lock which keeps the lens were it needs to be for AF with the TAP at regular focus distances.

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Old 12-30-2018   #34
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I use a simple adapter to Canon FD, a Canon FD to M42 converter, and then put a Panagor 55mm 3.0 macro lens on it. Altogether it was something like 70 euros and it gets me shots like this:


without any trouble. Seems a bit silly to spend that much on an AF adapter when you need a tripod for good macro work anyway. Focusing manually is simple as pie with the focus enlargement from the Sony...
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Old 12-30-2018   #35
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The adapter isn't about macro, it is for regular shooting. Because of how it works it it also allows for lenses to be focused closer than their minimum focus distance. This is handy on LTM lenses that typically limited to a meter. My 35mm UC Hexanon will focus to about a foot on the TAP. The Voigtlander VM-E offers a similar functionality without the AF of course.

To be able to use existing lenses (and gain AF) this adapter is a deal IMO.

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Old 12-30-2018   #36
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I haven't used any Leica lenses on my A7II, but I've had great results from my old Nikon F Non-AI lenses from 20mm to 300mm. Buy a good adapter to start. I found it's worth the extra cost. The only RF lens I've used is a LTM Canon 50mm f1.8 and i am very pleased with the results. (FWIW, manual focus is very easy with the A7II.)
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Old 02-10-2019   #37
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I just purchased a Sony A7 so this thread is great, thanks to all for the info.
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Old 02-12-2019   #38
peterm1
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I don't (yet) have an A7 but I do have an NEX 7 and regularly use manual focus lenses including Leica ones and many other brands on it with suitable adapters. No gimmick it works really well. In fact I find it somewhat easier to focus than when using a Leica body. The image results are great and as Leica glass was designed for full frame (ie film cameras) they work fine on Sony FF bodies. Except possibly as one poster noted a few very wide angles which present light rays from the other edges at too acute an angle for sensors to cope with creating problems.
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Old 02-12-2019   #39
ColSebastianMoran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landberg View Post
Thank you! The thing is that i don't want to spend all the money to test. If i try this i want to use my old best friend the summicron 35. I loved it when i shot with Leicas. But i sold it when switching to Fuji. To buy a new one i need to sell my Fuji :P. Luxury problems..
LensRentals.com - A great way to test gear that you might want to buy. And, in some cases, if you like the item, you can pay a very reasonable (but not bargain) used equipment price and just keep it.

Plus they check every lens on purchase and between rentals. I think this reduces the risk of getting a lemon.
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Old 02-12-2019   #40
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Sony's focus peaking is very effective for using MF glass.
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