7Artisans 35mm vs Cron Asph on M240
Old 01-16-2019   #1
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7Artisans 35mm vs Cron Asph on M240

For those curious as to how a $200 7Artisans 35mm F2 lens compares to a $3000 Leica Summicron Asph 35mm f2, I put both on my M240 for a couple of quick comparison shots. I have a more interesting (IMO) thread where I show pics from the 7A on film, which I shoot much more.
Anyway, shot in RAW at f2 with lens profile turned on and off in camera. The 7A is 6 bit coded - co-incidentally as a Cron Asph 35.
No edits to the images - no adjustments to exposure, contrast, sharpness, colour etc. Straight out of camera so you can see the actual differences.
FYI the lens hood for the Leica costs as much as the 7A lens...
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Old 01-16-2019   #2
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7A with profile off:



Summicron Asph with profile off:

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Old 01-16-2019   #3
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7A with profile on:



Summicron Asph with profile on:

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Old 01-16-2019   #4
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7A 1:1 crop:



Summicron Asph 1:1 crop:



And the bokeh test - cropped from the back top:

7A:


Summicron Asph:

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Old 01-16-2019   #5
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So... what we see is the barrel distortion that everyone has complained about with the 7A
BUT WAIT!!! I see pincushion distortion with the Leica lens.
And in use, I have noticed that the 7A seems to handle flare better.

Sharpness is about equal - and these are unretouched images. So you can adjust sharpness, colour, contrast, distortion etc in post as I would do with any lens and any image.

So there you have it. A $250 Chinese lens vs a $3300 German lens.
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Old 01-17-2019   #6
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i must say distortion on your photos with 7a is barely visible ... i expected way more ... and sharpness and bokeh are totally equal...
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Old 01-17-2019   #7
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Gold. Thanks mate.
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Old 01-17-2019   #8
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Hat off to Chinese products.
It's really amazing to produce with extremly low cost.
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7Artisans 35mm vs Cron Asph on M240
Old 01-17-2019   #9
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7Artisans 35mm vs Cron Asph on M240

Not bad, not bad at all!

With modern design and manufacturing equipment it's pretty easy to design and manufacture a lens that's sharp in the center of the frame though. Even Miyazaki-san does it and AFAIK he still assembles his lenses on his basement bench by himself!

How about some off center or corner sharpness comparison shots?! That would give us a better idea on whether it's worth forking out 15 times more for a Summicron!
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Old 01-17-2019   #10
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Yes this lens sharpness is amazing. I traded mine and cash for a Summicron 35mm V4 but really regret that. The 35mm IV has no distortion and is a bit sharper but I liked colors, bokeh and contrast more with the 7Artisans. Think Iīll just get another one.

Distortion with the 7Artisan 35mm is better seen by keeping 3-5m from the object. For distortion correction I always used Summilux 35mm profile in Lightroom, makes it almost possible to shoot architecture.

A tip I learned from my time with the 35mm: If you have excessive Italian flag or rough focus after calibrating the coupling cam, just loosen up the two screws and gently retighten as they are not ment to be tightened too much!

I have the 28mm f1.4 in the mail...looking very much forward to that lens!
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Old 01-17-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Not bad, not bad at all!

With modern design and manufacturing equipment it's pretty easy to design and manufacture a lens that's sharp in the center of the frame though. Even Miyazaki-san does it and AFAIK he still assembles his lenses on his basement bench by himself!

How about some off center or corner sharpness comparison shots?! That would give us a better idea on whether it's worth forking out 15 times more for a Summicron!
In that case, we dont need Leica lenses anymore, DO we? LOL
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Old 01-17-2019   #12
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Ok guys. The 7artisan is a beautiful achievement but you can not judge a lens with a few images posted on the web. Moreover, the blurred does not seem to me really similar in these photos.
To really understand the soul of a lens you have to use it for a long time in the field.
I would like to add, by direct experience, that I personally consider the aspheric Summicron 35 the worst Leica lens I've ever had. Excellent contrast but unsatisfactory definition and blurred beautiful but abrupt. Much better the Summicron 35 IV, fantastic.
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Old 01-17-2019   #13
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Corner sharpness when you are focusing further away isnīt impressive. I had the problem that my lens was slightly unsharp on the left of the frame and much better on the right when focusing far or to infinity. I could even see it af f8. In my limited time with that lens decentering was the only real drawback for me but Iīm sure there is sample variation because there just cannot be a quality control except "doesnīt fall apart" at that price point.

I will try a second one and reassemble the lens elements if nessesary.

Could you show your lenses performance at infinity compared to the cron? f2.8-f8 would be nice! thanks OP :-)
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Old 01-17-2019   #14
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The Summicron is clearly the better lens. It has to be, it costs more.
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Old 01-17-2019   #15
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I see a little more coma around the edges with the 7A. Still pretty impressive that it can hold its own against the cron though.

Not sure if I can see much difference with the profile on and off. Can anyone see a difference? When I shoot with my 240 I don't even bother with profiles anymore. I don't shoot jpg so it's not really an issue. Just throw a profile on it for the exact lens in LR afterward.
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Old 01-17-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKRCAT View Post

Not sure if I can see much difference with the profile on and off. Can anyone see a difference? When I shoot with my 240 I don't even bother with profiles anymore. I don't shoot jpg so it's not really an issue. Just throw a profile on it for the exact lens in LR afterward.
I see some magenta shading in the edges with the profile off, which greatly decreases with profile on. Remember these images have zero post processing, so everything can be improved with little effort.

Interestingly I also see the magenta with the Leica lens, but to a lesser degree. The one thing, the Leica lens - of course - is made so much nicer. The 7A is a fantastic tool. The Leica lens is a fantastic tool and also a nice chunk of industrial art.
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Old 01-17-2019   #17
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I tested a 35/3.5 Summaron-M against the 35/2 ASPH V1 on a GXR. I was stunned by how close the performance was in the crop region. I don't think it's particularly difficult to match the "performance" of a modern Leica lens.

That being said, the ASPH has a "signature" look, particularly with color, that is easily discernible. It's difficult to describe, but the objects have more "depth" and the image seems more smoothly rendered.
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Old 01-17-2019   #18
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As it has been pointed out already here, screen shots do not reveal all details. Prints are needed. An acceptable methodology would include the use of a tripod to make sure that there is no negative outcome due to hand shake.

This is very interesting.

I recall the car Genesis that was selling for over $50k and that made claims that it was as good as a Mercedes Benz. Users of MB snubbed the Genesis. This is life.
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7Artisans 35mm vs Cron Asph on M240
Old 01-17-2019   #19
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7Artisans 35mm vs Cron Asph on M240

Last year, deciding which 35mm lens to keep, I did a shot for shot test of the CV 35/2.5 Color Skopar and the Zeiss 35/2.8 Biogon. I shot a whole roll of landscapes, portraits and detailed images (on colour film and at all apertures up to f/8) and judging by the lab scans (good enough for my purposes) there was no identifiable differences except in a few shots there were two in the CV favour: a slight increase in contrast, and a brighter exposure at same exposure settings. And of course the slim CV form factor is better for my use. After that, I did not feel the need to look beyond the superb and supremely affordable Color Skopar for my daily lens. I would consider the 7 Artisans but ... if looks so ugly! The typeface is just horrendous. Yes, I know, but I care about typefaces.
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Old 01-17-2019   #20
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Quote:
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As it has been pointed out already here, screen shots do not reveal all details. Prints are needed. An acceptable methodology would include the use of a tripod to make sure that there is no negative outcome due to hand shake.
Here's where I disagree. The methodology that I used was the same for both lenses, shot at the same time, same light, same everything.
Sure it was handheld, but both are. And from the 1:1 crops, you can see there is no camera shake. You can see fine hairs in sharp detail, and w/o any post processing - sharpness/contrast added.

What I find slightly amusing about this is I own these lenses - cheap and expensive. So I'm about as unbiased a reviewer as you could find. I shot them the same way, posted the results. People can see, people can decide on what they are seeing.

Should I have mounted the camera on a tripod and performed hyper critical shots? No. Because again when you can see fine hairs what else are you expecting? What are you looking for? And how do you use these lenses in real life? I go out and take photos of what I find interesting. I never bring a tripod unless there is some extremely specific project that I have in mind.

Ultimately it comes down to this... think about what you are asking. If you need an extremely controlled environment to determine differences between a lens that costs $200, and one that costs $3000 because you can't tell the difference with this test, well congratulations to 7Artisans!!!
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Old 01-17-2019   #21
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I would consider the 7 Artisans but ... if looks so ugly! The typeface is just horrendous. Yes, I know, but I care about typefaces.
I agree about the typeface. It just doesnt look primo. That is why earlier I wrote:

Quote:
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The one thing, the Leica lens - of course - is made so much nicer. The 7A is a fantastic tool. The Leica lens is a fantastic tool and also a nice chunk of industrial art.
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Old 01-17-2019   #22
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Very entertaining thread! Probably, my Summarit-M 35 2.5 will give more distortions in test shot like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkFunkDunk View Post
Last year, deciding which 35mm lens to keep, I did a shot for shot test of the CV 35/.25 Color Skopar and the Zeiss 35/2.8 Biogon. I shot a whole roll of landscapes, portraits and detailed images (on colour film and at all apertures up to f/8) and judging by the lab scans (good enough for my purposes) there was no identifiable differences except in a few shots there were two in the CV favour: a slight increase in contrast, and a brighter exposure at same exposure settings. And of course the slim CV form factor is better for my use. After that, I did not feel the need to look beyond the superb and supremely affordable Color Skopar for my daily lens. I would consider the 7 Artisans but ... if looks so ugly! The typeface is just horrendous. Yes, I know, but I care about typefaces.
You not going to find any talks about CV CS 3D pop. But Biogon C has earned it.
Here is no need to use lab scans and loupe, plenty of photos to see where Biogon C is superior to Color Skopar, which is just neutral lens on color and flat one on bw.
I owned and used heavily all of the three versions of CV CS 35 2.5.
PII became loose on focus tab and lens block after exclusive use on M4-2.
I purchased Summarit 35 2.5 and never looked back. This one holds the use well comparing to getting loose CV and wobbling Zeiss.
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Old 01-17-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thafred View Post
Corner sharpness when you are focusing further away isnīt impressive. I had the problem that my lens was slightly unsharp on the left of the frame and much better on the right when focusing far or to infinity. I could even see it af f8. In my limited time with that lens decentering was the only real drawback for me but Iīm sure there is sample variation because there just cannot be a quality control except "doesnīt fall apart" at that price point.

I will try a second one and reassemble the lens elements if nessesary.

Could you show your lenses performance at infinity compared to the cron? f2.8-f8 would be nice! thanks OP :-)
Sounds like MS Optics quality control lol
Hopefully you have better luck with your second copy!
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Old 01-18-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Ultimately it comes down to this... think about what you are asking. If you need an extremely controlled environment to determine differences between a lens that costs $200, and one that costs $3000 because you can't tell the difference with this test, well congratulations to 7Artisans!!!
Yes to this, 1000x this!
Might I add that if the same 7artisans lens was an 40year old vintage we would all rave about the cheap Summicron Killer from the 80s..also it would sell for >800$ if it was vintage with this picture quality and handling

Iīm a fan allready, would like a 50mm f1.1 too but It is too close to my 50mm f1.2 canon ltm unfortunately (IQ looks almost identical from the pictures)
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Old 01-18-2019   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Sounds like MS Optics quality control lol
Hopefully you have better luck with your second copy!
Thanks! honestly I did only see that with my M9 CCD sensor, on my Film M cameras the lens was quite perfect. Also for 210€ from aliexpress this is not really comparable to MS Optics, is it?
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Old 01-18-2019   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thafred View Post
Corner sharpness when you are focusing further away isnīt impressive. I had the problem that my lens was slightly unsharp on the left of the frame and much better on the right when focusing far or to infinity. I could even see it af f8.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Ultimately it comes down to this... think about what you are asking. If you need an extremely controlled environment to determine differences between a lens that costs $200, and one that costs $3000 because you can't tell the difference with this test, well congratulations to 7Artisans!!!
I dunno, Huss, snapping away at infinity and f8 isn't exactly an extremely controlled environment

Quote:
Originally Posted by thafred View Post
Thanks! honestly I did only see that with my M9 CCD sensor, on my Film M cameras the lens was quite perfect. Also for 210€ from aliexpress this is not really comparable to MS Optics, is it?
True, that. With MS Optics you're paying for rarity & the novelty factor. You're certainly not paying for IQ, build quality, or ergonomics - all of which are pretty woeful
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Old 01-18-2019   #27
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I like my 7A 50/1,1. It is a very good lens. It was cheap too.
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Old 01-18-2019   #28
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This is not how I pictured you, as I never have seen the face but have read your comments :-)
I agree on the conclusion that lenses come close enough, for general intents and purposes.
Both lenses are too sharp for my taste.
P.S.
Two obvious points:
1) if photographic image' s worth is defined by the beauty of bokeh quality or level of sharpness then god help that photographer
2) All this proves nothing. Yes, other lens can deliver similar results. So as other (no-Leica) camera. So what. That's not why we want Leica. That's not why one buys Cadillac or BMW.
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Old 01-22-2019   #29
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I'm a fan of both the 7artisans 35/2 and 50/1.1, but neither is 'perfect' or possibly even close to it.

Referring to the 35/2 specifically, I was impressed by good sharpness at near distances in the central area of the frame. That is what we see in the samples here. However, as also mentioned by another member, at least my copy, if used for farther distance subjects that span the frame (landscapes), where I might want good across frame performance, the lens is a disappointment. It doesn't reach acceptable edge sharpness even by f/8. If I want a somewhat smeary look, then it's great. My copy also easily produces noticeable veiling flare in some backlit situations (i.e. a room light at or just outside the frame). The 6-bit coding of my copy also does not work with my M240, but the 50/1.1's coding does.

Am I disappointed? Not really. I think it's a nice lens for people photos with imperfections that are manageable and result in images that potentially aren't as sterile as modern designs. My take everywhere 35mm remains the Voigtlander 35/1.7 because it's a great performer in most respects with an attractive price/performance ratio.
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Old 02-15-2019   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunkFunkDunk View Post
I would consider the 7 Artisans but ... if looks so ugly! The typeface is just horrendous. Yes, I know, but I care about typefaces.
It's funny you mention that, it's really true. The lens looks like one of those big white lettered muscle car tires... Not very svelte. Its a very well performing lens though but it's not 100% there design wise. I bought one of those B+W UV filters (with the text on the inside of the filter ring glass) and I'm much happier when I see my Leica waiting for me on the shelf. It breaks up that terrible font and adds little much needed length to the squat design.

I originally bought it only to test out the 35mm, since I'm a 50 shooter but I've grown to love this little lens!
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Old 04-17-2019   #31
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I just received a 7A 35/2. Bought it for the M6 but tried it on my M262.
I used to have a ASPH cron but I had to let it go, so I can only compare to a Minolta 40/2 (which really is no fair comparison I know: being not as wide etc).
In terms of center sharpness the 7A is def. usable with back focus that would probably be solved by adjustment, the 40 is better tho.
Corners (infinity) don't come out at all, not even at f/8. No match for the M-rokkor.

It doesn't reach infinity according to the RF, but that makes sense with lens being a bit too much behind the RF.
My RF is super adjusted, the 262 just came back from Leica in January and works ace w/ the 40.
My main problem is tho .. the focus is really quit stiff. I will probably send that thing back and rather get a used CV 35/2.5 instead.
I like the rendition of the lens tho, probably tied to the imperfection
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Old 04-17-2019   #32
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I just received a 7A 35/2. Bought it for the M6 but tried it on my M262.
I used to have a ASPH cron but I had to let it go, so I can only compare to a Minolta 40/2 (which really is no fair comparison I know: being not as wide etc).
In terms of center sharpness the 7A is def. usable with back focus that would probably be solved by adjustment, the 40 is better tho.
Corners (infinity) don't come out at all, not even at f/8. No match for the M-rokkor.

It doesn't reach infinity according to the RF, but that makes sense with lens being a bit too much behind the RF.
My RF is super adjusted, the 262 just came back from Leica in January and works ace w/ the 40.
My main problem is tho .. the focus is really quit stiff. I will probably send that thing back and rather get a used CV 35/2.5 instead.
I like the rendition of the lens tho, probably tied to the imperfection
I guess I dont understand how you can rate the lens when the focus is
off. 7A provide user focus adjustability for just this occasion. I wish Voigtlander did the same as both my 35 1.2 and ZM 50 1.5 are off on all my perfectly calibrated bodies.

No issues w corners either. Photos can be seen in this thread:

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=167375

Not liking too stiff focusing would be an issue.
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Old 04-17-2019   #33
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I don't understand it, either. Digital Leica and lens with alignment tool, capabilities.
Why not to adjust it first and then take pictures to see corners and infinity?
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Old 04-17-2019   #34
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When the center is in focus at infinity and the corners aren’t then there is no amount of calibration that would fix that, right?
The thing out of alignment is the RF cam, I can still focus infinity w/o it, right?
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Old 04-18-2019   #35
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To clarify, the corners aren’t totally garbage. they are at f/8 what I remember the ASPH looked like at f/2. I haven’t bought that lens for the corners of the frame, I bought it for film and my subjects are mostly in the middle (I suck at framing, ha)
The stiff focus sucks tho, I will write the seller and ask if he has a better copy.
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Old 04-18-2019   #36
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If the focus is not set up correctly the lens can focus past infinity. Or before. So you cannot assume that those images are actually in focus just because you have the focus dial at the hard stop. I can clearly see this when I use lenses w adapters on my Nikon Z7.

First thing you need to do is calibrate the focus. As you have a digital camera it is easy. It is even easier if you had an M240 w LiveView than your M262.
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Old 04-22-2019   #37
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Is the 7A lens heavy? I'm trying to find the weight of the lens online, but I'm seeing different specs on different sites.
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Old 05-29-2019   #38
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I have just had my first outing with this lens on the M2, it handles better than any other 35 that I have. For some reason I got a $20 discount at B&H with Paypal. I took quite a few shots at infinity, now I need to log some at closest focus. I don't yet understand the adjustment process and am hoping that it is good out of the box.

Is there an image thread for this lens?
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Old 05-29-2019   #39
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I have just had my first outing with this lens on the M2, it handles better than any other 35 that I have. For some reason I got a $20 discount at B&H with Paypal. I took quite a few shots at infinity, now I need to log some at closest focus. I don't yet understand the adjustment process and am hoping that it is good out of the box.

Is there an image thread for this lens?
If you can borrow a digital Leica M like an M240, use that to check focus. I've found that if 7A lenses show correct focus on my M240, they are also correct on all my film Ms.
Saves an awful lot of time!
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