Leica 35mm Summaron on Sony A7

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by ilovehatephotography, May 30, 2014.

  1. ilovehatephotography

    ilovehatephotography TalkEmount Regular

    153
    May 30, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ed
    Hi everyone,

    I recently switched to the Sony A7 from the Canon 5D Mark II. Started off with the Pentax K-mount so I am pretty excited with the range of MF lenses available for the E-mount. I adapted a Leica 35mm f/2.8 Summaron lens (from 1959) to the A7 with a Fotasy lens adapter bought off of Amazon. The lens comes with viewfinder goggles originally for the Leica M3, but I think it's a pretty handsome and funky setup on the A7. Here's what it looks like:

    1527068_10154175673340444_8568256440760568452_n.

    I did a shoot on Acorn Street here in Boston this week, and I'm pretty impressed with the lens and the Sony A7 in handling MF lenses. The "Focus Magnifier" option is easy and relatively quick to use. I used to have a MC Porst Color Reflex 55mm f/1.2 for the Pentax K-Mount adapted to the EOS mount for many years. While the bokeh was beautiful, using MF lenses on the 5D Mark II was time-consuming and awkward. You have to go into live view, manually zoom into the image, adjust focus, zoom out to make sure the composition is okay, sometimes re-zoom in to check focus, and then take the shot. On the Sony A7, I mapped the Focus Magnifier to the C1 button and with just two clicks and a twist, the subject is in focus. A half-pressed shutter zooms back out, which makes recomposing painless. I find Focus Peaking to be useable for street photography at small apertures but it is generally not accurate enough for portrait work.

    dsc00385.

    The Summaron works beautifully on the Sony. The lens is sharp and the colors are intense. It is very sharp in the center wide open, with the contrast in the corners improving from f/4 onwards. It is prone to flaring when shooting into the sun, but I suspect that's due to the single-coated lens elements. Going to look for a lens hood next.

    dsc00381.

    Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed my brief write up. For more full-sized photos and a complete writeup, you are welcomed to visit my blog post here.

    Best regards,
    Ed

    dsc00434-xpan.
     

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  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Welcome to the forum, Ed. I look forward to seeing more of your photos with this lens. And I bet you get some funny looks when you have that contraption mounted on your camera. ;)
     
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  3. ilovehatephotography

    ilovehatephotography TalkEmount Regular

    153
    May 30, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ed
    Thanks WoodWorks. I can say, I get a lot of curious smiles when I use this lens + camera combo. People aren't sure what it's supposed to be, honestly, before I bought it I wasn't sure it was going to work ergonomically. Happy to report that it does. :)

    I see you have the FD 20mm f/2.8 in your signature. I'm looking at that lens next.
     
  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Yes, I just picked that one up recently, and I'm still finding out how best to use it. But it's proving to be a pleasure. There's a sample thread here.
     
  5. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Looks kinda steampunk. :p I'm actually surprised the goggles cleared the grip so you could mount it. Does open up new possibilities. ;)
     
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  6. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Agreed. But hey, the images are great.
     
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  7. ilovehatephotography

    ilovehatephotography TalkEmount Regular

    153
    May 30, 2014
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ed
    You're right, I wonder if the chrome will ever wear off on the brass so the lens turns gold (to complete the steampunk look) haha. I was worried about how the goggles would affect handling, but it's manageable and isn't too front heavy. They are just small enough that you won't notice them if you're actually shooting with this lens.