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Leica M lenses on a NEX 6 or 7

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by will t, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. will t

    will t TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Jun 18, 2013
    Hi all, I'm new to this forum and have a question. I have a 70's era Leica M-6 with several lenses, all of which are in excellent condition, including a Summicron 1:2/50, a Summicron 1:2/35, an Elmarit-M 1:2.8/28, and an Elmarit 1:2.8/90. Novoflex makes an adapter that they say adapts Leica M lenses to the NEX cameras. I have read the dp reviews on the 6 and the 7 and they both sound great. I am torn between them, which of course is a completely separate matter, but the question I have for you is, if I were to purchase a 6 or a 7, say body only, or even as a kit, would this be a good move? Would the Leica lenses perform well on either of those camera bodies? Would I have any problems? I realize these are totally manual lenses so there would be no AF but would there be any other drawbacks? I look forward to your thoughts, comments, and suggestions.

    Thanks!

    Will

    IMG_9829.jpg
     
  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    These lenses should perform great on either body.

    The NEX-7 is more prone to magenta corners with certain wider rangefinder lenses - the 28mm should be OK and even if there is an issue it can be corrected with Cornerfix.

    The NEX-7 is also very demanding on lens performance - lesser optics often fail to out-resolve the sensor. But Leica optics are anything but lesser. ;)

    You are probably aware of the 1.5 crop factor. (The 28mm will behave like 42m, the 50 like 75mm and so on.) That crop factor is the biggest drag for me (though it does work to my advantage for product shooting). In spite of this, I find the NEX-7 is absolutely awesome with adapted manual lenses - I cannot imagine a better setup for manual focusing.

    Leica does now have a full-frame body with many of the advantages of mirrorless, but it is very expensive and from what I gather not as user-friendly as the NEXs. I'm going to keep shooting cropped with my NEX and wait for Sony (or someone else) to put out a full-frame mirrorless at a price point and with features that suit me better.
     
  3. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    Welcome to talknex. Since you are using rf lenses, I recommend nex-6. Nex-7 has problems with wide lenses, even with native Sony wides. Depending on your lenses, nex-7 might work but nex-6 is a safer choice. I use Voigtlander 12mm w/ nex-6 with no problems.
     
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Hey Will, welcome to TalkNEX. Are there any other drawbacks? Yes. You won't want to use autofocus much once you see how easy manual focus on the NEX bodies is. ;)
     
  5. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Very jealous!

    Post samples!

    You might consider getting a cheaper adapter off eBay, you could get one for each lens and still pay less.
     
  6. will t

    will t TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Jun 18, 2013
    Hi, thanks. do you mean how easy it is to manually focus my lenses attached to the NEX body?
     
  7. will t

    will t TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Jun 18, 2013
    Hi, I promise to post samples once I have some. Couldn't the adapter just stay on the body and I change out just the lens according to need? Would there be an advantage to having an adapter for each lens? Thanks!
     
  8. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Yeah, manual focus is super easy and you probably won't use the kit much if you get one.

    Might be a little fiddly to nail the focus on the 90mm wide open though.

    You could leave the adapter on the body, but it will likely be much trickier to swap out than the native mount (unless the novoflex is really much better)

    But the way I see it, if you get a cheap adapter that is nice n snug, you are actually saving wear on your lenses if you just leave the adapter on. And you can get adapters from china that are actually completely decent for 10-15 dollars
     
  9. will t

    will t TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Jun 18, 2013
    I might use the kit lens for travel, like street shooting so I can put the camera in my pocket, but even then the Leica 35 or 50 on the camera would probably be good for that.

    I'm thinking the focus peaking function will be very useful, particularly in a situation like a wide open 90.

    And those are excellent points about the adapters.

    Thank you for all your input. Very helpful.
     
  10. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Yes, that's exactly what I mean. :)

    I can't afford Leica glass, but I have Voigtlanders. I bought the LTM to M mount adapter rings for all of them and one M mount to NEX adapter. I figure if I'm going to wear something out it'll be either the adapter rings or the NEX adapter, not the camera.
     
  11. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I don't know what your budget is, but if I had those lenses, I would probably invest in one of the better adapters (Novoflex or Voigtlander). IMO those lenses deserve the best and it would be a shame to mate them up with something cheap and questionable in feel (not to mention infinity focus). But that's just me.

    Focus peaking can be useful. I also recommend setting your camera up so it provides "MF Assist" at the touch of a button. Filling the viewfinder with a magnified view of an area of your choosing - you'll wonder how you were ever able to nail focus any other way! :)
     
  12. will t

    will t TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Jun 18, 2013
    You raise a good point. This adapter is described as being made of brass and aluminum, and it certainly has a compelling price point:
    shot 1.png
    but I agree with not wanting to take a risk in terms of lens or camera damage, or even performance. I don't know how often I will change lenses, probably not that often. This one is a lot more money:
    shot 2.png
    Though I do not have an unlimited budget, it does make sense to have all the components be close in quality and not have one part much less so. Anyway, it is definitely a good question.
     
  13. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Not to put the fear into you - I've had good luck with some some cheaper adapters as well. All have been fine with the camera - fit with lenses varies quite a bit IME. (It would have to be really bad to damage something.)

    I'll do the $15 adapters on donated or garage sale lenses. For a system I'm going to be using a lot, I'd pay extra to (hopefully) get the best possible fit. I know it is possible to make an adapter that will be good for a lifetime of lens changes & have the spacing right for infinity focus. But this won't always happen for under $20. (Or even for $100 sometimes, unfortunately...)
     
  14. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    I use a Hawk's Factory Close Focus Adapter for my Vöigtlander. It's really nice to get the close focus.

    i-6NLJMQS-1200x1200.jpg

    There is a thread about in on TalkNex here
     
  15. will t

    will t TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Jun 18, 2013
    I see a listing for a "HAWK'S FACTORY LEICA-M L-M to SONY NEX E-mount MACRO TUBE HELICOID V2.5". Is this the one you're talking about? The asking price is $179 and it is said to be made in Taiwan.

    Thanks
     
  16. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    I think I have v.2, but yes.