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JimmyD

Leica M & Zeiss ZM on Sony

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Anyone contemplating adapting their Leica M or Zeiss ZM glass to Sony shouldn't hesitate.  Rangefinder and other legacy lenses 35mm and longer generally do not have the corner smearing / colorcast issues on the A7R ii, and 21mm and longer have no issues on the A6500.  And, of course, if you want to go all in, the Solari UT thin sensor modification ($300 and change) eliminates

issues with wide angles.  Throw the Techart Pro adapter in and you get autofocus to boot.

 

Attached photo is typical example (Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 on the A6500, at 1.4, autofocus via the Techart adapter).   

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Here is one I shot with an adapted Zeiss 21mm (I think?) 

 

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/are-you-a-frustrated-fashion-photog-with-no-girls-to-shoot/

 

The Sony is a helluva cam for the sensor. The ergonomics are so-so, but it is just doable for my use. (Compared to my Leicas ergonomics, which have been in the shop for 6 months with no end in sight.)

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I unfortunately used a Zeiss 15mm f2.8 ZM with my A7rII back in November, the results are so disappointing, wish I read this thread earlier! :'(

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I unfortunately used a Zeiss 15mm f2.8 ZM with my A7rII back in November, the results are so disappointing, wish I read this thread earlier! :'(

 

In general, adapted retrofocus super wide lenses do not have any problems on a Sony A7xxx camera!  I am using a row of C/Y Zeiss glasses successfully on my A7 and A6000!

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In general, adapted retrofocus super wide lenses do not have any problems on a Sony A7xxx camera!  I am using a row of C/Y Zeiss glasses successfully on my A7 and A6000!

 

But definitely not on my A7rII and A7rIII.

I did some tests with 2 different M to E adaptors and had the same results, with my ZM 15mm f2.8, up to a quarter of the image near the edges are very blurry, even at f8 to 11. I tested it against the E mount Laowa 12mm f2.8, seems like the best IQ with the ZM is at f16 and the Laowa at f11. With the GM 16-35mm f2.8, the edges are very sharp even at f2.8. The OP (JimmyD) did point out there will be corner smearing/colour cast with legacy lenses wider than 35mm on the A7rII. :-(

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There's a fundamental difference between rangefinder wide lenses and retrofocus wides. The latter were designed to allow space for the mirror in SLRs, while rangefinder lenses get very close to the film (or sensor). Most of these have problems in the corners on digital sensors if their focal length is 28mm or less, like Zeiss Contax G series. Of course, being FF, the problem doesn't show on APS-C (maybe with very wide ones).

 

A retrofocus wide like my Contax C/Y 18mm works very well, the legendary, but very expensive 21mm too.

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I unfortunately used a Zeiss 15mm f2.8 ZM with my A7rII back in November, the results are so disappointing, wish I read this thread earlier! :'(

 

 

15 2.8 is a great lens, but you get some vignetting.

 

Natural vignetting is not a problem for a lot of my photos, so I don't care.(These are not from the 15, but will give you an example of how I don't mind a little vignetting.)

 

https://danielteolijr.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/crazy-copyright-1975-daniel-d-teoli-jr-mr.jpg?w=450&h=450&crop=1

 

https://danielteolijr.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/selection-from-americans-60-years-after-frank-2016-daniel-d-teoli-jr-mm.jpg

 

If vignetting is an issue, you can use a special Zeiss ND filter to counter it.

 

If you are looking for razor sharp edges then forget it. But again, edges are not usually a concern to what I shoot. The one bad thing I dislike about the 15 is it is very heavy. But it is built like a tank. I dropped my twice from a table onto the floor. One time on carpet, one time on wooden floor. No problems...took it like a champ!

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There's a fundamental difference between rangefinder wide lenses and retrofocus wides. The latter were designed to allow space for the mirror in SLRs, while rangefinder lenses get very close to the film (or sensor). Most of these have problems in the corners on digital sensors if their focal length is 28mm or less, like Zeiss Contax G series. Of course, being FF, the problem doesn't show on APS-C (maybe with very wide ones).

 

A retrofocus wide like my Contax C/Y 18mm works very well, the legendary, but very expensive 21mm too.

 

 

 

Yes, if you are doing edge critical work then LM superwides can be an issue. But the only way I will shoot the Sony is with M lenses. I hate dummied down lenses these camera companies are making nowadays. The M lenses offer manual focus, aperture and are small.

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I have a 7 and next rangefinder lenses (I have also Leica M2):

 

Leitz Tele-Elmarit  M    90 mm   f 2.8          

Zeiss Planar  ZM  T*    50 mm   f 2.0    

Zeiss Biogon ZM  T*     35 mm  f 2.0  

 

 

All provide sharpness that I could not even dream about earlier. Zeiss Biogon 35 mm  has something strange in corners when shot fully open, but by f 4  it is perfect too. 90 mm Leitz is also a fantastic lens and can be bought by reasonable price. If you have never owned any 90 mm lens, get one, 90 mm is extremely useful length. 

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On ‎1‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 4:54 PM, Danze said:

 

But definitely not on my A7rII and A7rIII.

I did some tests with 2 different M to E adaptors and had the same results, with my ZM 15mm f2.8, up to a quarter of the image near the edges are very blurry, even at f8 to 11. I tested it against the E mount Laowa 12mm f2.8, seems like the best IQ with the ZM is at f16 and the Laowa at f11. With the GM 16-35mm f2.8, the edges are very sharp even at f2.8. The OP (JimmyD) did point out there will be corner smearing/colour cast with legacy lenses wider than 35mm on the A7rII. 😞

Definately, there must be somethings wrong with your ZM 15 f2,8 lens!  Send it in to the ZEISS Rep.-Service and ask for an review and cost estimate!

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