I had a reader ask me what camera would be the best camera for his older M mount lenses that didn’t cost over $5000.00 USD. He had an assortment of Leica M mount lenses as well as a few Voigtlanders. So basically he wants a Leica M9 on a budget. I’ve been wondering what the answer to this question is for a long time also, so I decided to do some tests. This will be a multi part review that will test the two latest contenders the Sony NEX-7 and the Fuji X-Pro1 with various M mount lenses and compare them against each other. Which Camera will reign supreme? The Sony NEX-7 or the Fuji X-Pro1?
For part 1 we’ll take a look at the Voigtlander 15mm F4.5 lens on both the Sony NEX-7 and the Fuji X-Pro1. For the Sony NEX-7 we used a Rainbow imaging LM to NEX adapter and for the Fuji X-Pro1 we used the Kippon LM to FX adapter. I decided to do two setups one at Close up about 0.5 meters or 1.5 feet, and one at infinity, so you can see the difference in performance with each lens and camera combination.
Results: Close-Up Sony NEX-7 with Voigtlander 15mm F4.5
Results: Infinity: Sony NEX-7 with Voigtlander 15mm F4.5
Results: Close-Up Fuji X-Pro1 with Voigtlander 15mm F4.5
Results: Infinity Fuji X-Pro1 with Voigtlander 15mm F4.5
There are a couple of surprising results when you look at the images side by side. The first of which is that the Voigtlander 15mm F4.0 has more smear on the edges of the frame on the Fuji X-Pro1 vs. the Sony NEX-7. This was a surprise to me because of the color shift that the Sony has with this lens, I thought maybe the flange distance was too close, but as it turns out it may be the opposite. The Fuji X-Pro1 may have a different flange distance that may cause the edges to have more smear then the Sony. The smear does go away at F8.0 but that is one stop more than it disappears on the Sony (Sony smear is gone at F5.6). In practical shooting this may be a small issue for street photographers that like to shoot wide open, but when using hyper focal shooting, it is less of an issue because you will most likely be shooting at F5.6 or F8.0 for most scenes.
Sharpness throughout the F-Stop range is good and if you were to use hyper focal focusing technique and an ISO of 400-800 you may not need to focus at all for subjects between 1.5 feet to infinity at F8.0. “Tape the Lens down and Shoot” pretty cool!! Can’t be easier than that. In the next articles with different lenses we’ll start to build a profile of these camera’s to see if they really can be a ”Leica on a Budget”. Check back often for the next parts of this series! Happy Image Making!!
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