This is Part 2 of the “Leica on a Budget” series. We are testing the two latest contenders the Sony NEX-7 and the Fuji X-Pro1 with various M mount lenses. We will see if they have the quality and usability to be called “Leica on a Budget”. Which Camera will reign supreme? The Sony NEX-7 or the Fuji X-Pro1?
For part 2 we’ll take a look at the Zeiss 18mm F4.0 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 with different lighting and textured surfaces so you can get a larger range of how this lens will perform in different scenes with and different cameras.
Results: Scene 1 Sony NEX-7 with Zeiss 18mm F4.0
Results: Scene 2 Sony NEX-7 with Zeiss 18mm F4.0
Results: Scene 1 Fuji X-Pro1 with Zeiss 18mm F4.0
Results: Scene 2 Fuji X-Pro1 with Zeiss 18mm F4.0
As I’ve stated in other reviews of this lens, I love this lens. This Zeiss has very minimal distortion, very little smudging only at F4.0, very sharp throughout aperture range and very great as a “street photography” lens. The equivalent 35mm focal length is 27mm which is great for Landscape, Street Photography, and lifestyle, among many others. There are many traditional film street photographers out there that preferred a 28mm lens to the more traditional 35mm lens. If you tend to like wider focal length, for street scenes, then this is the APS-C equivalent lens for you. With a depth of field scale, this lens is well suited for hyper focal and zone focusing. Using F8.0 you can carry focus from about 2.5 feet to infinity. This is another “Tape the lens down and shoot” type lens. If this the only lens you will carry then its weight isn’t an issue. This lens is made of metal and glass, so its pretty heavy compared to the newer modern plastic lenses. I personally like the weight if I don’t have any other lens with me.
When used with the Sony NEX-7, the tilting screen is a great feature. It gives the Sony a +1 on the Fuji X-Pro1 and the Leica. It comes in very handy when you want to be inconspicuous while on the street, or to get a lower angle when photographing kids. It’s also nice to have the flexibility to view at many different angles and allows you to brace the camera to your body or leg, while still being able to frame the image.
When this lens is connected to the Fuji X-Pro1, It’s like someone sprinkled some magic dust on my head and I get transported to the 50′s, when being a photographer was so in and “en vogue”. I’m walking the streets making “decisive moment” images with Bresson and having discussions with him about what I was trying to say through my work. It really brings me back to the time of rangefinders and film. I get much more of an emotional connection with this camera then I do with the Sony. Why does it matter? or does it matter? To me it does! I like to have a connection with my equipment. Even though it’s just a tool to make images, having an emotional connection to a camera, and getting to know it well, leads me to use it a lot more than my other equipment. Even though that equipment may be technically superior. Maybe that’s why we have our favorite sports teams and follow them through thick and thin even when they keep loosing! Keep checking back and supporting the site! We’ll have Part 3 up in no time!! Happy Image Making!!!
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