This is Part 3 of the very popular “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 3 we’ll take a look at the Zeiss 35mm F2.0 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. Once again we will have two setups, one with a wider angle of view and one close up. How will these lenses perform in these different scenes. I wanted to use this scenes with lots of foliage in the background so you can see how the lens deals with Bokeh. This Zeiss 35mm F2.0 lens has the reputation of having a great Bokeh for 35mm film. Does it transfer to digital? We shall see.
Results: Sony NEX-7 with Zeiss 35mm F2.0
Results: Close Up Sony NEX-7 with Zeiss 35mm F2.0
Results: Fuji X-Pro1 with Zeiss 35mm F2.0
Results: Close Up Fuji X-Pro1 with Zeiss 35mm F2.0
Since Bokeh is such a subjective thing, I won’t spend too much time talking about it. I want the readers to decide for themselves, if they like the bokeh or not. To me at F2.0, I’m a fan of the way the bokeh looks with respects to the human form, on both the Sony NEX-7 and the Fuji X-Pro1. Let me explain, I’m a fan of the way the bokeh looks on the hand of the statue in the close up example and of the bass player’s hand on the wider shot. I’m however, not happy with how the foliage bokeh is rendered. There is some ghosting in the foliage area around highlights and in other highlight areas with heavy pattern the bokeh seems more jagged then smooth. I don’t see this as much on the areas of large flat monotone areas. Such as the body or arms of the statues.
As far as sharpness goes, this is where the lens starts to show its winning reputation. On both cameras with a wide open aperture this lens is sharp. Stopped down to F2.8 and beyond the lens is tack sharp. Only when you get to F22 do you see a little diffraction, and you lose a little sharpness. Not much but just a little.
I realize that this lens is not formulated to the modern digital APS-C crop bodies as someone wrote about my articles. They were formulated for full frame 35mm film cameras. The reason why I’m doing these articles is because as you know in photography, lenses are just tools in our tool bag. Each tool has a function and a specialty. We do tests so we can find out what that lens does that is special from other similar lenses. This way we can use each lens for its specialty and not just a “lens of all trades”. Secondarily, there are many of you out there such as myself that have older lenses lying around and we would like to reintroduce them into our working rotation of equipment. Its like recycling. It’s sad to see a piece of equipment, that at one point-in-time got regular usage, be locked up in a closet somewhere and not given a second life.
The Sony NEX-7 and Fuji X-Pro1 are great platforms of the new wave of modern cameras to readily accept these older lenses. Accompanied with great features built into them, such as Manual Focus Magnifications, and next generation adapters that allow for some correction of these manual lenses, they make great candidates to replace your film camera and get exceptionally great results. Now with all these test, we can find the specialty of these older lenses and apply them in actual use. So bring out all the older glass you got lying around. I you want to see it tested, just email me and you can send it to me and I’d be happy to test it for you. The community here is a great one and we’d all like to see the results. So if you got a review or would like to write a review for photoheadonline.com please contact me. We’d love to have you. Can’t wait to hear from you! Part 4 is just around the corner. So keep checking back or get connected with us Socially. Happy Image Making!!
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