Jun 232012
 

“Part 5″ of the very popular ‘Leica on a Budget’ series is ready. This is the last lens we’ll test for this 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? Please follow the links at the bottom for the last article of this series “Leica on a Budget: Conclusion”

Part 5

For part 5 we’ll take a look at the Leica 50mm F2.0 Summicron 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 this lens perform in these different scenes. The Leica 50mm F2.0 Summicron has the reputation for being one of the sharpest lenses out there. Will this reputation transfer to Digital?

Results: Sony NEX-7 with Leica 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Sony NEX-7 w/ 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Sony NEX-7 w/ 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Sony NEX-7 w/ 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Sony NEX-7 w/ 50mm F2.0

Results: Close Up Sony NEX-7 with Leica 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Sony NEX-7 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0 CloseUp

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Sony NEX-7 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0 CloseUp

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Sony NEX-7 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0 CloseUp

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Sony NEX-7 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0 CloseUp

Results: Fuji X-Pro1 with Leica 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0

Results: Close Up Fuji X-Pro1 with Leica 50mm F2.0

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0 CloseUp

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0 CloseUp

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0 CloseUp

Leica on a Budget: Part 5: Fuji X-Pro1 w/ Leica 50mm F2.0 CloseUp

Conclusion

So how does the king of sharpness perform in the digital world? To me the sharpness of this legendary lens falls a little short in the digital world. With the formulation of many digital specific lenses, the landscape of sharp lenses is ever-changing. The digital cameras these days are stuffed with so many mega pixels that camera manufacturers have to develop newer lenses that will be specifically formulated to take advantage of this added resolution. I’ve found for myself first hand, many of the lenses that I used with a 10 or 16 megapixel camera, are no longer acceptable with higher 22 or 24 megapixel cameras. It’s only  a difference of like 8 mega pixels you say? Why would there be a huge difference? But for some reason there is. For example even on a cropped body Sony NEX-7 I used the Leica 50mm F2.0 and the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS. At a wide open aperture the Sony 50mm F1.8 OSS lens was able to out resolve the Leica 50mm when we did some close up pictures of some hibiscus flowers. You cold see the individual hairs of the stem of the flower. See the 100% crop image here.

Is the performance horrible? Of course not. I’m really being nit picky here. For this test the Leica does very good. More accurately, comparing it to its peers, the Leica 50mm F2.0 Summicron is the sharpest of the bunch, when you factor in edge to edge sharpness and sharpness per given aperture. I just wanted to point out that our expectations of these older lenses should not be in the same class as modern lenses. The modern lenses are made specifically to the modern sensor’s specification and I’m sure it factors in larger sensors also. I think because I have found memories of the “wow” factor that I had when I looked at the negatives from this lens under a loupe, my expectation were pretty high. Usability wise, the lens lives up to my nostalgic memory. The smoothness of the lens, build quality, all top of the line. When connected to the Fuji X-Pro1 it really feels like you’re shooting a Leica Rangefinder. When connected to the Sony NEX-7, there is a little bit of a disconnect. It feels like a Frankenstein camera. I don’t mean that in a bad way, just different! ;)  Happy Image Making!!

Leica on a budget: Part 1

Leica on a budget: Part 2

Leica on a budget: Part 3

Leica on a budget: Part 4

Leica on a budget: Conclusion

Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and get the latest updates of new posts on photoheadonline.com

Please consider supporting this site by clicking on the links below or using the links tab on the home page. You’ll get the best price and we’ll get a small commission. Your support will help us with the upkeep of this site and allow us to bring you the best possible content possible. We appreciate your support!



 

  3 Responses to “Leica on a Budget: Part 5”

  1.  

    I was looking forward to this test, but must say that it’s considerably lacking.
    - did you use the Fuji M-mount?
    - focus ease comparison?
    - why not display the images from each camera side by side? I don’t really care to see all the images from one camera together
    - why not show the images using the digital camera lens you mentioned is better than the Leica 50mm?

    If you’re going to go through the trouble of creating this post, then might as well do a top notch job!

    •  

      Matt, I’m truly sorry that you feel this article was considerably lacking. I strive to provide the best reviews that I can, and sometimes I fall short. I’ve been writing so many articles that cover most of the questions you are asking but I failed to consider that if you were to read an article mid series you may wonder where the other info is. This is a failure on my part and I strive to correct some of the issues that you are addressing. To answer your questions directly, I didn’t use the fujifilm branded m mount adapter. I used the kippon LM to FX adapter and the rainbow imaging LM to NEX adapter. The reason that I don’t place the images side by side, is based on previous readers telling me that they prefer to see the crops from the left edge of the frame the center and right edge of the frame at all possible apertures. This way they can judge the edge to edge sharpness of the whole frame. I provide access to the files so you can download them and place the images side by side on your own but trying to do this logistically wouldn’t work to have three cropped images plus another three crops from another camera side by side. There wouldn’t be any room on the post page and it will look ugly. I’m open to suggestions though and would consider any you have to provide. I don’t currently have the knowledge to do what DPReview.com does as far as side by side comparisons. I have updated the post to provide an image of the test that we did of the flowers. You can find it here. Also I linked to another article that I wrote that talks about the Sony 50mm F1.8, and that it out resolves the Leica 50mm F2.0.

      I agree with you completely about doing a top notch job and I’m sorry I fell short this time. I’ve tried my best to update the posts to provide the content you suggested, and I’ll strive to do better in the future. Please feel free to contact me about any other suggestions you may have as to how to best present the test result images or any other suggestions that will make the website better. I’m about to open up the website to guest contributors and if you would like to help out please let me know. I welcome any and all suggestions, I just want the site to be a place where the photography community will be able to get the best content possible. Your comments and participation is invaluable! Look forward to hearing from you!

  2.  

    I re-read my last post and realized it was way too harsh. I apologize.
    You are very kind and gracious to have taken the time to do this in the first place.
    I sincerely apologize. You are a great human being. I appreciate your response very much.

Leave a Reply