Sonylux. A quick overview of the A7II and Leica Summilux 50

Spread the love

Recently the weather here has been dreadful. Rain, wind and more rain. Oregon has finally reached the beginning of it’s  acclaimed 9 months of rain season. Thus, photographic activities come to a seasonal end. Having said that, it’s not all doom and gloom. We do get the occasional break in the weather allowing us to run outside and snap a few pictures while we can. Don’t get me wrong, wet weather also presents some great shooting opportunity. But for me, I have been stuck indoors for a few days now watching Game of Thrones from the beginning again. Then all of a sudden we where blessed by the 7 Gods and the weather broke with  Dorne like weather that those of the Night’s watch envy and long for. So off I went across the narrow streets with my A7II and Leica 50mm Summilux.

 

Ever since I have been shooting with Sony,  my go to 50’s have typically been the Zeiss 55 Fe or the Zeiss 50 A with the LAEA4 adapter. I have long since disavowed my Leica cameras. But today I dug up a lens that’s been in storage for a while. A beautiful Leica 50mm limited edition LHSA summilux. Although it’s fair to say I don’t care much for Leica cameras anymore, there is no denying they produce beautiful glass. So why not shoot it with the Sony? Well, That’s just what I did today and am here to provide you some feedback on the lens and it’s performance on the A7II.

Overall, this lens is a gem to hold. It truly is a fine example of engineering and presentation. The feel of the lens in hand is simply comforting. Mounted on the A7II with a Fotodiox Pro adapter, the lens looks quite small but don’t let that fool you. It is a solid heavy lens that forces the camera to tip when placed on a flat surface.

Focusing the lens manually is quite enjoyable. With focus peak turned on, it really is safe to say that on my camera, the peaking confirmation is very accurate. However, this lens is no match for the Zeiss Loxia when it comes to focus smoothness. The Zeiss is buttery smooth with absolutely no hesitation or interruptions while you turn that barrel. On the other hand, the Leica feels dry and lacks that graceful lens rotation you get with the Loxia. That is really surprising considering the Leica is a $6000.00 lens and the Zeiss a $900.00 lens.

The lens is razor sharp and renders beautifully. It delivers a beautiful bokeh that is subtle and pleasant to view. It’s diaphragm although not perfectly circular is round enough to render out of focus highlights magically.

DSC00602

 

I wish the lens had better close range focusing. There are situations when you feel you need to be really close to your subject but are just a few inches too far. Other lenses without being of macro design focus a lot closer.

DSC00563

I do find that compared to the Zeiss Loxia or my other Zeiss lenses, the contrast is not as vivid or snappy for my taste. It is very flat and needs some post processing to bring it to life. However, this type of rendering is great for people shots and is very classic Leica.

The aperture ring sits on the front of the lens and is easily rotated. In fact, it is so easy to rotate you could accidentally turn it with minimal effort.

Overall, I find this lens to be superb with beautiful color and rendering, although a bit flat for my taste. The A7II and the 50 Summilux is great combo for those users moving from rangefinder cameras to mirror less cameras.  Yes RF cameras are mirror less cameras too but you know what I mean. The A7II and 50 lux is an ideal combination for street photography which carry’s over the pleasure of shooting discretely with a rangefinder camera.

DSC00623

After all is said and done, I will keep my Lux because it is a magnificent lens with a purpose. However, all 3 Zeiss lenses I own will be my first choice and here is why.

  • It lacks the contrast and pop that I get with the Zeiss.
  • The inability to get really close to your subject like I can with other 50’s.
  • The focus just feels bad for me with my lens.
  • The obvious lack of auto focus.
  • Not as universal as other lenses. By this I mean, the lens renders wonderfully for street type photography but not for still, landscape, closeup etc …

Below are some sample for you to see. With the exception of a few shots, these were processed to increase saturation and contrast a bit. Keep in mind it was a dull gray day which could explain the flat look to these images. None the less, it was an opportunity to see how the lens handled on the A7II.

DSC00569

DSC00555

DSC00591

DSC00604

DSC00593

DSC00553

DSC00565

 

 

DSC00586

1 Comment on Sonylux. A quick overview of the A7II and Leica Summilux 50

  1. Dear Jorge,
    as usual your “field tests” are very useful. Since my M9 went to Wetzlar to have its/her CCD substituted, I have shot with a new Sony A7II and all my old Leica M and Zeiss C/Y glass.: expecially with my 50 cron and my 90 tele-elmarit M. Just last saturday I had the opportunity to try the Sony 55mm f1.8 side by side with my 50 cron. I must say that, although I don’t particularly like its building and its dimensions, its resolving power is enourmously better than the cron whilst the bokeh is on the same level of the cron (but the cron is not your lux pre-asph). I was really shocked by the enormous difference. I compared raw files developed in LR5 wirh profile correction and basic clarity adjustments.
    Although I have never been a pixel-peeper, I think I’ll buy one and I will confine my M glass to my M9 which I still consider the top for my kind of portrait photography.
    Anyway I will be really glad to have your opinion.
    Thank you and ciao.
    Umberto

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. New AquaTech underwather housing for A7 cameras. New A7rII and A7sII tests. | sonyalpharumors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*