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Most compact set for Sony A7
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Most compact set for Sony A7 Reply with quote

Hi there,

I recently purchased a Leica Elmarit-M 28mm for my Sony A7 and I absolutely love the image and small form factor.

Now I'm looking for a complete set to travel the world with.
My favorite focal lengths would be 21mm, 28mm, 50mm and 85mm.
Unfortunately I can't afford to go all Leica on all of those 4 lenses.

Is there a cheaper alternative that makes a really good and especially compact set?

I think rangefinder lenses are the way to go to save as much space and weight as possible.
Although I thought about Olympus OM Zuiko lenses as well but the adapter itself is already pretty big.

Thanks


PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeiss M lenses.
Voigtlander is also compact, 35/1.4 or 40/1.4.
Canon ltm 50/1.8 or 50/1.4.
Zeiss Contax G lenses if you got a good adapter. 35/2 and 90/2.8 is awesome. 21/2.8 gives color shift in the corners.
Leica/Minolta ltm 90/4 is often preferred instead of contax g 90/2.8.
Sony 28/2, zeiss 35/2.8 these are AF.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't mention what kind of pictures you want to take. You won't use the same lens for available light pictures of people in a dark interior and landscape pictures taken in bright sunlight.

If you are looking for quality lenses, compact and cheaper than Leica, you might want to check Cosina/Voigländer products.

21mm is difficult, as most rangefinder ultrawide lenses do not play well with the A7 sensor. The Ultron 21/1.8 gives good results but it is neither compact nor light. Old SLR ultrawide lenses are usually quite bulky when you factor in their adapters and often disappointing when used on high resolution sensors. The Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8 is great lens but it is really expensive and not so compact... If you really want a tiny lens, the Color Skopar 21/4 is hard to beat. It suffers from color casts (correctable) and smearing in the corners but image quality improves when the lens is stopped down at least to F/11. Check the really nice pictures taken by fellow member Kuuan on this thread: http://forum.mflenses.com/voigtlaender-color-skopar-f4-21mm-t68947.html

I prefer 40mm over 28+50mm, so I would suggest either the Leica/Minolta Summicron/Rokkor 40/2 (nice lens, small and affordable -especially when branded Minolta) or the Nokton 40/1.4 (faster lens but a bit more quirky than the Leica/Minolta).

As for a short tele, I really love the Apo-Lanthar 90/3.5, which is compact and sharp as a tack. There is a version in Leica mount and another one available in various SLR mounts. I prefer the SLR version, because it focuses closer and reaches 1:4 ratio out of the box (try to get it in Pentax or Nikon mount, since it has a real aperture ring, contrary to the one in Canon mount). But it might be easier in your case to get the Leica Mount version so you don't have to carry a different adapter. If you use a Leica adapter with built-in helicoid, it will help to focus closer.

A full kit with Color Skopar 21/4, Summicron/Rokkor 40/2 and Apo-Lanthar 90/3.5 would fit in a ridiculously small bag and shouldn't cost you a fortune if you buy used lenses and shop carefully.

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Leica Elmar 50/2,8 collapsible is not so expensive as other Leicas. (Or Elmar-M more cost and more lQ.)

Tiny as possible. I bought one this week.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any of these Leica M with a techart auto focus adaptor... compact and super performance... unfortunately, you would need the A7ii A7Rii or A6300

For ultra wide Minolta 20mm f 2.8 is very compact but you have the long adaptor


PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

The Voigtlander lenses look great.
Is there a website that lists all of them. There must be older ones as well, right?
All I found ist this: https://voigtlaender.com/vm-mount.html


PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andk wrote:
Is there a website that lists all of them. There must be older ones as well, right?


Right! Here is the best information site about all RF Voigtlander lenses ever produced by Cosina:
https://www.cameraquest.com/voigtlen.htm

BTW, I am a big fan of those lenses.
Here is my little collection: http://forum.mflenses.com/voigtlander-lens-porn-t72412.html


PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to be careful . Rengefinder lenses , especially UWA WA , have usually a poor performance in the corners with the A7 ( corner smearing, color cast).
What about your Leitz 28mm?
Regarding modern rangefinder standard lenses I would consider the Nokton 40 1.4 which I like very much.
For 50mm have a look at Zeiss Planar 50 f2 M mount.

For longer focal lengths, the RF lenses have no theoritical advantage to the SLR ones when it comes to the size.
They will be simply slower ( lens diameter cannot be too big).
For compactness, quality and price , in my opinion nothing beats the Zeiss Sonnar 85 2.8 . It is a stupidly cheap lens.
It exists in Rollei QBM version really tiny ( 49mm filter diameter) and in Contax Yashica mount.



Last edited by memetph on Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:35 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

memetph wrote:
You have to be careful . Rengefinder lenses , especially UWA WA , have usually a poor performance in the corners with the A7 ( corner smearing, color cast).


That's right. Therefore you should rather go for the newest UWA's to avoid such troubles. Obviously they found a solution to overcome the lousy A7 performance (caused by the thick filter stack on top of the sensor) with such lenses.

Alternatively you may have a look into this: https://kolarivision.com/product/sony-a7-series-thin-filter-legacy-lens-upgrade/


Last edited by tb_a on Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you wish to peruse the NEX pancake lenses, or the M-AF plastic zooms (35-80 II/N or 35-105 II/N),..

what comes to my mind is the "Small Bauble", 55/1.8.
Mine is labeled Revueflex, but it is probably a relabel of a famous brand.
Very small, nice IQ.

The plastic zooms I mentioned aren't really top-notch. Their main point is their range in such a small package. If you don't have the M-AF adaptor already I would pass on these.


PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

olympus zuiko Om series are not as small as Leica M lenses but very compact


PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
olympus zuiko Om series are not as small as Leica M lenses but very compact


Agreed. They also adapt easily to Leica-M, so you can keep an FE-LM adaptor on the body, and just have smaller OM-LM adaptors on the OM lenses.


PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wide angles are such a problem on the Sony's that I would just spend your most of your budget on the 21/2.8 Zeiss Loxia.. You have the 28 elmarit already.. if you don't, the 28/2 Sony autofocus is actually a decent compact lens that is not very expensive.. for a 50mm there are a TON of cheap options.. I personally like Canon Rangefinder 50's.. they are super cheap, compact and can give you a modern look or vintage depending on what you prefer. The 85's.. Jupiter-9, Nikkor-P.C. 85/2 are good, cheap and fairly compact.. The Zeiss contax G 90/2.8 is a great lens for cheap too.. I'd probably go for the Zeiss here.

The kolari mod should only be done if you plan on never using Native Sony glass or vintage slr wide angles because the side effect is that it smears some of those.

--mike


PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The wide angles are such a problem on the Sonys


It's only some of the rangefinder wides. OM wides work fine, for example. Olympus Zuiko 21/3.5 is compact and works great, no corner issues. Loxia 21/2.8 is a great lens, but completely different ballpark, price-wise.


PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CV15III in M mount, the CV 21/1.8 is a bit big to qualify as small, but it's good, the best option is the WATE, but is insanely priced.
The silver Canon S 35/2.8 LTM is tiny and works great on my A7r and NEX-7 without any colour shift.
Leica M 50/2 is one I'm looking at, V3 I think(the one without the tab), for LTM there are lots of options, Canon S 50/1.4 & 50/1.2(smallest f1.2, has a larger diameter), Topcor-S 50/2, Super Rokkor 50/2 & 50/1.8, Fujinon 50/2, Nikkor 50/2
Rokkor 85/2.8 LTM is quite compact.
Canon S 100/3.5 LTM and CV 90/3.5 APO are both quite compact.
I transplanted the Contax G 45/2 into a Rokkor 55/1.7 body, it's fairly small, you just need the 2 rings to do the job, that is of course the hard part, sebboh has done up some 3D printing files, the drawings are available (I have them) to machine them if you have access to a lathe or cnc.


Last edited by Lightshow on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:08 am; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second the little Canon 100mm f3.5 LTM
Also you might like to consider the Canon 50mm f1.8 LTM or a Jupiter 8
Even smaller is the Steinheil Munchen Cassar S 50mm f2.8.
All good lenses IMHO
T


PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To save space and weight (and have little difference in colour rendering), you might want to go for one single set of a brand so that you can use a single adapter for all of them.

OM Zuiko
Konica AR
Canon FD
Minolta MD

Any of these will work just fine, I would probably start getting the wide-angle first because they are in high demand ( like Konica 21/2.8 Canon 20/2.8 Olympus 21/3.5 or Minolta 20/2.8 )
filling up the rest of the set should be pretty easy. And no, I don't think they are that big because all of these lenses are small.

Yes rangefinder lenses are a bit smaller, but on they wide-end they do have their issues and cost way more - despite that I use them a lot - yikes Shocked


PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Most compact set for Sony A7 Reply with quote

andk wrote:
Hi there,

I recently purchased a Leica Elmarit-M 28mm for my Sony A7 and I absolutely love the image and small form factor.

Now I'm looking for a complete set to travel the world with.
My favorite focal lengths would be 21mm, 28mm, 50mm and 85mm.
Unfortunately I can't afford to go all Leica on all of those 4 lenses.

Is there a cheaper alternative that makes a really good and especially compact set?

I think rangefinder lenses are the way to go to save as much space and weight as possible.
Although I thought about Olympus OM Zuiko lenses as well but the adapter itself is already pretty big.

Thanks


To start with -
1) i have used and compared about 500 different lenses on the Sony A7 / A7II / A7RII, among them lots of Canon FD, Minolta MC/MD, Nikkors, and Konica Hexanons.
2) some years ago i was thinking about replacing my Sony A900 with Leica M or Sony A7, using small RF lenses

After a entire day of thorough testing it was clear for me that ..

1) the M240 image quality (colors, handling of large contrast, vignetting, "Italian Flag Syndrome"...) was miles away (worse!) from what i knew from the A900
2) the Sony A7-System could not handle the classic RF wideangles (a Leica-M 2/35mm ASPH would give much worse results than a cheap Minolta MD 35-70mm or MD 2.8/35mm)

Therefore i decided partly to stay with the A900 and partly use the A7 plus good SLR wideangles (including shift lenses such as the Canon TS-E 17mm L and the Zeiss PC-Distagon 2.8/35mm).

Some months ago i did test the Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21mm and the Batis 2.8/18mm (MF and AF lenses specifically calculated for the Sony E mount), using the Sony A7RII. These two lenses are much better than any of my roughly 20 vintage lenses in the 20mm range. Therefore i would clearly recommend to go for one those, preferably the 21mm Loxia (MF, better built quality, slightly better image quality). The Loxia 21mm and the Batis 18mm are much better than my Canon 4/17mm L in its non-shifted state as well (!!). Quite remarkable indeed.

If you are into landscapes, and willing to stop down, the Zeiss C/Y Distagon 2.8/28mm will provide you a good corner resolution and little CAs (less CAs than comparable Minolta MD, Canon FD, and Nikkors).

In the 50mm range there are plenty of very good vintage lenses. Most f1.2 lenses i know have visible CAs and distortion. Some of them (Minolta MC 1.2/58mm!) are razor sharp stopped down. The f1.4 usually also have visible distortion (e. g. the FD 1.4/50mm, which is otherwise a very good lens). The Minolta MD-III 2/50mm (but not the MC and MD-I !!) is very good from f4 ... 5.6 on, dirt cheap - and it has no visible distortion.

In the 85-100mm range there are lots of nice vintage lenses as well. I have directly compared the following:

Canon: FD and new FD 1.8/85mm, FD 2.8/100mm, new FD 2/100mm
Minolta: MC 1.7/85mm, MD 1.7/85mm, MD 2/85mm, MC 2/100mm, MC and MD-II 2.5/100mm, MC 3.5/100mm
Nikon: Ai 1.8/85mm, AiS 1.8/105mm, pre-Ai 2.5/105mm

Out of this bunch, the Minolta MD 2/85mm was best in terms of corner resolution and CAs. I have not checked other things such as distortion or flare resistance, however. And i must add, that a cheap modern lens such as the Sony AL 2.8/85mm is even better!


Stephan


PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want good corners, it's hard to use rangefinder lenses around 20-28mm on the A7. I think that the AI Nikon 20mm/f4 may be the smallest high quality wide angle you can find in that range. I like it a bit better than the Olympus.

For ultra ultra wide, I live with the Voigtlander 15 LTM's weak corners and crop a bit, so that I get an effective 17mm or so out of it.


PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work Stephan, thanks for sharing your extensive experience!! Like 1 small Like 1 small Like 1 small


PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've added a few lenses to my previous post


PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a similar experience looking for the perfect small kit. I finally decided on getting the kolari UT mod done to my A7 (Newest, even thinner stack). They did an excellent job btw. The lenses I carry around in a small Tenba 9 insert bag daily are the tiny Voigtlander 28mm f3.5 LTM, 50mm f2 Summicron and the Minolta 90mm f4 (2nd Version). I am also trying out the Voigtlander 20mm F3.5 SL since it's tiny in size as well, and even with the adapter it balances well on the A7. The only downside to the mod is you have to use the flat field lightroom plugin for the 28mm and set custom white balance profiles in lightroom. Really not that much work though. The Tenba 9 is so small I just chuck it in my backpack everyday, since there's no reason to leave it at home anymore. Nice feeling to travel light.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my own list from what I have or tried :

CV12/5.6 - small for what it is. Very usable on the A7 w/o the smear compared to the CV15 v1/v2. The vignetting and slight color cast on the corners are easily compensated for with a lens correction profile in Lightroom.

CV15 viii - the best small UWA for the A7. No smear or color cast issues.

CV21/1.8 - not that small or light wrt RF lenses, but its really small wrt a 21mm with f1.8 aperture. Its also highly versatile with that fast aperture for environmental portraits or stopped down for landscapes.
I'd consider it as no issues with the A7

Pentax M20/4 - pancake and mostly good stopped down at f11 for landscape. Only the far corners smear, but they are either cropped off with the application of a lens profile or don't matter in the photo.

Voigtlander 20/3.5 - about the same as the Pentax.


28mm - Don't know of a cheap RF one that is that good stopped down. My most used 28mm is the Pentax K28/3.5, its excellent, but not exactly small.


50mm - Most old RF ones are not that good in the off center even stopped down (Yes, that means most of the Russians).
I've found good results with the Canon ltm 50/1.4, but its starting to get a bit big.
The Industar 61 (53mm f2.Cool will be good if you can find a good copy, but I have 2 and they are both decentered. (the good side is really good)
I have tried the Leica Cron DR and v1 collapsible, they don't sharpen up to tack sharp on the off center by f8.
The Elmarit 50/2.8 was good.


85mm - the Canon ltm 100/3.5 is really very nice, but hard to find.
Most SLR 85mm in the f1.8-f2 range are good.
I like the Pentax M85/2 despite its weakness to CA.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies.

Looks like a Leica-M set is not what I'm really looking for.

I will keep my existing Minolta MD set and take the 20, 28, 50 and 85 with me.

If I want to go even smaller and lighter I will get the same focal lengths from Olympus. Doesn't cost a fortune.

I can then always add a Loxia 21 if I really feel like this is the focal length I wanna use the most.