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which one manual focus lens for A7r ?

Let's play a little. I've been watching these threads for a while and people got some truly exceptional photos with their manual focus lenses.

And as former rangefinder user, I'm thinkingabout getting mf lens as well. I don't specifically need one, but definitely want one. It's a feeling thing :)

I've been thinking about it and lens options so hard it makes my head hurt..

If you could get one lens for your A7 or A7r, which would it be?

I don't want to influense anybody, just say your own preference. Personally I'm a 50mm guy, so probably one of those for me. Even budget isn't a problem.. Otus is too much and too big, but other than that I can most likely manage.

So suggestions galore for your best option!



Well-known member
Well, I already had a Nikon D800E and several manual focus lenses to fit it: The Zeiss 35mm f2 ZF, the 18mm ZFII, and the 90mm Voigtlander 90mm f3.5 APO Lanthhar. I used the 35mm last night on a tripod to take HDR bracketed sunsets. Focus is a dream on the A7R, even stopped down to f11. I agree: MF on this camera is a nostalgic experience (I am 77 yrs of age).
Good luck
Dave in NJ


Senior Subscriber Member
If I only limited to one MF lens, I will go with Leica Summicron-R 35 for my A7r.


New member
The FE 1.8/55 is nasty to focus manually with the focus by wire technique.

The Zeiss ZM Planar 2.0/50 is a joy to focus manually and optically it works great on the A7R.


Active member
I might consider the Leica R 35-70 f4. I really like its IQ and flexibility - it's physically large but not heavy - fits the hands well for me


New member
Yashica ML 50mm f/1.7 series II is my personal favorite that I use all the time. Also, the Minolta MC Rokkor PF 55/1.7 is wonderful. At least my copy is.

I have never used one but the Kern Macro Switar 50/1.8 for Alpa mount is supposed to be legendary.

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
I know that feeling my youngest is 16.5 and the princess is 23. Did I say I had a favorite. Not

I guess if I had to pick my lonely island companion. My Leica 19 R. I can at least screw filters in it now.:grin:


New member
guess if I had to pick my lonely island companion. My Leica 19 R. I can at least screw filters in it now.:grin:
A good choice for the scenic views one would encounters on a lonely, desert island. Not much use for a 35mm since you wouldnt be shooting street photography. No people and no streets. A 50mm? Meh, who needs the normal would be bored staring at the normal view all day anyway. An 85mm? Useful for portraits I suppose if you have a Wilson type friend like Tom Hanks did. Otherwise no thanks. 200mm and up Telephoto? Great for scanning the horizon for rescue boats. But would end in continued frustration since you could see the boats but they couldnt see you.

19mm is just smart. Brought to you by Guy Mancuso's Desert Island Photography Survival Guide™.
hmm..but with a 19mm you'd only see the rescue boats when they run over your feet :)

So a 50mm makes sense again. It's what you'd see anyway! And you can always shoot nice brick walls.. oh wait, no brick walls there - so maybe some palm trees then!

Been thinking about the summilux-r 50 and it's two versions. They're expensive and even more expensive.. I could get a summicron-r E55 dirt cheap, but I'd probably end up thinking what I missed compared to summilux. With sluxes, the E55 is expensive but not out of hand. But I'd probably think what I missed by not getting the E60 instead, which costs a ton.

Maybe I just need to get this Leica stuff out of my head and try some other nice lenses for a change. Anybody try the 50/1.2 limited hexanon-m on the A7r ?



Well-known member
At the moment the system lacks a proper wide angle solution. With my A7 I purchased the FE 55/1.8 (no brainer) but also the CV 21/1.8 (manual) as I can't work without a decent wide angle. A highly recommended lens.



New member
I like my CV 35/1.2ii. The ZM Sonnar C 50/1.5 gets used a lot on my A7 even though the FE 55 I have is a better lens. A real character lens and I like the size, handling and focus peaking seems to work better than with other lenses.


New member
While I'm tempted to say Noctilux 50/1 (or similar, e.g., SLR Magic 50/0.95), considering it has to be just ONE lens, the versatility of a 35 I think will push the CV 35/1.2II to the top.

Ben Rubinstein

Active member
The lens my camera wears in my shoulder bag is a Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f1.4, tiny lens, costs $80 for a great copy, dreamy wide open, lovely rendering throughout and at f8 beat the snot out of my Canon 50L for resolved detail at any f-stop and has great corners. Did I mention that price? :D