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Thread: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

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    future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Has anybody an opinion or even experience regarding IQ of DMR+Leica R lenses vs the Sony with Zeiss lenses?
    I once had a DMR, sold it, used Nikon D3 and M8 - never felt that they are totally up to the IQ of the DMR.
    I now started to also use MF which delievers great IQ but which also has clear limits regarding flexibility.

    So now I have this friend who sells a DMR set with lenses - I planed to sell it for him and made the mistake to make an even closer look at it. I also mounted the 90/2.0asph and was intruiged how easy it would be to manually focus with this lens (bright viewfinder, shallow DOF). I am nearly in danger to keep the DMR and some of the lenses and only sell a part of the set.

    What I ask myself:
    1) would a Sony 900 + Zeiss lenses offer more/same (IQ) for less money? DMR-users-if you had to buy from scratch-would you go DMR again or would you go Sony A900?
    2) Will the Leica R manual lenses work on a future R10; Will there value decrease much further when a R-AF-lens line will be announced? (Today the value for a mint R-lens seems to be not more than 40-50% of the official price for a new lens.)

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    What a decision.
    I sympathise, I really do.
    Did you look at my A900 RAW files? If not, they are still here:

    A900 RAW files

    Beyond that, I can't help you, never having had a DMR

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Tough call. In tests against my 1Ds2, I found DMR resolution about on par, something Doug Herr indicated as well somewhere. Micro detail would probably go to the DMR - which might be a big determinant if you did a LOT of macro work. Says a lot about the DMR - and some not nice things about AA filters.

    Color rendition between the two is close - IF (and this is a BIG IF) using same lens on both bodies. EF glass color is just appalling in comparison to what Leica/Zeiss deliver. CCD always gets the edge in my mind, but it can get very close with the right glass.

    It's a question of max IQ vs convenience.

    DMR (as compared to say A900)
    ------
    +Max IQ (no AA sensor)
    +Easy use of R glass
    +Great ergos on camera - designed by photogs for photogs. Best ergos on any body I've used.
    + Great VF designed for manual focus
    + HUGE R lens selection
    + Great color and tonality from CCD sensor
    - ISO performance not great vs modern DSLRs (maybe on par with 900)
    - no AF, etc
    - Resolution would probably be a little lighter but would need test to see.
    - Pricey (vs current offerings) and will take a hit when R10 does arrive.
    -Can be a bit finicky is you don't keep the rear body/back contacts clean, etc

    Lenses like the 90/2 AA are amazing - and not that spendy (should know am selling mine ;>).

    If you were wanting a high-res body that would take R glass (you know where this is heading...) and a DMR-esque price, I would strongly consider a 5DII or used 1Ds2/3 (the latter having plunged in used value).

    Also gets you amazing AF when you need it and access to Zeiss glass (name your flavor - CZ, ZF, ZE, Hassy) as well as Mamiya, OM, Nikon, CV, etc etc.

    Every indication is that whenever an R10 comes out that existing R glass will work/be adaptable to it. If buying R glass with that long-term idea in mind, I would stick to ROM lenses - or allow in the price the cost of having a lens ROM'd (chipped fastened to it) - of roughly $300.
    Last edited by robmac; 13th December 2008 at 06:04.

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Thank you Rob. A very helpfull answer.

    I have been (and still am) very tempted but I think I can not jump forward and backward all the time so I guess I should stay with my Nikon stuff (just own too many lenses and I think I would want to have at least one system with fast AF).
    I have put the R-set on ebay for my friend. If it doesnt sell (what I dont think) then I will probably have the same problem again to evaluate if I might not buy/keep part of it myself.

    Cheers, Tom

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    There is a new conversion kit for some R lenses to Nikon (see post somewhere here). If you wanted to pick up and use some choice R glass until/if an R10 comes out, ANY EOS body would work fine - I used a 30D with a Katzeye screen and it delivered great results.

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    2) Will the Leica R manual lenses work on a future R10
    Maike Harberts says yes. She ought to know.

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    I am certain that R lenses will work on the R10, nothing else would be sane. However, the more interesting question is how. Will ROM continue to work, for example? Will all the various cammed systems work? These questions I am less sure of.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    I was told that ROMed R lenses will work on the R10 with no adapter and have full functionality. There is also a very good chance that there will be an adapter for the R10 to take S lenses as well.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Almost certainly there will be backwards lens compatibility with the new R10, but all new R lenses will be autofocus with M/F possibility just like any other DSLR. I imagine that existing R lenses would benefit from focus confirmation when fitted to the new body and I also hope that stop down metering will also not be necessary.

    If auto focus is important to you then it is a difficult call to make between the A900 and building up a collection of very nice A/F Zeiss glass now or wait for Leica to introduce the R10 in a couple of years time and then for them to build up a collection of A/F lenses to go with it.

    I have the same decision to make as I have an R9 and DMR with a collection of Leica R glass. I will probably get the A900 and some Zeiss glass and then compare with the DMR/R glass. The loser will then be up for sale tout suite!!
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Quote Originally Posted by dhsimmonds View Post
    (...)
    I will probably get the A900 and some Zeiss glass and then compare with the DMR/R glass. The loser will then be up for sale tout suite!!
    That sounds absolutely great, Dave
    I for one am looking forward to that anti-Anti-Aliasing filter comparison if you buy the A900 and put it up against the DMR.
    The good thing is that the Anti-Aliasing filter on the A900 is said not to be too strong.
    Also it will be interesting to see how well the ZA lenses perform compared to the well known excellent R lenses.

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Quote Originally Posted by bondo View Post
    That sounds absolutely great, Dave
    I for one am looking forward to that anti-Anti-Aliasing filter comparison if you buy the A900 and put it up against the DMR.
    The good thing is that the Anti-Aliasing filter on the A900 is said not to be too strong.
    Also it will be interesting to see how well the ZA lenses perform compared to the well known excellent R lenses.
    I agree, I am also very interest in this comparison. Tom

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Tom and Steen

    The A900 has at last arrived this morning......battery on it's first 4 hour charge! I had heard that prices were increasing due to the fall in value of sterling currency so tried to get one quickly and most dealers were already sold out of stock at the old prices but eventually managed to track one down at a good price together with the CZ 24-70 lens.

    I will test it against the R9/DMR and R28-90 F2.8 Leica lens as the nearest in quality and focal range. I will select a focal length similar in each case bearing in mind the 1.37 x factor of the DMR.

    Now I must go and buy a CF card..........years of using only SD cards of which I have plenty!

    First impressions are good but not a Leica build! The A900 body is much lighter than the R9 with DMR but that soon changed with the 24-70 fitted to the A900! It is still lighter and smaller though against the 28-90 fitted onto the Leica.

    As soon as I have some piccies I will post again.
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Looking fwd to it - thanks for going thru the effort

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Quote Originally Posted by dhsimmonds View Post
    Tom and Steen

    The A900 has at last arrived this morning......battery on it's first 4 hour charge! I had heard that prices were increasing due to the fall in value of sterling currency so tried to get one quickly and most dealers were already sold out of stock at the old prices but eventually managed to track one down at a good price together with the CZ 24-70 lens.

    I will test it against the R9/DMR and R28-90 F2.8 Leica lens as the nearest in quality and focal range. I will select a focal length similar in each case bearing in mind the 1.37 x factor of the DMR.

    Now I must go and buy a CF card..........years of using only SD cards of which I have plenty!

    First impressions are good but not a Leica build! The A900 body is much lighter than the R9 with DMR but that soon changed with the 24-70 fitted to the A900! It is still lighter and smaller though against the 28-90 fitted onto the Leica.

    As soon as I have some piccies I will post again.
    I'll be fascinated, having fallen in love with the A900, and never having used the DMR. Give yourself time to get to grips with the good parts of the A900, it's also designed for photographers.

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    I look forward to seeing the results as well. My suspicion is that the A900 will resolve a good bit more detail, but up to the limits of the DMR resolution, the DMR photos will look better...that was more of less the conclusion I had when comparing the D3 and ZF lenses to the DMR. The Leica lenses just have such an incredible character that they are hard to beat. It will also probably look much better than the DMR at anything over ISO 400.
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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Sorry for the delay, lack of CF card and other comittments have combined to cause this.

    The images follow and are of a trophy that I have to return very soon, so the exercise was also useful providng me with a record of it!

    The Leica was sharp on my 2nd attempt but then I am very used to this camera. It took several attempts to acheive the same degree of sharpness with the Sony largely due to the narrow depth of field with the F/F image versus a 1.37 crop. I also had a compelling urge to increase ISO with the Sony! The body vibration worked well on the Sony which was very useful as winter lighting from a window illuminated the subject at ISO200 but an ISO 400 image is included also with the Sony.

    Images from both cameras were processed in Capture One 4 using identical parameters for each image. The Sony images needed no whitebalance correction. The default sharpening was used for each (160 for the Sony and 185 for the Leica). Resizing done in Photoshop CS2, the 16 bit images, Adobe 1998 colour space alll converted to 8 bit Srgb also in PS.

    First is with the Leica R9/DMR and 28/90 lens at ISO 200, F2.8, 1/60
    Second is with the Sony A900 and 24/70 Zeiss at ISO200, F2.8, 1/25
    Third is with the A900 and 24/90 Zeiss at ISO 400,F3.2, 1/40

    I would just add that these are by no way a conclusive test, I am no tester of cameras or lenses and I have to take many more images to be totally comfortable with the Sony. The A/F is quick and accurate and the Zeiss lens is just great.

    I wanted to try the A900 as I am finding it rather slow to accurately focus the lovely Leica M/F lenses and A/F may have to be the way I go now that I have almost reached the end of my seventh decade! Rather than wait for the Leica R10 and its new range of A/F lenses, the A900 with Zeiss A/F lenses may well fill the gap very nicely thank you!
    Last edited by dhsimmonds; 18th April 2012 at 03:06.
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    The Sony clearly out resolves the DMR ... look at the screw heads, and cloth for example.

    Color rendition of the wood seems nicer from the Sony/Zeiss also.

    The third one has a DOF issue.

    What is a Ziess 24-90? Is that a type-O and you meant 24-70?

    A couple of interesting things I've found with the Sony ... One need not rely completely on Ziess branded optics to flesh out the system ... the inexpensive little Sony 50/1.4 is very good .... and the Sony 70-200/2.8G APO is absolutely stellar, featuring the same build quality as the Zeiss lenses ... and it's APO IQ wipes the floor with both the Canon and Nikon 70-200/2.8 zooms I've used ...

    So far, I'm finding the A900 a remarkable camera ... especially for $3K! ... and I suspect I've just explored the tip of the iceberg. I think the ISO sweet spot is 640 or 800. which is pretty good considering that, unlike my DMR/Canon/Nikon, every lens you put on it is Image Stabilized allowing slower hand held shutter speeds.

    Here's a couple of recent available light shot from the 70-200/2.8 The color one @ 70/2.8 using ISO 640 in a very dark room ... usually in the past, if I keep the dress detail, the blacks blocked up something terrible in lighting conditions like this ... but the DR of the Sony came through. This was already sharpened for client presentation so it's a touch to "crispy" here, but I think you get the DR idea

    The B&W shot is at the 200 end of the zoom @ f/2.8, but this time @ ISO 1250 ... as much as I hate to say it, it's approaching film quality in feel ... again, the DR held the shadow detail ... but usually I get burned out top lit highlights on the hands during a ring exchange like this ... which didn't happen here.

    As far as I'm concerned, my DMR was all but unusable in these types of fast paced, ever changing lighting conditions, and in contrast, the Sony is proving to be quite the wedding/event camera.

    I think we'll be seeing even more performance from this camera as time lessens the learning curve.

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    I'm sorry Marc, but I just don't see it in these examples. They are lovely photos, but at least on the web, the technical characteristics do not look better to me than, say, a D3. The grain looks kind of mushy to me.

    As for the photos above, again, I think we disagree. I like the first one best, but it is kind of difficult to judge since it appears that they were shot handheld and at different distances and angles of view.
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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I'm sorry Marc, but I just don't see it in these examples. They are lovely photos, but at least on the web, the technical characteristics do not look better to me than, say, a D3. The grain looks kind of mushy to me.

    As for the photos above, again, I think we disagree. I like the first one best, but it is kind of difficult to judge since it appears that they were shot handheld and at different distances and angles of view.
    Yeah Stuart, the usual problem with web uploads ... especially hi megs ones already processed to print large then downsized to sub one meg. As far as mushy grain, maybe true when noise was suppressed for a 8.5 X 11 print then chrushed like this ... but it was ISO 1250 which the DMR can't even dream of doing this well.

    BTW, I have a D3 that I shoot along side the A900 ... trust me, the A900 files don't look like the D3 ones ... not that there is necessarily anything wrong with the D3. This is especially true when printing 17X22s on the 3800.

    Don't get me wrong, I loved my DMR and held onto it for as long as I could .... but it was an induldgence that was useless in all but a few areas of performance ... things had to be far to ideal to get stuff from it .... and if I have "ideal conditions" I use MF which none of these cameras can come close to in terms of IQ.

    And you are right, we disagree about the test images ... IMO, the first one looks a bit dull compared to the second one and the third one is useless for comparison. All in the eye of the beholder as usual.

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Stuart and Fotografz

    I refrained from giving my opinion on what is a very subjective comparison.

    Web images are a characture of the Raw or Tiff full sized images. The DMR files are holding much more info, probably due to the 16bit images. But I also think that the A900 resolves far better producing a very clean and sharp image. Auto white balance is also far better on the A900.

    As for handling, it is very intuitive and I have only looked at the manual once since opening the box.

    Fotografz - it is the Leica R28-90 F2.8 with DMR and CZ 24-70 F2.8 on the
    A900. No exposure compensation on the A900 but -0.5 stop on the DMR (I leave it like that as the DMR more often than not overexposes slightly)

    Primes I know would have been better but as the 24-70 is the only lens I have so far for the A900 I had to match it with the nearest Leica zoom for the test.

    I am pleased that the A900 Raw files will convert using C1.4. I also use Lightroom. I need to do an awful lot more shooting with the A900 but so far I really like it. The DR is I know is great and it should make a nice outfit with the Zeiss lenses for landscape work......all of em use 77mm filters so the cost is immediately reduced by the time B & W polarisers and ND filters are added!

    The Sony G lenses have a great reputation as do some of the Minolta heritage A/F lenses so a whole new world to explore!

    Thanks to everyone for your support.
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Dave, the Sony Zeiss 85mm has a 72mm thread, so I carry stepdown rings.

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    Re: future of DMR/Leica R and Sony900

    Hard to tell a difference but just from looking at the 3 images I like the DMR obe better. To me it has more depth and looks more natural/real.
    Please keep on posting your experiences and your thoughts on the 2 cameras in their IQ.

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