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Thread: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    The ability to un-restrict optics from digital sensor/camera is exciting. However, the question I would like to ask: Do Legends Fall on the Sony NEX (similar chip size camera)? Below are samples of some of the respected lens on the Sony NEX. Perhaps you can post images from your "legendary" lens on the Sony NEX or similar cameras and if you feel the lens still can produce the magic.

    1. Leica Noctilux 1/50

    2. Leica Summilux-M 1.4/75

    3. Zeiss Biogon ZM 2.8/25

    4. Canon 1.2/85 FD

    more to come...

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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Son, are these handheld? It's a bit tricky to zoom the LCD for focus, focus, touch shutter button to undo LCD zoom, recompose, and shoot, especially if dealing with a razor thin DOF.

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    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Tom, I haven't tried the longer focal lengths but up to the 40/2 I don't find it that difficult. At first it seemed a little awkward but not any more.
    V/r John

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    hi Tom,
    Yes these images were taken handheld at wide open apertures: F1, F1.4, F2.8, F1.2 respectively.
    -Son

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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Son,
    Glad you started a thread like this, very interesting.
    I have been trying to compare shots from Leica and Zeiss m lenses on M8,M9 vs. NEX 5 and find the M8,M9 shots are much sharper,clearer and with more detail then the NEX 5.
    Do you agree?

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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne_s View Post
    Son,
    Glad you started a thread like this, very interesting.
    I have been trying to compare shots from Leica and Zeiss m lenses on M8,M9 vs. NEX 5 and find the M8,M9 shots are much sharper,clearer and with more detail then the NEX 5.
    Do you agree?
    the lenses should obviously be sharper on the larger sensor but make sure you are processing the NEX raws in something other than sony's software. sony jpeg processing seems to kill the detail in the NEX raw files.

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Son, I respect your knowledge of optics. What do you think?
    I plan to use 2 of your 4 Legends on my NEX (when I finally get the adapter).
    I hope the answer is that the NEX can stand up to the task.

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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Son, how are you finding the corners on the ZM 25/2.8, especially when focused to infinity... great shots btw

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne_s View Post
    Son,
    Glad you started a thread like this, very interesting.
    I have been trying to compare shots from Leica and Zeiss m lenses on M8,M9 vs. NEX 5 and find the M8,M9 shots are much sharper,clearer and with more detail then the NEX 5.
    Do you agree?
    Quote Originally Posted by wayne_s View Post
    Son,
    Glad you started a thread like this, very interesting.
    I have been trying to compare shots from Leica and Zeiss m lenses on M8,M9 vs. NEX 5 and find the M8,M9 shots are much sharper,clearer and with more detail then the NEX 5.
    Do you agree?
    hi Wayne et al,
    First I like to say that there a many things that I like about the Sony NEX camera:

    1. I like the dynamic range over the Panasonic GH camera; though this is based on my memory only. When I first bought the GH camera, I was excited to put all kind of lens on the small camera but immediately, I was turned off by the poor dynamic range. The Sony NEX is superior to the GH camera IMHO.

    2. The Sony NEX represents a constant factor as a recording medium for us to test and characterize the lens of interest. As you can see from the preliminary data samples, I prefer the Leica Summilux-M 1.4/75 over the Canon FD 1.2/85. Though I did not took the same scene but the preliminary data tells me that I prefer the Leica looks immediately. Therefore, I believe in general the rangefinder lens has a different character than the SLR lens in spite the depth of field.

    In digital medium, the limitation of physics in optics between rangefinder and slr is reversed compare to film. However, I no longer look for perfection instead I look for the strength of the lens to help me create the image that I want to tell a story. In the end if the image can withstand against time, then the lens has become memorable to me. For example, the Rollei/Hasselblad Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar HFT/T* 4/120 represent tonality and smoothness that can hide flaws from my digital sensor. In fact, it act almost like an AA filter to reduce noise. This reasoning makes sense as we know the Canon 1D series camera always has a thicker AA filter than the 1Ds series camera. Thus, the concept of noise reduction built into your very own special legendary lens. Try it sometimes and you see optics can really attenuate your camera high ISO noise. We can speak about the weakness of every lens but I prefer to speak about the strength of the lens. Thus, the Sony NEX is the beginning stage camera to allow us see the differences among lens characteristics. My hope is that one day soon a full frame mirrorless camera with similar sensor like the Leica M9 that can handle the rangefinder lens and can offer us live view. These combine technologies allow me to use the camera like a paint brush to bend the light the way I want it to do (see image for example).

    Though it may not be fair for us to put the absolute value to the comparison between the Sony NEX and the Leica M9. There will be an argument that a high level algorithm raw process is needed to see the Sony NEX file. However, I believe that no matter how efficient the raw processor can pull the data out it cannot pull something that is not there. Thus, I agree with you that the present data showed that the Sony NEX cannot be compared to the Leica M9.

    Despite, the Sony NEX has its limitation, it allows us to characterize different lenses and use it for other special applications as I shown an example here below:

    Leica Apo Summicron-R 2.0/180 at F2

    -Son

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    Son, I respect your knowledge of optics. What do you think?
    I plan to use 2 of your 4 Legends on my NEX (when I finally get the adapter).
    I hope the answer is that the NEX can stand up to the task.
    Hi Cindy,
    As I implied in my previous response to Wayne, due to the non specific sensor to the rangefinder optics, the Sony sensor will handle the longer lens well but may not be the same with the wide angle lens. The wide end focal length will be a challenge for non specific rangefinder sensor. As specific as the Leica M9 sensor for rangefinder full frame sensor, it still have problem with very super wide angle lens. Therefore it will not surprise us that almost all of the rangefinder super-wide angle lens will be tough challenges for the Sony NEX (non-specific rangefinder sensor), despite being a crop factor sensor. In the wide angle range, there may be some lens that work better than other and the first one come to mind is the Contax G2 Planar 2.0/35. In fact it is the only 35mm focal length lens with the Planar formula which is a flat field lens. Other factors to be considered: 1) diffracted lens specific, 2) colors dynamics, 3) clarity, 4) bokeh, 5) tonality and etc. Although the file quality will not be the same level as the Leica M9, but the lens characteristic will show in the Sony NEX sensor with limitations. Below is an example of how the specific rangefinder sensor can help a super wide angle lens looks so good to the corner (distortion is not specific to sensor). Here is a sample of the Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/15 on the Leica M9. On this sensor the corners are sharper compare to when the lens is mounted to the Canon full frame DSLR. On the 1Ds Mark I when I first cut the mirror to test this very lens on digital sensor, the results showed great softness and almost astigmatism around the edges. Thus from this data, it tells you that you will get a better chance with the SLR super-wide angle lens than with the rangefinder lens for corner to corner sharpness. As my good friend David would say, some folks like to make a square fit into a circle.

    Best Regards,
    Son
    Last edited by PSon; 30th July 2010 at 00:06.

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: Do Legends Fall on Sony NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimaki View Post
    Son, how are you finding the corners on the ZM 25/2.8, especially when focused to infinity... great shots btw
    hi Mimaki,
    I did not get the chance to take images at infinity but in close up it looks fine. As you are aware, Zeiss intended to make this lens as a major mark for their signature. It is supposed to be one of the sharpest lens in the ZM camera. However, in digital it may not show all of their qualities. One of the thing we can test for is the image circle of this lens. If the lens has a big image circle it is likely will be able to handle the Sony NEX sensor despite being a rangefinder formula. Sorry I do not have a sample to show you but perhaps this weekend when more time permits.

    Best Regards,
    Son
    Last edited by PSon; 30th July 2010 at 00:05.

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