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Thread: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    I am considering getting a NEX 7 for just one lens, the CV 35/1.7 ASPH. I want a sleek form, carry anywhere camera and lens combo.

    The reason I am considering the NEX 7 (rather than the X-Pro1) is that, while there seems to be problems with the NEX 7 and UWA lenses, there do not seem to be any with normal, or near normal lenses. It has a built-in hi-rez finder, and it's small.

    I have been trying this same lens on an M8, but because I do not have the finder corrected for my vision, assessment of focussing ease is hard. As well, the M8 us a surprisingly big camera, thickness-wise (and this one's fitted with the grip, too).

    So: using this kind of lens on the NEX 7, what are the options, re. focus?

    WRT the GXR M module (using the EVF) you have both a magnified mode and a Predator mode (a kind of peaking) on two buttons. Both assists disappear with a half-press, for framing, but I have not found how to move the magnified part of the image to (say) the RHS for portrait-orientation head shots, so a focus-then-recomposes seems necessary.

    Please tell me how you use the focussing aids on your NEX 7!

    TIA, kl

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Kit, First and foremost- the CV35/1.7- is unlikely to do well on the NEX-7.

    Better choices (with the form factor in mind) are the Olympus pen F 38/1.8 or even better 40/1.4. They also focus much closer (0.3m range).

    I use the EVF (eye level) or the LCD (waist or overhead) plus the focus magnification for focusing. Nothing beats that.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Hello there, my friend

    Why do you think the CV 35/1.7 will not do well on the NEX 7? I really want an EFOV of 50, or slightly less—so are there any other lenses you cold recommend besides the two above, which really are a little tight (long) for me as an all-around lens. As well, I was planning to use a Hawke's adapter, so the min. focus distance is not a problem.

    so, just focus magnification? and can that magnified bit be moved within the EVF (say, for portraits)? Cheers, and thanks, kl

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Kit, it is easy. The spot can be moved to any corner or anywhere you wish and the focus enlargement is a one touch button. The tri navi dials for moving the spot and the enlargement with one of the buttons you can customize- all without having to take your eye off the EVF.

    Leica mount lenses (especially 35mm and shorter FL) are likely a problem with fuzzy corners and color shifts on the NEX-7. If an improved NEX-7 comes with a sensor similar to the NEX-5N, the story will be different.

    BTW, that HVL-F20AM is a perfect match for the NEX-7!

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    I use the 35mm/2 Zeiss for Contax G in my NEX 7 and find it quite easy to operate. For stopped down shooting, say f5.6 I find the focus peaking fine (without using the magnified view), so for every day stuff it's absolutely easy.

    For critical focusing at f2, I find it necessary to use the focus magnification facility which I have assigned to the button on the AF/MF switch as this is easy to get to and goes back to full view as soon as it's released.

    I would say that while the eyepiece is a great boon to photographers like us, it needs to be calibrated to your eyesight (dial to the right of the eyepiece), otherwise you'll find critical focussing gives you eye-strain pretty quickly (in my experience anyway).

    I think that you'll absolutely love the NEX 7!

    The Zeiss 90/2.8 for Contax G is also a great little gem!

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    The only thing I can add to the above, as I also have the AF/MF button programmed to focus assist, is that I use the direction buttons on the wheel to move the focus box. That could change with all the options for customization.

    I will say that my right hand could use a grip extension because the grip is short to begin with and alot of control functions are done with the thumb which positions the hand down further and only the thumb, index and middle fingers grasp the camera grip. I remember an old film camera that had a ball type grip that screwed into the body that could work in this case. However, the battery door is in the way.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Hi Kit, on GXR-M, when magnification is engaged, pressing the adj lever allow you to move the magnifying box, if I am not mistaken.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Thanks for that, Aleksander; I will check that out. Cheers, KL

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    HI Kit
    Focus peaking is much the easiest way of focusing 3rd party lenses on the NEX7. It needs some practice, but works really well - even in very low light and at wide aperture (I had great success with the Noctilux at 0.95)

    Focus magnification is excellent - but in my opinion only when using a tripod (otherwise the subject has moved before you can zoom out and compose, and even if the subject hasn't, you will have done!

    all the bet

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    Question Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Kit, First and foremost- the CV35/1.7- is unlikely to do well on the NEX-7.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Leica mount lenses (especially 35mm and shorter FL) are likely a problem with fuzzy corners and color shifts on the NEX-7. If an improved NEX-7 comes with a sensor similar to the NEX-5N, the story will be different.
    have any samples of the 35 ultron on the nex-7? I'm waiting for my 7 to try with my ultron.

    here are some shots by jono - leica lens under 35mm (WATE) on the nex-7.
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/sony/3...tml#post382744

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken_vs_ryu View Post
    have any samples of the 35 ultron on the nex-7? I'm waiting for my 7 to try with my ultron.

    here are some shots by jono - leica lens under 35mm (WATE) on the nex-7.
    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/sony/3...tml#post382744
    The only 35mm rangefinder lens that I know of, so far, that doesn't exhibit edge issues on the 7 is the large CV 35/1.2, but we'll have to wait until more people get the camera in their hands. The WATE is not an applicable comparison, as it is a rather retrofocus design.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    35/2 Planar, Contax G. Reports elsewhere on this forum - and even in this thread - show no issue on the NEX 7

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    35/2 Planar, Contax G. Reports elsewhere on this forum - and even in this thread - show no issue on the NEX 7
    It's tough to say. It's still a pretty symmetrical lens, and it performs better on my 5N than my 5. I'd love to see some 5n vs. 7 comparisons with the G.
    Last edited by douglasf13; 29th February 2012 at 11:53.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    The only 35mm rangefinder lens that I know of, so far, that doesn't exhibit edge issues on the 7 is the large CV 35/1.2, but we'll have to wait until more people get the camera in their hands. The WATE is not an applicable comparison, as it is a rather retrofocus design.
    I thought that both of my Leica 35's seemed fine (35 'lux asph and 35 summarit). But perhaps I wasn't critical enough.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Jono, You are talking about modern design Leica lenses. For that matter, how did you find your 21 Lux on the 7?

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Jono, You are talking about modern design Leica lenses. For that matter, how did you find your 21 Lux on the 7?
    Hi Vivek
    I know you're right - I only mentioned it as Douglas implied that there were problems with all 35s
    I don't have a 21 'lux I'm afraid, but the 24 did good (as per LL results).
    The WATE is also fine.

    . . . but as you say, they're all modern designs.

    all the best

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I thought that both of my Leica 35's seemed fine (35 'lux asph and 35 summarit). But perhaps I wasn't critical enough.
    My Summicron 35 looks great as well.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Vivek
    I know you're right - I only mentioned it as Douglas implied that there were problems with all 35s
    I don't have a 21 'lux I'm afraid, but the 24 did good (as per LL results).
    The WATE is also fine.

    . . . but as you say, they're all modern designs.

    all the best
    Hi Jono, I was thinking of the 24/1.4 and typed 21.

    There must have been a reason for Leica to have modified its designs....

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe S View Post
    My Summicron 35 looks great as well.
    At first glance, my 35mm Summicron ASPH seemed to work fine with the NEX7, but more than the trace amounts of magenta corners, I'm concerned with edge sharpness.

    An otherwise perfect lens on the M8, I'm getting sharpness falloff from center on the NEX7. I don't know if the high pixel count is being hard on the 100% crops, or the 35 Summicron has mild field curvature, or there is something to the Zeiss Nasse Distagon paper that describes the sensor filter thickness shifts focus to greater distances at the edges thereby appearing to be field curvature. At any rate, I can sharpen the edges a little by focusing for the edges which is back from infinity a bit.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi Jono, I was thinking of the 24/1.4 and typed 21.

    There must have been a reason for Leica to have modified its designs....
    I think the last of the old designs was probably the 28 elmarit (which was released with the M8). . . . I'm sure the work they did on that suggested to them that very steep angles of light were not a fab idea with digital sensors.

    all the best

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I thought that both of my Leica 35's seemed fine (35 'lux asph and 35 summarit). But perhaps I wasn't critical enough.
    I just briefly tried a Leica M 35 Summicron, and it has some corners issues until F:4.0. Pretty much as was reported with the Zeiss ZM 35 f:2.0.

    As concerns focusing, the viewfinder plus loupe plus peaking gives me an almost 100% score at getting the focusing right. Not as pretty to view as an optical viewfinder, but it delivers big time!

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I think the last of the old designs was probably the 28 elmarit (which was released with the M8). . . . I'm sure the work they did on that suggested to them that very steep angles of light were not a fab idea with digital sensors.

    all the best
    Thanks.

    When Leica themselves have moved away from the old designs, I see little point in splitting hair about how NEX X behaves vs NEX Y.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    I am using NEX5 with a NEX-M adaptor which also has the macro function. It's works great with my Leica lens which convert my 35/2 from 0.7m min focus to 0.2m.

    I tried to attach some sample here, first one is the normal min focus distance, and the 2nd one activated the macro function.

    Focus peaking & enlarging to 10x works fine for me when doing the focusing.

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    Smile Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimBuchanan View Post
    At first glance, my 35mm Summicron ASPH seemed to work fine with the NEX7, but more than the trace amounts of magenta corners, I'm concerned with edge sharpness.

    An otherwise perfect lens on the M8, I'm getting sharpness falloff from center on the NEX7. I don't know if the high pixel count is being hard on the 100% crops, or the 35 Summicron has mild field curvature, or there is something to the Zeiss Nasse Distagon paper that describes the sensor filter thickness shifts focus to greater distances at the edges thereby appearing to be field curvature. At any rate, I can sharpen the edges a little by focusing for the edges which is back from infinity a bit.
    I was looking at a copy of Ansel Adams "Moonrise" recently and noticed that there was some softness on one of the crosses in the low right corner. Too bad he didn't have better equipment to help him make a really effective print.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    I can now confirm that my Zeiss ZM 35 f:2.0 has no issues whatsoever with my NEX 7. I tried colour shift, and haven't found any. I looked for corner softness, and couldn't find any, even at infinity wide open, contrary to what has been reported by others. In my case, at infinity wide open, sharpness is a bit less than in the centre stopped down, as is illumination. That is the case with pretty much all lenses, and has nothing to do with NEX 7 issues.
    Furthermore, my experience with NEX corner issues is that magenta fringing is the first problem to appear, and corner softness "only" happens in more severe cases. This converges with the fact that pics from lenses such as ZM 18 can be cleaned up in Cornerfix, which takes care of colour but can do nothing is the corners are mushy. A similar situation has been reported (but I haven't verified that yet) with the CV 12 and Elmar 24. So an issue with corner softness on ZM 35 f:2.0 wide open, but not stopepd down, but no magenta shift, is not congruant with this experience.
    One observation which might or might not explain matters. On my camera, I use a Voigtländer M-mount-to-E-mount adapter. My ZM 35 is the only one of 7 lenses where infinity is right on the infinity hard stop. The 6 others reached infinity before the focus ring reached the hard stop. So an adapter just a tad different from this one might not let the lens reach infinity wide open, with corners showing it the most, and all righting itself with more DOF when stopping down. Just a guess.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    In the meantime I got a NEX 5N and the EVF from a fellow member here; and I have teamed it with the Hawk's adapter mounting the MS Perar 35/3.5, just to see how the EVF is, and how hard it is to focus, etc.

    I have ordered a NEX 7 as a result—I think this adapter plus the Perar is the combo (on the 7) that I have been looking for as a go-anywhere one-lens kit.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Kit,

    As many have already said, focus peaking is mostly a joy on the NEX. I just shot a concert at the SPIN Magazine party during sxsw (huge music event here in Austin, TX) with Monza's C/Y Zeiss 50mm 1.4 on my NEX 7 and the keeper rate was way up there. Basically shot at f/2.8 on moving subjects and nailed just as many as I would have with my 5D and several ran on their website (hopefully one in print as well).

    Incredible detail and dynamic range, but that is another topic...don't fear the peaker.

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Thanks, SP; I agree about peaking—I have used it on pro. video cameras for years. The EVF is very good on the 5N, but has (for me) better ergonomics on the 7.

    Good to hear about your shoot with Monza's 50/1.4, too: that's a very nice EFOV on an APS-C sensor, isn't it?

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    Re: What tecniques do you use to focus alt. MF glass on the NEX 7?

    Here are my shots from the nex-7 and the 35 ultron

    Sony Alpha NEX Cameras and E Mount Lenses: Sony NEX-7 with Voigtlander 35mm Ultron

    The adapter was not perfect, infinity not at infinity mark.

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