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Thread: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

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    Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Has anybody an opinion how the Sony compares to Leica 35mm M lenses on the A7 series?
    I wonder if it is worth to spend the Money for the 35/2.8 Sony lens in order to get AF. Reviews say ist sharp but how is the bokeh? Is it as good as Leica Summicron or Summilux?
    What do you use for 35mm?

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Has anybody an opinion how the Sony compares to Leica 35mm M lenses on the A7 series?
    I wonder if it is worth to spend the Money for the 35/2.8 Sony lens in order to get AF. Reviews say ist sharp but how is the bokeh? Is it as good as Leica Summicron or Summilux?
    What do you use for 35mm?
    The Sony 35 works better than the 35 Summicron on A7 bodies. I haven't used the 35 Lux's but I have the 35 Nokton 2. I'd give the Nokton the edge for people shots. It obviously has better and more shallow DoF than the Sony 35.

    The obviously question is if AF and metadata mean much to you. If so then it's work picking up. If you're worried about speed a f/1.4 version is going to be released in the spring.
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    The Sony 35 works better than the 35 Summicron on A7 bodies. I haven't used the 35 Lux's but I have the 35 Nokton 2. I'd give the Nokton the edge for people shots. It obviously has better and more shallow DoF than the Sony 35.

    The obviously question is if AF and metadata mean much to you. If so then it's work picking up. If you're worried about speed a f/1.4 version is going to be released in the spring.
    AF would be nice but is not a 100% must for 35mm FOV. Metadata I dont Need as Long as I dont want LR to add lens correction-which probably isnt needed for those lenses.

    F1.4 sounds good. Any idea how big this lens will come out?

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    There's picture floating around the net. It looks somewhat large but I don't know that it'll be unreasonably so. I shoot with a grip on both bodies most of the time anyway.
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    There will soon be quite a bit of choice of native 35mm lenses for FE mount: Sony-Zeiss FE 35 f:2.8, Sony-Zeiss FE 35 f:1.4, Zeiss Loxia f:2.0. Plus, you can also look at the brand new Zeiss ZM 35 f:1.4
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by philber View Post
    There will soon be quite a bit of choice of native 35mm lenses for FE mount: Sony-Zeiss FE 35 f:2.8, Sony-Zeiss FE 35 f:1.4, Zeiss Loxia f:2.0. Plus, you can also look at the brand new Zeiss ZM 35 f:1.4
    Yeah I really wish Zeiss would've based their Loxia on the new ZM. It would've been bought already.

    Paratom another great option would be the Sigma Art 35 if you don't mind the size or have a LA-E4 already.
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Yeah I really wish Zeiss would've based their Loxia on the new ZM. It would've been bought already.

    Paratom another great option would be the Sigma Art 35 if you don't mind the size or have a LA-E4 already.
    Hi,
    no way. I have the ART for the 5dIII and its a great lens, but Idont want such big lenses on the A7/A7s.
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Hi,
    no way. I have the ART for the 5dIII and its a great lens, but Idont want such big lenses on the A7/A7s.
    Fair enough. I think maybe the Loxia 35 may be your ticket then.
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Has anybody an opinion how the Sony compares to Leica 35mm M lenses on the A7 series?
    I wonder if it is worth to spend the Money for the 35/2.8 Sony lens in order to get AF. Reviews say ist sharp but how is the bokeh? Is it as good as Leica Summicron or Summilux?
    What do you use for 35mm?
    I don't know how the Sony 35mm performs. Well, I would hope. ;-)

    I've used Color Skopar 35mm f/2.5, Summicron-R 35mm f/2, M-Rokkor 40mm f/2, and Nokton 40mm f/1.4 MC on the A7. They all work reasonably well, with the Summicron-R my favorite (clean across the board), the Color-Skopar and M-Rokkor being about on par (very slight corner issues wide open only), and the Nokton having some corner/edge artifacts that persist even stopped down but otherwise quite nice.

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    I use the Sony 35/2.8 on the A7 and like it lots. It has some barrel distortion though I didn't notice it until I photographed a brick wall :roll eyes: To be honest I haven't paid much attention to it's bokeh: I have the aperture more or less permanently set to f/4 or 5.6 and love it's resolving power.

    My last Leica 35/2 was the so-called "Bokeh King" (4th generation?), but that was when I had a Leica M9. Even then I was thinking I should have gotten the newer Aspherical model as I thought my older lens was a little soft overall and I wasn't really liking the performance in the corners of the frame at all.

    Have you also considered the 40mm Summicron? It's tiny, relatively inexpensive and I thought it had a very pleasing look: Relatively sharp and punchy-looking in the center. Main hassle is Series 5.5 filter thread. but I found a nice adapter + Leica style hood on eBay.

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    I've used the FE 35/2.8 and the Leica 35/1.4 ASPH II on both A7R and A7. In terms of sharpness and color uniformity, the FE 38/2.8 substantially outperforms the Leica lens on both A7R and A7. In terms of bokeh, it comes down to taste, but I don't think any of the Leica 35s have particularly nice bokeh.

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    How the new ZM will go on the a7r is interesting, as CZ will not do a Loxia equivalent for a long while if at all - we are blessed with choice not even counting the old favorites.

    The MTF are *really* good, everywhere at all apertures...best of all by f4 it is really smoking for all of frame work, with no distortion to speak of. At $2290 on release it will exert downward pressure on the Sony equivalent, which might be around $1300, just a guess. I bet it's a classic.

    http://www.zeiss.com/content/dam/Pho...gont1435zm.pdf

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Fair enough. I think maybe the Loxia 35 may be your ticket then.
    just to be clear, I allready have some Leica M 35mm lenses (35 FLE, 35 Summicron asph (which I use most on the M) and a Summarit 35mm which I own from before and kept it for the small size) and wondered if it was worth to add an AF lens for the A7s/A7 or just use my Leica lenses.

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    I've used the FE 35/2.8 and the Leica 35/1.4 ASPH II on both A7R and A7. In terms of sharpness and color uniformity, the FE 38/2.8 substantially outperforms the Leica lens on both A7R and A7. In terms of bokeh, it comes down to taste, but I don't think any of the Leica 35s have particularly nice bokeh.
    Thank you for this info. Do you have maybe some Images with the 35/2.8 wide open so I could see the bokeh?

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Here are couple of FE35 examples
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/virama...in/photostream
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/virama...in/photostream
    Bokeh will be similar to the Summarit and will probably perform better IQ wise than any of the leica lenses especially towards the edges and wide open. It is small and light and makes for a very compact package overall. AF works well on it and a love the face detection and focus tracking function (later can be a bit of hit and miss) and the only really drawbacks are the 2.8 max aperture and thus limited OOF capability and lack of focus/DOF scale in manual mode. I would recommend it

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Viramati View Post
    Here are couple of FE35 examples
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/virama...in/photostream
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/virama...in/photostream
    Bokeh will be similar to the Summarit and will probably perform better IQ wise than any of the leica lenses especially towards the edges and wide open. It is small and light and makes for a very compact package overall. AF works well on it and a love the face detection and focus tracking function (later can be a bit of hit and miss) and the only really drawbacks are the 2.8 max aperture and thus limited OOF capability and lack of focus/DOF scale in manual mode. I would recommend it
    Thanks for the links. Looks good to me.
    I see you use both the M and A7?

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    just to be clear, I allready have some Leica M 35mm lenses (35 FLE, 35 Summicron asph (which I use most on the M) and a Summarit 35mm which I own from before and kept it for the small size) and wondered if it was worth to add an AF lens for the A7s/A7 or just use my Leica lenses.
    Gotcha. Well in your case I'd say that the Zeiss 35 works better than the Leica ones on the A7. With your A7s the speed won't be an issue since you canjack the ISO up pretty high without a large IQ hit so yeah I'd say it's worth an add for you.
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Thanks for the links. Looks good to me.
    I see you use both the M and A7?
    Yes I use both the M and A7. I sued to have 2 M9's sold one when I got her M240 and the 2nd when I got the A7. I now have the A7, A7s and M. I basically only shoot the M nowadays with the WATE and 28 summicron asph (favourite lens) and my 50 summilux which used to be a favourite hardly gets any use since i got the A7 and FE55. I have the CV35/1.2 v2 which I use occasionally on the A7 or A7s, a lovely lens though rather heavy

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Tom I have two 35mm lenses that I use with my A7R and A7S, neither of them the Sony FE.

    One is the Contax Zeiss 35mm f/1.4. It has a beautiful look on both cameras, and a fall off that is legendary. It is sharp wide open, with great micro contrast. It does have a bit of C/A on strong backlit subjects like fine tree limbs, as most of the older film lenses have, but that is easily corrected in post.


    Contax Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 with adapter on Sony A7S

    It is not the smallest lens in my bag though it is interchangeable and works fine on almost any camera made, including my A series Sony bodies, Fuji X-E1, Panasonic GH3 and a Canon 5D Mark III. I am waiting to see what the new Sony Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 is like, but it is going to take more than just autofocus to get me out of this lens. The new autofocus lens I may add, but the drawing signature alone is a strong selling point for the whole Contax Zeiss lineup. This lens is a classic for a reason, a great lens for both still and video use.


    Contax Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 wide open on Canon 5D Mark III.


    Contax Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 @ f/5.6 on Sony A7S

    My second choice for the 35mm focal length is a version III Pre-ASPH Leica Summicron. The 'Cron is magical on both of my Sony bodies. It has excellent resolution edge to edge across the frame, remarkable micro contrast, and near perfect color. As you know, the 35mm 'Cron weighs almost nothing and it is TINY! Lens cap and all it comfortably fits in a front pants pocket, but it practically lives on my A7R. I absolutely love it with both stills and video. Every lens should come with a focusing tab like this 'Cron has. I have zero problem nailing focus using focus peaking with the A series bodies. The later ASPH versions of the 'Cron have a different look. This one has the Leica "glow" and wonderful soft background wide open, but still with plenty of "juice" stopped down. A classic high quality optic because it is such a unique drawing signature in such a small, compact and light package.
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    ^^^^ Just to add to what Chuck says above ^^^^

    I have not yet taken his advice to get a cron 35 because I am still using a cron 40. From my research it seems the opinion is that later Leica ASPH lenses do not work as well as older pre-ASPH glass. The cron 40 is sharp edge-to-edge, lovely colours, nice bokeh etc.

    I also own the FE 35/2.8 which is imho is overpriced and underwhelming. I only keep it because of the convenience of a lens you can take snaps with which is AF. But I do feel a bit short-changed by Sony and it is one reason I am suspicious about buying any more Sony Carl Zeiss lenses. I already own the FE 55/1.8 which is by comparison a complete keeper but a 50% success rate is not inspiring.

    Louis

    PS Dang - just went into ebay and a reputable dealer has a V3 35 cron for a decent price. Sorry, I mean 'had' a decent v3 cron 35 for a decent price. It is now on its way to me.
    Last edited by biglouis; 7th November 2014 at 09:38.
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    The Sony lens is much better than Leica M 35mm lenses on the A7. Bokeh is very good, generally.

    The only Leica M mount lens that competes is the CV 35 1.2, which is actually slightly sharper in the outer field at f5.6 and beyond. At f2.8 and f4, the Sony Zeiss is sharper off centre, substantially so at f2.8.

    The Summarit-M cannot remotely compete with the Sony Zeiss on the A7/A7R and its one of the better Leica 35mm lenses on the A7.

    I put a full-size file up on my blog from the 35mm Sony Zeiss so you can see the sort of performance its capable of on the A7R.http://thephotofundamentalist.com/?p=1103

    I did a review as well http://thephotofundamentalist.com/?p=150

    IMO if you are shooting the A7, the native lenses really are best. At 110g its a hell of a lot lighter than the CV 35 f1.2....

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Viramati View Post
    Yes I use both the M and A7. I sued to have 2 M9's sold one when I got her M240 and the 2nd when I got the A7. I now have the A7, A7s and M. I basically only shoot the M nowadays with the WATE and 28 summicron asph (favourite lens) and my 50 summilux which used to be a favourite hardly gets any use since i got the A7 and FE55. I have the CV35/1.2 v2 which I use occasionally on the A7 or A7s, a lovely lens though rather heavy
    So did you ever think to use just one of the 2 systems?

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    As biglouis says, asph leica lenses are reported to be not so good on A7R,
    but i can confirm that all 35 R and 35 M non asph give very good results.
    The summilux m 35 type II which is so small, is a typical example. At 1,4
    glow and dreaminess dominate, producing delicate tonal variations, but just
    after 1 or 2 stops you get a completely different lens, sharp and strong and
    at the same time with the color transparency of all the luxes. It is like having
    2 or 3 lenses in the same barrel, and you can modulate results at your pleasure.
    As a modest and inadequate example, this "puttino" at 1,4 and 2,8.

    _DSC3452 by sergio lovisolo, on Flickr

    _DSC3454 by sergio lovisolo, on Flickr

    Sergio
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    ^^^^ Sergio: pretty convincing stuff! Thanks for posting ^^^^

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    Lightbulb Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by philip_pj View Post
    How the new ZM will go on the a7r is interesting, as CZ will not do a Loxia equivalent for a long while if at all - we are blessed with choice not even counting the old favorites.

    The MTF are *really* good, everywhere at all apertures...best of all by f4 it is really smoking for all of frame work, with no distortion to speak of. At $2290 on release it will exert downward pressure on the Sony equivalent, which might be around $1300, just a guess. I bet it's a classic.

    http://www.zeiss.com/content/dam/Pho...gont1435zm.pdf


    Quick samples of the 1,4/35 ZM Distagon on the a7r

    Sony Alpha NEX Cameras and E Mount Lenses: Hands On with Zeiss 35mm Distagon on Sony a7r at Photo Plus

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Slightly off topic, but for anyone who might be interested in the Sigma 35/1.4 ART, looks like Adorama is doing a $100 off deal. More on the Sony rumors link below.

    $100 off on the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART. $45 off on the Tokina 11-16mm. | sonyalpharumors

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    ^^^^ Just to add to what Chuck says above ^^^^

    I have not yet taken his advice to get a cron 35 because I am still using a cron 40. From my research it seems the opinion is that later Leica ASPH lenses do not work as well as older pre-ASPH glass. The cron 40 is sharp edge-to-edge, lovely colours, nice bokeh etc.

    I also own the FE 35/2.8 which is imho is overpriced and underwhelming. I only keep it because of the convenience of a lens you can take snaps with which is AF. But I do feel a bit short-changed by Sony and it is one reason I am suspicious about buying any more Sony Carl Zeiss lenses. I already own the FE 55/1.8 which is by comparison a complete keeper but a 50% success rate is not inspiring.

    Louis

    PS Dang - just went into ebay and a reputable dealer has a V3 35 cron for a decent price. Sorry, I mean 'had' a decent v3 cron 35 for a decent price. It is now on its way to me.
    Louis, do us a favor and post your evaluation when you get it. To my eyes, it is an exceptional lens. I'll be very interested to hear your evaluation vs the FE 35mm f/2.8 you also own. My wager is your going to be surprised at what you got for how little you paid for it.

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    I wouldn't use any of the originally-mentioned lenses on A7/r, except when I might want the Zeiss' autofocus.

    IMO it's a nasty little thing, clinical and contrasty. And the 35 Cron and Lux won't cover the corners well at widest apertures, without some tinting and distortion.

    Your best bet is a 40mm Summicron, which is pretty sharp wide open and covers the corners perfectly.

    Kirk
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    I vote for the Summicron 35/2 v3:

    Early morning Brick Lane



    40 Hanbury Street

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    I vote for the Summicron 35/2 v3:

    Early morning Brick Lane



    40 Hanbury Street

    Very nice!

    Try it for video too, it is just as impressive there.

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    I think calling them 'nasty' is a bit harsh. They are both high contrast lenses designed for contrast and resolution and they do this exceedingly well. Shot in very high contrast conditions there are gentler lenses, but shot in flatter light they make image processing that bit easier.

    Having shot both FE lenses extensively for a large B&W aerial photography project, alongside a Panasonic GM-1, once processed to my tastes I cannot see the difference between the Panny and Sony Zeiss shots. I think the main issue is that on the A7R, the 35mm and 55mm Zeiss FE resolve incredibly well and with high contrast. This in itself is a look not everyone will appreciate.

    Overall, I prefer the average modern Leica lens character over modern Zeiss because I feel they are somehow more rounded, but in shooting some very low contrast hazy scenery, the Zeiss lenses have been very handy to have on board. I can see that some might not like the bite of the Zeiss lenses, but the bokeh and colour is excellent and the files are easily adjusted to taste in post. Certainly if you hope to make the most of A7R resolution, especially at ider apertures and across the field, they still lead the way (if you get a decent copy!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonkirk View Post
    I wouldn't use any of the originally-mentioned lenses on A7/r, except when I might want the Zeiss' autofocus.

    IMO it's a nasty little thing, clinical and contrasty. And the 35 Cron and Lux won't cover the corners well at widest apertures, without some tinting and distortion.

    Your best bet is a 40mm Summicron, which is pretty sharp wide open and covers the corners perfectly.

    Kirk

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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
    I think calling them 'nasty' is a bit harsh. They are both high contrast lenses designed for contrast and resolution and they do this exceedingly well. Shot in very high contrast conditions there are gentler lenses, but shot in flatter light they make image processing that bit easier.

    Having shot both FE lenses extensively for a large B&W aerial photography project, alongside a Panasonic GM-1, once processed to my tastes I cannot see the difference between the Panny and Sony Zeiss shots. I think the main issue is that on the A7R, the 35mm and 55mm Zeiss FE resolve incredibly well and with high contrast. This in itself is a look not everyone will appreciate.

    Overall, I prefer the average modern Leica lens character over modern Zeiss because I feel they are somehow more rounded, but in shooting some very low contrast hazy scenery, the Zeiss lenses have been very handy to have on board. I can see that some might not like the bite of the Zeiss lenses, but the bokeh and colour is excellent and the files are easily adjusted to taste in post. Certainly if you hope to make the most of A7R resolution, especially at ider apertures and across the field, they still lead the way (if you get a decent copy!!)
    I agree that after having used the A7s now for some weeks with 24-70 and 55/1.8 (and yes, I now added the 35/2.8) I like the handling and the images are sharp but color and overall look from my M looks "rounder" and more pleasant so far.

  33. #33
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Sony 35/2.8 vs Leica 35mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Thank you for this info. Do you have maybe some Images with the 35/2.8 wide open so I could see the bokeh?
    Here are a couple:


    DSC00666 by Amin Sabet, on Flickr


    DSC00832 by Amin Sabet, on Flickr
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