A7r: Leica 28mm R F2.8 versus FE24-70 @28

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Paul Richman
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A7r: Leica 28mm R F2.8 versus FE24-70 @28
10 months ago

Here are some comparison images from these two lenses. What do you think?

This is the test scene (Leica R28mm V2) F11

100% crop from the center, Leica R28mm F11

100% crop from the center, FE@~28mm F11

More detail in the distant houses with the R28.

100% crop from the lower left corner, Leica R28mm F11

100% crop from the lower left corner, FE@~28mm F11

Much better micro contrast and detail with the Leica.

Details of the test:

- Shot on tripod at same aperture and shutter speeds, both focused in the center on the branches.

- Turned off Lens Correction in the camera for the FE lens

- ISO 200 because it was rather windy

- I did not correct Chromatic Abberations

- Used the same vignette corrections for both shots, which worked well (+40, 0)

- I left the WB As Shot for the FE (5400, +4), but corrected the Leica shot to match it (5250, +5)

(As Shot for the Leica was (4800, 0))

So, my conclusions....

1) The Leica is slightly better in the center, and quite a bit better in the broad corners, not just the far corners.

2) This Leica is considered by many to be the sharpest 28mm lens made to date, so, on the one hand, the FE did pretty well to come so close in the central areas.

3) For critical 28mm landscape work where sharpness in the corners is important, it's worth switching to the Leica.

Neither lens is really sharp on the A7r in the corners below F11, which is a shame, and is why I just tested F11.  (I'm mostly a landscape shooter, and so usually stop down quite a bit.)

4) So, for critical landscape work (and perhaps other types of shooting), I will stick with primes for the midrange, using this Leica and the FE35 and 55.  I don't think this will surprise anyone!

What are your conclusions?

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Paul Richman
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 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D +11 more
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