Leica 90mm f/4 macro for macro on A7r?

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Discussions
Paul Richman
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Leica 90mm f/4 macro for macro on A7r?
Dec 10, 2013

Anyone tried this lens on the A7r?  I'm wondering how it would work with an E-mount extension tube, for macro (instead of its macro "goggles" adapter).....

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Paul Richman
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jpfisher
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Re: Leica 90mm f/4 macro for macro on A7r?
In reply to Paul Richman, Dec 10, 2013

No reason why it wouldn't. The goggles are just there to allow you to focus with the optical rangefinder of an M camera.
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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Leica 90mm f/4 macro for macro on A7r?
In reply to Paul Richman, Dec 10, 2013

Anyone tried this lens on the A7r?  I'm wondering how it would work with an E-mount extension tube, for macro (instead of its macro "goggles" adapter).....

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Paul Richman
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The goggles are to help focus on the M, not needed on A7.

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Paul Richman
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Yes, but...
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Dec 10, 2013

Yes, what you both say makes sense.  I'm wondering if I could get high IQ 1:1 or close to that using more extension?  The lens was not designed for that, so would IQ degrade with more extension?  My guess is not, but DOF will become very shallow, which I guess would be normal for (close to) 1:1.

As I recall, you lose infinity focus with extension on this lens, right?

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Tuloom
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Re: Yes, but...
In reply to Paul Richman, Dec 11, 2013

Paul Richman wrote:

Yes, what you both say makes sense. I'm wondering if I could get high IQ 1:1 or close to that using more extension? The lens was not designed for that, so would IQ degrade with more extension? My guess is not, but DOF will become very shallow, which I guess would be normal for (close to) 1:1.

As I recall, you lose infinity focus with extension on this lens, right?

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Paul Richman
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Yes, DOF will be a 1-2mm sliver and you do lose infinity.

You are going to need a lot of tubes to get to 1:1 with the Leica 90mm--- 60mm of tubes, I believe. By that time, I wonder how much you would be degrading the image due to so many mechanical joints (tubes  + the M adapter)? Something to consider on the A7r.

I think I'd suffer the the size of your 50MP or another, dedicated 1:1 lens before that.

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shigzeo
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Re: Yes, but...
In reply to Tuloom, Dec 11, 2013

Tuloom wrote:

Paul Richman wrote:

Yes, what you both say makes sense. I'm wondering if I could get high IQ 1:1 or close to that using more extension? The lens was not designed for that, so would IQ degrade with more extension? My guess is not, but DOF will become very shallow, which I guess would be normal for (close to) 1:1.

As I recall, you lose infinity focus with extension on this lens, right?

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Paul Richman
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Yes, DOF will be a 1-2mm sliver and you do lose infinity.

You are going to need a lot of tubes to get to 1:1 with the Leica 90mm--- 60mm of tubes, I believe. By that time, I wonder how much you would be degrading the image due to so many mechanical joints (tubes + the M adapter)? Something to consider on the A7r.

I think I'd suffer the the size of your 50MP or another, dedicated 1:1 lens before that.

Optical image quality shouldn't degrade from tubes as they have nothing in them to degrade it unless there are light leaks. As long as the lens quality is up to snuff, there is no reason why tubes wouldn't make wonderful macro work of m/ltm lenses.

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Tuloom
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Re: Yes, but...
In reply to shigzeo, Dec 11, 2013

shigzeo ? wrote:

Tuloom wrote:

Paul Richman wrote:

Yes, what you both say makes sense. I'm wondering if I could get high IQ 1:1 or close to that using more extension? The lens was not designed for that, so would IQ degrade with more extension? My guess is not, but DOF will become very shallow, which I guess would be normal for (close to) 1:1.

As I recall, you lose infinity focus with extension on this lens, right?

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Paul Richman
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Yes, DOF will be a 1-2mm sliver and you do lose infinity.

You are going to need a lot of tubes to get to 1:1 with the Leica 90mm--- 60mm of tubes, I believe. By that time, I wonder how much you would be degrading the image due to so many mechanical joints (tubes + the M adapter)? Something to consider on the A7r.

I think I'd suffer the the size of your 50MP or another, dedicated 1:1 lens before that.

Optical image quality shouldn't degrade from tubes as they have nothing in them to degrade it unless there are light leaks. As long as the lens quality is up to snuff, there is no reason why tubes wouldn't make wonderful macro work of m/ltm lenses.

Yes, Shigzeo, I agree, but that's not my concern. I would be more worried about tube quality and the fact that using a minimum of two 30mm tubes and a Leica M adapter would add up to 3 mechanical joints and 6 mounting surfaces. That's a lot of joints to trust to get lens/sensor alignment right, especially with a $3500 lens.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Yes, but...
In reply to Paul Richman, Dec 11, 2013

Yes, what you both say makes sense.  I'm wondering if I could get high IQ 1:1 or close to that using more extension?  The lens was not designed for that, so would IQ degrade with more extension?  My guess is not, but DOF will become very shallow, which I guess would be normal for (close to) 1:1.

As I recall, you lose infinity focus with extension on this lens, right?

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Paul Richman
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Is this Elmar-M? You could look for Elmar R macro lens, but of course it would need an apt adapter.

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shigzeo
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Re: Yes, but...
In reply to Tuloom, Dec 11, 2013

Optical image quality shouldn't degrade from tubes as they have nothing in them to degrade it unless there are light leaks. As long as the lens quality is up to snuff, there is no reason why tubes wouldn't make wonderful macro work of m/ltm lenses.

Yes, Shigzeo, I agree, but that's not my concern. I would be more worried about tube quality and the fact that using a minimum of two 30mm tubes and a Leica M adapter would add up to 3 mechanical joints and 6 mounting surfaces. That's a lot of joints to trust to get lens/sensor alignment right, especially with a $3500 lens.

I see what you are saying now. That is an expensive lens, but it really is good. In macro, there is very very little that is shot perfectly flat. A good adapter will keep the lens focus plane flat enough for phenomenal photographs- certainly no worse than the camera's native mount and possible body flex. I use tubes pretty extensively and never, ever, found any problems with any lens/camera/sensor combination.

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Tuloom
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Re: Yes, but...
In reply to shigzeo, Dec 11, 2013

shigzeo ? wrote:

Yes, Shigzeo, I agree, but that's not my concern. I would be more worried about tube quality and the fact that using a minimum of two 30mm tubes and a Leica M adapter would add up to 3 mechanical joints and 6 mounting surfaces. That's a lot of joints to trust to get lens/sensor alignment right, especially with a $3500 lens.

I see what you are saying now. That is an expensive lens, but it really is good. In macro, there is very very little that is shot perfectly flat. A good adapter will keep the lens focus plane flat enough for phenomenal photographs- certainly no worse than the camera's native mount and possible body flex. I use tubes pretty extensively and never, ever, found any problems with any lens/camera/sensor combination.

Yep, good point. Unless flat reproduction work, with such little DOF, it may well not matter. What tubes do you use?

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tripodfan
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Re: Yes, but...
In reply to Tuloom, Dec 11, 2013

Tuloom wrote:

Yes, Shigzeo, I agree, but that's not my concern. I would be more worried about tube quality and the fact that using a minimum of two 30mm tubes and a Leica M adapter would add up to 3 mechanical joints and 6 mounting surfaces. That's a lot of joints to trust to get lens/sensor alignment right, especially with a $3500 lens.

I don't think sensor alignment should be too much of an issue with extension tubes. If you push the lens further from the sensor, it casts a bigger image circle, so you can be reasonably sure that you will cover the sensor with a portion of the image circle with good image quality.

This is a different scenario to simply adapting lenses, where the image circle cast by the lens at the adapted length is similar to the sensor size. Getting the alignment right is more important in those cases.

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Paul Richman
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Thanks everyone for the lively and interesting discussion...
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Dec 11, 2013

... Having thought about this, I agree that extensions will not degrade IQ. I've learned that true macro lenses (like my Nikon 105mm VR) compensate pretty well for light loss as 1:1 is approached, only degrading their wide aperture (f2.8) just a little. Very interesting. I don't think there's any compensation going on with the Leica 90mm Elmar-M.

For most of my macro shooting, I will continue to use the Nikon with my D800e. I get stunning results with that setup. But when I"m traveling, and hence only carrying my A7r rig, I still want the option to shoot pretty close up, so I think the Elmar M will suffice. I've used that lens on a Nex 7 and M9, and found it to be terrific there. And it's so very compact and light.

So, I picked one up this evening and tried it out. I was surprised to see definite CA in the images, especially in the corners, with or without extension. However, that is easily correctable with a simple checkbox in ACR. I have yet to decide if it's as sharp on the A7r as it was on the other two bodies. Time will tell....

BTW, B&H has a nice little "formula" with the description of the Kenko E mount extension tubes I just ordered:

"An extension tube increases lens magnification by an amount equal to the extension distance divided by the lens focal length. For example, adding a 25 mm extension tube to a 50 mm lens will give a magnification gain of 0.5X. Therefore, if the lens's original magnification was 0.15X, then the new magnification will be 0.15X+0.5X=0.65X."

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Tuloom
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Re: Thanks everyone for the lively and interesting discussion...
In reply to Paul Richman, Dec 11, 2013

Can you post some of your samples with the Elmar M and A7r. That's a rare combination.

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D Cox
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Re: Yes, but...
In reply to Tuloom, Dec 11, 2013

Tuloom wrote:

Yes, Shigzeo, I agree, but that's not my concern. I would be more worried about tube quality and the fact that using a minimum of two 30mm tubes and a Leica M adapter would add up to 3 mechanical joints and 6 mounting surfaces. That's a lot of joints to trust to get lens/sensor alignment right, especially with a $3500 lens.

The further the lens is from the sensor the less critical alignment will be.

It is extremely critical with adapters for very wide angle lenses at infinity.

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Paul Richman
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Re: Thanks everyone for the lively and interesting discussion...
In reply to Tuloom, Dec 11, 2013

will do, as soon as I have some that are worth posting. I will put them in a new thread then.
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Re: Leica 90mm f/4 macro for macro on A7r?
In reply to Paul Richman, 7 months ago

Paul Richman wrote:

Anyone tried this lens on the A7r? I'm wondering how it would work with an E-mount extension tube, for macro (instead of its macro "goggles" adapter).....

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Paul Richman
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Hi all,

I am using a Sony A7r with the Leica Elmar 65mm with what I think are good results. The setup uses the M-Viso-Nex adapter, easy to get on ebay for around us$28. The Elmar 65mm is attached to the OTZFO 16464k. It will focus to infinity and has given some very sharp macro.

I find it is a good compromise for street photography and macro as it is relatively short enough to substitute for a standard 50mm. The helicoid focus ring on Leica's are very well engineered, so smooth and solid that they are great to use. The Sony A7/Elmar MF combo. works well for me, fast focus, easy quick aperture change.

Closest focus is around 15mm. Adding the 16471J extension tube gets closer to about 7mm.

The lens shows no sign of CA.

This combo. is a lot of fun for less $$$.

The downside is it make for a big setup, but looks good.

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Jefenator
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Re: Leica 90mm f/4 macro for macro on A7r?
In reply to Paul Richman, 7 months ago

Never tried the 90mm M-series but I routinely use the 60mm & 100mm R-series "Macro-Elmar" lenses. (The latter one - 100mm 1:4 - can be had for about 1/10 the price of the 90mm if your $3500 value estimate is correct.)

I like mine for product shooting. For true macro stuff like insects and such, I could see the extension tubes becoming somewhat of a pain in the neck. Particularly with the longer lens, which only magnifies to about 1:4 on its own (good news is, the focusing action is super-fine).

The degradation of "planarity" with 3+ mounting joints might be most visible for slide copying. (I tried it once - even got that special Nikon slide copying attachment - and was not very impressed with the process or the result.)

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