The Sony RX1R II is the kind of camera that turns heads. With its full-frame 42.2MP sensor, fixed 35mm F2 lens, optical variable low pass filter and a 399-point phase-detect AF system that's much improved over its predecessor, it's just about in a class of its own. We've had a full-production model for a few hours - just enough time to get it into the studio to see how it handles our test scene. 

A close look at the RX1R II's Raw output shows that (as we'd expect) in terms of sharpness across the field, overall image characteristics are very similar to the original RX1R. As with most fixed wide-angle lens cameras though, images from the RX1R II may appear sharper in the center than at the edge when pointed at the flat field of our studio test scene - something that can be of much less significance in normal shooting. For example, if a lens has significant field curvature, flat field results won't necessarily be representative of off-axis sharpness, as you'll get better sharpness at an off-axis position if you focus at that very position. It's worth keeping these limitations of our studio scene for lens assessment in mind. The Leica Q bucks this trend though, displaying excellent edge-to-edge sharpness even in our studio. Click the link below and take a look. 

Those under the impression that we either have a faulty unit or have conducted this test erroneously may be intrigued by the following comparison of the RX1R II vs RX1R on the left and right sides of our scene. Note how the RX1R II is worse on the left, but better on the right, side of the scene relative to the RX1R, when viewing at common output size. This is simply indicative of the realities of tolerances for unit-to-unit variation of a lens, and also of how discerning a flat target at close distances can be for wider angle lens tests. Our RX1R II unit is no more faulty than the RX1R unit we tested some time back; however, side-by-side pixel-level comparisons allow one to pixel-peep far more than you're likely to when viewing a single image from your camera in isolation. Furthermore, field curvature in the lens will still limit the performance of both RX1R and RX1R II units in our studio scene test, so we will investigate the performance of this lens for further distance subjects, as well as with off-center subjects focused off-center as opposed to centrally, in our full review.