Using Leica R Lenses on a Sony NEX 5n

Started Nov 16, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Jono Slack
Jono Slack Forum Pro • Posts: 20,511
Using Leica R Lenses on a Sony NEX 5n

Hi There
Hello again to old friends - and a Hi to those who don't know me.

Long time no post - but I thought that this might be of some interest to some of you.

Basically, something to use your R lenses on whilst you wait on Leica for their R solution.

I never owned or shot with the Leica R system, but I’ve always been intrigued, and having become very much a fan of the Leica M system, I really wanted to try out some of the R lenses.

More recently Panasonic provided an adapter so that it was possible to use R lenses on micro 4/3 bodies, but the 2x crop factor and the difficulty of focusing accurately on an LCD or an electronic viewfinder put me off. Focus assist which meant Zooming in to a particular spot on an image to focus (while excellent with static images on a tripod) made it difficult to envisage the image as a whole, and composition became very difficult.

When Sony introduced focus peaking on their NEX and SLT cameras earlier this year, and I realised how wonderful this was for focusing manually - suddenly you can see exactly which parts of the whole image are in focus. It’s fantastically liberating, especially with moving subjects and when hand holding the camera. It’s hardly surprising that Video cameras have used this excellent method for several years.

It was only a short step to ebay auctions!
I managed to get hold of 3 lenses at sensible prices:

21-35 f3.5 f4 Vario-Elmar-R
28-90 f2.8-f4.5 Vario-Elmarit-R-Asph
180mm f2.8 APO Elmarit R

These are all recent lenses, not too large, and easy to hand hold. I wanted lenses which didn’t clash with my M lens collection (I still primarily shoot with a Leica M9).

The logic was that I could try them on the Sony NEX 5n, and that I would always have the option of converting them to fit my Sony A77 - or their rumoured Full Frame SLT A99 if a Leica alternative is not forthcoming.

Although the lenses really do look a little odd on the Sony they do produce wonderful results, and the handling is much better than you might imagine - manual focusing is a pleasure, even in low light, and there is no need to stop down manually, as the EVF on the Sony gains up as you stop down.

Here is a gallery of images:
Click on the Link below - then click on the image at the top right.

all the best
Jono Slack

 Jono Slack's gear list:Jono Slack's gear list
Leica M10 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Apple iPhone X
Sony Alpha a99 Sony SLT-A77
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