The image above shows the Leica Elmar 135mm f/4 on the Sony NEX 5N. I have to say, this is one of the most bizarre looks I have ever seen !!
The 1960’s Elmar 135mm f/4 makes for a 202mm equivalent on the NEX. Being an f/4, means that is faster than the e-mount SEL 55-210 lens at the specific focal length. Also, it is a prime lens and of course, it’s a Leica. The prices for used 135mm Leica lenses are very low today, maybe due to the fact that 135mm was never a popular focal length for the rangefinder M camera.
This is a very long lens but at the same very thin. It takes 39mm filters which really suits me, since I own lots of filters in this diameter. When you walk around with it, you practically hold the lens and not the camera !! It also has a tripod mount which is very convenient for tripod shooting.
At first, I thought focusing would be very difficult with this lens, since on my Leica M I had great trouble focusing, but the peaking system of the NEX together with the magnification option on the LCD made it actually quite easy to focus. I found the 135mm to be a low contrast lens, but with tweaking in Lightroom you can get all the contrast you want.
So, lets look at a couple of images shot with this combo.
Not bad for a 50 years old lens !! I really love this lens on the NEX, it gives you the option of narrow death of field at 200mm that can really produce very interesting images. The ability of mirrorless cameras to use legacy lenses, has really opened new dimensions for the amateur photographer.
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