Sony a7s with Leica and Voigtlander lenses

Although my main reason for purchasing the Sony A7s was to shoot video, it is also a very good full frame camera for stills. It is also very small and light, and since I can use my rangefinder lenses on it, it makes a very practical small and lightweight combo.

The 12 megapixels may seem outdated since we are used at 16mp and 24mp today, but for me this is not a crucial factor. For my large prints which are mainly landcsapes, my camera of choice remains the Nikon D800E, a stellar performer for this kind of photography. I have made great 60x40cm prints from the Fuji X100 which is also 12mp, so I know that for the vast majority of my needs, I can get away with 12 megapixels. Plus, its really great to have at the same body and excellent video and photo camera in such a small size.

(Sony A7s, Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5)

The 15mm Voigtlander on the A7s was the most pleasant surprise for me. A very difficult lens for use with adapters, but on thenA7s it performs great. I really was very happy that this lens worked so good, since I don’t have to carry anymore the Nikon 14-24 the D800E for wide angle shots. I save it for very special work. Also the excellent high ISO performance of the Sony, anticipates the slow f/4.5 aperture.


(Sony A7s, Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8)

Another great performer is the Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 lens. I really love the rendering of the 90mm and the fact that is a really tiny lens concerning the focal length. I have lost the lens hood which makes it prone to contrast loss in certain situations., so I will have to get another one soon.

(Sony A7s, Leica Summarit 35mm f/2.5)

Another great lens for the A7s, super image quality and sharpness, the Leica Summarit 35mm f/2.5 is one of my favorite lens for the Sony. On the Leica M8 I used more the Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 since its almost two stops faster. But the Summarit is clearly a better lens in any aspect, and the two stops difference is negligible on the A7s, so I keep the Voigtlander for really low light situations.

(Sony A7s, Voigtlander Super Nokton 50mm f/1.1)

This is one of my most used lenses, the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1. The image above is one of the rare times I used it stopped down, since almost all my photos with the Nokton at with wide open aperture to get that special look. For normal uses I find the (now replaced with a newer model ) Nokton 50mm f/1.5 lens a better performer and it’s also a much smaller lens.

I have also used the Leica 135mm f/4 lens with great results. The focus peaking allows for very precise focusing with my rangefinder lenses, so manual focusing is not a problem.

The main advantage of using these lenses on the A7s is the size factor,they are small and light and I can fit many of them in a medium size bag without any problem. This is the main advantage of this camera system for me.

The quality of the adapter plays a significant role when mounting these lenses on the Sony. After using a couple of cheap adapters, I decided to get a Novoflex adapter, which was expensive, but it was worthwhile, everything works like it is supposed to.

Investing on the A7s was worthwhile. Its video performance is stellar, the high ISO performance is also unbelievable and it is a full frame camera in a very small body. It works great with all my lenses and it is also a very good stills camera. My Leica M8 is now almost solely used for infrared photography and for some special situations when I want to get a great black and white image (you can’t beat the b&w look of a photo taken with a CCD sensor which suffers from inadequate IR sealing !)

My DLSR is also used for very special projects (as it was supposed to, nothing can beat the Nikon D800E for stills with the exception of course of the new D810 ), so for me this was the best solution for my needs. Currently, I am making some video projects with the A7s, and in time I will upload some of these videos.

(C)2014 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to Sony a7s with Leica and Voigtlander lenses

  1. Abigail says:

    Hello Konstantinos
    I came across your blog with interest as you have written about the Voigtlander 15mm lens together with the Sony A7S. I have just bought this lens for my A7S but have no one to ask how to focus it accurately. Do you just guess the distance?? Appreciate any hints you could throw my way – thanks so much.


    • kbesios says:

      Hello. I use focus peaking to focus the lens but usually I just set aperture to f/5.6 and the focus distance at 2 or 3 meters according to the subject . With a super wide angle lens using these settings, pretty much everything is in focus .

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