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Leica CL vs Sony A6000 (6300, 6500)

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Owning the NEX6 I can assure you that the CL output is vastly superior, both in colour and in smooth tonal transitions. My advice would be to get the CL and a Hama shoulder-pod. That will give you a couple of stops.

That won't work for me. I am now a neo-convert for IBIS. It makes focusing so much easier (since image doesn't dance around). Surprisingly I am liking A6500 custom button placements (after re configuring) for my usage. I can very easily switch FL and lowest SS for IBIS/autoISO when I change lens. Zoom focus also falls directly on my thumb. Rest I can ignore. What I am liking is how easy it is for me to get sharp shots using my 180APO3.4. The one below is outside my window. A quick grab shot. I am happy.

 

Of course I would love to have M240 (or CL) like IQ. But for now I can live with it.

 

LEICA, Give us IBIS!! (Sorry for shouting. It is for everyone's benefit)

 

180APO3.4 on A6500 (slightly cropped)

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I rather prefer the better Dual-IS on the Panasonic GX 8 -Rather good sensor as well,  a bit better than the NEX6. But 5 stop, 5 axis stabilized, combined with the DG vario-Elmar 100-400. 1/60th @ 800 mm equ. IBIS (or OIS) can never match that.

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I rather prefer the better Dual-IS on the Panasonic GX 8 -Rather good sensor as well,  a bit better than the NEX6. But 5 stop, 5 axis stabilized, combined with the DG vario-Elmar 100-400. 1/60th @ 800 mm equ. IBIS (or OIS) can never match that.

Of course, give me 5 stops in CL and I will never look back.

 

 

This morning I went out in overcast skies (no shadows, bad lighting) with 180APO3.4+2XAPO (720mm equiv on MFT) and I shot consistently at 1/80! That is 3.5 stops below 1/f rule.

 

It was fun to be able to focus accurately with steadyshot on. I was able to shoot at f5.6 and f8 (f11-f16 with extender) using  ISO 200 with long lens setup that I could never do in the past. Just look at the results. ISO 200 has virtually no grain!

 

BTW, A6500+180APO3.4+2XAPO is only slightly heavier than GX8+100-400vario (3.5lb vs 3.3lb). Excuse my Americano.

... and we are comparing FF lens with MFT.

 

Again..give me IBIS in Leica world and I will never look back.

 

Without crop: (BTW, these are Snowy Egrets)

Edited by jmahto

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I rather prefer the better Dual-IS on the Panasonic GX 8 -Rather good sensor as well,  a bit better than the NEX6. But 5 stop, 5 axis stabilized, combined with the DG vario-Elmar 100-400. 1/60th @ 800 mm equ. IBIS (or OIS) can never match that.

After playing some more with A6500's sensor, it is kind of let down (in my eyes). I really need to compare the sensor output between CL and A6500 side by side. Maybe I will rent CL to compare myself. I need to find out from where.

 

I also have doubts that GX-8 sensor will be better than A6500. Maybe I am pixel peeping too much. In anycase, I am not going to commit to a full non-leica system just to shoot birds I don't know personally.

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Having taken delivery of a 6500 plus a Novoflex adaptor this week, I have tried out my 1967 35mm Summaron f2.8, 50mm Summilux-M ASPH and 135mm APO Telyt-M, and am pleased/relieved at the ease of use and the results.  The IBIS needs to be set to the relevant focal length and this can be assigned to the C1, C2 & C3 buttons. Really I only envisage using the Summilux (=75mm) for when I want a wide-open / minimum DoF image and the 135mm (= 210mm) for telephoto use, otherwise the E 16-70mm (24-105mm) ZA OSS will be on the camera.  Having written that, I will try out my 60mm Macro-Elmarit-R out of curiosity.

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Having taken delivery of a 6500 plus a Novoflex adaptor this week, I have tried out my 1967 35mm Summaron f2.8, 50mm Summilux-M ASPH and 135mm APO Telyt-M, and am pleased/relieved at the ease of use and the results.  The IBIS needs to be set to the relevant focal length and this can be assigned to the C1, C2 & C3 buttons. Really I only envisage using the Summilux (=75mm) for when I want a wide-open / minimum DoF image and the 135mm (= 210mm) for telephoto use, otherwise the E 16-70mm (24-105mm) ZA OSS will be on the camera.  Having written that, I will try out my 60mm Macro-Elmarit-R out of curiosity.

Keith, how are you finding the IQ? I am comparing it with Nex6 and it is almost same at equivalent ISO (with lower ceiling though). IBIS is great help no doubt (and there are improvements in auto ISO over Nex6) but I need better IQ than my 5 year old camera.

 

Note that I use Nex6/A6500 exclusively with long R (and some legacy) lenses. Sony native lenses overlap with my M240 therefore I don't use them. I also don't like sony's peaking even at the lowest settings. It peaks too early (same with Nex6), making zooming almost mandatory for focusing. If CL's IQ at equivalent ISO is better then I may be switching. Need to find out how much better.

Edited by jmahto

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Well, it was a very short love affair. A6500 is going back. Although I was smitten by IBIS and I still think it hugely adds to long lens usability, I was not very happy with i) marginal to no improvement on IQ at same ISO over Nex6 ii) AWB was bad compared to what I got from M240 for the same scene (both on RAW). I spent more time trying to correct the colors.

 

At the end there was not much incentive for me to upgrade Nex6 to A6500. Nex6 is so much lighter as well. M240 is my main camera therefore I am always comparing IQ with against it.

 

Now I will sit back and slowly evaluate whether CL is better fit. I will have to rent it or buy from somewhere who has favorable return policy.

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Well, it was a very short love affair. A6500 is going back. Although I was smitten by IBIS and I still think it hugely adds to long lens usability, I was not very happy with i) marginal to no improvement on IQ at same ISO over Nex6 ii) AWB was bad compared to what I got from M240 for the same scene (both on RAW). I spent more time trying to correct the colors.

 

 

 

Thanks for reporting back. A few questions on the above:

 

-  The 6500 does bring slightly higher resolution to the table (24 MP vs 16 MP) - is that not an objective (slight) improvement per se?

-  What was there to improve on Nex6 IQ at "normal" ISO settings? What weaknesses do you see in 6500 files at such settings?

-  Are you feeling that the 6500 sensor is not bringing any benefit at all at higher ISOs compared to Nex6 generation? 

- If you shoot RAW, that means you have full liberty to manage White Balance in PP. Did you try handing over AWB to the computer? 

 

Camera AWB performance is important for JPEG shooters, and is only "indicative" otherwise. I'd let LR (of whatever software you use) do the AWB bit at import stage, if the Sony preview is indeed systematically disappointing. I usually see an improvement when I follow my computer's software advise on AWB with my M10 files by the way (and M8/M9 before that) - never tried M240 RAW files. in my experience, LR, Aperture/Apple Photos and Iridient auto settings very often improve on camera AWB, especially when light is a bit mixed up, even with Leica files. 

 

I am following this thread precisely because I am also looking at 6500 vs CL to back up my M10.

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I have never used Sony APS-C cameras but i cannot imagine how their thick sensor stack could allow them to compete with the CL as far as M wides are concerned. A Sony camera with modded sensor stack like my Kolari mod A7s can work fine with those lenses but it has a sensor filter as thin or perhaps thinner than that of current M cameras. I have never used M10 bodies either but compared to my M240, the digital CL has less color shift problems with M wides, no clipping reds, a better auto WB and no banding at 6400 iso which is too noisy for color works on both cameras. But the CL files have also less acutance than the M240's due to a thicker sensor stack i suspect which in turn causes less moiré and IR issues. Bottom line, compared to my Epson R-D1, Ricoh GXR and Fuji X-E2 bodies, the CL is the best compromise for using M lenses in APS-C format but it doesn't play in the same league as FF cameras and i cannot comment about its results with TL lenses or jpeg files i have no experience with. Just my 2 cent.

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Not relevant to this topic though, did anybody find that MF is easier on CL than on SL, as the focus peaking is much more "sensitive"?

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Thanks for reporting back. A few questions on the above:

 

-  The 6500 does bring slightly higher resolution to the table (24 MP vs 16 MP) - is that not an objective (slight) improvement per se?

-  What was there to improve on Nex6 IQ at "normal" ISO settings? What weaknesses do you see in 6500 files at such settings?

-  Are you feeling that the 6500 sensor is not bringing any benefit at all at higher ISOs compared to Nex6 generation? 

- If you shoot RAW, that means you have full liberty to manage White Balance in PP. Did you try handing over AWB to the computer? 

 

Camera AWB performance is important for JPEG shooters, and is only "indicative" otherwise. I'd let LR (of whatever software you use) do the AWB bit at import stage, if the Sony preview is indeed systematically disappointing. I usually see an improvement when I follow my computer's software advise on AWB with my M10 files by the way (and M8/M9 before that) - never tried M240 RAW files. in my experience, LR, Aperture/Apple Photos and Iridient auto settings very often improve on camera AWB, especially when light is a bit mixed up, even with Leica files. 

 

I am following this thread precisely because I am also looking at 6500 vs CL to back up my M10.

 

Let me give output from A6500 from my tests. Since I used 180APO3.4 for these tests, I can safely add the crops for illustration. I don't know how is compares with CL's output (which I hope is better).

 

Q:  The 6500 does bring slightly higher resolution to the table (24 MP vs 16 MP) - is that not an objective (slight) improvement per se?

Ans: See 1:1 crops below straight from RAW. Notice the lettering on the tower. First is from Nex6 and next from A6500. For me the extra resolution is marginal.

Nex6+180APO3.4 (1:1 crop)

A6500+180APO3.4 (1:1 crop)

Q:   What was there to improve on Nex6 IQ at "normal" ISO settings? What weaknesses do you see in 6500 files at such settings?

Ans: Look at 1:1 crop for the grain pattern at ISO400. I chose 400 since at 200 the diff is even less. Yes, there is difference at "normal" ISO, but it is marginal and only in shadow. 

Q:   Are you feeling that the 6500 sensor is not bringing any benefit at all at higher ISOs compared to Nex6 generation?

Ans: The only "improvement" is high ISO ceiling. Banding starts at 12800 for Nex6 while 25600 for A6500. 1 to 1.5 stops better. These ISOs are too grainy for me anyway with DR and color issues. I am not a high ISO shooter.

Nex6+180APO3.4, ISO 400 (1:1 crop), no PP

A6500+180APO3.4, ISO 400 (1:1 crop), no PP

 

Q:  If you shoot RAW, that means you have full liberty to manage White Balance in PP. Did you try handing over AWB to the computer? 

Ans: Yes, you can but if there is no base line (by careful white balancing while shooting or always using WB card, I don't) then you don't know which way to go and M240 gives you a better starting point. I have only shot RAW for last ten years and if there is a pain in PP then I know it. In this respect Nex6 and A6500 both are same. See example below. First from A6500 and second from M240. Without any PP, both AWB.

A6500+180APO3.4, AWB, no PP
M240+180APO3.4, AWB, no PP

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I have never used Sony APS-C cameras but i cannot imagine how their thick sensor stack could allow them to compete with the CL as far as M wides are concerned. A Sony camera with modded sensor stack like my Kolari mod A7s can work fine with those lenses but it has a sensor filter as thin or perhaps thinner than that of current M cameras. I have never used M10 bodies either but compared to my M240, the digital CL has less color shift problems with M wides, no clipping reds, a better auto WB and no banding at 6400 iso which is too noisy for color works on both cameras. But the CL files have also less acutance than the M240's due to a thicker sensor stack i suspect which in turn causes less moiré and IR issues. Bottom line, compared to my Epson R-D1, Ricoh GXR and Fuji X-E2 bodies, the CL is the best compromise for using M lenses in APS-C format but it doesn't play in the same league as FF cameras and i cannot comment about its results with TL lenses or jpeg files i have no experience with. Just my 2 cent.

I agree about the M wides not doing good on Sony (even APS-C) sensor. But this is not an issue with longer (135+) lens and that is where I use my Nex6 (or CL in future). If I had CL then also I would not use M wides on it since I do carry M240 all the time. I may use it for 50+ lens though to complement M+wide. *For me* APS-C camera is not a replacement to M but a compliment.

 

Edit: Let me clarify "not using wides" on Sony comment above. There are times when I have used 50LUX on Nex6 at f5.6 and have got wonderful results. Yes, it is not sharp on the extreme corners (even at f5.6) but it just doesn't matter in scenes like this (and many). Of course CL will do better and that is a good thing.

Edited by jmahto

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Keith, how are you finding the IQ? I am comparing it with Nex6 and it is almost same at equivalent ISO (with lower ceiling though). IBIS is great help no doubt (and there are improvements in auto ISO over Nex6) but I need better IQ than my 5 year old camera.

 

Note that I use Nex6/A6500 exclusively with long R (and some legacy) lenses. Sony native lenses overlap with my M240 therefore I don't use them. I also don't like sony's peaking even at the lowest settings. It peaks too early (same with Nex6), making zooming almost mandatory for focusing. If CL's IQ at equivalent ISO is better then I may be switching. Need to find out how much better.

 

I have tried out some of my M (and an R) lens on the A6500, partly to see if there signs of the corner/edge 'smears' I had read about. The shots below were all taken indoors (raining outside!), hand-held, natural light, AWB. In focal length order:-

 

28mm Elmarit-M APSH, at f2.8, ISO 3200.

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4618/39824443112_6c3a68d6ae_b.jpg&key=020cba3d4681c5187e7c7c3c8256daf3dc24108d24ba60fb16d6af8b00756320">

 

1967 35mm Summaron at f2.8, ISO 1000.

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4670/25983420358_d1c08b38e8_o.jpg&key=4fb5b080e981fb47232df6dbb7a6cff2053067e3c775f6730bfbde02aacd0b9c">

 

1951 5cm Summicron Collapsible @ f2, ISO 1000.

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4742/25983433068_13e4c83846_c.jpg&key=c252d4c8061b39d97860fc6cbc448618c12b9b7d189b259e8e0c08d5e0d4e1e8">

 

60mm Macro Elmarit-R 1/60sec hand-held, natural light, ISO 6400. (The speckles on the pen are dust!)  This really was to test the IBIS function.

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4715/25922625578_cd8d5e9603_c.jpg&key=0a312117b5904be431d3407c86cb3884b7921cb5c054864cc6d16db881fd2a64">

 

135mm APO Telyt-M @ ISO 6400.

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4621/38957820235_a57daaf1a1_o.jpg&key=50747cbb9002d2b0f725b3745485dc4fee9992c143715977100d6e6aabbe034c">

 

Personally I am very pleased & impressed by the combinations (and the A6500's capabilities). Just one outing with the camera - results here, (if anyone is interested).

Edited by Keith (M)

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Not relevant to this topic though, did anybody find that MF is easier on CL than on SL, as the focus peaking is much more "sensitive"?

The focus peaking on the CL is far too strong on lenses with high micro-contrast, like the optically 'perfect' 50mm APO-M. In this case, the evf is more red than showing the scene... On less 'perfect' optics, or on very long lenses with shallow focus, focus peaking may work. But in my case, I have turned off the peaking on the CL altogether, relying on the (good) evf and, if in doubt, focus magnification. On the SL, I guess I use focus peaking less than 20% of the time.

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I have never used Sony APS-C cameras but i cannot imagine how their thick sensor stack could allow them to compete with the CL as far as M wides are concerned. A Sony camera with modded sensor stack like my Kolari mod A7s can work fine with those lenses but it has a sensor filter as thin or perhaps thinner than that of current M cameras. I have never used M10 bodies either but compared to my M240, the digital CL has less color shift problems with M wides, no clipping reds, a better auto WB and no banding at 6400 iso which is too noisy for color works on both cameras. But the CL files have also less acutance than the M240's due to a thicker sensor stack i suspect which in turn causes less moiré and IR issues. Bottom line, compared to my Epson R-D1, Ricoh GXR and Fuji X-E2 bodies, the CL is the best compromise for using M lenses in APS-C format but it doesn't play in the same league as FF cameras and i cannot comment about its results with TL lenses or jpeg files i have no experience with. Just my 2 cent.

The nex 6 (and the 5n) apparently have a thinner sensor stack than other Sonys, particularly the 24mp nex 7 for instance. My nex 6 gives better edge performance with 'difficult' lenses such as the 15mm Heliar vers 1, 21mm Skopar and 35mm Summicron asph than my Xpro2. And miles better than the Sony A7 I used to have where those three lenses were unusable. Its the only reason I still have it as the Fuji is better in every respect otherwise.

 

Gerry

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Problem is soft corners with M wides i.e. 10mm to 28mm on APS bodies. My experience is limited to 15mm but i doubt that any Sony or Fuji APS camera can manage my CV 15/4.5 v2 the same way as the CL does. Ditto about the CV 21/4. It is a lens i've used a lot on my Fuji X-E2 and it did very well at f/8 and on but corners were always soft at f/4. Not a criticism of course Sony and Fuji cameras are not made to fit M lenses obviously. 

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Yes they are all less sharp at the edges than on film, but on the nex 6 the 15mm v1 is good at f/8, whereas its only 'acceptable' on the Fuji xpro2. The 21/4 is at least a stop worse on the Fuji than the nex 6.

28mm/1.9 is good though, it seems a more retrofocus design, so does better on the Fuji than the 35mm aspheric Summicron (or the voigtlander 35/2.5) and it was the only one of these that was good on the A7 (although the 21 Elmarit asph was good at 8 and 11)

 

Gerry

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Yes they are all less sharp at the edges than on film, but on the nex 6 the 15mm v1 is good at f/8, whereas its only 'acceptable' on the Fuji xpro2. The 21/4 is at least a stop worse on the Fuji than the nex 6.

28mm/1.9 is good though, it seems a more retrofocus design, so does better on the Fuji than the 35mm aspheric Summicron (or the voigtlander 35/2.5) and it was the only one of these that was good on the A7 (although the 21 Elmarit asph was good at 8 and 11)

 

Gerry

 

Just out of curiosity, do you own the CL or are you contemplating the CL?  Did you or are you planning on benchmarking it against the X-Pro2?

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