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M-mount wide angle on Lumix S5II vs Sony a7R series?


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I'm trying to find out if anyone has done a direct comparison using M-mount wide and/or ultra wide lenses on a Lumix S5II / S5IIx versus Sony a7R series body, preferably a7R III or newer? I recently purchased a Lumix S5IIx based on the hope that it might also have a thinner filter stack like the SL series and thus perform well with M-mount lenses. Only conjecture on my part. My idea is to use it for M-mount manual focus lenses. I realize the SL2 would work well but it is too big and heavy for me, not to mention much more expensive. I already find the S5IIx on the large side. So far the only M-mount lens I have is a CM 75mm f1.9 Ultron and before I acquire wide or ultra wide M-mount lenses, I'd like to have some solid information on performance. My main interest is in ultra wide lenses as I already have 28mm covered with my Q3.

If there isn't going to be a significant difference overall between the S5II and a Sony body, I would rather have the Sony for its compactness, higher resolution than the 24MP of the Lumix  and wider variety of adapters available (6 bit coded, auto-focus, etc.) Also a few other things. But before I invest in lenses, the body I use might influence the best matchups for M-mount lenses. I still have a few days left to return the Lumix. I don't have access to the bodies and lenses to do an accurate comparison at the moment so hoping some of you have done such a comparison.

🤞Thanks!

Joel

Edited by MindsEye
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Between the two, I'd recommend you to go for the Sony. You can have the sensor modified by the Kolari guys and optimized for M lenses (though native lenses will suffer), or keep it vanilla and use native Voigtlander lenses, which means no need for an adapter, lenses are already optimized for the sensor, etc. 

I don't know if Kolari modifies S5 bodies, maybe yes.

Alternatively, grab a Nikon, it's the closest to the M stack. The ZF looks smaller than the S5, but bigger than the A7R.

FYI, the Panasonic sensor stack is 1.45mm, the Sony is 1.9mm and the Nikon is 1.1mm.

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5 hours ago, MindsEye said:

If there isn't going to be a significant difference overall between the S5II and a Sony body, I would rather have the Sony for its compactness, higher resolution than the 24MP of the Lumix  and wider variety of adapters available (6 bit coded, auto-focus, etc.) Also a few other things. But before I invest in lenses, the body I use might influence the best matchups for M-mount lenses.

Both of these solutions will be sub-par. The Sony option is slightly worse, because it uses a thicker sensor cover, and higher resolution won't do you any favours. The only cameras that offer satisfactory results with wide-angle M-mount lenses are Leica bodies: SL or M.

Your requirements scream-out for an actual M. They are slightly smaller than an SL or Sony, and older models can be in the same price range. It really is the best platform for M lenses. If not, the SL bodies are your second-best option. Frankly, everything else is a compromise where you spend money on high-quality lenses, only to have their qualities smudged by incompatible cameras.

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vor 3 Stunden schrieb Simone_DF:

[...] Alternatively, grab a Nikon, it's the closest to the M stack. The ZF looks smaller than the S5, but bigger than the A7R. [...]

The Zf is not as small as it looks on photos. It's very close to the Lumix S5II. The older S5 (I) ist smaller and the a7RIII is the smallest of the afore emntioned cameras:

Comparison Nikon Zf, Lumix S5II, Lumix S5 (I) and Sony a7rIII

Personally i own the older Lumix S5 (I) besides my Leica M cameras. I haven't tested it extensively, but it appears to me, that M lenses work quite okay with the S5 (and an adapter). But other than that I could only second the opinion of @BernardC. If you want to use M-mount lenses, get yourself a M camera. The second best solution would be a Leica SL camera.

Edited by Knipsknecht
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5 minutes ago, Knipsknecht said:

The second best solution would be a Leica SL camera.

That depends on your use and is an entirely subjective topic. I don’t care about wide angles and don’t really care about corners either, so to me other features from other cameras trump the SL. That said, my only digital camera is a SL2-S, so I can see the benefits of that as well. 
Personally I’d pick a Sigma over any adapted M lens for my wide angle needs. They are cheap, have autofocus if needed, metal body, aperture ring, small, light, cheap and they outperform any adapted M lens. 

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vor 3 Minuten schrieb Simone_DF:

[...] Personally I’d pick a Sigma over any adapted M lens for my wide angle needs. They are cheap, have autofocus if needed, metal body, aperture ring, small, light, cheap and they outperform any adapted M lens. 

I would do the same on my S5. I have three Sigma lenses for the L-mount (24mm, 45mm, 90mm) and two Panasonic (20-60mm, 35mm). All of them are great. Maybe I would use the S5 with the M-mount adapter more often if i would own a big chunky Noctilux or one of the bigger Voigtlander M-mount lenses.

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16 minutes ago, Simone_DF said:

That depends on your use and is an entirely subjective topic. I don’t care about wide angles and don’t really care about corners either, so to me other features from other cameras trump the SL. That said, my only digital camera is a SL2-S, so I can see the benefits of that as well. 
Personally I’d pick a Sigma over any adapted M lens for my wide angle needs. They are cheap, have autofocus if needed, metal body, aperture ring, small, light, cheap and they outperform any adapted M lens. 

The original question was about using M wide angle lenses, so I assumed other options were off-topic. As you mention, Sigma makes great little L-mount wides, as does Panasonic, so that's an option for people who aren't using M lenses.

I regularly use an Elmarit-M 21 with my SL. It's much smaller than even the smallest Sigma (I have their 45/2.8). I can see the appeal of carrying a tiny wide, especially since my other ultra-wide is Sigma's huge 14-24. That lens has awesome performance, but it's a bother to carry around.

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7 hours ago, Simone_DF said:

FYI, the Panasonic sensor stack is 1.45mm, the Sony is 1.9mm and the Nikon is 1.1mm

Hi @Simone_DF, Thanks for your response. Where did you find these numbers? I'm familiar with Roger Cicala/LensRentals sensor thickness database but they don't have Panasonic FF and show a variety of numbers for different models within a brand. I assume there must be other sources and would love to know where to find them. Can you please provide (a) link(s)?

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4 hours ago, BernardC said:

The original question was about using M wide angle lenses, so I assumed other options were off-topic. As you mention, Sigma makes great little L-mount wides, as does Panasonic, so that's an option for people who aren't using M lenses.

I regularly use an Elmarit-M 21 with my SL. It's much smaller than even the smallest Sigma (I have their 45/2.8). I can see the appeal of carrying a tiny wide, especially since my other ultra-wide is Sigma's huge 14-24. That lens has awesome performance, but it's a bother to carry around.

Thanks for pointing this out. The very compact size of the M-lenses is one of the main attractions. I also like the feel of the lenses and manual focus. It forces me to be more considered and slow down a bit. I have an ample Fujifilm kit with multiple bodies and lenses for work. I have had M film and digital bodies in the past and love using my Q3. Photography is my full time gig. A rig for M-mount lenses is more of a personal project though I'm not opposed to doing some professional work with it. So a Sony or Lumix body will be a transition thing...with an eye on an M body down the road.

If cost were no object, I would get an M11-P with a Visoflex 2. I know I can also pick up a used 240 or M10 body but it's still potentially thousands more than the S5II for an M body in nice shape ($3K+ for 240 on low end.) If I get a Sony body, I will likely get a used one. My goal was not to go above $2K for a poor man's version of a Leica body in the short term.

Once I find out how much I'm using a compact rig with M-mount lenses, I'll know how much I can justify in terms of getting a real M body.

I must admit I am spoiled by the fact that all my current cameras have real dials for shutter speed, ISO, etc. I've owned many Sonys in the past and it always felt a bit like a computer with a lens attached. The S5II feels a bit like that too, though a little more user friendly.

Edited by MindsEye
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vor 18 Stunden schrieb MindsEye:

So far the only M-mount lens I have is a CM 75mm f1.9 Ultron and before I acquire wide or ultra wide M-mount lenses,


CM 75mm f1.9 Ultron  -  So I guess Cosina / Voigtländer  using the Leica M-mount

As already written before...
Not every lens is suited for using on a “Panasonic” camera body.
Sony also is not suited for it by the standard (by factory) sensor cover glass. (Could be even more thick than Panasonic?).
Due to optical design of lenses and limitations related to characteristics of sensor-stack thickness / sensor cover glass,
maximum possible angle of light rays hitting the sensor at borders / corners.  Specially when using wide angle lenses.

Using digital Leica M camera’s, the sensor-stack thickness and micro lenses in front of pixels (?) is optimised for it.
But using a “Panasonic” camera body, image quality can rapidly decline to borders / corners as by experience.

About three months ago I bought a new 35mm lens, and compared two lenses by test images (within the camera shop itself).
- Voigtländer 35mm F1.5 Notkon  -  (As for comparison see examples found at YouTube - to Leica Summilux 35mm FLE)
- Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary

I only tried wide open aperture settings closing down to F 2.8 maximum.
(I want to use these primes specially for their fast openings).

So for Voigtländer 1.5 - 2.0 - 2.8
Aperture setting Sigma  2.0 - 2.8

And tried different focus areas. Focusing in centre, and focusing “mid frame” area. To rule out any field curvature issues.

Unfortunately, the Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f1.5 can “not be used” in combination with a „Panasonic S1R” camera.
And to be expected other Panasonic camera's as well (so comparable "bad" results).    Only centre area is acceptable.
Going to mid frame and borders, the image is declining rapidly. ( F1.5 can not be used at all !! ).
Even when the Sigma is used wide open F 2.0, and the Voigtländer closed to F 2.8 (so ~two stops down).
The image quality of the Sigma outperform the Voigtländer by miles to borders and corners.

So I ended up, buying the Sigma lens. Very pity, as these kind of Voigtländer lenses I like very much.
(And a charm as for build mechanical quality, shape and dimensions and fitting as a combination to the Panasonic camera).
But with some common sense this is to be expected. 😎
Otherwise every lens brand should build much more tiny lenses, than what they do now.

Edited by Babylonia
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This week BH Photo has the S5ii for $1745.99 INCLUDING the 50mm f/1.8 S lens.  I’ve only been testing it for a few days.  But, it’s very close to the SL2-S with 50 Summicron-ASPH I had last spring.

It’s not a Leica in many ways.  But, I’m liking the autofocus and haven’t seen huge issues using my Summicron-M ASPH 28mm or Summilux-M ASPH 50mm.

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18 hours ago, MindsEye said:

Hi @Simone_DF, Thanks for your response. Where did you find these numbers? I'm familiar with Roger Cicala/LensRentals sensor thickness database but they don't have Panasonic FF and show a variety of numbers for different models within a brand. I assume there must be other sources and would love to know where to find them. Can you please provide (a) link(s)?

I remember reading these from the Kolari guys, which indeed offer a thin filter mod for the Panasonic S1 series too, but I can’t find the link right now

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Link to Kolarivision:
https://kolarivision.com/product/sony-a7-series-thin-filter-legacy-lens-upgrade

Including Panasonic S1 Series Thin Filter Legacy Lens Upgrade.
More expensive than Sony  $ 400,-  +  $ 150,-  so totally $ 550,-

Check the information at Kolarivision, as there are also found disadvantages:
E.g.  Warning: Potential Kelvin Shift

Important links:
A summary of tests done with various lenses: here
General discussion of the service: here

-

Edited by Babylonia
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12 hours ago, soccerrick10 said:

This week BH Photo has the S5ii for $1745.99 INCLUDING the 50mm f/1.8 S lens.  I’ve only been testing it for a few days.  But, it’s very close to the SL2-S with 50 Summicron-ASPH I had last spring.

It’s not a Leica in many ways.  But, I’m liking the autofocus and haven’t seen huge issues using my Summicron-M ASPH 28mm or Summilux-M ASPH 50mm.

Thanks for this. 😎

Are you able to provide any specifics using your 50 and 28 M lenses on the S5ii? Such as wide open versus stopped down, best apertures, distances you tested, or center/mid frame/edge performance? Even if you just did a casual test, it's good to know that you didn't see big issues with these lenses. 

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4 hours ago, Simone_DF said:

I remember reading these from the Kolari guys, which indeed offer a thin filter mod for the Panasonic S1 series too, but I can’t find the link right now

No worries on the link. Good to know the source. Thanks!

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16 hours ago, Babylonia said:

About three months ago I bought a new 35mm lens, and compared two lenses by test images (within the camera shop itself).
- Voigtländer 35mm F1.5 Notkon  -  (As for comparison see examples found at YouTube - to Leica Summilux 35mm FLE)
- Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary

I only tried wide open aperture settings closing down to F 2.8 maximum.
(I want to use these primes specially for their fast openings).

So for Voigtländer 1.5 - 2.0 - 2.8
Aperture setting Sigma  2.0 - 2.8

And tried different focus areas. Focusing in centre, and focusing “mid frame” area. To rule out any field curvature issues.

Unfortunately, the Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f1.5 can “not be used” in combination with a „Panasonic S1R” camera.
And to be expected other Panasonic camera's as well (so comparable "bad" results).    Only centre area is acceptable.
Going to mid frame and borders, the image is declining rapidly. ( F1.5 can not be used at all !! ).
Even when the Sigma is used wide open F 2.0, and the Voigtländer closed to F 2.8 (so ~two stops down).
The image quality of the Sigma outperform the Voigtländer by miles to borders and corners.

Thanks for this information. Different models of M-mount lenses vary a lot with their performance when adapted. Phillip Reeve's site has many M lenses tested on both Sony and Leica M bodies

In your case I would fully expect the Sigma L mount lens to outperform an adapted lens.

I'm just assuming that the slightly thinner stack on the Lumix S5II will do better than the Sony but I've also read that the a7 and a7R series perform noicteably different from each other with adapted M lenses. So it's all conjecture on my part.

I will likely visit my local Leica store and try some comparisons. I'll report back if I learn anything useful.

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vor 7 Stunden schrieb MindsEye:

In your case I would fully expect the Sigma L mount lens to outperform an adapted lens.

I was expecting also "some" differences, but typically this early mentioned  - Voigtländer 35mm F1.5 Notkon  lens, the difference was more than expected.
(Wide open, only the centre is sharp enough, and in no way results like found at   YouTube   -   using a Leica M camera).

But as results can vary by one or the other lens by design and focal lens, and there are not many user reviews using a "Panasonic" camera (mostly "Sony").
The best thing is just try, and do some basic testing. Make your personal decision afterwards. (As every user do have their own needs and preferences).

At least the weight of the  Voigländer 35mm F1.5 Nokton "brass" version Including the added L-mount to M-mount adapter is not that different,
from an L-mount Sigma 35mm / F2.0 DG DN | Contemporary "without adapter". 😎

 

vor 8 Stunden schrieb MindsEye:

I will likely visit my local Leica store and try some comparisons. I'll report back if I learn anything useful.

I am curious and look forward to your experiences. 👍

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20 hours ago, MindsEye said:

Thanks for this. 😎

Are you able to provide any specifics using your 50 and 28 M lenses on the S5ii? Such as wide open versus stopped down, best apertures, distances you tested, or center/mid frame/edge performance? Even if you just did a casual test, it's good to know that you didn't see big issues with these lenses. 

I’ll try to get some comparison shots done today. I’ll start with the Summilux and try to get you something to evaluate.

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