Since I can’t really afford to get a new Leica M, I’ve been wanting to test a Sony NEX camera with my Leica lenses to see if that would be a good alternative to my aging M8. So I borrowed Dan’s NEX-7 and bought a cheap Leica M to NEX mount adapter from Amazon and took it with me on a short trip to Charlottesville/Shenandoah area.
In short, it’s not for me. I got a couple of nice shots (like the butterfly above), but largely it was a flop.
- The camera is super light and easy to hold.
- The files are HUGE, so if you nail the focus you can do some extreme cropping and still get very usable files.
- Focusing is tricky, and I found the focus peaking feature just about useless. You pretty much have to use the magnification mode to find the focus, which means you have to find and press a small button on the lower back of the camera every time you take a picture. None of my wide-angle landscape shots turned out to be in focus, which might have more to do with the adapter than the camera, but still it was almost impossible to see clearly enough in the viewfinder in bright light to ensure focus.
- The colors the NEX-7 produces are just weird. Usually Sony cameras produce overly saturated colors, but everything that comes out of the NEX-7 is just flat and dull. I spent a lot of time in Lightroom playing with color settings trying to get a nice rendition. Maurizio Paraccini’s camera profiles were a huge help.
- The magenta color cast on wider angle lenses is real and showed up on shots taken with my 28mm Summicron. Thought not nearly as bad as Steve Huff’s Voigtlander 15 shot.