The Big One: Sony RX1R vs Sony RX1 vs Leica M 240 with 35 Zeiss Biogon.
Below is a 4 camera comparison. The Sony RX1, Sony RX1R, Leica M 240 with 35 Zeiss Biogon and just for fun, and Olympus E-P5 with 17 1.8 at f/8. All lenses were shot on a tripod at f/8 and base ISO. These images are from RAW with a 100% crop of each file.
I am NOT using a Leica lens on the M for two reasons. A: This is a Zeiss vs Zeiss comparison. Can I put a Leica lens on the Sony? No, it has a Zeiss. Can I put a Zeiss lens on the Leica? Yes I can. and B: The Zeiss Zm 35 Biogon is known to be sharper than the 35 Summicron. This is a 35 f/2 comparison plain and simple. Of course if I used a 35 Cron, the Leica would show a little less detail. Just a little. Bokeh would be better (The Zeiss ZM looks a bit crazy here) and the color more muted and cool.
Comparison #1: Detail
What do I see in the 1st detail comparison? The RX1R has the most detail in the 1st detail comparison followed by the RX1 and then followed by the Leica M and Zeiss combo. Last place, as expected is the Olympus. Winner for detail, Sony RX1R.
You must click the image below to see the 100% crops and detail.
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Comparison #2 – Overall Bokeh and Color Test
These tests were more of a for fun test to see how the Bokeh would look from the RX1R vs M 240 with Zeiss 35 Biogon, both wide open at f/2:
and a couple more..which Bokeh do you prefer?
The Leica combo will run you about $8300. The RX1R will run you $2798 and the E-P5 will run you about $1300-$1400.
The thing to remember though is that the RX1/RX1R is 35mm ONLY. That is it. With the M you can shoot focal lengths from 12mm to 135mm to more with adapters and 3rd party lenses using the EVF. More versatile and yea, It’s a Leica. The RX1R is amazing for what it is, a fixed lens 35mm camera and in that group, there is nothing better.
More Detail at f/4
This is where the RX1R really shows its resolving power and wins again in the detail department. All were at f/4. Leica M had the Zeiss 35 at f/4. RX1R wins, RX1 2nd, Leica M 3rd place. If detail is your desire, it does not get any better than the RX1R before stepping up to the Nikon D800E, and I have seen side by side crops PRINTED from the RX1R and D800E and the RX1R was every bit the equal of the D800E file. Crazy.
In the test above the RX1/RX1R wins for color as well.
BTW, I used the EVF for focusing the M 240 to be sure it was exact. I also used the EVF on the RX1 and Olympus.