READER QUICK SHOT: Sony A7 and Vintage Leica 35 Summilux

READER QUICK SHOT: Sony A7 and Vintage Leica 35 Summilux

By Martin Bray

From Steve: This “Quick Shot” will be a new series much like the daily inspiration but with ONE SHOT only. If you have ONE SHOT that you love, send it to me with a description of the shot, what you used to take the image and why you like it. I may post it as a “Quick Shot”! Send to me at

I love the shot below as I am a huge fan of Environmental Portraits. Seeing this man in his workspace tells the story of his daily life and routine. I think it is a fantastic image, and captured with one of the coolest lenses ever, the old vintage 1960’s Leica 35 Summilux!

Dear Steve,

I drop into your site every few days to find out what people are up to, especially with the Daily Inspiration, many of which prod me to get out and about with a camera. This week I was doing some local town shots for a friend who has a gift shop and wants to start a small gallery. I was taking a picture of an interesting door when the owner appeared and invited us in to what turned out to be his goldsmith studio. I took this image on a Sony A7 with a 1960s Leitz Summilux 35mm f1.4 (ISO 2000, 1/60 sec, f4 – natural light only) – I just like the look of the man in his studio with all the organised clutter that you get in these places.


Thanks for looking!

Martin Bray


  1. Does anyone see a difference in performance between using M glass on a Leica vs the Sony A? I used Leica glass on the XPro and the results were not that great. Since the digital M use microlenses to adjust for the shorter difference between sensor and film, and I assume the Sony doesn’t.

    • M glass is fantastic on my A7II, better than on the M 240 in fact. It is when you get to ultra wide like 12, 15, 18, 21 when a problem can arise. The only Sony camera that can handle the ultra wides without real issues is the A7s. The A7II, A7, A7r will show magenta edges. The new Voigtlander 15 VIII works on the A7II no problem though. One of the best combos I have seen is the A7II or A7s with the Zeiss 50 Sonnar 1.5. Lovely.

      • Hi Steve, funny you should mention magenta edges, I get this on my A7s when shooting in in dark places or the night sky using Sony 35 2.8 Zeiss and 24-240 zoom. It’s not al the time and I suspect it only happens when I use the LCD and leave the viewfinder uncovered. Whats you thoughts on this??

        • Never experienced that in the slightest, so I have no thoughts. The 35 2.8 gives me NO issues like that at all, and I never used the 24-240, and probably never will. (not a big zoom fan) – wonder what is happening with your shots?

      • Hey Steve

        I was curious about your sites evolution and your evolution as a photographer. In the beginning your site seemed more Leica-centric and you had a lot of enthusiasm for the brand to the point you were labeled a Leica fan boy (as if it’s a bad thing, I’m a Leica fan boy and I love it and others are Canon or Sony fanboys and that’s cool too). Anyways over the last few years your site has branched out to covering a few different brands quite equally. In fact I see have given up color M shooting all together. Was this decision to move away from Leica-heavy reporting based on the fact there is a limited amount of gear to cover, therefore not the greatest business model or was it because you actually found you preferred other non Leica cameras as you tested them? Or a bit of both?

        • I try and use EVERYTHING. I write about maybe 65% of it. If I do not love a camera or lens, I do not write about it as I see it a waste of time. Even if it is a popular product. I always loved Lieca, still do, but today with Sony there are better options that cost much less. Leica is nice, but IMO, today in 2015 they are just over the top in price for what we get. When the M9 was new, nothing came close to the IQ. Today, many cameras can beat the M 240 for IQ. So with Sony being so aggressive I give them props for what they are doing. Same with Olympus. So what you will see on these pages are mostly smaller (mirrorless) high quality cameras reviewed and discussed. Leica, Sony, Olympus, Ricoh, etc

          • Hi Steve.

            Just wanted to check in with you how you rate the M10 now compared to the best Sony and other brands.

            I’m a M9 guy to start with but 2-3months ago I got the a7ii and techart pro adapter. I wanted to film and try using AF after 4 years with only M9. But I will go back to M9 an later M10. I just can’t handle al the buttons and setting and unsure what I will do with my films. I miss the simplicity in only pics with a Leica.

          • Well if you miss the simplicity you just answered your own question, for you it would be an M again. The M10 will perform better with M glass than the Sony, but the Sony is no slouch and does very well with most M glass of 35mm and up. The Sony gives you the EVF, the Leica an RF. The M10 offers IQ on par with the Sony sensors but with its own brand of color and contrast out of the camera. To me, the M10 is the best M but I also still like the 240 as well. IQ wise they are all fantastic but the M10 now can shoot in those low light areas that used to be reserved for Sony and a few others.

  2. Environmental portraits when so well done, like this, are just wonderful. This give us a feeling about the person from the one image. Great.

    Make sure we see more.


  3. Great shot, Martin – gorgeous light and exposure. And with one of my favorite lenses. Sharpens up nicely at f4, as you show, and gets glowy and dreamy at 1.4.

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