Bringing life to old glass with my Sony A7II & Leica by Robert Tam

Bringing life to old glass with my Sony A7II & Leica

by Robert Tam

Hi Steve and Brandon

I am a new comer to your blog. I am impressed by the opinion provided. I have some old Leica lens, Summicron DR 50mm F2, Elmar 50mm F2.8 and Summaron 35mm F3.5. The latter two are screw mount. They are still in perfect condition and have been gathering dust over the years since Leica have been falling behind with the digital age. Having read your reviews on the Sony A7 Mark 2 series, it suddenly dawn to me that I can bring these old lens back to life.

With the Metabones and screw mount adaptor, off I went to Winton festival. A small sleepy town till dinosaur bones were found on a sheep station. This is the first time dinosaur bones have been discovered in Australia. It is rapidly becoming a major tourist attraction and is the most prolific yielding site in the Southern hemisphere.

Uniquely Australian and I hope your viewers will enjoy the local colour.

Sony A7 Mark 2 with Summicron DR 50mm F2

Winton festival-4

Winton festival-2

Winton festival


  1. I don’t think the question is better on Leica or not, the A7 will be attractive for many shooters, Pro as well as Amateurs for the simple reason you can use a 20 dollar Jupiter-8 lens, which can be great, on it. Or other vintage glass. The Sony offering is just totally different and not(yet) to be compared with Leica. As a film shooter I use Leica, however, when I go digital I can now use all my glass, including Nikkor, Pentax, M42, M39, LTM etc etc. This will again open up the sensor race, and that is a bigger problem for many, including Leica. Leica is still in the lead, but their advance on the competition is shrinking fast, very fast. I thank the filmgods that I still use 36 exposures 🙂

  2. Steve how large do we have to print to grow beyond IQ of EM1 and a good prime? Price and weight and lens selection and waterproof and IS in body..

    Can the 40mm – 150mm f4.0 R manually focus. Just got one.

  3. what an odd statement…. you do realize that these lenses will resolve better on a Leica M9 or Leica M240 then on any of the sony’s?…. if you find that can no longer focus accurately with a rangefinder i can see moving to the sony… but let’s be honest, at that point you might as well ditch the manual focus lenses and move to full auto anyways.

        • As stated in my review, the A7RII now uses a backlit sensor that makes it work VERY well with ANY Leica M mount lens. No more color issues, no more vignetting issues, and if you are a 400% pixel peeper you can see some softness in the corners if shooting a landscape but other than that they work VERY well, in many cases better than they do an an M, on the A7RII or A7s.

      • There’s a reason Sony lenses are so big, the smaller rangefinder lenses do not perform well with the Sony’s. You can still use the Leica’s if you like the character, but you are missing out on the best they can offer, the pixel peeping sites have shown this over and over.

  4. ‘Leica falling behind’ Really? I’m pretty happy with my M240 the image quality from that sensor is awesome. The new Q while a fixed lens camera is just stellar, and in October the rumor is that there’s an interchangeable lens version of the Q coming with new AF lenses.

  5. Very nice work. I’ve found my 1950-70 Leitz Summicron f2 35 and 50 and my 90 mm Elmarit have new lives also

    • And they are all great cameras, but the tech is a bit outdated. When the last M came out (21012) it didn’t launch them to the front, but merely to a position where they could at least try to grab the coattails of the others. They do rely on their lenses to sell cameras, but if they aren’t careful, one of the mirrorless manufacturers is really going to figure out how to make the most of those too and then the M will get pushed more and more into the nostalgic collector’s corner.
      Still I’m hopeful that with a nice competitive camera, Leica can ride the coattails of the mirrorless guys, and the way of shooting that goes along with it, and get their cameras into the hands of journalists etc. again.

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