This article was written by our Editor-in-Chief. It’s a 6-part series of a detailed review of Leica lenses using Sony NEX-7 and Fuji X-Pro1 camera body. The series contains images for comparison as well as detailed discussion of why the images come up a certain way and why the lens functions the way they function with a specific body. If you are planning to buyLeica lenses or have Leica lenses that you’d like to use in a different camera body, this might be a good article for you. Grab a cup of coffee and dig in.


Handling Comparison:

Coming from the traditional 35mm rangefinder cameras such as Leica, Zeiss Ikon, Contax G2, etc. I found a clear sense of familiarity with the Fuji X-Pro1. The button layouts and form of the camera most closely resembles the traditional Range Finder cameras, this made me want to just pick up the camera, and go shooting. The camera fits very well in my hand and with the addition of a soft release button, I feel right at home!

The Sony NEX-7 on the other hand is a little different animal. As far as grip and comfort in your hand, I feel the Sony NEX-7 wins hands down. It’s more ergonomic and has a great grip with a rubber coating that just “sticks” to my hand. What is somewhat odd about the camera is that it’s mostly lens. The lens protrudes from the camera body so much that it took a while for me to get used to. The addition of the tilt screen and tri-navi control knobs give a “why don’t all cameras have this” kinda feeling. The tilt screen really gives you flexibility with different shooting angles and comes in very handy when you want to shoot very low or over the top of your head. The Sony NEX-7 is very light and even with the addition of heavy lenses such as the Zeiss 18mm F4.0, the grip compensates for the top heaviness well, and the camera is easily carried for a full day of shooting.

Manual Focus Comparison:

With the Fuji X-Pro1 the only thing that took some getting used to was the optical/electronic view finder, but this didn’t take long to master. What I found was when using the hyperfocal focusing technique or zone focusing, I would use the optical viewfinder. This works very well now that Fujifilm updated the firmware so you get frame lines within the optical viewfinder. Images are taken instantly and this technique is faster than autofocus. When shooting portraits, landscapes, or subjects that are not moving around so much, I use the electronic viewfinder and with the help of the zooming “manual focus assist” you can be very accurate with your manual focusing. Sometimes I don’t even use the zoom, and the electronic viewfinder is good enough that you can still have very accurate focusing.

For the Sony NEX-7 the manual focus is done very well. You have focus peaking, which highlights the areas of the image that are in focus, and the manual focusing assist which allows you to zoom in to specific areas of the image to assist in manual focusing. Both of these features work well in assisting with manual focusing. Sony got it right when developing these features. The Sony has the advantage of 2 zoom levels 0f 5.9x and 11.7x, where as the Fuji X-Pro1 only zooms in at one level. Sometimes the Fuji X-Pro1 zoom level is too much and switching back and forth can be somewhat disconcerting.

This is part of the conclusion article. Read Full Article Here.

Other parts of the series are here.

Leica on a Budget: Part 1   Leica on a Budget: Part 2   Leica on a Budget: Part 3   Leica on a Budget: Part 4  Leica on a Budget: Part 5