I’ve slowly been evaluating some of my manual focus lenses with the NEX-7. It’s important to get a good feel for how a lens handles on a new camera body because the whole “previsualization” thing isn’t just a buzzword. It’s important to understand how depth of field, colors, overall rendering, sharpness at various apertures, lens flaws, etc. all work with the marriage of a camera and lens. Then you can intuitavely make decisions when it comes to shooting time without having to do much conscious thinking.
In particular, understanding how a lens shot wide open will behave is important. After all, it’s why photographers shell out the big bucks for interesting or quality glass. The “special” character of most lenses is most evident at the wider apertures and a digital sensor will have something to say about how the “look” is presented. Here is today’s shot with the Leica Summicron v3 50mm f/2 shot at wide-open in broad daylight on an awful blank-sky NJ day.
Overall impressions are that the NEX-7 sensor’s tendency at 100% borders on showing a little granularity or noise but there is tons and tons of detail, great color and finally a camera keeps up with my Leica glass! At 24 megapixels, I now only pixel peep at 50% – rarely at 100%. It just isn’t relevant to any format I print or display anymore.
There is some processing of this image of course, but the RAW file showed a little more contrast than I was expecting from the Summicron wide open and there was really plenty of “headspace” to pull some decent tones out of a completely blank sky. This was very impressive, actually. I was able to get an exposure with loads of tones in a dark foreground as well as pulling something out of a white, blank sky. Detail at the plane of focus is very good – with the sensor outperforming the lens here at ISO 100. See below for a center crop:
This is wide open with a 35+ year old lens that’s never been serviced. Not too shabby, Leica. The rendering is nice, the transitions from sharp focus to out of focus are smooth enough and there is plenty of resolving power. At web sizes it’s really amazing. Look forward to shooting this combo more… and maybe compare to the Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4 (which is about $1,500 less than the Leica)
Want my layered .PSD file? (Rezied to 2500px for size reasons). Check the link below:
What do you think of the combo here?