Review: Metabones Leica R to Sony E adapter
I've heard good things about Metabones mount adapters so I didn't have qualms about ordering this Leica R to Sony E-mount converter. I don't yet have a camera to put it on (with luck the A7r will come next week) but have the lens, a versatile Vario-Elmar-R ROM f/3.5-4.5 28-70mm zoom[↩︎]. This particular item was manufactured in Japan in 1997 for the now-defunct Leica R single-lens reflex camera. It has Sigma optics and Leica mechanics. As a film-camera lens it full frame and will therefore match the big sensor of the Sony A7 (or, for that matter, of the Leica M). I am hoping it will be a good all-round and versatile zoom for the Sony. It is a fully manual lens, of course, with no autofocus. I prefer manual focus and am looking forward to testing it with the new camera.
The Metabones adaptor is very well made, substantial and surprisingly heavy at 160g. Together with the lens, the total weight is 670g. It's also deeper than expected, adding a substantial 28mm to the length of the lens. It has a non-removable heel, equipped with tripod socket, to support heavier lenses. Obviously I haven't been able to use it but I can say that the R lens fits precisely with a satisfying click. The finish complements Leica's housing, complete with lateral ribbing to mimic the aperture, zoom and focus rings on the R zoom. I notice that there are no fewer than six retaining screws on the steel ring at the R end of things. Altogether this is a very high-quality product for the £65 it cost.
While I haven't made up my mind on which M adapter to choose for the Sony, I am minded to go with another Metabones after seeing the quality of this item.
[↩︎] This is the relatively inexpensive R zoom that sells for around £500. The optically better and more desirable (but much heavier) Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8-4.5 28-90mm now costs around £3,500 and rising. These R zooms are in demand since the introduction of the new Leica M and can only increase in value once Leica finally produce the R-to-M adapter.