Sony A7: More adapters, no cameras
I was mightily impressed with the quality and finish of the Metabones Leica R adapter I bought in anticipation of the arrival of my Sony A7r. For £65 it was also something of a bargain. Because of this I tried to order a Leica M mount adapter from Metabones but discovered there were none to be had here in the UK. I think there must have been a run on stocks because of the new full-frame camera from Sony. Not wishing to be caught short, with an A7r and no way of attaching my M lenses, I had to buy an alternative from the Germany company, Novoflex. It cost £140, exactly twice as much as the equivalent Metabones adapter.
Now it has arrived it is rather disappointing cosmetically. The adapter is all matte black with no bright bits. In fact, this is the first adapter I have seen that doesn't have shiny steel facings on both camera and lens sides. At first I jumped to the conclusion I might have been sold a plastic copy but this is not so, as you will see from the official Novoflex picture.
It is well made and sturdy and will probably do an excellent job, judging by reports from other Novoflex owners. However, I do not see twice the quality of construction in comparison with the Metabones. The M adapter is much shallower than the Metabones R, adding only 8mm to the length of the M lens compared with 28mm for the R lenses. It is also lighter at 35g against the R adapter's 150g. This has nothing to do with any fundamental difference between Metabones and Novoflex, is is simply that the adapter for R lenses needs to be much wider and bigger overall.
Although I have not yet tried either adapter on a camera, the fit of the Novoflex on a Leica lens is very tight. I have read some expert views that it is a good idea to leave the adapter attached to the lens and, if necessary, buy extra units for alternative lenses. When Metabones M adapters come back into stock I will buy one as a comparison.
Meanwhile, the Sony A7r is due to arrive some time this coming week, with luck before I leave for China on Wednesday.