Sony A7r and Leica glass on the prowl in London
The Sony A7r has been in my hands for a couple of weeks and I am loving it so far. With a 200g weight saving over the Leica M, the Sony combines with Leica lenses to produce a very handleable and surprisingly natural combination. This weekend I went walkabout in London with my favourite group of friends from the Leica forum and it was a good opportunity to try the camera for a day. Later, after more experience, I shall be reviewing the A7r with particular reference to its suitability as an alternative to a rangefinder camera such as the Leica M.
There are already many A7/Leica reviews on the internet and I found this video from stuckincustoms.com of particular interest. If you are wondering about size and handling comparisons between the Sonys and, on the one hand, large DSLRs and Leica Ms on the other, this video makes interesting viewing.
Yesterday's outing in London's Marylebone area was organised by farnz from the main Leica forum, l-camera-forum.com. It was a perfect excuse for a prolonged chat and gear comparision while negotiating the narrow back lanes north of Oxford Street. I took the A7r with a 35mm Summilux but another visitor, Bob (gravastar on the forum), had an A7r with the two automatic Zeiss primes--the 35mm f/2.8 and the 55mm f/1.8.
While I had decided not to buy any auto lenses for the A7r and to rely entirely on M-mount glass, I have to say I was impressed by the lightness of these two Sony-Zeiss offerings. The well-received 35mm, in particular, was a featherweight compared to any Leica lens, and makes a very compact unit when attached to the A7. And I concede there may be occasions when autofocus is helpful. At £745 it is a relatively expensive addition, although cheap by Leica standard. But it is definitely worth considering. It will be interesting to see what the future lens development road map for the new FE mount looks like.
This event in London was one of a series of opportunities to get out with a camera in interesting locations and to enjoy the company of great friends. It's one of the hallmarks of owning Leica equipment: There is tremendous enthusiasm and impressive levels of personal experience and knowledge to be shared. Many forum members have been in the Leica world for decades, some for up to fifty years, and it all makes for a fascinating experience.