R-Adapter M arrives 16 months late
Red dot day today as I unpack my long-anticipated Leica R-Adapter for the M. This seemingly simple collar of metal has been 16 months in the gestation, ever since I placed the order for the M Typ 240 on the day of announcement. I cease to wonder about the reason for such a delay, but I am happy at last to be able to use my 28-70mm R zoom on the M.
The adapter comes, as is usual for Leica, in a smart box and even has a lengthy instructions manual. Included is a removable tripod mount to support larger lenses and an allen key for the fixing thereof. All well up to scratch cosmetically and physically. It is a well-made and smoothly fitting device. At £230, it is also an expensive bit of kit for what it is. However, it isn't too far away in price from other offerings by independent manufacturers such as Novoflex. For instance, the new Voigtländer close-focus M adapter for the Sony A7 is even more expensive.
The only R lens I currently possess is the last version of the Vario-Elmar 28-70mm zoom (coincidentally identical in range and widest aperture to the lens of the new X Vario). At under £500 secondhand, this lens is the cheaper zoom option for M owners. The successor Vario-Elmarit 28-90mm lens, although bigger and heavier, is much more in demand and prices have crept up to over £3,500 following the introduction of the M with its electronic-viewfinder option. All these R lenses are manual focus like all M lenses.
On a quick initial test I found that focus peaking was not working. I am told this is because the 28-70 is known as a low-contrast lens which is not ideal for the peaking system. Other lenses, including the newer 28-90 do activate the focus peaking, I am told by owners. I am not expecting stellar performance from the Vario-Elmar but it will be interesting to see what sort of results the setup is capable of.
Adapter supplied by Red Dot Cameras, Old Street, London.