Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 Apo-Lanthar


As I mentioned yesterday, I'm back using my NEX-7 again. I dislike having cameras I don't use, but I don't like forcing myself to use them either. The tests between the two 90mm lenses were to see which one worked best as a possible companion telephoto option on the NEX-7 for my Sigma DP2 Merrill. I've pretty much decided on the m-mount Apo-Lanthar over the Nikon fit lens, as its slightly sharper and lighter.
I wanted to give it a good workout just to make sure and thats what I did today. 




I've used the Nikon mount 90mm quite a lot on my NEX-7 but from what I can remember I think I've only taken the m-mount lens out once before. Its quite odd looking, being long and thin, but it handles well and the focus peaking on the camera makes it easy to work with.



Results, in terms of sharpness were very good indeed, even wide open and I think I've made the right choice.

With an m-mount lens fitted and wearing its rather nice Gariz leather case, the NEX-7 does feel the closest to using a Leica I have from any other camera I've used. Maybe its having the viewfinder right over to the left as on the M8 and M9, maybe its the feel of manually focusing a metal lens barrel, maybe its the similar functional design, but there is something thats very reminiscent about using a rangefinder. Of course there are a few techno goodies that the NEX-7 brings to the experience that Leicas don't have, focus peaking being the most important. Its a combination I enjoy shooting with and is completely different to the plastic feel of the Fuji lookaleicas. Its nice to use a lens with a real aperture ring instead of a pretend one and the NEX-7 EVF is really good. None of this optical nonsense with innacurate frame lines. I also love the NEX-7 positive shutter. It has a very satisfying clunk. Plus I can use it in bright sunlight wearing my polaroid sunglasses without the viewfinder blacking out.

I wrote yesterday that I've had the NEX-7 the longest of any of my cameras. Since last December in fact. I've thought about selling it, mainly because despite using it almost exclusively for the first 6 months I had it, I've been somewhat sparing with it since. However, whenever I do get it out I'm always glad I did. In reality its probably the nicest handling camera I have. I find it very comfortable, just the right size and weight and I do seem to keep coming back to it. There is a rumour of an update next year, but there's not a lot wrong with this years model as far as I'm concerned.

I suppose the problem about using it all the time is still the gaps in the Sony NEX lens range. Despite the welcome addition of the W/A zoom, there is still this lack of medium telephoto primes. I don't want to use an a-mount lens since the adapter is just too big and I would ideally like an AF lens. Maybe Sigma can come up with an f/2.8 lens somewhere in the 85-100mm range which would be perfect for me. The 50mm f/1.7 is just too wide for what I want. Sure I can use these MF alternatives, but there are times when I'd like the speed of an AF lens. I live in hope.

Next time out I'll try the DP2M + NEX-7 combination. I haven't been entirely happy with the m4/3 options I've tried, and from my experience today this might be just what I'm looking for. Time will tell.

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