Before I get 'stuck into' the Sony A7 Mk II which should be here in the next hour or two and any Sony FE audience I might have is busy reading all those 'Sony sent me these lenses to review and guess what? They're great!!' 'reviews', I thought I'd slip in a post few will read about the Leica T (Typ 701) and an old manual focus lens designed for 35mm film cameras. This may be peripheral to what goes on in the rest of the photographic internet, but for me this is what mirrorless interchangeable lens photography is all about.
A seriously sharp, beautifully made, all metal lens with a (proper) aperture ring on a small classy camera body, is my idea of what getting rid of that reflex mirror offers. It's a pleasure to use, it's not a miniaturised DSLR clone, it's simple, it lets me decide how I take the picture and what settings I use and there are no AF or IS motors whirring away. It's a quiet, peaceful, creative experience with the camera and lens working with me rather than grinding away doing what some engineer several thousand miles away thinks it should. Takes a great picture too.
On the Leica this is the 'FF'/35mm 'equivalent' of an 87mm f/1.4, so half way between those classic lengths of 85mm and 90mm. However, it's probably best to describe it as a short telephoto. And this is a quality fast lens option for my Leica T in low light or when I want some serious differential focus. Plus the fact that it's built like the proverbial tank and has a focusing ring that is every bit the equal of what Leica come up with, it's a lens to treasure and build a relationship with. And if all this sounds a touch pretentious (moi?) then so be it. Some camera / lens combinations are functional and get the job done, some have another dimension that take owning and using a camera beyond the notion of a tool for a job into something a little more spiritual. This is one of those. (And I'll have to stop writing before my 'pretentious t****r' meter reading reaches critical levels!!!)