Non-Leica body and Leica M lens, Part 5: Sony A7RM2 and Leica Q

Can Sony A7RM2 with Leica Summarit-M 35mm lens provide the same result as Leica Q with 35mm crop given the same aperture of f/2.5? I made some nature shots during the sunny day, and found some interesting points to discuss.

I relied on cameras’ indicators of the horizontal level, manual focusing and peaking.

I set Leica Q to Leica M10 Generic camera profile in Capture One, and keep the lens profile to manufacture by default. For Sony A7RM2 I set the camera profile to Leica M10 Generic, and lens profile to Leica Summarit-M 35 f/2.4. Since these cameras are on Aperture Priority mode, they define the ISO and Shutter Speed automatically, and they are different, so I balanced the exposure in the post. The Sony colors are different from Leica ones, and I tried to match them using the White Balance only. Both cameras show different color cast using the same Kelvin settings.

Example 1: The Shadow

Example 1 shows how similar the images can be given the right conditions: the shadow.

Example 2: Flare

Example 2 shows how different the images can be: the lens flare. Both lenses have aspherical design, but look how differently they handle it. The flare shape is different, and the impact on colors is quite different. Leica Q maintain strong green color while Sony adds lots of yellow tint.

Example 3: Geometry

Example 3 shows that 28mm lens of Leica Q creates more geometrical distortion – look how different the verticals are vs 35mm M-mount lens.

In addition, Sony A7RM2 42MP creates a telephoto effects of the same image with 100% magnification over Leica Q 24MP. It adds to more details and more cropping without loosing quality.

Example 4: Sensor resolution

I found that Leica Q has better experience in manual mode with auto magnification to x6 and really visible blue peaking. I had to press C1 button on Sony A7RM2 several times to get to x10 magnification, and its red peaking was hard to see. Leica Q has that annoying switch problem while Sony does not have it. Leica 35mm crop out of camera was little bit off, and I had to resize and reposition it in Capture One to match Sony’s 35mm frame.

Leica Q Summilux f/1.7 lens is sharper at f/2.5 than Leica Summarit-M 35 f/2.5. Since Q has a hidden 24mm crop, and then adds a 35mm crop, the corners are quite good. Sony’s full frame gives some tiny smudges in the corners.

Bokeh at f/2.5 is quite similar. Leica Q has the advantage of f/1.7 lens, and macro capability, as well as 24mm capability without extra lens.

For one camera one lens travel solution Leica Q wins. It delivers 90% of what I need with a pleasant manual focus and fast auto focus experience.

In the case of going wider than 24mm or down from 35mm Sony is a better choice as a Leica SL/SL2 alternative. Sony can work with lenses from many brands, including Canon EF and RF, as well as Zeiss and Sony, modern and vintage lenses on different mounts: M, L, E, EF, RF, etc. It’s better for a high-resolution professional studio work.

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