We managed to gather the three most recent fast rangefinder 35mm wide angle lenses from Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander, threw in the Zeiss Loxia and put them up against each other on the 42mp A7rII. So in case you are looking for a small modern high quality 35mm manual focus lens: read on!
Classic rangefinder lenses focus much less close than their SLR-counterparts because of how the focusing with rangefinder cameras works. With the Voigtländer VM-E adapter you can focus these lenses much closer when using them on an E-mount camera. The adapter is not only a Leica-M to Sony E adapter but also a variable extension tube. It has its own helicoid by which you can focus your lenses much closer than with a conventional adapter. I have been using the Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter for more than a year now and it has become a valuable addition to my kit.
In case you have read some of our reviews covering rangefinder wide angle lenses on this very blog you already know there are some limitations to be aware of and you might have also heard of the “Kolari”thin filter mod as a solution. But now, thanks to Fred Miranda forum member HaruhikoT, there is another way to use rangefinder wide angle lenses up to their full potential on A7 series cameras. Update 10/21/17: filter mounting step-by-step guide added
Voigtlander 25mm 4.0 added
The Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon is is often referred to as being one of the best 35mm lenses available, combining high sharpness as well as microcontrast and smooth bokeh in a small yet very pricey package. But is it really worth the asking price when used on the A7 series cameras? Let us find out! Update 03/06/17:sharpness section updated (performance with 5m PCX filter included), sample images added, bokeh section updated, alternatives section updated, conclusion updated
A fast 35mm lens which is very sharp, has nice bokeh and is also small? This sounds too good to be true but the Voigtländer Ultron 1.7/35 VM is all that. Of course there is are also a few issues but all in all it’s a pretty great lens.
Manual Lenses | Sony Alpha