Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Looking for a Night Street Shooter - Part 2 - The Camera


Then the Sony NEX came out.  Initially I thought it was kind of pointless because the 18-55mm kit lens looked ridiculously large with the very small body, and more importantly, made it totally unpocketable.  I did however like the large APS-C sensor, similar to what is in the Sigma DP-1, and that it had interchangeable lenses.

But then I got thinking – a NEX with the tiny Sony 16mm wide lens is very small – perfectly pocketable, but 16mm is just a bit too wide angle to be a general use lens;  and it didn’t really get good reviews either.  PhotoZone described corner sharpness as “at f/2.8 there is no resolution to speak of”.  Not a glowing endorsement, but still might be a usable occasional lens given the tiny size and weight.
Then I got to thinking - an adapter and one of my early collapsible Leica lens would work great!  The film / sensor plane to lens flange distance is much smaller on rangefinders (unlike SLRs than need space for the mirror box), which would keep the total size of the lens on the NEX small.

After checking a new one out a Henry’s,  I started looking around for a used one and I eventually found a nice NEX3 kit for sale with a 16mm lens (way more useful than the kit lens, even with the very average corner performance) AND a Leica M adapter.  PERFECT!   I already had an adapter for early screw mount Leica lenses to later Leica M mount, so all my Leica gear is usable!  

The only problem is that I had no Leica mount lenses wider than 50mm that fit.  A Full frame 50mm becomes 75mm on an APS-C sized camera – too tele for street shots.   35mm equates to 50mm on Full Frame – the “standard” lens as it is close to human sight focal length and perspective.   The 35mm Russian Jupiter 12 that I have (a copy of the early Carl Zeiss Biogon – which Russia literally stole the design from Contax, post Nazi Germany; but that’s another story....) would not fit as the rear element is hugely bulbous and would damage if I tried to mount it on the NEX. 

Right camera, need a lens.


Photos continued from Nuit Blanche Art Festival, October 2010

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