Mirrorless cameras have brought with them many benefits for photographers, most notably small size, lightweight build and features. But one of the areas where they fall behind DSLRs is lens availability. They are certainly increasing, but as most mirrorless systems are relatively new compared to DSLRs there’s always room for more. This issue has, however, spurred on the development of mount adapters allowing you to fit DSLR lenses, for instance, to cameras such as the Sony E-mount cameras – the Alpha 7 range. And the Techart PRO Leica M is one such adapter.
As the name suggests, this adapter is designed for Leica M mount lenses, but there’s so much more to this adapter than meets the eye. The Techart PRO Leica M allows you to use autofocus with old manual focus lenses, achieved by the mount moving backwards and forwards by up to 4.5mm driven by a small built-in motor powered from, and controlled by, the camera body. You can also buy additional adapters, letting you attach other manual focus lenses to the adapter. So, although the mount natively supports Leica M lenses, you can also attach lenses covering major current and older lens mounts.
The beauty of the Techart PRO is that it breathes life into old lenses by applying modern technology for a modified shooting experience – you can enjoy the unique characteristics of older optics. One caveat is that the adapter relies on the camera’s phase detection system to function, so you’ll need to use either an Alpha 7 II, Alpha 7R II for it to work. Users of the first-generation models or the Alpha 7S II will unfortunately not be able to use the mount, while the only APS-C mount body expected to be compatible is the £1,500 Alpha 6500. But with a compatible camera, you can enjoy using old lenses weighing up to, it’s claimed, 700g, which opens up a wealth of possibilities.
Now, you might think that the usefulness of this device is limited, as M-mount lenses are relatively rare and expensive. But the next clever bit is that almost any old manual focus SLR lens can fit on to the Leica M using an additional mount adapter. So if you have a collection of old lenses from a long-dead 35mm SLR system gathering dust, this adapter potentially lets you use them all with autofocus on an Alpha 7 body.