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Which 21mm for M9?

Mike Woods

New member
Requirements:
21mm (not 24 or 25)
Cheap and used (probably not Leica) since it will be for occasional landscape use only
Needs to play nicely with M9 - no red edges, no Cornerfix, etc.
Not bothered about fast aperture (for a change!)

Options:
Zeiss 21 f2.8 - Have read lots of good reports. Most expensive of the options.
Zeiss 21 f/4.5 - Can't find much on this in terms of use on the M9, although this comment appears within a current GetDPI for sale ad.....'It is well known that optically this lens out-performs its pricier cousin.....'
CV21 f/4 - Cheapest option, but conflicting red edge reports. Solved by latest M9 firmware if manual coding selected within menu?

That's it! Any advice/recommendations appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Mike
 

D&A

Well-known member
Hi Mike,

Out of the three lenses you mentioned, I can only speak for the Zeiss ZM 21mm f2.8. In a word, spectaular and in my direct comparision with the fairly new and current Leica 21mm f3.4, I would say it was ever so close, that for all intent and purposes, they performed nearly identical, except for the somewhat warmer of character of the Leica (the Zeiss being more neutral) and slightly higher contrast of the Zeiss....as the primary differences. As a best buy, the Zeiss wins hands down although it's not the least expensive 21mm available.

There are a few other older 21mm rangefinder lenses that were made a number of years ago that fall into a much lower price catagory, but I'll leave it to others who have had actual experieces with them...such as the Kobalux (Avenon) 21mm lenses for example.

Dave (D&A)
 
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Paratom

Well-known member
I own neither of your choice but the Leica 21/2.8.
I believe f2.8 is really nice if you shoot indoor or low light so if you can afford the Zeiss/2.8 I would choose that option.
 

algrove

Well-known member
For me since I never remember to manually code lenses when changing them, get a lens that is 6 bit coded.

I own the 21/3.4-wow. Smaller and better. Try to find a used one.

I also own the 21/2.8 nice, but filters are 60mm. Mine is 6 bit coded.

Summary-smaller is good especially if it is a newer design and better than the rest.
 

edwardkaraa

New member
Forget about the ZM 21/4.5. It has such a severe color shift, that even Cornerfix can't deal with it. As for the ZM 21/2.8, it is very similar in performance to the Leica 21/3.4 as mentioned above. Spectacular performance. But if you want the best wide angle ever made for the M mount, look no further than the ZM 25/2.8, absolute perfection.
 

Double Negative

Not Available
Forget about the ZM 21/4.5. It has such a severe color shift, that even Cornerfix can't deal with it. As for the ZM 21/2.8, it is very similar in performance to the Leica 21/3.4 as mentioned above. Spectacular performance. But if you want the best wide angle ever made for the M mount, look no further than the ZM 25/2.8, absolute perfection.
I'd have to agree with all of this. Especially the 2.8/25 ZM.

The 4/21 Color Skopar works great with the v1.162+ M9 firmware. Before that, not so much. Unfortunately it didn't help the 4.5/21 ZM.
 

Mike Woods

New member
Great replies so far - thank you!

Ok, so I've dropped the idea of the 21/4.5.

I've had the ZM 25 but got rid of it, as we never really bonded - albeit that was with the M8....

My preference at the moment is the CV 21, purely on cost grounds for something that won't see regular use, but I'm sorely tempted by the ZM 2.8.

By the way, any thoughts on viewfinder? I'm reading that the Zeiss, although nice and bright, has an offset issue when mounted, so I'm currently looking at the plastic Leica 21. Also wondering how many used ones will start to appear and drive down prices when the M arrives and gives us live view.....

Mike
 

edwardkaraa

New member
I have the Leica bright line for the 18, and the Zeiss for the 18 and 25. The Zeiss is much better (brightness, contrast, distortion, frame visibility, large image) and I am not noticing any offset issue. In fact, the Leica is on sale now on the B&S forum.
 

robertwright

New member
I had the zeiss 25 and while it was a stellar performer, it was not as durable as the leica lenses, I had it for a year more or less and it showed bright clear brassing on the focus knurl. As in right down to the metal. Also the focus developed play in the movement. It was never dropped or mishandled.

None of my far older leica lenses have any sort of wear this obvious. So you get what pay for.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I occasionally use the CV 21/4 (with the Voigtländer 21/25 brightline finder) on the M9. It does a good job.

I haven't really checked the color shift, etc, very much ... that usually says "it's good enough for me."" ;-)

G
 

jonoslack

Active member
The pre-asph Leica 21 f2.8 is not necessarily that expensive, and it plays very well on the M9 . . . very very well.
I might even know someone who has one to sell!
 

Double Negative

Not Available
Just shot the M9/Color Skopar combo a couple of weeks ago (though I'm at 1.192 firmware now):

M9, ISO 160, CV 4/21, 1/250s @ f/5.6:
 

edwardkaraa

New member
I had the zeiss 25 and while it was a stellar performer, it was not as durable as the leica lenses, I had it for a year more or less and it showed bright clear brassing on the focus knurl. As in right down to the metal. Also the focus developed play in the movement. It was never dropped or mishandled.

None of my far older leica lenses have any sort of wear this obvious. So you get what pay for.
I believe this was an issue with Cosina factory that was gradually and silently resolved. My lenses were ordered from fresh batches and I have been using them for like a year and a half with absolutely no signs of wear. Of course, I don't expect the ZM to last as long as Leica lenses, but I expect them to optically perform flawlessly, and they do.
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
I took a chance and ordered the new Voigtlander 21/1.8 Ultron on a whim because of how much I like the Nokton 35/1.2 II... Unfortunately nothing to report yet but when I can I will let you know if you're still looking for a 21 then.
 

Ocean

Senior Subscriber Member
I took a chance and ordered the new Voigtlander 21/1.8 Ultron on a whim because of how much I like the Nokton 35/1.2 II... Unfortunately nothing to report yet but when I can I will let you know if you're still looking for a 21 then.
Hope to hear from your experience of the lens. I am also thinking about purchasing the VC 21/1,8. Thanks!
 

iiiNelson

Well-known member
Will do... Hoping it works out on the M9 with the coding but if not then there's always the chance it could become an exclusive MM lens... Once I get one.
 

Double Negative

Not Available
An interesting lens, no doubt - and it does work with the M9. Just keep in mind the size and weight...

Let's hope it leans more towards the 35 than the 50 in terms of "feel." ;)
 

Mike Woods

New member
A couple of nice examples of the CV on here. My wallet is breathing a little easier at the moment....but no decision made :)

Mike
 
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