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Thread: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Hi folks,

    I'm looking at a 21mm lens for my new M system, and the Zeiss 2.8 and 4.5 lenses appera to have the qualities that I want in the lens, so I am thinking that I will probably go that route. But I have a few questions...

    Does anyone know if the mount needs to be modified for the M9 the way it is modified for the M8 (to get the proper framelines)? If it is modified, what will it do in a film camera?

    I've heard good things about the Zeiss VF, but I've also heard complaints that it is pretty large. I am favoring the 4.5 lens due to size, and I don't believe I need the speed, so a bulky VF is a problem for me. I've heard a lot of negative things about the Leica VF, so I think that leaves the Voigtlander. Is there a real drop in framing precision to go with the Voigt?

    Thanks,


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Member Arjuna's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    AFAIK, the widest frameslines on an M8 are for a 24 mm lens, and likely that is 28 mm on the M9, so framelines are not an issue with any 21 mm lens.

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    Member jlancasterd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    Hi folks,

    I've heard good things about the Zeiss VF, but I've also heard complaints that it is pretty large. I am favoring the 4.5 lens due to size, and I don't believe I need the speed, so a bulky VF is a problem for me. I've heard a lot of negative things about the Leica VF, so I think that leaves the Voigtlander. Is there a real drop in framing precision to go with the Voigt?

    Thanks,
    Michael
    I have had a couple of Voigtlander 21mm finders and would rate them only as 'adequate' - they appear to suffer from barrel distortion, although the actual frame lines are straight. There are also some QC issues - I had to send one sample back to the importers for exchange because the frame lines were tilted.
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

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    Senior Subscriber Member Mike Hatam's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    I've used a ZM 21 Biogon (f2.8) on my M9 for a couple of weeks, and was very pleased with the results. Not sure what framelines it brought up (didn't matter, since 21mm is significantly wider than the full view of the viewfinder). The person I bought it from did mention that it had a milich rear mount (which had the indents that could be painted for 6-bit coding), but I'm not sure what effect that had on framelines, or if it matters at all.

    Mine was hand-coded to match a Leica 21 Elmarit, and was properly recognized by the M9 as a 21mm lens.

    Here are a few quick examples...
    Mike Hatam
    Sony A99, RX1, RX100

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Ok, thanks for that info. I don't understand, though, why is the framelines on the M8 an issue then? The widest on that camera is 24mm correct?

    I've heard of problems with the Voigtlander VF, so if I go that route, I'll probably need to look at it carefully while i can still return it.

    Nice images Mike. I really like the 21mm focal length, so I'm certain I'll be getting one of there, unless a great deal on a Leica lens falls into my lap.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

  6. #6
    kitty
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    I am using 21mm f4.5 with M8. It is one the sharpest lens I have. Sharp from center to corner. Contrast is quite high comparing to Leica. Distortion is very low on M8 not sure with film body.

    I like the size and focusing is very smooth too.

    kitty

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    The 21mm C-biogon has less distortion than most lenses regardless of focal length! You obviously get perspective distortions with this focal length but straight lines should stay straight.

    I have a Voigtlander 21mm finder and yes it has barrel distortion but is very bright and you get a good idea of what's going to fit in the frame.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    The framelines are an issue because their position AND the 6bit coding is required to recognize the lens as a 21mm. This is critical on the M8 to apply the correction for the uv/ir filters . On the M9 it is only beneficial to adjust for vignetting .

    The only issue you would have on an M9 would be if you had the original zeiss mount and wanted to hand code the lens verse using the menu option. A lot of the 21 s we imported with the correct Leica M mount by Popflash and others. But the original 21 came in with mount for the 35mm frame verse the 28mm .

  9. #9
    kitty
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    I used to try my zeiss 21mm f4.5 on M9 and found there is a small vignette magenta cast on bottom corner left and right. Try to manual setup to leica 21mm non asph and asph, add and remove UV/IR on lens still has the same effect.

    There is another website also notice this with leica superangulon 21mm f3.4. It looks much worse than my zeiss.

    http://translate.google.com/translat...IUvW0Aq5niPYTw

    kitty

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Ooo Kitty do you have any pictures you can share taken with this combo? It'll help me deal with the anticipation of my M9

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Kitty,

    Interesting information on the M9 results. I wonder if that has to do with a decentering of the lens in the mount relative to the sensor array. This is a big issue, and one that I've been wondering about. That photo you linked to is more than a subtle magenta cast, it's pretty substantial.

    Thanks for the information, everyone. I'm leaning to the pre-ASPH elmarit because of the Leica rendering, which I prefer to the more contrasty rendering of the Zeiss, and the digital compatibilty with the M9 is the thing that will seal the deal.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    One last question on 21mm lenses...

    The pre-ASPH Leica elmarit is fairly uncommon in the used market, but the ASPH version is so common that it is really startling... I'm wondering why there are so many more ASPH lenses out there? Does it have to do with the introduction of the M8 pushing people to shorter focal lengths in recent years?

    Best,

    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    The 21 asph 2.8 has been my absolute favorite lens on the M8. For street shooting the 28 and 35mm FOV have been the most popular. I prefer the 28FOV because it allows for a less precise framing associated with shooting high,low etc where you can t look thru the finder. Wider than 28 and more care has to used in placing the subject to avoid distortion.

    The only issue with the 21/2.8asph is that its slow compared to the traditional 28/2 or the 35/1.4asph. When the 21/1.4asph was introduced it was a street shooters dream and some traded out of the 21/2.8asph. With the introduction of the M9 .....you could now go back to the superb and faster 28/2 for the 28FOV. It changes to the ideal group of lenses for the FF M9 that has people selling the 21/2.8asph.

    If you plan to use an M8 ...the 21/2.8asph is an outstanding optic..take advantage of the low prices.

  14. #14
    kitty
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    This is the 1st 2 shots I made from borrow M9. It is not mine. Just quick test when I saw the magenta cast I stop using this lens. So pictures is very lousy but hope it helps.

  15. #15
    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Perhaps cornerfix can resolve it. I have a 21/4.5 ZM on the way, as well as an M9, be a shame if they're not compatible.

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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Unfortunately I can't help with the 21mm lenses, but if they're anything like the 25 (and they should be) they'll be absolutely phenomenal! I have the 25 along with a handful of other ZMs and it's definitely my favorite with both film and digital - and I believe the sharpest of the bunch. The ZMs are quite consistent across the board by most metrics. I chose to go 25mm because of the frameline issue and the fact that I don't need an external VF.

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    Member jlancasterd's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by kitty View Post
    This is the 1st 2 shots I made from borrow M9. It is not mine. Just quick test when I saw the magenta cast I stop using this lens. So pictures is very lousy but hope it helps.
    Hi Kitty

    Did you use either 6-bit coding or the M9 lens menu when you took these photos? If so, how was the lens coded?

    Other people have posted remarkably good results using this lens with an M9, so your experience is something of an anomaly. In most of the examples I've seen, the lens was coded as a Leica Elmarit f2.8.
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

  18. #18
    kitty
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlancasterd View Post
    Hi Kitty

    Did you use either 6-bit coding or the M9 lens menu when you took these photos? If so, how was the lens coded?

    Other people have posted remarkably good results using this lens with an M9, so your experience is something of an anomaly. In most of the examples I've seen, the lens was coded as a Leica Elmarit f2.8.
    Yes, I set manual code 21 f2.8 non asph and asph. I also try with UV/IR and w/o UV/IR. All has the small magenta cast.

    Anyway it is very small but if you take grey subject eg. concrete road you will notice the magenta cast. Otherwise you won't see it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss 21mm ZM questions...

    There are other examples of this magenta cast issue with super wides on M9,
    see for instance this thread:
    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...0-18mm-m9.html
    Cheers,
    Ario

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