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Thread: 24mm elmar and M8

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    24mm elmar and M8

    I would appreciate the advice of the experts here. I want to add a fast, wide lens to my M8.2 kit to keep the ISO as low as possible in low light situations (I mostly shoot landscapes). Erwin Puts had only good things to say about the 24mm Elmarit, but I rarely see it praised here. Is it just not as good a lens on an M8 as it was for film M's? The 21mm Elmarit seems to get higher marks; would that be a better choice? Would anyone have experience shooting either for IR work? I didn't see either listed in the IR compatibility list. Thanks. Chris

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    I have a 24 and find that it just does not seem to find a spot on the front of the camera that often.
    On the other hand, I use the 28mm chron as a default lens paired with a 50 lux on the second body.
    I use the 21 quite a bit for landscape just guessing the framing most of the time and not resorting to an accessory finder. On the other hand, I tend to use the 24 as my standard "street" lens particularly when traveling to European or Japanese locations where I expect the streets to be a bit more narrow.
    For IR I have not specifically tested either the 24 or the 21, but have found that many of the aspherical lenses tend to have hot spots. I use a 50 summarit as my usual ir lens. I will endeavor to test the others for hot spots when I get home in about a week.
    Many of the favorite lenses on film Ms have moved up a focal length step due to the 1.33 crop factor and the bright-lines available on the M8.
    -bob

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    Super Duper
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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    I own both, I find the 24 to be very sharp and saturated and good contrast.
    The 21 in my experience shows a little less contrast (which can be good or bad).
    Both are very good lenses IMO and I would choose the one which has thebetter focal length for you.
    Personally I use the 28/2.0 a lot, one step faster and I like the focal length a lot - but its not a real wideangle on the M8, more like a 38mm FOV.

    The 24 has the advantage that you dont need an additional viewfinder vs. the 21mm.

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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Well, I guess you would call me very biased, considering my 24mm is up for sale. I do love this lens, in fact it was my favorite lens on my film M cameras before the M8. It's a fabulous piece of glass. It is probably one of the highest resolving lenses of all the wide angle lenses Leica has made. The resolution is simply stunning, as are the micro and macro contrast. My only problem with the lens is I find it is too close to the 21mm and 28mm that I use on a regular basis, so it no longer seems to get that much work. Since I badly want a second M8 body, something has to go to pay for it. Sad reality in today's world, but I have resigned myself to the fact that I simply can not afford to keep lenses around anymore that I do not use on a regular basis, no matter how good they are. Trimming my "lens collection" down from ten lenses to just the five I use the most was not easy, let me tell you! <Grin>. Chris, it should tell you something about what I think of the 24mm since it is the last of the five I have finally decided to put on the block after already selling the other four. And I just KNOW that I am going to kick myself for ever selling when the M9 ships in about a year I'm sure! <Laugh>.

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    It appears after a quick test that the 21mm Elmarit ASPH does not have a significant hotspot, but does have significant correctable vignetting.
    -bob

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    .. Is it just not as good a lens on an M8...?...
    Sadly, I was obliged to sell my coded 24, but as a focal length I don't miss it because I found the M8 24 mm framelines difficult to work with, and the twinned 35 mm frameline an always irritating distraction to picture making. I now squeeze the former '24 world' into a 28 mm one and much prefer the photographing experience. The 24 mm was a fabulous lens, but I found it to be harder work on the M8 than I would prefer.

    ................ Chris

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    ... it should tell you something about what I think of the 24mm since it is the last of the five I have finally decided to put on the block after already selling the other four. ...
    Mr. Jones, I am curious to know what you sold and what you kept, as I am going through this lens reduction process myself, and it is causing a lot of infantile angst. Thanks!

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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    Mr. Jones, I am curious to know what you sold and what you kept, as I am going through this lens reduction process myself, and it is causing a lot of infantile angst. Thanks!
    Hahahaha... boy, do I ever resemble that remark! I can well understand your frustrations trying to choose! I'd be happy to share my own kit choices with you in a minute, but first it is probably necessary to explain my own shooting style and preferences. Most all of my work with the M system is documentary style, and almost all involving people. I do very little landscape or architectural type photography with my M. So generally speaking, I am pretty close in on my subjects, if at all possible. I also love the look from the "older" lenses better than most of the latest and greatest designs, finding most of them either lack a distinctive drawing signature, or are far too sharp for the close in portraits of my wedding clients. And yes, I freely admit to being a "Look" junkie. I like edge falloff, color that is distinctive not necessarily completely "true to life." My kind of work as an artist gives me the latitude to change as I feel fit, when I want, and as I want the final crafted image to be. I'm not doing web still life or tabletop catalog work with my M, as I have other cameras much more suited to that task.

    With all this qualification crap out of the way , my present kit is the following:

    21mm f/3.5 SA. This is my favorite lens, small, light, and just a great look all around. My workhorse. It gets probably over 50% of the work load.

    28mm 'Cron. This was a relatively new addition, about two months ago. A real great lens in my opinion, and likely to rise higher in my percentage use as I get more familiar with it. Right now, maybe 15% used. This lens replaces my 24mm ASPH now for sale, as I don't need two lenses that close in focal length. I would rate both of these equally high, and do find the signature of them both very close.

    35mm 'Cron. Mine is one of the older varieties, pre-asph, but sharp as a tack stopped down even a bit, but still wide open with a very nice look. Also small and lightweight, so it can travel in the bag "just in case I need it." It sees use when I can't get close enough for the 21, or am wanting something not quite as wide for isolation. Gotta love sharp with that Leica "glow."

    50mm 'Cron. Again, one of the older models, same series as my 35mm 'Cron, with the E39 filter size. This one was a tough choice for me, as the 50mm focal length is usually either too long or too short for my work. I ended up choosing the 'Cron, and sold my 50mm pre-asph 'Lux. The look from the two lenses is very similar, but the 'Cron is much smaller and lighter, and also uses the same filters as my 35. Stopped down, it is also a razor, where the 'Lux was lower contrast and not as apparently sharp when viewing the images. This lens is a real "sleeper." Not nearly as popular as the 'Lux, but every bit as nice at a lower cost & size.

    75mm 'Lux. What can I say? The 75 'Lux is a beautiful lens, though a bit large and sometimes awkward on the M. It replaced my 90mm APO, which was just too long and too sharp for me even wide open. Stylistically, the 'Lux just suits my style better.

    The other lenses I sold were my 135, just too long as well as very difficult for me to nail focus since I wear glasses, my 21mm f/2.8, 35mm 'Lux, 50mm 'Lux, and now up for sale is my 24mm ASPH, the last of the lot to go.

    Hope this helps, but I would caution you to really examine your past shots, and see which lenses you use the most. You may be surprised to learn a few things about which lenses are the ones you do need to keep. You may also come to find out that in reality, one of your babies just doesn't get much use, as I did.

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    I prefer the 24mm over the 21mm, even over the 28 Cron and 28 Elmarit. The 21mm has more distortion while the 28mm FOV seems a little odd when used on the M8. I will get the newer 21 and 24mm lenses when they are released, and you should wait for the new lenses also to come to a final conclusion.

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Hi There
    I've tried and failed to buy a 24 on a couple of occasions, and ended up with a ZM 25 instead. Not having both I can't really compare, but the Zeiss is a lovely lens - crisp with great microcontrast and good to use.

    For 1/3 price.

    Just this guy you know

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    I have both the 21 and 24 asph lenses. For pure image quality(resolution,micro contrast etc) the 24 looks better than either the 21 or the very popular 28 cron. I started with the 24 but went to the 21asph as my work horse on the M8 ....street shooting is often done from the hip ,off the shoe or anyway other than looking thru the finder. The 21 provides a little more FOV which for me works better. All three lenses are real winners ..so for me ..its what works for my style of shooting.

    The 21 is about 40% of my captures on the M8 and pairs nicely with a 35 or 50 on a second body.

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    I have the 24 and just love it. Went around Europe recently with just the 24ASPH and a the 50 Lux with my M8.....a highly recommended travel kit.

    The 24 was used in approx. 85% of the shooting, and yes the framelines are not that good with a M8 (your soon learn to compensate), but the good news is that they are right on with the M8.2.

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    Mr. Jones, I am curious to know what you sold and what you kept, as I am going through this lens reduction process myself, and it is causing a lot of infantile angst. Thanks!
    I bought a 21/2.8 non asph from him and had not been able to try it. I have only used it yesterday but the first impresion is grate; I tried an experiment that was to shoot in two days the same subject with as many lenses as possible. It was very reaviling.

    This are some pictures with the "new" 21
    Last edited by gero; 23rd September 2009 at 11:50.

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    Mango
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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    Hope this helps, but I would caution you to really examine your past shots, and see which lenses you use the most. You may be surprised to learn a few things about which lenses are the ones you do need to keep. You may also come to find out that in reality, one of your babies just doesn't get much use, as I did.
    Thank you very much Mr. Jones!

    Actually, in this case, more knowledge is leading to more confusion, for I don't possess any of the five lenses that you have kept, and I shoot mostly inanimate objects. I guess I need to do some self-exploration with lenses, and make this into a winter project. The good thing is that Leica M lenses hold their value, so my laziness and inertia play a positive role on my lens finances.

    I have Voigt 15, 21, 25, and 35; and in Leica M I have 21, 24, 35, 50, 90, and 135. Looks as if I have a long project ahead. Problem is I like them all, but as a dilettante it would be bad form to hoard lenses that future generations of my family would never use.

    To add to my problem, only the 24 and 35 Leica are coded.

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Many thanks for the multiple responses. Obviously the 24mm Elmarit has more fans here than I thought. I am inclined in that direction as it is one focal length I don't have covered by any other lens and rangefinder focusing is possible, if imperfect, on an M8. If it also it had no IR hotspot, that would be a huge plus. If anyone can advise on IR for the 21mm or the 24mm, I would be very appreciative.

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    I already checked and reported on the 21mm Elmarit
    No hotspot but significant corner vignetting.
    -bob

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    Re: 24mm elmar and M8

    Bob,

    My apologies. You advised from the start of the thread that the 21mm Elmarit will do IR -- I will have to plead senior moment .

    Many thanks for your help. If you have the chance when you return home, I would be grateful for your advice on the 24mm Elmarit as well.


    Chris

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