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Thread: 21 Summilux opinions?

  1. #1
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    21 Summilux opinions?

    I'm thinking of going for one of the new wide angle Summiluxes and am leaning towards the 21. Anyone out there with real world usage of this lens (and I don't mean brick walls and puppies)? I'd like to hear how it handles and how it's changed (or not) your working style.

    It seems the 24 has been more popular due to it's smaller size and internal framelines but I just don't get on with my 24 Elmarit on the M8 (finder lines too tight and busy) and it's so close to my 28 Cron (which is my standard lens) it hardly seems worth $6K for an extra stop and 4 more mm of EFOV.

    The size and weight of the 21 doesn't bother me (heck it's still smaller and lighter than any of my Nikon lenses) but the price does! So want to hear that it's worth it before I start selling off gear to fund.

    CP

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    Charles - I have been using one and even though I am a speed freak I honestly think the lens for me is the 28 cron. The 35 is not wide enough and the 21/24 are too wide. Now, please keep in mind that I am talking about film and if you are going to use it on the M8 the lens may fit you better than me.

    What bothers me the most is that I have to use a finder, I am not a big fan of them due the way I work. I also don't like how the lens throws the camera out of balance but if you take the lens hood out it is not that bad.

    I just got a bunch of film that was shot with the 21 and maybe after checking them out I will change my mind

    Cheers,

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    Thanks Ricci's. Yeah, I'm shooting mostly with the M8 these days. With the M7 I use mostly my 35 Lux ASPH. Looks like I need to go to the dealer and try these out and shoot some samples. My thing would be to hopefully replace my wides (24 Elmarit, Zeiss 18 and 21 pre-ASPH) with one good all around wide and the 21 Lux seems to fit that bill. We'll see.....

    Yeah, 21 was always way too wide for me on film M's, mostly due to the close focus limitation (not a problem on slrs) so the subject is forced to be more distant than I liked. I did love the 24 Elmarit with film though and have never found an external finder a limitation (except when using flash esp the M8 without a #@$% pc socket).

  4. #4
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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    Summilux 21 is a great lens!

    Maybe the best lens Leica ever made.

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    I'm using the 24 Lux.

    I love the perspective which is around 30mm on the M8 .... which suits my style of shooting .... where the 28/2 was my fav on a film M. I'm not a fan of needing a separate finder.

    From all the reports I've seen the performance is pretty much the same between the 21 and 24 Luxes.

    I haven't handled the 21, but it looks bigger than the 24 which balances nicely on the M8.

    Actually, there is a fair amount of difference between the 24 and 28 ... and not just in FOV.

    Probably more importantly I rarely carry all the M lenses at once. Usually 2 or 3. Like the 24, 35, (and soon) a 75 ... or the 28, 50, 90. depending on what I'm shooting.

    Anyway, whatever floats your boat. It's a treat to shoot at f/1.4 in lower light with a W/A whether a 21 or 24.

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    I will know in about 10 days as I will taking it to Paris for 10 days street shooting. The 21 2.8 asph is my most used focal length on the M8 (28FOV). I am used to the external finder, but I think Sean Reid s reports are excellent on this challenge. At f2.8 you have enough depth of field to focus and then frame separately ..but at 1.4 this may not be possible.

    For street shooting you can learn the FOV and adapt....the small extra coverage allows for breathing room and for me avoids a miss because I cut into something.

    Will the extra speed be worth the penalties in size and weight.....will not know for a few weeks. Handling is important ..if its a dog to focus it will not last long.

    I have used the 21/2.8 asph , 28/2summicron and the 35/1.4asph as well as the zeiss 18 , 21/2.8 and the wate. Whats missing is speed at the wide end. The 28 summicron isn t wide or fast enough on the m8 for low light work. For film I would agee with Riccis ..as the 28/2ZF is perfect on a D3/D700. Consider that the 21 on film is like the WATE at 16 on the M8 ....thats too wide for most action . Even the 18 on the M8 requires care in framing and alignment.

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    Here is an example shot from the 24 Summilux @f/1.4 (M8.2 ISO 640 hand-held). Most shots you see of these lenses are used to accentuate the shallow DOF at close range. This shot shows what happens when you focus to about 15 feet (the large vase in this case). Even at f/1.4, because of the focal length and distance to subject, you're able to get almost everything in frame sharp. The 21 will do the same, just with a little more DOF and wider field of view.

    These lenses are truly extraordinary when you realize the sharpness and contrast you get, even wide-open. Not to mention the minimal distortion and smooth bokeh at close range. Amazing lenses.

    To see a high-res version of the image click here.

    David
    Last edited by dfarkas; 1st June 2009 at 07:39. Reason: Added link
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    I am also interested in either of these 2 lenses.
    However if one spends 5000k one should maybe keep im mind that we might see a full frame M one day. Even if it will be 1 or 2 years from now.
    So I personally also try to figur out which focal length would be more usefull on a full frame Leica.
    I also wonder what would be the widest frame in the internal viewfinder of a full frame Leica. (I would assume the same as a film Leica - maybe offered in different versions?)
    The funny thing is that I might rather get 24 for the M8, but maybe rather 21 if it was for a full frame Leica.
    In one case it would be just a fast wide angle (like the 35/1.4saph on a film Leica), in the other case a true super-wide.
    What do you film shooters think regarding 21 vs 24mm?

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    What do you film shooters think regarding 21 vs 24mm?
    See my post above...

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riccis View Post
    See my post above...
    So you find them both too wide and prefer 28? Let us know after you looked at the developped 21mm images

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    Re: 21 Summilux opinions?

    Well, played briefly with a 21 Summilux this morning. What a fine lens it is, but.... my money's getting socked away for the FF M, which by all accounts is coming (six months to a year?) and will most likely be priced in the M8.2 range (latest that my dealer has heard). I bet a lot of lens shifting will be going on once the M9 is out!

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