Jump to content
Steve McGarrett

21+15mm or WATE - a classic

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Hi guys,

 

For UWA range, you would prefer last version (v3) of Voigtlander's 15/4.5, plus the Super-Elmar 21/3.4, or Tri-Elmar 16-21, and why?

I especially like 21 focal lenght, how much is the difference between SEM 21 and WATE at 21mm mark?

 

Thank you in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might I suggest that you consider subscribing to Lloyd Chambers' site for Leica; he does very extensive comparisons of the WATE against the 18 and 21 SEM's. The WATE's advantage does not appear to extend beyond the 16mm option and convenience of fielding three FLs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not used either the SEM21 or the latest CV15/4.5 to have a good feel for the comparison.

 

The WATE is simply brilliant at all focal lengths on either M-P or SL bodies, and a far better performer at 16mm than my older CV15/4.5, and at 21mm than my Color Skopar 21/4 was. The convenience of having 16, 18, and 21 mm focal lengths in one reasonably compact lens is also a big plus. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not used any of those particular lenses, but I regularly use a 21, used to 1st 15mm, and had a 'play' with them all. So take my 2c as closer to 1c.

Is 15/16 a regular use lens, or is it 95% 21 with 5% 15/16? I'd be mostly 21 as I find 15 very wide - too wide for me, so I'd get the 21/15 set - I'd only carry the 21 which is small. I found the WATE to be a very big lens, especially with the monster finder. So size wins for me.

But, if I regularly used 16 and 21, I'd suck it up and get the WATE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all guys.

Some days ago I had a bad experience in testing a CV 15 v3 (very soft in the corners until f/11), but I see so many people happy about it, so I think it was probably a decentered/defective sample.

 

@Michael: it's neither 95/5% nor 50/50%... let's say 70/30%

 

@IWC: perhaps a 16/4 (or f/3.8...) if you want it really small...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

70/30 and a bad 15v3 experience says to me that a WATE is what you should get. As for size, I forgot how much bigger the new 15 is compared to the first one - so if it's in your bag, might as well WATE!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The WATE is probably superior @16mm to the CV 15 but slower and no match for the 21 SEM. Pick your poison.

Edited by Hayek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer the combination of Carl Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 and SEM 21mm f/3.4. Both are excellent lenses: Extremely sharp, high contrast, nice colors (the SEM has a rather neutral or even a little bit cold rendering though). For shallow DOF, the Summilux 21mm is also an excellent performer, but of course also an expensive one.

I have no experience with the WATE, but remember that the WATE is a true zoom lens, which always lags a little bit behind fixed focal lengths with respect to optical performance. The MTF support this. The many pictures I saw are great, nonetheless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the 21SEM and changed to the WATE. I use it mostly on my M240 with the EVF. Works great. I have no experience with the Frankenfinder. The IQ ist great and I have absolutly no problems with that. It is no small lens, but smaller than all these alternative 2 lens combos 15/21 etc. For me the best way, if you want a UWA and an 21mm and don´t need a fast lens.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using the WATE this week, fitted to the SL, and mostly at 18 and 21mm focal lengths. I am thoroughly delighted with the image quality it produces ... Can't say anything negative about it at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent a VC 15 mkiii back as it had play as you changed direction when focussing. I will try another as the images it produced were fine

 

I'm still very keen to see Leica produce a super wide moderately fast lens. Anything over 2.8 is slow I sold my 18 SEM due to speed. I'm tempted by the Zeiss but it's huge, expensive and not rangefinder coupled so not attractive

 

A £500 slow 15 has appeal until something better comes along

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@mls1483 (and others who have ZM 15/2.8) : and how good is Zeiss ZM 15 used on M240?

MTF figures seems to be quite good, but on digital sensors is there some corner smearing and/or colour cast like similar WA lenses designed for film? With that price tag, and being a prime lens, it should be nearly faultless to be appealing.

 

@berlinman: didn't you see differences in IQ changing from 21 SEM to WATE?

 

@hayek: yeah, you sum it up quite nicely

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

image quality of the ZM 15mm f/2.8 is excellent with respect to sharpness, color and contrast. Build is also exceptionally (solid, but smooth aperture and sharpness ring). It is indeed large, but weight and size are not as bad as one might expect. The shallow DOF wide open allows amazing pictures. It is one of the best lenses I ever owned.

 

There are some drawbacks though:

- not rangefinder coupled: With live view of the M240 no problem

- vignetting at f/2.8 is quite strong, as must be expected, but it seems to be almost limited to natural vignetting: Can easily be removed in post processing.

- some color cast wide open (depending on light conditions): Can easily be removed in post processing. In Lightroom 6 there is now a lens profile included.

 

I use is mainly for shooting at short distances, where I have virtually no problem with color cast or potential corner smearing. For landscape and in large, well lit rooms, stopping down does almost get rid of both problems.

 

The WATE is definitely less critical due to its optical design, just like the Summilux 21, 24, 28mm (11672). However, most users make use only the 16mm option. In this case I would prefer the ZM 15mm. If you like the convenience of carrying only one lens for 16, 18, 21mm, the WATE is of course in favor.

 

I made a bargain with a used copy. It is hard to get used, however, if available, I would definitely go for it (again).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of WATE, how much does it block the (Franken)finder view at 16mm and 18mm?

 

 

@ mls1483: thank you, very useful informations

 

It sits high up on the hot shoe so VF blockage isn't a significant issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Steve, in my pictures I had not seen any real loss in IQ from 21SEM to WATE. A technical lens test will show some, but the IQ of the WATE is wonderfull. The only point is, that it had a little more problems with reflections if the sun is in the picture. But I didn't do a side-by-side test.

 

 

Gesendet von meinem iPhone mit Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not used any of those particular lenses, but I regularly use a 21, used to 1st 15mm, and had a 'play' with them all. So take my 2c as closer to 1c.

Is 15/16 a regular use lens, or is it 95% 21 with 5% 15/16? I'd be mostly 21 as I find 15 very wide - too wide for me, so I'd get the 21/15 set - I'd only carry the 21 which is small. I found the WATE to be a very big lens, especially with the monster finder. So size wins for me.

But, if I regularly used 16 and 21, I'd suck it up and get the WATE.

 

 

The WATE is the smallest zoom I own. Much smaller than any other UWA zoom I ever heard of. I also have the Frankenfinder - it is still in its plastic bag. I found it too bizarre to put it on a M. But you can also buy it without finder which is probably wiser.

Since I have the SL I like the WATE even more, because it is a true zoom (unlike the 28-35-50 MATE) and with the SL it is THE perfect UWA lens. It is very light (only 335g) and allows the use of filters while most others in that focus range do not allow that at all.

I find it one of the best constructions Leica ever invented.

 

If you fear it is not good enough regarding IQ: Use it at aperture 8 where it is perfect (The sharpest lens I have, see also the MTFs in the wiki). And with the correction profiles of the SL or M246, the IQ is better than ever.

 

I did not like the discolorings of the Zeiss 15mm ( see Leica Review   http://www.leica-review.com/reviews-1/zeiss-15mm-distagon-f/28-zm-review ) and its heavy vignetting. It is also quite big (550g) and not easy/impossible to use with filters.

Edited by steppenw0lf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shame the Zeiss is too big and not ideal with discolouring and no coupling

 

COME ON LEICA PLEASE GIVE US SOMETHING ULTRA WIDE FOR INTERIOR ARCHITECTILURE THAT IS F2.8 OR FASTER.

 

I can buy an f1.4 21 then slow for anything wider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...