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didier

11-23 vs WATE

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Dear all,

I am thinking about changing my TL 18mm lens to get the 11-23 zoom. Iwould get versatility and better IQ from what I read.

I am wondering if any of you has tried using the 16-18-21 WATE on the CL and how it compares to the 11-23 IQ wise ?

The focal lengths on the WATE would be enough for me and I could also use the Lens on my M.

 

Thanks for your comments !

 

 

Didier

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That will be what I do. I have the WATE already, use it on my M-D. It is a magnificent performer.

I see no need to buy another lens when I get the CL body. 

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Being wide and slow I find the WATE more difficult to focus on the digital bodies. You really need magnification which slows the whole process down. The 11-23 focus is very fast. I'd try both in a store if possible.

 

Personally I also prefer the 11-23 optically (as well as the range) on the CL. But that doesn't mean the WATE isn't a fine lens.

 

Gordon

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Being wide and slow I find the WATE more difficult to focus on the digital bodies. You really need magnification which slows the whole process down. The 11-23 focus is very fast. I'd try both in a store if possible.

 

Personally I also prefer the 11-23 optically (as well as the range) on the CL. But that doesn't mean the WATE isn't a fine lens.

 

Gordon

 

 

I just use the WATE's DoF scale, even on a Leica M, for most shooting. Wide open, set distance to 2m and you have pretty nice focus from 1.2m to infinity; go to f/5.6 and set 1.5m, you get 0.8m to infinity.  

 

It's only when very close up (the WATE will focus down to 0.5m, and with f/22 that nets about 0.25m at the closest edge) that focusing becomes more critical, and then it's much easier to see the focus on a TTL viewfinder anyway.

 

If the 11-23mm lens nets corner and edge performance that's superior to the WATE, it must be one heck of a lens! 

Edited by ramarren

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If the 11-23mm lens nets corner and edge performance that's superior to the WATE, it must be one heck of a lens! 

It does, and it is.  It also focuses to about 7 cm from the end of the lens shade, giving excellent macro performance at 23 mm.  I took several lenses with my CL on a recent trip with exotic outdoor scenery and wildflowers, and ended up using the 11-23 for 90+ % of my roughly 800 shots.  Of course, when you are hiking away from the car most of the day, carrying one camera and one lens is highly attractive, especially if it can do everything that is needed.

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That's cool. Doesn't matter, however: I'm not buying one.

 

The only 'native' L lens I might buy for the CL body is the APO Macro-Elmarit-TL 60mm f/2.8 ASPH, perhaps a little while down the path, because my primary purpose in buying the CL is to use it for macro and tabletop photography ... neither of which are things that I would ever use an ultra-wide zoom for. I'm not really interested in the CL for general purpose photography at this point in time. 

 

That may change, of course, but at least for the moment I have no need for it for that.

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Dear all,

I am thinking about changing my TL 18mm lens to get the 11-23 zoom. Iwould get versatility and better IQ from what I read.

I am wondering if any of you has tried using the 16-18-21 WATE on the CL and how it compares to the 11-23 IQ wise ?

The focal lengths on the WATE would be enough for me and I could also use the Lens on my M.

 

Thanks for your comments !

 

 

Didier

If you already had a WATE I would say use it.

 

It is not high use lens for the M, and on the CL it would be 24-32, which in my book is a pretty useless range of focal lengths. It is also very expensive, even second hand. Using filters on the WATE is a pain.

 

The native 11-23 is a great performer, is lighter and just as compact as the WATE and has both AF and auto shutter control, plus is a true zoom. What residual distortions it has are corrected in camera ..... performance is as good if not better than the WATE.

 

Opting for the WATE is plain daft. You will regret it. 

Edited by thighslapper

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... plus is a true zoom. ... 

 

 

The WATE is also a true zoom. The MATE is the one that is not.

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The only 'native' L lens I might buy for the CL body is the APO Macro-Elmarit-TL 60mm f/2.8 ASPH, perhaps a little while down the path, because my primary purpose in buying the CL is to use it for macro and tabletop photography ... neither of which are things that I would ever use an ultra-wide zoom for.

That all makes sense, but in your table-top work, do you ever shoot objects with some depth to them?  Our kids for a number of years built models of various environments (think "doll houses") which I would photograph from a scale eye-level view with a digital M and the first version CV15/4.5, which was not rangefinder-coupled and could focus to about 0.25 m or so.  Shooting from that close gives a very different feeling than the typical 60-120mm macro perspective.  Only now, in the L mount wide-angles, does Leica focus down to 0.25 m again.  I have found it useful.

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That all makes sense, but in your table-top work, do you ever shoot objects with some depth to them?  Our kids for a number of years built models of various environments (think "doll houses") which I would photograph from a scale eye-level view with a digital M and the first version CV15/4.5, which was not rangefinder-coupled and could focus to about 0.25 m or so.  Shooting from that close gives a very different feeling than the typical 60-120mm macro perspective.  Only now, in the L mount wide-angles, does Leica focus down to 0.25 m again.  I have found it useful.

 

 

When shooting 3D objects very close up with a short focal length lens, the perspective is distorted and depth of field becomes problematic. If your intent is to distort the perspective to give the little objects a feel of being full-size things rather than scale models of full-size things, then this is the right tack and you deal with the depth of field issues by incorporating more blur into your imaging or stopping down quite a lot. This kind of close-up photography is used often when folks who build scale model dioramas want to expand the illusion of real-life in their photographs of it. 

 

I've only very rarely done such diorama work; I'm more usually interested to obtain a more documentarian record shot of a small model with "correct" perspective. However, I've used such short lenses as the Olympus ZD11-22/2.8-3.5 ED for it when I did, where the FourThirds "quarter-frame" format helps out a bit on the depth of field issue. Or, again on FourThirds format, using my wackily adapted 12.5mm f/1.4 video camera lens for some still life and other 'fine art' work:

 

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This lens is one of the reasons I still have a FourThirds body or two floating around here somewhere. An E-PL1 body was $100, used, and the lens cost me $25.

 

I don't see myself spending a few thousands of dollars just to have this ability available with the CL and new Leica lenses, not for the amount of it that I will likely want to do. That could always change, of course. 

Edited by ramarren

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.... If your intent is to distort the perspective to give the little objects a feel of being full-size things rather than scale models of full-size things, then this is the right tack ....

 

...I've used such short lenses as the Olympus ZD11-22/2.8-3.5 ED for it when I did, where the FourThirds "quarter-frame" format helps out a bit on the depth of field issue. 

This lens is one of the reasons I still have a FourThirds body or two floating around here somewhere. ...

Exactly.  I've also got some M43 gear on a shelf that could use an outing...

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Having owned all the lenses the OP mentions the 11-23 is the one to go for.

 

I think you’ll be (pleasantly) shocked by the IQ improvement over the 18. The WATE is a funny lens... it’s small for a full frame wide angle zoom, but still pretty chunky... I seldom use mine but for some reason haven’t sold it yet! I much prefer the performace of the 11-23 on the CL or 16-35 on the SL.

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I just spent a little time this morning playing with and testing my two ultrawide lenses ... the Elmarit-R 19mm f/2.8 v1 and the WATE ... on the CL body. They both produce excellent results (and the 19mm is vastly larger than the WATE) but are so different in their imaging performance. The WATE is bitingly sharp and crisp corner to corner, at all focal lengths and lens openings and has very very tight rectilinear correction on the APS-C format. The 19mm is a typical, classic Walter Mandler lens design: It has a beautiful very slight softness when wide open that is actually worth having and then becomes bitingly sharp and contrasty two-three stops down from wide open. Its rectilinear correction is good but not clinically perfect like the WATE. 

 

The thing that always gets me is how much nicer to use the R lens is for a TTL camera compared to the M lens. The WATE in my hands feels best on the M body with a rangefinder to focus it, with its narrow focusing ring and finger notch close to the body where it's easy to get to on a rangefinder camera. The Elmarit-R 19mm has the big focusing ring right where it ought to be to hold the lens and camera with perfect balance and turn it with thumb and forefinger, and the aperture control is at the rear of the lens where it's less likely to bump when hand-holding. 

 

One of these days, I'll have to rent or borrow the native 11-33mm just to see how it compares in use, and what its rendering is like. Having that next increment down to 11mm from 16mm would be nice on the APS-C format, but then again is it really all that important to me since I have the M-D and can use the WATE on that any time I want a wider field of view..? I see no likelihood of the CL taking the M-D's place for my use.

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