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A 21mm for M9/M-E


nightstreet

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Hi All,

I've been reading up on 21mm lenses, and would appreciate some thoughts.  I hope this does not sound too much like a "which lens should I get" thread, I'm just trying to be more informed.

After considering an M10 (cannot justify), I think I will look for a good used M-E, or go for the refurbished M9 if that program is still current.  With that, I'd like to get a 21mm lens which I can also use with my Nikon Z7.  I travel to Europe and Japan a bit, and want to get a 21mm to go with my 40mm. 

I shoot mostly the 40mm focal length, coming from an old rangefinder and slides.  I was shooting my DSLR with the Nikkor 35mm/2.  After switching to the Z7, I bought a Hexanon 40/1.8 and it's pretty much my main lens.  I like my Hexanon but I'm actively looking for an M-Rokkor 40mm CLE.  The Hexanon-to-Z adapter is about the same size as the FTZ adapter, whereas the M-to-Z adapter is half the size.  The Hexanon also means a third adapter to carry for the M body, whereas with M-lens on M-body, and M-to-Z adapter for the Z7, my travel bag is a lot simpler, two bodies and two lenses I can interchange. 

I've ruled out the super-angulon 21/4 as I read that it won't work with a Z7.  I considered the Hexanon 21/4, the used price seems to be creeping up from around US$200 to over US$400 now.    The CV 21/4 is about the same money, and there is a newer and nicer looking 21/3.5 but it's over US$800.  Add a bit more money, I can get the Elmarit-M 21/2.8 which I'm leaning towards.  The Super-Elmar 21/3.4 is more than I can justify and I read somewhere that it's not that good on a Z7.   I like to shoot street scenes at night, so I wonder if f/4 is too slow on the M9/M-E.  I'm not worried about the M9/M-E low ISO range since I would also have my Z7.

Would appreciate your thoughts or sharing your experience. Thanks.  

 

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Take a look at the Leica Super Elmar 21mm f/3.4 ASPH.  It is a lifetime lens which is a good thing given its price (it's priced in the midrange area for Leica M lenses).  

When I got my copy, I was a little concerned about the maximum aperture (f/3.4) but I have found that f/3.4 is acceptably fast for most situations, given the 21mm focal length..  The payoff for f/3.4 is extremely good contrast, color fidelity, edge to edge sharpness and minimal distortion for a 21mm. 

In my experience, it has been a good thing to delay gratification, save up for a while longer and to then be able to buy an M lens over any of the other offerings on the market. 

That's JMHO, though.

 

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M-E max iso is 2500. It is not even as high as some film iso.

Here is CV 1.8 and TT 1.4 21 lenses. One might be not expensive used, another is cheap already.

Personally I would skip your sitting in two chairs strategy.

Get one good lens which works within M-E framelines and get 21 lens for Z.

I have 20 and 19 mm F mount lenses which are usable on Nikon F mount cameras and on my M-E via adapter. But I need external VF as well. Those are not cheap.

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Nightstreet,

Two systems mean two chargers, two battery types, two xxx to carry and worry about.

So if you can live with one camera system, you may have hard time to choose one, but you would gain the party in the end.

For decades, I went discovering our wide World with two Leica systems R and M, but never more now, we ( my wife also who is better photographer than me )

just use Leica M to take pictures with lesser bulk/weight.

We had explored the other "ways" ( brands of camera systems ) but the best compromise for us is M as we already have "old" M lenses.

 

With M-E (M9 base) max 2500 ISO (not good for general use anyway), you may need to limit low light situations but in my view, 21mm with f/2.8 lens you can do with lower shutter speed

or find some stabilisation "device" (...if the subject allows ) as wall/pole/table/chair/etc.

Have fun,

Arnaud

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Guest Nowhereman

With the M-E, like with the M9, you would do better to shoot at ISO 640 and push in post-processing, if necessary, rather than shooting at higher ISO. Depending on the particular image, you can often get good results pushing up to four stops, equivalent to about ISO 10,000. It also depends on the light: often when you have to use ISO 10,000 the light is dismal, but if you have one bright light source, such fluorescent lights in a dark environment (not, say, a shopping center),  you can get good results. Normally, for handheld, you would shoot at 1/60 sec at f/2.8. Below is a shot with just one strong light, with out pushing in post.

M9 | Elmarit-21 ASPH | ISO 640 | f/2.8 | 1/60 sec

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Edited by Nowhereman
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Guest Nowhereman

And here is a shot pushed two stops: the only lighting is from fluorescent lights.

M9 | Elmarit-21 ASPH | ISO 640 | f/2.8 | 1/60 sec | Pushed 2 stops equivalent ISO 2560

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Simply register for free here ‚Äď We are always happy to welcome new members!

Pak Nam Pran
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Edited by Nowhereman
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1 hour ago, Nowhereman said:

With the M-E, like with the M9, you would do better to shoot at ISO 640 and push in post-processing, if necessary, rather than shooting at higher ISO. ...

I have tried it and find it problematic for shutter speeds higher than those with motion blur and static pictures. In the dark scenes.  

Perhaps, test image should be taken with 2500 first and if it is visible with selected shutter speed and aperture, it could be taken with 640.

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2 minutes ago, nightstreet said:

@a.noctilux:  I understand, point taken. I keep going back and forth on the two systems or stick with one.

@Nowhereman:  Your photos take me back, remind me of the days I was working in Thailand.

You don't have to limit yourself to only RF system for sure. If you know how to benefit from AF.

But if you one of those who is using only manual focus lenses on AF bodies, then no reason to have AF body in addition to RF body. IMO.

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2 hours ago, Ko.Fe. said:

Check in which forum thread is posted before commenting. Also, if you still not aware, read this as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leica_M-E

This from the manual:

Sensitivity range
ISO 200 to ISO 6400, adjustable in 1/3 ISO increments, choice of automatic control or manual setting, PULL 100
Exposure mode
Choice of automatic shutter speed control with manual aperture preselection - aperture priority A, or manual shutter speed and aperture setting

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46 minutes ago, jdlaing said:

This from the manual:

Sensitivity range
ISO 200 to ISO 6400, adjustable in 1/3 ISO increments, choice of automatic control or manual setting, PULL 100
Exposure mode
Choice of automatic shutter speed control with manual aperture preselection - aperture priority A, or manual shutter speed and aperture setting

M-E are two types: type 220   from M9 ISO 2500 max ) and the second M-E (type 240) last one with 6400 ISO

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I use the 21mm Elmarit - M f2.8 as my wide lens on my M9, I am happy enough with it and am usually using it at around f8 anyway (makes it almost a point and shoot setup using hyperfocal. As for travelling light, I typically take my M9s with me where ever I travel but always take my Fuji X-T2 with 16-55 (24-80) f2.8 for poor weather and low light and just walkaround shooting. I don't try to adapt my M lenses to the Fuji because the Fuji is best using AF and often the back screen at odd angles (articulating). I don't often take both systems out with me when I leave the digs though.

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@Ko.Fe.:Thanks for your comments, they help me think about my setup.  I don't only use manual lenses on an AF body, it just happened.  I used to do a lot of portraits using a DSLR, after switching to the Z7, my old 85mm became manual focus as well as my 35mm.  I also often rent an AF wide zoom to shoot interior, but don't want to carry it when I travel.  The urge to get an RF is just for the pure enjoyment of it. 

@Topsy:  I'm leaning towards the Elmarit, although last night I found another 21mm candidate, a Yashica 21mm/3.5.  I didn't get the kit lens when I bought the Z7 as I was thinking of getting a compact and somewhat pocketable APS-C as a 2nd camera for when I travel, but now I probably will abandon that idea and get the Z zoom.  I still want to get the M9/M-E though. 

Edited by nightstreet
typo.
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1 hour ago, jdlaing said:

This from the manual:

Sensitivity range
ISO 200 to ISO 6400, adjustable in 1/3 ISO increments, choice of automatic control or manual setting, PULL 100
Exposure mode
Choice of automatic shutter speed control with manual aperture preselection - aperture priority A, or manual shutter speed and aperture setting

OK. It looks like you need to read two manuals, if you are refusing to read link I provided and check which sub forum you are commenting on.

Here is Leica M-E 220 and Leica M-E 240. You are reading M-E 240 manual, now go on and read M-E 220 manual. Then let us know here what you will find about maximum ISO of M-E 220. LOL.

Edited by Ko.Fe.
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