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bdolzani

Lenses I considered today...(a bit of fun)

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It was a snowy Friday here in the Northeast, and being indoors with a computer leads to heavy research and almost clicking Buy on one of these:

21/4 Voightlander

25/4 Voightlander

25/2.8 Zeiss

28/2 Summicron

Right now 35mm is my widest, and even though on the street in a pandemic (plus fairly docile nearby streets), 35mm seems almost too wide. However I've been wanting to push myself further to get closer, on the street but just in general (family, for instance).

I was turned on by each of these lenses today. The way I'd describe my ideal photographic vision/style is 'WHERE AM I?' I like to show plenty of context in my photos, however also sometimes becoming too far away from a potential subject (humans). I'm not afraid of buildings ;-). 

I welcome any thoughts for those shooters who love *place* and *context*. No real question, and this list is an incredible range of cost. I seem to love very inexpensive things to wrestle with, as well as the other end of definitely stretching the wallet. No real question, just a Friday night musing.

 

My current Leica stable: 35mm summicron v2 / 35mm summaron 3.5 / 50mm Elmar 2.8 collapsible / 50mm summicron v5 / 90mm tele-elmarit

Edited by bdolzani

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I really like the summaron-m 28 to get closer. It is tiny and I feel less shy. Pre-focus, raise, frame, press. It takes less than one second.

I love it for family shots too.

However, if you want to get very close, the minimum distance is one meter.

Hope this helps.

Ps: i never tried anything wider than 28mm

Edited by Aryel

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8 minutes ago, Aryel said:

I really like the summaron-m 28 to get closer. It is tiny and I feel less shy. Pre-focus, raise, frame, press. It takes less than one second.

I love it for family shots too.

However, if you want to get very close, the minimum distance is one meter.

Hope this helps.

It does for sure, thanks Aryel. The pancake-ness of that lens is similar to how I was wondering about a Fuji x100 - they are so slim that it must be pretty ideal for the shy stealth style, and feel basically non-existent. Good point. Only thing would be how slow it is as a single 28mm in the kit. 

Edited by bdolzani

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Just now, bdolzani said:

It does for sure, thanks Aryel. The pancake-ness of that lens is similar to how I was wondering about a Fuji x100 - they are so slim that it must be pretty ideal for the shy stealth style, and feel basically non-existence. Good point. Only thing would be how slow it is as a single 28mm in the kit. 

Yes, the f5.6 is sometime a bit slow (i shoot only film). I still like the results with fast film. I am mostly a 50mm user, but sometimes, the summaron-m 28 is impossible to resist. 

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20 minutes ago, Aryel said:

Yes, the f5.6 is sometime a bit slow (i shoot only film). I still like the results with fast film. I am mostly a 50mm user, but sometimes, the summaron-m 28 is impossible to resist. 

Great. Yes me too mostly film. Which is why I was leaning towards the 28 summicron v1 over the 28 Elmarit asph, because I thought I heard the summicron has a bit gentler render. 

I've enjoyed the 24mm equivalent on my Fuji, which is what lead me to consider the 25mm's too. And 21mm can be dramatic which I would like, however I'm not looking for it to scream 'wide angle'. 

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1 hour ago, bdolzani said:

Great. Yes me too mostly film. Which is why I was leaning towards the 28 summicron v1 over the 28 Elmarit asph, because I thought I heard the summicron has a bit gentler render. 

I've enjoyed the 24mm equivalent on my Fuji, which is what lead me to consider the 25mm's too. And 21mm can be dramatic which I would like, however I'm not looking for it to scream 'wide angle'. 

One of the elmarit pre-asph is also worth checking out. I have the one just before the asph and like it a lot with colour film. I will sell it soon because the more it goes the more I prefer the look from the 1950-1960. It is also deinitely bigger than the summaron. I never tried the asph, some members really like theirs. 

 

Edited by Aryel

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Each focal length is this wide-angle range is very different, so basically you can choose anything from that list to see if that works for you.
I have a 21 which I think is too wide for me (but I do like it for video in crop mode, where the distortion and vignette are cropped out), also have a 28 and a 35, maybe I will sell the first two to try a 24.

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The 21/f4 Voigtlander is a good performing handy lens to have tucked in a corner of your kit bag. Great on film, and with the right coding pleasing on digital. With 21 a slow shutter speed works for static subjects, so f4 isn’t much of an issue. I don’t use 21 much, so the low cost / tiny size made this a natural addition for me.

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Being a 35mm man most of my life, I eventually migrated to a 50, and then tried a 24mm...but found it too iffy lining what should be parallels up. A few years later I ytied a VC 15, but it shoved too much of the background into teeny little bits. About 2 years ago I got tempted by the VC 21/4 and found the sweet spot for me. Like TomB_tx, the price was too good to pass up, and the lens took up almost no space to bring along as an extra. I'm still learning with it, but it appears to be a keeper in the stable.

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The body is gonna matter a lot here - if you're on film or an M10-R you can expect no issues, with with earlier digital Ms there are color casting issues on third-party wides.

- 
TTArtisan 21/1.5

- Leica M 21/3.4 11145
- 
Voigtlander VM 21/3.5
- Voigtlander VM 21/4
- 7Artisans M 28/1.4

I own those. My context-independent budget recommendation would be the TTArtisan 21/1.5. Solid hunk of metal, great optics by f/2.8 but can be shot wide open if you don't mind the sharpness/coma compromise. Only universal knock is wavy distortion, which doesn't bother me outside of architecture shots.

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17 hours ago, bdolzani said:

It was a snowy Friday here in the Northeast, and being indoors with a computer leads to heavy research and almost clicking Buy on one of these:

21/4 Voightlander

25/4 Voightlander

25/2.8 Zeiss

28/2 Summicron

Right now 35mm is my widest, and even though on the street in a pandemic (plus fairly docile nearby streets), 35mm seems almost too wide. However I've been wanting to push myself further to get closer, on the street but just in general (family, for instance).

I was turned on by each of these lenses today. The way I'd describe my ideal photographic vision/style is 'WHERE AM I?' I like to show plenty of context in my photos, however also sometimes becoming too far away from a potential subject (humans). I'm not afraid of buildings ;-). 

I welcome any thoughts for those shooters who love *place* and *context*. No real question, and this list is an incredible range of cost. I seem to love very inexpensive things to wrestle with, as well as the other end of definitely stretching the wallet. No real question, just a Friday night musing.

 

My current Leica stable: 35mm summicron v2 / 35mm summaron 3.5 / 50mm Elmar 2.8 collapsible / 50mm summicron v5 / 90mm tele-elmarit

Out of the four lenses you mentioned, I have used three of them except the CV 25/4. I don't own the CV 21/4 anymore. It's an excellent small compact lens but its optical performance is not in the same company of Zeiss Biogan 25/2,8 and Summicron-M 28. I would recommend both of the ZM and Summicron-M whole hearty, but perhaps for different reason. The Summicron-M 28 is one of best wide angle Leica lenses combined with the newer and classic Leica rangefinder lenses attributes and yet is very compact in size. Optical signature-wise, the Summicron-M 28 will match with your exiting lenses. The Biogan 25 ZM, on the other hand, has a very beautiful rendering style that I don't see in Leica M lenses, perhaps due to its symmetrical Biogan design. The lens produces beautiful images and, IMHO, is being a bit under appreciated in Leica M community. But it may not match with the rendering style of your current Leica glasses. I also should point out that the focal length is about 26.5mm not a true 25mm, and I use the lens without an external VF. Of these two lenses, I use the Summicron-M 28 more but feel that ZM Biogan 25 is more special. Hope this helps.

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... My current Leica stable: 35mm summicron v2 / 35mm summaron 3.5 / 50mm Elmar 2.8 collapsible / 50mm summicron v5 / 90mm tele-elmarit

With that in mind, I would encourage you to give some thought to the Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH (# 11145).

Of the lenses you considered today, the Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH (#11672) is a "can't go wrong" kind of lens.

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I own Cron 28 v1 and CV 21/4. Both spectacular performers. Cron is perfect for indoor family events, low light photography,  environmental portraits,... Skopar is very sharp, prone to flare, nice rendering. Very good for landscape and outdoor events photography.

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I can’t vouch for the Voigtlander 21 f/4, but I shoot street with the Ultron 21mm f/1.8 quite a bit, mostly around f/2.8.  I love the challenge of getting closer and filling the frame but also capturing context.  Great lens and the wide aperture helps as I shoot mostly at night. 

I also own the Summicron 28 ASPH v1 and while 28 isn’t my favorite focal length, the lens is spectacular, especially on the M10M.  

Edited by Anakronox

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You guys are all so helpful and making my decision difficult, ha. @Herr Barnack you did read my mind, last night I was looking at the 21 SEM. However I think for the moment I'm letting go of the 21 idea. Especially I would probably not spend the top of my range for such a wide FL. Perhaps down the road the VM 21/4 would be an easy and quick addition. I just think it might be too wide for me. I'd like wide but not too unnatural. I tend to be a more 'natural' shooter. However a bit of drama is ok, which is why I like the extra edge of 28.

And I love the flatness of 24.

Adding a new focal length, I think, should be a major decision (as I'm making it ha). I try to imagine a new FL to be my new favorite lens, not just an occasional user. 

I found a 24mm 3.8 that I've been thinking about for about a year...ever since catching on to Allan Schaller's work. 24 is weird, perhaps weird enough. 

The 28 elmarit or summicron are super tempting, however, but not sure if it's different enough from my favorite 35mm. 

I just got my 35mm summaron cleaned by Youxin and will get it back this week. I only used it for one roll and then sent it off, I suspected haze and i was correct. It should feel like a new lens...excited! 

So, 24 or 28. Sometimes it feels like you need to get something this second, since second hand market is fickle. 

Thanks for everyone's thoughts, I will continue to mull it today. 

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Looking at your current line up I would say that your set of lenses is very 'traditional' Mand consists of older designs. One lens which hasn't been mentioned is the 21mm f/3.4 Super-Angulon which is quirky but in many ways in keeping with your existing set. It has excellent central resolution and this falls off towards the deges as does illumination so it does vignette a bit. Its downside is that it is difficult to use on digital. I have it alongside a 35mm pre-aspheric summilux and Tele-Elmarit (lightweight) and these three complement each other very well. Super-Angulons can still be bought relatively (for a Leica lens) cheaply and are, as you are probably aware, a Schneider design, but is none the worse for this.

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21 hours ago, pgk said:

Looking at your current line up I would say that your set of lenses is very 'traditional' Mand consists of older designs. One lens which hasn't been mentioned is the 21mm f/3.4 Super-Angulon which is quirky but in many ways in keeping with your existing set. It has excellent central resolution and this falls off towards the deges as does illumination so it does vignette a bit. Its downside is that it is difficult to use on digital. I have it alongside a 35mm pre-aspheric summilux and Tele-Elmarit (lightweight) and these three complement each other very well. Super-Angulons can still be bought relatively (for a Leica lens) cheaply and are, as you are probably aware, a Schneider design, but is none the worse for this.

Hey pgk, correct in that I focus on older lenses. I don't own anything asph. I have indeed known about the 21SA but never really considered it because I thought it was so wide. I found one currently available but the description is not too detailed - don't really know what shape it's in. I could give it a shot. It's a very intriguing lens and ticks all vintage boxes for me. 

I'm ping-ponging for sure - I was mostly set on the 24 or 28 but now thinking, Are those really that different from the 35...

thanks! 

PS was your copy difficult to find? And what finder do you use? (that's another kind of bummer expense to incur). 

Edited by bdolzani

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1 hour ago, bdolzani said:

PS was your copy difficult to find? And what finder do you use? (that's another kind of bummer expense to incur). 

There are currently a number for sale in the UK prices vary but you can pay £5-600 if you are lucky. I just use the 'correct' finder and my copy rattles, was cheap and works as well as any other I've tried.

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I use wider then 35 mainly for interiors, e.g. museums, archaeology, restaurants, closed spaces, etc.

28mm is too close to my main FL of 35mm

I like 24/25 as you can see in whole RF, but 21 is great as you get extra which you can envisage from looking around and always crop when you get home

If only one I would probably get 24/25

rgds

 

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