Jump to content

WATE (Tri Elmar 16-18-21) or 21mm f3.4 ASPH?


wolan
 Share

Recommended Posts

Wolan,   My experience with both lenses found the 21 SEM has a minor edge over the Tri-Elmar at 21mm.  The Tri-Elmar resolves at its highest at f/8 and some say f/11.  I never found that to be the case when I owned the Tri-Elmar.  If you need 16 or 18mm focal lengths, the Tri-Elmar does very well.  Some report the Tri-Elmar does very well on the SL/SL2 as noted by Jono Slack in his Leica reviews.  I found the Tri-Elmar works best of course, on M cameras.  I am sure others will give their opinions as well.  If you don't need 16/18mm, IMO the 21 SEM is a better choice for resolution and performance at f/3.4 - f4.  Hope this helps.  r/ Mark

Edited by LeicaR10
Link to post
Share on other sites

vor 29 Minuten schrieb wolan:

Hi,

if you had a chance to buy one of these two lenses, basically at the same price, which one would you choose? and why? Which one is sharper in your opinion at 21mm?

 

Thank you

 

The SEM 21 3.4 is definitely sharper than the WATE (at a high level). The WATE usually costs twice as much as the SEM 21, new and used.
Purely for photography I prefer the SEM 21, with the WATE you just have 3 focal lengths (some say it's a true zoom), 16-18-21 in one lens. 

 

Edited by strohscw
Link to post
Share on other sites

If corner to corner sharpness is your only concern, you want the SEM.  The caveat is, that in my experience, it's one of the lenses that does not work well with the SL2. The WATE is better in that regard. The SEM has a more modern look,  higher contrast; the WATE draws a bit more old school.  In the end, if you have no need for 16mm, don't care about performance on non-Ms and value acuity, the SEM 21 is likely the better choice.  If you need wider, you could consider the 18mm as the pair (used) will run about the same as a WATE.  Me? I typically carry the WATE as I consider 16, 21, 28, 50 as my core focal lengths and the WATE allows me to achieve this with a three lens kit. It might not be the razor blade the SEM is, but its still sharp enough to be quite useful at 41MPx on the 10-R. Best of luck, what ever you decide.

10-R/SEM 21

10-R/WATE

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, wolan said:

Hi,

if you had a chance to buy one of these two lenses, basically at the same price, which one would you choose? and why? Which one is sharper in your opinion at 21mm?

 

Thank you

 

if at the same price get the WATE, it normally costs about twice as much!

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 3/12/2021 at 4:22 AM, wolan said:

Hi,

if you had a chance to buy one of these two lenses, basically at the same price, which one would you choose? and why? Which one is sharper in your opinion at 21mm?

 

Thank you

 

I was looking at the SE 21. I already own the SE 18 and it's a great lens. I was looking for a focal length in between my 18 and Summilux 35.

When I made an inquiry to buy a SE 21, but got lucky with a mint condition demo WATE for $4,500 from my Leica store. It came with a warranty, but no case or box. A new one is $6,200, so I took the opportunity to save money.

I've had the WATE for 2 weeks now. So far so good although I have only given it a basic work out to make sure that the lens functions okay at all three focal lengths.  The lens is reasonably sharp with good micro contrast. I found myself applying slightly more "detail" in Capture One Pro than I would with other Leica lenses. I'm looking forward to shooting more architecture shots and interiors to see if this lens fills the bill.

The only disappointment with the lens is that the metadata shows a focal length of 16mm regardless of the actual focal length used.

I'm looking forward to taking this lens with me along with my standard kit, the Summilux 35mm and APO-Summicron 50mm, on my next travel vacation. I'm on the waiting list for the new APO-Summicron 35mm which will replace my Summilux 35mm in my travel kit.

Here are two images captured with the WATE mounted on my M10-R and processed in Capture One Pro 21.

Regards,
Bud James

Please check out my fine art and travel photography at www.budjames.photography or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/budjamesphoto

Edited by budjames
Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the 21 SEM is a fantastic lens, but I would go with the WATE. I was able to pick mine up for around $3K a few years ago. I sold my 21/2.8 ASPH and 18/4 ZM when I got it. The 21 and the 18 were redundant at that point. With the firmware upgrade with Perspective Control makes this the perfect run and gun travel lens for landscapes and architecture.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not responding to any particular post in this thread, but rather the overall topic.

Both are great lenses and the deciding factor is how wide does one shoot. If 16mm is a frequent FL, then the decision is obvious. While "only" 5mm, going down from 21 to 16 is a LOT of change in perspective.

Personally I find extreme wides challenging to use and the composition is very different, but that is my limitation. Trying to get it "all in" for a scene by throwing a wide lens at it often results in boring photos. But with the right subject and interesting foreground, results can be jaw-dropping.

I came across some of the more compelling use of WATE here:

https://www.overgaard.dk/Leica-M-Type-240-aka-Leica-M10-digital-rangefinder-camera-page-40-Leica-M-240-Safari-by-Byron-Prukston.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

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...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...