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Framing a shot with a 21mm lens on a Leica M10


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Hi,

I'm looking to buy a 21mm lens for my M10 to use for city and landscape shots. For those of you who use a similar setup, do you find that you need to use a 21 mm OVF mounted to the hot shoe for framing? I assume if critical framing is needed, the add on OVF is required. But for general usage, do you find the 28mm lines in the M10 are good enough?

Thanks,

Steve

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HI,

  • I used to have  21 VC and OVF (the whole thing cost less than just the Leica OVF!) for film M's and later an M9. Now I have a WATE, used with a M-P (240) and the EVF. The fiels of view of a 21 is much, much greater that that of a 28, so the 28 frame does not help much at all to estimate the 21 field of view, if anything, the finder cut off the additional area from your eye – you would be shooting blind; your eyeball estimate would be superior to that. 
  • The plastic VC 21 finder did an OK job.
  • With the WATE, my habit is to frame with the EVF; I have the level option on. If focusing is needed I use the finder for that, I find that a faster way.
  • One of the reason for not getting an M10, was the lack of of the level feature; if yours is an M10 P, then you have that feature.
  • As a student, I once made a wireframe finder for a 21 Super Angulon, it worked surprisingly well on film M's

Jean-Michel

 

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Thanks, wad and Jean-Michel.

I forgot about using LV with the LCD. Doh! I assume that's very practical to do when shooting landscape and any architectural shots on a tripod. For more casual shots, the LCD should also be fine, especially considering the huge DOF with a 21mm when shooting stopped down. In the unlikely event that I'm doing any kind of critical work wide open, I can see if handheld using the LV/LCD works and if not, I can look into a hot shoe mounted OVF.

Re: M10-P...I didn't want to spend the extra money vs the M10 as I don't care about touch screen or a quieter shutter (I actually love the sound of the M10 shutter). With regard to the level, I have an on screen level on my Fuji but still find that when I shoot handheld, I still can't take a photo with a straight horizon to save my life. I always have it at a slight angle, despite the level being right there on the screen! It's okay, I've gotten used to a quick horizon adjustment in Lightroom. Oddly, on the rare occasions I shoot any camera at arm's length using the LCD, I find my images are much closer to being level. I guess the bigger picture view, as opposed to looking through a VF makes it easier to shoot straight for me.

Thanks again,

Steve

P.S. As an initial foray, I'm looking at the CV 21/3.5 or the 21/1.8 Ultron. I like the idea of having the option to shoot at f/1.8 in lower light but really worry about the size of the Ultron on an M10. Anyone else go down this road?

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When I use my 21mm f/1.4 Leitz on my Leica M6 and M10, I use an accessory 21mm Contax viewfinder. Regretfully, there are times when I either forget to bring my accessory viewfinder or I do not have time to mount it on my camera or I do not have time to activate the LiveView on the M10. Those are the times when I just use the entire viewfinder as a guide for composition and I use the hyperfocal distance for focusing.

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I use latest Leica external 21mm OVF, it has set of frame lines for full frame and also cropped camera [M8] which equate to 28mm.  I am very happy with focusing optically via RF followed by external VF framing and I use it with 21mm and 28mm  lens with satisfaction. 

Occasionally with 21mm I use "Frankenfinder" which is dedicated External VF for WATE or Wide Tri-Elmar 16-18-21mm. It also works well with 21mm lens.

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vor einer Stunde schrieb Steve Miller:

As an initial foray, I'm looking at the CV 21/3.5 or the 21/1.8 Ultron. I like the idea of having the option to shoot at f/1.8 in lower light but really worry about the size of the Ultron on an M10. Anyone else go down this road?

I am thinking about buying the CV 21/3.5 because of low weight and small dimensions. It has to be lightweigt and small because I will mainly use it as a complementary to my 35, 50 and 90 mm lenses. I will use it on my M-P (240) with my Olympus EVF that I had bought years ago for my EVF-less Olympus camera. That EVF works well with an adapted 24 mm lens for a Nikon film camera.

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Posted (edited)

I have the 21mm and it works fine without accessories. My advice: Buy first the 21mm and look how you manage: With the 21mm the 28 Framelines are active. Now with some experience you add something on all sides of the image that you see in the ViewFinder. For me that works fine and I never miss an OVF for that lens. If my composition has to be precise then I use a tripod and LiveView. My Leica configuration should stay small. 

I own the Super Elmar which is fabulous, very small and below 300g

Edited by M10 for me
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28 mm framelines has nothing to do with 21mm lens. M10 or M6, doesn't matter.

You need external, matching VF for 21. 

The funny thing, for some of us (even for Winogrand in the past), this focal length is much more natural than 50.

I can't see as 50. 21 is just how I see. Not 28, not 24, but 21. It is 90 degree view lens. Very natural for my eyes. 

The problem comes not with framing, but how optics are rendering. It is odd lens for landscapes, IMO. It triumphs on close distances, with not busy corners.

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1 hour ago, pgk said:

The 21mm Super Elmar and Leica's latest OVF work very well indeed. To me this combination provide the ultimate 21 on a rangefinder to which nothing else has come close. Fabulous lens and the viewfinder does what it is inteded to.

This is a lens I expect to use occasionally and therefore am not considering the Super Elmar because of the 3x price. I’m sure it’s a fantastic lens. If I find that I shoot this focal length more frequently, I can try to find a nice used one.

Thanks,

Steve

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Interesting stuff to read. The 21mm FL it's my next target when It's about to try a new FL for M. I think I'm familiar already with the FL since DLSR, I always had 21 in my kit.

But I have no idea on M, I know what I saw on line and reading here. I have a wood pihole, and I use I frame plastic card like viewfinder haha. So a VF for a 21, should be somewhere between an EVF and my pinhole VF 🙂 I would say an external VF has about 85-90% coverage? Just guessing.

.

If one like to shoot in snapshots style, f/8, working w/ three distances and use just the external VF and never the Leica one, it should be so fun. 

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By the way. My next 21 will be the CV 3.5 plus VF. If it will be enough, great. If I will love so deeply the 21FL on an M camera, I'm positive I will then buy a 21 SEM. Why?

There are not many 21mm out there. And you can't ask more of the SEM, it has it all. 

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vor 51 Minuten schrieb Ko.Fe.:

28 mm framelines has nothing to do with 21mm lens. M10 or M6, doesn't matter.

You need external, matching VF for 21. 

Well, you are right. But What I meant is the following:

1) I do not want to accumulate stuff, so no OVF on top of my M10.

2) I use the 28mm framelines and I know by experience how much more will be on the image than what these framelines show.

3) I manage very well like that and if needed I redo a shot. Plus the framelines are never 100% accurate anyway as we all know. It all depends on the subject distance (as described in the instruction manual). Plus minus I am fine with my simple method.

4) If needed I use tripod and Liveview

Sorry when I repeated here in other words what I wanted to say above already.

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1 hour ago, M10 for me said:

Well, you are right. But What I meant is the following:

1) I do not want to accumulate stuff, so no OVF on top of my M10.

2) I use the 28mm framelines and I know by experience how much more will be on the image than what these framelines show.

3) I manage very well like that and if needed I redo a shot. Plus the framelines are never 100% accurate anyway as we all know. It all depends on the subject distance (as described in the instruction manual). Plus minus I am fine with my simple method.

4) If needed I use tripod and Liveview

Sorry when I repeated here in other words what I wanted to say above already.

:)

How are you going to add, if you can't even see through entire VF what is 21? Adding something you can't see is not possible. It is like trying to see more through the keyhole. Physically impossible. You are going to be much accurate without it with 21mm lens. Just framing with eyes. Remember, it is 90 degree view lens. Make 90 degree with two hands palms and it will show you the framing. 

"Framelines are never 100% accurate" statement was always mind boggling to me. :) I do frame with framelines and I never crop! The only true inaccuracy due to the framelines of RF is in parallax. It is impossible to compose the subjects relation via perspective. Like moon in the hand palm kind of thing.

If camera has liveview it is good to learn this focal length. Comes with blackout, but no bulk. Do 90 degree hands palms trick and compare it to liveview. You'll get the sense of 21mm fast.  

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