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New 21mm || SEM or not SEM, that is the question!


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I've read this whole thread because I too would like a 21mm for my M10. Ideally, I'd like a WATE but that is beyond my means in the forseeable future. I'm considering a CV but my choices are a bit limited in NZ. 

I understand the CV3.5 is better than the CV4 due to flare resistance and the Italian flag on the M9 and M240, although I do prefer the all black colour of the 4 as opposed fo the panda 3.5 finish.

Is the Italian flag on the 4 present on an M10, and if so, could someone please teach me why it would be present on the M10 and not the M10-R?

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CV 21 mm f/1.4 Asph. In-camera B&W. I love this lens. Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!

Dennis, my friend, the 21 is one of my favorite focal lengths. Yes, the SEM is the best of the bunch. I have the original 21/4 Super Angulon, which was my dad’s, probably the weakest of all of them, but I keep it for sentimental reasons. I had the 21/2.8 Elmarit for years and used it extensively in my film days. Great lens. Sold it after about ten years of owning it. Got a 21/2.8 ASPH a few years ago, but sold it after acquiring the WATE. Through the years I kept the first version of the 21/4 Co

Dennis, you know you want the SEM! Put yourself out of your misery, and do it. The SEM is the best of the bunch, and if you don't buy it, you'll be second guessing yourself until you break down and buy it. I've been there many times myself.

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On 8/5/2021 at 5:55 PM, Cl35mm said:

Dust from the official store

The tiny speck on the internal retaining ring? Unless you're buying a lithography lens (couple million € and couple tons of weight) to be operated in a clean room, you'll get tiny amounts of dust. Even after getting an absolutely dust free lens, it will get some dust very soon as you use it and carry it around in bags etc. . Lenses are not airtight, and RF lenses are not even waterproof let alone airtight.

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25 minutes ago, astrostl said:

As mentioned previously I think the TT 21/1.5 is a solid budget choice if one doesn't expect much wide open and doesn't mind the size/weight.

That's is precisely the reason I left it out of the equation: size and weight. Somewhere between the Nokton 1.4 and the CV 3.5.

.

A little/huge update: Considering my switch to mirrorless probably at the beginning of the following year, I had to reconsider the budget for the camera and lenses for everything. It is a considerable investment; one needs everything new: camera, lenses, batteries, fast cards. 

Regarding the SEM or no SEM question, I probably made a decision. I believe it should be interesting to get "just" a CV 21/3.5 and start to play around (for the first time with M) with the 21FL. I decided to not buy an external VF; I want to guesstimate the feel of the whole OVF. And the time will tell. If it works well, it's a keeper. If I find the 21FL fascinating on M (as it is for me, the 35FL), I would probably add the SEM in the future. In fall, I decided I'll buy these three brand new Voigtlander lenses, in no particular order:

  • 35/2 Ultron II
  • 21/35 Asph
  • 50/1.5 II

In the end, I have the curiosity to try lenses such a CV 21/1.4, the SEM, the CV 35/2 APO. But they all are big lenses, and I identify myself in the "small size and weight" shooting enjoyment. So no GAS if it's possible and buy what I will surely like and use. There are many terrific FL to shoot with an M camera: frame liens, external VF, guesstimates. There are all excellent ways to play and be happy with. But I firmly believe that 35 and 50 are the best-optimized-smart FL choices to shoot with an M camera. But this is another topic. Now, I'm betting on the 21-35-50 lens kit.

There is more. I always liked the idea of a monochrome camera. I used to convert many photos in BW, and for years I was shooting in raw monochrome. Then I found the M10 and started to appreciate the color again. But I still visualize many scenes in real life that have great potential for BW imagery. I have experience with that, and it feels excellent. For example, I can't imagine how awesome it would be to see BW preview in an EVF. That's why the Q2M is whispering a lot in my mind in the last months. And I decided to keep my mouth shut. But It could really be a fantastic addition to the family. I'm still evaluating. 

.

 

 

 

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A Q2M would be nice. In fact, the more I shoot, the more comfortable I am with the idea of getting a Monochrom. When I get my next body, I'll keep my M10 for colour but I'll probably move to black and white. I hear a lot about "Leica colours" but is there a similar perception around Leica black and white as opposed to other brands?

With that in mind, I bought the CV 21/4 today as I managed to get it at an even better price than was originally offered (£200/US$280/€240). Other than the price and availability in NZ (no expensive shipping costs/delays and additional taxes), I figure it will give me a feel for the FL and I can see how much I use and like it. I'm also more than happy to use it for black and white photos to avoid the colour cast and I like vignettes (within reason). If it works for me, I may upgrade to a CV21/3.5, 21/1.4, or ideally a WATE at some stage. 

I now have my 90/50/21 three lens kit so it's time to try and avoid the gear portions of the forum and try to build my skills from technique discussions and inspiration from all the awesome photos the members post on here.

It's the 10th of August 2021, so if you see me back looking at more gear to buy in the next 6 months, please feel free to tell me to p*ss off and take care of my other bills! 😉

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6 hours ago, Harvard Kiwi said:

With that in mind, I bought the CV 21/4 today

If it works for me, I may upgrade to a CV21/3.5, 21/1.4, or ideally a WATE at some stage. 

It totally makes sense. Besides a few cons, I heard it's a terrific lens. And it could be your first 21mm, to get an idea of the FL and (maybe) upgrade in the future.

 

6 hours ago, Harvard Kiwi said:

I now have my 90/50/21 three lens kit so it's time to try and avoid the gear portions of the forum and try to build my skills from technique discussions and inspiration from all the awesome photos the members post on here.

Definitely! Work with whatever lens you have on your hands, be inspired and inspire others. I don't know if you are a 35MM fan or not. But maybe, a 28mm (or even a 35) would be a great addition. Because in the 21-50 gap it's happening a lot, and it's where IMHO the essence and strength of M happens.

21 + 24 + 28 + 35 + 50 + 75 + 90

21+28+50+90 it's four lenses, but you can do whatever you want with a kit like this.

6 hours ago, Harvard Kiwi said:

It's the 10th of August 2021, so if you see me back looking at more gear to buy in the next 6 months, please feel free to tell me to p*ss off and take care of my other bills! 😉

Just add a 28/2 Ultron II to the equation and you can stop to buy for a while, I give you my authorization 🤣

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2 hours ago, Dennis said:

Just add a 28/2 Ultron II to the equation and you can stop to buy for a while, I give you my authorization 🤣

It's funny you should say that as the person I just bought my 21mm lens from also has that exact lens for sale right now for NZ$500 which is also a good price. However, I have some work to do on my personal car and a bathroom that needs renovating, so I need to resist that temptation.

But yes, I agree that filling that gap between the 50 and 21 is something I will look at in the future.

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1 hour ago, Harvard Kiwi said:

some work to do on my personal car and a bathroom

It sounds more interesting than a boring 28mm 🙂 

The combo 21 + 50 could work perfectly with no need of a third lens. Yes there is a gap, but used wisely, they could be a terrific team

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Hi everyone, 

I just wanted to share my really happy news. I purchased the CV 21/4 thinking that I could live with the weakness of the colour cast on my M10 by using it exclusively for black and white photos. It wasn't my first, second, or third choice but it was a compromise available to me and within my means.

Well, my lens arrived this morning but I had to work so it's been a tortuous few hours sitting in meetings listening to people complain about things that just can't hold my attention on a Friday, let alone when I'm thinking about a new lens sitting on my desk.

My patience was rewarded and I've fitted the lens to my M10. It is such a tiny little thing and I have to be mindful of not obstructing part of the shot with stray fingers. It has a nice build quality with a smooth focus ring and nice aperture clicks.

I took a few test shots inside and outside including of a white wall. I used my Visoflex and they pair well, but I may get a 21mm viewfinder as I would prefer to avoid the blackout between shots which slows things down. Also, the Visoflex is massive and I'd prefer a little Voigtlander, Leica, or even Zeiss 21mm finder for a more harmonious aesthetic.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that I am one of the lucky ones that has such minimal colour cast that it is only visible because I'm pixel peeping and looking for it. There is a bit of darker vignetting (particularly in the upper corners) but I expected that, and quite like the effect in moderation.

I never expected to get usable colour shots with this lens/body combo without correcting in post. I'll still edit mainly black and white photos but it's nice to have the option of colour.

I'm about to have a great weekend of shooting rural landscapes and beaches with my new toy. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend too! 😃

 

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3 hours ago, Harvard Kiwi said:

Hi everyone, 

I just wanted to share my really happy news. I purchased the CV 21/4 thinking that I could live with the weakness of the colour cast on my M10 by using it exclusively for black and white photos. It wasn't my first, second, or third choice but it was a compromise available to me and within my means.

Well, my lens arrived this morning but I had to work so it's been a tortuous few hours sitting in meetings listening to people complain about things that just can't hold my attention on a Friday, let alone when I'm thinking about a new lens sitting on my desk.

My patience was rewarded and I've fitted the lens to my M10. It is such a tiny little thing and I have to be mindful of not obstructing part of the shot with stray fingers. It has a nice build quality with a smooth focus ring and nice aperture clicks.

I took a few test shots inside and outside including of a white wall. I used my Visoflex and they pair well, but I may get a 21mm viewfinder as I would prefer to avoid the blackout between shots which slows things down. Also, the Visoflex is massive and I'd prefer a little Voigtlander, Leica, or even Zeiss 21mm finder for a more harmonious aesthetic.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that I am one of the lucky ones that has such minimal colour cast that it is only visible because I'm pixel peeping and looking for it. There is a bit of darker vignetting (particularly in the upper corners) but I expected that, and quite like the effect in moderation.

I never expected to get usable colour shots with this lens/body combo without correcting in post. I'll still edit mainly black and white photos but it's nice to have the option of colour.

I'm about to have a great weekend of shooting rural landscapes and beaches with my new toy. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend too! 😃

 

That's a great news, congrats! It looks like you got a bargain.

3 hours ago, Harvard Kiwi said:

I'm about to have a great weekend of shooting rural landscapes and beaches with my new toy. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend too! 😃

 

Thank you, enjoy yours. And feel free to share some of your new 21/4 images on Monday lol 🙂

 

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I own the SEM 18. Even on my M10-R, the lens performs. It's a great lens, but usually too wide for me. I was seriously considering buying the SEM 21, but my Leica store had a great deal on a pristine Tri-Elmar 16-18-21, so I bought it. 

The Tri-Elmar WATE checks the box for me as a travel lens along with my APO Summicron 35mm and APO Summicron 75.

Here are a few images shot recently, processed in CaptureOnePro 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

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Here are some of my first shots taken with my new CV 21/4 on my M10. I’m just getting used to this FL but am loving it so far! Unfortunately, we have just gone into lockdown so practice will be limited.

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This is an uncropped colour shot. While it has been processed, there was no need to use Cornerfix or other software to remove magenta colour casts. This was something I didn’t expect but which I am very happy about!

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6 minutes ago, Harvard Kiwi said:

This is an uncropped colour shot. While it has been processed, there was no need to use Cornerfix or other software to remove magenta colour casts. This was something I didn’t expect but which I am very happy about!

I'm a little scared about color casts, don't like in the digital body. I think it depends on the lens copy, with which camera and what kind of exposure.

This image looks fine to me

The 21/4 is so small and light

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  • 1 month later...

A little update.

TBH, I was excited but a little scared about investing in a brand new SEM, mainly because I had never shot before a 21 on an M-camera. I know, I'm a chicken. But I had an opportunity to find a mint 21/4 Color Skopar, a friend of mine will bring it to me in a couple of weeks. So I pulled the trigger.


This way, I will know what it feels like to shoot with a 21mm. If I like it, I will probably try hands-on SEM at the LHSA meeting next month and decide. If I don't like the CV 21, well, sell it or keep it. Time will tell. But the investment was low. If not, I will use it for BW only. Or on film. I'm aware of the color cast, thank you for share information in this thread! I'm interested to see how it works on my M10. Crossed fingers. I will keep you posted and publish some photos once I have a chance.

Happy clicks

🙏

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/20/2021 at 3:47 PM, Dennis said:

I'm a little scared about color casts, don't like in the digital body. I think it depends on the lens copy, with which camera and what kind of exposure.

This image looks fine to me

The 21/4 is so small and light

Hi Dennis, 

That was shot on my M10 and the Metadata says it was shot at f5.6. However, shots wide open at f4 are also free of the colour casts but show sign of darker vignetting.

I was very concerned around potential colour cast from the 21/4 on a digital sensor and couldn't get a consistent answer around whether it was ok or not. The consensus appeared to be that it was fine on the M10-R so I took the risk as I prefer to shoot black and white anyway. 

I do agree that it probably has a lot to do with the copy that you get and I feel very lucky. 

I wanted to save money because I couldn't afford to spend more at the time and because I wasn't sure that it was an FL I would use often.

However, after getting it, it sat on my camera for weeks without being changed and we had a lot of fun together. As a 50mm man, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the 21mm focal length and 99% of the time I'm either using my 50 or my 21 (and the ratio has to be close to 50/50)

I also highly recommend the Voigtlander 21/25 metal viewfinder. It is so bright and clear, it actually looks ok on the camera, and it doesn't drain the battery like my Visoflex 020 does. 

Any update on your copy?

Edited by Harvard Kiwi
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