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Where are all the Reviews of the 21 APO?


jplomley

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My guess, and it is a guess, is that most of the usual subjects got the lens about a year ago. They did their thing and then Leica said *sorry, we're not ready yet, you can't release*... A year later they said, *OK, now* and all the Youtubers thought they're not releasing 12 month old videos. They looked fat in those videos. They'll need to re shoot those videos and now Leica has to get lenses out to them again....

This is speculation but I do know someone who had the lens about a year ago for testing. Reviews will come.

Also the 21mm is really a known entity in a space where primes don't get as much attention as zooms. And it's a specialty lens, unlike a 35 or a 50. I'm a bit surprised that Jono Slack or Nick Rains haven't put something up but the others......

If it were me I would have gotten one to Peter McKinnon and Hugh Brownestone. But hey, maybe Leica already know how many they're going to sell.

Gordon

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1 hour ago, FlashGordonPhotography said:

My guess, and it is a guess, is that most of the usual subjects got the lens about a year ago. They did their thing and then Leica said *sorry, we're not ready yet, you can't release*... A year later they said, *OK, now* and all the Youtubers thought they're not releasing 12 month old videos. They looked fat in those videos. They'll need to re shoot those videos and now Leica has to get lenses out to them again....

This is speculation but I do know someone who had the lens about a year ago for testing. Reviews will come.

Also the 21mm is really a known entity in a space where primes don't get as much attention as zooms. And it's a specialty lens, unlike a 35 or a 50. I'm a bit surprised that Jono Slack or Nick Rains haven't put something up but the others......

If it were me I would have gotten one to Peter McKinnon and Hugh Brownestone. But hey, maybe Leica already know how many they're going to sell.

Gordon

Makes sense.

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1 hour ago, FlashGordonPhotography said:

If it were me I would have gotten one to Peter McKinnon and Hugh Brownestone. But hey, maybe Leica already know how many they're going to sell.

 

According to [insert brand name here] Rumors the other day, Peter McKinnon is busy flogging a new line of camera bags.

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So what does all this mean?  Is it the physical assembly of these lenses that is so tricky?  Or do they just have a bunch of higher profitability items to build, first?

I imagine that they may have been stung by the shipping of the first sets of SL Summicrons with very stiff manual focusing (if mine are anything to go by).  I was so happy with the optical performance of the lenses that I didn’t send them back for fear of them coming back with great manual focusing (which I don’t use much) and less spectacular optical performance.  They seem to produce these things in batches and the first batch is not always perfect in every way, as they tune things, but they sell them anyway.

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Before the days of the internet, there were a few camera magazines that would write "reviews", but I always felt they were paid by the manufacture to write nice things. My motive for buying a Leica in 1966 was it was a Leica.  And anyone and everyone knew it was the best camera. It didn't need reviews, it hung from the necks of great photographers seen in the big picture magazines.  Certain brands were know to be just really good, so if one could manage to find the money, that was what one bought. And it worked and lasted for ever. 

Anyone remember the movie The Yellow Rolls Royce? The first owner saw it in the showroom, went in, looked at it and the eager salesman told hime about it then asked the man, "Would you like to take it for a spin?" The man looked amazed and said, "Why? It is a Rolls Royce, isn't it?" And he bought it. Certain brands were trusted. That seems no longer the case. I don't trust the M-11 and won't buy one. Far too many complaints. No longer can one say, "It's a Leica, isn't it?" and know it will be the best. I have several and I am pleased with the ones I have. But I don't feel they are what they used to be. 

I had a funny thought about the lack of reviews - what if the new lens isn't any good, not exciting at all?  Now, I doubt that is the case, but it would explain the silence about it. 

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The failure of Leica to follow the recent practice among camera and lens manufacturers (including the practice of Leica) to roll out new lenses with reviews from prominent brand users (Messrs. Slack and Reid come to mind in the case of the Leica brand) is highly unusual and troubling. 

I’d like to hear from Messrs. Slack or Reid on this if they are willing. Their silence though speaks volumes.

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On 10/24/2023 at 1:08 PM, GFW2-SCUSA said:

Before the days of the internet, there were a few camera magazines that would write "reviews", but I always felt they were paid by the manufacture to write nice things. My motive for buying a Leica in 1966 was it was a Leica.  And anyone and everyone knew it was the best camera. It didn't need reviews, it hung from the necks of great photographers seen in the big picture magazines.  Certain brands were know to be just really good, so if one could manage to find the money, that was what one bought. And it worked and lasted for ever. 

Anyone remember the movie The Yellow Rolls Royce? The first owner saw it in the showroom, went in, looked at it and the eager salesman told hime about it then asked the man, "Would you like to take it for a spin?" The man looked amazed and said, "Why? It is a Rolls Royce, isn't it?" And he bought it. Certain brands were trusted. That seems no longer the case. I don't trust the M-11 and won't buy one. Far too many complaints. No longer can one say, "It's a Leica, isn't it?" and know it will be the best. I have several and I am pleased with the ones I have. But I don't feel they are what they used to be. 

I had a funny thought about the lack of reviews - what if the new lens isn't any good, not exciting at all?  Now, I doubt that is the case, but it would explain the silence about it. 

In the days before the internet we didn't get pages of wannabees going on about diffraction charts and corner performance at f1.2. No forum topic titled, *Is my focus ring too tight?* followed by another, *is my focus ring too loose? * with pages of supporting advice from people who had no idea because they were in another country from said offending focus ring. And if it broke you had no idea if you were one or one of many. Does it really matter if the M11 is 1/3 of a second slower to boot up than the M10P?

Nothing has changed. there's just more easily accessible information to support any argument you want to make.

So, I did a Google search to quench my curiosity. Apparently old Rolls Royce's were hopelessly unreliable. And frightfully expensive to run and maintain......

Gordon

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1 hour ago, mello said:

I have the 21mm SL APO. It matches well with the other APOs. The optics are what you'd expect, so nothing to worry about there. The lens hood is small/light. It's smaller than the one that comes with the 28 and 35. I haven't had a chance to shoot much with it yet, but here's a quick snap of our Labrador taken wide open at f/2, 1/2500s, ISO 100 on the SL2. It focuses quickly, and I assume this will only get better with future camera bodies from Leica. I'm taking it for landscape work early next week for my business, so I'll have a better feel then. A few test shots at f/8 have shown very good sharpness across the frame. I'm pleased. I've owned the 14-24 from Sigma in the past. While sharp, I never really loved the way that lens draws. This one... I do. It has some weight, but nothing I'm not use to with the other SL APOs. I've been reading this forum for months, and I appreciate the advice many of you provide here. This is my first post with this community, so I hope it helps a bit. 

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Thanks - and welcome to the forum! Lovely shot (and dog); nice rendering/transition between in and out of focus regions.

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9 minutes ago, helged said:

Thanks - and welcome to the forum! Lovely shot (and dog); nice rendering/transition between in and out of focus regions.

Thank you for the kind welcome to the community. It is a lovely lens. One that many of us that are fans of the SL line have been anticipating for some time. Here is another taken wide open of the "obligatory" garden plant test that gives another perspective of how the lens handles close focus transitions at f/2.

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3 hours ago, mello said:

Thank you for the kind welcome to the community. It is a lovely lens. One that many of us that are fans of the SL line have been anticipating for some time. Here is another taken wide open of the "obligatory" garden plant test that gives another perspective of how the lens handles close focus transitions at f/2.

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Thank you for your two examples. I enjoy the close rendering. 

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1 hour ago, npsjr said:

Well, it looks like Mr. Slack's review is in the queue -- http://www.slack.co.uk/articles/the-leica-21-apo-summicron.html

The few photos above (particularly of the dog) show very nice rendering. Looking forward to buying this one.

A puppy before an SL-APO-Cron? Well, as a puppy-father myself, I perfectly understand @jonoslack... (image taken with S3 and S120).

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There is a short segment, starting around 10:50 where they talk about the 21 APO and the difficulty Leica had designing and producing this lens, which may help explain the long delay. Very difficult and expensive glass to manufacture.
I assumed that on release, it would be the most expensive SL APO prime, but it isn’t, which is surprising considering these statements.

A couple of random thoughts.

1) Makes me think that Leica might be keeping the price “lower” on release, in recognition of all those who have been waiting years for this lens, and then the price will go up after the initial demand is met.
2) I also get  the impression from the discussion  that it might not be a true APO lens by Leica standards, but very close.

 

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