Are the super wide R lenses the "sleepers" of the Leica line?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by vick_ko, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Are the super wide R lenses the "sleepers" of the Leica line?

    Are they good? Better than their M equivalents?

    15/2.8 R
    15/3.5 R
    19/2.8 R
    24/2.8 R
    28/2.8 R

  2. I own the second version 2.8/19 R and a 2.8/21 M (pre asph), and IMO the 19mm R is the better lens. It is sharper and has a more pleasing character, though the 21mm has less distortion at the edges, but it's not as wide either so not a like for like comparison.
    Having said that, the 21mm gets more use due to being half the size and weight, I also personally prefer rangefinders to SLRs. I've not used the 2.8/21 M Apsh, but I would expect it is better than the 19mm R and substantially better than the older 2.8/21mm M.
    The second version 19mm R is one of the best lenses in the R line, though a good lens, the pre asph 21mm M is not outstanding in the M line.
    I've not used the 24mm R, but it's generally considered one of the weaker R lenses, it was a Minolta design, so this could be part snobbery.
    There are two versions of the 28mm R. I used to own the first version, and it was OK but not outstanding. The second version is apparently a big improvement, though I have not used it.
    The 2/35 R is an excellent lens , especially for B&W. I have found it almost as good as my fourth version 2/35 M.
  3. You've left out my favorite superwide R -- the 21mm 1:4 Super Angulon R. I've used it all over the frame!! A wonderful lense -- I've even used it on my M2 with Leica adapter 22228 and a Leica 21mm Briteline viewfinder.
  4. Here's the pic.
  5. I've not used either of the 21mm Super Angulons. Here's a pic from my 19mm R and 21mm M.
    2nd version 2.8/19 R
    2.8/21 M
  6. Difficult to answer this as there are no M equvalents for the 15 and 19mm. The 19mm R and 28 R second versions are very good indeed and the 15 2.8 is probably really good, but I have not read much about it, nor have I ever heard of someone actually using one. The 15/3.5 is a Schneider design and good, but presumably not as good as the 2.8. The 24mm R is a Minolta designed lens and does not get a lot of respect. Certainly I think the Leica M 24s are superior. The 28mm Ms are stellar (ASPH Elmarit and Summicron), but I have always found the 28mm R very good indeed - in all practical terms indistinguishable.
    The 21mm SAs were good in their day, but are outclassed by the current M 21s. I think for reflex lenses the 19mm is excellent, but it might now be outclassed by the Zeiss 21mm Z reflex series which has a superb rap. But, of course a 19mm is not a 21mm so they are not strictly comparable.
  7. Don't forget the stunning performer that covers several very popular wide-angle focal lengths.
    (21mm-24mm-28mm-35mm and everything in between)
    It may be slow at f/4 max aperture, but you can handhold to lower levels when using the ultra wide settings. Performance due to the use of modern computer, glass and aspherical designs, equals many primes in performance.
  8. What's interesting is how difficult it is to find a good wide angle lens for digital cameras. Even the Nikkor primes kind of suck. The Zeiss lenses seem to be much better. It seems that people are happy to pay big dollars for the cameras but will skimp on the lenses. Sure, CA can be eliminated in-camera, and that's great, but the cheaper wides have more than negligible distortion as well. It just makes you wonder. It seems that if you can get people wide-eyed enough about the camera, they will ignore your lenses' shortcomings.
  9. I have, and dearly love, the 24mm R lens -- Leica FAQ says this lens was designed by Minolta, and sort of built, but also says that a very small percentage of the Minolta-made lenses were able to pass Leitz quality control and required so much rebuilding to do so that they could legally be labeled "Made in Germany."
    It's a 2.8 and has a floating element for close-focus shots, and is a very good performer. If other people think otherwise, then you can maybe even get one cheap -- score!

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