Best choice between 21/24 lens for leica M

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by emidondi, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. I'de like to add a wide angle to my leica-M kit (35-50-75) but i'm not sure
    about 21 or 24 lens length.
    I'll esu it in indoor and in event shoot.
  2. Given the cost of these two lenses, it would be good to try before you buy. A 21mm lens is pretty wide (unless we're talking about an M8), and you could find that a 24mm fits your style a little better.

    I'd try to borrow one or the other (or both) and spend some time shooting in the situations you have in mind.

    Another relatively inexpensive way to decide would be to buy a 25mm CV Snapshot Skopar. There's not much difference between 24mm and 25mm, and the 25 Skopar is not only cheap but an extremely good lens as well. Try it, and if 25mm isn't wide enough, go for a 21 and sell the 25 Skopar; you won't lose much money.
  3. I just bought the new version of the 25mm CV Snapshot Skopar for my M8. I believe it has a "P" after its name to indicate that it is now connected to the Lecia rangefinder system and can be focused. It's quite small and delivers great photographs with the M8. However . . . and here's where I agree with the others . . . it takes a while to get used to a 24/25 and wider angle lens. Maybe your already used to them. I'm still trying to use it like a 35mm or even 50mm lens. You have to walk very very close to foreground objects to make full use of the lens. I'm attaching one I took in San Francisco. It took 5 shots, each time walking closer to the boat in the foreground, to use the lens correctly. The instant digital feedback of the M8 greatly speeds up the learning curve.
  4. Sausalito, no?
  5. 21, for a truly diff perspective. I found my 25 to close to my 35.
  6. jtk


    The 25/4 Snapshot Skopar is exquisitely sharp and contrasty and renders color handsomely. Mine regularly surprises me. It does vignette significantly, not unpleasantly IMO, and 2.8 would be a lot better than 4 IMO.

    24/25 on film can casually pass for "normal" under many circumstances whereas 20/21 users seem to waste a lot of film on goofy perspective exaggeration (images of crosswalks, bridge crossings, and distorted automobiles).

    Nonetheless, I miss my Nikon F 21/4 and Canon 20/2.8 and and intend to replace the latter, rather than obtaining 21 CV, for SLR framing precision... especially relevant to very wide lenses.
  7. I had a 21mm for the M and found it too wide. I replaced it with a 28mm. I still have a 21mm for my R but rarely use it - much preferring the 28mm. You might prefer the 24mm or 25mm if you really think the 28 is too close to your 35mm (I don't myself).
  8. Emiliano,
    I am using the Zeiss Flektogon 20mm/4.0 on the M8 with an adapter. I like the result and the lack of rangefinder coupling is no problem given the great DOF at this focal length. You can see examples and a discussion in the thread Pictures with the Zeiss Flektogon 20mm/4.0 on the M8 on this forum.

    Although I prefer the softer tones of the Flektogon, when travelling I prefer Using the Nikkor 20mm/4.0 on the M8. It is smaller and lighter and less sensitive to flare.

  9. Here some recent examples:
    Havana, Plaza de Armas - Leica M8 - Nikkor 20mm/f/4.0

    Havana, Calle Obispo - Leica M8 - Nikkor 20mm/f/4.0
  10. gimme 'goofy' anyday
  11. Look here (actually I intended to post my comments in this thread):
  12. Having used a 35 cron and a VC 28 Ultron, 24 and 20 on SLR, and a VC 15, I do not find that there is suddenly a point where a lens is too wide. I find that there is simply the continual substle increase in FOV just as would be expected but it is indeed accompanied by a need for increased care in composing the wider you get, just as others have said. The specific type of situation that will be encoutered, lens quality, lens speed, lens size, and the fact that an accessory finder is needed wider than 28 on the newer Ms are usually the deciding factors when I choose a lens to use. While I toyed with the idea of getting a 21 or 24 M for a long time, I ultimately went with 28, not only because of the frame line issue but more because I wanted the extra speed (1.9,2), which is not available on any 21 or 24 for M. This was especially important to me because these lenses are particularly useful for indoor photography, which is also when I need the speed for available light candid shooting. I already had a 35 when I got the 28, and it is not at all too close. It is just a bit wider as expected and sometimes its just enough wider to be useful although I don't carry both lenses at the same time.

    If you regard your existing lens set as a kit you will have with you all the time, the 21 makes sense, but unfortunately, it is not going to offer the unique views of a 24 or 28, nor vice versa. This seems obvious but it is often glossed over when choosing a lens. If you want images that look wide, the 21 will more often have that look, but sometimes you may get that look when you didn't want it because of small composition errors, in which case you might have been better off with the 24 unless you absolutely had to have the wider view as when shooting a small room.

    For a long time, I was convinced that I needed really wide, but in comparing my results over the years, I have found that the FOV of a 28 for an M for street, combined with the speed advantage is very capable. I really only want wider in situations where I must have wider and that is usually situations where I use a tripod.
  13. Given your kit, I think either would be a good next step. If you are going to use the lens heavily indoors, you will find an f2.8 lens more useful. To me that means a Leica 21mm Elmarit-M, a 24mm Elmarit M, or a 25mm Zeiss. I go by the general rule that the more extreme the focal length, the less useful it is ... go for the 24/25.
  14. For my Nikons, I have both the 20mm and 24mm f/2.8 lenses. The 24mm is used about 5 to 1 more often over the 20mm. This is based on my feelings about the "look" of both lenses, and is of course personal. The 24mm lens is more forgiveing when less care is used to assure a level and square camera. One other reason for me to choose the 24mm lens is that the 35mm focal length is my number one lens for both the Leica M and Nikon, and I know that lens' span without even having to look through the finder. Here is a good thing to know for dynamic, fast shooting with that 24mm lens: The 24mm lens when held vertically gives the same (left to right) coverage as the 35mm lens held horizontally. So I can do the same no-view grab shooting with the 24mm lens as I do with the 35mm, knowing pretty much what will be caught on-film by palming the camera in a portrait format.
  15. The Leica 24 is supposed to be one of their best lenses ever. I definitely want one. I couldn't afford it though and bought the Voigtlander scale focused 25/4 screw mount with an adapter. It is very light, comes with a good viewfinder, and is surprisingly good in image quality. I'm not at all dissapointed. And scale focusing is easy with that much depth of field.
  16. Thaks guys! today i've try the 21 and 25 biogon but i'm waiting for development.
    A really interesting thing in the 24mm lens is that held vertically gives same side to side view as 35mm lens held horizontally.
    Is it true that the 25 biogon cover about 26mm and not 25?
  17. I have had both and if i had to sway a vote optically which one will perform better than the
    24mm is it. But depending on what body you are using it on comes into play . If the M8 than
    you have a crop factor of 1.33 which is 21= 28 and 24 = 32. So depending on your need.
    Also on a M8 if your talking M8 than 24mm you can see the framelines if you don't wear
    glasses and 21mm you will want a 28mm external finder. Now if your talking film than a
    different ballgame

    M6 w/21mm f2.8 Elmarit

    I like the 21mm occasionally such as with this photograph or if I'm working in very cramped quarters such as inside a car. Mostly, I don't use it too much. However, when I travel w/the 35 & 50, the 21's the next lens I take if I add one. 24mm is okay, but when I'm in an "extreme" mood I want the 21mm.
  19. Emiliano Dondi said:
    Is it true that the 25 biogon cover about 26mm and not 25?

    No, I think not. Zeiss specifies an 82 angle of view, which calculates out to 24.9mm focal length. The Voigtlander Snapshot Skopar is also spec'd to 82 deg.

    The Leica 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit M Aspherical has an angle of 84 degrees, figuring to 24.03mm

    Of course all the above calculations assume the angle specified is exact.
  20. I'd say go for the ZM25. A really great lens at a very reasonable price. The 2.8 is passable
    indoors, especially with a softie on your release, and you won't be dissappointed with the

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