Tri-Elmar 16-18-21: Any advice

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by lars_tomanek|1, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. Dear Leica Forum Users,

    I am interested in purchasing a Tri-Elmar 16-18-21/4.0 and would like to know
    if anyone has used this lens and can report on how easy it is to use the lens.
    Of course, I also like to know about the picture quality with a Leica M8 or
    M7. I am planning to trade in my Summicron APO-90mm/2.0 since I do not use it
    that much.

    Thank you.

  2. one advice - buy it before the price goes up.
  3. I would buy the Zeiss 18mm and Zeiss 21mm F4 instead and if you really need to go wide the Voigtlander 15mm.
  4. Great lens, amazing quality, been using it since Feburary. again get it soon before price

  5. cpj


    For $5400 you can buy yourself another body (M8--chrome or black, mint $4400) and a
    Zeiss 18mm in Leica mount ($1050) or a NEW M-7 with 50mm lens ($3600) and have
    $1400 left for Zeiss or Leica lenses. Or, a used "mint" M-7 body only $2800 and then
    have another $2800 available for lenses.

    These things come and go fast, but I know a dealer with the above stock right now, so
    write me offline if interested. I've mentioned before I have an M8 and M7 and all the Leica
    most-recent lenses EXCEPT the Tri-Elmars because it is just as quick to grab the second
    body/lens combination slung over your shoulder as it is to change the Tri-Elmar focal
    length. And ALL multi-focal length lenses are "compromises" by their very definition.

    Another point, changing lenses is almost a fast and you can buy some great Zeiss lenses
    in Leica M mount new, in the $1100 to $1600 range. I KNOW I'd rather have an extra body
    and lens--or two lenses--than a multi-focal length lens even though it might produce
    excellent results up to 11x14 prints.

  6. A fine lens if you don't mind the f4. But I would get the ZM 21, 18 and CV 15 instead....all for a lot less and you'd get the same or better rendering quality according to Tom A..
  7. I got this great lens before the price increase. Very high performance with minimum fall off and I shoot film with it. I don't think I would pay the current price whatever it is.
  8. See review in Black and White Photography, latest issue. As mentioned
    elsewhere, B&W found it to be a fine lens, but with very important distortion
    (about 3%, according to the review) which would disturb you if you are a keen
    architectural photographer. Horribly huge VF. Personally I would prefer a
    faster (f2.8) 21mm ASPH or 24mm ASPH and bite the quality and lens speed
    bullet a bit by adding a 12 or 15mm VC lens. The VC VF are quite compact,
    as is the Leica 21mm VF.
  9. Why not the Voigtlander 12, Zeiss 15, and Zeiss 21mm lenses instead? That way you get
    actual ultra wide equivalents - 16, 20, and 28mm. The 16-18-21 gives you 21, 24, and
    28 equivalents but 21 is sometimes not wide enough. Additionally I find no reason to
    carry both 21 and 24mm lenses. I would prefer the 21 every time.

    I own several ultra wides for use with my R-D1, and I rarely carry more than one at any
    time. I usually pair a 12, 15, or 21 with a 28, 35, 40, or 50. Rarely will I carry more than
    two lenses, but if I do carry three it is always an ultra wide, a 'normal', and the 90mm
    APO Lanthar.

    What I guess I am trying to say is that having a bunch of ultra wides very close to each
    other in length is not that useful from my perspective. With the difference between a 21
    and a 24 being about one good step, two between a 21 and a 28, maybe you should
    consider a single lens that is faster than the Tri Elmar.

    Then again, if you are always carrying and changing between your 21, 24, and 28 lenses
    on your Leica go for it!
  10. For travelling, the WATE is OK, but you will need the VF and it is ugly and adds bulk to the kit though it oozes quality. Consider the Leica 21 ASPH also (instead of the Zeiss 21mm).

    For the WATE, be prepared to spend another US$150 for the Milich adapter and if you are lucky, find an E49 UV/IR filter to go with it. It allows you to use the hood and the filter at the same time.

    On the plus side, your 16/18/21 views are all RF coupled. Not that it matters if you are hyperfocus.
  11. Go for the WATE. I shoot with it on my M7 and enjoy having the 16/18/21 option in one lens for hiking and day trips. The results are absolutely stunning! I've never been handicapped because it's f/4.

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