Which Lens 21 24 or 28

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by love4leica, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Money is no problem - which lens is the best
    1. 21 Elmarit 2.8 ASPH
    2. 24 Elmarit 2.8 ASPH
    3. 28 Summicron F:2 ASPH
    Which is the most expensive?
    Which one is most desireable?
    Which one gives the best results.
    Thank you, Guys.
  2. SCL


    If you are planning to use it on a film body, you will need to factor into the cost an auxiliary viewfinder; obviously if you use it on a digital body with an EVF, that's not an issue. I've only owned and used the 24 Elmarit 2.8 ASPH. It was a fantastic lens, but to my disappointment, I found that I didn't use it as often as I had anticipated when I bought it, so after a year or so, I sold it to somebody who could make better use of it. I can only say that all the accolades it has received over the years are well deserved. From my experience, in tight quarters it really shines above and beyond any others I've using in this focal length. The images are sharp and crisp corner to corner, color rendition to my eyes was excellent. I can't comment on micro-contrast as I had it before I was a pixel peeper, and only used it on film bodies. I think the decision of which is best really hinges on how you plan to use it....for example I'd probably never use a 21 anywhere or anyhow, although I've occasionally used a CV 15 and a 17 for special effects. For most of my purposes the 28 'Cron is a more suitable lens which would see lots of use. I'll leave the other questions you raised to others.
  3. I would go with the 28mm Summicron Aspheric in a heartbeat.
  4. "...which lens is the best?"
  5. The first two questions are pretty much meaningless; the third, only you can answer since only you know
    what you want from the lens.

    And not one of 'em is a 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux, so they're all second-rate. ;-)
  6. I'd say it depends on what you plan to shoot and which lenses you already have...
    21mm is a way different perspective from 28mm
  7. 21mm is a way different perspective from 28mm​
    Not if you are standing at the same spot - then it's just wider ;-)
    Which is the most expensive?​
    You can find out the answer to that one easily yourself.
    Which one is most desireable?​
    Agree with Jean-Yves - a rather meaningless question. If you can answer that one for yourself, then you would know which one to go for.
    Which one gives the best results.​
    Best for what - I go with Didier on this one: I'd say it depends on what you plan to shoot... as well as with Jean-Yves: only you can answer since only you know what you want from the lens.
    And since money is no object - here's the perfect solution: buy all three and find out yourself. Then sell the two (or three) that don't fit.
    phongph likes this.
  8. Yes, I agree it is a rather a silly set of questions. The best for me was the 28/2, because it was fast and because it did not need an external finder, and I found 21mm too wide for me to use a lot of the time.
  9. Send money and portfolio. I will ponder the question.
  10. I bought a 28/2.8 Biogon ZM for those occasions with group shots when I can't get further away, and situations where I would want a gross exaggeration of the foreground or convergence. At the time, it is the widest lens of interest, because I don't need an auxiliary finder. I haven't used it much, aside from familiarization. Whereas a 35mm is a natural extension of my eye, the 28 requires a bit more thought. Since the closest focusing distance is about 3 feet, a foreground object must be pretty big even before it can be properly exaggerated.
    As a practical matter, roughly spherical objects (e.g., heads) are distorted in corners more as the focal length decreases. This is a property of rectilinear lenses, not lens quality. As an artistic matter, you probably don't care about distortion - it's a feature, not a bug.
    I have wider lenses for Nikon, including 21mm and 28mm primes and a 17-35/2.8 zoom. I rarely use these with a full-frame camera, for mostly the same reasons described above. This is notwithstanding the fact that Nikon can focus down to 18" and the viewfinder "frame" never changes.
  11. As money is no problem why don't you buy them all?
    You can use them and get the answers you're looking for :)
    No joke...as everything depends on the use and the user, you may expect quite distinct answers but you will have no guaranty that any of them will be the one you'll get by yourself.
  12. I got a 20mm Soligor for my Pentax as a teen and learned to love that focal length. - Not just using it myself also noticing what others did with it. - A Salgado shot in a Leica brochure comes to mind like local newspaper pictures. - IMHO there is a big gap in a toolbox without a 21mm.
    I guess the ZM 21 f2.8 was, what tossed my hat over the digital FF fence with Leica. - It didn't have a chance to knock my socks off yet, - I 'll need to shoot more and get to know the lenses I have, to sort it into the big picture, but anyhow: My first few pictures don't look too bad, but I can't tell if camera shake high ISO or bad performance wide open are to blame for what they might be lacking.
    I'm planning to live with the gap between it and my 35mm in Leica land. - Back in film SLR times I had a 28mm pocketed, just in case the gap between 35 & 20 might concern me and there were moments / subjects that shouted for it. - With not enough Leicas or time to juggle lenses I feel different or confident to rely on a backup system.
    I never even used film behind the pair of 24mms I own; I bought them as 35mm substitutes for my APS-C DSLR.
    Looking through my M4-P finder I don't consider the 28mm frameline very appealing. - Its way easier to make the 35mm one out. -I am not wearing eyeglasses. If I was to use it at all, it would be most likely with a Tri-Elmar as bright light tourism kit.
    Sorry, I would need to burn another 16k Euro on used Leica gear first to reach the point to bother with all the questions you asked.
    Just a warning: 21mm lenses (as much as I like them!) might not be for everybody. Maybe buy the viewfinder first carry it around and resell it on ebay? - I have a hard time to use my 15mm, so I guess I know what too wide means.
    I really doubt the "I 'd buy a 28mm to use given frame lines" point to apply for glasses wearers so all of the mentioned lenses might shout for an external viewfinder or a wider than 0.72 one in the 28mm's case?
  13. it


    28 is most useful I reckon
  14. 24mm - as simply the widest with no bending lines in the corners
    you have the WW effect but not the WW standard problems, especially
    when you shoot architecture.
    28 is to close to 35 anyway
  15. 28 always did it for me: 1:2.8 Elmarit R on my M2 with Adapter 22228 plus Briteline finder.
  16. Agree with Jean-Yves.
    Decide on the focal length and speed you need first, based on your needs. The comparison of two three or more optics of the same focal length might be more answerable, or a question like which of these which you name is better for architectural photography, etc.?
  17. Combining what Ian and Robert Haller have said: a 28 if you have no 35, otherwise a 24.
  18. I have the non-AI old Nikkor 20mm f/4. Love it, but I also have the PC-Nikkor 35mm shift lens. As they mostly say, this is a matter of what you do and what you want to do, so intensely personal.
    I suspect that any Nikkor lens will be adequate to purpose, except perhaps for some of the early short range kit zoom lenses. ;)
  19. @Afzal,

    As others have already pointed out, the questions are a little bit vague, but I'll do my best at answering them.

    Which one gives the best results?
    I have a C Biogon 21/4.5 and Summicron 28/2, but no 24mm lenses. I find the 21mm to be more challenging than 28mm but also more rewarding. I use external viewfinder with both 21mm and 28mm with M9, because I cannot see the built-in 28mm frameline. I wear eyeglasses. On the other hand, with Leica MP with .58x viewfinder, I do use the built-in 28mm frameline.
    Looking through the 12 most popular photos in my photostream at flickr, as of today,
    • 8 were shot with 21mm (out of total 30 images shot with 21mm)
    • 3 were shot with 28mm (out of total 50 images shot with 28mm)
    • 1 was shot with 35mm (out of total 9 images shot with 35mm)
    The popularity is not an indication of quality, of course, and someone else might have the same set of lenses and have completely different results. I thought I share mine. For reference, I also posted the number of images shot with each focal length in my photostream. As you can see, 28mm is my favorite. I use that most.

    By "results" if you are referring to the resolution, distortion, etc, I'm sure you can find the MTF charts on the Internet for these lenses.
    Which is the most expensive?
    I suggest that you look them up eBay and other used camera shops to determine the prices.
    Which one is most desireable?
    By "desirable," perhaps you are asking about whether these lenses are collectibles. I must defer to the collectors among us to answer that question. I suspect that none of the three listed is a collectible. I vaguely remember 21/3.4 Super-Elmar was recalled shortly after its initial release due to some focus problems. Because there are very few of that example, that might be a collectible... but I do not know for sure.
  20. I think I'd go with Elmarit 24mm. It's a beautiful lens that is not in production any more, and it's especially cool in silver color (most of them come in black). Silver ones are rare.
  21. Rent them first and see what you like. Less is more.
  22. Perspective depends on viewpoint, not on focal length. Worth thinking about how close you want to get to foreground subjects, how much angle of view you want when you are there, and how much depth of field. Try a wide-angle zoom on a cheap s/h digital slr, and note what focal length you end up using most.
    Then as Jim A says, there's no substitute for trying them out, because actually your shooting style changes to match the lens, and the suitability of a lens's optical "character" will depend on how you end up shooting.
  23. I am sorry you had to do this, Jim. It is not like you.
  24. Mukul, why would someone with so much experience ask such a (silly) set of questions?
  25. The 28mm f2.0 Summicron is the answer to all your questions. If you'd mentioned the 21mm f1.4 Summilux and the 24mm f1.4 Summilux that would have made for a more difficult question.
  26. Afzal, for what it may be worth my suggestion would be to try one of the longer focal lengths you mentioned. A quick survey of your very fine portraits in India suggests that you often do not seem to shoot under dim lighting so high speed may not be your interest and you also seem to include the environment which would also mitigate against shallow depth of field of wide aperture optics, even wide angles. The fairly recent compact 28mm f2.8 Leica M lens or the Summicron may be of interest in your work unless you wish to be closer to your subjects for compositional or perspective reasons. I don't generally like using my 21mm lens for people pictures, as off centered subjects tend to be misrepresented, or "distorted", by the somewhat extreme perspective.
  27. Afzal, none of them. I own the 28mm f2 ASPH Summicron and the 24mm f2.8 ASPH Elmarit; the 28mm f2 I'll use when I need the extra speed. As for the 24mm ASPH Elmarit, it's been sitting unused ever since I opted to get a Zeiss ZM 25mm Biogon. The lenses I tend to use most are that lens, the 28mm f2.8 Biogon, the 35mm f2 Biogon and the 50mm f2 Planar. I have also started using the 21mm f4.5 Biogon-C lens and enjoy using it a lot. Please note that I recommend getting auxiliary viewfinders for the 25mm and 21mm lenses.
  28. If you don't know what you need, then you don't need it.

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