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21mm lenses
Old 03-28-2011   #1
sparrow6224
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21mm lenses

A sudden new passion leads me to seek out informed opinions: what are the best 21mm lenses you've used/seen? I'm interested in rangefinder AND slr options.... There's Leica, obviously; and Zeiss. But other than those?
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Old 03-28-2011   #2
ruby.monkey
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The Voigltander 21mm f/4 Color-Skopar (screw-mount in my case) - small, sharp, well-made, quick handling, and pretty much free from distortion. Bonus points for not costing the earth.
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Old 03-28-2011   #3
Roger Hicks
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21/4 Nikkor (stolen years ago) 'Mirror up' on F.

21/2.8 Kobalux/Pasinon/Avenon -- big lens, rotten finder, great image quality (my main 21). There are quite a lot of Kobalux shots in http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/m8.html. I sold my (original 1950s, M-adapted) Biogon because I use this lens far more.

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Old 03-29-2011   #4
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I too love the CV 21/4. @Roger I'll have to look that up : I've never heard of that lens. And I'd forgotten about the Nikon 21/4. How did one use that? Scale focus? Viewfinder attachment?

Anyone have remarks on the Minolta MC Rokkor NL 21/2.8? Or the Olympus 21/3.5? Or the Olympus 21/2? These seem to be favorites among the SLR possibilities.
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Old 03-29-2011   #5
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I have used the CV 21/4, but sold it because it just seemed "character-less". I have used the Kobalux and it was great. I SHOULD NOT HAVE sold that one, but did, to a buy a 21mm F3.4 Super Angulon, which has a lot of "character" (perhaps too much sometimes).

In retrospect I should have stuck with the 21mm Kobalux as a good all around 21mm, it's much larger than the Super Angulon, but also a good stop faster.

For the last few years I've been happy with the Super Angulon. 21mm is not a focal length I use that often, so having a small lens that normally lives in the bag is important to me. The Kobalux was a tad too large for this, plus it took big filters (58mm diameter if I remember correctly).
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Old 03-29-2011   #6
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One of my favorite lens of late. Very inspiring. Just plain beautiful, and I doubt a 21mm could get any better...

Contax G 21/2.8 Biogon
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Old 03-29-2011   #7
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20mm f5.6 Russar
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Old 03-29-2011   #8
mfogiel
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I think the 3 or 4 lenses that are the cornerstone of this FL are all Leica/Zeiss:

21/3.4 Super Angulon ( it is actually a Schneider lens)
21/1.4 Summilux
21/4.5 C Biogon
21/2.8 Biogon for SLR mounts
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Old 03-29-2011   #9
Paul Luscher
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Big fan of the ZM 21mm f2.8 in my case. Plenty of bang for the buck. Even Erwin Puts had good things to say about it. Have found myself using it a lot more often than I would have thought.
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Old 03-29-2011   #10
FrozenInTime
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This thread will probably end up listing all 21mm M lenses:


The only one I did not like was the E60 pre-Aspherical.
It was a bit soft in the corners.
The hood ring was glued into place and had a tendency to fall off.

Currently using mostly the 21mm f/4.5 ZM as it's small and almost a perfect lens on film.
The much larger 21mm Summilux comes out only when needed - indoors or selective focus.

Would love to try the Zuiko 21mm f/2.
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Old 03-29-2011   #11
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21mm E60 pre-Aspherical = Awesome
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Old 03-29-2011   #12
mervynyan
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zm 21/4.5, fixed on my m7 90% of the time.
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Old 03-29-2011   #13
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Zeiss 21 2.8 for quality, CV 21 F4 P for size. Its is not technically as competent, however.
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Old 03-29-2011   #14
valdas
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I use Olympus 21mm f3.5. It is really fine lens for me, but I did not try any other 21mm lens so cannot compare...

Here is a photo taken with this lens:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...35&ppuser=9415
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Old 03-29-2011   #15
uhoh7
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The little CV has to be the best value, though for digital use you have to deal with color shift. I have a very nice nFD 20/2.8, but rarely use it because the skopar is so small



bigger:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5179/...c1e77dc5_o.jpg







original
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5054/...2199407a_o.jpg

I'm sure the fancy ones are outstanding, but this was the best 250 bucks I've spent.

Now I just have to get my cornerfix profiles right hehe

There are a bunch of good nikon 20s--bjorn rates them all.
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Old 03-29-2011   #16
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Not 21mm but generally spoken in the same breath: Canon 19/3.5 LTM
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Old 03-29-2011   #17
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I ain't seeing how the CV 21/4 is character-less, unless this is code for modern, contrasty and sharp... which sometimes is the case.

Here're two recent photos taken on Chambers St and West Broadway in NYC:

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Old 04-12-2011   #18
myM8yogi
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Another vote for the ZM 21/2.8. I've got some gorgeous images with this. Use it for landscapes, interiors and street.

I think technically speaking it is my best lens. Very flare resistant. Great colours. Good contrast makes for rich deep blacks in B+W conversions. No distortion that I have noticed. Not too big a lens. Fast. Aperture and focus feel very smooth. The lens cap never quite feels secure, and you have to attach your own focussing tab if like me you don't care for the speed bumb. Also the rear element always sticks out further than the barrell, so I always find myself holding my breath when I mount it to the camera body.

I use a CV finder with it, but am not keen. I may invest in the Zeiss finder if I miraculously get a cash injection. What is everyone else using for a 21mm finder?
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Old 04-12-2011   #19
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At the top Leitz 21mm F2,8 Asph , second (really near) Leitz 21mm E60 pre-Aspherical.
If your wallet don't suffer for your actions my winner choice is Leitz 21 Summilux asph.
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Old 04-12-2011   #20
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The Nikkor-UD 20/3.5 with it's big 72mm front-end. Need to try it on the M9, scale-focus only.

I also have the mirror-up 2.1cm F4 Nikkor-O in F-Mount.
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Old 04-12-2011   #21
sparrow6224
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As stated I love my CV 21/4 on my RFs; on the Nikon I have the 20/3.5 and for the OM3 just picked up the Zuiko 21/3.5 but haven't driven it yet. There was a 21/2 Zuiko on the Bay looking almost affordable but it shot up to over $900 on the last day and ended up who knows where. That leaves only my Minolta system without a 20/21. I'm on the lookout.

By the way I'd never heard of a Canon 19mm LTM lens. I know there's an FL. Anyone else have info on this?
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Old 04-12-2011   #22
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Since I dont use the 21mm very much I did not spend big bucks and went with the 21/4.0 Skopar M-mount and the Leica external VF. A great lens & VF combo.
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Old 04-12-2011   #23
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Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm F/2.8 ZF.2 Lens for Nikon F-Mount.
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Old 04-12-2011   #24
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Zeiss 2,8/21mm, I love it.

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Old 04-13-2011   #25
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Voigtlander 21/4, all at f/16. It wasn't easy to keep the tripod legs out of the shot in the last one. Taken today, Tri-X in Aculux.

It doesn't look like you used a 21mm *if* you keep the camera back vertical and level. The Voigtlander has no real distortion and doesn't "pull" the sides of the image like an SLR 21mm does.





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