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21/2.8 Wide Open?
Old 11-21-2007   #1
pdx138
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21/2.8 Wide Open?

Does anyone have any examples to share from a 21mm f2.8 lens (Leica, Zeiss, Kobalux, anything) shot wide open? I have been thinking of getting a 21 and wondering how much speed is really necessary on such a wide angle. I'd like to see some examples of how people fill the space captured by a 21mm at 2.8. I'm thinking I could live with a slower lens (e.g., the Zeiss 21/4.5) in this focal length, but I'm curious to see what folks are doing with the extra stop. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-24-2007   #2
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Ok, its been a couple of days with no response. If nobody has examples scanned and ready to share (I can understand that as I have no scanner), how about some anecdotal experience using a 21/2.8 wide open. Did you find the speed useful for DOF control or just to get the shot in low light? And if so, where you happy with the final image? Thanks again.
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Old 11-24-2007   #3
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lots of shots here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/m-mount/

scroll to the bottom for the links to Leica, Zeiss, Kobalux examples
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Old 11-24-2007   #4
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Thanks. I love the Flickr M-Mount Group and browse it regularly, but people don't always post what aperture they took a shot at, so I was hoping for some specific experiences shot at 2.8. Thanks again.
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Old 11-24-2007   #5
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Hi Kyle - remember this thread from a week ago?
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=49690
Checked my notes. The first three shots I posted were wide open. I don't think I could have made the third with a f4 or f4.5.

Here is another one that I'm pretty sure was wide open - it was dusk and the film was Fomapan 200. 21/2.8 Biogon G:



I'm fairly new to wide-angles, but DOF seems to be pretty irrelevant. I seem to recall that sepiareverb has a lot to say about the 21 - maybe he will weigh in or you could search his old posts. NB23 (Ned) likes his Super Angulon just fine - see post #22 in this thread for a great wide-open shot with this slower lens.

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Old 11-24-2007   #6
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Thanks John. Exactly what I was looking for. Your examples and experience are very useful. It does seem that even at 2.8, you have a plenty of DOF to play with. I can see the extra stop coming in handy regularly. Very nice photos too.

I think I missed that Super Angulon thread, so thanks for pointing it out. Ill have to check it out in detail.
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Old 11-24-2007   #7
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Dear Kyle,

Over the last 30 years or so I've owned quite a lot of 21mm lenses and had others on extended loan:

21/4 Nikkor -- Stolen in India c. 1983
21/4.5 Biogon (original) -- Sold when I got the Elmarit
21/2.8 Elmarit -- Stolen in Moscow c. 1993
21/4.5 Biogon -- replaced Elmarit, sold because I acquired two more 21s (below)
21/2.8 Kobalux/Pasinon -- still have it
21/4 Voigtländer -- still have it
21/2.8 current Zeiss (loaner)
21/4.5 Biogon (new) -- Zeiss loaner
16-18-21 Tri-Elmar (loaner)

Then there was the 20 Russar and the current 18/4 Zeiss...

When the Elmarit was stolen I decided I didn't use an f/2.8 enough to buy a new one and bought another original f/4.5. Since then I've oscillated between the Voigtländer 21/4 (tiny) and the Kobalux 21/2.8 (faster, and at least as good).

Athough the new Biogon is superb it wasn't worth the money to me (with two existing 21s) to keep -- though if I'd had no 21s, it would have been a toss-up between the Zeiss 21/2,8 and the Biogon (compact, less distortion). If I had the money, it's no contest, despite the price and low speed: Tri-Elmar.

Attached are not my best work but well demonstrate d-o-f in close-up at f/2.8 (Kobalux). Note however that like many photographers, I don't keep notes of lens used and aperture: photography is a tool to use, not a toy whose limits I explore for the sake of exploration. I'm 99 per cent sure this is the Kobalux at full bore, but I'd be a fool to swear to it.

Hope this helps.

Cheer,

Roger
Attached Images
File Type: jpg UK M 21 Underground 1a.JPG (73.8 KB, 161 views)
File Type: jpg UK M 21 Underground 2a.JPG (93.9 KB, 179 views)
File Type: jpg UK M 21 Underground 3a.JPG (85.8 KB, 158 views)
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Last edited by Roger Hicks : 11-24-2007 at 10:42.
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Old 11-24-2007   #8
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Roger - I would guess wide open too, based on the light and the lack of grain (slow film?). The composition, and the emotion portrayed in the first image move me. Did you crop at all? I see more distortion at the edges with close subjects - particularly bodies.

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Old 11-24-2007   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foto_fool
Roger - I would guess wide open too, based on the light and the lack of grain (slow film?). The composition, and the emotion portrayed in the first image move me. Did you crop at all? I see more distortion at the edges with close subjects - particularly bodies.

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Dear John,

That's my favourite too -- thanks.

No, it's all-in, on, as far as I recall, XP2 Super. Look closely and you'll see that the things that would be a real giveaway if distorted (expecially heads) are all well away from the centre, and that actually, there is quite a bit of stretching on the periphery, but it's mostly lost in darkness.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-24-2007   #10
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All of my experience with a 21/2.8 is with the Contax G version. I've not got anything scanned to share of it at 2.8 making use of the depth of field. I'd say one can expect a great deal of spacial enhancement when shooting at 2.8 and focussing close. At moderate & greater distances the d.o.f. isn't that shallow, but when focus is close to the near limit there is a noticable expansion to the background/o.o.f. areas that you won't get with a 25. I've got a ZM21/2.8 on the way as I write this, should be here 11/29, so I can report back late next week with some more info- I've got a bunch of images lined up in which I hope to make use of this very thing.
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Old 11-24-2007   #11
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Thanks Roger, very helpful. I like the first shot the best as well. As usual it will probably come down to a toss-up between size and speed for me. This is a focal length I think I can live without the speed on, but it is interesting to see how much it can grab indoors in tight spaces where the speed is useful.

sepiareverb - looking forward to hearing about your experience with the ZM 21/2.8. Have fun with it. I hope the images you have in mind turn out well. I have some ideas already for how I'd like to use a 21 as well, but it will have to wait since I've limited myself to a 50 for 6 months. I'm keeping notes of projects I'd like to do with a wide angle in the mean time which is what got me thinking about a 21. Thanks for the response.
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Old 11-24-2007   #12
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Kyle- don't rule out the 25 if you are new to wides, A good step wider than a 28 for those tight spaces indoors (well Nikon did say of their 15/3.5 "every photojournalist who gets on an airplane needs this lens"), depending of course on what your indoors is. There can be a pretty steep learning curve with these very wides, and even going from 25 to 21 can make for some surprises. That said, 21 is a wonderful length- I'm certainly not trying to sway you away from it.
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Old 11-24-2007   #13
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I have a Fuji Natura that is a 24/1.9 fixed lens point and shoot that I have good luck with for indoors candid shots, but I am looking for something wider. I'd like to use a 21 for environmental portraiture - so I can fit a full figure in the frame and still capture the detail of the environment. For what I have in mind, I'll want a lot of DOF so I'll need a small aperture and a tripod. It is for other projects and general versatility that I am wondering if I'll want more speed or a more compact lens - Still leaning towards more compact. Thanks again.
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Old 11-25-2007   #14
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Dear Kyle,

Remember that the 'one over focal length' rule (flaky at the best of times) is too lax with longer lenses and too strict with shorter ones. This, while I'd much prefer to hand-hold a 135mm at 1/250 at least, I don't worry too much about a 21mm at 1/15 and I'll go to 1/8 if I have to. This was taken with my first 21/4.5 Biogon, adapted for M.

God knows why it's so purple. Very old scan, I guess, before I learned better.

Cheers,

Roger
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fr canon car.JPG (48.6 KB, 102 views)
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Last edited by Roger Hicks : 11-25-2007 at 00:52.
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Old 11-25-2007   #15
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Thanks for posting this example from the Biogon Roger. I have a fairly steady hand, so I think I could get away with some pretty slow shutter speeds in this focal length. Also, I've been enjoying Neopan 1600 which makes a f4.5 lens pretty useable indoors.
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Old 11-25-2007   #16
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Just stumbled upon this article, has me itching for mine to arrive!

http://www.imx.nl/photo/zeiss/biogon..._the_zeis.html
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Old 12-21-2007   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb
I've got a ZM21/2.8 on the way as I write this, should be here 11/29, so I can report back late next week with some more info- I've got a bunch of images lined up in which I hope to make use of this very thing.
Sepiareverb,
Is the 21/2.8 meeting your needs? How are you enjoying using it and how are the results?

Sorry to bring back an older thread, but I was curious for an update. Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2007   #18
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Some family shots with the Elmarit ASPH:





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Old 12-21-2007   #19
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Here's one from the VC 21 at f4.0 Fuji NPH. (I added the vignetting, BTW)

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Old 12-21-2007   #20
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Thanks for the examples guys. I'm glad I resurrected the thread.

Hacker, very nice use of geometry in your family pictures. I like the strong lines in all the shots. The Elmarit seems to handle it very well with no (to my eyes) visible distortion.

Kevin M, I like the way the 21mm perspective enhances the front end of the car making it look really substantial. A 21 seems to be everyones favorite show car lens. Here and on Flickr so many 21mm samples are cars. I guess it is because you can fit the whole thing in and get some of that top down perspective from being close to it. Very dramatic.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-26-2007   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdx138
Does anyone have any examples to share from a 21mm f2.8 lens (Leica, Zeiss, Kobalux, anything) shot wide open? I have been thinking of getting a 21 and wondering how much speed is really necessary on such a wide angle. I'd like to see some examples of how people fill the space captured by a 21mm at 2.8. I'm thinking I could live with a slower lens (e.g., the Zeiss 21/4.5) in this focal length, but I'm curious to see what folks are doing with the extra stop. Thanks in advance.
http://www.reidreviews.com/reidreviews/

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Old 12-29-2007   #22
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Sorry,I don't have a scanner. I got the 21 ZM for my M7, largely to compensate for lousy eyesight in focusing (macular degeneration). The DOF has saved more than one 'chrome. I use it with Astia, and the color balance is neutral in projection (P2002, Super Colorplan)

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Old 12-29-2007   #23
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I am not a guy who like to use lenses at their widest aperture, but I do have one shot of the ZM21/2.8 shot at f2.8 inside a shopping centre (go to the bottom shot on the right column). The reason of using f2.8 is to push the shutter speed up to 1/60. I am not a guy who like to take photos at slow shutter speed either.

http://www.fuwen.net/photos_galleryb...1_f28_Biogon_T
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Old 12-29-2007   #24
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I used to have a Kobalux 21/2.8 and was disappointed in f2.8 on the lens. Try as I might, I could never really get the separation I was looking for between subject and background. That doesn't seem to be a problem with my 24/2.8.
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Old 12-29-2007   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdx138
I have a Fuji Natura that is a 24/1.9 fixed lens point and shoot that I have good luck with for indoors candid shots, but I am looking for something wider. I'd like to use a 21 for environmental portraiture - so I can fit a full figure in the frame and still capture the detail of the environment. For what I have in mind, I'll want a lot of DOF so I'll need a small aperture and a tripod. It is for other projects and general versatility that I am wondering if I'll want more speed or a more compact lens - Still leaning towards more compact. Thanks again.
If you already have a 24/1.9 (on a point and shoot) but your reasons for considering a 21 because you are looking for something wider... IMO I don't feel that the 21 is that dramatic of a difference from the 24. Have you considered the CV 15 4.5? Lots of DOF there too. And very compact.
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Contax G 21mm Biogon at f4
Old 12-29-2007   #26
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Contax G 21mm Biogon at f4



ContaxG Biogon 21mm. Only f4 and not wide open at 2.8 as requested though. I exhibit this printed 8x12 and it's damn near perfect from a technical standpoint. The edge detail by the customer's feet is amazing.
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Old 12-29-2007   #27
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I have seen some fine images with the ZM 21/4.5 by TomA. But I must say that the ZM 25 is sooo amazing as a wide lens that you should seriously consider it....at least check out some shots on the m-mount flickr grp bgreefore you pass it over. Money aside, I prefer it over the Leica 24 which is a great lens, especially if you shoot colour, but the ZM 25 is magical across the tones in BW. Truly a "wow" lens.
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