View Full Version : Cosina SC lens - 21, 25,28 or 35mm?

01-11-2005, 10:48
I'm thinking about getting a new lens when I get a VC Meter II from Mr. Gandy, especially since they are on close out right now. I am having a hard time deciding which one to get however.

I have a Jupiter-12 for a 35mm at the present. It's a good enough lens though it could use a relube. The bigger problem with it is that it's limited to mounting on some CRFM cameras. If I get a R2C or even a Contax IIA at some point, I'll need a different 35mm anyway.

OTOH, I have a hard time, sometimes, even seeing as wide as 35mm which makes me wonder if I should even bother getting anything wider? I'm leaning towards either the 28 or the 35 mostly as a result. Anyone want to offer me any advice on this?



01-11-2005, 11:00
When we talk about "seeing" in a particular focal length what we are saying is that we are squeezing what we see into a smaller view. If 50mm is that view for you, then that is the "crop" your eye's focus on when you are looking at something. When thinking of going wider consider what the uncropped view that naturally "see." For me it is pretty close to 21mm. That is, since I wear glasses the 21mm focal length is pretty close to the field of view of my vision inside the frames of my specs. Therefore, I can see pretty well in the 21mm focal length as well as my "normal" 50ish mm.

01-11-2005, 18:20
If your motivation is to now take advantage of a one-time opportunity in the close-out sale, you might consider which lens is one that you find intriguing or challenging to use, and a focal length that is difficult to find or too expensive. For instance, there's the 28mm Orion, not too common, and the 21mm Biogon also not too common and rather expensive.

I guess I'm just suggesting looking at the nature of the alternatives, and pick the CV lens for the hardest niche to otherwise fill, and one that you might also find useful.

01-11-2005, 18:56
That is a good point. And there is the 25mm which, I believe, is a unique focal length for the Contax mount.

An issue for me would be the finder - the 21 and 25 come with one; the 28 and 35 don't. I have a 35mm finder that I made and the turret finders cover either a) Zeiss the 21mm or 28mm depending on version IIUC and b) Soviet the 28mm. And of course, because of the included finder, the 21 and 25 are a bit more expensive than the 28 and 35.


Thanks for the thought though. They do help.


01-11-2005, 21:24
Hey one really important fact if you are considering the 21, 25, 28 and 35mm SC lenses from Voigtlander.

The 25mm SC lens is a full manual focus lens...normally not that amazing but when you compare this lens to the regular Voigtlander 25mm for Leica thread mount you will realise that the LTM variant has only 3 snap focus points. Ofcourse with a focal length this wide and a minimum aperture of f4 its not really an issue but if you are someone who doesn't like approximating distance or working with a prefocused lens it might be of interest.

Another note of interest is that the 25mm SC lens comes with a 25mm "brightline" finder whereas the earlier copies of the 25mm LTM lens came with a plane jane viewfinder, little difference but may be of aid if you have a Leica mount camera and ever intend to buy this lens second hand. The current 25mm Voigtlnader LTM lens now comes with the 25mm "brightline" viewfinder.

The 21, 28 and 35 SC lenses are also regular full manual focus lenses so to speak.

Personally I think the 25mm SC lens is the way to go. 28mm in my mind is too close to the 35mm which you already own. The 25mm is a great lens in that its very wide but with out the results looking exagerated which the 21mm can. Plus the 25mm and 50mm two lens combo I think is a killer.

While the 21mm and 25mm are dearer they do come with viewfinders which is a pretty decent bonus. Consider that the 28mm SC lens costs $299 plus a 28mm Voigtlander finder $129 approx, you are already at $430ish.... so the 21 at $389 and 25 at $369 are a good deal. Also the build quality of the 21 and 25 SC lenses is really much better than the regular LTM equivalents from Voigtlander.

One last thing, while the 21mm and 25mm seem to be very similar in actual focal length they are in fact VERY different beasts in that there is a VERY noticeable difference in the image and how you use these two lenses, where as the difference betweent the 25mm and the 28mm is not as dramatic.

OK well hope that helps somewhat, Cheers!


01-12-2005, 02:41
....I meant to say there isnt as much of a difference betweent the 35mm and the 28mm....

Sorry if that last sentence was confusing....

01-17-2005, 03:55
Have you seen this article William? I just saw the link on the Best Stuff forum.


01-17-2005, 06:33
Yes, I saw it. And as I commented in the Beststuff thread, I considered it near worthless.
Thank you for thinking of me though, I appreciate it.


01-17-2005, 19:26
Thank you all for your advice. I've decided and sent Mr. Gandy an order for the VC Meter II and the 35/2.5. I chose to go with the 35 because 1) I already have a finder for that length 2) it will continue to be useable if I get a IIa or a R2C 3) it's the fastest of the four SC lenses that will fit my CRF mount cameras and 4) it's cheaper than the the 21 or 25 with the included finders.

It's going to be fun to play with these on the old red leather beauty.

Thanks again,