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View Poll Results: Which lens would you prefer
21 Super-Elmar-M f3,4 ASPH $2,995 95 49.22%
24 Elmar-M f3.8 ASPH (E46) $2,495 59 30.57%
I would recommend something else 39 20.21%
Voters: 193. You may not vote on this poll

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21 Super-Elmar-M 3,4 vs 24 Elmar-M f3.8
Old 07-24-2011   #1
Viktor Sebastian
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21 Super-Elmar-M 3,4 vs 24 Elmar-M f3.8

Which would you prefer & why?

The viewing angles are very similar, but instinctively different.

Photographic evidence to support statements is most welcome
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Old 07-24-2011   #2
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has any one been able to buy the new 21mm super elmar?
damn i want both the 24mm super elmar has rave reviews,
good luck
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Old 07-24-2011   #3
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I'd personally take the 21. It's faster and I think I like 21 more than 24. 21 goes better with 28 in my mind.

I shoot a lot of 28. It's a great focal length and my M's have frame lines built in for them. When I want something wider, I reach for 21. The real question in my mind is could I kill two birds with one stone, i.e. sell my 21 and 28s and just buy a 24 and be done with it.
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Old 07-24-2011   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Gray View Post
The real question in my mind is could I kill two birds with one stone, i.e. sell my 21 and 28s and just buy a 24 and be done with it.
I am also considering the 28mm Summicron (If I ignore the price) because it has framelines in both the M8 & M9 so it makes it the most practical wideangle, however it is also close to the 35mm focal length which can do what a 28mm can do with a few steps backwards in most cases.

The 24mm is very tempting as a partner for a 35mm in this scenario.
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Old 07-24-2011   #5
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I agree with you that 35 and 28 are close. I sold my 35mm to fund my 28mm and haven't regretted it one second

I mean, ultimately, any lens can do what any neighboring focal length can do with a few steps forward/back. 28 works for me. If 35 works for you, I'd skip the 28 and look at 24 or 21, depending what works best for you.

I really dig 21. Since I got my 21, I kind of stopped using my 15. 21 is pretty much as wide as I need to go 95% of the time when I need ultra wide. I should use my 15 more though... it's fun.
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Old 07-24-2011   #6
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If you ever want to convince yourself how minimal the differences are between 21 and 24mm, then look through a CV 21/25 finder. The lines are separated by only a thin rim. I've used 21 in preference to 24 since my Nikon days. I've got both focal lengths in Nikon, but I almost never use the 24. If you're going to go wide, go wide!

I also have the CV 15, but that one takes getting used to!
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Old 07-24-2011   #7
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There is a very big gap between 35mm and 28mm, more a perspective difference than how much fits within the frame. I use both with very different purposes, or same depending on the desired perspective not just framing. 21-24mm is slightly less of a difference but I suggest doing more than just looking through a viewfinder.

Lastly, I think if you're shooting people 24mm is the limit, especially if framing them towards the edges of the frame, and thats if you're very careful not to tilt. 21mm becomes much more problematic.
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Old 07-24-2011   #8
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I expect that the several recent new slow wides from Leica have been designed with the M9 in mind. Like JSU, having the 21 Elmarit ASPH, I'd also like to see a 21 vs 21 shootout! And for that matter, let's let the 24's go toe-to-toe also! Is it a matter of performance, economy, or both?
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Old 07-25-2011   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicashot View Post
There is a very big gap between 35mm and 28mm, more a perspective difference than how much fits within the frame.
Of course, how silly of me.

I also would like to see a shoot out between the 21s and 24s. (With people as the subjects)
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Old 07-25-2011   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSU View Post
Still, I have to ask, why develop and produce the 21mm Super Elmar when the 21mm Elmarit-ASPH was already a reality? Is it much better corrected both optically and digitally, or is it just so much cheaper to produce? Or was the 21mm Elmarit-ASPH effecting sales of the 21mm Summilux and a different, perhaps lesser, lens was called-for in the catalog.

Or simply the bottom line may be, "why ask why?"
I think they wanted something smaller? The E55 21 & 24 ASPH lenses are gorgeous but they're a bit large on the M body. The newer f/3.4 & f/3.8 lenses handle a bit better.
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Old 07-25-2011   #11
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Yes, the f/2.8 21 and 24 do flare out at the front to take 55mm filters... but are their replacements really usefully smaller? I've been thinking it's mainly a matter of M9 optimization.
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Old 07-26-2011   #12
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I can't imagine the differences between theses lenses are all that significant, but thats speculation of course. One is a 21 and the other a 24 and that would surely be the main reason for choosing one over the other. As for one being considered more favourably because it is faster than the other (as commented above) was that serious?

PS IMHO there is a fairly large difference between 21 and 24mm in terms of use and image characteristics.
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Old 07-26-2011   #13
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I would love to see the difference in image characteristics, for me they both look wide. Maybe the 24 is perhaps a little less distorted at the edges of the frame. But, I haven’t used either on fullframe so I don’t from experience. Images would be nice.
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Old 09-02-2011   #14
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I have the elmar 24 mounted on an M8 and really quite enjoy the 32mm equiv FL. Having said that the only other lens I have used is a 50mm so I don't have any wider experience to compare it to. It and the 50 were my original purchases when entering the RF world a few months back and I have not had reason yet (apart from the slow max aperture) to regret my purchase.

I'll post some pics from it soon.

Sam
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Old 09-03-2011   #15
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At 24mm or more it feels like I'm looking at a box with things arranged inside it.

At 21mm I'm looking through a portal into a world, possibly my own, often with an unusual perspective.

I'm rocking 21, 28, 35, and 50 personally. If I'm not feeling the super wide then I'll use the 28 with the bonus that it has more speed than you'll easily get in a 24mm.

I could see doing 24 though if being really close with a 21 isn't your thing but you still wanted something with a wider look than 28.
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Old 10-16-2011   #16
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Have you looked at the MTFs for these lenses? The 3.8 is very very good, but no better than the 21/2.8 Biogon (also very very good). But the Super-Elmar is unbelievably good, from full aperture, right out to the corners. On an M9 I expect that there would be a visible difference, although that difference might only be really evident with exacting technique (a heavy well-damped tripod, for starters). It should also be substantially better than the Summilux at all apertures (except apertures wider than f/3.4 :P ).
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Old 10-16-2011   #17
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To me it looks like overall the 24mm is better, but feel free to explain MTFs to me. Since I’m not the most experienced in the matter.

And the Zeiss 21mm 2.8 for interests sake
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Old 10-16-2011   #18
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I voted for the Elmar 24. It's a lens for which I am patiently waiting (sigh). Could well be the ultimate WA in M mount for landscape.

But it is silly to compare; the 21 hasn't been out long enough, has it?
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Old 10-16-2011   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebben View Post
To me it looks like overall the 24mm is better, but feel free to explain MTFs to me.
I misread the question a bit, thinking that this was a comparison between different Leica 21's. At that FL, the Super-Elmar is almost certainly the best lens Leica (or anyone else) has ever shipped.

Both are staggeringly good lenses, apparently delivering diffraction-limited performance by f/5.6. Which one is "better" comes down to other issues: FOV, geometric distortion, susceptibility to flare.

I'd personally choose the 21 because my standard is a 35 and the 25 is still a hair to close to it, IMO (I have the 35 and 21 Biogon-C's, in fact). If my standard was a 50, I'd probably go with the 24.
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Old 11-08-2011   #20
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I agree that 21 is too wide for people shots. For this reason I'd like to try a 24 next I think. Apparently the recalled 21 SE 3.4 are starting to return to stores with a new housing and inner workings. I'd like to see more pictures from this new lens.
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Old 11-08-2011   #21
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I'd rather buy the 21mm Biogon, great lens at half the price and a half stop faster; another option would be a used Angulon again a great lens at a lower price.
If it absolutely has to be a new Leica lens I'd choose the 21mm lens simply because it's a very wide lens and offers a very different perspective than the 24mm those 3mm definitely do matter.

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Old 11-08-2011   #22
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Agh, the elmar looks so nice. I still cant decide...
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Old 11-08-2011   #23
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Where can you find another set of wides with the kind of performance indicated by the mtf graphs kindly posted above? The elmar-m 24 and super-elmar 21 are fully equal to the very best of the small format wides, the contax distagon 21, without the latter's "wave" distortion. The zm biogon 21 is very very close to the mark as well, a touch less corner performance judging from the charts, at under 1/2 the price and half a stop more speed. All of these lenses are remarkable. What a feast of choice!!
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Old 11-08-2011   #24
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The Troika of 21's. Zeiss C Biogon, Leica Super Elmar 21f3.4 and the grand old man, the 21f3.4 Super Angulon.
I have had the Super Elmar now for about 6 weeks. The MTF curves dont lie! Wide-open it is amazingly even across. It is right up there with the C Biogon 21f4.5 as "as good as it gets" type of lens. The Super Angulon still holds its own as the "drama queen" of 21's - never have to edge burn a print with that lens!
I tried the 24f3.8 and was very impressed with it - but I have the Zeiss 25f2.8 and the 24/25 mm is more of an "occasional" focal length for me - while the 21 is a standard ( I have had 21 Super Angulon's since 1964!). I knew early on that the 'slow" 21 was in the works so I decided to wait for it - and no regrets.
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Old 11-10-2011   #25
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Looks like you have a rare limited edition 21 super elmar now...



The new version
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21mm 3.4 Asph
Old 12-19-2011   #26
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21mm 3.4 Asph

I voted for the 21mm 3.4 Asph, because I'm now a very lucky owner of the lens
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Old 01-11-2012   #27
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I voted for the 24 Elmar since I own one and I am quite happy with it.


MP with Leica MP with Elmar-M 24mm f3.8 ASPH
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Old 04-18-2013   #28
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I have both. The performance and characters of these two lenses are very similar, as they share the similar optical formula. On MTF, the 21 is better, not to mention it is f/3.4. But for me, I use the 24 more as I prefer the focal length of 24.
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Old 04-18-2013   #29
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I have the Super Elmar and found it just spectacular for my trip to Hawaii. My next step is the 35 lux Pre-Asph as I just traded off my 28 Elmarit for lack of use. The Super Elmar is so tiny for a WA and fits good in a travel kit.
Pete
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Old 04-18-2013   #30
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Both Leica-Wideangles are top-notch, if a single Lens has to do, the 24 is certainly more versatile,
the 21 takes much more care in composition.

I'm using the combination of 2.8/21 ZM and 2/35 ZM which are both excellent, for the price of a single Leica lens.


Kind regards

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Old 05-17-2013   #31
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I own a 28 Cron, and I voted for the 21/3.4 Super Elmar because it is the better fit. I also own a Plaubel 69W with a 47/5.6 Super Augulon (21mm FOV except 6X9), and I want to exploit the 21mm FOV but to do that extensively in 120 with only 8 shots per roll it gets too expensive.

I'm currently building out an ultrawide M-body: Black 1980 MD-2; Zeiss 21mm VF'er; TA Rapidwinder; TA Rapidgrip.

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Old 03-13-2014   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
I own a 28 Cron, and I voted for the 21/3.4 Super Elmar because it is the better fit. I also own a Plaubel 69W with a 47/5.6 Super Augulon (21mm FOV except 6X9), and I want to exploit the 21mm FOV but to do that extensively in 120 with only 8 shots per roll it gets too expensive.

I'm currently building out an ultrawide M-body: Black 1980 MD-2; Zeiss 21mm VF'er; TA Rapidwinder; TA Rapidgrip.

Cal
UPDATE: I bought a used 21 SEM at a great price after borrowing a friend's 24/3.8. The 21 SEM seems to be a magic lens.

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Old 11-06-2014   #33
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I own the 24 Elmar and I'm knocked out by how sharp it is corner to corner even wide open. It's without a doubt in the same class as the 35 summilux FLE. I think the 24/25 FL is the best super wide for my kind of photography. I previously had a Super Angulon and then later an Elmarit and just didn't get much use out of them.

I have to admit that as great as this lens is I rarely use it and think I'm going to sell it. I've become a mid range FL user (35 & 75) in recent years.
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Old 10-25-2015   #34
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I love the perspective of a 21mm or wider lens, but when it comes down to usability and how frequently I can make use of it, the 24mm wins hands down. So I chose the Elmar-M 24.

I tend to carry lenses in pairs. Most often with the 24, I pair it to the 50.

G
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Old 11-15-2015   #35
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They are both incredible. Because I have and love the 28 Cron, the 21 makes more sense:


Fat Boy by unoh7, on Flickr


L1039523 by unoh7, on Flickr

and one on the A7 with Kolari Mod:


Apparition by unoh7, on Flickr
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Old 11-18-2015   #36
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I have both 24 and 28mm lenses - at the wider end of the spectrum, those few mm's make a huge difference. I find 24mm an extremely challenging focal length to use, but I can use it in the same way that I use a 50,35 or 28mm lens, that is, without the obvious viewing interference of an ultra-wide field of view. 21mm is different in that respect and more of a specialist lens to my mind.
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Old 11-18-2015   #37
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I went for the 18 mm Super Elmar - if you want to go wide, go wide.
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Old 11-25-2015   #38
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Why 24? I used one before and it was first class. I have a 21 I don`t use much. 24 is a good match for my 35 for two lens wide set.

Last but not least, KEH had a LN- one for 1750 and 30% off black Friday sale. $1219 including shipping. Arrived an hour ago.
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Old 12-01-2015   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemal_mumcu View Post
I agree that 21 is too wide for people shots. For this reason I'd like to try a 24 next I think. Apparently the recalled 21 SE 3.4 are starting to return to stores with a new housing and inner workings. I'd like to see more pictures from this new lens.
I have not found that to be the case. You just have to get closer, that's all. With the 28mm focal length, you can get a good composition at about 4-5 feet from your subject. With the 21mm, you need to get closer, as in 2-3 feet.

The 21/3.4 SE is very well corrected, so egghead distortion is not as much of a problem as you would expect if you place your main subject(s) at around 1/3 the distance from the frame edge.
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Old 01-24-2016   #40
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The thing with the 21 is you have to work around the natural edge distortion of a UWA but still:


Rippin it by unoh7, on Flickr


starting off by unoh7, on Flickr

I need to try it more
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