People who like Leica Super-Angulon 21/3.4 probably also like Leica Elmarit 28/2.8 v1 because they have similar features. I even suspect that the designers of Elmarit 28 v1 refer to the design concept of Schneider Super-Angulon. These lenses protrude a lot into the body blocks the metering on any M. They also have the same hood and rear cap. (BTW)They have similar color contrasts. Luckily this 28mm lens doesn’t suffer from fringe color shifts on digital M cameras.
28mm On the Street
The photo you get from 28mm lenses gives viewers the impression that they’re right there on the street. For many years, iPhones have been equipped with 28mm lenses. The Elmarit 28/2.8 V1 is great for street photography, using zone focusing you don’t have to worry about focus. It captures a wide perspective but it’s not to the point where you can see visible distortion.
Production period: 1965-1972 Code: 11801(black)
Serial#:2,061,501-2,533,850 Total production: n/a
Maximum aperture: 1: 2.8
Focal length(nominal): 28mm Angle: 760
Minimum distance: 70cm
Weight: 225 grams Filter: E48 or Series VII Recorded sales figures: n/a
The Leica Super-Angulon 21mm design was brought to Leitz from Schneider. It focuses very close (0.4m) which is amazing for a Leica M lens, and the square-shaped bokeh blurs as well. It is a sharp lens, with its beautiful rectilinear perfection. Using a Super-Angulon will instantly turn any photographer into Jeanloup Sieff.
Not for Landscapes
Usualy, the further a lens’ focal length departs from the 50mm, the less useful and more challenging it becomes. The Super-Angulon is not a real substitute for perspective pontrol lens for architecture and landscapes. It is really effective at getting really close and level to a subject. Not only can you isolate a close subject, much more background context can be captured than a ‘normal’ lens.
Super Angolan is usable on digital Leica M cameras. The issue is the color shift on the edges and corners, the lens is fine for b&w. The tones on b&w film can be beautiful. It flares fairly easily. The other issue is overexposes. It works fine in live view(leica m240/leica m10/leica m11), it overexposes in non-live view(leica m8/leica m9). It’s a lens produced in the 1960s that really needs film to show its best. Lens do not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
F4.0 vs F3.4
The f3.4 Super Angulon is optically better than the f4.0 version.
The Voigtlander 21mm lens would be a much more reasonably priced approach. But, Voigtlander users will be tempted by the Super-Angulon in the future again and again. Because of its classic design, the Super-Angulon seems to have more of a nostalgic attraction. There are many who love it.
Good lens, good camera, and a roll of film: this is my ideal life.
Filter: 48mm UV, VII.
Front cover: 14102
Rear cover: 14042
Stock: less than 6000.
Focus lever: metal crescent focus lever.
Minimum focusing distance: 0.4m
Wide-angle lens is a mountain. My goal is to find my path, not to reach the top. The 21mm lens is the widest lens I have ever used. Since it gives fewer distortions, I can photograph humans on thestreet without making them look disproportionate. It also offers a significant depth of field that enables I to shoot fast-moving objects without much focusing. With the f/4 aperture it will make taking street photos feel effortless.
Change Distance, and Change Style
Wide angle lenses can create visual and psychological effects depending on how they are used. In wide angle lens photography, the subject becomes further away. A wide lens is great for creating distance from a subject, a 21mm lens can be great in close proximity for closing up photos. Change your distance and change your photography style.
Schneider Super Angulon
Leica 21mm f/4 Super Angulon was designed and manufactured by Schneider, and uses the Classic SUPER-ANGULON symmetrical design which is usually for the 4×5 format. Lenses with this design are roughly symmetric, have large negative outer elements and smaller inner elements. Leica Super Angulon 21/f4 rear element comes very close to touching the film and the distance to the corners and center is very different served to darken and saturate the sky. This vignetting is a fact of life on large format lenses of similar design. It has excellent contrast and very saturated color.
Leica 21mm f/4 Super-Angulon M – Technical Information
Country/Region of Manufacture: Germany
Focal Length Type: Fixed/Prime
Focal Length: 21mm
Type: High Quality, Prime, Ultra Wide Angle
Series: Leica Super-Angulon-M
Camera Type: Rangefinder
Focus Type: Manual
Maximum Aperture: f/4.0
Mount: Leica M
The lens is a bit soft, suffers from chromatic aberrations and vignettes at f/1.4 maximum aperture. It produces soft glow with shallow depth of field and has a swirly type of bokeh when shot wide open. Hence its nickname, the “Leica glow”. This type of soft and glow bokeh—people either love it or hate it.
Although there are many sharp lenses in my collection, I also like the beauty of photography, not just the perceived technical perfection. The special dreamy glow cannot be recreated with software, it can only be achieved in-camera. It is excellent for street portraits with its glowing effect and becomes very sharp when stepping down the aperture like every other Leica lenses.
In fact, in the three “Leica Glow” lenses I have used, “Leica Glow” is not so easy to appear, especially in film photography and low light environments.
It is neither the smooth and buttery total background obliteration of Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4 ASPH nor is it the progressive blur bokeh of Summicron 35mm f/2 v4(7-elements)—though it is closer to the latter.
Its important to be clearthis is no where near a perfect lens. Even though the “Leica glow” lets you shoot at f/1.4 – it shouldn’t be used at this aperture all the time. If you want a sharp f1.4 lens then you wouldn’t want to go near this old lens, insteadits either the Summilux 11874 or the Summilux 11663 you should be going for. If you want a legacy lens with Bokeh and sharpness you would be much better off with the Leica summicron 35mm f2 v4. The “king of Bokeh” will give you bokeh and sharpness, but what it won’t do is give you the “Leica glow”.
Not every photo looks good under f/1.4. Stopping down the “Leica glow” yields excellent results. I noticed that at every aperture between f/2.8-f/8 the “Leica glow” almost up there with “king of Bokeh” in regards to resolution, colors and vignetting.
When Summilux 35mm ASPH lenses are optically better than this old lens, why would anyone want to use it? Its current popularity is no doubt due to its low cost, not its ‘soft glow’.
What I wanted, and got from the lens was the swirly bokeh and the dreamy glow the lens produces when wide open. The softness and vignetting are mitigated a lot with smaller apertures. Consider its small size and light weight, it’s well balanced on a Leica M.
LEICA 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH is developed as one of the standard lenses for the Leica M rangefinder camera. It had the largest aperture in the Leica world.It attracts a great deal of attention as the ” King of the Night”, as it exceeds the perception of the human eye. Even the light from street lights can be sufficient for handheld photography.
The lens is very solid with aluminum and brass construction. A “floating element” retains high image quality even in close-up range. The focus ring feels very smooth when turning and the aperture ring clicks in place very nicely.
The Noctilux is sharp at f/0.95 if you compare it to the Noctilux 50mm f/1.0 or Noctilux 50mm f/1.2. It also offers unequal aesthetic effects. The Noctilux 0.95 has a similar type of bokeh to the Noctilux 1.0. The background light spots become oval towards the sides of images.
Introduced in 1966, the Noctilux Lens' f/1.2 aperture (total production: about 1500) was more of a technical demonstration and marketing gimmick than anything else.
Noctilux 0.95 is quick to focus compared to the Noctilux 1.0, which has a somewhat long focus throw. Focus throw is measured in degrees and represents the amount of rotation needed to turn a lens’ focus ring from its MFD (minimum focus distance) to infinity.
Sometimes, the Noctilux will give you some purple fringing on a digital M camera when you use it wide open facing strong light sources.
My Noctilux 0.95
Noctilux 0.95 is a lens that many people dream about. After almost two months of consideration I became the owner of a Noctilux 50mm F/0.95 lens. My consideration before purchasing was due to the combination of three important issues, cost, portability and weight.
After months of use, I was not completely satisfied with it. Looking through the viewfinder when the Noctilux was fitted, I found its huge diameter obscured a good part of the view in the bottom right corner. I have locked the Noctilux in the box for a long time, as I feel that the Summilux and Summicron fit my needs for street photography better.
I often get approached by friends who are interested in “getting a nice Leica lens.” We talked about the budget. Some of them may be in the position of getting his first Leica lens, others may hold Leica Summicron looking for an upgrade .
Low light performance and bokeh aren’t the benefits to a Summicron f/2 lens, and a Summilux can give you great low light performance by providing a wider f/1.4 aperture. The wider aperture not only gathers a lot of light, it also produces good bokeh . A Leica Summilux lens is usually the way to go if you want to shoot with a wide aperture.For many people, a wide aperture lens is going to open up a lot of creative opportunities that a narrow aperture one won’t.
Old Lens Life
Leica old lenses often have an added bonus, they maintain their value very well compared to new lenses. If you buy a Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 E46 and find you don’t use it much, you can often resell it and get most of your money
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 ASPH is a big, expensive lens and people definitely take notice when you walk around with it. It’s a fantastic lens, but also costs three times more than a Summilux e43. I didn’t use it much on my street photography because it’s bulky and heavy.
This E46 version sort of transitions between earlier E43 and the current ASPH:
The E43 is optically the same(designed by Mandler), but it only focuses to 1 meter vs 0.7 meter for the E46 version. The E46 and ASPH have the same built in hoods(designed by Peter Karbe).
Basically Leica kept black chromed lenses in aluminum body, lighter weight, silver chromed in brass body, heavier. The brass body lenses are more solid than aluminum body lenses. It weighs 275g/9.7oz in black, and 380g/13.4oz in silver and titanium.
Bokeh easily ranks among the most popular photography effects, perhaps because it’s powerful yet easy to do. Photographers typically use bokeh to keep the rest of the image out of focus. But for street photography, using bokeh does not guarantee your photos will be amazing. Not every subject lends itself well to bokeh. However, if you’re focusing on a single person, bokeh can prove a good choice.
The Leica Summilux-m 50 1.4 e43 is a particular vintage lens with a narrow depth of field. This bokeh camera lens features a traditional optical design upgrade from Summarit 5cm f/1.5 that maintains high corner-to-corner resolution throughout the focus range, even at f/1.4 maximum aperture. At f/1.4 the background light spots become ovals towards the sides of images. In recent years, this lens has become a great favorite with photographers intent on creativity, and prices have rocketed as a result. Some like this traditional bokeh, and some do not. If you like modern bokeh(completely smooth washes of tone), then you should consider experimenting with the newest Leica Summilux-m 50mm f/1.4 ASPH.
Most street photographer’s work has been done with relatively deep depth-of-field and very few of them are shot wide-open. Street photography is about moving subjects.It will become too difficult to keep your subject in focus, if you set your aperture at f/1.4 or f/2, most of the bokeh images having serious focus issues. But, I was the kind of “Bokeh” guy. Why? It is that I don’t want to set your rules and restrictions in my street photography.
It’s often impossible to use wider apertures in daylight. A variable ND filter allows you to get down to the desired f-stop of 1.4 even in bright conditions giving you much more control for portrait shots with sweet bokeh!
F-stop of 1.5 is considered to be a large aperture. A large aperture means that the lens produces a shallow depth of field. Shallow focus is an often used technique that’s usually reserved for the background or foreground, not the subject itself. But the Leica 5cm f/1.5 Summarit has a blur that quite literally softens the subject. While most photographers may prefer crisp and clear images, the effect was a dreamy glow that gave them ethereal nature. Shadows and the minute imperfections on a person’s face can be easily subdued with warm and softer tones.
There are three reasons you might want a Leica 5cm f/1.5 Summarit – faster shutter speeds, a tighter depth of field, and an affordable price. At the widest aperture, images are not sharp, but really hit the optimum at f/4, where sharpness across the frame comes into fine detail. The aperture of f/2 works extremely well for portraits.
Why It Is Not Popular
Image quality is very good considering the price, and with the aperture at f/1.5, even though the image does suffer from some softness. This is obviously a cheaper lens offering, but the reason why it is not popular is that it has a “bad” bokeh. Good bokeh is smooth and pleasing, whereas bad bokeh produces a jagged and discordant effect. Well, unfortunately, each lens has its very own physical characteristics. Leica 50mm Summilux and Noctilux lens have superb bokeh, this old Summarit doesn’t. Especially wide open, its bokeh is highly intrusive and distracting. Of course,one of the solutions is to avoid trees and lights in the background.
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
The first Summicron version closely followed the design parameters of the Summitar. This is a small, lightweight lens that you can slip into any camera bag, into a pocket, or even just leave it permanently mounted to your camera so that it’s always ready to shoot.
Screw Mount Ltm L39
It’s such a small lens that it makes a Leica M camera feel sleek and compact, though its perfect dance partner is arguably the Leica screw mount cameras – where it combines to create a truly slim, street-friendly shooting setup.
Radioactive Yellow Glass
The unassuming little 50mm Summicron v1 Collapsible Lens sets the bar high for sharpness but the radioactive yellow glass lens beats it at pretty much all directly competing aperture settings. Even wide-open, the f2 lens delivers incredible sharpness and contrast for such an ‘old’ lens, with sharpness only really dropping off a bit at the extreme edges and corners of the frame.
Main source of radioactivity is the use of thorium oxide as a component of the glass used in the lens elements. Its optical properties of high refractivity and low dispersion allow lens designers to minimize chromatic aberration and use lenses of lower curvature. The presence of thorium can cause moderate to severe yellowing of the lens elements.
Leica summicron 5cm lenses with thorium elements pose a negligible risk to human health. However, infrond of the lens is significantly more dangerous. At close range the surface of the eye can quickly be damaged by them, potentially causing cataracts and other problems.
Radioactive Yellow Glass Serial Numbers:
Open it up to f/2 and you can achieve great subject separation, background blur and low light performance without sacrificing too much sharpness. Stop down to f/2.8 and beyond, though, and you’ve got a tack-sharp performer that captures all the details you could ask for.
While it’s clearly not in the same league as the mighty Summilux 50mm f/1.4, under certain circumstances it can actually match its big brother for sharpness. And, at least anecdotally, it’s a far superior lens to the older Summitar version.
Mandler, Dr. Walter Legendary Leica lens designer and CEO of Ernst Leitz Canada figured out a long time ago how to make a good quality 50mm lens, and the result is that the optical performance of even the least expensive 50mm prime outshines many other brands.
Most Leica 50mm Summicron lenses represent excellent value for money. However, when making a purchase it is wise to bear in mind that modern models of the same lens have better build quality.
v4 = v5
Leica has many 50mm Summicron lenses ( v1 collapsible Summicron / v2 rigid / v3 High Leg / v4 v5 Mandler) in its current range. And they released version 5 in 1994.You may notice some difference in image quality between the v1 and v2 – but you will not notice the difference between the v4 and v5 .
Wide maximum apertures
For me this is the most exciting aspect of 50mm lenses. Leica Summicron lens has an aperture of f2. It helps you take photos with a shallow depth-of-field. This photo was taken at f2 with a 50cron v4 :
Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v4 is a nice walk-around lens to take on a day out. On a Leica M camera it’s a convenient focal length for street photography. It works well for portraits, as long as you don’t mind a little distortion.
But there is one more thing. A Summilux lens has an aperture of f1.4. That’s over one stop. It makes a difference when shooting in low light as you can open up the lens rather than increasing the ISO. But Summilux costs a lot of money.