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Leica announces Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH

By dpreview staff on Jun 21, 2011 at 18:04 GMT
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Leica has announced the Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4, a wideangle prime for its M-series rangefinder cameras. Weighing in at less than 10 ounces, it's extremely compact at just under 2 inches in length. It has a minimum focus distance of 0.7m, and uses a dual-sided aspheric element and 4 anomalous partial dispersion elements in its optical construction. On the M8 camera it offers an angle of view equivalent to a 28mm lens. It will be available from June 2011 at a price of £2025.

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Press Release:

Leica announces Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH.

Compact M lens with improved imaging performance sets new standards in wide-angle
photography

21 June 2011, 18.00 GMT: Leica has today added a new, high-performance wide-angle lens to its portfolio of short focal length lenses for Leica M cameras. The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. sets new standards in imaging performance and is characterised by its particularly compact size and suitability for a wide range of photographic situations. Whether used for photojournalism, architecture or landscape photography, the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. provides photographers with an extremely small, light and versatile wide-angle lens, particularly suitable for travelling.

The performance of the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is reminiscent of one of the all-time favourite classics amongst M lenses, the Leica Super-Angulon-M 21 mm f/3.4. This much-praised lens was an integral part of the Leica M lens portfolio from 1963 to 1980, and made its name and reputation as an ideal tool for available light photography and photojournalism. Even today, the Super-Angulon-M 21mm f/3.4 is extremely popular and one of the most sought-after M lenses amongst connoisseurs of fine optics.

The new Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is a worthy successor, with further improvements over the already outstanding performance of its predecessor. The lens reveals its excellent reproduction of detail and superior contrast at maximum aperture. Of particular note are the extremely effective flare characteristics of the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH., which allow the capture of fascinating 'contre-jour' images with absolute clarity and contrast.

The intricate optical design and construction of the lens are responsible for its outstanding sharpness and imaging qualities. The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is constructed with eight lenses in seven groups. At the same time, the use of one lens element with two aspherical surfaces and four lenses with anomalous partial dispersion ensure that aberrations are reduced to an absolute minimum.

As with all Leica lenses, the Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. was designed and developed by Leica specialists in Solms, Germany, and represents the perfect combination of optical and technical expertise. Particularly reliable and with enduring value, every Leica lens is manufactured from only the highest quality materials and is assembled with meticulous precision, completely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and extremely thorough manufacturing processes guarantees consistently excellent quality.

The Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. is supplied with a high-quality, all-metal lens hood, which should be mounted at all times. The hood not only protects the lens effectively against reduction of contrast by extraneous light, but also against damage and the accumulation of dirt on the front lens element.

Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH specifications

Focal length • 21mm
Maximum aperture • F3.4
Minimum aperture • F16
Aperture settings • Click-stops with half-stop detents
Angle of view (diagonal,
horizontal, vertical)
• For 35mm format (24 x 36mm): 91°, 80°, 59°
• For Leica M8 models (18 x 27mm): 74°, 64°, 46° (approx 28mm equiv)
Optical design • 8 elements / 7 groups
• 2 aspherical surfaces
• Position of entrance pupil: 15.6 mm (to the apex of the first lens surface)
Minimum focus • 0.7m (2.3 ft)
Maximum magnification • 0.03x
Distance scales: • Combined metre/feet graduation
Filter thread • 46mm, non-rotating
Dimensions • 43mm length x 53mm diameter (1.7" x 2.1")
• 55mm length including hood (2.2")
Weight • 279g (9.8 oz)
Lens hood • bayonet-type, supplied
Mount • Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6-bit bar-coding
Supplied accessories

• Metal lens hood
• Front cap for lens hood
• Rear cap
• Leather case
• Instruction manual

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Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH

Comments

Total comments: 8
DaveOl
By DaveOl (Feb 21, 2012)

What is that, an aperture ring? I'm glad that someone has enough sense to continue offering them!

DaveO

0 upvotes
Csaba Farkas
By Csaba Farkas (Jun 25, 2011)

Much needed! Wonder if it beats the Zeiss Biogon 21?

0 upvotes
Buchan-Grant
By Buchan-Grant (Jun 24, 2011)

yum yum yum!!!

0 upvotes
tuanhbui
By tuanhbui (Jun 22, 2011)

@JWest: the optional Leica Hood Plug is an extra £249. If you think that's steep, well, you haven't shot with a hood plug until you've shot with a Leica Hood Plug.

2 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Jun 22, 2011)

Quality control is not what it used to be - there appears to be a big hole in the corner of the hood.

7 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Jul 1, 2011)

The hole is not a quality control issue, its there on purpose, thats how Leica is trying to save us money. (Solid hood would cost $300)

1 upvote
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Jun 22, 2011)

Interesting development on the optical side. But for real, I think Leica should further develop the M mount to better homogenize the lens / Camera setup. The current 6 bit optical register is pretty primitive

0 upvotes
viztyger
By viztyger (Jun 22, 2011)

Please include metric equivalents in addition to the old British Imperial measurements - if you use them at all. Of course it's possible for the rest of the world to convert, but that's not really practical when you're scanning news items.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 8