Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/06/05

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Subject: Re: [Leica] 21mm Super AngulonR
From: "Patrick G. Sobalvarro" <>
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 10:17:14 -0700

Bud Cook wrote:
> I seldom see any mention of the 21 Super AngulonR.  Is it overshadowed
> by the 19 Elmarit? Anyone have experience with the 21 f4?

From what I've heard, the two older versions of the 19/2.8 Elmarit-R
were slightly weaker than the 21/4 Super-Angulon-R, but the latest
19/2.8 Elmarit-R is better than the Super-Angulon-R (and Leica seem to
have understood this, as they discontinued the 21/4 just recently, when
the newest 19/2.8 came out).  I have a Super-Angulon-R, and, while I
enjoy it quite a bit, I find that edge sharpness improves noticeably
when I stop it down to f/8 or so.  Also, you know how wide angle lenses
allow you to do these dramatic shots of something close to the camera
and an expansive background?  If you focus on something that is about a
foot or two from the camera with your Super-Angulon-R open to f/4, I
daresay you will be a little disappointed by the lack of sharpness when
you enlarge the negative or project the slide.  Once again, stopping
down to f/8 or f/11 helps a lot in this case.

So, it's a fine lens, but shows its weaknesses wide open.  The 21/3.4
was rumored to be better, but because it was not a retrofocus design it
could only be used on a Leicaflex Standard with the mirror locked up.

- -Patrick