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The Leica Super-Elmar M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH.is a new, compact ultra-wideangle lens for the M system. The lens’ retrofocus-like construction comprises 8 elements including one element with two aspherical surfaces and four lens elements made of glass types with anomalous colour dispersion (partial dispersion). The aperture range goes from f/3.4 to f/16, and is set with a traditional aperture ring with click-stops at half-stop increments. The lens’ closest focusing distance is 0.7m. As with other recent M-mount lenses, 6-bit lens identification is provided for digital bodies. The suggested retail price of the lens is £2025.
Leica 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 21 mm 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 1:3,4/21mm ASPH.
With the LEICA SUPER-ELMAR 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH., Leica is extending the range of M lenses in the super wide angle range with a model that combines outstanding reproduction with a compact design.
It delivers uniformly excellent reproduction quality over the entire field of view, with only a very slight deterioration at the edges in the close-up range. This performance can only be improved slightly by stopping down, which means that you can take photographs with full stop with no concerns, unless your compositional ideas call for a greater extension of the depth of field that can only be achieved with smaller apertures.
The vignetting characteristic of every optical system is more pronounced on a super wide-angle lens than on normal lenses and those with long focal lengths. At full stop in 35mm format it is a maximum, i.e. in the corners of the image, of around 2,1 stops, around 1,2 stops on Leica M8 models wit h their slightly smaller format. Stopping down to f/5.6 reduces this light falloff at the edge of the image – to 1.6 and 1.0 stops respectively. Stopping down further does not result in any further reduction as essentially only the natural vignetting remains. The maximum distortion of the lens of around 1.5 % is hardly perceptible.
The retrofocus-like construction is made up of a total of eight lens elements, and the use of a lens element with two aspherical surfaces and four lens elements made of glass types with anomalous color dispersion (partial dispersion) make a crucial contribution towards restricting aberrations to an absolute minimum.
Summary: The LEICA SUPER-ELMAR-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH. combines optimum reproduction with compact dimensions, offering all M users a wide range of options in the spontaneous super wide-angle photography that is typical of the Leica M.