21mm Color Skopar?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Jarvman, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

    Messages:
    733
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Cardiff, Uni
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Has anybody used this lens? I'm beginning to regret buying this 15mm Ultra Wide Heliar now. I reckon I'm not going to come across many situations in which I'll want to use it. It'd be nice to have some of your thoughts seeing as I haven't used either yet. My screw to m adaptor will be here tomorrow so I can try it out. I'm starting to think it'd be nicer to have a rangefinder coupled ultra-wide which takes the same filters as my 35mm and 50mm summicrons. Oops.
     
  2. mercedes_sl1970

    mercedes_sl1970 Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Jarvman

    I have the 21mm lens and am very happy with it. I haven't used it extensively but (like all the other V lenses) it is terriffic - very sharp and great contrast. For me, anything wider is just a bit too wide and would not get too much use (no doubt I will eat my words). It's very easy to focus, but almost unnecessary with its depth of field. Oh yes, that viewfinder! Just seems to gather in so much light.

    Good luck

    Andrew
     
  3. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

    Messages:
    728
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Wilmette,Ill
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I second what Andrew has to say about the 21mm. It is a very nice lens and a great value. However, since you haven't used the 15mm yet, I would urge you to hold off buying more lenses. The 15mm is a very fun lens and unlike anything else you can get for a Leica M. I would suggest you use it for a while, you might really like it. I have a 15 mounted on a Bessa L and I giggle every time I use it.

    Richard Wasserman
     
  4. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

    Messages:
    733
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Cardiff, Uni
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Richard, I'll see how it goes with the 15mm. I went and bought a M-Bayonet Adaptor off eBay for almost £40. Today I've seen a Bessa L going for just £60. I feel a bit sick considering I could've bought a whole new camera to use the 15mm with for just £20 more than an adaptor to use it on my R2A. What have your experiences been using the Ultra Wide Heliar and the Bessa L? Any examples of the photos you've taken with it?
     
  5. Karl K

    Karl K Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,612
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    Location:
    NJ
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The Bessa L and the 15mm are a perfect match. I used only this combination in Italy several years ago and shot about 30 rolls in 10 days. You learn to get close and shoot quickly, without having to focus. It's a liberating experience. I've also shot with the 21mm on the Bessa L, but not nearly enough to draw any conclusions. The 21 is not as impressive to me. If I want less of an angle, I can always crop the edges of the 15's image. It's sharp enough to make 16x20's using HP-5. I also used the 15mm shooting under the Brooklyn Bridge and around the World Trade Center in early 2001. The results were excellent. Don't sell the 15mm short...it's wonderful and versatile. I try to keep the aperture around 11 and play with the shutter speeds. I do, however, agree with you about ease of the use of filters on the 21.
     
  6. Sportera

    Sportera Member

    Messages:
    933
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have and use my 21mm a lot, all the wide stuff in my gallery was taken with this lens. Its a great focal length, and a great lens. I thought the 15mm would be too wide for practical use myself.
     
  7. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

    Messages:
    728
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Wilmette,Ill
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sorry, I don't have a scanner so I could show you some photos done with the 15mm Heliar. I like it on the Bessa L, the combination weighs almost nothing and it is very small. Of course, the Bessa does not feel or sound like a Leica, but it gets the job done and is a lot of fun to use. It's not going to last 3 lifetimes as a Leica would, but it was cheap. The 15 is very, very wide and does take some getting used to. I think it is most important to fill the foreground as things in the distance get small very quickly. Because it is so wide it is easy to get very close to people and get them in the photo without their knowing it. Also because of how wide it is objects at the sides of the pictures do get stretched. Some people like this, others hate it. I like it sometimes. I hope you'll give the 15 a good try.

    Richrd Wasserman
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

    Messages:
    3,247
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I own both the 15mm and the 21mm CV lenses. I purchased the 15mm first, and love its capabilities, but I do use the 21mm more. However, I will definitely keep both. Here are some shots with the 15mm that the 21mm simply could not have done. The first photo is the central horizontal strip from a full frame, so it works as a 100 degree panorama in the long dimension, and some of the falloff has been tweaked in software. The second and third shots were done in such cramped quarters that the 21mm could never have covered the subject.

    http://tinyurl.com/m5f2r
    http://tinyurl.com/lgzuz
    http://tinyurl.com/pufan

    Give the 15mm Heliar a workout and learn to use it effectively before you give up on it. But don't let that stop you from getting the 21mm if you want it and can afford it. Think of it as owning both a 50mm and a 35mm, or a 35mm and a 28mm.

    Lee
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Same here. They are far more different than a 6mm difference might lead people to believe. I've had both since they came out. At one point I had three 21mm lenses, Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5, Color-Skopar 21/4, Kobalux 21/2.8. The Zeiss offered no real advantages, so it went, and the Color-Skopar is so much more compact that it sees much more use than the Kobalux. Both are of similar quality by f/5.6; the Kobalux is fractionally better at f/4; and of course there's no content at f/2.8.

    I first used the 15/4.5 on a Bessa-L but decided not to keep a separate, dedicated body, principally on the grounds of bulk and weight. I prefer to carry two 'full service' bodies and switch lenses as needed. My two most-used lenses are 35/1.4 and 75/2, so they normally live on the cameras, while both the 15 and the 21 live in the camera bag for use as needed. They're both so small and light that I'm not worried about the extra weight and bulk.

    Cheers

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  10. photogdave

    photogdave Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Both lenses are very nice. I prefer the 21 for the wee bit of extra speed for low light, and the coupled focusing helps there too. I like the bright lines in the finder. Such a nice finder!
     
  11. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,375
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I've got the 21mm, and have used it extensively. I've always found a 28mm just not right, for some reason, so wanted something wider. As the 25mm is not rangefinder coupled, I went with the 21mm, and haven't regretted it. I used on Canon and Leica LTM cameras, and Leica M's. My only wish in this whole deal is that it seems that half the time when I take the 21mm (or other LTM lenses using adapters) off my M body, the lens unscrews and leaves the adapter behind. Maybe it's time for some light threadlock...
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I bought a 21mm with a Bessa-L quite a while ago, and it's a great fun little lens. I originally intended to buy just the lens (and finder) and use it on a FED, but since the whole package was only about $39 more I decided to get the Bessa-L too. Haven't regretted it a moment - and I've now bought a Bessa-T as a "supplement" to use with longer lenses.

    Much of the film I've shot with the 21mm has been Maco IR 820/400. With a Heiopan 695 filter and the film speed set to 200, the exposure has been spot on all the time just using the built-in meter of the Bessa-L. A perfect combination :smile:
     
  13. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

    Messages:
    733
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Cardiff, Uni
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It'd be beautiful if I could afford a 21mm Elmarit along with an M7 and an M8. However, I don't take near enogh photos to justify it. One day though! I'm definately going to buy a 21mmm Color Skopar in the near future, good ol Cosina and their modest prices.
     
  14. alan c. davis

    alan c. davis Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I've had the cv 21 lens for about 2 years. Only used it sparingly for the first 12 months. At xmas I went to New Zealand for a hiking holiday and on the last couple of days found myself at Mt. Cook in absolutely perfect weather. On a morning walk out to Hooker lake I bought my Hexar rf camera to my eye and found a complete blur . The eyepiece finder had fallen off and thus the only lens I could use for the next 2 days was the 21 because of the supplementary finder. It turned out to be an awesome little lens and produced some amazing photos. It is prone to flare so I recommend you purchase the cv lens hood and if you use filters buy good quality ones.
     
  15. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

    Messages:
    733
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Cardiff, Uni
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  16. Mark Pope

    Mark Pope Member

    Messages:
    162
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Swindon, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well done! I don't think you'll regret the purchase. It's worth getting the accessory hood for it.
     
  17. Daniel Unkefer

    Daniel Unkefer Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi All,

    I went for the 12mm f5.6 instead of the 15mm. I also have the 21mm, and use that (I'm trying to use it -more-) on L and R bodies.

    Both are great lenses.
     
  18. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

    Messages:
    733
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Location:
    Cardiff, Uni
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I love this lens
     
  19. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

    Messages:
    1,336
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I use the C.V. 4,5/15mm on my Leica M7. Nice lens especially because Leica doesn't have it. I use it also for I.R. landscape with a 72mm filteradapter and RG715 Heliopan 72mm filter. The Rollei 820/400 film does the work perfectly.
     
  20. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Louisiana, U
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't use the focal length much and couldn't justify buying the Leica 21mm, even used. It's turned out to be a sharp and handy lens. I like it because it's tiny and takes the regular 39mm filters of all my other Leica lenses. Lens with finder fitted in the Voigtlander case take up less room in a bag than most SLR normal lenses. The lens hood that comes with it is pretty useless but the optional rectangular hood works well. Although it's rangefinder coupled, the DOF is so great I seldom do anything but zone focus.
     
  21. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have the CV 21/4 in Leica Screw Mount and I love it. I use it with an M adapter on several of my M mount cameras.

    The new P version of this lens is optically the same, but has a built-in Leica M bayonet mount.

    The 21/4 Color Skopar screw thread mount lens is selling new in the USA for $329.

    The M mount 21/4P Color Skopar lens is selling new in the USA for $419.
     
  22. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I have both the 15mm and the 21mm (along with most of the Voigtlander lenses). If you need 15mm, then 21mm will not do. It all depends on the subject matter you want to shoot. Sometimes (often, for me) you just can't back up far enough from your subjects to "get it all in" with a 21. The 21mm is an easier lens to use for general purpose work, as there is less "ultra-wide" look to it.
     
  23. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    After re-reading my post above, I think I should also say that coming from a commercial photography background, when I decide on a project to shoot for my personal work, I treat it like a commercial shoot, and capture images from all the objects I set out to photograph. Many times one can not back up far enough to get it all in with a 21mm, or even if one can back up far enough, there are pesky trees or other objects in the way. Having a lot of lens choices enables one to "get" the image, regardless of the shooting conditions.
     
  24. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    That's my reason for having both 15 and 21mm CV lenses for 35mm, as well as having just about everything from 65mm to 640mm for large format. Even if I shoot mostly nature, the landscape around here has much in common with archiecture: It's mostly vertical, and narrow.