Leica 21mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M Lens

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Distinguished by Unvarying Sharpness and Minimum Distortion

Leica 21mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M Aspherical Super Wide Angle Manual Focus Lens Leica 21mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M Aspherical Super Wide Angle distinguished by unvarying sharpness and a minimum amount of distortion over the complete imaging area even at wide-open aperture. This was accomplished by employing a lens element featuring an aspherical plane. The lens allows for highly dramatic effects such as monumental foregrounds, strongly retreating backgrounds and a sweeping horizon.

Focus and meter operations are accomplished by looking into the camera viewfinder, while the real framing is done with an attached accessory viewfinder which mounts to the camera hot-shoe.

Leica lens new updated "6-bit" coding


This Leica lens features the new updated "6-bit" coding, that allows the M digital camera to optically read this information and then identify the lens being mounted. Optionally the M camera can then apply a software based "last stage" vignetting adjustment (for images captured in RAW, the lens mounted is simply recorded, with no changes made). Read more. May 10, 2011 ✓


    Compact wide-angle lens with an aspherical lens surface for excellent optical performance

    Includes "6-bit code" which allows the digital M8 camera to identify which lens is being used, and also to store this information in image metadata

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Lens stylePrime lens
Max Format Size 35mm FF  
Lens focal length21 mm  
Stabilization type No  
Camera mount Leica M  
Angle of view 94 Degrees  
Aperture (lens diaphragm)
Largest aperture opening F2.8  
Smallest aperture opening F16.0  
Includes aperture ring Yes  
Total diaphragm blades 9  
Aperture annotations with clickstops (including half values), manual diaphragm  
Total Elements 9  
Number of Groups 7  
Coatings / special elements 1 aspherical element  
Minimum focus distance 0.70 m (27.56")  
Maximum magnification ratio 0.034 x  
Autofocus type No  
Full time manual focus Unknown  
Lens distance scale Yes  
Depth of field scale Yes  
Physical features
Overall weight300 g (0.66 lb)  
Lens diameter 58 mm (2.28")  
Overall length 46 mm (1.81")  
Construction materials metal barrel, metal mount  
class="label">Lens Colorblack anodized or silver chrome finish  
Filter thread size 55 mm  
Lens hood included Yes  
Lens hood code 12 592  
Tripod collar included No  
Notes silver chrome version weighs 415g


M Mount AdaptersLeica Four Thirds Adapter
The Leica M mount was introduced in 1954 at the same time as the Leica M3. It's been the mount of choice on every Leica M series thru the present day Leica M7 film camera and Leica M9 digital camera and Lenses.

The M Mount was also the mount used for Minolta's CLE rangefinder, on the Konica Hexar RF, on the later versions of the Voigtlander Bessa family and Lenses, the mount for the Rollei 35RF, also quite recently on the newest Zeiss Ikon Rangefinder and Lenses..

Benefits of Lens adapters is versatility, and saving money with the continued use of the preferred lenses you already own.

Drawbacks of lens adapters is the inconvenience, no electronic connection between the adapted lens and your camera body A couple of factors are necessary for a lens adapter to work properly. First, the camera body "lens registration" space or the expanse between the mount of the lens to the sensor or film surface. Two, the "throat size" of the mount or the mount diameter. An adapter flanked by the body of the camera and a lens from different brands, this registration distance of the adapted lens must be larger than the registration distance on the body; plus the lenses throat-size must be less than the throat size on the body mount. M lenses can be adapted to Canon EOS, Nikon, Micro Four Thirds, and Sony Nex Cameras.


Sparkling and sharp to the corners - and small too, November 11, 2006

By Mark W. Bohrer "Technology Writer & Documenta... (Saratoga, California)

I've used Leica M-cameras since the 1960s. Leica optics have always been excellent, but with a price. I was able to pick up this lens a few years ago, and it's the best lens with 21mm coverage I've ever owned. In most images, you won't notice the two stops of vignetting at f/2.8. Contrast and sharpness yield pictures you want to reach into and grab. Stopped down to f/4 and beyond, the vignetting goes away and excellent image quality extends to the corners.

The 21mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M ASPH outperforms Canon's EF 16-35mm f/2.8L at 21mm. I prefer the Elmarit for food and some architectural photography, but if you're used to seeing exactly what you'll get on film or pixels, this rangefinder lens isn't for you.

You'll need a separate 21mm finder to use the Elmarit on M-series Leicas or one of Voigtlander's M-mount Bessas. Beware Leica's plastic 21mm finder, 12 008. The mounting foot has a tendency to fall off, and it's hard to find an adhesive to reliably fix it.

Much better is Leica's metal Tri-Finder, 12 013. It works for 21mm, 24mm, and 28mm lenses on 35mm cameras. Its only downsides are its slight field curvature at 21mm, and its somewhat large size.


Leica 21mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M Aspherical Super Wide Angle Manual Focus Lens

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