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21mm Super Angulon
Old 03-10-2009   #1
TJV
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21mm Super Angulon

What's a 21mm Super Angulon worth these days? I see just about all of the ones on ebay are selling by Photo Arsenal and we all know they inflate prices.

Of the two versions, f4 and f3.4, what are the prices at various conditions?

I'm still into the idea of the ZM 21mm C Biogon but the Super Angulon seems such a well regarded lens.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-10-2009   #2
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About prices, a very nice looking copy (with original hood !) of the 21/3.4 just was just recently here in the classifieds and sold for about $850.

The 21/4.0 is the older (first) version and was made in both, screw-mount and m-mount. Not that great optical performer but sought-after by the collectors. The following design, 21/3.4 was only made in m-mount but for a quite long time. It is nearly free from distortion (symmetric design) and has a fantastic center-sharpness. Strong vignetting in the corners is the price to pay for this design and lacking TTL metering (the rear element blocks the meter cell).

I like mine !
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Old 03-10-2009   #3
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$850!!!

Arsenal are selling them for about $1300!!! I'm not sure what the majority of people here think, but, for getting the metering issue, which is the better lens between the ZM C Biogon and the Super Angulon f3.4? I'm guessing if I have a kit with only modern lenses the Zeiss would be a better contrast and signature fit?

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Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
About prices, a very nice looking copy (with original hood !) of the 21/3.4 just was just recently here in the classifieds and sold for about $850.

The 21/4.0 is the older (first) version and was made in both, screw-mount and m-mount. Not that great optical performer but sought-after by the collectors. The following design, 21/3.4 was only made in m-mount but for a quite long time. It is nearly free from distortion (symmetric design) and has a fantastic center-sharpness. Strong vignetting in the corners is the price to pay for this design and lacking TTL metering (the rear element blocks the meter cell).

I like mine !
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Old 03-10-2009   #4
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If you have a kit already (!) only consisting of modern Zeiss lenses, the choice is obvious: Go for the 21mm C-Biogon ! Cheaper (?), allows TTL metering, higher corner sharpness, and less (or no ?) vignetting.

In case, the 35mm Summilux pre-ASPH, 40mm Summicron-C, 50mm Noctilux, 75mm Summilux-M are lenses you like, the SA would be my recommendation.
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Old 03-10-2009   #5
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At the moment I have only Leica lenses, being all new series 50mm Summicrion, 35mm Lux ASPH and 28mm Elmarit ASPH. I've never shot ZM lenses but they sure feel great and are lighter on the wallet!
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Old 03-10-2009   #6
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^^ Your setup says "Zeiss C-Biogon 21mm"

The Super-Angulon-M shows very very good center-sharpness and not so well defined corner sharpness but that is different to the characteristics of the lenses you already have.
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Old 03-10-2009   #7
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The 21 S-A is one of the classic Leica M lenses. It is also one where the hype is to some extent justified - it is still a very good lens. So, there is a bit of fall-off at the edges, but that means you never have to edgeburn a print! With a camera like a M2, some Tri X and a couple of red/orange filters - it can do great stuff.
However, if you are looking for images with a modern look, it is not the choice - and truth be told, shooting slides with the S-A can be a bit disconcerting with the dark corners. Here a lens like the C Biogon 21f4.5 is a better choice - and it will work with a metered camera too. Dont discount the compact VC 21f4 either. It falls midway between the S-A and the C Biogon 21f4.5. A bit of edge fall off (though much less than the S-A) but very straight rendition and truly sharp. Some people find it a bit contrasty with color, but in bl/w I haven't had a problem with that. It is also 1/2 price from the 21/4.5 and tiny. It can rattle around in your pocket until you need it.
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Old 03-10-2009   #8
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TOM A. OR GABOR
Question:
Is the 21 SA 4. version
as sharp in the Center as the 3.4
AND is the Vignetting MORE OR LESS on the 4
because I am going to purchase the 21 SA
and DECIDING Which one...


I Want lots of Atmosphere,Center sharpness Major Falloff & Lots of Vignetting PLEASE....
Thanx in advance....Best-H
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Old 03-10-2009   #9
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Helen, if you can find a clean 21f3.4 go for that one. The center sharpness of that version is among the best ever! When Leica made the first ones of these back in the 60's - they were sent to the microscope division for testing and came back with the note "There is something wrong with our equipment - it shows center sharpness approaching the theoretical limits" Supposedly Leica's note back was " Good, that was we were aiming for!".
The 21f4.0 is nowhere near as good. If you are looking for a screw-mount 21, you are better off with the Voigtlander 21f4.0 instead (and it also uses 39mm filters).
The 21f3.4 can be tricky initially, the edge fall off, the somewhat cramped fit of the aperture ring against the hood and the odd 48mm filter size - but once you see the negatives - all that is forgotten!
Look for one with a # above 2 500 000. Schneidar/Leica changed the coating slightly and it did improve the quality somewhat. Not a major step, but just enough that it is visible in contrast.
Of course, the true master with this lens was Jean Loup Sieff - goggle his site and drool!
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Old 03-10-2009   #10
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For some reason a lot of companies settled on the 49mm filter size, yet Nikon, Leitz, and Canon all produced lots of lenses taking 48mm filters. Helen, you also might check out the 19mm f/3.5 Canon in LTM if you run across one. It has a signature very similar to the f/3.4 Super Angulon.
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Old 03-10-2009   #11
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To show the light falloff in the corners when shooting slide film, here two examples (I have shown them here before some time ago). First one on Velvia 100F (and scanned by a pro lab with a Fuji Frontier SP-1500)


Second on Fuji Trebi100C and scanned on my Epson GT-X900 (V700)


Both shots were not corrected for vignetting or contrast. When enhancing contrast, vignetting will be stronger visible.
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Old 03-10-2009   #12
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When I sold my Leica kit the 3.4 was the largest regret. I don't know the serial # and whether I had the later coating, but Kodachromes were beyond special and TX in HC-110 was magic. I didn't mind the fall-off on chromes, but with monochromes it is perfect. Tom is spot on with this ... not that he needs any confirmation from me.
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Old 03-10-2009   #13
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Hi,

I just picked up my SA 21/3,4 today and will soup the results later tonight. It has been a cold, clear and sunny day in the Lowermainland...so i am hoping to see some of the SA's characteristics.

Thanks to both Gabor and Tom A for their postings on the SA.
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Old 03-10-2009   #14
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To me the 21mm Super Angulon is a special kind of lens. Mine has produced some of my best images. The only magazine cover I ever sold was a 21 SA shot. Another time while traveling in India was able to get access to the crypt beneath the Taj Mahal. Just time for one frame wide open on Kodachrome 64. Was loaded for bright sunlight and never expected to get a chance for such a shot.

Occasionally while shooting contra jour, I've had an unusual type of flare show up. It looks like bars of a rainbow and in some cases can be quite attractive. Have tried to reproduce the effect but it happens very rarely.

I don't have much luck posting images on RFF so will just provide links in case anyone has an interest. All were shot with 21mm Super Angulon (Later f/3.4 version) on an M4.

Beneath the Taj..
http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/d...0/TajCrypt.jpg

Hanging out with the hippies in circa 1970 Kathmandu..
http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/data/508/Secret1.jpg
http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/d...hillumCirc.jpg

Street...
http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/d.../HopScotch.jpg
http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/d...thPots1970.jpg
http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/d.../WindowTwo.jpg

A weird flare shot.
http://gallery.photo.net/photo/3879692-lg.jpg

Wheeeeee!
http://gallery.photo.net/photo/4593329-lg.jpg
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...itiKetch_1.jpg
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...00/Groovin.jpg


I bought my 21 new in 1970 for the grand sum of $363 and think that included finder. What a deal! :-) It's a lens I'll never sell.

Glenn
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Old 03-10-2009   #15
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Glenn, I like this one a lot:




Also for me, my only photo ever having been printed (LFI 2/9, readers gallery) was taken with a Super-Angulon-M:

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Old 03-10-2009   #16
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I love the look of all of your examples but I worry, like you mentioned above, that the SA 3.4 might not fit in with the rest of my kit. I once tried a beautiful V2 50mm Summilux and was quite shocked at it's rendering compared to my modern lenses. Another alternative to a 21mm, forgetting for a moment the price, is Leica's new 24mm f3.8.
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Old 03-10-2009   #17
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Well, you have some alternatives regarding "modern"... The 21mm Zeiss lenses and the Leica 21mm Elmarit ASPH. I still think that the 21mm C-Biogon fits your needs best, though.
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Old 03-10-2009   #18
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i tried the SA 21 and I have to say i liked it a lot. I know I will regret selling it (and I am...) but I need a lens that would work with both classic leica bodies, as well as the ones with meter. So I went with biogon-C 21/4.5. I have yet to try it out.
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Old 03-10-2009   #19
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The Sieffs are cool. The photos that really make me covet this lens are Glenn's and Gabor's though.

Last edited by Melvin : 03-10-2009 at 22:58. Reason: punct correct
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Old 03-11-2009   #20
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Glenn
ADORE your 'smoking' Hippie Shot and the two people standing at the arch....Charming

Gabor
Beautiful Landscapes .....love the subtlety of the rose/pink hue
and the Cold Austereness in the B&W

I'm Drunk on the SA.....
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Old 03-11-2009   #21
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I used to own one (SA f/3.4) and foolishly sold it - BIG REGRET - 'hope to buy one again one day...
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Last edited by sleepyhead : 04-22-2009 at 06:04.
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Old 03-11-2009   #22
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Yaron, beautiful photo !

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead View Post
I used to own one (SA f/3.4) and foolishly sold it - BIG REGRET - 'hope to buy one again one day...

Here's one shot from mine:
I can understand that you regret having sold this lens ... I am repeating myself here but more and more come to the opinion that this is the lens most seller regret having sold ...
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Old 03-11-2009   #23
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threads like this are awful. The SA is already on my "dream list" of lenses. I know, in my head, that a modern Zeiss is more practical, and I'm basically a one-lens photographer (2/35 Biogon) anyway, but I just can't stop myself from wanting one of these SA's, no matter how irrational it may be. Almost every photo I see taken with it just has that "something" to it -- lovely photos in this thread, all of them!

Anyone have a f3.4 SA they wouldn't mind putting on "extended loan"?? (I am not picky as to color -- black, chrome, either will do just fine!) j/k
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Old 03-11-2009   #24
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I sold mine on for $1150 with caps and hood. That's $250 more than I paid for it new in 1980.

I do miss that lens though.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...php?photo=7909

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/phot...php?photo=7997

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Old 03-11-2009   #25
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That's it!!! I now need a 21f3.4 SA. I can only take so much GAS!
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