The Leica Tri-Elmar is Leica’s only wide angle three position zoom. Is it a zoom, well sort of… It is a lens with three distinct positions, and it only performs well at these specific focal length positions. We have a lens that covers 16mm, 18mm, and 21mm focal lengths. We are going to look at its strengths and weaknesses…
It is arguably one of the best wide angle lenses in the world, easily holding its own today. A few other wide angle primes are better, but they are primes, they’re supposed to be better. If you want a small unobtrusive wide angle lens then this maybe your ticket.
For this test I used my Leica 24 megapixel M240. The M240 only records an approximate aperture value. There is no electronic link with M lenses to the camera. Yes, there is a 6bit coding on the lens, but that only tells the camera what lens is attached. No aperture information is passed. When you examine the files you may see an aperture value, again it is only an approximation. I did record that actual aperture values used in this test independently.
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Image samples from this super lens. Manufactured in the 1950’s these are still super – if you can find one in good condition.
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The Sony 35mm F/1.8 (50mm equivalent) lens is a small, light and fast standard lens for the NEX system. The lens has a fast F/1.8 aperture. It ships with caps, a petal shaped hood, box and a one year warranty in most countries. It is only compatible with Sony NEX camera’s. The Lens specifications are as follows:
Lens Type : E-mount 35mm F1.8
Lens Mount Type : Sony E-mount
Aperture Range : f/1.8 – f/22
Focal Length (35mm equivalent) : 52.5 mm
Filter Diameter : 49 mm Lens
Construction : 6-8
Minimum Focus Distance : 11.88″ (0.3 m)
Angle of View : 44° (APS-C)
Aperture Blade : 7 blades Circular Aperture
Dimensions Diameter x Length : 2 1/2″ x 2 13/16″ or 63 x 45mm
Exterior Finish : Black Steady Shot Mode: Active Lens-based Image Stabilization (OSS)
This is a superb lens! You can expect extraordinary sharpness right from wide open. Smooth Bokeh and no, and I say again, no chromatic aberrations. The lens distinguishes itself by having excellent separation of the subject from the background, it’s very 3D. Colour contrast is high and images need very little processing when coming from dng files. The lens has a very special look, especially at mid-distances. Close up performance is also very good, due to the floating element. Close up images still retain interesting bokeh as well. Check out the parrot shot below. Vignetting also serves to enhance image quality ( I know that some will disagree), but I really like this lens and its output.