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Wide Angle options



Guys, Ladies, I need your advice once again.

Currently the widest lens I own is the 35mm Distagon 2.8 for my SLR system. About a month ago, I went and purchased a G2 with a 45mm and just got a 90mm. I haven't had a chance to really play with it, but I am taking my G system exclusively on a trip to Arizona, so I can finally really use it.

Anyways, I am thinking of getting a wide-angle lens for one system (G or SLR). I am not as familiar with wide angle lens as I am with my standards and telephotos (my 35, 50, 85, 80-200)

I am looking at getting a 28mm for the G2. What are your guys opinions of it? I want to shoot inside churches and do some wide-angle landscapes. Is the 21mm more appropriate? Would it be better to buy my wide angle for my SLR system? If so, any suggestions?


you will likely find the 28mm too close in focal length to the 35. They are both great lenses. but taking both on a trip, you may find, as I did, that one of them stays in your camera bag because of the slight focal length difference. A better pairing might be the 35 with the 21. Anyhow, that was my personal experience - I am in the market for the 21 because I really do like the 35 and have found the 28 to be somewhat superfluous as a second lens. Just my opinion...

>Another view on wide angles with G2: I keep the 28mm on the camera while travelling and rarely, if ever, use the 45mm. In that rare instance where the 28mm is not wide enough, I use the 21mm. I suppose a combo of the 35mm with the 21mm might even be a better combo. If I were buying a new G2, I would buy only the 35mm and the 21mm. But the combo of the 28mm and 21mm is good in just as many situations as would the 35 and 21. I travel every year at least once to Europe and you can never have enough wide angle capability in old European cities and medieval tourist attractions. But for snapshooting grandchildren, the 35mm would be better than the 28mm.

The wide angles are IMHO the compelling reason to own a G--they're all very good, and are SO much more compact than their SLR equivalents.

The 21 is my favorite of them all, and would match your stated needs very well. For considerably less money, the 28 is excellent as well, and has the benefit of taking the same filters as your present lenses.

Although the 28mm is outstanding, I have produced more stunning pictures with the ultrawide 21mm. As mentioned, the latter offers a wider gap from the 35mm.
If you were taking both your SLR and G-systems with you, I would recommend the 21mm as it would give you a distinctly different focal length than you currently have. But you mention that you're planning to take only the G2, so that alters my recommendation. Go for the 28mm; the separation between 21mm and 45mm is pretty huge. The 21mm is a worthwhile lens to own, but the 28mm is likely to get more use.

Regarding whether or not to purchase a wide angle for the SLR system or the G2, it really depends on which system you use the most. As much as I like the G1 and G2, they're niche tools for me. Because of that, I would first get a wide angle lens for the SLR, most likely a 21mm or a 25mm. The latter is slightly easier to handle and less of a jump from 35mm.
if you have the 45 & 90 then the 28 is a great choice for a wide angle. It is a nice change in angle from the 45. As others have said it takes the same filters and it is also way less expensive than a 21 and takes up a lot less space. Personally i'd try a 28 and if you feel the need for a wider angle you can always sell the 28 to help pay for a 21. I have the 28-45-90 combo and love it.
Just a couple of comments on the 21mm vis a vis cost. One can purchase a good used G2 body and a good used 21mm lens for far less than the price of either a good used Leica M6 body or good used Leica 21mm lens. I recently started using my G2 instead of buying a 21 mm lens for my Leica. I strongly doubt if there is any detectable difference between photos taken with the Zeiss lens vs. the Leitz lens. In fact, I am thinking of selling my M6 because the lenses are so expensive. I may sell the body, put half the proceeds into a Bessa which will take my 50mm Summicron lens. After all, the picture quality is solely dependent on the lens and the nut behind the body, not the body itself. I think the only way one could beat the combo of the G2 with 21mm lens would be with an inexpensive Nikon body (N65 or 75) coupled with a short zoom from Tamron or Sigma. But I would think one COULD tell the difference between the zoom and the Zeiss 21mm lens.
>type your text here! Dale, I did. I sale my M6 for the good reasons you have. The 21 mm is a very nice lens. I love to take some photos inside, as shops for ex&le, with it. No distorsion at all and a very good quality. I have a G2 + G1 /21/35/90. I sometimes regret my M6 because of the fact of having always the necessity of touch the autofocus "button" but this little button commands the thing that I love with my G's: speed to focus ! All my Best Nicolas
>I think the ideal combination might just be 21, 35 and 90. Of course if that is what one preferred, a combo of the 21 and the zoom would be even better. As most soon learn when they finally get serious about photography, unless you are a nature/bird photographer, the needs for extreme wide angle outnumber the need for telephoto about twenty to one. I recently went to Europe with a Nikon and a Hasselblad. With the Nikon I had a 24-70 and a 70-300. With the Hasselblad only a 50 wide angle. I shot eighteen rolls of film. I think I took a grand total of five pictures with the long zoom (out of 400).