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User Reviews

Leica Tri-Elmar-M 16-21mm ASPH lens

Ilse Jurrien
Photokina report
Friday 15th, September 2006
Posted by: Ilse Jurrien

Leica Camera AG, Solms is exhibiting the new Leica Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21 mm ASPH. at photokina in Cologne. The Leica Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21 mm ASPH is the first Leica super-wide-angle lens with a 16 millimetre focal length for the Leica ranging viewfinder system. In conjunction with the two fixed focal lengths of 18 and 21 mm, it combines a total of three extremely wide-angle perspectives and is thus very well suited for highly demanding work such as architectural photography or reportage. The use of two aspherical lenses permits a notably compact design of the lens and ensures high imaging capability over the entire focal length and focussing range.

Leica Tri-Elmar-M lens

Leica Tri-Elmar-M 18-21mm ASPH lens
The Leica Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21 mm ASPH. can be used both on Leica M analog camera models and also on the new digital Leica M8. When used on the Leica M8, the focal length extension factor of 1.33 moves the equivalent focal length by about a focal length step. The effect on the picture is like working with 21, 24 and 28 mm lenses. “With the Leica Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21 mm ASPH., the digital photographer now has at his disposal a lens for the extremes of the focal length range. In the past such lenses were restricted to the analog Leica M camera models. Since the lens is moreover especially compact and versatile, users can now fit just a single optical system and be equally well equipped for many different photographic situations “ says Rainer Bόltert, Product Manager for the M system at Leica Camera AG.

Leica Tri-Elmar-M lens - Wide-angle viewfinder M
Leica also offer a Leica universal wide-angle viewfinder M for focal lengths from 16 to 28 mm as an accessory to the new Leica Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21mm ASPH. This can be used on the analog cameras Leica M7 and Leica MP and also on the digital Leica M8 with focal length extension facility. The viewfinder permits an exact determination of the picture outline for the five Leica M focal lengths of 16, 18, 21, 24 and 28 mm. The parallax compensation ensures that the picture outline is correct at all focussing distances. The use of an aspherical lens permits compactness, and the correction of chromatic aberration in the lens achieves particularly high colour brilliance in the viewfinder. Furthermore the viewfinder is characterised by high resolution, and good immunity to stray light. The Leica universal wide-angle viewfinder M also features a spirit level for exact alignment of the camera. An eyepiece compensation lens of -3 to +3 dioptres is also available as an optional accessory.

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Leica 18-21 mm Tri-Elmar lens - Focussing
The Leica Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21 mm ASPH. comprises ten lenses (of which two are aspherical) in seven groups. These are divided into two vario groups, which move independently of each other when the focal length is adjusted. The lens operates by internal focussing, with the focussing actuator positioned within the first vario group. Normally, lenses tend to have slight imaging errors at close-up settings. The internal focussing of the Leica Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21 mm ASPH. counteracts this effect, acting like a floating element to compensate for these errors, so that the imaging performance is maintained at virtually the same high level throughout the entire focussing range. This has the additional benefit of enabling the close-up setting to be reduced to 0.5 metres. Even at full aperture the Leica Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21 mm ASPH. it delivers excellent imaging performance. Lenses with non-uniform dispersion are used for chromatic correction.

Leica Tri-Elmar-M lens - Specifications
• KB-equivalent focal length when used with the Leica M8
• 16mm setting : 21mm
• 18mm setting : 24mm
• 21mm setting : 28mm
• Number of lenses / groups : 10 / 7
• Aspherical surfaces : 2

Leica Tri-Elmar 16-21mm - Range settings
• Working range : 0.5m to ∞ - the range from 0.5-0.7m is divided into steps
• Scales : Combined metre / feet graduations Uniform grey engraving at under 0.7m

Subject field (at 7m) (24x 36mm KB):
• at 16mm : 915 x 1373mm, approx. 1:38
• at 18mm : 833 x 1250mm, approx. 1:35
• at 21mm : 725 x 1087mm, approx. 1:30

Subject field (at 7m) (18x 27mm - Leica M8):
• at 16mm : 688 x 1032mm, approx. 1:38
• at 18mm : 626 x 939mm, approx. 1:35
• at 21mm : 545 x 817mm, approx. 1:30

Leica Tri-Elmar 16-21mm - Angle of view
• 16mm setting : 107°, 97°, 74° (24x 36mm KB)
• 16mm setting : 90°, 80°, 59° (18x 27mm - Leica M8)
• 18mm setting : 100°, 90°, 67° (24x 36mm KB)
• 18mm setting : 84°, 74°, 53° (18x 27mm - Leica M8)
• 21mm setting : 92°, 81°, 60°, (24x 36mm KB)
• 21mm setting : 75°, 65°, 46° (18x 27mm - Leica M8)

Leica Tri-Elmar ASPH lens - Aperture
• Setting / method of operation : Stepped apertures, including half stop values
• Smallest value : 22
• Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6-bit barcode lens recognition for digital Leica M
• Filter mounting : Filter bracket for E67 filter (optional)
• External thread with straightness guide and stop for filter bracket or lens hood
• Universal wide-angle viewfinder M with bright-line frames
• Surface finish : Black anodised

Leica Tri-Elmar ASPH lens Dimensions and weight
• Length to bayonet seating : approx. 63 mm
• Largest diameter : approx. 55 mm
• Weight : approx. 350 g

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