When 21mm doesn't look super wide

Monday, 27 June 2022 10:09

Part of my dislike for super wide angle lenses is that it’s easy to incorporate too much. The Voigtländer Color-Skopar 21mm is probably not going to be used a lot, but it I think it has a well deserved palce in the bag. Sometimes it can provide a shot that doesn’t look like it was taken with a 21mm, and that is quite cool.

The main reason why I have an obnoxiously large tripod is to have access to high perspectives. I like the look from shooting from higher than normal viewpoints, and my tripod affords me that at up to an arms length above my head. The long exposure above was taken about thirty minutes before sunrise. It was dark, so it was easy to see the camera LCD and set up the composition. This beach sand has a particular marbled look that isn’t all too common around here. The dark red sand is high in iron and minerals such as garnets, which gives it the dark colours. The dunes in Swakopmund also have areas of this dark red sand. Absolutely beautiful colours. 

I’m considering getting some step up rings to take my ND 3.0 filter with some times. But part of me doesn’t really want to use the M11 on a tripod. I can just as easily use my Nikon gear. My smallest 10 stop ND 3.0 filter is 58mm, which in the Leica world is rather large. Most of my lenses use the small 39mm thread, and using a 39-58mm step up ring will look quite odd. But I suppose a step up ring is much much cheaper than a filter, especially if I’m likely to use it only occasionally. The M11 does have excellent long exposure capabilities. The two to four minute exposures are clean as a whistle, and the extended exposure times are easily accessible. On my D810 and D850, its 30sec max or Bulb mode. Thats annoying. 

Below is another 21mm shot from a very very low perspective. I was lucky to have this rain water puddle available, since it hardly ever rains here. I really like this perspective of this large chunk of carved out marble hillside reflected in the small pool of water. To me at least, it doesn’t look like a 21mm perspective.

I’m enjoying having such a compact 21mm lens around. While it’s not a wow lens like the Ultron 28/2 ASPH II, it's certainly very useful and good enough.  It is definitely very resistant to flare, so incorporating the sun in the frame is easy with usually little to no trace of flare. This is pretty useful and fun. But more on that at a later date when I have some decent images to show this.