A world wide in Leica, Super-Elmar-M 1: 3.8 / 18mm ASPH

in review0814 •  last month 

A world wide in Leica, Super-Elmar-M 1: 3.8 / 18mm ASPH

We are pleased to introduce the Leica M mount ultra-wide lens, Super-Elmar-M 18mm f / 3.8 ASPH. Let me start by mentioning the meaning that Leica has given to this lens.

Super-Elmar-M 18mm f / 3.8 ASPH was released in 2009. With the exception of WATE (Wide-angle Tri-Elmar) with 16-18-21mm 3-stage zoom, it is the first and only 18mm wide-angle single-focal lens in M ​​Mount history for over 60 years. Unlike the 21mm angle of view where numerous lenses such as Super-Angulon have a long history and can solve various myths and novels, there is no story or history to mention M-mount 18mm. This is why I think it would be a fresh review with few kernels.

<M10 / 18mm SEM>

History
It is the beauty of the Leica lens review to talk about the historical significance of a cup of coffee for a long time, and it is very awkward to write a boring and plain review. In a way, I've chosen a product with a very low difficulty level that I can use in one step without much preparation, leaving later lens reviews for longer stories, feed collection and analysis. If you really want to add meaning to the history of this lens, which is not worth mentioning, it is that on February 9, 2009, Leica announced its first and only 18mm short throw lens.

<M9 / 18mm SEM>

Basic specs

<Picture: Excerpt from Leica Korea homepage>

First, let's look at the basic specifications.

The correct field of view is 18.3mm and the shortest focal length is 70cm, which works with the rangefinder on M-mount cameras. However, since the depth of the ultra wide-angle lens is so deep, even if you only tighten the aperture to about 8, the short-armed arm, which is 50 cm in length, comes out clearly when the photographer takes a selfie with the camera in his hand. I want to show the evidence, but I omit the example for the reader's mental and gastrointestinal health.

<M typ240 / 18mm SEM>

The lens is short at 49mm (only 58mm with a special hood) and weighs 295g, making it a compact and lightweight travel lens. Personally, the criterion for its usefulness as a travel lens is whether the lens fits in one hand when held by a female full-size hand and the weight is less than 400g. In that sense, lenses such as WATE and Summilux-M 21mm F / 1.4 ASPH are classified as “I” by the lens for unsuitable walking, despite their excellent optical performance.

<M9 / 18mm SEM>

The lens has nine aperture blades for a very beautiful 18-point divergence. Although unrelated to this review, for your reference, the F / 4 version of the 21mm Super-Angulon also has 18 apertures with 9 aperture blades, while the F / 3.4 version of Super-Angulon has 4 aperture blades, resulting in X I don't have a good young look.

<M9 / 18mm SEM>

Aperture values ​​start at 3.8, but I don't think it's a significant difference between 4.0 and the exposure aspect or picture quality. The optics design consists of eight elements in seven groups with one aspherical lens on both sides aspheric. I tried to find out which of the existing lenses had a similar design, which I omit because of my laziness.

<M typ240 / 18mm SEM>

Filter usability
The most unsatisfactory aspect of the design is that it is very inconvenient to use the filter. Some people wondered if there was a filter solution for these ultra wide-angle lenses. By the way, to be honest, the lens beating filter released in the 21st century is not so cumbersome. To use a filter, you can insert a filter adapter. The thread size of the filter holder is 77mm. Personally, I think it's better to use the hood without the filter holder, unless you use a lot of CPL or GND filters for landscape shots. If a small, pretty lens is fitted with a filter holder, the lens will look ugly like an umbrella. If the Leica lens becomes ugly, it's not worth it.

<M9 / 18mm SEM>

Brightline viewfinder
With this lens, three accessories came with it. One is the filter holder just mentioned, the second is an essential UV / IR filter for the M8, the only cropbody in the M mount, and the final external optical viewfinder. The UV / IR filter is a filter only required for the M8 and is designed to be threaded between the lens and hood without a filter holder. Do not use it on any other digital body than the M8, as the color may vary. I've seen M240 users use this because it's anxious to have a filter on an expensive lens.

<M typ240 / 18mm SEM>

Film bodies and digital bodies that do not provide live view should use an external viewfinder. The included optical viewfinder is fascinatingly clear and addictive.

<M typ240 / 18mm SEM>

<M9 / 18mm SEM>

Unfortunately, there are disadvantages. Leica's new viewfinders have a brightline frameline that breaks in the middle without drawing a perfect rectangle. The 18mm viewfinder also features a 24mm frameline, a cropped body angle for M8 users, so using a full-frame body seems to hinder your focus on screen composition. I use more film bodies these days, and I prefer the external viewfinder to live view when I use it for the digital body that becomes the live view, but I often miss it because of the bright line of the dedicated viewfinder. When I use this lens, I usually take snap shots while walking on the street using hyperfocal points. The ultra-wide-angle lens is so deep that I like to shoot with the aperture tightly and capture the moment without worrying about focusing.When using Live View, the shutter curtain closes and opens again, so you can't shoot immediately. So I hate digital bijou flex and don't use live view very well. That's why the viewfinder's frameline can't be felt anymore.

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Image Characteristics
In fact, the most important thing about these ultra wide-angle lenses is the result. In one word, the optical characteristics of the 18mm Super-Elmar--M are “finished”.

<M10 / 18mm SEM>

<M typ240 / 18mm SEM>

It has excellent resolution in the center and periphery of images from maximum opening, extremely low distortion, and good flare suppression. If you try to force it, the peripheral resolution is slightly lower than the WATE at the maximum opening. Once again, there's no distortion at all, and there's a little barrel distortion with a magnifying glass, but it's hard for the average user to notice. Even minor barrel distortions can be completely eliminated with lens profile and lightroom adjustments. Is there a lens that can't be completely removed? Yes, many. For example, the 21mm Super-Elmar-M, the brother lens of this lens, has a better distortion value than 18mm, but the distortion is convex only in the center and the periphery is flat, so it is completely eliminated by digital software such as Lightroom. It is close to impossible.

<M typ240 / 18mm SEM>

<M typ240 / 18mm SEM>

I tend to clean up lenses that use less frequently. However, even if you don't use this lens as usual, you will find yourself in your bag or coat pocket when you travel. As a result, it has become the longest lens I have ever owned. Small, light, pretty, very good image quality lens… .. Other than that, it may be the lens near the lowest difficulty of explanation. But I've been buried my longest time in any of the photographic equipment I have, and I thought I should leave a review at least once because it's a grateful guy who traveled the longest distances together. It is a recommended lens for those who are close to you, and if you do not review the image after shooting or if you use it on a film body, the camera strap may be accidentally taken on the screen.

<M9 / 18mm SEM>

<M typ240 / 18mm SEM>

You will not be able to upload more pictures during the Cliean period.

I have posted much more examples and explanations taken with various digital and film cameras with this lens on my blog.

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