Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f/4.0 Review – A Pancake Leica Lens Review

The Voigtlander 21mm Color Skopar., this is the second version, its an M mount and uses the range finder coupling on all Leica M mount and Bessa.

Voigtlander 21 Ep. 09.jpg

This lens is very small, you can call it a pancake lens, it has a nice focusing knob that lets you estimate distance and has markings which help you with zone focusing.

I use this lens on film and digital Leicas, most rangefinders do not have 21mm lines in the window so the lines show up as 28mm on most cameras. You can focus the lens like any other M lens but is recommended to mount a 21mm viewfinder or use the electronic viewfinder to compose on digital. I often don’t use the additional finders and just guess the composition, I often get a little wider than I imagine which is great and works for me.

The lens has a removable lens hood, this allows you to mount ND filters, polarizers or graduaded colors. The lens cap is great but often hard to remove, so I just added some gaffers tape for a better grip.

Returning to focusing, this lens will focus as close as half a meter, which is great for capturing foreground objects.

There is some vigneting that can be fixed quickly with your editing suite.

chromatic abeeration.jpgOn a Digital camera, there is some magenta color shifting on the corners, same thing can be fixed with your editing suite, very easily… you can create a Preset to fix corners and barrel distortion, you simply import the photo and apply a preset.

 

Magenta01.jpg
Voigtlander 21mm Color Skopar – Corner Problem on Digital

 

 

Magenta02.jpg
Voigtlander 21mm Color Skopar – Corner Fixed

Lets look at more samples, here you can see that when the lens is focused at infinity there is more purple on the edges  always shoot in RAW so I know how much I can fix in post. If shooting with  Leica M, you can select one of the lens profiles in the camera and fix most of the problem in your JPEGs, but again I shoot RAW so I only set the 21mm
profile to embed this information in the RAW file.

 

Magenta04.jpg

You can adapt it to the Sony Alpha 7 cameras, I’ve shot photos and video with this lens on those and performs very well but you need to apply some corrections. Here is a shot on the Sony a7 series camera.

Sony01.jpg

To talk about quality, it feels solid, focuses smoothly and has a nice aperture ring just like any Leica lens. Sharpness, is very sharp but for extreme sharpness you’ll want
a Leica lens instead. Don’t go buy that Leica lens just yet, look at the definition of these photographs. Plenty of detail, sharpness, great color, doesn’t flare easily and
ghosting doesn’t seem to exist, I have not seen chromatic aberration from this lens.

The choices for 21mm lenses on a Leica M are limited if you want to use the rangefinder coupling, so for the price I think this lens is great to have and compact to
bring it with you everywhere you go.

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Get your lens from Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2H94ZId

To see this Review on YouTube click herehttps://youtu.be/sOxAH6QmAnI

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