Leica Super Elmar 21mm vs Elmar 24mm

Quite recently, I got a chance to borrow Leica Super Elmar 21mm lens from my dear friend. Since my wide angle was only 28mm, this was mind blowing experience. I always thought wider than 28mm, I would notice distortion too much. To my surprise, Super-Elmar 21mm produces results with no noticeable distortion.

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Leica M10, Super-Elmar-M 1:3.4/21 ASPH

As you can see in the above photo taken with Super-Elmar, you don’t see any line distorted from the center toward the edge. I choose a wide angle lens for interior photos, but if it has too much distortion I would rather not use it. So I gave it to try with more complex space.

Leica M10, Super-Elmar-M 1:3.4/21 ASPH
Leica M10, Super-Elmar-M 1:3.4/21 ASPH

With more complex space, I noticed a little distortion around edges but considering this lens is 21mm, this is amazing! I would definitely choose 21mm but I was also curious about image results from 24mm Elmar lens.

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Elmar-M 24mm lens

Long story short, I just went ahead and bought 24mm Leica Elmar lens. It’s a little less price than Super-Elmar, so pricing standpoint not much difference. But a few millimeter difference can make a huge difference in terms of line distortion around the image edges. So 24mm seems like a safer bet.

Leica M10, Elmar-M 1:3.8/24mm ASPH
Leica M10, Elmar-M 1:3.8/24mm ASPH

Super Elmar lens has a bit brighter aperture 3.4 vs 3.8 with Elmar but this difference is very minor. So I ignored that factor. About image quality, I don’t feel the difference. According to technical specs, Leica 21mm Super Elmar lens has better image quality even from a wide aperture, but I couldn’t feel it. In other words, I am happy with Leica Elmar 24mm image quality.

About the lens build quality, both are very similar. Size standpoint, Elmar 24mm is a bit longer than 21mm Super Elmar but that’s also a very minor difference. So basically both are very similar.

Leica M10, Elmar-M 1:3.8/24mm ASPH
Leica M10, Elmar-M 1:3.8/24mm ASPH
Leica M10, Elmar-M 1:3.8/24mm ASPH
Leica M10, Elmar-M 1:3.8/24mm ASPH

Well, just like I imagined, I see less distortion than Super Elmar 21mm. In the worst case, I could still trade in and pay extra dollars to get Super Elmar 21mm but I love this 24mm Elmar. I am thrilled to take more interior space photos with it soon.

Leica Elmar-M 24mm Lens
Leica Elmar-M 24mm Lens