Please can we have a nice 21mm lens Mr Canon?


With the growth in full frame chip cameras, the poor performance of Canon’s wide angle lenses is becoming more and more of an issue.

Whilst Canon has recently launched an improved 16-35, (Its predecessor was awfull on the 1ds mk2……) this is still a big heavy lens which actually goes beyond what most photographers need, which is probably no more than 20mm.

Now there is a solution, but its not ideal, and that is to obtain a very good 21 mm from Carl Zeiss or Leica, and use it on the camera with a adaptor. ( In fact this is such a popular option that you would be hard pressed to find a good Zeiss 21mm for less than £2500 nowadays…… whilst the Leica lens that I use was nearly £1000)

Leica 21mm…….problem.

The above picture was shot on the Leica R 3Cam Leitz Wetzlar 21mm F4 Super Angulon with an adaptor for Canon. Note the excellent corner sharpness.

The Leitz is a great lens, but has real drawbacks in terms of ease of use. In particular its very difficult to focus the lens, which has to be done manually…

To help I have installed a Beattie Intenscreen, with a split finder and a grid, (£100 from Morco in Mansfield) but you still have to manually open the lens to focus, and then stop down to make the exposure.

What we really need is a Canon L series 21mm F2 or 2.8 lens, with VERY good optics.

The fixed lens has a big advantage in terms of size and weight, being only a fraction of the size of a 16-35 zoom. With the move in the past few years to big cameras with big lenses, anything that can be done to get things lighter and smaller is a very good thing.

So, if I had one wish, it wouldn’t be for more pixels, or a faster motor drive, it would be for a really good 20 or 21 mm L series lens.

NB; I note that Sony is about to launch a FF 22mega pixel camera, with their deal with Zeiss to provide optics for their digital cameras I would be surprised if they have the same optical problem……. and its not the camera that counts, but the pictures!