... blog post:
In the world of 35mm rangefinder photography the 21mm focal length lens is the traditional 'go to' super wide angle lens, but personally I find it insufficiently dramatic for some of my work and am often drawn to something wider.
The other area where a wider super wide comes into its own is in architectural photography where it can be quite a boon, especially the one I am going to discuss below which has zero visible distortion.
In the world of 35mm rangefinder photography the 21mm focal length lens is the traditional 'go to' super wide angle lens, but personally I find it insufficiently dramatic for my style work and am often drawn to something wider.
Enter the Carl Zeiss Distagon 18mm f/4 ZM along with its Zeiss 18mm Viewfinder. This is a typical Zeiss lens, that is to say optically excellent with no visible distortion and sharp even wide open and out to the edges of the frame.
Zeiss haven't made this lens for some time so you will have to scour the used market to find one and a viewfinder to go with it, but it is well worth the effort.
Angle of view diagonally for a 21mm is 90º and for the 18mm is 100.5º which may not sound a lot but with super wides this make a b-i-g difference to perspective between the two focal lengths.
One of the most dramatic ways too use a super wide is to turn it from the horizontal into the vertical plane. The effects in landscape photography can increase the drama of a scenic phenomenally, as seen below.
Thus if you are in the market for a super wide M prime, before jumping for the traditional 21mm Super-Elmar-M or Biogon ZM or a Nokton VM even, give consideration to an 18mm instead, they're just that bit super widey dramatic