The ZM Super Wide Angle Artist 2.8/21 Biogon T*
This was the first ZM lens that I was eyeing when Zeiss was releasing its first badge of ranger finder lenses for Leica mount. While my first range finder lens was the HFT 40mm Sonnar that came with the Rollei 35RF, I had long been hoping to photograph with range finder super wide angle lens, believing that they should be superior in performance than the SLR counter parts, especially better corrected for distortion.
Resort World Sentosa S.E.A. Aquarium, Rollei 35RF Portra 400 10 Dec 2012
So when the 21 Biogon first arrived at the Singapore agent I quickly went down and bought a silver version of the lens. I am using it with the Voigtlander finder which I bought earlier on anticipating I will be getting this lens.
Melaka, Rollei 35RF Portra 400, 15 Dec 2011
Although the 21/2.8 ZM Biogon is better corrected in distortion than the C/Y or QBM 18/4 Distagons, it is still not easy to compose with human face at the corners of the photo. Nevertheless, it is much more confident to use in terms of distortion compared to the 18/4 SLR Distagon. Light falls off seems better than the 18/4 with aperture wide opens, but does not improve as much like the Distagon design when stops down.
I have tried a few times shooting at f2.8 and I am quite satisfied with its performance wide open. Now Zeiss offers 2 choices of 21mm, one at f2.8 and one at f4.5. I will stick to this f2.8 version but the 21/4.5 C Biogon is very attractive for its compact size and the near perfect distortion.
f2.8 1/60 Rollei 35RF UC100 9 Oct 2007 Rollei 35RF Portra 400 10 Dec 2012