Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB
Handpicked deals...
$1299 $1124
SAVE $175

$2998 $2498
SAVE $500

$1199 $920
SAVE $279

$1999 $1599
SAVE $400

$2799 $2399
SAVE $400

$400 $280
SAVE $120

$1798 $1598
SAVE $200

$3297 $2797
SAVE $500

$3397 $2797
SAVE $600

$1398 $898
SAVE $500

$3698 $2998
SAVE $700

$1799 $1329
SAVE $470

$1999 $1199
SAVE $800

$2299 $1599
SAVE $700

$2399 $2049
SAVE $350

$2799 $1899
SAVE $900

$997 $897
SAVE $100

$2099 $1699
SAVE $400

$1999 $1369
SAVE $630

$1349 $949
SAVE $400

$4499 $3999
SAVE $500

$1499 $1029
SAVE $470

$1499 $1289
SAVE $210

$2199 $1999
SAVE $200

$3399 $2199
SAVE $1200

Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

The Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M (about $2995) is an ultra high performance 18mm lens with an aspheric design and special glass types.

The 18mm f/3.8 is described as this way: “ Its retrofocus-like architecture features eight lens elements of which one boasts two aspherical surfaces to ensure outstanding image quality already at open aperture”.

Retrofocus means that the light rays impact the digital sensor more directly, a Very Good Thing, since it reduces vignetting and color shift, a serious problem with (for example), the Zeiss ZM 21mm f/4.5.

However, not only is the modern retrofocus design of the 18/3.8 “friendlier” to the digital sensor of the Leica M8/M9, the M9’s, built-in lens correction feature “knows” that it’s the 18mm, and correct any residual color shift and vignetting out to the corners, resulting in images that are remarkably free of off-center variation (not all vignetting is corrected, a very good thing).

Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M Specifications
Aperture scale: f/3.8 - f/16
Angular field, diag./horiz./vert°: 100/90/67°
Focusing range: 0.7m - infinity
Coverage at close range: 827 X 1241mm = 1:34.6
(not close at all)
Number of elements/groups: 8 elements in 7 groups
Filter thread: Accessory filter holder for E77 filters available / Separate, screw-on type, included in delivery
Weight (as actually weight): 308g with mandatory hood
361g with hood, caps, viewfinder
Dimensions (with caps): 58mm long, 61mm diameter

View near real-time pricing and availability for Zeiss ZM an Leica M lenses on the Leica M gear page.

Old growth and new
New light for new growth
Close quarters work well with an 18mm
Dynamic front-to-back compositions

Distortion

Distortion is of the wave type, generally unavoidable at this focal length: barrel distortion over the central 2/3 of the frame, reversing to accelerating pincushion distortion beyond that.

Distortion of the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M: wave type

MTF (contrast and sharpness)

Performance is very high for a 18mm lens, and holds beautifully and gracefully to the corners. Peak performance is at f/5.6, with contrast (brilliance) dropping slightly at f/8. Mid-zone performance perks up nicely from f/3.8 to f/5.6, so using f/5.6 is advised for all-around shooting.

Mouse over the apertures below to compare.

Guide to Leica

Aperture

Half-stop click-stops are marked in full stops. I prefer the clearly-marked 1/3 stop increments on the Zeiss ZM line. But it’s a moot point given that each brand has its own approach.

OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD
Gen 2!

Blazing fast, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB.

Lloyd’s all-time favorite SSD!

√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!

Composing

The 18mm focal length absolutely demands the use of the “optional” viewfinder, a bizarre way of selling a lens that cannot really be used without the viewfinder.

Ergonomics

The 18/3.8 is nicely sized and worked well in my largish hands, better than some smaller (too small) M lenses .

Focusing

I found it straightforward to focus the Leica 18/3.8 very accurately using the rangefinder.

Conclusions

For high-res examples, see my Guide to Leica.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Ideal for any Mac with Thunderbolt 3


Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
USB 3 • USB-C
Gigabit Ethernet
5K and 4K display support plus Mini Display Port
Analog sound in/out and Optical sound out

Works on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3
OWC
USB-C Travel Dock

Fast charging with up to 100W!

HDMI, SD card reader,
USB-C port, 2 USB Type-A ports
Built-in cable self-stores neatly.
See also OWC 14-port Thunderbolt 3 Dock"

Our trusted photo rental store

View all handpicked deals...

Sony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless Digital Camera Body with Accessories Kit
$2998 $2498
SAVE $500

diglloyd Inc. | FTC Disclosure | PRIVACY POLICY | Trademarks | Terms of Use
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2019 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.