The Voigtlander 21mm f/4 Skopar 7′ Rule for the Street


Here’s some good stuff for the real street shooters. I’m using the Nex 6 and soon to be GXR M Mount again on the street with Voigtlander lenses. Ok, no biggie everybody does that. So what’s up wit dat Shooter?

The 21mm f/4 Skopar on the APS-C cameras comes out to 31.5mm FOV. This appeals to me in a very special way. See, for many years I used 35mm FOV on my Leica’s and even Digital Cameras when I could. Then it happened that 28mm became more natural for Camera Makers to do so I was forced to change my Natural Field of View, 35mm to 28mm.

Years ago I actually got 2 M6’s because of the 28mm in the frame lines. I was excited, got the Elmarit and never used it much. Now I am at the point that I still love 35mm but I also love 28mm. Enter the Skopar. Converted to 31.5mm it’s kinda right in the middle.

Love working with it. One of the issues with manual focus lenses is just that, focus!


So here we are and we wannna shoot the street with the Skopar but how to do it fast. I mean real fast. Here’s what I do and why.

I set the lens to 7′. My shutter is usually around 1/400 +- depends on light. Here’s the inside scoop on this.

f/4            5 – 11′

f/5.6   4.5 – 15.3′

f/8       3.9 – 30′

f/11    3.3 – Infinity

f/16   2.7 – Infinity

f/22   2.2 – Infinity

It’s easy to see that the DOF carries very nice, even wide open. So now the Aperture plays more important than before. If you are in lower light, f/4 will get a nice image even up close, the blur will be very sexi. I work this lens all the time like this and it’s as fast as the GR on Snap mode. That’s what I need on the street….speed and accuracy. I find the frame just right because it’s right in the middle of my Natural Field of Views.


This is a very stimulating way to work. There’s no auto something. You set the exposure, set 7′ and frame the photo. The beautiful thing here is that if you need to change anything at all…it’s right there as fast as you can do it.


I’ll be posting more tips and tricks shortly. Until then, The Inspired Eye Magazine, Issue 3 is being published today.

I hope you read it and more importantly, I hope you enjoy it. It’s a great read…..

Later, enjoy the weekend if it’s that time in your corner of the world.


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