Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super Elmar ASPH - Updated Design vs. Original
I had the opportunity to handle both the current version of the Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH and the original, recalled version and felt compelled to shoot an image comparing the two. The original version never made it to the United States, and saw only a brief period of production in Europe before Leica recalled all of of them for a slight lens barrel redesign. Does anyone else out there have the recalled version? If so, you have a rare piece! In the following image, the recalled version is on the left and the newest version on the right. Notice the slightly flared out focusing scale:
Re: Leica Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 Asph—Updated Design vs. Original
Not the focusing scale is flared out but the depth-of-field scale. The difference, so I've been told, is purely mechanical. In the original version, you could block the focusing mechanism just by pressing the rear part of the barrel (where the DOF scale is) real hard with your fingers. With the reinforced, thicker rear barrel of the new version, this cannot happen anymore. That's all. The glass is the same in both. In normal use, no-one would squeeze the rear barrel while focusing so the original version usually is perfectly fine for everyday use. Still, you can always send the original version in to Leica to have it updated to the current version at little or no cost. But maybe you shouldn't as it may become a sought-after collectible in the future due to its rarity.
Originally Posted by Josh Lehrer