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Leica M FullFrame & Fisheye: Experiences With The Fisheye Lense MC-Zenitar-M 16/2.8

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To play and experiment with my fullframe Leica M is a big pleasure for me. Therefor, the range of my focuslengths is large. One of my lenses is the fisheye lense MC-Zenitar-M 16/2.8 (with M mount adapter).

This lense has an angle of view in the diagonal of 180°. the full effect of the fisheye is reached when it is mounted on a small film camera with an image size of 36 x24 mm or a digital camera with the same size of the image sensor. From the Rangefinder Cameras of the series Leica M, the film cameras (M1-M7, MP) or the newer digital cameras Leica M9, Leica M Monochrome, Leica M (Typ 240), Leica M10 and others match the small film size (fullframe). Only the Leica M8 has a cropped sensor.


The Equipment

The equipment consists of

  • lense MC Zenitar 16/2.8
  • 2 lense caps
  • M mount adapter
  • 3 filters (yellow, green, red)
  • nylon carrying case


  • focal lenght: 16mm
  • lens fitting: M42x1
  • relative aperture; F/2.8-22
  • angle of view (diagonal): 180°
  • minimum distance when photographing: 0,3m
  • weight: 0,31kg

The Leica M Full Frame and the Fisheye

The lense MC Zenitar 16/2.8 is usable for the full frame Leica Ms with the reference small format (36 x 24 mm) of e.g. the film based Leica M6 or the newer digital Leica M9, Leica M Monochrom, Leica M (Type 24) or Leica M10. The following discurs is about these Leica M’s.
Only the Leica M8 is cropped (sensor 27 x 18 mm) and thereby has a limited fisheyeffect (Read about the [MC Zenitar 16/2.8 on Leica M8] or about the [Leica M8 Crop Factor].


Due to the large angle of view, it need an additional viewfinder. I use the Universal Leica Viewfinder with its water level and the 16mm setting, but of course, it is only a approximative solution. For those who have the newest generations of digital Leica M’s (Type 240 and M10) , using the liveview would be the best solution.

Fisheye Effect on Architecture

The fisheye effect can be shown well with architecture and cityscapes. Find here some images from the old center of berne.

berne (swiss parliamanet building)

berne city hall portal

berne kramgasse

berne zytglogge

Fisheye for Cityscape and Public Traffic

tram at berne central station

tram in old center of berne

tram and bus station at berne central station

last update 2.12.2017,
published, 21.11.2017

Fisheye Gallery


Fisheye Technics

More Rangefinder Contributions

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Berne - Switzerland
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