Taking a Travel “Mate”

Oct 9, 2019  By David Knoble

It’s not often you hear the phrase “Wait or mate?” To some it has no meaning and to others it brings a smile. In the last issue, Bill Rosaur brought us stunning images and a great review of the Leica Wide Angle Tri-Elmar lens – the WATE. In this issue I’m going to discuss its older sibling, the Medium Angle Tri-Elmar lens – the MATE.

Both of these closely named lenses share similar looks, similar operation and represent the only two multi-focal length lenses in the M-mount stable. The photographs here are from Puerto Rico and all taken with the MATE on a Leica M (Typ 240). For this trip I took only the MATE, keeping the kit as compact as possible.

Puerto Rico, or “rich port” in Spanish, was colonized after 1493 when Columbus landed in this archipelago of the Greater Antilles. The Spanish left their mark building several fortifications that remain today. One fortification is Castillo San Filipe del Morro built in 1540 and named after King Phillip II. The towers on the outer walls, or Garitas, have become an icon of Puerto Rico.

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