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Both the 50mm Summilux and Noctilux 0.95?


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#1 pcsmythe

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 00:27

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I was wondering about experiences with the 50mm Lux and the Noctilux 0.95. Have you kept both, and use both? Or have you sold off one and kept the other? And, if so, which one did you keep?

I seem to just keep the Lux on my M9. It's small and light, and plain easy to work with as an everyday lens. I've finding that the Noctilux rarely goes out, and I'm considering selling it for lack of use.

#2 jamesk8752

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 00:54

I think you have answered your own question by noting that you don't use the Noctilux very much. For you, at least, the Summilux would seem to be the right choice as a "keeper".

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#3 Paul J

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:19

I only have the 50 noctilux .95 so can't comment on the comparison with the 50 summilux but I can say that I would never ever sell it. It's the best lens I've ever owned or used. If you give it a good image it will reward you with a look that nothing else can give you. Having come from Hasselblads and Canons it still feels small to me.

I do have the summilux 35 and I actually used to prefer the focal length and it certainly is easier to hold but still the noctilux remains, despite its size and extra effort and may as well be welded on.
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#4 Messsucherkamera

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:55

I was wondering about experiences with the 50mm Lux and the Noctilux 0.95. Have you kept both, and use both? Or have you sold off one and kept the other? And, if so, which one did you keep?

I seem to just keep the Lux on my M9. It's small and light, and plain easy to work with as an everyday lens. I've finding that the Noctilux rarely goes out, and I'm considering selling it for lack of use.

Think long and hard before you do or else you may end up kicking yourself six months or so down the road.

I speak from experience, although my kick myself lens was not a Noctilux.

#5 JWW

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:00

I have both but I have found that when needing a 50mm, I reach for the Noctilux due to it's unique capabilities wide open and sharp images stopped down. The Summilux is handy for traveling light or for traveling to places where taking such an expensive (and hard to replace) lens like the Noctilux may be nerve wracking. Both lenses have long wait lists so need to make sure you won't be wanting it back after selling one.

#6 SJP

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:31

Although I really like my 50 summilux ASPH chrome the last thing I would call it is "light" - is is rather heavy, and in cross section is nearly solid glass. See here.
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#7 photoart

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:43

I have both and I use both and I keep both. The noctilux for every day usage, the summilux only for travel or on hiking tours. Consider, those lenses dont´t eat money, they are safer than dollars or euros :cool:

#8 philipus

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:31

I seem to just keep the Lux on my M9. It's small and light, and plain easy to work with as an everyday lens. I've finding that the Noctilux rarely goes out, and I'm considering selling it for lack of use.


Well you've answered your own question. But...unless you need the cash, don't sell. The rule is never to sell, esp. rarities like the Noctilux.

I'm actually happy I don't have the Noctilux, but "only" the Summilux Asph so I don't have to make this choice (sorry). That said, I won't ever by the Noctilux because I don't see the need for it plus it goes against how I perceive the philosophy of the M, as a light, easy to bring along high performance camera.

Ok, but if I were to give some more helpful advice: What about deciding in six months' time? If you haven't used it more than a few times (easy to check in the EXIF), then sell it. Clearly you don't need it then. That said, the rule is...etc.

Although I really like my 50 summilux ASPH chrome the last thing I would call it is "light" - is is rather heavy, and in cross section is nearly solid glass. See here.


And that's why one gets the black lenses. I find that the weight-performance ratio of a black Asph on my M is 100%.

#9 01af

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:28

... the weight-performance ratio of a black Asph on my M is 100 %.

Umm ... what you just said effectively means: all weight, no performance. Are you sure that's what you wanted to say? :D
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#10 wda

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:52

I think it is easy to have a love-affair with lenses. An out-of-favour lens suddenly comes into play and that remains first-choice until the next change-over occurs. Sell one and your love-affair is broken!
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#11 Double Negative

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 15:18

Unless you NEED f/0.95 for either "the look" or the light-gathering power... There's no sense. The Summilux is a great lens that's far more portable and far cheaper and in the end, only a stop slower.

Of course, there's something about a Noctilux... :P

#12 Ib M

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 15:45

Unless you NEED f/0.95 for either "the look" or the light-gathering power... There's no sense. The Summilux is a great lens that's far more portable and far cheaper and in the end, only a stop slower.

Of course, there's something about a Noctilux... :P

The same can probably say about Summilux vs. Summicron - only one stop slower
But of course not - as you say "there's something about a Noctilux ..."
Most will say "there's something about a Summilux ..."

The price and weight of the Noctilux would be a question about priotering




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Edited by Ib M, 23 February 2012 - 15:49.


#13 Double Negative

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 16:28

The same can probably say about Summilux vs. Summicron - only one stop slower
But of course not - as you say "there's something about a Noctilux ..."
Most will say "there's something about a Summilux ..."

The price and weight of the Noctilux would be a question about priotering


Of course... It's all really a balance between three things:

1) Speed/DoF
2) Size/weight
3) Cost

Everybody has to make up their own mind as to what the parameters for each are. If you want one lens that does it all, the Noctilux can do that. But at the expense of size, weight and cost. Conversely, the Summicron is a great choice as it's small and far cheaper - but of course you give up speed and DoF control.

Keeping more than one lens, especially in the 50mm focal length isn't unheard of. Heck, I've got several myself for various reasons. But as far as the Noctilux goes - that's quite a chunk of change to tie up and sit on unless you plan to use it - a LOT.

#14 philipus

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 21:01

Umm ... what you just said effectively means: all weight, no performance. Are you sure that's what you wanted to say? :D


LOL math never was my strong suit. What I meant, twisting things around a bit, was:

Importance of lens weighing 335g

100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Asph
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Perceived performance brilliance

I also have a pre-Asph chrome LTM which weighs 380g, not much more than the Asph but when I got the Asph I realised how heavy the pre-Asph is. Perception I realise but then again that's very much what we're discussing here.

Edited by philipus, 23 February 2012 - 21:05.


#15 thighslapper

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 19:14

I have both, have used both a lot, and am keeping both.

I know if I let either of these go I will regret it, irrespective of how much use they get.

I have rationalised my bloated lens collection and half a dozen are going....... but not these :)

#16 peter_n

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:14

I have the 50 ASPH and f1.0 Noctilux and have kept both, but then those two lenses draw differently. I might think a little differently about an f0.95 Noctilux though, as to me the lenses look like they render similarly so I might be thinking faster film rather than faster lens. ;)

Having said that along with the 50 ASPH I also have the 50 pre-ASPH and I'm keeping both, but at least to me they're also a bit different too... I would hang on to the Noctilux for awhile, you might regret it if you sold it.


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#17 algrove

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:43

I have both from Mandler designs and will not part with either. As a matter of fact I will get a Lux 1.4 and a Noctilux 0.95 just for comparisons and keepers since I sell only duplicated lenses.

#18 oculux

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 00:53

The only concern in my mind is the capital you have locked up there.

I love the 50mm fl and in my Zuiko days had every variation from the old Thorium glass 55 1.2 through to the modern 1.2 and every other 50mm lens. Each had its own signature and I could justify having all of them because they didn't tie up too much capital.

With my Leica M I think my limit would be 3 lenses all up and given how impressive my 50 Lux is I just can't see myself ever getting a Noctilux.

It's a halo lens. A lens the manufacturer has in their line up predominantly because it wants to have that prestige. It's heavy, no sharper than the lux, blocks the finder, and has one extra stop to compensate for all that.

I'd suggest selling it and buying yourself 5 ounces of gold. You'll thank me one day for that advice :)

#19 Jager

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 14:48

You'll hear it often - as you're hearing it here - "... never sell a Leica lens." There's more than a hint of wisdom in that axiom, particularly given how difficult it is to get most Leica glass today. The exception being true economic necessity, of course...

I bought my Noctilux eight years ago. I used it intermittently that first year, never really bonding with it. After that it mostly sat on the shelf.

It wasn't until late 2009, when I received my M9, that I picked it up again. It was only then I discovered that my copy was back-focusing - the reason my previous results with it had been hit or miss.

Own the Night

After getting that addressed, it became one of my favorite lenses. For six months it didn't leave the front of my M9. Today it receives co-equal time with my Summilux 50/ASPH. Those two lenses remain my number one tandem: the Lux my primary daylight, outdoor lens; the Noct my primary nighttime, indoor lens. Because they are the same focal length, "seeing" remains the same. Only the extra stop of the Noct and the unique signatures of the two lenses arbit they're use.

I'm left with one dilemma... the joy of my Noct is in full bloom only at f1. It certainly is a workable lens at other apertures, of course. But its unique qualities quickly begin to fall away as you stop it down. Frankly, at higher apertures I'd just as soon use my Summilux (or my 50 Summicron, if I still want to retain the Mandler look).

The new f0.95 Noct solves that, neatly marrying the signature and optical excellence of the Summilux with the speed of the Noct. And giving rise to your very understandable question.

My answer would be that you could get by with just the Noct. But the handling advantage of the Summilux is not trivial. And so I'd keep them both.

And, in fact, that's just what I intend to do one day - adding the new Noct. I'm thinking that would make a wonderful retirement gift to myself.

That would give me four 50's to choose between. A nice problem to have, if you ask me... ;-)

Edited by Jager, 29 February 2012 - 14:51.

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#20 mijosc

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:12

it seems to me that the ultimate 50mm combination would be the Noctilux and a Summicron. That way you have the advantage of low light performance and beautiful/unique rendering, plus a small ultra-sharp lens.
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