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andrekeli

Is noctilux f0.95 worth the jump?

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Hi all,

I am facing a sort of "dilemma" here... I am looking into the noctilux F0.95. However, given its high price, I have several nagging questions over my head before I make the decision next week (when the lens arrives). I am a newbie in Leica-land and I am loving every minute of it. My current system includes M9 and 50 lux asph as my main lens. In addition I also have the 35 summarit and 90 elmarit.

 

My questions are:

1. Is the 0.95 aperture really that much different from F1.4? Is it worth the jump? I notice that F0.95 pics at times may take the subject "out of context" with a high object-background separation.

 

2. I heard from a reliable source that it's better to wait for a new version of the noct as Leica is redesigning the lens to tackle some of its problems (e.g. excessive CA at wide open). Leica says to buy the version from July onwards.

 

3. Is it better to get the nocti F1 instead? If yes, which version should I get?

 

4. Should I get the 21lux asph or the 35luxII, instead, to add another focal length? I already have the 90 elmarit for my tele. A wide angle complete my set. I figured 35lux is a bit too close to 50lux... am i right in thinking this way?

 

Any opinions and comments from anybody with more experience than me would be highly appreciated.. Thank you much in advance.

 

Cheers,

Andre

Edited by andrekeli

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Here's my opinion - and it's just my personal view. I am sure you will get views totally the opposite!

 

My questions are:

1. Is the 0.95 aperture really that much different from F1.4? No

 

Is it worth the jump? No (I owned/used a Noct for about a year. I used it for a couple of months with great enthusiasm and then, 7-8 months later realized I was never using it so I sold it)

 

2. I heard from a reliable source that it's better to wait for a new version of the noct as Leica is redesigning the lens to tackle some of its problems (e.g. excessive CA at wide open). Leica says to buy the version from July onwards. I have no idea

 

3. Is it better to get the nocti F1 instead? If yes, which version should I get? I have no idea

 

4. Should I get the 21lux asph or the 35luxII, instead, to add another focal length? I already have the 90 elmarit for my tele. A wide angle complete my set. I figured 35lux is a bit too close to 50lux... am i right in thinking this way? Yes, 35 is too close to 50. 28/50/90 is a lot more flexible. If you want wider, I'd go with an 18 - rather than the 21; you need a viewfinder either way.

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My questions are:

1. Is the 0.95 aperture really that much different from F1.4?

 

Hi

 

0.95 on a cropped sensor (eg M8/8.2, eos 1D series) is like a 1.4 on a full frame (as M9).

I use a 1.4 on my full frame (Kodak slr/c) for creative looks ... love it.

Though id love to have that sharpness of the subject in focus at 0.95.

 

In answer to your question

if i had the funds and i could justify it (say raising money for local charitites using photos taken with the 0.95)

then for sure i would buy.

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As a new Leica user, I recommend that you spend more time taking pictures with the wonderful lenses you have. Make prints. Use the preview lever to see alternative fields of view. Take more pictures. See if you're missing anything important for your needs and preferences, not those of others. If not, be happy. [And, if you insist on thinking about this, then the search function will bring up lots of related threads...plus loads of outside reviews.]

 

Jeff

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Want what you have, don't have what you want. Play with your current toys before you get new ones. Master them.

 

It helps to look elsewhere on the Forum, too.

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/customer-forum/170947-convince-me-i-need-noctilux.html

 

Regards,

 

Bill

 

Edit: Jeff got there first.

Edited by bill

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May I ask why?

 

thanks

Because it is an extremely specialized and expensive lens - heavy too. If you don't have a clear vision of why and how to use it there is a great risk of being very disappointed. I think, reading your post, that your Summilux 50 is an excellent choice for your needs.

BTW, it is *highly* unlikely Leica will change the design within 10-15 years.

Edited by jaapv

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I see you have a bad case of lux fever. This is understandable since you already have the 50 lux asph and are now wondering does it get any better than that. I think the answer is no - the 50 lux asph makes everything look good, everything. To get anything better you are going to have to think about your photography. I don't think a 50 noct asph is going to change that.

 

Personally I think 35mm is not too close to 50mm but you have the 35 summarit so you can tell for yourself. I was against it myself initially until I discovered there was a gap between 24mm and 50mm after all. The 35 summarit is a highly praised lens in itself so no reason to change for the sake of it. As for 21mm, just remember this is going into ultrawide territory. You need a very keen eye to make use of it. I'm with the others on this, take lots of pictures first to discover what you are missing if anything.

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Want what you have, don't have what you want. Play with your current toys before you get new ones. Master them.

 

Yes, yes,yes!

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I don't have a really fast Leica lens, but can I comment anyway?

 

noctilux. Think about that word.

 

nocturnal: adjective: of or pertaining to the night.

 

lux: noun: a unit of illumination equal to 1 lumen per square meter

 

lux may also be slang for luxury.

 

So now, for me, a noctilux is a very luxurious night time lens.

I think maybe it is worth the jump if you shoot at night quite a bit, but given the expense and added weight, it wouldn't be my choice. In fact, the extreme lack of depth of field (at wide open) is usually not very attractive to me, and oftentimes is so severe that the photograph has a very unnatural, gimmicky look. Of course, that's a subjective opinion.

But by all means, if you like the lens and what it's capable of, buy it. I wonder though, how many daylight noctilux shots (at wide open) were blown by less than perfect focus, shots that would have been saved at f:2 or 2.8. Good luck. It's so nice that we have options like this.

 

Larry

Edited by likalar

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Hi 0.95 on a cropped sensor (eg M8/8.2, eos 1D series) is like a 1.4 on a full frame (as M9).

 

How can that possibly be true? (If you must rationalize against sensor size, then given the .95 has 3.5 stops drop-off toward the edges, then on a cropped sensor its mean aperture is greater than on a full-frame.)

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I don't have a really fast Leica lens, but can I comment anyway?

 

noctilux. Think about that word.

 

nocturnal: adjective: of or pertaining to the night.

 

lux: noun: a unit of illumination equal to 1 lumen per square meter

 

lux may also be slang for luxury.

 

Larry, let me add:

 

Lux, latin for light

 

which, despite the high price of the lens, is probably more what the Leica guys had in mind when they named it, rather than setting off and designing a luxury item...

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Let me add my 2c. I have both the f1 Nocti and the 1.4 lux. The only thing they have in common is that both are 50. They are also pretty close at 5.6 and above but who buys a Nocti for that.

 

When I take the Nocti, I literally go Nocti shooting, i.e. I look for subjects that suit the Nocti. I am actually planning to get a ND filter so that I can shoot it in bright daylight.

 

The 50 lux is my walk around lens for 50 mm. It is also gorgeous at f1.4 with very nice bockeh. But it does draw very differently than the f1 Nocti.

 

If I had to choose between them, I would probably go for the lux but had to tell.

 

The new Nocti somewhat combines the 2 but I never shot it. There are some for whom that is the main lens on the M9.

 

If I were you (and provided the money is not the issue) I would get the Nocti and try out (but make sure you try out long enough). If you like it, keep it. If not, sell it. You are unlikely to loose much.

 

Finally, while we can say what we think, only you can decide what you want and like.

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Seems to me the mysteries surrounding this lens may well exceed its uses. I am guessing that at least half of the people who buy this lens don't end of using it for very long, then turn around and sell it. There are a few posts above this that reflect this fact, as well as the weekly "should I spring for the Nocti" threads. 1.4 has been fast enough for many many top notch shooters. Let your conscience be your guide. Or shoot with the 1.4 for a year and ask yourself how many times that little bit of extra speed would have "made" a shot. As far as the super shallow DOF, that can open a can of worms.

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Helio, see for instance:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/menschen/155744-rosa.html

 

is wild about the Noctiluxes, he went through a thorough learning process, with an amazing frustration tolerance. You can read it in the recent LFI magazine. Apart from that I tend to agree with jaapv's statement here, until I win the lottery of course. A Summilux 75 suits me better when it comes to selective focus, it may sound strange but for me it rests better in the hands, if you do want a heavy lens on your M

Edited by otto.f

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Seems to me the mysteries surrounding this lens may well exceed its uses. I am guessing that at least half of the people who buy this lens don't end of using it for very long, then turn around and sell it. There are a few posts above this that reflect this fact, as well as the weekly "should I spring for the Nocti" threads. 1.4 has been fast enough for many many top notch shooters. Let your conscience be your guide. Or shoot with the 1.4 for a year and ask yourself how many times that little bit of extra speed would have "made" a shot. As far as the super shallow DOF, that can open a can of worms.

 

I can certainly endorse the recommendation for trying to learn the strengths of your equipment and working with those, but I must say I'm tired of this caricature of the Noctilux as a temporary 'gimmick' lens which I've read so often on this forum recently.

 

The f.1 Noctilux is a unique and incredible way of capturing the world - it isn't just a "little bit of extra speed", it's a lens that transforms the light that comes through it. You may love or hate what it does to that light, but it simply isn't the same as other lenses, and many great photographers have made it almost a life's work of putting those amazing transformations into print.

 

The 0,95 doesn't have the same appeal for me - I can't speak for others - but in many ways, the ultra-corrected lenses that Leica produce now often lack the magic of the earlier versions (ymmv).

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Since each Noctilux model has its fanatic supporters who will dog you to the end of the earth if you don't have the same as they do, I recommend that you buy one of each model - Marx, Mandler and Karbe.

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I think the general advice to learn one's equipment inside out is great.

Your current 50mm is a great lens and looking through some of the shots you've posted, you're making some good use of it.

I have the f0.95 Nocti and love it. One thing I'll add though is that it doesn't make every picture magical. It's a question of knowing when and more importantly, how to use it. Shooting wide open has it's technical and aesthetic challenges. This is a lens that needs to be explored and learnt if one is to get the most from it. I think the same goes for the f1 version; perhaps even more so.

As I said, I love this lens and in 21 years of pro photography, this is the best and most amazing lens I've had the joy to use.

My thought would be if you're looking forward to exploring and learning from this lens, then you should definitely get it and spend months taking pictures before making any decisions on if it's a keeper for you.

 

Edmond

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