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Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 vs. Canon 85mm f/1.2L II

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I'm a former Canon user, and the 85mm f/1.2L II was practically my standard lens, because I love bokeh :-)

 

Has anyone here owned both this lens and the Noctilux f/0.95? The 85mm has longer focal length, but the Noctilux is faster. Do you think the extra light can be a substitute for the shorter focal length in regards to bokeh? Which one do you prefer (maybe a stupid question in this forum)?

 

I find the 50mm angle more versatile than 85mm, so I think the Noctilux could be the perfect lens for me … if I ever can afford it!

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I will let others answer your question in better detail but the image from the noctilux is going to look different than what you were used to with the 85 1.2L. 

 

Another lens you might put into consideration is the Leica R 80 1.4 or the M lens version, the 75 1.4.  (The R 80 1.4 is certainly less costly than the Noctilux if that is a factor). I have both and have no plans to sell either of them.

 

These are from the Noctilux 0.95

Edited by ropo54

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Thank you very much! – a bit late :-)

 

I think I will go for one of your suggestions: the 75mm Summilux, instead of the Noctilux f/0.95. I already have a 35mm Summilux, and I think a 75mm will be a good companion: a moderate wide angle, together with a moderate tele lens. I miss a lens that can take me a bit closer to the subject, and the 75mm has both a better reach and a better near limit than the Noctilux. Together I think this will give a bokeh that can match both the Noctilux and the Canon 85L.

 

And above all, I love the beautiful Mandler look!

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The Noctilux and the 75 Summilux are quite different lenses, though not so much in field of view.

 

The Noctilux is a Karbe lens; in construction it's APO and has a floating lens element and is, frankly, an extraordinary achievement.  It has smooth out of focus treatment, and from f/1.4 is pretty much indistinguishable from the 50 Summilux ASPH (there will be pixel peepers and pettifoggers here who will point out marginal differences, but you have to go looking for them).  Using the lens at 0.95 requires some care - lots of potential for purple fringing, and unless you're into weird, you do need to concentrate to ensure the entire subject is in focus, rather than just an eyelash.  It is a lens designed (perfected) for digital, and it has a unique fingerprint (can't explain it better than that, I'm sorry).

 

The 75 Summilux is altogether different.  It is the lens of which Mandler was most proud, and for some reason Karbe hates it (I don't recall why).  It was designed in the film era, and does not have the same refinement for digital that the Noctilux has, but it has lots of character.  Wide open, it is a lot softer than the Noctilux, but once you stop it down it is tack sharp.  I've used it quite a bit for landscape, and the detail it provides is surprising.  Used wide open, the Summilux has a shallower depth of field than the Noctilux, so the same care needs to be taken.

 

Neither lens is small or light (by Leica M standards), and neither is cheap.  I have both, and would sell neither.  They would both couple nicely with your 35 Summilux.

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Top shot is with the R80 1.4 (supposedly quite similar to the 75 1.4)

Bottom is with the Noctilux 0.95

 

I think both do really well for landscape.

Edited by ropo54

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My new lens will be used mostly for dreamy, candid bokeh-portraits and for closer details with shallow DoF (the picture of the hands above here is a good example). If I ever need a sharp image, a wider angle or a small, light and discreet lens, I have the 35mm Summilux ASPH.

 

I think the 35 and 75mm Summilux lenses will complement each other perfectly because they are so different.

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