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Rumour: 2 New Heritage Lenses


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I have MY personal OLD story about the Noctilux 1,2... a good business at the times, my worst in perspective 😁 😞 - 1984 : 3 years with my first Leica (IIIc bought in 1981) , Summarit 1,5 (LTM) was my "luminous one" : in Februrary, jumped to M (M2, specifically): Summarit with adapter...oh well...no bad but... - Not yet times of E.Commerce and online auctions... 4 or 5 specialized dealers in Northern italy... in May , I found in Milan a Noctilux for sale at the price of 1.200.000 Italia

I think the 35mm Summaron 2.8 was always a dead cert to be brought back in Leica's heritage lens range. The original is a very handy, and well-built lens. I wonder how they would improve upon it. Possibly an all-brass black paint, or black chrome version? As for the re-introduction of a 50mm 1.2 lens, that would be very interesting. I'm sure I read a rumour ages ago on the Leica Rumors site that it was in the works, but would be branded a Summilux. One thing about Leica, they know how

1975 was way before the lifting of the iron curtain. The midget vergins originally in charge of the hand polishing surely have migrated back home to the holy mountains in the country of no name. 🧝‍♀️

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1 hour ago, pedaes said:

For the Nocti, latest is 100 units only at $10,000 each.

It could be limited batch initially offered with heavy marketing spin but from the long time business perspective  in my mind it makes little sense to develop new tooling and manufacture procedure for what, only 100 lenses requiring 100+100 unique aspheric elements plus 10% spare.   Granted, 100 units would generate a million turnover.  

I don’t know economics of lens design and manufacture but stopping at 100 units of a product last time manufactured 40 years ago, probably requiring new tooling, even at assumed price of 10,000 (€ $ £) doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Edit, Summilux M 28mm started life as limited edition of 100 units in fancy stainless steel finish, packaged with APO Summicrons 50 and 90mm and special edition M240 camera.

Edited by mmradman
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27 minutes ago, mmradman said:

It could be limited batch initially offered with heavy marketing spin but from the long time business perspective  in my mind it makes little sense to develop new tooling and manufacture procedure for what, only 100 lenses requiring 100+100 unique aspheric elements plus 10% spare.   Granted, 100 units would generate a million turnover.  

I don’t know economics of lens design and manufacture but stopping at 100 units of a product last time manufactured 40 years ago, probably requiring new tooling, even at assumed price of 10,000 (€ $ £) doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Edit, Summilux M 28mm started life as limited edition of 100 units in fancy stainless steel finish, packaged with APO Summicrons 50 and 90mm and special edition M240 camera.

What new tooling?

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57 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

Nice, I hadn’t seen the black variant.

Sold to me as an after market Black painted....imagine quite a few took that route but for me it blends in well with the mono. Regardless, it’s a beaut of a lens. 

The nocti 1.2 heritage sound good if it ever takes off, unfortunately I don’t have the right connections to get on the waiting list for that one.

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The 'limited 100' in silver should be a tipoff. Regular production black is sure to follow and they'll sell out each run for the next 5 years.

My impression was that the first version is more 'unobtainium' than extraordinary @ ƒ/1.2; the later ƒ/1.0 was sharper (?) on-center.

BTW, why in hell would they hand-grind the aspherical surfaces unless they have robots to do so? Modern moulded ASPH are more consistent, cheaper and with a lower loss rate. The OG NOCT Nikkor was also hand-ground and now fetch a ridiculous premium; it is a cool lens with extreme behavior up close and a pretty distinctive signature.

Smart move by Leica, as the latest Noctiluxii are scarcely to be improved upon technically, so what's old (and interesting) is new again.

Edited by james.liam
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100 items at  ( only 😄) 10K$ each has not great sense in business terms, I agree... but in terms of cost to develop and engineer it is not a great investiment, imho :

- They surely have the original designs of the 1st Noctilux

- which was a rather "simple" design (6 elements - 4 groups -2 cemented pairs : by chance, same numbers as the Summaron 28 5,6 they have just "re-issued"

- with a "normal" barrel and focus mechanism . no complications of floating elements

- the famous hand grinded aspherical element can be surely reproduced with the usual technologies of today (press molding) : and, above all, it must not be reproduced with the exact geometry of the original one : who ever will check this ? And the goal is not to make a lens of the class of, say, the Summicron 50 Apo Asph... Could even be that an element of this kind is already available somewhere... this consideration has arisen to me looking at the catalog of a well known provider of industrial lenses which sometime ago I have had to deal with (in the field of machine-vision systems) :https://www.edmundoptics.eu/f/high-precision-aspheric-lenses/39674/  (off topic - not for FF photo usage - but gives an idea of industrial costs for standard items)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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Having never shot this lens it’s tempting to make the investment.  I don’t think I would ever get a chance to shoot it otherwise. First evaluation for me is mtf curves that show this to be a lens that no sane photographer looking for sharp images would purchase. Comparing it to other Leica lenses mtf, it is not that dissimilar from the second noctilux, but it’s more like the 50 Summilux ver. 1, so similar that it peeks my curiosity if $10k is worth the difference  of f1.4 to f1.2.  Has anyone done this comparison?   

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9 hours ago, jdlaing said:

What new tooling?

Although it is an old lens, last made in 1975, my guess it will have to be re-designed and manufactured form scratch.  Except for probably the lens mount all optical and mechanical components would require new fabrication.

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I have MY personal OLD story about the Noctilux 1,2... a good business at the times, my worst in perspective 😁 😞

- 1984 : 3 years with my first Leica (IIIc bought in 1981) , Summarit 1,5 (LTM) was my "luminous one" : in Februrary, jumped to M (M2, specifically): Summarit with adapter...oh well...no bad but...

- Not yet times of E.Commerce and online auctions... 4 or 5 specialized dealers in Northern italy... in May , I found in Milan a Noctilux for sale at the price of 1.200.000 Italian Lira (around 600 Euros) 

- Lot of money... but I was 27 years, single, with a good job, definitely in love for anything named Leitz... 😉 got it

- I decided it ought to be my standard 50... and used it at 1,2 4 or 5 times (in BW)

- And no one gratified my ego observing "wow ! a Noctlilux !" - So worst, in a mountain hut, at dinner (Leica on the table) an unknown guy observed with connisseur's mood "hmm... a Leica... fine... what a strange big lens... is it Russian ?" 

- And in October (or November) at another dealer, I found a fine Summilux 2nd version chrome (as now, I can't resist to chrome finishing...) : quick negotiation, and 3 days later went again at the shop with my Noctlilux, and went out with the Summilux and 600.000 Liras (300 Euros) in cash : my conclusion :"1,4 vs.1,2 - no matter ! - chrome vs. black - finer ! - money in my pocket ! GOOD!!"

Seeing how much Noctilux 1,2 is traded today, a terrible biz... 🥶 : only relief : still have that Summilux, still it's perfectly usable, still my most luminous 50... with no need or regret for 1/2 stop more...😎

 

 

Edited by luigi bertolotti
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31 minutes ago, luigi bertolotti said:

I have MY personal OLD story about the Noctilux 1,2... a good business at the times, my worst in perspective 😁 😞

- 1984 : 3 years with my first Leica (IIIc bought in 1981) , Summarit 1,5 (LTM) was my "luminous one" : in Februrary, jumped to M (M2, specifically): Summarit with adapter...oh well...no bad but...

- Not yet times of E.Commerce and online auctions... 4 or 5 specialized dealers in Northern italy... in May , I found in Milan a Noctilux for sale at the price of 1.200.000 Italian Lira (around 600 Euros) 

- Lot of money... but I was 27 years, single, with a good job, definitely in love for anything named Leitz... 😉 got it

- I decided it ought to be my standard 50... and used it at 1,2 4 or 5 times (in BW)

- And no one gratified my ego observing "wow ! a Noctlilux !" - So worst, in a mountain hut, at dinner (Leica on the table) an unknown guy observed with connisseur's mood "hmm... a Leica... fine... what a strange big lens... is it Russian ?" 

- And in October (or November) at another dealer, I found a fine Summilux 2nd version chrome (as now, I can't resist to chrome finishing...) : quick negotiation, and 3 days later went again at the shop with my Noctlilux, and went out with the Summilux and 600.000 Liras (300 Euros) in cash : my conclusion :"1,4 vs.1,2 - no matter ! - chrome vs. black - finer ! - money in my pocket ! GOOD!!"

Seeing how much Noctilux 1,2 is traded today, a terrible biz... 🥶 : only relief : still have that Summilux, still it's perfectly usable, still my most luminous 50... with no need or regret for 1/2 stop more...😎

 

 

You definitely ended with an excellent lens plus you had a chance to use is for many years.

As for missed investment opportunity I would say have no regrets, you would have to sell at some point if you wanted to cash in, and than the eternal speculator dilemma, when.

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4 hours ago, mmradman said:

Although it is an old lens, last made in 1975, my guess it will have to be re-designed and manufactured form scratch.  Except for probably the lens mount all optical and mechanical components would require new fabrication.

There is no new tooling required for that. 

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Hm, there could be some advantages of the Noctilux 1.2 over the 0.95.The  f1.2 lens might be easier to focus on a rangefinder. As far, as I can see from juxtapositions, the f1.2 is more compact than the f0.95. That should translate into less finder blockage. Could be interesting, as long as there is some particular "rendering magic" wide open :)

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8 minutes ago, jdlaing said:

There is no new tooling required for that. 

1975 was way before the lifting of the iron curtain. The midget vergins originally in charge of the hand polishing surely have migrated back home to the holy mountains in the country of no name. 🧝‍♀️

Edited by Arrow
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