Jump to content

Review: Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.2


Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

thanks Jono for your thorough test of noctilux. Seeing the photographs taken at smaller apertures such as f4, one gets the impression that the out of focus is still very accentuated; (I mean the photo with the red vase and the flowers) is an impression of mine or really the quality of the out of focus at closed apertures is greater than other 50mm leica at the same aperture. My references of 50mm are the other two noctilux, the summiluxs M second version and the SL. I am very tempted to buy it !!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 349
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Introduction This is the third lens in Leica's historical lens series where they revisit classics and remake them with modern glass and coatings, but with the original basic design. The two previous lenses are the 28mm Summaron which is a tiny lens, originally released in 1954 with a screw mount. Then came the Leica Thambar M 90mm f2.2, a quirky soft focus portrait lens from the mid 30's.  The Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.2 is rather a different beast. Released in 1966 it was the state of th

Great review Jono I was fortunate to be beta tester and Leica asked me to do the official release photos taken with the lens. Shot on the M10-R   Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!

Probably a bit lighter than the Pounds that will leave your wallet.........

Posted Images

20 minutes ago, jonoslack said:

HI Pete - lovely to hear from you.

I haven't had an f1 for about 6 or 7 years, so I'm really unsure - It's much nicer than I remember the F1 (but I was always irritated by the plastic lens hood - silly things can be a big influence!).

Buy one! 😂

All the best (and from Emma as well)

Jono,

I remember that f1. It was the one I swapped with you, as the focus barrel was too short and fat to get my arthritic thumb round comfortably. I also felt that the f1 with its extreme aperture shift, is a one trick pony on a rangefinder camera, as it aperture shifts out of focus when you stop down. Oddly nowadays, It would be far more usable on an M with live view, where you can focus on a zoomed image, getting round the aperture shift problem. As a more flexible lens and also one which with its longer barrel is more comfortable for me to hold, the 0.95  Noctilux is more practical, if only it was a bit lighter. I have ended up using that more on my SL, where it is better balanced and low light accurate focusing is easier, without having to mount an EVF, where I might well want to have a flash. 

Wilson

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Overgaard said:

Where did you find the online presentation. Missed that completely and doesn't seem to be on the Leica youtube or Vimeo. 

I received an invitation from Leica who appears to be using a web forum site by the name of Eventbrite. I registered for the 2PM Mountain time live presentation and the two commentators who appeared to be Leica employees gave a one hour presentation on the new 1.2 Noctilux along with a few other vintage lenses used on the new M10-R body. I would look up Eventbrite for Leica's Noctilux presentation from yesterday and it should come up. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think from a quick look that Eventbrite has an archive. All the events listed for Leica are future events and the search only goes from today forwards. Also it does not seem that Leica are hosting a copy on their website either. 

Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Torsten.
The event can only be seen live. But I think most are going to be on YouTube during "leica Tech Talk". It's not there yet. But some of the others are lying there. I can recommend signing up for Eventbrite. It's free and often informative and entertaining.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now we have an entire buffet line of Noctilux lenses to choose from -

Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 (old)
Noctilux 50mm f/1.0 with 4 different versions (old)
Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 black or chrome (current)
Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 black or chrome (current)
Noctilux 75mm f/1.25 (current)

This is a good thing.  

Since the redoubtable Mr. Puts is disgusted with Leica M cameras and lenses and has sworn them off, @jonoslack is (more or less) the heir apparent to the role that Puts used to fill with regard to commentary on all things related to M cameras and lenses.

Perhaps Jono could address this hierarchy of Noctilux lenses and provide us with his thoughts on which Noctilux excels at which application - sort of a Noctilux buyers guide for befuddled prospective buyers?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

1 hour ago, mole73 said:

Thanks Jono, your review is very informative (as always)!

Could you describe (in small words)  how the new Noctilux 1,2 compares to the Summilux II pre-asph. version? 

Thank you!

Robert

Hi Robert

they would have to be very small words - I sadly don't have the Summilux II to compare with!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jonoslack said:

HI Pete - lovely to hear from you.

I haven't had an f1 for about 6 or 7 years, so I'm really unsure - It's much nicer than I remember the F1 (but I was always irritated by the plastic lens hood - silly things can be a big influence!).

Buy one! 😂

All the best (and from Emma as well)

Thanks Jono,

Would that I could.

I enquired with my friendly dealer from east London about the possibility of acquiring a chrome 50/1.2 Noctilux asph and his response was "Absolutely no chance." and with Leica producing only 100 pieces in total I understand his reply.  I've just been informed by a mutual friend who is now taking good care of your former SL that chrome 50/1.2 Noctilux asphs are currently trading on FB for $29,000, $11,000 above retail the day after they were announced.

I seriously doubt that the 1500 black ones will go far either.  This humble photog is left to think that Leica got its marketing completely wrong on this lens. 

I will continue to use my beloved f/1 Noctilux with its (you are absolutely right) irritating plastic hood but sublime pictures.

All the best to you both and may we see each other soon, once the steel grip of this accursed virus has been broken.  I wish you both continued rude health.

Pete.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid that the lens will increase in price.

I remember that the Nocti  was increased from around 4K-4K5 to 8K. Does not give me a comfortable feeling.

[I once worked on a project where academics worked on the 'willingness to pay', in other words, more mundane, the capability to establish a virtual monolpoly pricing. It is a hot topic at my MBA school here in Rotterdam. There are grave issues with ethics at play.]

As a student I saw a Nocti 1.2 in a shop secondhand for fl 750 (Foto Graaf) - in fact what I had paid for my 35mm Cron V1 - decided I should but couldn't, and well,  . . . I can now pay, but . . . shouldn't again. 😪 

Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, farnz said:

Thanks Jono,

Would that I could.

I enquired with my friendly dealer from east London about the possibility of acquiring a chrome 50/1.2 Noctilux asph and his response was "Absolutely no chance." and with Leica producing only 100 pieces in total I understand his reply.  I've just been informed by a mutual friend who is now taking good care of your former SL that chrome 50/1.2 Noctilux asphs are currently trading on FB for $29,000, $11,000 above retail the day after they were announced.

I seriously doubt that the 1500 black ones will go far either.  This humble photog is left to think that Leica got its marketing completely wrong on this lens. 

I will continue to use my beloved f/1 Noctilux with its (you are absolutely right) irritating plastic hood but sublime pictures.

All the best to you both and may we see each other soon, once the steel grip of this accursed virus has been broken.  I wish you both continued rude health.

Pete.

Pete, 

Have you registered with Leica Mayfair for a 1.2 Nocti? I did this right away yesterday and I would assume they will allocate in registration order. I would hate to think of scalpers with their purchase bots making a killing on this lens. Maybe the Leica Society or the LHSA could get involved? Ferrari run a scheme whereby you have to give an undertaking not to resell a new car within so many months, to try and curb speculative buying. 

Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Herr Barnack said:

Now we have an entire buffet line of Noctilux lenses to choose from -

Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 (old)
Noctilux 50mm f/1.0 with 4 different versions (old)
Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 black or chrome (current)
Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 black or chrome (current)
Noctilux 75mm f/1.25 (current)

This is a good thing.  

Since the redoubtable Mr. Puts is disgusted with Leica M cameras and lenses and has sworn them off, @jonoslack is (more or less) the heir apparent to the role that Puts used to fill with regard to commentary on all things related to M cameras and lenses.

Perhaps Jono could address this hierarchy of Noctilux lenses and provide us with his thoughts on which Noctilux excels at which application - sort of a Noctilux buyers guide for befuddled prospective buyers?

Help 😱! That's not a position I wish to inherit thank you very much! I'm quite sure that Erwin would also be horrified at the concept, he would be quite correct to think that I'm a complete lightweight! But in my defence I'm trying to do something rather different; Erwin is precise and scholarly, which is something I have to be in my day job, and also when testing for Leica, but I'm trying to convey the 'feeling' of a camera or lens in my articles, and I'm also trying to entertain (and hopefully show some inspirational photos). It isn't really my place to do scientific comparisons (or at least, not to publish them), but I don't really find them much fun to read, and I also feel quite strongly that current photo equipment is so good technically that the measurable differences are rather moot. 

Whatever:

Noctilux 50mm f1/2 (old)

Great for keeping in a case as you wouldn't want to drop it (considering what it's worth)

Noctilux 50mm f/1.0

Hmmm - I didn't love mine when I had it, but it was probably mostly because I was irritated with the plastic lens hood

Noctilux 50 f/0.95

Wonderful lens - spectacularly good, although possibly better on the SL cameras, and if you don't need the really wide aperture then maybe the 50 'lux Asph does as good a job? But if you do need the wider aperture then it's what you want

Noctilux 50 f/1.2

Well I love it - two lenses in one - handles beautifully on M10 or SLs If you like the look then get one!

Noctilux 75mm f/1.25 

Another perfect lens - and if you want it, can afford it and have reasonably strong arms then you should have one (I would)

Sorry - that's a bit flippant, don't take it too seriously!

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, wlaidlaw said:

Pete, 

Have you registered with Leica Mayfair for a 1.2 Nocti? I did this right away yesterday and I would assume they will allocate in registration order. I would hate to think of scalpers with their purchase bots making a killing on this lens. Maybe the Leica Society or the LHSA could get involved? Ferrari run a scheme whereby you have to give an undertaking not to resell a new car within so many months, to try and curb speculative buying. 

Wilson

No I haven't, Wilson, but thanks for the reminder.  While I'd like to have a chrome 1.2 it's not an overpowering desire and as it happens I have the means to acquire one at the moment so if one were to be available it would be serendipitous.  

I haven't bought anything through Mayfair because I was, and am, against Leica setting up a centre that's in competition with its own dealerships in the same city but with an unreasonable advantage.  If I bought a 1.2 then I would prefer that the benefit go to the family owned and run dealership rather than to a corporate 'outrigger'.  I can't see how else we can help our local dealerships to survive against the odds.   Once they are gone they are gone.

Pete.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, fabior said:

thanks Jono for your thorough test of noctilux. Seeing the photographs taken at smaller apertures such as f4, one gets the impression that the out of focus is still very accentuated; (I mean the photo with the red vase and the flowers) is an impression of mine or really the quality of the out of focus at closed apertures is greater than other 50mm leica at the same aperture. My references of 50mm are the other two noctilux, the summiluxs M second version and the SL. I am very tempted to buy it !!

That's an interesting point

Often one doesn't reflect on the idea that the number of aperture blades is irrelevant when the lens is wide open . . . but perhaps 16 blades really does make a difference at f4? I was very pleased with the vase and flowers pictures. I'd certainly buy one if you can afford it - it's rather a joy to use.

Best

Jono

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, farnz said:

Thanks Jono,

Would that I could.

I enquired with my friendly dealer from east London about the possibility of acquiring a chrome 50/1.2 Noctilux asph and his response was "Absolutely no chance." and with Leica producing only 100 pieces in total I understand his reply.  I've just been informed by a mutual friend who is now taking good care of your former SL that chrome 50/1.2 Noctilux asphs are currently trading on FB for $29,000, $11,000 above retail the day after they were announced.

I seriously doubt that the 1500 black ones will go far either.  This humble photog is left to think that Leica got its marketing completely wrong on this lens. 

I will continue to use my beloved f/1 Noctilux with its (you are absolutely right) irritating plastic hood but sublime pictures.

All the best to you both and may we see each other soon, once the steel grip of this accursed virus has been broken.  I wish you both continued rude health.

Pete.

Hi Pete - and Wilson

I'm certain there isn't a limit in numbers on the black ones - really really certain (I was talking long term sales numbers with someone from Leica just yesterday), clearly they should have made 200 silver ones 🤣.

and I'm sure that the East End Dealer will get you one Pete!

all the best

Jono

Edited by jonoslack
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, farnz said:

No I haven't, Wilson, but thanks for the reminder.  While I'd like to have a chrome 1.2 it's not an overpowering desire and as it happens I have the means to acquire one at the moment so if one were to be available it would be serendipitous.  

I haven't bought anything through Mayfair because I was, and am, against Leica setting up a centre that's in competition with its own dealerships in the same city but with an unreasonable advantage.  If I bought a 1.2 then I would prefer that the benefit go to the family owned and run dealership rather than to a corporate 'outrigger'.  I can't see how else we can help our local dealerships to survive against the odds.   Once they are gone they are gone.

Pete.

I totally agree with you Pete and ever since Leica took away the dealership from my local shop H.A.Baker in Lewes, I have bought almost everything from Ffordes, from whom I get an impeccable service. The only reason I registered with Leica Mayfair was because of the possible very limited UK allocation of these lenses. On thinking this through at bit further, I am not sure that the 1.2 new Noctilux is the correct lens for me and I may just stick to my 50 Summilux III SE and occasional use of the 0.95 Noctilux, after eating my Weetabix. If I want a dreamy lens, I always have my 50/1.5 Summarit or 85/1.5 Summarex. I would need to sell my 0.95 Noctilux to be able to afford the new 1.2 one anyway and there are times when the 0.95 is irreplaceable. I have not got round to using it on my M10-R but I would think when I do, it will make me want to keep it, weight and all. 

Wilson

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to see the Leica discussion on reissue lenses which was mentioned above-- which is a great discussion with incredible images from the thambar noctilux and others, try searching on you tube for 

Leica Tech Talk - Episode #2 - "Classics Never Die."

It worked for me.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry in advance for the dumb question: can the hood be used at the same time as a filter?

Thanks a lot for the review. Looks like a great addition to the line up and definitely a gas disaster.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, jonoslack said:

Help 😱! That's not a position I wish to inherit thank you very much! I'm quite sure that Erwin would also be horrified at the concept, he would be quite correct to think that I'm a complete lightweight! But in my defence I'm trying to do something rather different; Erwin is precise and scholarly, which is something I have to be in my day job, and also when testing for Leica, but I'm trying to convey the 'feeling' of a camera or lens in my articles, and I'm also trying to entertain (and hopefully show some inspirational photos). It isn't really my place to do scientific comparisons (or at least, not to publish them), but I don't really find them much fun to read, and I also feel quite strongly that current photo equipment is so good technically that the measurable differences are rather moot. 

Whatever:

Noctilux 50mm f1/2 (old)

Great for keeping in a case as you wouldn't want to drop it (considering what it's worth)

Noctilux 50mm f/1.0

Hmmm - I didn't love mine when I had it, but it was probably mostly because I was irritated with the plastic lens hood

Noctilux 50 f/0.95

Wonderful lens - spectacularly good, although possibly better on the SL cameras, and if you don't need the really wide aperture then maybe the 50 'lux Asph does as good a job? But if you do need the wider aperture then it's what you want

Noctilux 50 f/1.2

Well I love it - two lenses in one - handles beautifully on M10 or SLs If you like the look then get one!

Noctilux 75mm f/1.25 

Another perfect lens - and if you want it, can afford it and have reasonably strong arms then you should have one (I would)

Sorry - that's a bit flippant, don't take it too seriously!

@jonoslack  Your points are well taken and I have to say that you do achieve your intention  of "trying to convey the 'feeling' of a camera or lens in my articles, and  also trying to entertain (and hopefully show some inspirational photos)."

I do like my 50/1.0 Noctilux as a lens, but I have to agree with you on the plastic lens hood.  It's just silly,  and it's not deep enough to do any real good. 

I got a 60mm to 62mm step up ring and real lens hood for Noctilux (B+W 62mm Screw-In Metal Lens Hood #950).  This set up is actually useful.

Edited by Herr Barnack
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...