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Leica Noctilux-m 50mm f1.2 ASPH black version is it limited run?


JimmyCheng
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Hey folks, so I recently purchased the Noctilux 50mm f1.2 ASPH black version way over the retail price (around 11000USD), as it is back-ordered everywhere, but I really wanna get my hand on one and try it out.

So I know that it was rumored to be a 1800 units limited run before releasing, but Leica actually has not confirmed that after the release as far as I know. 

I wonder should I sell it while it still holds its value (there are a few buyers willing to pay roughly the same amount) and get one when it becomes available or should I keep it. I like the lens. It is small and light (as far as noctilux goes), and I quite enjoy its rendering as well.

I'm just not sure if it is a good investment if Leica decided to keep producing it like the 50 lux black chrome version, but I am also worried about not being able to get one new in the future if it is a limited run.

 

Edited by JimmyCheng
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  • JimmyCheng changed the title to Leica Noctilux-m 50mm f1.2 ASPH black version is it limited run?

Even assuming it is a limited run which we don’t know, 1800 units is not “rare” in the Leica world especially when most people buying it will let it remain in mint condition for decades. It is now possible to buy this lens at normal retail price you just need to have patience. 

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Who knows with Leica. I’d be surprised if they sold all 1800 copies already, but if they have, they will probably make another limited run!

Honestly, if you love the lens and if you were happy with what you paid, I’d just keep it. If you regret buying it, or the price you paid, sell it. Only you can answer that! 

Not sure if I would pay that for that lens. I got a Noctilux f/1.0 a few years back, mint in box for $5k usd and felt like that was a good amount. 
 

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2 hours ago, mikeamosau said:

Who knows with Leica. I’d be surprised if they sold all 1800 copies already, but if they have, they will probably make another limited run!

Honestly, if you love the lens and if you were happy with what you paid, I’d just keep it. If you regret buying it, or the price you paid, sell it. Only you can answer that! 

Not sure if I would pay that for that lens. I got a Noctilux f/1.0 a few years back, mint in box for $5k usd and felt like that was a good amount. 
 

Well those good days were gone, I got my f1 noct (without box) for about the same amount a few months back, and it has back focusing issues so had to send it to a CLA.

Yeah that's what I'm saying if it is not a limited run then I felt it's not worth the price, especially the amount I paid for.

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4 hours ago, JimmyCheng said:

...I know that it was rumored to be a 1800 units limited run before releasing, but Leica actually has not confirmed that after the release as far as I know......I'm just not sure if it is a good investment if Leica decided to keep producing it like the 50 lux black chrome version, but I am also worried about not being able to get one new in the future if it is a limited run...

Having just had a quick look the clearest 'suggestion' I can find on the 'net comes from Red Dot Forum which notes;

"This (black) variant of the lens will be available going forward as a standard serialized production item in the Leica Classics Range."

I've no idea if RDF has received this information from Leica themselves but it would appear to indicate the lens will be available for some time to come. If it really is as popular as it seems - being sold-out and on back-order everywhere is quite something - you could do a lot worse than contact Leica Customer Service directly yourself; at least then you would be getting the info straight from the horse's mouth.

Philip.

Edited by pippy
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3 hours ago, JimmyCheng said:

rumored

FWIW, my understanding is the chrome/silver version was limited (which seems daft to me), and the black joins the other 'classic' lenses as a permanent addition to the catalogue(the Summaron and Thambar and more to come). Why would the black be 'limited'?  Perhaps 1800 was first production run.

Think you would be happier getting back what you paid and waiting for next opportunity at regular price.

Edited by pedaes
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47 minutes ago, pippy said:

Having just had a quick look the clearest 'suggestion' I can find on the 'net comes from Red Dot Forum which notes;

"This (black) variant of the lens will be available going forward as a standard serialized production item in the Leica Classics Range."

I've no idea if RDF has received this information from Leica themselves but it would appear to indicate the lens will be available for some time to come. If it really is as popular as it seems - being sold-out and on back-order everywhere is quite something - you could do a lot worse than contact Leica Customer Service directly yourself; at least then you would be getting the info straight from the horse's mouth.

Philip.

Even Leica customer services ain't so sure about it it seems. I hope it they could ramp up the production at least, because for now in AU for example, there are current 15 ppl waiting in the line and a 4-6 months waiting period, and not even sure if the last few would eventually get one.

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33 minutes ago, pedaes said:

FWIW, my understanding is the chrome/silver version was limited (which seems daft to me), and the black joins the other 'classic' lenses as a permanent addition to the catalogue(the Summaron and Thambar and more to come). Why would the black be 'limited'?  Perhaps 1800 was first production run.

Think you would be happier getting back what you paid and waiting for next opportunity at regular price.

I hope I'll be able to do that one day, but for the near future it seems the shortage will be going on for a while.

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Take advantage of the current shortage and sell now to recover the money you overpaid. 

This lens is extremely unlikely to become a limited run, in my opinion.  Leica special editions tend to be fancy versions of list items.  Here the black version is the list item, and the silver is the special edition.  Taking the trouble to recreate a classic lens with a design with two aspherical elements - only to stop at 1800 - would be surprising, to say the least.

BTW: I've been on a list since January and am still waiting...

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4 minutes ago, pedaes said:

Are any trickling through?

That is what I am told, but at the rate of one or two a month at Red Dot.  I am supposedly currently at the top of a list of 24, but have been in that pole position for at least a month.

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31 minutes ago, M9reno said:

...Taking the trouble to recreate a classic lens with a design with two aspherical elements - only to stop at 1800 - would be surprising, to say the least...

That's my thinking. Considering how popular it has evidently become it would be strange were it to be discontinued always assuming that the percentage of 'wastage' isn't the same headache as it was with the original production......and I can't believe that it will be.

Philip.

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15 hours ago, M9reno said:

Take advantage of the current shortage and sell now to recover the money you overpaid. 

This lens is extremely unlikely to become a limited run, in my opinion.  Leica special editions tend to be fancy versions of list items.  Here the black version is the list item, and the silver is the special edition.  Taking the trouble to recreate a classic lens with a design with two aspherical elements - only to stop at 1800 - would be surprising, to say the least.

BTW: I've been on a list since January and am still waiting...

Thanks for your advice. I think it might be the case as with a few other leica lenses which experienced a long waiting period and shortage of supply at their early phase and everything went back to normal afterwards. I'm more inclined to that theory now and I think you're absolutely correct. 

Hope you get your copy soon, it is a everyday carry noctilux which is special in its own regardless of its image quality (which is pretty amazing from my exp)

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15 hours ago, M9reno said:

I don't think the production method is a single guy grinding glass by hand any more, so I imagine there won't be more wastage than normal for an aspherical lens.  😀

You would be surprised. On my last tour through the factory in Wetzlar, they were still grinding single elements, one at a time. They no longer use the gang method of lens grinding in Wetzlar. Have to see what they are doing in the plant in Portugal. I'll be there in November and report back!

You are correct that they no longer grind the asphericals in the way they did back in the day of the original Noctilux. Back then, they only had one technician good enough to do this, and the rejection rate was reported to be over 30%! No wonder it was so expensive and discontinued it in favor of the f1 version designed by Walter Mandler with only spherical elements.

 

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3 hours ago, derleicaman said:

You would be surprised. On my last tour through the factory in Wetzlar, they were still grinding single elements, one at a time. They no longer use the gang method of lens grinding in Wetzlar. Have to see what they are doing in the plant in Portugal. I'll be there in November and report back!

You are correct that they no longer grind the asphericals in the way they did back in the day of the original Noctilux. Back then, they only had one technician good enough to do this, and the rejection rate was reported to be over 30%! No wonder it was so expensive and discontinued it in favor of the f1 version designed by Walter Mandler with only spherical elements.

 

Oh wow, I am actually happy to hear that they still stick to the less-industrial ways of craft these lenses :)

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a good amount of finished glass are imported from different suppliers (I suspect Chinese suppliers are included).  The coating is "mostly" done in Leica factories especially those critical ones with secret sauce.  Those production you can see in Wetzlar is mainly for marketing and for show, well... they have some machines left anyway. 

 

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1 hour ago, jaeger said:

Those production you can see in Wetzlar is mainly for marketing and for show

There is some very subtle double bluff going on if this is true, as when I was last there the lady working on this clearly was not comfortable being watched. Agree this was surprising as the work stations next to the visitor corridor are a bit of a goldfish bowl!

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