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Yet another 50mm Noctilux 0.95 question - did you keep it?


patashnik

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The Noctilux f0.95 is a bit of a niche, specialist lens which comes with great character and some foibles. I learned how to get the best from mine and I love it because it suits my photographic style. I also have the amazing 50 Summilux f1.4 when I need something a little lighter and with less purple fringing at wide apertures. I love the character of the Noctilux and the punchy black and white or colour render which is quite unique. So, mines a keeper. I shoot often wide open and with the M11 rangefinder rather than the EVF which I prefer. That set up is not going to suit everyone. 

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I didn't keep mine.  I loved the images I was getting on my M10M.  My hit rate with the RF was quite good (and much better than with the F1).  I did not notice any real difference in focusing this lens compared to my APO other than there is a lot more glass to move.  The nice thing about the noctilux is that if you miss the focus on a portrait it is not as obvious as with other lenses and you still get a usable dreamy photo (on the APO you have a nice sharp ear to let you know that you missed the mark).

The reason I sold it is I also have the 75 noctilux.  I found that lens put the squeeze on my 50/0.95 in the kit because I feel the 75 better suits my needs for portraits (head, or full body... although the 50 seems to have a sweet spot for 3/4 shots).

Colour is a different story.  I actually prefer the colours on the 0.95 over many lenses (including the 75), as they feel a bit more pastel on the M10.  However, I no longer shoot colour, so that was another reason to move on from the lens.  CA is an issue, but as a monochrom shooter I never cared so much.

The 50/0.95 is amazing at weddings.  I took it to a friend's and shot in monochrom.  The bride looks dreamy and you always have enough light!  I would say that is my only regret in selling it.

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Also, as an everyday 50?  Not for me.  I spent some time contemplating selling it vs. my APO.  In the end I found the APO was just a more useable lens due to size and speed of focus.  Nothing wrong with stopping down the 0.95 (sacrilege on this forum), but when the sun is up I just didn't see the point of the extra weight.  I carry my camera everywhere and it is usually in my hands.  The 0.95 was weighty, but more important, it was bulky when hanging around your neck/shoulder... you have to be careful not to bump into anything because it has more swing than a camera with a smaller lens.  I never banged it into anything, but I felt like I had to give it more attention.

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For many years before the 50/0.95 appeared I convinced myself that I didn't need a Noctilux because I had the 50/1.4 Summilux asph.  Then a 50/1.0 v4 Noctilux came up that I was unable to resist and I immediately understood that the 50/1 Noctilux is much more than just a Summilux that's an extra stop faster.  The Mandler design produces quite different pictures from the Karbe Summilux design.  Both are superb lenses but they draw differently; the Summilux 'clean', 'clear' and 'correct', the Noctilux full of character depending on how it's used.

I should explain that much of my photography is now done at night after I'd spent many years lugging a Pentax 67 medium format film camera, lenses, and steel tripod et al up and down mountains so I might not be quite as conscious of the weight of the gear I'm using as others.  I'd been happily using my 50/1 Noctilux for 5 years or so when the 'new' 50/0.95 Noctilux was released and I had an opportunity to acquire one, which I took.

I shot the 0.95 for about 6 months until I was thoroughly familiar with it and noticed that the focus action was silky smooth and smoother than my 1.0 but I wasn't conscious of a difference in the weights.  But when I looked through the pictures I'd shot with it, although they were excellent optically, they somehow reminded me of pictures from my Summilux and lacked the subtle attraction of the character in my 50/1.0's pictures.  (I accept that this this is completely subjective of course.)  I didn't 'need' two 50 Noctiluxes so I returned the 50/0.95 back to the wild and have kept the 50/1.0 v4 ever since.

Since then I've managed to add the 75/1.25 Noctilux, which has a character of its own and a similar ability to the 50/1.0 to 'suck' light out of dark corners that my eyes can't detect but it's a bit heavier than the 50 Hoctiluxes.  I use the 50/1.0 with my M10 and OVF but the 75/1.25 with my SL2-S (and EVF) because they balance well together sizewise and the 10x magnification on the EVF can be useful for minimal depth of field although it does slow the picture-taking process down.

Pete.

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The Nocti is a shelf queen in my collection. i´ve tryed it on several digital m cameras, but most oft the time, i didnt nailed focus. not because im bad at it, the "messsucher" was decalibrated and i dont like to shoot with evf. (and my second cam, M9-P doesnt have one 🙂 )

Im gonna keep it, because its a special lens and will be forever. Its the fastest leica lens and will become a icon.

 

The 1.0 i still shoot on analog cameras

 

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I don’t believe in defining your needs in photography, if you aren’t a professional at least. If it’s an itch and you’ve got the money, you will buy it some day. Rational thinking won’t help you. If it’s too expensive you won’t buy it and the itch will go away. Btw, what’s wrong with selling it if it doesn’t deliver after working with it for a year or so. 

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  • 6 months later...

I use mine more than any other lens— I have experimented with several combinations for travel, and continuously return the the .95 and 28 lux.

‘As for the .95 … yes, it’s a keeper.

 

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Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Edited by mdg1371
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On 3/18/2023 at 3:43 AM, mdg1371 said:

I use mine more than any other lens— I have experimented with several combinations for travel, and continuously return the the .95 and 28 lux.

‘As for the .95 … yes, it’s a keeper.

 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Now that's what I call a hardcore fan! 😄

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I bought a F/0.95 last year, to try it. I tried it but found the lend to be really heavy and "unnatural" to use. 

Traded it in for a f/1.2 which I really like and use a lot. Convenient little lens with lots of character wide open and amazing performance stopped down

Then a few months after the trade, II came across the store front window where my previous f/0.95 was still sitting ... And then another month later... and finally after 6 month later  I got into the store and got a good deal on it and I bought it back...

Now I am forcing myself to use the f/0.95 more for low light indoor shooting like small music gigs in local bars. And it is just perfect for this, but still having a hard time to nail focus even with EVF.

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On 3/21/2023 at 4:43 PM, Pierre68 said:

I bought a F/0.95 last year, to try it. I tried it but found the lend to be really heavy and "unnatural" to use. 

Traded it in for a f/1.2 which I really like and use a lot. Convenient little lens with lots of character wide open and amazing performance stopped down

Then a few months after the trade, II came across the store front window where my previous f/0.95 was still sitting ... And then another month later... and finally after 6 month later  I got into the store and got a good deal on it and I bought it back...

Now I am forcing myself to use the f/0.95 more for low light indoor shooting like small music gigs in local bars. And it is just perfect for this, but still having a hard time to nail focus even with EVF.

It’s easier the focus on MFD or a fixed focus distance, going back n forth, i usually do this on portrait.. and yeah almost the same story with mine, sold n bought back, a nostalgic value on my end 

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  • 4 months later...
On 9/2/2022 at 9:41 PM, patashnik said:

All these are good, all are keepers. Most of the time I use the 35mm Summicron, but the 40mm Nokton is nice for the "poetic" moments. 

The Noctilux is a lens that has been on the bucket list for a while. There are however a few things that holds me back. For one: The weight and the size: Does this even balance well on the M11? Does anyone use it as a "normal" 50? 

And, two: Is this one of those lenses that "everyone" has to try, but than passes on to the next person? Did you keep yours, and if not - why? 

 

This is a great lens that is always not with you). I have one 0.95 (with m9 and m11) and I haven't shot it for about 10 years. The weight of the lens and the size are its disadvantages. You either shoot in the studio or take a lighter 50mm lens with you. m11 shoots great with this lens, but (see above) ..

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