Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Dan States

A new Noctilux is needed (deserved)

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

From the number of threads about focus issues with the Noctilux on the M8 it's clear to me that even at the current prices there are people buying this lens. Many are going through a load of hassles to make this old lens work acceptably on the demanding cropped sensor m8.

 

It tells me that Leica owes it's customers a modern Noctilux, corrected for focus shift and better performing at all apertures. If they can demand current prices for a 30 year old design I think a new lens that is at modern Leica performance levels would only sell all the better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any lens at f1 is going to have a very shallow DOF. A new design is not going to help focusing problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Any lens at f1 is going to have a very shallow DOF. A new design is not going to help focusing problem.

 

The problem is not the shallow DOF, but the excessive focus shift when stopping down. Having said that, mine focuses ok at f1 and that's where I mainly use it for.

 

Alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan, I do agree it's the focus shift as you stop down which makes this lens a trial to use and if mine ever focusses accurately from close focus to infinity at f1, I'm minded to only use ND filters to control exposure, not the aperture ring.

 

With film, you have two ways of controlling exposure - aperture and shutter speed (aside from changing film speed). With digital, the ISO is readily changeable, so with the Nocti, I do not think it would be such a problem to use the lens wide open with or without, say, a 8X ND filter and then use the ISO and shutter speed to set exposure, leaving the aperture ring alone. Certainly less time consuming than trying to focus bracket.

 

For use at f1.4 and below, my preference would be for the Summilux ASPH or, if you want a certain Nocti-like softness, a pre-ASPH Summilux.

 

As for whether Leica should make another Noctilux, I think much depends on where the crop factor is headed. What seems certain is that if there is a new one, the price of the old one will drop like a stone and a source of amusement here will be asking the question: "You paid HOW much for it???"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

For use at f1.4 and below, my preference would be for the Summilux ASPH or, if you want a certain Nocti-like softness, a pre-ASPH Summilux.

 

Mark,

 

I'd be interested to see if you, or anyone else, is achieving with a 'Lux, the separation that a Noctilux provides.

 

I've tried with my pre-ASPH 'Lux and have not really succeeded yet.

 

I presume that's why most buyers go stright to the Nocti.

 

Love to see some Noctilux imitations, anyone?

 

Rolo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love to see some Noctilux imitations, anyone?

 

Canon f1.2/50mm is a pretty close challenger in quality but at one tenth of the price, half the size and half the weight...

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Mark,

 

I'd be interested to see if you, or anyone else, is achieving with a 'Lux, the separation that a Noctilux provides.

 

I've tried with my pre-ASPH 'Lux and have not really succeeded yet.

 

I presume that's why most buyers go stright to the Nocti.

 

Love to see some Noctilux imitations, anyone?

 

Rolo

Rolo I'd LOVE to show you some but I have no idea what a Noct image looks like as I don't own one and don't plan on ever buying one. The images posted on this or any other site from a Nocti give me no clue because all of them can, and probably do, have some PP done to them.

I'm perfectly happy with my ASPH 50 Lux for low light and ANY kind of light work with a 50mm lens.

If I had it to do over I would of never bought the Summicron 50mm and just gone to the Summilux to start with. But I didn't know just how good the Summilux is until I bought and used it.

I'd rather go to ISO 2500 then spend $5000+ on a Noctilux.

YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Canon f1.2/50mm is a pretty close challenger in quality but at one tenth of the price, half the size and half the weight...

Cheers.

 

Uh, you're kidding, right? It may be 1/3 the price (a Noctilux is NOT $14,000--come on!) and the Canon 50 1.2L is bigger.

 

Not heavier, that's true, but that's what happens when you make your lenses out of plastic. My 50 1.2L (which is very nice optically) is at CPS right now for the front lens element that, um, came off with the lens hood

Nice!

 

It also doesn't have anything like the flare control or abberation characteristics of the Nocti. Sorry. It's a nice spherical design, but try shooting it in backlight and see what happens to the contrast. It also doesn't deal with very low light the way the Noctilux does, and vignettes more, and is many times softer, wide open.

 

So, to correct this statement, you could say "the Canon 50 1.2L is a very nice auto-focussing alternative to the Noctilux. But at 1/3 the price, don't expect the build quality, contrast, colour or flare characteristics that the Noctilux gives you."

 

Oh--and just for the record--the 50 1.2L Canon *also* focus shifts when you stop it down. Ultra fast lenses come with tradeoffs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
{Snipped}If I had it to do over I would of never bought the Summicron 50mm and just gone to the Summilux to start with. But I didn't know just how good the Summilux is until I bought and used it.

I'd rather go to ISO 2500 then spend $5000+ on a Noctilux.

YMMV.

 

The Noctilux has a different look from 1 to 2 than the Summilux. I have both, love both, but they're completely different. It's in the contrast and flare variables, I think... the Nocti has less contrast wide open and more flare control. The separation is astounding.

 

I've posted quite a few shots from the Noctilux and none of them have post to expand the separation. This one is straight out of C1, not even resized in PS:

 

 

I honestly don't know what more you'd want from a 1.0 lens--except maybe more vignetting (I mean that), and while this isn't particularly low light it wasn't bright either (it's dark here in the afternoon).

 

This is from my son's letter to Santa Claus. Not a great shot, by any means, but it's handy and I need to go out yet

 

But the separation from the (very close) background is certainly there. He wasn't more than 2 feet from the fridge and the wall behind him

You're not going to get that with a lux--this is f1.0

 

If you want more examples of how special the Nocti is, just ask any of us after the holidays

The thing I don't have handy (without post) is just how fabulously the Nocti collects very low light....though this might do... f1.2 in a very low-lit room...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From the number of threads about focus issues with the Noctilux on the M8 it's clear to me that even at the current prices there are people buying this lens. Many are going through a load of hassles to make this old lens work acceptably on the demanding cropped sensor m8.

 

It tells me that Leica owes it's customers a modern Noctilux, corrected for focus shift and better performing at all apertures. If they can demand current prices for a 30 year old design I think a new lens that is at modern Leica performance levels would only sell all the better!

 

Personally I think it is unlikely that Leica will offer a new one. I understand that one element of the Nocti takes a year in "the cooler" before it is ready to be installed in the lens. And apparently the maker of that element no longer wants to provide it to Leica. My guess is that leica has such a good product in the 50 Lux, and digital body whose ISO extends to 2500 (although you can argue that above 640 you have serious image degradation) that they won't go through the pain of another Nocti.

 

Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem is not the shallow DOF, but the excessive focus shift when stopping down. Having said that, mine focuses ok at f1 and that's where I mainly use it for.

 

Alan

Can focus shift problem be improved by any means? Such as introduction of an ASPH element?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Canon f1.2/50mm is a pretty close challenger in quality but at one tenth of the price, half the size and half the weight...

Cheers.

 

I have the old 50 mm 1,0L which Canon has discontinued. I use it regularly on my 1Ds II with no focusing issues whatsoever. Even with AF which I have to manually correct every now and then. But I have nothing like the off focus problems I have with my Noctilux/M8 combo. My M8/Noctilux combo backfocuses with about 10 cm. But my M8 is dead on with all other lenses, - like the sharp and high contrast Carl Zeiss Planar 50 mm 2,0.

 

Any advice on what I should do with a Noctilux? It has already been one trip to Solms to be coded - and to adress the off-focus problem. It does not seem they have done anything at all with the latter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Noctilux has a different look from 1 to 2 than the Summilux. I have both, love both, but they're completely different. It's in the contrast and flare variables, I think... the Nocti has less contrast wide open and more flare control. The separation is astounding.

 

I've posted quite a few shots from the Noctilux and none of them have post to expand the separation. This one is straight out of C1, not even resized in PS:

 

 

I honestly don't know what more you'd want from a 1.0 lens--except maybe more vignetting (I mean that), and while this isn't particularly low light it wasn't bright either (it's dark here in the afternoon).

 

This is from my son's letter to Santa Claus. Not a great shot, by any means, but it's handy and I need to go out yet

 

But the separation from the (very close) background is certainly there. He wasn't more than 2 feet from the fridge and the wall behind him

You're not going to get that with a lux--this is f1.0

 

If you want more examples of how special the Nocti is, just ask any of us after the holidays

The thing I don't have handy (without post) is just how fabulously the Nocti collects very low light....though this might do... f1.2 in a very low-lit room...

 

 

Jamie thank you and they are great images showing the separation everyone talks about. But I really don't need any convincing as I never plan on ever owning a Noctilux. For what I like to photograph and the way I like to photograph them the Nocti is something I don't need.

Indeed the Nocti is a special lens and if it fits you and your style of shooting more power to all that own one and it's to bad that some that would like to own one can't afford it.

I am not one of those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jamie thank you and they are great images showing the separation everyone talks about. But I really don't need any convincing as I never plan on ever owning a Noctilux. For what I like to photograph and the way I like to photograph them the Nocti is something I don't need.

Indeed the Nocti is a special lens and if it fits you and your style of shooting more power to all that own one and it's to bad that some that would like to own one can't afford it.

I am not one of those.

 

Oh I hear you Ed. If I could just have one 50, it would be the Lux ASPH. That's one hell of a 50mm lens. The Nocti is a special purpose "brush" to be sure. There are other ways--and other lenses--that approach the look and style of the Nocti, but the Nocti still gets you there quicker.

 

BTW--I agree that I don't think Leica will make a new 1.0 lens. They might dabble in a new 1.2 lens though still.

 

I hope it's not an ASPH 1.2; it would then just be a very slightly faster Lux ASPH (almost uselessly so).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW--I agree that I don't think Leica will make a new 1.0 lens. They might dabble in a new 1.2 lens though still.

 

I hope it's not an ASPH 1.2; it would then just be a very slightly faster Lux ASPH (almost uselessly so).

 

I agree with this. Maybe a 1.2 in the older style of lens making similar to the new Summarit lenses and maybe a limit f/stop range. Say f/1.2 to f/4. If you want something with more DoF use a different 50mm lens.

Leica has to do something to allow the M line to get into more hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard rumors about a 0.95/50 Noctilux under development.

 

Not sure if this is true but it should also be for FF (which a new M9 should be).

 

And Leica is aiming for Photokina 2008.

 

I personally own the 1.0/50 Nocti (latest design) and I am very pleased with this lens. After fine adjustment with M8 the focus is just on the point and I cannot complain.

 

I would at least expect to be the new Nocti (if coming) a ASPH design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it might happen but I think there are higher priorities at the wide-angle end. The WATE has definitely not solved the wide-angle "problem" for the M8 either in terms of speed or cost. Maybe Leica can do it all, but with a moribund R line to relaunch, they have their work cut out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also heard the rumor of the new Nocti' although I'm not holding my breath either. If I could justify it, I would own one today simply to have the low light capability. I mean, who wouldn't?

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Uh, you're kidding, right? It may be 1/3 the price (a Noctilux is NOT $14,000--come on!) and the Canon 50 1.2L is bigger.

 

Not heavier, that's true, but that's what happens when you make your lenses out of plastic. My 50 1.2L (which is very nice optically) is at CPS right now for the front lens element that, um, came off with the lens hood

Nice!

 

It also doesn't have anything like the flare control or abberation characteristics of the Nocti. Sorry. It's a nice spherical design, but try shooting it in backlight and see what happens to the contrast. It also doesn't deal with very low light the way the Noctilux does, and vignettes more, and is many times softer, wide open.

 

So, to correct this statement, you could say "the Canon 50 1.2L is a very nice auto-focussing alternative to the Noctilux. But at 1/3 the price, don't expect the build quality, contrast, colour or flare characteristics that the Noctilux gives you."

 

Oh--and just for the record--the 50 1.2L Canon *also* focus shifts when you stop it down. Ultra fast lenses come with tradeoffs.

 

I assumed valtof was talking about the old Canon 50/1.2 RF lens which would probably be significantly less than 1/10 the price (and smaller and lighter of course). Quality wise - I have no clue...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Leica does produce a new f0.95 Noctilux, wouldn't the argument be the same as that for the f1.2 mentioned above in that it's not much faster in the former case? Unless, of course, it decides to introdue better corrections and an aspherical element. Or would it be more of a prestige thing to retake the "lead" in terms of having the fastest current production lens for consumer use? Then again, even at f1.0, it's still the fastest current production lens. Considering the old Canon f0.95 "Dream" lens is actually closer to f1.X (somewhere between 1.0 and 1.1, I think) when actually compared to light meter measurements (or so I have read), any new f0.95 offering should at least be a true f0.95.

 

The Noctilux seems to work well when it works well. I don't think the prices of current Noctilux lenses would go down that much unless a new version is clearly superior in image rendering, equal or lower in price, and more readily available for purchase. I don't think the price would be equal or lower unless the cost of manufacturing the new lens is somehow significantly cheaper, so given the relative rarity and low production rate of any old or current Noctilux, prices shouldn't really take a nosedive. Just my initial thoughts though.

Share this post


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...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy