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johnbuckley

M8 and Noctilux As Seen In LFI

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As they say, "Breast is best".

 

My feeling is, if one needs f:/1.0 then there is no option except the Noctilux, however to use the Noctilux as a standard 50 and utilise the aperture range brought problems for me. I tended to shoot the Noctilux at f:/1.2 for it's better contrast and slightly better definition when I needed to gather as much light as possible or shallow DOF. But using the aperture range of f:/2.8 to f:/5.6 brought the problem of focus shift.

 

The Summilux wide open has more punch and detail than the Noctilux at the same aperture and retains it's point of focus throughout the aperture range. However the transition from sharp to OOF is more pronounced with the Summilux and bokeh while slightly harsher, is more predictable. The Summilux also has more contrast and renders detail sharper than the Noctilux aperture for aperture. I find the Summilux runs hotter (burns out highlights) much quicker than the Noctilux or any other leica lens I've used.

 

But by in large I feel the Summilux meets my needs as a standard 50 better than the Noctilux, which was a disappointment to me considering I enjoyed so many of the images I'd seen taken with it. I continue to use the 90 Summicron for portraits when I need slightly softer details and use the 85 Summarex for much the same except the increased choma and under correction.

 

Don't pick me up wrong, the Noctilux is a special lens for sure, but to be a ctitique of the lens does not mean one didn't have the ability to use the lens, I just wasn't prepared to guess where the point of focus would end up while using the mid aperture range. It's a widely reported problem with the lens both new and old when used with the M8. There are also some who also seem to have copies which don't drift.

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My feeling regarding lux vs Nocti:

The Noctilux delievers a different look. For my taste kind of a "retro" look. More overall contrast/ less micro contrast. To my eye noctilux images look stronger and rougher, Summilux look finer and smoother.

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My Japanese back ground says it should be 'bokeh' - blurred/cloudy etc.

 

This is exactly correct. The word "bokeh" derives from the Japanese verb "bokeru," which means to make unfocused, hazy, indistinct or vague. The "eh" at the end approximates the proper pronunciation, which is a clipped "eh" sound as distinct from "ay."

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Full frame at f1.4, no sharpening...

 

[ATTACH]95142[/ATTACH]

 

Thanks!

And very impressive.

 

I don't know, I really like some of those Noctilux shots maybe because of the imprefections and the "deepness", but it might be the post processing too. The Summilux looks very clean and polite. I have the summilux 35mm asph and I sometimes find it too "polite" looking.

 

My feeling regarding lux vs Nocti:

The Noctilux delievers a different look. For my taste kind of a "retro" look. More overall contrast/ less micro contrast. To my eye noctilux images look stronger and rougher, Summilux look finer and smoother.

Exactly.

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The Nocti on the m8 when everything is calibrated properly is very easy to focus and quite sharp from 1.0 to 2.0. At f1.2, it's an exceptional lens and has the least flare resistance I've ever seen at that aperture and an eye popping ability to gather light:

 

Nocti at f1.0 (and quite sharp, though not like the 50 Lux ASPH):

 

 

From 2.0 to 4.0 it backfocuses quite a lot, and then as has been mentioned it gets sharp again. But when everything is working, the Nocti is great.

 

The 50 1.4 Lux ASPH has more contrast overall than the Nocti, and almost as good flare resistance, but not quite. For me that's the reason the Nocti has a signature look with low-levels of light.

 

The 50 Lux ASPH, though, is a truly great all-round modern lens.

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I'm sure it is different on a print, Jamie, but that shot looks a lot like a Nokton 35/1.2 shot on the screen.

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I'm sure it is different on a print, Jamie, but that shot looks a lot like a Nokton 35/1.2 shot on the screen.

 

Yes, on the screen the significant sharpness differences are missing.

 

I mean, in truth, except for the highlight tonality and overall snap to really low-light portions, this could be any 1.2 lens--the Canon 50 too.

 

But not from the original light; I've shot the 35 Nokton and it's just not the same when output without a lot of work

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The Nocti on the m8 when everything is calibrated properly is very easy to focus and quite sharp from 1.0 to 2.0. At f1.2, it's an exceptional lens and has the least flare resistance I've ever seen at that aperture and an eye popping ability to gather light:

 

Nocti at f1.0 (and quite sharp, though not like the 50 Lux ASPH):

 

[ATTACH]95225[/ATTACH]

 

From 2.0 to 4.0 it backfocuses quite a lot, and then as has been mentioned it gets sharp again. But when everything is working, the Nocti is great.

 

The 50 1.4 Lux ASPH has more contrast overall than the Nocti, and almost as good flare resistance, but not quite. For me that's the reason the Nocti has a signature look with low-levels of light.

 

The 50 Lux ASPH, though, is a truly great all-round modern lens.

Thanks Jamie.

hmm... I get the feeling of being rejected from looking at that photo.

Did she want to just sit by herself alone?

 

I like the quality of it.

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[ATTACH]95225[/ATTACH]

 

 

If she keep drinking beer and eating pommes frites she'll soon be fat.

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I would like to throw in one more thought: doesnt the focus, recompose, shoot - method lead to slightly inacurate focusing? Meaning that it should be really hard to focus correctly with such a shallow DOF as soon as the subject is not in the middle of the frame.

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I would like to throw in one more thought: doesnt the focus, recompose, shoot - method lead to slightly inacurate focusing? Meaning that it should be really hard to focus correctly with such a shallow DOF as soon as the subject is not in the middle of the frame.

 

In theory, perhaps, and even then only close up. In practice, I've never had a problem out 10ft with focus and recompose and the Nocti. There really is enough latitude to shoot it wide open and expect sharp results.

 

@ Brent, yes, she might get a little overweight...

 

@ ammitsboel--thanks for your kind words... I like the feeling of isolation in that shot as well. I'm actually pretty sure she was waiting for someone, so I guess she both did want to be alone (at that point) and didn't want to be alone

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Of course you also have to tell you subject not to move after you focussed.

Not even to tell you how well you did!

 

M8, Noctilux @ f1.0

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Funny thing is, you know the connaisseurs by who owns the lens. It's people that don't own it that usually talk bad about it. I can smell the non-owners by their first sentence in a post.

 

If by thy first sentence thou shalt know thee; I do not, nor am I ever likely to own a Noctilux.

 

Smelly disbeliever.................. Chris

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If by thy first sentence thou shalt know thee; I do not, nor am I ever likely to own a Noctilux.

 

Smelly disbeliever.................. Chris

Interesting, what lens do you prefer as the best 50mm?

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A slightly less expensive one? I would not buy a new Noctilux 50. A Noctilux 35, now... It would be an expensive Photokina - again

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Interesting, what lens do you prefer as the best 50mm?

 

My unease is not with the lens, or it's necessary use wide open because occasional low light levels demand, but with the rather obsessive joy at it's out-of-focus rendering which is so often the subtext to Noctilux threads. I have seen too many pictures made at f1 with this lens which says everything about the lens' rendering, and nothing about the photographer's authority. I have no wish to be unkind, but I do not associate the Noctilux with great pictures, especially when used wide open in daylight with fast shutter speeds.

 

................... Chris

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I have seen too many pictures made at f1 with this lens which says everything about the lens' rendering, and nothing about the photographer's authority.

 

Yes, but that is precisely what this forum is about – the abilities, limitations and characteristics of the M8 and various associated lenses. It isn't about who the best photographer may be, nor is the opinion of an "authoritative" photographer necessarily more valuable than that of an amateur.

 

I have no wish to be unkind, but I do not associate the Noctilux with great pictures, especially when used wide open in daylight with fast shutter speeds.

 

So, should we then infer that you associate other particular lenses with "great" pictures? I doubt that it what you meant to say, but it is implied. I've seen plenty of outstanding Noctilux images, but of course the photographer is the one who creates great images, not the equipment.

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Frankly, if I want real shallow DOF (and eventually in available light) I really rather use my D3 and the 105/2.0. Yes, 2 stops slower lens, but also easily 2 steps better noise - and quit easy to get reliable focus-even if the subject is slightly moving. And as a plus I also prefer the bokeh.

As soon as one doesnt shoot still subjects I find the rate of sharply images images too frustrating when shooting with super shallow DOF and Rangefinder.

I really like my M8 and do like 50mm on the M8 but in the end I havent missed the Noctilux after selling it and the amount of frustration has decreased.

F1.4 works ok for me.

Cheers, Tom

 

Here one with the 105:

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://www.pbase.com/tstreng/image/100170977/original.jpg&key=da0e5a851407df53a5a95d6d5c77910671e394052975d65e5fc648a694038d99">

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.. what this forum is about – the abilities, limitations and characteristics of the M8 and various associated lenses.......

 

It was in that context I aimed a gentle and restrained criticism at f1 [in particular], and bokeh obsessives.

 

So, should we then infer that you associate other particular lenses with "great" pictures? I doubt that it what you meant to say, but it is implied.

 

I did not say that. I did not imply that. The inference is wholly your idea. That idea is not mine. It is a daft idea.

 

..I've seen plenty of outstanding Noctilux images..

 

That is the sentiment which usually haunts threads about the Noctilux; usually, though not exclusively, referring to images made at maximum aperture. The sentiment is not usually challenged, being a disbeliever I challenged it. I have seen plenty of average and below average Noctilux images, I have seen necessary f1 images but I do not recall ever seeing a great image made at f1.

 

I'm not out to pick a fight with anyone here, and if people enjoy making photographs with large areas out-of-focus then it doesn't harm me or any other innocent bystander. But we know there are bokeh obsessives afoot keen to throw the world out of focus, and ready to coo at other like-minded images where the stamp of particular equipment swamps any personal vision. It isn't that I am 'anti'' wide open photography either; I used to photograph jazz, theatre, and karate, and at a guess I'd say every one of those images were [of necessity] shot at maximum aperture. Necessity is a different matter from some of the affectatious 'bokeh' shots made with fast shutter speeds which gain seemingly instant approval in forum threads. I thought it was time for some dissent.

 

No one got hurt by this opinion, be it smelly or otherwise.

 

................ Chris

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Frankly, if I want real shallow DOF (and eventually in available light) I really rather use my D3 and the 105/2.0. Yes, 2 stops slower lens, but also easily 2 steps better noise - and quit easy to get reliable focus-even if the subject is slightly moving. And as a plus I also prefer the bokeh.

As soon as one doesnt shoot still subjects I find the rate of sharply images images too frustrating when shooting with super shallow DOF and Rangefinder.

I really like my M8 and do like 50mm on the M8 but in the end I havent missed the Noctilux after selling it and the amount of frustration has decreased.

F1.4 works ok for me.

Cheers, Tom

 

Here one with the 105:

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://www.pbase.com/tstreng/image/100170977/original.jpg&key=da0e5a851407df53a5a95d6d5c77910671e394052975d65e5fc648a694038d99">

 

Yes, of course, everybody uses whatever lens/camera combo works best for him.But sorry - better noise? I just looked at the comparisons in LFI again and the M8 has better noise and resolution at 320 than the D3 at base sensitivity.

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