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johnbuckley

M8 and Noctilux As Seen In LFI

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I went through some doubt about my Noctilux sharpness when I saw some shots by another photographer. Their shots looked so sharp. After a few days it came to me why they were so sharp. The other photographer was shooting at 160iso on the M8, while I was always using my Noctilux in low light and high ISO.

 

The LFI shots were probably also shot at a low ISO and high shutter speed or strobe, which would help with the sharpness.

 

I mounted my Noctilux and took these two shots at f1 and 160iso. I focused on the eyes, and they are sharp enough for me now.

 

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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.

 

Jaap,

when I look at images from the M8 and D3 I can not detect any serious difference in noise behaviour up to 640 ISO (maybe one could see one when pixel peeping-I dont know), however its easy to see a difference above ISO 640, where the M8 gets tricky and the D3 doesnt, up to 3200 ISO.

Thats why I use the M8 up to 640 very often, but only few times above it, and the D3 is on auto-iso with max set to 3200 ISO - I just choose the f-stop and longest expsoure time I accept and let the camera do the rest.

 

I didnt want to start a M8 vs D3 discussion, I just wanted to say that the "shallow DOF images" is one area where I see some advantage for the D3 (and therefore I sold the Noctilux), there are other areas and subjects where I clearly prefer the M8.

Cheers, Tom

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...I do not associate the Noctilux with great pictures....

 

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

 

...I do not associate the Noctilux with great pictures....

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As with any lens, I think what it comes down to with the Noctilux is simply whether you like the way the lens draws or not. With any lens, it's possible to shoot wide open at close range and isolate the subject by rendering everything else in the frame out of focus. With the Noctilux, this not only becomes exceptionally easy with the ability to open up to f/1, but the lens has the additional quality of making the OOF areas look painted in a way I find very pleasing. I've never found another lens that does this as effectively.

 

Not everyone will agree, and that's fine.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm not sure that I could have gotten this portrait with any other lens.

 

Fine image, Peter, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. No other lens draws quite like the Noctilux wide open.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm not sure that I could have gotten this portrait with any other lens.

 

There is a daguerreotype quality to it.

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I have read this thread with interest.

 

I have also had my Noctilux going to and fro Solms twice. Once together with my M8. Still it is off focus, but not as dramatic as in the beginning. i suspect that it isn't even stable because I found it to be close to perfect when I got it from Solms, but that it has moved out of focus later. Which isn't all that strange. The Noctilux marks the outer edge of what is possible tollerance wise of the M-system.

 

I have compared my Noctilux/M8 combo with my EF 50 mm 1,0L/1Ds III combo. Look it up comparable sample pictures here:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/customer-forum/53650-noctilux-price-gone-wild-2.html

 

A 0,95 lense for the M8 seems to be over the top without some kind of sensor back/front focusing adjustment. As on the 1Ds III:

 

AF microadjustment for the 1Ds mark III and 1D Mk3

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TonyC and sthan,

 

Thanks - this photograph was taken early on a Saturday morning with an abandoned building as the backdrop. It is a street shot. This is part of my "Down and Out" series. This young couple had been homeless for over eight months.

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

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. 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

 

You'll get no arguments from me! Seems like a very expensive way of achieving what a smear of vaseline on the filter would do perfectly well.

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I just popped back in here for a brief moment. Haven't read all the thread, but I get the impression that some polarized views are floating around.

 

ChrisC said, I think, that he hasn't seen any good pics at f1.0. That may well be true, but it cannot be taken from that there are none. I think he also said: he does not associate the Noctilux with great pictures. Well, I accept that. But I also don't associate great pictures with any lens, but rather with great photographers. No offense intended Cris.

 

Then Pete said (I acknowledge the smiley @ the end): You'll get no arguments from me! Seems like a very expensive way of achieving what a smear of vaseline on the filter would do perfectly well.

__________________

 

Two problems there Pete. One is applying the vaseline in the 'right' place on the filter (if you have one!) and other problem is handling the camera with 'sticky fingers'.

 

Seriously though, I think the Noctilux must be considered as a tool with a specific talent, and should only be used for what it does best to the exclusion of all other lenses. Outside that , other lenses do a better job, but the Nocti does have a (small) special place.

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...ChrisC said, I think, that he hasn't seen any good pics at f1.0.....

 

Chris hasn't seen any great photographs made at f1.0. -

 

I also don't associate great pictures with any lens, but rather with great photographers. No offense intended Cris..

 

So do I. My reflection was prompted by an overdone, often affectatious, hack f1.0 'style'; not the focal length. Great photographs are made, of course, by great photographers who gain our sustained attention by expressing themselves clearly. My feeling is that too many forum photographers get so immersed in the out-of-focus visual soup that they end up expressing their lens rather than the more important stuff [for me at least]; i.e. what they themselves could be expressing. I can't help thinking that bokeh syrup is a Siren trap for the unwary. And Erl - no offence was taken, but thank you for your consideration.

 

Perhaps my bokeh wariness is informed by personal politics I have been reluctant to reveal in this thread; so feel free to ignore the following if you so choose. Much of the world I inhabit makes little sense to me. I live with political, social, and economic forces hell bent on throwing their activities out of focus to blur their often suspect and highly dubious intentions and activities. Clarity, when surrounded by such mighty forces can bring tremendous relief, and what I love about this fantastic medium of ours is it's challenge for us to focus on who we are as individuals, and then express that in photographs. Hey, this is just an idea, not a fully formed thesis. If others want to photograph 'Matrix' flowers out of focus no-one will be harmed, it's just that I personally would prefer to see more of the photographer in such images than I have seen so far.

 

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

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{Snipped}Clarity, when surrounded by such mighty forces can bring tremendous relief, and what I love about this fantastic medium of ours is it's challenge for us to focus on who we are as individuals, and then express that in photographs. Hey, this is just an idea, not a fully formed thesis. {Snipped}

 

But it's an interesting idea, Chris, and you have to admit: "clarity" sometimes means selective focus; when you want to concentrate on or isolate one thing, and the Nocti (like all very fast lenses) is superb at that.

 

But sometimes clarity means including a lot of detailed context, and the Nocti (or any Lux) used wide open is the wrong expressive tool for the job in terms of focus. In my opinion, though, obsessively sharp is just as often over-rated obsessively "creamy" out of focus areas.

 

My particular point is that the Nocti has its own look wide open which is different, particularly in low light, from other fast (1.2 and faster) lenses.

 

Having said all that, I also think every lens has a focus and out-of-focus style that contributes to its overall look... and that's what often gets discussed.

 

How you use those characteristics is what counts, absolutely.

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I live with political, social, and economic forces hell bent on throwing their activities out of focus to blur their often suspect and highly dubious intentions and activities.

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

 

OMG, you work for George Bush!!!

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..you work for George Bush!!!

 

There are people UK side of the Atlantic who actually believe that 'Americans don't do irony'. So by their rational you are either a poor American, or you weren't joking.

 

I prefer to think it was a good joke, and you were being ironic - the alternative is far too scary for me.

 

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

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There are people UK side of the Atlantic who actually believe that 'Americans don't do irony'. So by their rational you are either a poor American, or you weren't joking.

 

I prefer to think it was a good joke, and you were being ironic - the alternative is far too scary for me.

 

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

 

I am just a poor American with a poorer sense of humour. By the way, what is irony?

 

Is the quote I pulled out somehow inconsistent with the actions of the Bush administration?

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I just popped back in here for a brief moment. Haven't read all the thread, but I get the impression that some polarized views are floating around.

 

ChrisC said, I think, that he hasn't seen any good pics at f1.0. That may well be true, but it cannot be taken from that there are none. I think he also said: he does not associate the Noctilux with great pictures. Well, I accept that. But I also don't associate great pictures with any lens, but rather with great photographers. No offense intended Cris.

 

Then Pete said (I acknowledge the smiley @ the end): You'll get no arguments from me! Seems like a very expensive way of achieving what a smear of vaseline on the filter would do perfectly well.

__________________

 

Two problems there Pete. One is applying the vaseline in the 'right' place on the filter (if you have one!) and other problem is handling the camera with 'sticky fingers'.

 

Seriously though, I think the Noctilux must be considered as a tool with a specific talent, and should only be used for what it does best to the exclusion of all other lenses. Outside that , other lenses do a better job, but the Nocti does have a (small) special place.

 

And if you want an elegant (if expensive) solution a Zeiss or B+W "softar" filter is always an option. You can get some of that creamy glow of the 1950's and 60"s.

 

Woody Spedden

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.... what is irony?....

 

It's a bit like being up **** creek in a leaking canoe without a piddle........

 

Despite [to me at least] newly revealed rabid right-wing credentials, I would like to state that I do not, nor have I ever, worked for George Bush.

 

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

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