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Thread: Noctilux f/0.95

  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Noctilux f/0.95

    Are their any users of this lens and if so, any thoughts?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2

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    I hate to say it, but most users of this $11,000 lens have more money than skill. There are a few folks on Flickr shooting with it. (Mostly on their M9 bodies).

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    +1. Regarded by many Leica rangefinder users - yes, this one included - as a sort of "prestige lens," one you brag about owning rather than one you use (at 11K a pop, would you really have this thing bouncing around your camera bag?). If you really need a fast 50, most will choose the 50 Summilux, a gem in its own right at about 40 per cent of the cost of the Noctilux.

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    Being unable to justify owning a Noctilux financially, I still don't see the point. Film grain will interrupt the beautiful smoothness wide open in 35mm. In 120 or large format an equivalent aperture, say f1.4 -f2, would be amazing.

  5. #5
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karl View Post
    I hate to say it, but most users of this $11,000 lens have more money than skill. There are a few folks on Flickr shooting with it. (Mostly on their M9 bodies).
    Money aside I would be willing to bet the Leitz 50mm f2 Summicron and 50mm f1.4 Summilux aperture for aperture would produce a better overall performance than than the f0.95 Noctilux and that the majority of the owners are well heeled lawyers, cosmetic dentists, or plastic surgeons not working photographers , I can't think of a situation that I would actually"need" a lens like this except than to "impress the natives", since I personally very rarely shoot with any of my lenses wide open.
    I'm not and have never been a pro, but one of my friends who was one for more than forty years said to me " the idea of professional photography is to build up your bank balance, not your inventory of equipment ".
    Last edited by benjiboy; 03-18-2012 at 06:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

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    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    This doesn't answer your question directly, Clive, but I do own a Noctilux f1 and love it. First of all, I'm a bigger fan of Leica's older, non-asph lenses, and the f1 has a classic, beautiful rendering, that is unique. Problem with these lenses, and especially the .95, is that that they are specialty lenses and stupidly expensive. What you mostly see out there from the .95 is the from the typical wealthy Leica M9 user, shooting wide open to get the silly 3D, bokeh effects. Of course Leica named these Lenses Nocti-lux for a reason but that's way lost in translation. Shooting at .95 or f1 when there is no light, for night scenes, is VERY powerful, and gives one the ability to use ungodly shutter speeds, HANDHELD. That is the raison d'être of a Noctilux. Once we get into f1.4 and beyond, lenses like the Summilux 50, or the Summitar, Summicron, do a better job and they are lighter/far less expensive. And let's not forget the various fast Voigtlander and Zeiss. Obviously no one buys a Noctilux to shoot between f2 and f8 and that makes it hard to justify it, unless one really intends to put it to good and extensive use in low light situations.

  7. #7

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    Maximus nailed it in his response. While I don't own the Noctilux 0.95, I do own a Canon 50/0.95 that has been converted to an M-mount. Don't disregard the ability to take shots wide-open in near-dark conditions, hand-held, especially if you're a film shooter. Last Halloween, I wandered around my town at night photographing people as they walked from bar-to-bar. The only light I had to work with was from the occasional streetlight and from nearby stores. No way I could have gotten any good pics with a F1.4 or F2.0 lens, there just wasn't enough light.

    Whether or not any lens is worth $11,000 USD is another question entirely.

    Jim B.

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    I don't own one but I know a guy who owns one. Takes pretty nice pictures with it. He brought it with him recently when we hung out. I tried it out and did not like it. It was pretty large; large in a way that didn't work for me. I've previously owned the 75 Summilux, which is another big Leica lens. The 75 was manageable in my mind, the new Noctilux was too much. The worst thing about the 75 in my mind is the really slow and stiff focusing. It's my recollection that the new Noctilux was similar in this department.

    While f/1 would be nice in low light conditions, f/1.4 is enough for me for shallow depth of field. It also focuses down to only 1 m; I find it indispensable to be able to focus down to .7 m. Lastly, or perhaps 'firstly', the price is obviously pretty high. I can't afford that. I'd love to be able to afford that, but I can't. And even if I could, I really don't think it would be worth while for me. Obviously every one is different, but the Noctiluxes are lenses I really don't have much of an interest in.

  9. #9
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I always wondered how everyone seems able to afford a car which is worth half tomorrow, while struggling to justify the cost of something as useful as a lens, that (if you don't break, lose or gets stolen) will be worth what you paid for it tomorrow.

    Not to trivialize the price, just wondering about cars.

  10. #10
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I always wondered how everyone seems able to afford a car which is worth half tomorrow, while struggling to justify the cost of something as useful as a lens, that (if you don't break, lose or gets stolen) will be worth what you paid for it tomorrow.

    Not to trivialize the price, just wondering about cars.

    Good question, Bill...I don't know...maybe because everyone needs a car but no one really NEEDS an $11K lens

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