I got a chance to shoot with a production Noctilux 0.95 ASPH last week. I've got some pictures and impressions on my blog.
Check it out at David Farkas Photography Blog
great article and wonderful test shots. i especially liked the series with your mother and daughter -- classic!!!
Thanks for posting these (and the blog article.) The photos are great for giving a sense of how the lens works for real-world photography.
As I said in my blog comment, this should make for some interesting shootouts when the 50/1.1 Voigtlander Nokton appears.
thanks for posting these!
In one way my heart beats faster if I read about the new Noctilux.
However when I look at your images I realize that it is just very difficult to 100% accuratly focus such a shallow DOF. The example in this thread I think the focus is on the fingers of the right hand, not the eyes. The image works anyways-however I dont think one needs a 8000 lens to achieve this.
If one really nails focus, and gets the combination of one area (and I am traditional and like the eyes sharp) and the rest being pleasently smooth it can deliever great images (I believe from my experience with the old Noctilux).
But-specially with a rangefinder-this is just hard to achieve.
It might be easier with the new Noctilux because it doesnt suffer from focus-shift (I hope), but still a low low keeper rate.
With my old Noctilux I got some few very special images, but it was just pure luck if I would get what I want or not.
I have things much better under control with the Summilux asph (sold the old Noctilux) and looking at your images I see what I often saw from my Noctilux when using it wide open. Focus slightly not where you want it.
I just decided even if I had the money no way I will buy the new Noctilux.
The Summilux asph is the best 50 for me/my needs.
My lust is for a 21 or 24 lux though
David, thank you very much for posting your preview of this legendary lens. after reading it, I decided to settle with my Summicron 50, but admired Leica for their dedication and expertise.
Thanks for instilling a dose of unrequited love David
I blew my budget on the 24/1.4 ASPH ... but am searching for a bone marrow or liver transplant gig to raise more cash.
I've had a Nocti 3 different times during my life-long Leica trek ... and Leica keeps raising both the optical and financial bar. Ahhh, but what price glory huh?
The Voight 1.1 sounds interesting for speed freaks like me, but I fell into that trap once before with the Voight 35/1.2 which was a decent lens until I shot a 35/1.4 ASPH next to it. I suspect the same will be true here.
Hopefully you won't mind, but I applied a piece of software I recently discovered to one of your files. Some folks may be aware of "Focus Magic" already ... but being a fast aperture junky, I was absolutely stunned by what this PS plug-in can do for those ever so soft user error images we tend to get with critical focus lenses like the Nocti, 75/1.4, 50/1.4 , etc.
For $35. one can rescue a ton of "almost" shots and vastly increase their hit ratio. Leica should include this software with every copy of the new Noctilux 0.95 Or retailers should.
Since it is difficult to work on a web compressed jpg which magnifies artifacts , trust me when I say applying Focus Magic carefully is virtually undetectable on a full resolution screen tiff ... and absolutely impossible to detect in a print. To see a closer representation, click on each image to view it separately.
Wow, I definitely have shots that could become keepers with this plug-in!!!!
I don't have enough of a hit ratio with my 50 lux to be even remotely interested in the nocti. Now the new 24 is something I drool over.
I found that if you select the key portion of the image like the face or eyes, feather the selection and layer it before applying Focus Magic, the effect is even more powerful.
I am also a big advocate of Focus Magic and have used it for a few years now. Definitely a way to save some OOF shots and make them usable.
thanks for the info on Focus Magic, guys!
i was just playing around with 75 Lux the other day, focusing on my brother's face wide open. he was in the pool and quickly turned away. i loved the angle so i took it, knowing he wouldn't be in focus, and ended up with an absolutely superb shot. he loved it when i showed it to him on the screen and said he wanted to use it on his book jacket. unfortunately, he was disappointed when he saw it big (i knew he would be) so i've been fighting to salvage it into a moody, poet shot where you can actually see it is him (perfect focus will never be) if printed larger than the M8 screen!
i really appreciate the tip. i generally enjoy the narrow DOF on the Lux and the Nocti and am not bothered if what is traditionally supposed to be sharp is sharp (for instance, a hand can be even more expressive to me than an eye), but it's great to know there is something that may help when it matters.
(i love when i come across these little gems on this forum!)
edited to add: it doesn't work on intel macs!
Last edited by cam; 28th May 2009 at 06:51. Reason: eta
sounds a little bit like a miracle going on with this software
I think I have to see mysekf before I am convinced that it works and looks natural
This was the first test I tried with it ... I took a shot deliberately OOF and applied Focus Magic. When Irakly saw this he made me do it again because he didn't believe it. Now he is getting it for himself
Last edited by fotografz; 28th May 2009 at 07:58.
Very nice Marc - for $35 not a bad addition.
Now the caveat is you have to be subtile with applying it ... fortunately, they provide the means to do so ... plus if you use a dup layer, you can erase away or feather back parts you feel went to far. It's an art as well as amazing science.
another cop out
David,what an interesting blog,have to agree that the summilux is more than enough:also I feel that if the bokeh is that important then it has to be used on a slr and not a rf.
David - thanks for posting.
It's a cop out if you rely on it like a crutch. But stuff happens when shooting with a rangefinder ... at least it does to me when shooting weddings for 8 straight hours non-stop. Some of these lenses on a M8 exhibit focus shift, which can be compensated for IF you have the time. IMO, it's nice to be able to rescue an image here and there that's just a tad off the money but worth saving because of the subject matter or contant.
The same argument could be made for distortion with wide angles which a RF doesn't show either.
So, we should just use a 50mm on a RF and nothing else?
The only point of using a 50mm noctilux is to shoot in low light,the bokeh is a side issue,a bonus,nothing more,however pleasant.
David, I see these pictures and they remind me of the old noctilux. I wonder if shooting at bright lights I would feel the same; the old one has the lowest flair I have seen.
I need help!
I bought Focus Magic and now cannot find a place to put it. Since it is a plug in to CS 4 I tried placing it in all the usual folders from Automate to Extensions, to Filters etc etc. After launching Photoshop following each change in location I could not find the link to Focus magic anywhere e.g. put it in Filters but it was a "no show" in PS CS4 Filters drop down and similarly for other places.
Is the plug in really not Mac compatible (Intel based desktop) or am I doing something stupid (my usual cause for failures LOL)
I will have my 24 Lux at the workshop next week so you will have a chance to see for yourself what it can do. So far I am really impressed. Like Marc Williams, I have found significant purple fringing (Not CA in my humble opinion) but which can be eliminated by checking the appropriate box in C1! So in reality, not a real issue.
Looking forward to seeing you next week
I also downloaded Focus Magic but (I am an Intel Mac User) I cannot make it work. No matter where i place it in the PS4 plug in's folder it doesn't appear from the menu bar. I know I must a. be doing something stupid or Focus Magic doesn't work in the mac world. Please tell me it is that i am doing something stupid because that tracks my lifelong experiences! LOL
get a Panny G1 for your Nocti...it wiLL cure your hit ratio probLem...RangefinDerz R history...