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Thread: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

  1. #1
    plevyadophy
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    Question 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    50mm lens bokeh:
    Leica Noctilux f1.0 -v- Leica Noctilux f0.95 -v- Voigtlander Nockton f1.1
    ================================================== ====


    I am considering one of the three lenses above.

    I am interested in the performance of these lenses on Micro Four Thirds (mFT)cameras in respect of resolution/detail across the frame, colour fringing (CA), vignetting, and bokeh.

    This post relates primarily to bokeh.

    I would be grateful if anyone could point me to examples of images, especially those that are shot wide open, from these lenses used on any mFT camera.

    What I am trying to make out, is which one (as I can't afford to buy all of them ) of these lenses produces bokeh that I find most pleasing.

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,

    plevyadophy

  2. #2
    plevyadophy
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by plevyadophy View Post
    50mm lens bokeh:
    Leica Noctilux f1.0 -v- Leica Noctilux f0.95 -v- Voigtlander Nockton f1.1
    ================================================== ====


    I am considering one of the three lenses above.

    I am interested in the performance of these lenses on Micro Four Thirds (mFT)cameras in respect of resolution/detail across the frame, colour fringing (CA), vignetting, and bokeh.

    This post relates primarily to bokeh.

    I would be grateful if anyone could point me to examples of images, especially those that are shot wide open, from these lenses used on any mFT camera.

    What I am trying to make out, is which one (as I can't afford to buy all of them ) of these lenses produces bokeh that I find most pleasing.

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,

    plevyadophy
    Anybody?

  3. #3
    plevyadophy
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Does no-one have any tips/info??????!!!!

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    I don't ...

    I use f1.8 and I'm comfortable

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    anyone else not have any suggestions?

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    There's a thread not too far below that talks about fast 50's on the G1. That might be something relevant. http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9359

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    I have posted this here in GDPI...

    It is much easier to nail the focus with the G1 than my Ms.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5117

    Robert...

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Pretty rarified glass for most of us m4/3 owners. Comparisons of bokeh between these lenses can likely be found more readily in 35mm/rangefinder forums. Then, perhaps someone with both 35mm and m4/3 formats could comment on how (if at all) bokeh seems to differ for lenses between the two formats. The apparent depth of field changes for a given aperture (that in itself is important), but does anything about the "quality and character" of out-of-focus elements change?
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    I have had two of the three lenses. Have you priced the .095? Seems obscene for a lens to put on a G1. The Nokton is a very nice lens. It was just a little too clinical for me on the G1. I had the Noctilux 1.0 on my M8. It has fabulous bokeh. It is the one of the three that I would lust after for putting on the G1. These are specialized lenses.
    I would pick a 50 f/1.4 summilux pre-ASPH for its wonderful bokeh and .7 close focus distance before I would buy any of the above.

  10. #10
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by plevyadophy View Post
    Does no-one have any tips/info??????!!!!
    The Noctilux f/0.95 costs US$10,000 and is in very short supply, so not a lot of people have them. The older Noctilux 50/1 also is quite expensive, even used (several thousand US$.)

    So, comparisons may be a bit hard to find because few people are rich enough to own both. (Most of the ones who do probably use them on Leicas rather than on a µ4/3 camera.)

    I have the Voigtlander f/1.1 and have shot with it a lot on a G1; I have some comparison pictures between it, the 50/1.5 Voigltander Nokton, and the old 50/0.95 Canon lens in this post on my blog. I realize that isn't the comparison you want, but at least it shows some of the differences between an old ultra-speed lens, a modern ultra-speed lens, and a modern "normally fast" lens.

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    I have had two of the three lenses. Have you priced the .095? Seems obscene for a lens to put on a G1. The Nokton is a very nice lens. It was just a little too clinical for me on the G1. I had the Noctilux 1.0 on my M8. It has fabulous bokeh. It is the one of the three that I would lust after for putting on the G1. These are specialized lenses.
    I would pick a 50 f/1.4 summilux pre-ASPH for its wonderful bokeh and .7 close focus distance before I would buy any of the above.
    I have Cindy's former Nokton and it suits me very well, at least on film and the R-D1. With the GF-1, when I finally get it, I'll be more likely to use my Contax-mount adapted Sonnar at 1.5 when it's glow I'm after. It is very small.

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    I have a vintage f/1 Noctilux that performs beautifully on the GH1. I got it within weeks of it being introduced by Leica in 1976. It takes a 58mm filter and has a removable louvred hood. The last of the f/1 lenses before the .095 had a built-in hood that collapsed on its own quite easily, thereby undermining the abiliy of the shade to provide front element protection, such as it is, so I much prefer the earlier series to the third series. That said, I am told that the latest Noctilux (f/.095 is sharper wide open and up close than the first series), but I haven't tried it. Attached is a shot I took of my wife three days ago. I think I agree with those who say the lens is easier to use on the GH1 than on anyof the M cameras. The Noctilux on the GH1 is a lovely combination particularly when the subject is, as here, also quite lovely.

    The other Leica lens I am enjoying on the GH1, with a different converter, of course, is the 80 f/1.4 Summilux R. I can't decide which I like better, the 80 or the Noct. but both of are excellent on the GH1, with the Noctilux being a little bit smaller.

    P.S. My lens is 33 years old; my wife is 66, but getting younger dailly or so it seems.

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    As it happens, I have ended up using the Nokton on m4/3 quite a lot. It works surprisingly well! Many of these are wide open.

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=2166...nasonic&m=text

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    As others have mentioned....rarified glass on a m4/3 is a bit absurd....

    I do use the Nokton 50 1.1 and love it ... but it fits price wise with the body.

    There is a new thread from Camera West's Sean Cranor comparing the 0.95 with the 1.0 at www.Camerawestblog.com that is quite worthwhile. NOT concerning m4/3 however.

    The two Noctilux's on a m4/3 is akin to wearing a tux to the drive-though window at MDonald's....and not a rental one at that.

    For the resolution and the output the Oly 50 Macro pretty well fits the bill...or buy a flash.

    Bob

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    I’m not sure I understand your post.

    You state that: “Rarified glass (by this I assume you are referring to the Noctilux that I use with my GH1) on a m4/3 is a bit absurd.”

    By “rarified glass” I assume you mean expensive glass, at least that’s the implication when the following sentence in your post states, referring to your using your Nokton on your 4/3 camera, “…but it fits price-wise with the body,” Which suggests that you believe the Noctilux does not fit “price wise” with a 4/3 body.

    But what does price have to do with it?

    Are you suggesting that whatever the attributes that the Noctilux might have, they are too costly and wasted on the GH1 or that the GH1 is not a good enough camera to make use of what the Noctilux can do? If so I respectfully submit that you are mistaken. Elsewhere in this forum there are numerous posts attesting to the fact that, at least up to 16X20 prints (big enough most of the time for most of us), the G1 or GH1 easily holds its own against much more costly DSLRs., and, as I and others have observed, it is far easier to focus the Noctilux on a GH1 than it is on any rangefinder camers.

    Moreover, in my opinion, the market price of a lens has nothing at all to do with whether it’s a good tool to use on a M4/3 camera. For an example in which the relative prices of the camera body and lens are reversed, I sometimes use a lens on my 4/3 cameras even though it is comparatively very inexpensive, just because it is so compact and I love the way that it draws—a 50+ year old Leica f/3.5 50mm collapsible Elmar. One might observe that this lens perhaps does not fit “price-wise” because it is an old, uncoated inexpensive lens. Let me go further, I very occasionally, just for the fun of it, also use an even older 50mm Leica lens, an f/2 Summar, again because of the “dreamy glow” that it can produce in the right hands. That “glow’ is actually flare, of course, but flare can be a powerful creative tool, if used carefully in the right light.

    Which brings us to the “legendary glow” of the old Noctilux. As David Farkas observes in his recent review of the new Noctilux,

    “Part of the look of the lens (i.e., the old Noctilux) comes from the fact that Dr. Mandler didn’t correct for the blue spectrum of light. So, especially on B&W, the image seems to glow. I know a lot of people really love this. It just was never my taste. If I have to stop down to f/2 to get a sharp picture, what’s the point?"

    I am one of those people who love that Noctilux glow even if you can’t cut yourself on the files it produces.

    Besides loving to use the expensive old Noctilux on the much less expensive GH1 camera body to produce images with that Mandler glow, I also love the following:

    • looking at paintings of Monet’s “blurry” water lilies;
    • reading aloud James Joyce’s “Finegan’s Wake” even though he appears never to have learned how to punctuate a sentence;
    • listening to Bill Evans’ forty year old recordings of incomparable solo jazz piano renderings on vinyl records driven by a tube amplifier;
    • driving 50 year old 356 series Porsches that are slow by today’s standards, but deliver a matchless experience on a tight country road;
    • driving almost any electric or hybrid car;
    * holding hands with my wife while watching a good classic black and white film.

    As to the analogy that using the Noctilux on an M4/3 camera is “akin to wearing a tux to the drive-through window at McDonalds,” I don’t much like the food at McDonalds, so not to worry, but I have been known to wear a very good and expensive twenty year old wool tweed sport jacket with old jeans and running shoes.

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by fishandfowl View Post
    I’m not sure I understand your post.

    But what does price have to do with it?

    Elsewhere in this forum there are numerous posts attesting to the fact that, at least up to 16X20 prints (big enough most of the time for most of us), the G1 or GH1 easily holds its own against much more costly DSLRs., and, as I and others have observed, it is far easier to focus the Noctilux on a GH1 than it is on any rangefinder camers.



    Which brings us to the “legendary glow” of the old Noctilux. As David Farkas observes in his recent review of the new Noctilux,



    I am one of those people who love that Noctilux glow even if you can’t cut yourself on the files it produces.

    Besides loving to use the expensive old Noctilux on the much less expensive GH1 camera body to produce images with that Mandler glow, I also love the following:


    As to the analogy that using the Noctilux on an M4/3 camera is “akin to wearing a tux to the drive-through window at McDonalds,” I don’t much like the food at McDonalds, so not to worry, but I have been known to wear a very good and expensive twenty year old wool tweed sport jacket with old jeans and running shoes.
    Points well taken...however I assume that others standards must be a little more relaxed than mine as I would never uprez any file, other than a portrait where a mild softening of the file might be preferable, from my E-P1 to 16x20...which is the native file size at 360 of my H3DII 39 back. Even with my 35 Lux Asph 7.5x10 with rebate on 8.5x11 is somewhat the limit for my tastes.

    Mandler glow and the ability to fine focus on the m4/3 is unmistakably true which is why I use the E-P1 rather than my previous M8...I do not feel that I will move to the M9 at the present time due to focus shift and aging eyesite.

    However the intention of my post was to point out that it would behoove one to make an assessment of the relative characteristics and strengths of these lenses with the best tools available...M9 on tripod locked down with multiple exposures to ascertain focus as needed. Which is why I included CameraWestblog.com as a starting point. Even there I wonder if critical focus was achieved in some of the comparison pics.

    I had a conversation with Sean at CameraWest concerning the M9 and was up a good part of the night ( a common occurence these days ) contemplating just what I would gain with the M9 over the EP-1 .... at my printing sizes.

    I have had the great pleasure of avoiding black-tie affairs for years and admit that it has been many more years since I have done the McD thing...I completely agree that nothing beats jeans, running shoes and any decent wool blazer.

    So yes I yield to almost all of your points and do love the EP-1 for my Lux 35 Nokton 50 1.1 (it isn't anywhere close to a Noctilux!) and older collapsable Leica 50 2.8 on the m4/3. It is just my feeling that the higher resolution the sensor the more value the comparison may have, for myself.
    I do wonder if the older Nocti's glow would most benefit the m4/3s with respect to emotional tone and bokeh.

    Chastened,

    Bob

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    Member fishandfowl's Avatar
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Bob -

    Thanks for your gracious reply.

    For your information and for anyone else who is fascinated by the prospect of using an older screw mount elmar 50 on the GF1 or GH1, attached is a photo of that lens, which has first been inserted into a SM to M converter mount and then into the Novaflex Leica M to M4/3 converter. There is a second photo showing a very important additional step that has to be taken when using these collapsible SM lenses on a modern digital Leica (including the M8, M8.2 and presumably also the M9). What is necessary is to slip a couple of orings over the front of the lens barrel so that when they are slid down against the mount prior to collapsing the lens, they rings prevent the lens barrel from interfering with the sensor and electronics. I use two rings (sorry, don't have the spec for them, but you can try a couple of sizes until you get the right one), which will enable the lens to be partially collapsed for compact transport, but then enables the barrel to be pulled out for actual photographic use.

    I just leave the aperture of the lens at f/3.5, which provides adequate depth of field. The focusing knob works as normal.

    Thanks for your comments, again.

    Ed (fishandfowl)

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Ed,

    The O rings are a great idea...every time I use mine I hesitate as I have come so close to collapsing it by mistake (Think of Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove)!
    It is amazing just how sharp the Elmars are for such an unimposing lens.

    Bob

  19. #19
    plevyadophy
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    So yes I yield to almost all of your points and do love the EP-1 for my Lux 35 Nokton 50 1.1 (it isn't anywhere close to a Noctilux!) and older collapsable Leica 50 2.8 on the m4/3. It is just my feeling that the higher resolution the sensor the more value the comparison may have, for myself.
    I do wonder if the older Nocti's glow would most benefit the m4/3s with respect to emotional tone and bokeh.

    Chastened,

    Bob
    In what way exactly is the Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.1 not "anywhere close to the Noctilux!"?

    And are you speaking of the old Leica Noctilux or the new f0.95 ASPH version?

    Thanks in advance.

    plevyadophy

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by plevyadophy View Post
    old Leica Noctilux or the new f0.95 ASPH version?
    Users choice... while the Nokton says 1.1 it acts with Bokeh more like a 1.4

    Bob

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Users choice... while the Nokton says 1.1 it acts with Bokeh more like a 1.4

    Bob
    It acts with light more like a 1.1 though .
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Concerning exposure I agree.

    Bob

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    In the only direct comparison I've seen the Noctilux (f0.95 version) is sharper at the center, a tad less sharp at the edges and has better bokeh if one prefers smooth background OOF stuff to the more edgy rendering from the Nokton. When stopped down the bokeh was the other way round; smoother bokeh from the Nokton than from the Noctilux (from f/4, maybe 2.8, and onwards).

    I haven't even seen any of these lenses in real life, and as said, that was from one comparison only.

    I wouldn't say the Nokton behaves like an f/1.4 lens though. There are so many different f/1.4 lenses that one can't think of them as a homogeneous group.

    /Jonas

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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Saying that it's "more like" a 1.4 is silliness. Maximum aperture does not determine the character of the out-of-focus areas: optical design and glass quality do that. The Nokton has excellent bokeh wide open that is not like the Noctilux's. It's just as reasonable to say that the Noct isn't "anywhere close" the Nokton. It depends entirely on what you're looking for.

  25. #25
    plevyadophy
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Users choice... while the Nokton says 1.1 it acts with Bokeh more like a 1.4

    Bob
    I still don't get ya.

    What do you mean, EXACTLY?

    Are you referring to depth of field, or some other quality?

    Thanks in advance.

  26. #26
    plevyadophy
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by fishandfowl View Post
    I’m not sure I understand your post.

    You state that: “Rarified glass (by this I assume you are referring to the Noctilux that I use with my GH1) on a m4/3 is a bit absurd.”

    By “rarified glass” I assume you mean expensive glass, at least that’s the implication when the following sentence in your post states, referring to your using your Nokton on your 4/3 camera, “…but it fits price-wise with the body,” Which suggests that you believe the Noctilux does not fit “price wise” with a 4/3 body.

    But what does price have to do with it?

    Are you suggesting that whatever the attributes that the Noctilux might have, they are too costly and wasted on the GH1 or that the GH1 is not a good enough camera to make use of what the Noctilux can do? If so I respectfully submit that you are mistaken. Elsewhere in this forum there are numerous posts attesting to the fact that, at least up to 16X20 prints (big enough most of the time for most of us), the G1 or GH1 easily holds its own against much more costly DSLRs., and, as I and others have observed, it is far easier to focus the Noctilux on a GH1 than it is on any rangefinder camers.

    Moreover, in my opinion, the market price of a lens has nothing at all to do with whether it’s a good tool to use on a M4/3 camera. For an example in which the relative prices of the camera body and lens are reversed, I sometimes use a lens on my 4/3 cameras even though it is comparatively very inexpensive, just because it is so compact and I love the way that it draws—a 50+ year old Leica f/3.5 50mm collapsible Elmar. One might observe that this lens perhaps does not fit “price-wise” because it is an old, uncoated inexpensive lens. Let me go further, I very occasionally, just for the fun of it, also use an even older 50mm Leica lens, an f/2 Summar, again because of the “dreamy glow” that it can produce in the right hands. That “glow’ is actually flare, of course, but flare can be a powerful creative tool, if used carefully in the right light.

    Which brings us to the “legendary glow” of the old Noctilux. As David Farkas observes in his recent review of the new Noctilux,

    “Part of the look of the lens (i.e., the old Noctilux) comes from the fact that Dr. Mandler didn’t correct for the blue spectrum of light. So, especially on B&W, the image seems to glow. I know a lot of people really love this. It just was never my taste. If I have to stop down to f/2 to get a sharp picture, what’s the point?"

    I am one of those people who love that Noctilux glow even if you can’t cut yourself on the files it produces.

    Besides loving to use the expensive old Noctilux on the much less expensive GH1 camera body to produce images with that Mandler glow, I also love the following:

    • looking at paintings of Monet’s “blurry” water lilies;
    • reading aloud James Joyce’s “Finegan’s Wake” even though he appears never to have learned how to punctuate a sentence;
    • listening to Bill Evans’ forty year old recordings of incomparable solo jazz piano renderings on vinyl records driven by a tube amplifier;
    • driving 50 year old 356 series Porsches that are slow by today’s standards, but deliver a matchless experience on a tight country road;
    • driving almost any electric or hybrid car;
    * holding hands with my wife while watching a good classic black and white film.

    As to the analogy that using the Noctilux on an M4/3 camera is “akin to wearing a tux to the drive-through window at McDonalds,” I don’t much like the food at McDonalds, so not to worry, but I have been known to wear a very good and expensive twenty year old wool tweed sport jacket with old jeans and running shoes.
    Hi,

    EXTREMELY well put, eloquent. Much better than how I would have put it, so much so that if ever this kinda debate arises again, whether here or on some other site, I shall point directly to your post.

    Since my original post, I have purchased the Nokton 50mm f1.1

    However, there are some differences between the Nokton and Noctilux f0.95 that are drawing me to the latter lens. But given that the Leica lens costs 6 times more than the CV Nokton, what I really wanna see is something OBVIOUSLY different in image rendering for it to be worth my while, and of course, how the lens renders on a Four Thirds sensor is probably much different to how it renders on a full frame or Leica M8 1.3x sensor.

    From the numerous images I have seen, on a larger sensor, it seems to me that the Nokton has a more interesting bokeh, but this often comes at the expense of some horrid background effects where bright specular highlights are present. It was that Nokton bokeh that drew me to the lens. The bokeh of the Leica f0.95 on the other hand appears to be MUCH better behaved with regard to bright background highlights, but seems to have a sophisticated smoothness which is well, erm, too sophisticated if you get my drift (?).

    I have been fortunate enough to get access to a f0.95 Noctilux at my nearest Leica flagship store. Whilst at the store I managed to do some test shots with it (but I need to do them again and more rigorously) on my Panasonic G1. On close inspection the Leica lens' bokeh looked smoother, but I didn't notice any other obviously different bokeh characteristic e.g. it didn't seem noticeably more shallow compared to the Nokton, and it seemed to display purple fringing at high contrast dark/light transitions just as much as the Nokton.

    Except for the ridiculous 60mm filter thread, the Leica seems to be a MUCH better lens than the CV Nokton ergonomically. It is just a matter of seeing whether, on a Four Thirds sensor, it offers something better or much different in terms of image aesthetics.

    Regards,

  27. #27
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    Re: 50mm lens bokeh: LN f1.0 -v- LN f0.95 -v- VN f1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by fishandfowl View Post
    Bob -

    Thanks for your gracious reply.

    For your information and for anyone else who is fascinated by the prospect of using an older screw mount elmar 50 on the GF1 or GH1, attached is a photo of that lens, which has first been inserted into a SM to M converter mount and then into the Novaflex Leica M to M4/3 converter. There is a second photo showing a very important additional step that has to be taken when using these collapsible SM lenses on a modern digital Leica (including the M8, M8.2 and presumably also the M9). What is necessary is to slip a couple of orings over the front of the lens barrel so that when they are slid down against the mount prior to collapsing the lens, they rings prevent the lens barrel from interfering with the sensor and electronics. I use two rings (sorry, don't have the spec for them, but you can try a couple of sizes until you get the right one), which will enable the lens to be partially collapsed for compact transport, but then enables the barrel to be pulled out for actual photographic use.

    I just leave the aperture of the lens at f/3.5, which provides adequate depth of field. The focusing knob works as normal.

    Thanks for your comments, again.

    Ed (fishandfowl)
    Ed

    I believe that John Milich is producing a high quality brass adapter for LTM to m4/3 directly. Saves one interface which is usually a very good thing.

    Woody

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