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Thread: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

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    Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    I had the good fortune to get my hands on the last E60 version of the f/1.0 Noctilux AND a new Noctilux 0.95 ASPH. ... in my studio, together at the same time, thanks to my dealer Sam @ The Classic Connection.

    Now this is some pretty stratospheric glass in terms of cost as well as low light performance. Not for the faint of heart, nor the thin of wallet.

    (Please note that this was for me and my needs, and may not fit anyone else's idea of a scientific test. It was just to make the decision on which of these two lenses to keep).

    Since my whole business model has shifted in the past year, and Leica finally cracked the FF rangefinder barrier, I've refocused my gear closet more toward the M like it was for me some years ago. MFD equipment sales have funded the trek back to seriously expensive Leica M photography.

    So, I wanted to REALLY know if the 0.95 was better or not ... which will be partly science, and partly subjective to be sure.

    I set up a still life and hunkered the little M9 down on a monster Gitzo G500 ... shot a manual white balance frame, then proceeded to shoot at nearly the closest focusing distance (which is 1 meter on both lenses) all at max aperture. I did three shots per lens without changing anything except the lenses, and always refocusing each time for all three shots per lens. Then selected the best of the three from each lens.

    I did the test, and then repeated it to be sure.

    Attached are 2 of the shots @ ISO 320 and detail crops from each. Processed in C1 to 16 bit tiffs @ 360 ppi ... then methodically prepared for web with no sharpening ... I only hit the auto contrast in PS on each file.

    At first I thought that the 1.0 was back focusing ... but on closer inspection found that nothing in front or in back of the focus point (the Leica Key fob) was really as crisp as the 0.95.

    A couple of other observations ...

    Without anything moved at all, the 0.95 image was slightly larger than the 1.0, which suggests that either one or neither of them is exactly 50mm.

    Without changing the manual WB setting, the 0.95 was consistently warmer in cast than the 1.0. Now this may be because the 1.0 isn't 6 bit coded and the 0.95 is ... and C1 did something to the color cast (?????)

    The 0.95 is a bigger lens and weighs in at approx. 4.5 oz. more than the 1.0

    I was surprised to note that the 0.95 focus fall off was slightly greater (0.95 verses 1.0?), yet more gradual than the 1.0 ... in general, the subject matter pops off the background a bit more. There was slightly less halation on OOF edges with the 0.95 as well as less squiggly Bokeh ... in fact very little if any.

    In short, IMHO I think the folks at Leica have done a remarkable job with this new Noctilux.

    Actually, I was hoping there wouldn't be much difference ... but to my eye there was. Worth it? For me and what I do ... yes! Every tiny edge is worth it in the long run.

    Hell, for the sake of my art, I don't mind skipping a meal now and then ... for the rest of my life

    -Marc

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Thanks for this test. The new Noct is a dream lens for me and I will never own one, but it looks great here. Like a 50 Lux ASPH but you get the benefit of 0.95. Amazing lens. I have seen other samples from this lens that were beautiful. I still love the old Noct though for its dreaminess. But lucky you! Enjoy that new lens just don't lose too much weight due to all of those skipped meals!

    Steve
    Leica M8, M9 & Lens Reviews!
    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Thanks Marc - very interesting . I am going to stick with my E60 'el cheapo Nocti -

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    fotografz:
    Thank you for a simple, straightforward, and illustrative comparison of the two lenses without going into too much technical data. The 0.95 certainly shows more details than the 1.0. I guess the 1.0 is still the choice when it comes to female portraits?
    Phil

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Without anything moved at all, the 0.95 image was slightly larger than the 1.0, which suggests that either one or neither of them is exactly 50mm.
    Marc - on the 50mm's there is a small number engraved just beyond the infinity mark (not sure if this appears on the Nocti). This number is a code to the actual focal length.
    How to decipher:
    Examples For 50 mm
    00 = 50.0 mm
    10 = 51.0 mm
    11 = 51.1 mm
    16 = 51.6 mm
    22 = 52.2 mm

    Do they appear on your Noctiluxes?

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    P.S. Thanks for the nice & informative test!

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Leica 50mm lenses are traditionally about 52mm. They may have abandoned this practice, I am not sure.

    I haven't tried the new lens, but the old lens does really well at slightly greater distances, and suits portraiture. Did you try portraits as well?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Nice comparison Marc... but with my current financial status, as much as I'd love to own the 0.95 nocti, I'm sticking with a Canon 1.2 for low light... Maybe before I retire I might get a chance to own one, but that's 35 years away so I better start saving up now

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Leica 50mm lenses are traditionally about 52mm. They may have abandoned this practice, I am not sure.

    I haven't tried the new lens, but the old lens does really well at slightly greater distances, and suits portraiture. Did you try portraits as well?
    thanks for that test, it does show a lot with very simple ways but there is something missing that Carsten noted: How about at Ønot closest focusing distanceØ? since the new lens has a floating element.
    Last edited by gero; 15th October 2009 at 09:20.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb_ View Post
    Marc - on the 50mm's there is a small number engraved just beyond the infinity mark (not sure if this appears on the Nocti). This number is a code to the actual focal length.
    How to decipher:
    Examples For 50 mm
    00 = 50.0 mm
    10 = 51.0 mm
    11 = 51.1 mm
    16 = 51.6 mm
    22 = 52.2 mm

    Do they appear on your Noctiluxes?
    Nothing on the 0.95 ... 00 on the 1.0 ... so I'd guess the 0.95 is slightly longer than 50mm (???)

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Leica 50mm lenses are traditionally about 52mm. They may have abandoned this practice, I am not sure.

    I haven't tried the new lens, but the old lens does really well at slightly greater distances, and suits portraiture. Did you try portraits as well?
    I've had the 1.0 for about two weeks and shot quite a few portraits and more distant shots with it. The 0.95 is still nice and dreamy ... especially the Bokeh, but the in-focus areas are a bit crisper ... which is what I want. I've done a few distant shots with the 0.95 also and it still has enough of the Nocti character

    I shot these close ups to make sure the new lens was calibrated.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    HI Marc
    Great test . . .
    For you that looks like one expensive test . . . for me, you've saved me a lot of money.
    I was thinking of getting another e60 (sold one last year)
    However, your test has shown is that what I really want is a 0.95, and that's simply out of the question . . . so I'll do without!

    Thank you (I think).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Marc
    Great test . . .
    For you that looks like one expensive test . . . for me, you've saved me a lot of money.
    I was thinking of getting another e60 (sold one last year)
    However, your test has shown is that what I really want is a 0.95, and that's simply out of the question . . . so I'll do without!

    Thank you (I think).
    So buy my 50/1.4 ASPH 6 bit ...

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Marc - Did you compare the two lenses for focus shift?

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    So buy my 50/1.4 ASPH 6 bit ...
    What, and have two of them!
    Or is your one much better than mine?

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    Marc - Did you compare the two lenses for focus shift?
    How does one do that John? I have both lenses here until Monday and can try to do other tests.

    I know I've read about focus shift on the 35/1.4 ASPH, but have never experienced it with my 35/1.4 ASPH in practical use after I sent it to Leica for calibration ... but like the Nocti I tend to use it wide open or just stopped down a stop or two.

    -Marc

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    all i can say is that i have an old E58 and i think it is sharper than what you show here in the E60... so unless i have some amazing gem of a lens, i don't think you were getting proper focus.

    that's not to say that the .95 is not amazing and, yes, amazingly sharp like the 50 Lux Asph.... but i don't feel you represented what the original Nocti is capable of in your test.

    am i biased? of course! but even as i prefer the look of the old to new, i know that others like the .95 better. still, i don't think your shots were a fair representation of the f/1 lens.

    i recently sent mine in to Solms because my 1975 lens wasn't focusing correctly. they sent it back, no charge because the lens was perfect, suggesting my either my camera was out of whack or my focusing was. neither was true -- the lens had been very loose and they obviously took it apart and put it back together tightly and everything works beautifully (without a miserable glitch in focusing i had i might add or me fearing the lens would fall off the camera).

    since i've gotten it back, i've put it through it's paces... is it as sharp wide open as my 35 or 75 Lux? no. but it's definitely sharp enough for what i use it for, with amazing separation of what is or is not in focus. things pop!

    i'm not saying that the .95 isn't the correct lens for you. you obviously had a properly calibrated one and it worked for you with ease, as well as having a sharpness you desired.... i just hate to see people passing up the amazing f/1 (knowing that they'll never afford the .95) because of your test.

    i also disagree that the newer one has the same magic. IMO, it doesn't.

    for the price of the f/.95, i would buy an f/1 again in a heartbeat and the 50 Lux Asph for when i wanted razor sharpness, closer focus, and a lighter package... but that's just me.

    and the Noctilux f/1 is truly my favourite lens on any of my cameras -- M8, R-D1, M2. it is the last lens i would let go.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    The easiest way to test for focus shift is with a ruler . I have also used a line of books staggered or my favorite a line of small shampoo bottles from a hotel . Focus shift is always back from the initial focus point.

    Focus on the ruler wide open ...and the make a series stopping down slowly. On the 35 1.4 you normally see the point of optimum focus move back at f2 thru f4 ..by f5.6 the depth of field usually covers the shift. This is why you can tolerate a very slight front focus at 1.4 . This pulls the range of acceptable focus forward until the DOF covers it.

    This is one thats hard to determine without the test as the depth of field is so small that most photographers have to bracket to truly nail the exact point.

    Leica significantly upgraded there focus calibration testing since the M8 was introduced and appear to be using the Lens Align product as a target.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Roger did a good job explaining it. I've heard of the 50 Lux ASPH having focus shift, but I'd swear my ASPH dead-on accurate at all apertures. I've wanted a Nocti E60 w/ the sliding hood for a long time, but the reports of focus shift have scared me into the fetal position

    I did experience awful focus shift on the Canon 50L F1.2. It was quite accurate @ wide open at 10 feet. At F2.8 focus was around 2-3 feet behind the subject. I tried three 50L F1.2's and they all had focus shift to varying degrees. I didn't have a set test perse, just focused on a object wide open and then a second shot at F2.8 to see if the focus shifted.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Thank you for the test Marc. It is a very practical test and tells me what I wanted to know.

    Mark

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    all i can say is that i have an old E58 and i think it is sharper than what you show here in the E60... so unless i have some amazing gem of a lens, i don't think you were getting proper focus.

    that's not to say that the .95 is not amazing and, yes, amazingly sharp like the 50 Lux Asph.... but i don't feel you represented what the original Nocti is capable of in your test.

    am i biased? of course! but even as i prefer the look of the old to new, i know that others like the .95 better. still, i don't think your shots were a fair representation of the f/1 lens.

    i recently sent mine in to Solms because my 1975 lens wasn't focusing correctly. they sent it back, no charge because the lens was perfect, suggesting my either my camera was out of whack or my focusing was. neither was true -- the lens had been very loose and they obviously took it apart and put it back together tightly and everything works beautifully (without a miserable glitch in focusing i had i might add or me fearing the lens would fall off the camera).

    since i've gotten it back, i've put it through it's paces... is it as sharp wide open as my 35 or 75 Lux? no. but it's definitely sharp enough for what i use it for, with amazing separation of what is or is not in focus. things pop!

    i'm not saying that the .95 isn't the correct lens for you. you obviously had a properly calibrated one and it worked for you with ease, as well as having a sharpness you desired.... i just hate to see people passing up the amazing f/1 (knowing that they'll never afford the .95) because of your test.

    i also disagree that the newer one has the same magic. IMO, it doesn't.

    for the price of the f/.95, i would buy an f/1 again in a heartbeat and the 50 Lux Asph for when i wanted razor sharpness, closer focus, and a lighter package... but that's just me.

    and the Noctilux f/1 is truly my favourite lens on any of my cameras -- M8, R-D1, M2. it is the last lens i would let go.
    Perhaps all you say is true. Perhaps not. I am relatively sure ... not ... but that's just me .

    The f/1.0 wasn't as sharp "looking" as the 0.95 anywhere in the frame ... so even if the 1.0 was miss-calibrated and was back focusing, something would be at the point of critical focus. I know it isn't the camera calibration because all my other "calibrated" M lenses are spot on including a 50/1.4 ASPH.

    I've used the f/1.0 for a couple of weeks now ... at a wedding, and on a trip to Chicago ... and many of the shots I did were just fine and looked sharp enough when adjusted, sharpened and printed. Since this is the 4th Nocti 1.0 I've shot with, it isn't my first trip to the rodeo

    I think it has nothing to do with whether the lens is focusing right or not ... it has more to do with contrast differences between the two lens designs. However, I do not want to add contrast and sharping when shooting the M9 at ISO 1000 because it irritates the noise issue. I don't want a Nocti to shoot it in bright light, so high ISO performance is the real criteria for my work.

    I've now shot a boat load of other stuff ... like real world shooting ... with the 0.95. I never said the Magic was the same ... what I see is its own form of "magic" not like any other M lens ... so "magic" is a relative term. The 3D pop from this lens is even greater than any of the four Nocti 1.0s I've used ... an attribute that lens was already famous for.

    Some like one look, some like another, which is why many older, lower contrast lenses are prized by some folks. So, use what you like and I'll do the same

    -Marc

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    How would you compare the Noctilux's to your 50 Lux ASPH? Do you see a time when you would favor the 50 Lux ASPH over the Noctilux?

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    The Noctilux 1.0 has always been known to be soft wide open and at its closest focusing distance. I have seen this everytime I tested the lens for focus accuracy. It was particularly noticeable at higher ISO s because the lens contrast wasn t sufficient to even identify the point of focus. But for most uses at 10 ft or greater the lens is sharp enough wide open to produce great results . So it depends on how you might typically use the lens as to whether you would call the lens soft wide open.

    I have only used the .95 for a few dozen shots on an M8 ...but its similar to the 50/1.4asph ....perfect at every distance. From the images I have seen in this and other tests ...I think the bokeh of the .95 is pretty great ...with a smooth gradual falloff.

    This is a lens that should be used at night or in very low available light ..then I think we will start to see the real capabilities and differences from the original version.

    How many 50 s is too many?

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by John Black View Post
    How would you compare the Noctilux's to your 50 Lux ASPH? Do you see a time when you would favor the 50 Lux ASPH over the Noctilux?
    Good question. It's one I was just discussing with my dealer.

    Obviously, there is the issue of size ... for travel the 50/1.4 would be preferred. But now it may be a wiser move to sell the 1.4 and get a cron for smaller kit use. That would be my only reason to have two 50mm lenses.

    I really haven't used the 0.95 enough in varying conditions to comment on how it compares to the 1.4. My sole purpose for the 0.95 is for shooting available light work at weddings ... in some pretty crappy light levels. Between the faster aperture and better high ISO of the M9 I may be able to lessen subject movement blur with a bit higher shutter speeds. That's what I meant by "every little bit helps" in my original post. Same reason I sprung for the M24/1.4 ASPH. I have the need, the need for speed

    -Marc

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    okay, Marc, i get where you're coming from now... low contrast lens do suck in high noise situations.

    i have an old v.1 8 element 35 Cron that is exquisite -- but only at low ISO's. when the noise level rises, all those wonderful shades start to look muddy and if i try to sharpen/add contrast, they look blotchy... for your application, you made the right decision -- blotchy brides are not happy campers!

    as for focus shift on the f/1, if there is any, i've found the lens to be a little bit of a front focuser wide open up close -- which is to my liking because i can get a touch closer than the 1m limit. it is ever so slight and i really don't find it much of an issue -- just mentioning it in regards to your picture/tests.

    in actual use, it really is not an issue and i don't think it should dissuade those who are interested. i shoot at all apertures and am always thrilled, my favourites being wide open and f/2.8.

    for you, a professional, and all that are pixel peepers -- yes, the f/.95 is a better lens as are many of the Asphs over their pre-asph brethren -- in terms of contrast and absolute sharpness. the feel and character are quite different, though, and for me (way down on the photographer totem pole) i feel the original is enough and desirable. i like the look.

    i totally get your need for speed! i was asked to help at a party where the photographer didn't show and found f/1.4 to not be enough for reasons you stated. (that said, i can also admit that i suck at these shooting situations and could never in a million years do what you do. total and complete respect!)

    you made the right decision here as well as with the 21/1.4 -- how is it on the M9, btw?

    i was just questioning whether it was a necessary decision for most of the people on this thread.... but, hey, everyone here seems to have already been able to afford the M9 (which i cannot) so i guess it stands to reason they should hold out for the f/.95.

    for those who don't have the money and are not using it in paying client situations, i still think the f/1 version of the Nocti is a very special lens.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    okay, Marc, i get where you're coming from now... low contrast lens do suck in high noise situations.

    i have an old v.1 8 element 35 Cron that is exquisite -- but only at low ISO's. when the noise level rises, all those wonderful shades start to look muddy and if i try to sharpen/add contrast, they look blotchy... for your application, you made the right decision -- blotchy brides are not happy campers!

    as for focus shift on the f/1, if there is any, i've found the lens to be a little bit of a front focuser wide open up close -- which is to my liking because i can get a touch closer than the 1m limit. it is ever so slight and i really don't find it much of an issue -- just mentioning it in regards to your picture/tests.

    in actual use, it really is not an issue and i don't think it should dissuade those who are interested. i shoot at all apertures and am always thrilled, my favourites being wide open and f/2.8.

    for you, a professional, and all that are pixel peepers -- yes, the f/.95 is a better lens as are many of the Asphs over their pre-asph brethren -- in terms of contrast and absolute sharpness. the feel and character are quite different, though, and for me (way down on the photographer totem pole) i feel the original is enough and desirable. i like the look.

    i totally get your need for speed! i was asked to help at a party where the photographer didn't show and found f/1.4 to not be enough for reasons you stated. (that said, i can also admit that i suck at these shooting situations and could never in a million years do what you do. total and complete respect!)

    you made the right decision here as well as with the 21/1.4 -- how is it on the M9, btw?

    i was just questioning whether it was a necessary decision for most of the people on this thread.... but, hey, everyone here seems to have already been able to afford the M9 (which i cannot) so i guess it stands to reason they should hold out for the f/.95.

    for those who don't have the money and are not using it in paying client situations, i still think the f/1 version of the Nocti is a very special lens.
    Absolute total agreement here. The 1.0 IS a very special lens and one I have loved throughout my M trek. Even after this test I STILL gave the 1.0 serious consideration verses the 0.95 ... how much do I really want to pay for a little bit better performance in the stuff I shoot? In the end, I am opting for the 0.95 since switching to using the M digital for more of my work.

    The 24/1.4 ASPH is amazing. It produced a bit of purple fringing in strongly backlit situations on the M8 and M9, but as Guy and Jack pointed out C1 eliminates that.
    The wedding I recently shot using the 24/1.4 was a goof up ... since the Nocti 1.0 was not coded, I set the M9 manually for the 50mm and forgot to set it back to auto lens detection for all the 6 bit lenses ... so I ended up with some cyan vignetting in the corners from the 24/1.4 ASPH. Live and learn.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Absolute total agreement here. The 1.0 IS a very special lens and one I have loved throughout my M trek. Even after this test I STILL gave the 1.0 serious consideration verses the 0.95 ... how much do I really want to pay for a little bit better performance in the stuff I shoot? In the end, I am opting for the 0.95 since switching to using the M digital for more of my work.

    The 24/1.4 ASPH is amazing. It produced a bit of purple fringing in strongly backlit situations on the M8 and M9, but as Guy and Jack pointed out C1 eliminates that.
    The wedding I recently shot using the 24/1.4 was a goof up ... since the Nocti 1.0 was not coded, I set the M9 manually for the 50mm and forgot to set it back to auto lens detection for all the 6 bit lenses ... so I ended up with some cyan vignetting in the corners from the 24/1.4 ASPH. Live and learn.
    ouch! can it be revived in C1 or cornerfix or are you screwed? or can you ust make them b/w with a romantic vignette? (i'm teasing here because i overheard a demo of Nik software at a photo fair here yesterday and the woman who was doing was actually apologising that they even had a vignette setting -- saying that some people find it "romantic." truly bad salesman ship here!) i'm actually not bothered by vignettes -- but b/w only. the cyan can be appalling!

    i do feel for you, though. i only own one coded lens and even that i manage to f*** up on occasion. life was much easier on the R-D1 where you selected the framelines up-top and cleaned vignetting, etc., in the RAW program later. made for much quicker shooting and a lot less mistakes.

    my bad about saying 21/1.4 when you have the 24mm. regardless, both lenses made me drool when i tried them (i prefer to shoot low available light as well). they were just gorgeous (most definitely on my lust list)! i cracked everyone up when i disappeared with them under the table to check them out... i've not seen shots with them on the M9 to see the full effect of the draw, but then i haven't been trolling through all the M9 pics posted either...

    i find 24mm an interesting focal length at full frame, having never shot it before. 21 and 28, yes, but never 24mm. other than your slight goof, are you enjoying it? is it too wide on the M9? not wide enough? do you use an external finder or just wing it?

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    ... I find 24mm an interesting focal length at full frame, having never shot it before. 21 and 28, yes, but never 24mm. other than your slight goof, are you enjoying it? is it too wide on the M9? not wide enough? do you use an external finder or just wing it?
    I got the 24 before anyone knew a FF M digital was so close. I was using it on the M8 prior to that ... which can be used without an aux finder on the M8.

    I previously had both a 21/2.8 and 24/2.8 ASPH that I used on a M7, and came to like the 24 FOV more than the 21. If I need to go wider I may get the new 18mm.

    Yeah, I just converted some of the 24mm shots into B&W. I actually have a great darken edges CS4 action in my PS actions palette. It does work to place attention on the central subject for formals and portraits.

    Marc

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    thank you, Marc (and sorry to hijack your thread).

    i have both a 21/2.8 (pre-asph an not that stunning) and the 21/3.4 (which i love -- though the vignette is lost on the M8 and i prefer it on my M2). i only played with my friend's 24/2.8 on the M8 briefly and was actually frustrated as it felt too short or too long -- that's why i was wondering about it FF.... the new 18 is amazing but isn't it too slow for your needs?

    glad you got the shots to work for you in b/w! which actions, btw? separate layers so you can adjust density to taste?

    and back to a question about the new Noctilux. does the new one's bokeh (wide open but especially stopped down) remind you more of a Cron or Lux in feel? i am very much a Lux girl (i love speed!), but i find myself particularly loving the bokeh of the f/1 which seems to be more Cronish in look... does this make sense? sometimes i find the Luxes can be a bit harsh in this regard.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Question Marc, how is the focus after recompose on that fast a lens?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Marc, thanks for the comparison. As some already mentioned, my lowly Nocti f/1.0 performs indeed better if focused further away from the MFD.

    I was wondering whether you can throw in the CV 50mm f/1.1 into the equation? I realize that it is not a genuine Leica lens but the specs are fairly close...

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by AGeoJO View Post
    Marc, thanks for the comparison. As some already mentioned, my lowly Nocti f/1.0 performs indeed better if focused further away from the MFD.

    I was wondering whether you can throw in the CV 50mm f/1.1 into the equation? I realize that it is not a genuine Leica lens but the specs are fairly close...
    Sure, just buy one for me and I'll be glad to do a comparison ... I'm all out of fast 50mm money rightnow ...

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Question Marc, how is the focus after recompose on that fast a lens?
    Close up it's an issue Ben ... less so when doing normal shots ... the further away, the less of a problem it is ... as indicated by users of the f/1.0 version in previous posts.

    I use a lens like this for full length and waist up bridal portraits where the key focus area tends to be close to the center ... as well as shots like the first dance shots using available light ... where the distance masks any DOF/focus issues, but the increased shutter speed helps with subject motion. Not unlike the slower Canon 50/1.2, which is a snail like aperture compared to this pup

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Marc,
    I enjoyed seeing your comparisons and reading your thoughts on these Nocti lenses, but have not commented yet. My first impression is that the f1.0 is not delivering somehow. I have one of the last E60 versions of that lens, and I know it produces sharper images up close than what you have gotten from the one you tested. Knowing that you have had and shot several of these over the years, I hesitated to offer my thoughts. The f0.95 does look to hold more contrast and it is looking a bit sharper in your test for sure. It is a stunning lens for sure, but I would not dismiss the f1.0 at this point. I have found the f1.0 to have a less micro-contrast, and that tends to make it look softer. The roll-on and roll-off of focus wide open is more gradual, and that tends to also make it look softer, especially at minimum focus distance, hence the much more "dreamy glow" that many describe. At normal shooting distances of say 3-10m, it holds its own quite well, and with less contrast, it does tend to impart a more gently soft look, I think. Can still be quite sharp, but does not look as crisp, like some other lenses. That becomes a matter of taste. I carry a CV 50mm f1.5 Nokton along with my Nocti when I want something a bit more crisp, but honestly, just stopping the Nocti down to f2 or so achieves the same results, I think. If you want the more crisp look, but still the insanely shallow DOF, this new f0.95 looks to deliver more of that than the f1.0 version. However, I still think the f1.0 you used in these tests was not performing at its best somehow. Just my thoughts.

    LJ

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Just as a reminder, these are just about straight out of the camera ... no sharpening applied, and some of the detail crops are pretty huge enlargements. I also mentioned that I only hit auto contrast in PS. The 1.0 is pretty consistent with with all the other 1.0s I've used in the past.

    Full screen on a 30" monitor, both files look pretty darned good ... I showed both files to my pal Irakly and his first impression was that the 0.95 had more 3D feel ... but he didn't mention sharpness until I revealed the crops. His take was that the 0.95 had more micro contrast at work giving the impression of a bit more clarity.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Holy crap that's impressive. Brighter AND sharper - darn good lookin' wide open.

    I don't think I'm going to be dropping that kind of coin on a lens ANY time soon though.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    I only hit auto contrast in PS... huh...that will warp the test...how about unaltered files?

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by Y.B.Hudson III View Post
    I only hit auto contrast in PS... huh...that will warp the test...how about unaltered files?
    How will that "warp" the test? Do tell.

    EVERYTHING was exactly the same including the slight contrast adjustment.

    Unaltered files? ... well that would be possible only if I uploaded the RAW files which can't be done here. Downsizing a 18 meg RAW file and converting it to to a sub 1 meg Jpg is an "altered file".

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    How will that "warp" the test? Do tell.
    It does things to the transition/gradation of OOF areas to an extent that the lens' characteristics are lost. This is especially the case when super fast lenses with slim DoF are used.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Hi Marc, glad to see this comparison. As a big fan of the 50mm focal length and wide open shooting, it looks to be an intoxicating option. I can't believe I'm asking, but have you tried it stopped down? If it's an excellent normal lens (equal or nearly equal to the 50lux) it'd be awfully tempting down the road. A perfect all-around, 1-lens dark to light wrecking crew.

    Kurt

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    According to comments on the l-camera forum, the new Noctilux is very close to the 50 Lux ASPH throughout the range from 1.4 and up. I haven't tried it myself, but seeing the performance wide open, I can believe it.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    This wasn't a Bokeh test. I know the Bokeh is different between the two lenses, it was a "clarity of subject" verses the background I was interested in.

    I can't remember very many lower light digital files that didn't need some contrast and sharpening ... but hey, as requested, here are the files again straight out of C1 with nothing altered from "as shot".

    Cropped this time to show the the point of focus and some OOF surrounding areas, as well as a tight crop of the focus point.

    IMO, without the slight contrast bump, the lower contrast f/1.0 lens fares even worse in subject clarity.


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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    That would be very impressive, Carsten. An expensive choice for certain ... but, here in the upper Midwest with 6 months of gray and overcast skies, fast lenses rule. I've found that I really don't want/need a bag full of specialist lenses ... I only end up using several focal lengths 90% of the time.

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    Hi Marc, glad to see this comparison. As a big fan of the 50mm focal length and wide open shooting, it looks to be an intoxicating option. I can't believe I'm asking, but have you tried it stopped down? If it's an excellent normal lens (equal or nearly equal to the 50lux) it'd be awfully tempting down the road. A perfect all-around, 1-lens dark to light wrecking crew.

    Kurt
    Hi Kurt, yeah the couple things I've shot at f/1.4, 2.8 look remarkably good and seem to compare quite well with my 50/1.4 ASPH ... but that lens isn't here for me to do a f/1.4 to f/5.6 shoot out ... to be sure.

    Yep, it's a one 50mm shooter if you don't mind the extra size and weight.

    -Marc

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    That would be very impressive, Carsten. An expensive choice for certain ... but, here in the upper Midwest with 6 months of gray and overcast skies, fast lenses rule. I've found that I really don't want/need a bag full of specialist lenses ... I only end up using several focal lengths 90% of the time.
    Me too Kurt, 6 months of "Moscow Grey Skies" here in the upper midwestern, Detroit Michigan area. It's the Great Lakes effect.

    I'm always envious of people like Guy and all these California/Florida shooters who actually get to see a blue sky and the sun. They whine about the contrast, but except for tests, who shoots at noon anyway ...

    The other thing is that weddings are often shot in dim, very warm lighting at receptions, and most churches don't allow flash during the ceremony. (rationalization alert! )

    Believe me, I've tried everything out there and no one makes optics for wide open, fast aperture shooting like Leica.

    Speaking of irrational, lust driven justification, here's a take on costs that didn't occur to me when getting this lens:

    When I told my pal Irakly I had this lens, he asked if I had come into an inheritance, and quipped that I was crazy and could have gotten a MF digital back for that much money ... then thought about it and changed his mind, "... in 5 years the digital back will be almost worthless, where this lens will still be expensive." Hope he's right.

    I can tell you from experience, I've shoot weddings with 4 different systems and fast optics, and the Leica M stuff jumps out at you when they are all mixed in together.



    -Marc

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Marc, I know you have worked with a lot of these lenses, so I am curious to know how you would compare the 50/0.95, the Canon 85L and perhaps the Nikon 85/1.4? Apart from the availability of the 0.95 I mean, just character, sharpness and boke.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Marc, I know you have worked with a lot of these lenses, so I am curious to know how you would compare the 50/0.95, the Canon 85L and perhaps the Nikon 85/1.4? Apart from the availability of the 0.95 I mean, just character, sharpness and boke.
    Yes, I've shot extensively with lots of speedy lenses ... Canon 50/1.2L, 85/1.2L-MKII, CV 35/1.2, Sony Zeiss 85/1.4, Contax N 85/1.4, CZ 85/1.4, ZF 85/1.4, Nikon 85/1.4 ... etc. etc.

    Strictly personal opinion:

    The Canons have a very nice character and the OOF areas feature creamy transitions ... but what I missed was a consistent 3D pop of the subject off the background and sense of unique character that I got with Leica R35/1.4 and 80/1.4 or M50/1.4, 75/1.4 and this Noctilux ... and oddly the Canon front Bokeh seemed less pretty to my eye. Much the same with Nikon. The V/C 35/1.2 just didn't work for me ... the specs were exciting, the printed shots weren't ... but for the money it was a GREAT lens.

    The Zeiss stuff often produces better 3D POP, yet I always felt the over-all character a little to "clinical" for my tastes. I must say though, some of the ZA lenses for Sony are very nice in feel and character with pretty nice 3D effect wide open ... yet, the ZA 85/1.4 has too much CA which can affect the appearance of subject clarity at the point of critical focus when shooting in the type of contrasty light I often encounter in dark receptions and night street work.

    IMO, for 35mm, 50mm and 75/80mm there just isn't anything close to Leica ... whether R or M.

    Here's an odd observation ... with certain Zeiss lenses and a lot of the Leica M optics, even slightly missed focus shots look okay... especially when printed at the sizes I usually do which is 8X10. I never could figure that one out. Irakly's take on it is that it is due to the effect of over-all micro contrast which there is less of with other lens makers products. No clue if that's right ... i just go with what I see in prints.

    -Marc

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Thanks, that is really interesting.

    There was once a huge thread about the 3D-look in images over on FM, and the general question of boke also came up. One of the items of discussion was exactly how sharpness rolled off with distance. We tend to just discuss boke as if all lenses have equivalent roll-off (in magnitude if not in character) at the same f-stop, but this isn't true, as is easy to verify. Different lens designs have a different sharpness falloff with distance. The Zeiss designs tended to be more gradual, and the boke had more "character", i.e. more detail was discernible in it, leading to greater 3Dness, whereas the Leicas were pretty abrupt, and the boke was very blurred, leading to less 3D, but more subject isolation.

    Do you have any experience with the famous 50-/60-Jahre editions of the Zeiss 85/1.2?

    I have only tried the 85L-I briefly, and was surprised to see that CA was quite visible. Other than that, it had a really nice look, something I don't recall seeing in other Canon lenses I have tried. The 200/1.8 and 200/2 are also meant to be excellent.

    I used to have a Canon 5D and an 80 Lux-R, and that is to this day one of my favorite lenses. It was soft-on-sharp wide open, a beautiful look.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Thanks, that is really interesting.

    There was once a huge thread about the 3D-look in images over on FM, and the general question of boke also came up. One of the items of discussion was exactly how sharpness rolled off with distance. We tend to just discuss boke as if all lenses have equivalent roll-off (in magnitude if not in character) at the same f-stop, but this isn't true, as is easy to verify. Different lens designs have a different sharpness falloff with distance. The Zeiss designs tended to be more gradual, and the boke had more "character", i.e. more detail was discernible in it, leading to greater 3Dness, whereas the Leicas were pretty abrupt, and the boke was very blurred, leading to less 3D, but more subject isolation.

    Do you have any experience with the famous 50-/60-Jahre editions of the Zeiss 85/1.2?

    I have only tried the 85L-I briefly, and was surprised to see that CA was quite visible. Other than that, it had a really nice look, something I don't recall seeing in other Canon lenses I have tried. The 200/1.8 and 200/2 are also meant to be excellent.

    I used to have a Canon 5D and an 80 Lux-R, and that is to this day one of my favorite lenses. It was soft-on-sharp wide open, a beautiful look.
    Yes, I owned 2 copies of the Zeiss/Contax 85/1.2 Anniversary model ... and used the very rare 55/1.2 briefly. Some of my favorite film shots were taken with the 85/1.2 on the odd Contax AF AX ... which allowed more keepers, and actually allowed the lens to be focused closer than marked due to the internal AF method of the AX camera. I also used one with a slightly shaved back on the Canon 1DsMKII ... but it was a bear to focus manually and I just sold it preferring to use the AF Canon 85/1.2L. If you can't focus the darn thing, it doesn't matter how good it is

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    Re: Nocti 1.0 verses 0.95 test

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Thanks, that is really interesting.

    There was once a huge thread about the 3D-look in images over on FM, and the general question of boke also came up. One of the items of discussion was exactly how sharpness rolled off with distance. We tend to just discuss boke as if all lenses have equivalent roll-off (in magnitude if not in character) at the same f-stop, but this isn't true, as is easy to verify. Different lens designs have a different sharpness falloff with distance. The Zeiss designs tended to be more gradual, and the boke had more "character", i.e. more detail was discernible in it, leading to greater 3Dness, whereas the Leicas were pretty abrupt, and the boke was very blurred, leading to less 3D, but more subject isolation.

    Do you have any experience with the famous 50-/60-Jahre editions of the Zeiss 85/1.2?

    I have only tried the 85L-I briefly, and was surprised to see that CA was quite visible. Other than that, it had a really nice look, something I don't recall seeing in other Canon lenses I have tried. The 200/1.8 and 200/2 are also meant to be excellent.

    I used to have a Canon 5D and an 80 Lux-R, and that is to this day one of my favorite lenses. It was soft-on-sharp wide open, a beautiful look.
    Carsten

    I currently own a mint condition Contax 50 Jahre 85 1.2 and I personally think it ranks with the Hassy 110 2.0 as a portrait lens. The boke is very beautiful and the in focus areas, even at 1.2 are quite crisp.

    Sad that the only way to use it any longer is on my old film RTS III or on a modified Canon body. I am out of the film business except for my Mamiya 7II and I don't care for the look of Canon files.

    So the lens is for sale if anyone is looking for one. Contact David Farkas at Dale Labs as he is selling it for me.

    Woody

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