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Thread: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

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    how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Ok, I am debating with myself - wanting lenses like a 50/1.0 or 0.95 or a 35/1.4asph or 21 and 24/1.4 - how much is lust and how much would one really have an practible advantage?

    How much difference do we see in an image from using a 35mm lens at f1.4 and at f2.0 full frame? Browsing through the 35mm images in LFI I realized they were nearly all from the Summicron and Summarit. Even with a crop sensor and f2.8 of the x1 one can still generate some shallow DOF.

    I do know that I like having f1.4 in my 24mm lens though and do use it quite often.

    I also do know that I am quite happy with f1.4 in my 50mm lens - occasionally I think I would shoot f0.95 but seldemly and the price of the Noctilux is just too much for me for those 5 images a year.

    But I am "fighting" with myself if I should add the new 35/1.4asph, or keep the 35/2.5 (I like its drawing a lot, I like its size, what I dont like is the longer minimum distance), or maybe the in between the 35 Summicron....

    Anyways, how do you guys feel. How much is lust for speed, and how much do you really shoot wide open, maybe also some images ....

    TOM

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Hi Tom
    Well, I have the 35 lux and the nice summarit, and the 'lux gets the lion's share of the use - but it's more to do with the minimum focus than the f1.4. But then the size of the 35 'lux isn't that great (especially without the lens hood).

    I have had a Noctilux, and I did like it - but in the end the times I wanted to use it (bars mostly) was the time I was most scared of losing/dropping it, and also the time I most appreciated something small. So it went. I do sometimes miss it in theory, but I can't ever remember thinking 'I wish I had a Noctilux' when I was actually out shooting.

    I'd also like a 75 'lux . . . . but having tried Cam's this week I know I don't want the extra weight (and I love my 75 'cron anyway).

    I'm actually equivocal about the 35 'lux (lovely though it is) - on the other hand you couldn't prise my 50 'lux off my camera.

    So, for me, I'm pretty happy the way I am right now, and my real criteria is a mixture of speed / minimum focal length / size.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Jono's experience seems to match mine pretty well. In the end I used the 50mm lux pre-asph as my main lens unless I was using the 28 cron.
    My main issue with the 50 nocti was that razor thin dof and an open loop focsing mechanism in dark situations with my far from perfect eyes ended up disappointing more often than not.
    -bob

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Tom
    Well, I have the 35 lux and the nice summarit, and the 'lux gets the lion's share of the use - but it's more to do with the minimum focus than the f1.4. But then the size of the 35 'lux isn't that great (especially without the lens hood).

    I have had a Noctilux, and I did like it - but in the end the times I wanted to use it (bars mostly) was the time I was most scared of losing/dropping it, and also the time I most appreciated something small. So it went. I do sometimes miss it in theory, but I can't ever remember thinking 'I wish I had a Noctilux' when I was actually out shooting.

    I'd also like a 75 'lux . . . . but having tried Cam's this week I know I don't want the extra weight (and I love my 75 'cron anyway).

    I'm actually equivocal about the 35 'lux (lovely though it is) - on the other hand you couldn't prise my 50 'lux off my camera.

    So, for me, I'm pretty happy the way I am right now, and my real criteria is a mixture of speed / minimum focal length / size.
    Jono,
    thank you. do I understand right that you have not finally decided to keep the 35lux or the 35 Summarit (or both?)
    I agree on the 50lux which I would not want to give up.
    I put my order for a 35lux "on ice" of today and will try to cinvince myself that I dont need it haveing the 24 and 50 at f1.4 and the Summarit in between.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Jono's experience seems to match mine pretty well. In the end I used the 50mm lux pre-asph as my main lens unless I was using the 28 cron.
    My main issue with the 50 nocti was that razor thin dof and an open loop focsing mechanism in dark situations with my far from perfect eyes ended up disappointing more often than not.
    -bob
    Both the Nocti 1.0 and older 35/1.4 asph were not reliable enough for me regarding focus shift - so these older designs-as nice as they are - are no alternative for me personally and caused the same disappointment that you seemed to get.

    I assume the new designs are more predictable here. Still the 50/0.95 is just too expensive, big, long minimum focusing distance - so I find the 50/1.4 a much better compromise.

    With 35mm I find the decession a litle harder.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    just chiming in as i am someone that uses my fast lenses wide open quite a bit.

    my favourite combo if i'm out for the day and know i will go well into the evening is to shoot the 35/1.4 (pre-asph or asph, starting at f/8 if there's sun and then slowly going down to f/1.4) until the light fails and i have to change to the Nocti for f/1...

    i love the 35 Lux in all its incarnations but, to be honest, the bokeh can be less than pleasing at times when it's stopped down. if i know i am only shooting with sunlight or in conditions where i can keep the ISO low, i stick to my first generation 35 Cron. pleasing always, at times spectacular! (because of the coating, however, high ISO gets too muddy.)

    now the Noctilux is a lens unto itself -- i love love love it! i love it all apertures, as a matter of fact. the only downside, of course, is the 1m close focusing... i imagine i will be using quite frequently when (when?) i get an M9. the Nocti (i have an E58 f/1) along with the 75 Lux (sorry, Jono, we disagree here) are the last two lenses i'd part with.

    in your shoes, though, i think having both the 24 and the 50 at f/1.4 should be enough -- especially if you're on full frame... i think i'd look for a used f/1 before buying the 35 Lux if i was in your shoes and had what you do. f/1 is special.

    however, you have to be willing to risk it and take it into those bars at night. otherwise, why bother?


    ETA: oops! just saw your response to Bob... never mind.... i'll shut up now.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Tom; To be fair to the old Nocti - I didn't find focusing too hard.
    I ended up shooting a whole wedding reception with it (mostly wide open) on the M8, as the official photographer was a little . . . . erm. It was fine.

    Sam and Anna

    I don't disagree with you about the 75 'lux Cam except for the significance of the size - yours was lovely (even if it did front focus by abut 3ft 6 on my M9 ).
    certainly agree with you about taking it to bars - but then it's big, even if you aren't worried about it's safety (and the 0.95 is quite a bit bigger again). . .
    Let's face it, with respect to these lenses, on an M9, all roads lead back to the current 50 'lux; Small, Fast, Great Bokeh. Generally speaking in combination with a 28 'cron.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    f/1.0 or f/1.4 is nice when you need it, but the rest of the time you have to schlepp around a bigger, heavier lens that's probably a lot more expensive - compared to something much more "reasonable" the other 95% of the time.

    I can't say with authority, as I don't have a Nocti (yet?) but it's the same way with my 1,2/35 Nokton. I love it to death, but I'd much rather roam around with the 2/35 Biogon ZM or 2,5/35 Color Skopar most of the time. Of course, when I expect low or available light, it's my first choice...

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    The 35/1.4 is my favourite lens on the M9. I usually use it wide open.

    Mine is "broken". The aperture ring has no clicks and the focus ring often jams up. I can't bring myself to send it off for repair. The thought of being without it......

    I have the 50/1.4. I use it less. The 50/0.95 - If I had one..... I would be dreaming.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    I use the Noctilux almost exclusively at open aperture.
    When there is too many light, I go and screw a gray-Filter on it

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by f 1,0 View Post
    I use the Noctilux almost exclusively at open aperture.
    When there is too many light, I go and screw a gray-Filter on it
    Same here, as much as possible wide open and if needed I add a 0,6 or even a 0,9 Grey ND slim line filter [ES60].

    Kind regards.
    Bart ...

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    Thumbs up Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    now the Noctilux is a lens unto itself -- i love love love it! i love it all apertures, as a matter of fact. the only downside, of course, is the 1m close focusing... i imagine i will be using quite frequently when (when?) i get an M9. the Nocti (i have an E58 f/1) along with the 75 Lux (sorry, Jono, we disagree here) are the last two lenses i'd part with.
    I'm with you CAM, the 75'lux and 50'noct is my favorite combo, too.
    But what's big compared to the mad Summarex 85/1.5 ?

    All the best.
    Bart ...

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    I'm with you CAM, the 75'lux and 50'noct is my favorite combo, too.
    But what's big compared to the mad Summarex 85/1.5 ?

    All the best.
    alas, i never have gotten my hands on that beast, sigh... perhaps if i make it up your way, you might let me have a play? that and the Thambar have always been ones i've been dying to play with!


    to the OP:

    i think the secret is to love what you have and have what you love.

    anything else is incidental, no matter what people may say you need...

    i know cameras are said to be only tools, but good glass is something else altogether -- if you bond with it, it shows. if you don't, that shows too.

    it' true, at least, for me.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Thank you and I agree. Some lenses I just love and cant even explain why.
    For example even though the 24/2.8 is a great lens I never used it much.
    Now after replacing it with the 24lux I use 24mm much more often-even though its still the same focal length.










    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    alas, i never have gotten my hands on that beast, sigh... perhaps if i make it up your way, you might let me have a play? that and the Thambar have always been ones i've been dying to play with!


    to the OP:

    i think the secret is to love what you have and have what you love.

    anything else is incidental, no matter what people may say you need...

    i know cameras are said to be only tools, but good glass is something else altogether -- if you bond with it, it shows. if you don't, that shows too.

    it' true, at least, for me.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Thank you and I agree. Some lenses I just love and cant even explain why.
    For example even though the 24/2.8 is a great lens I never used it much.
    Now after replacing it with the 24lux I use 24mm much more often-even though its still the same focal length.
    hmmm, maybe you should consider the 35 Lux?

    i think it really depends on how, what, and where you shoot... my pre-asph 35 Lux rarely left my Epson until night fall; the 35 asph Lux was (and will be) the same on my M8.

    i often wish i had wider, but honestly can't afford it... still, i will go out with the bigger, longer, 35/1.4 lens more often than not because there are so many times i need it wide open and f/2 or slower won't cut it. granted, my favourite shooting venue used to be the Paris metros (which i don't have any more) and dark bars and cafes... i love going out to shoot at night as well.

    winter is coming, with the overcast weather and early nightfall. get the 35 Lux and i think you may find that you'll start using it a lot more and yes, wide open. it isn't that big, truly, and the capability to get a little closer is priceless.

    when i said i'd start out at f/8, that was when i was more in documentary mode of shooting (swift moving parades and the like)... i still prefer to shoot wide open if i want to isolate a subject -- i like the challenge and i love the look.

    whilst my Nocti and my 75 Lux are pry from my dead hands lenses, the 35 Lux is what is i use day in, day out. it's my workhorse. i haven't regretted buying it for a second!

    give yourself a chance to fall in love with 35mm all over again

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    I am using all my LUX's many times wide open. Knowing that it might result sometimes in unsharp (out of focus) results, if I am not careful enough. But if you can nail the shot you are rewarded by a superb result. No matter if I use my Nocti, 35 Lux, 50 Lux or 75 Lux.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Tom,

    On the M8, my favorite lens was the 35lux because I find that I really like the 50mm focal length on a full frame camera. So I made the radical choice to sell most of my other lenses when I started using the M9 and purchased the Noctilux ASPH. I use it as my do everything lens. With an ND filter in my pocket I've found that it is the lens that I use 90% of the time followed by my 75lux. I also still have a 21lux and 35lux, but they have been collecting dust.

    The new Noct is very sharp wide open and is easier to focus on the M9 than I would have imagined.

    Kurt

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    I am shooting much less this year and when I do, I do it for joy and relaxation. I take ether: the 35 lux preasph or both that and the canon 25 3.4. I use ether the M8 or the M5. I usually shoot close to wide open. I got a chance to get the haselblad wide camera (also 35mm) and it is so nice.
    Last edited by gero; 28th August 2010 at 05:40.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...
    Sam and Anna
    ...
    Those are some really great shots!

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by mathomas View Post
    Those are some really great shots!
    Thank you Mike
    I'd probably do the PP a little differently now, but now is now, and that was then!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Tom: The first thing to ask yourself is, are you a 50mm person or a 35mm person? In other words, which is "normal" for you on a film camera (or a full-frame digital camera like the M9)?

    For me, 50 is normal on film, and 35 is "normal" on my M8. I generally want my fastest lens to be of my "normal" focal length.

    The next question is whether you are an "available darkness" hound, or just dabble in it occasionally. This will affect whether you choose a more or less expensive fast lens. How much is that extra stop worth to you?

    Finally, do you want to use a fast lens all the time for its narrow depth of field and special character, or would you use it only when the lights are low?

    The "older" 35/1.4 ASPH does have significant focus shift. So I tend to use it at f/1.4, f/2 and f/8, skipping the stops in between. You would probably find the older Noctilux has a similar pattern.

    On an M9, if you're a "50mm" kind of person, the new 50/1.4 ASPH is probably the perfect lens. There is very little you can't do with a good f/1.4. But if you MUST have f/1, obviously only the Noct will do.

    If you have an M8, then things are more complicated. The new 'Lux ASPH has minimized the focus shift issue. The Voigtlander 35/1.2 Nokton also has (for all practical purposes) no focus shift. It's a lovely lens, sharp enough but not scary sharp like the 'Lux ASPH, and with a fingerprint somewhere between classic smoothness and nice bokeh vs. modern clinical sharpness. It is, however, big and heavy, less contrasty than the Lux, and prone to color fringing around transition zones between very bright and dark areas (like foliage against a bright sky).

    If you have an M8 or are a "35mm" person full-frame, then the new 'Lux ASPH with the floating element is probably your best bet. Another possibility is more than one lens--your 35 Summarit for most photography, and the VC 35/1.2 for available darkness. That's what I do--I use a classic 35 Summicron
    v. IV outdoors, and either the old 35/1.4 ASPH or the Voigtlander 35/1.2 indoors.

    I try to steer clear of "Noctilust." With film, I've used a 50mm Summicron outdoors, and a Voigtlander 50/1.5 Nokton indoors. If I had the M9 and another $5K to spare, I'd probably go for the 50/1.4 ASPH, and sell a bunch of other 50s I have. If you want to experiment with "character" lenses, there are cheaper ways to do it than a Noctilux. I'm rather partial to my $30 Russian Jupiter-8, which makes a nice Sonnar. Then there's the Summitar...

    As my wife says: "There is no perfect lens. Just buy what you like." (And then I worry about price...) :-)

    --Peter

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    I use my Nocti 1.0 almost always wide open. For me, one great advantage of the M system is the power to isolate in a (relative) small sized camera.

    Some shots with the Nocti
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3806817...tags/noctilux/

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    When I had my Noctilux, I shot it wide open 90% of the time. Now I have pre-asph summiluxes, and am shooting them (and other lenses) wide open only, for one year.
    My Photography Blog here

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    IT's a mix, based on what the photo calls for. I purchased the Noct f0.95 and summilux 35 asph (v1) to shoot wide open if and when needed. Both have magic in 'em wide open and work well when stopped down...
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    I have neither of those lenses, I have the Summilux-D 25mm f/1.4 ASPH which I use on E-1, L1 and G1 bodies.

    I checked metadata in my Lightroom catalog. Of the total number of photos made with this lens, more than two-thirds were made with the lens set between f/1.4 and f/2.5, and half between f/1.4 and f/2.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Kurtz-how do you feel to carry such an expensive lens? Are you sometimes scared of rubbery or damage or do you just dont htink about it? Anyways -for damage I have been insured since I dont see sence in expensive gear if I dont bring it along.

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    Tom,

    On the M8, my favorite lens was the 35lux because I find that I really like the 50mm focal length on a full frame camera. So I made the radical choice to sell most of my other lenses when I started using the M9 and purchased the Noctilux ASPH. I use it as my do everything lens. With an ND filter in my pocket I've found that it is the lens that I use 90% of the time followed by my 75lux. I also still have a 21lux and 35lux, but they have been collecting dust.

    The new Noct is very sharp wide open and is easier to focus on the M9 than I would have imagined.

    Kurt

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    I wish I knew if I am a 50mm or a 35mm guy

    On the M9 I use 50mm and 24mm most of the times today.

    With the x1 I am happy to use the 35mm FOV.

    I definetly do enjoy shallow DOF - as long as it fits the subject (I dont like portraits with inly one eye in focus though)
    So my most images are in the f1.4-f4.0 range.

    Does anybody have some samples which show the same image taken at f0.95 and f1.4 with the Noctilux?
    Or f1.4 and f2.5 with a new 35 asph Lux?

    Thank you guys for all the comments and interesting answers.
    For me its still about finding out which part is just lens lust and which part leads to things we can see?

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Kurtz-how do you feel to carry such an expensive lens? Are you sometimes scared of rubbery or damage or do you just dont htink about it? Anyways -for damage I have been insured since I dont see sence in expensive gear if I dont bring it along.
    Tom, I've gotten over thinking about it. Mostly, because every time I look at the images I get with the lens I realize just how much of an engineering marvel the lens is to use/own. Also, since it frequently ends up being the only lens I bring with me as I leave the house, it ends up representing around the same amount of money as carrying around three or four other Leica lenses at one time.

    Kurt

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    so very nice

    Quote Originally Posted by C_R View Post
    I use my Nocti 1.0 almost always wide open. For me, one great advantage of the M system is the power to isolate in a (relative) small sized camera.

    Some shots with the Nocti
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3806817...tags/noctilux/

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by C_R View Post
    I use my Nocti 1.0 almost always wide open. For me, one great advantage of the M system is the power to isolate in a (relative) small sized camera.

    Some shots with the Nocti
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3806817...tags/noctilux/
    I agree. IMO some Noctilux images with its shallow DOF have a kind of MF LOOK (regarding transition sharp-unsharp)

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I agree. IMO some Noctilux images with its shallow DOF have a kind of MF LOOK (regarding transition sharp-unsharp)
    and that's with the older f/1! you don't need to buy the f/0.95 to get the look...

    actually, i think the newer Nocti is too similar to the 50 Lux Asph you already have. if you went for one of these, i'd recommend going for the dreamier f/1.

  32. #32
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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    and that's with the older f/1! you don't need to buy the f/0.95 to get the look...

    actually, i think the newer Nocti is too similar to the 50 Lux Asph you already have. if you went for one of these, i'd recommend going for the dreamier f/1.
    I do like the look of the f1.0 version but I had owned one some time agon and just felt I could not get the focus shift thing under control. But more and more I feel lust for one of the ultra fast 35 or 50.

    Those last days I shoot nearly all my lenses wide open quite often...

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I do like the look of the f1.0 version but I had owned one some time agon and just felt I could not get the focus shift thing under control. But more and more I feel lust for one of the ultra fast 35 or 50.

    Those last days I shoot nearly all my lenses wide open quite often...
    unless your camera and/or lens is way off, i find the whole focus shift issue a load of bollocks... you can pretty much learn any lens, if you have the desire.

    maybe when you had it before you weren't ready to take it on?

    maybe you are now?

    lust is good

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    If cost is an issue you could consider the Voigtländer Nokton 50/1.1. Or it could be an intermediary step towards a Nocti... Though it is quite a bit lighter than the 0.95 and of course somewhat "slower". Like the Nocti, it has the 1m close focus limit that I find disappointing.

  35. #35
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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    I would say the 35 ASPH Lux is my equal most used lens on M8 and 9 along with the MATE. A large proportion of the shots I take with it would be full open. For some reason that nobody has ever really been able to get to the bottom of, many of the chrome/brass body 35 Luxes seem to suffer less aperture shift than a lot of the black anodised alloy lenses but they are appreciably heavier. A couple of years ago I had a discussion at Solms on the variability of the 35 Lux and they said that this lens was the most difficult to adjust perfectly of all the lenses they built and there would inevitably be some small variation from lens to lens. We all know that they were understating the issue and there is a big variation from lens to lens. I suspect the new design was to a large extent, to eliminate this issue and I would guess is a far more reliable buy. The old one is a bit of a lottery. I tried about 10 before I ended up with one that I liked.

    Wilson

  36. #36
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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Very interesting following this thread. I've finally bit the bullet myself. Back on the slippery slope again

    I just got my M9, finally making the decision to dump MF completely since I just have no work for it much anymore. The art market is GONE, and hard to say when, or if, it will ever come back. I've shot M cameras for years. You who know me will no doubt attest to the fact that to me, an M and the night just go together naturally. I've owned at one time or another practically every M lens made, save for the new ones the last three years. I shoot my M's wide for the most part, but have up to now always had a DSLR & MF around as well.

    So I am completing a large round of trades, sales, and purchases reconfiguring my gear completely to better represent my working needs both professionally and personally. For stills, I bought a new M9. My M8 will be listed for sale shortly, as I sadly can not afford to keep it and still get everything I want. I've owned two of these M8's, and enjoyed both very much even with the limitations. After only a few test shots, I am very pleased with my new M9.

    I've shot the old 21mm f/3.4 SA, 24 2.8 ASPH, 28 'Cron the most and love each and every one of them for different reasons and situations. I've also got a beauty of an older 35 'Cron that comes next. I've owned all the 'Lux variants and frankly feel the equivalent Cron is not only a lighter, smaller, less expensive lens, the optical quality of them is far superior to the 'Lux in every respect save for the slight speed difference. I guess that slight advantage is worth the overall costs (and not just in cash) to some. I'm just not one of them. To me, quality of the glass and look is first. What it costs to get it is actually secondary since I derive income from them.

    I decided I would try the latest 21 'Lux, .95 Noct, and 75 'Cron to add to those above since this kit is now my main system. My Noct is still on order, but I now have the other two. I'll do another post with my observations on the Noct after I receive it and hold all my comments from past experience with the older version until I've used the new one a bit once it shows up. I will share with all of you that I am extremely surprised and very pleased indeed with both of the other two. The 21 'Lux is spectacular and likely will become my main shooting lens. With the Noct, those two are my new "Night" kit. I like the 21 so much I will probably also buy a set of ND filters for it to shoot it wide open in bright sun. Also a likely purchase for the Noct as well.

    Guys, I want to share something pretty important about shooting with a 'Lux. There is simply no substitute for experience using them. Thousands of frames later, you will be very glad you invested that kind of time because each and every one of them is a unique look and a total delight when you nail the focus. I strongly encourage you to only buy ONE 'Lux, and at least one ND filter for daytime. You do not need anything else if you have the ND, and frankly USING your 'Lux most of the time builds that familiarity with it pretty quickly using it in light you can actually see to focus in. It will dramatically increase your "keeper" rate in your night work as well, since experience does translate if it is the same lens.

    What this does is "train your brain" to recognize the distance you see in the viewfinder and your other eye when the daylight image is in focus. Use it this way lots wide open, and when you move indoors even at night without enough light to see the patch your brain, your eyes, and your hands will just naturally move to the right focus point. I know this may sound like bull**** to some of you, but it does work and works very well. There is a solid psychological reason behind this, but I'm not going into that now.

    From my own experience, I can say that to really master any lens takes several thousand images shot in sequence without shooting anything else. I shot nothing but my 21 SA for over 6 months and I was shooting daily. That lens is a real pain in the ***, since it is completely manual without a working meter so you also must learn to read the light and set aperture and shutter both manually as well as dealing with focus. The 21 'Lux is much easier, but do not under estimate the work involved mastering any low light lens, whatever the focal length. The wider the lens, the less apparent your focus issues will appear so my advice from doing this low light stuff for years is to pick the WIDEST focal length you are comfortable with. You can always crop but you can't fix blown focus that is an obvious mistake.

    Now let's put to rest a couple other old saws about low light shooting. With full credit to those who shared their own bag of tricks with me, David Alan Harvey, Arthur Meyerson, and Raul Touzon for the most part who all make their living shooting low light hand held as well.

    Learn what hyper focal distance is, both in theory as well as in practice with your particular lens choice. It is a night shooter's best friend after his 'Lux. Know what your depth of field is in inches at several different distances. You'd be surprised at how that changes with even a couple of steps backwards or changing your position to the other side of the table. You will also be interested in comparing this DOF against another choice in focal length. If the focal you want to use doesn't give you sufficient DOF for the working distance your usually shooting, you are creating yourself an impossible-to-succeed dilemma. Learn to consider this as well and before very long you will only use the viewfinder for composition, the rest you set on autopilot somehow that seldom misses.

    Light is light, no matter how you get it or how you choose to use it. A penlight laying on a table focused through an empty beer bottle is an amazing light source in a pinch good for a couple extra stops if you peel off the label..... and looks very pretty, nice warm and natural, like there was no light added.

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Chuck,
    very interesting read. What I dont understand: are you saying you prefer the ..crons because they are as good and smaller and then you say you order the Noctilux and 21/1.4
    So is your general conclusion that the crons are the way to go ro the faster lenses?

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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Hi Thomas

    the 35 lux you sold to me is now gone and I got the new 35 lux ever since it came out and it hardly leaves my camera. I think it is much better than the old version, don't see any focus shift, handling is nicer and the hood design is way better.
    I nearly only shoot it at f1.4 and only close it if I top 1/4000.

    best lens I ever had, any make.

  39. #39
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    Re: how often you shoot yourNoctilux or your 35/1.4 wide open???

    Quote Originally Posted by geesbert View Post
    Hi Thomas

    the 35 lux you sold to me is now gone and I got the new 35 lux ever since it came out and it hardly leaves my camera. I think it is much better than the old version, don't see any focus shift, handling is nicer and the hood design is way better.
    I nearly only shoot it at f1.4 and only close it if I top 1/4000.

    best lens I ever had, any make.
    You guys dont make it easy for me to resist!

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