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Thread: Noctilux question

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Noctilux question

    After waiting since May for my Noctilux, I finally got it in my hands yesterday. To my dismay, it really has a back-focus problem. When I realized this, I lined up several yogurt containers and was clearly able to see back-focus.

    I am wondering if I should just send it back or am I better off sending it to an independent repair person. I understand that the noctilux is not optimized for digital and will have some focus shift.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Cindy do you want to try it on one of my M8 bodies to see. Are you here in town
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    If you want it fixed quick, I would send it to an independant. I had mine adjusted by Kindermann. I think a few have had it done by DAG.

    In my case it was a Noctilux I have had for years and was not under warranty. Kindermann is a Leica warranty depot, so Kindermann's work would have been covered by Leica if it was a new lens. If you get a third party to do it you may loose your warranty.
    Last edited by robsteve; 4th December 2007 at 13:13.

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Last edited by johnastovall; 4th December 2007 at 13:52.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    John i would like to post that in the Sunset Bar. If you want to send me that or please post that as leica repairs shops, that would be nice to have as a sticky there. If you post it than i can place a sticky on it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Actually the Gear Garage would be better. Thanks
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    John i would like to post that in the Sunset Bar. If you want to send me that or please post that as leica repairs shops, that would be nice to have as a sticky there. If you post it than i can place a sticky on it
    It's in the Sunset Bar put a sticky on it....

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Actually the Gear Garage would be better. Thanks
    oops, move it from the bar to the garage.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Thanks John I put it in the garage and parked it there.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Cindy,
    Congrats on the Noctilux. I waited for many months also for mine, but am still impressed with it as a wonderful lens. Mine also has a backfocus problem straight out of the box. I have not sent it back to Leica, but thank John for the list of places to send more locally for the focus correction. (Honestly, I read enough stories of folks sending their Noctilux back to Leica, waiting forever, and then having it returned no better off. Not ALL folks had that problem, but enough posted about it on various forums.)

    So far, I have been learning to compensate my focus with it, but I will send it in to one of the third party places for proper focus adjustment soon. I just hate being without it too long ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    oops, move it from the bar to the garage.
    Sounds like something overheard after a long evening of drinking

    LJ

    P.S. Thanks for the listing....my Nocti will probably be going to DAG soon.

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Thanks for all the good advice. I don't want to void my warranty, so I'll send it off in good time to a Leica certified repair. I might try to compensate till the holidays are over.

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Cindy,
    You might call and ask if it would void your warranty. I would think it would not, as these are Leica approved shops. Would be nice to know before sending off to anywhere. Just a thought. In the meantime, remember to lean back, not forward on your shots ;-)

    LJ

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Why do so many 50 Summilux ASPH and 50 Noctiluxes backfocus? I find it hard to believe that so many of us have had problems with these lenses. I know that their is some variability in the M8 rangefinder calibration ;but, in the end many of these lenses end up in Solms for calibration. I know that Zeiss 50 1.5 Sonnars are set for optimum focus at F2.8 and can be adjusted to optimize focus at 1.5. This has to be in the original set up of the lenses and not just a quality control issue.

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Why do so many 50 Summilux ASPH and 50 Noctiluxes backfocus? I find it hard to believe that so many of us have had problems with these lenses. I know that their is some variability in the M8 rangefinder calibration ;but, in the end many of these lenses end up in Solms for calibration. I know that Zeiss 50 1.5 Sonnars are set for optimum focus at F2.8 and can be adjusted to optimize focus at 1.5. This has to be in the original set up of the lenses and not just a quality control issue.
    I think on these lenses a compromise was made to take into account focus shift. This compromise was probably fine with film, but not with digital.

    I have noticed it with some R lenses on the DMR too. Some needed a slight adjustment to get a sharp infinity on the digital sensor. It may also mean that the tolerences Leica used to set up lenses need to be tightened for lenses used with digital.

    Robert

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Cindy,
    You might call and ask if it would void your warranty. I would think it would not, as these are Leica approved shops. Would be nice to know before sending off to anywhere. Just a thought. In the meantime, remember to lean back, not forward on your shots ;-)

    LJ
    I think the only Leica warranty depot in the USA is Leica NJ. I haven't heard of third party shops doing warranty work on Leica equipment.

    Robert

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Cindy,

    Does it focus correctly at 1.0? The noctilux does exhibit focus shift which is different than back focus. It is design related that it focuses spot-on at 1.0, then shifts rearward at 1.4 to approx. 5.6, and then DOF covers the focus point again at 8.0.

    I borrowed one from Leica for a two week trip in July and the lens performed as I described above. That is just normal for this lens. IMHO it is a really unique lens that can be used very creatively at 1.0 (sometimes with weird bokeh unfortunately), but for all other situations the 1.4 Lux ASPH is a better lens.

    Check to see if you have back focus at all apertures, if it is just the focus-shift which is caused by the lens design and can not be repaired.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Why do so many 50 Summilux ASPH and 50 Noctiluxes backfocus?
    The M8 is really more demanding on focus than film was for multiple reasons.

    However, a 50 Lux ASPH which is set-up to almost front focus at 1.4 and about 1 meter focus distant will always keep the focus point in perfect focus.

    Mine had a very slight rear focus, which Leica fixed as I stated above. It works perfectly now for everything.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Ray,
    I understand about focus shift. I found backfocus at f/1. Guy is going to let me check it out on one of his bodies before I make any decision on sending it in.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    i will test it for you Cindy. BTW i meet with Chis Herbert today a forum member and Moab attendee and went over his stuff and some questions he had about gear and such. Nice man and it's always nice to meet people from the forum's. Believe it or not I saved him 4k , now that impressed me.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    I think on these lenses a compromise was made to take into account focus shift. This compromise was probably fine with film, but not with digital.

    I have noticed it with some R lenses on the DMR too. Some needed a slight adjustment to get a sharp infinity on the digital sensor. It may also mean that the tolerences Leica used to set up lenses need to be tightened for lenses used with digital.

    Robert
    Rob If they were making a compromise for focus shift ...wouldn t users be complaining about front focusing at f1.0? similar to the zeiss approach. I believe they are having difficulty in maintaining a single specification for both film and digital. Again look at zeiss ...they normally set the sonnar to focus precisely at 2.8 thus covering the focus shift with DOF and accepting a little front focusing wide open. With film this seems to be acceptable. Zeiss will now allow buyers to specify that the focal point should be accurate at 1.5 and of course you then accept the full impact of the focus shift.

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Cindy,

    Good luck on the Nocti, but just so you know it is dangerous to be around Guy. It causes severe bank drain and Leica purchasing.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Believe it or not I saved him 4k , now that impressed me.
    That is impressive, especially if you don't take into consideration the hundreds of thousands of dollars you've collectively cost the rest of us

    Question: How do you make a small fortune on camera gear?

    Answer: Start with a large fortune and hang around Guy

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Rob If they were making a compromise for focus shift ...wouldn t users be complaining about front focusing at f1.0? similar to the zeiss approach. I believe they are having difficulty in maintaining a single specification for both film and digital. Again look at zeiss ...they normally set the sonnar to focus precisely at 2.8 thus covering the focus shift with DOF and accepting a little front focusing wide open. With film this seems to be acceptable. Zeiss will now allow buyers to specify that the focal point should be accurate at 1.5 and of course you then accept the full impact of the focus shift.

    Roger:

    In the film days, I adjusted the camera to the Noctilux and this didn't seem to affect the rest of the lenses on this camera. With the M8 it just doesn't work this way. If you set the M8 to work with the Noctilux, all the other lenses are way off.

    I don't know if this meant the lens was set to take into account the focus shift or if all the Noctiluxes were just off.

    Robert

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by harmsr View Post
    Cindy,

    Good luck on the Nocti, but just so you know it is dangerous to be around Guy. It causes severe bank drain and Leica purchasing.

    Best,

    Ray
    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    That is impressive, especially if you don't take into consideration the hundreds of thousands of dollars you've collectively cost the rest of us

    Question: How do you make a small fortune on camera gear?

    Answer: Start with a large fortune and hang around Guy
    Guy, I think they have your number. It's too late for me.

  26. #26
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux question

    Hey i think I am starting to resemble these comments.

    Cindy knows who to listen too.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Rob,
    It does seem odd. The more puzzling thing, to me at least, is that repair shops like DAG and others are able to make the adjustments to the lenses to make them work properly on the M8, as do other lenses. That suggests that there is still something not quite right on Leica's side of the build/calibration. All of my other lenses focus perfectly on my M8, but my Nocti has a backfocus problem. Seems that is the lens, not the camera body.

    The focus shift issue is completely different, and I do not worry about that as much, knowing it exists and has for a long time. That is/has been a part of the Nocti design. The backfocus, or frontfocus issues are different, and not as much internal design related as calibration and mount design related.

    Does anybody with a Nocti that has been "fixed" to focus properly on their M8 have back or front focus issues when they use that lens on a film body? Can you see the differences? If not, then why cannot Leica get the newly produced Noctiluxes to focus properly on the M8? If it does not impact the film bodies and how they focus, why not get things right on the M8?

    Not looking for a argument or fight here....just wondering out loud, as the greatest number of "focus" complaints on many forums seem to be around a few lenses....the Nocti being one of the most mentioned.

    LJ

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    Re: Noctilux question

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Rob,
    Does anybody with a Nocti that has been "fixed" to focus properly on their M8 have back or front focus issues when they use that lens on a film body? Can you see the differences? If not, then why cannot Leica get the newly produced Noctiluxes to focus properly on the M8? If it does not impact the film bodies and how they focus, why not get things right on the M8?

    LJ
    You may have missed it, but when I used mine on film, I adjusted the camera to the lens and it was fine. This adjustment didn't seem to bother my 75mm Summilux or my other lenses when used on the same body as the Noctilux.

    The rangefinder mechanism has been changed slightly on the M8 and I suspect that what was a slight adjustment for a film camera is a huge adjustment on the M8.

    On my Noctilux, it was only the thickness of a piece of 3M invisible scotch tape, which isn't much. The third party shops must be adjusting the rangfinder cam on the Noctilux outward this small amount to get them to focus properly on the M8.

    Some of the other Noctilux problems are just user error or having expectations too high for a F1 lens at close 1 meter distances.

    Robert

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