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Thread: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

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    Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    So I picked up the [infamous] 1,1/50 Nokton late last year. The idea was to "see what all the fuss was about" - basically to draw my own conclusions. Well, the winter funk set in and I didn't get to shoot it much. It finally got a little spring-like 'round these parts and the cabin fever was killin' me. So I took a nice walk down on the boardwalk during my lunch hour, determined to test the Nokton - and to do so as wide open as possible. To that end, I used a Hoya 8x ND filter and basically kept 'er on f/1.8. Silly me, I forgot to dial in a +1 or so EC as I was a bit rushed. But the latitude of the M9 files should not be underestimated - they took quite well to a little DNG conversion tweaking. Minimal post other than slight curves, resize and sharpen. The vignetting is actually straight from the file! The lens is coded as a Noctilux; I can only imagine it's a combination of the len' character, slight underexposure and the ND filter. You want a poor man's Noctilux - heh, this comes pretty close!

    Some observations. At f/1.1, which I didn't even bother with - the bokeh gets a little weird sometimes, and sharpness isn't fantastic - which is why I chose f/1.8 (I usually go for f/1.4 but it was really bright). Sharpness is pretty good at this point, obviously some vignetting still. Distortion seems quite low with this lens, and flare resistance decent. Honestly, I can't complain - for the money, this lens does a good job. Of course, I plan to test further, fully wide open at f/1.1 in darker situations... Not much point in testing stopped down, any lens will do well at f/8.

    The whole gallery is here

    Some of my favorite shots (most, but not all at f/1.8 - notice background):











    Some previous shots in the dark are here. It's a miracle these came out at all, as I was pretty snookered in short order (which would explain the focus and shooting in the dark at f/4 on some shots). Nevertheless...

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    My lenses of choice are usually the 1,5/50 Sonnar and 2/50 Planar ZMs. Another reason I shot at f/1.8 is because it could be said... "Just shoot the Planar wide open" at f/2... Heh. Thing is, I already know what it can do, even wide open - and it's sharp as )_(#$. I had a different plan.

    But just to be complete...

    The Sonnar at f/2:


    The Planar at f/2:

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    From my first test at F1.1, on the M8- after optimizing for this camera/lens combo.



    100% crop shows aliasing creeping in.



    Another at F1.1- a flare test.



    I will be trying this on the new M9 this week.

    All in all- I am very happy with this lens. Much better choice then converting either of my Canon 50/0.95's to M-Mount.

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    The lens is growing on me the more I use it. While it doesn't have the same lovely bokeh as the 1,2/35 generally - it really depends on the scene (e.g. background).

    Though I am questioning keeping this lens as I already have the 1,5/50 Sonnar ZM - and honestly, I like it's size, weight and wide open rendering a lot better. Still... f/1.1 is f/1.1! I haven't had a chance to really stretch its legs here, but what I have shot in the dark - worked VERY well.

    The funny thing is, it even vignettes wide open like a real Noctilux (even with coding).

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    Nice pics - used to live in Long Beach, NY and loved the beach and boardwalk there. Eric

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    Quote Originally Posted by esy0345 View Post
    Nice pics - used to live in Long Beach, NY and loved the beach and boardwalk there. Eric
    Thanks, Eric!

    I'm kinda new 'round these parts - I only work here, and only since November... I've spent most of my beach days quite a bit further east - like, Robert Moses east! I love to shoot, and especially taking a nice lunch hour (or two, ssshhh) doing same. Seems like there will be more than ample opportunity if it ever warms up again.

    I plan to return with the Canon gear, especially the 300mm f/2.8L IS or 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS and a pocketful of TCs and grab the surfers doing their thing... And maybe head towards the airport for some planes. They come in overhead close enough for a 50mm as it is...

    The boardwalk is amazing. It just goes on, and on, and...

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    The Nokton 50mm 1.1 is a great lens in many ways. It would be silly to think it is a Noctilux for 1/10th the price, but it really pushes the envelope in terms of lens design and value. I have compared it extensively to the 50mm Summilux ASPH FLE, the 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE, the 35mm Nokton 1.1 and the 50mm Noctilux 1.0, and find that it acquits itself very well in each case. I'd keep it.
    Rich

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    Quote Originally Posted by rcerick View Post
    The Nokton 50mm 1.1 is a great lens in many ways. It would be silly to think it is a Noctilux for 1/10th the price, but it really pushes the envelope in terms of lens design and value. I have compared it extensively to the 50mm Summilux ASPH FLE, the 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE, the 35mm Nokton 1.1 and the 50mm Noctilux 1.0, and find that it acquits itself very well in each case. I'd keep it.
    I would have to agree. When it first came out, it got a lot of grief because of all the obvious, direct comparisons to the Noctilux. I admit, I shared in some of that hazing. In the end, I broke down and decided to "see for myself what all the fuss was about." Turns out, most of the time, it really does deliver the goods. You tend to see the occasional foliage shot with a busy background and funky bokeh and thing... "Eeew." When in reality, it's a small percentage of shots. Nevermind that I don't often go around shooting bushes or brick walls...

    The Canon 50mm f/1.2L is another such lens. A LOT of people complained about the focus shift. Again, the 1,5/50 Sonnar ZM. I have both, and yes - I can see where people are coming from - to a point. But to be perfectly honest, these are some of my favorite lenses!

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    FWIW, I just reshot a couple of the images with the 1,5/50 Sonnar ZM at both f/1.5 and f/2.8 (where it's "optimized" for focus) to do a little comparison. Granted, the apertures won't match up - but they're two totally different lenses anyway, and I'm not looking to do any sort of technical comparison. Mostly just to compare bokeh and rendering, really.

    I'll get the photos online on Saturday most likely and update this thread if anyone's interested.

  10. #10
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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    There is something really beautiful about the way the CV 50f1.5 draws.
    It's been on my M9 for a while now, and I feel I haven't lost much in the corners wide open.
    No focus shift either.

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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton

    ^ That's a very nice lens, Jeff and an accurate description.

    So I found some time tonight after all. Here are three 1,5/50 Sonnar shots, all at f/1.5 and shot with an 8x ND as well... First shots are essential identical; the other two are similar to previous shots.






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    Re: Day at the Beach for the 1,1/50 Nokton


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