# Thread: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

1. ## .95 noct vs. summilux speed

how much faster is the .95 noct then the 1.4 summilux?

i know it is two f stops faster 1 and then .95, but are those considered whole stops or half stops?

2. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

The Noctilux f/1.0 is only one f/-stop faster than the Summilux. The f/0.95 Noctilux is actually only a fraction faster than the f/1.0, not even 1/3 f-stop faster. For all intents and purposes, the difference in "speed" between the two lenses is very close to each other. However, Leica assigned f/0.95 as the aperture of the Noctilux ASPH and by doing so they are the only company that makes the fastest, faster than f/1.0 full frame (read: 35mm) lens in production.

4. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

Originally Posted by gooomz
how much faster is the .95 noct then the 1.4 summilux?
About 1 and 1/6 of a stop.

Originally Posted by gooomz
i know it is two f stops faster 1 and then .95, but are those considered whole stops or half stops?
I understand the 'whole stop' sequence as :

f0.7 : f1.0 : f1.4 : f2.0 : f2.8 ......... etc.

........... Chris

5. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

I believe that the 'whole stop' is defined by the the radical of two to the power of that stop. This gives the f number. It easier to show in an example.

sqrt (2) ^ 3 = 2.8 Here we have f2.8

One stop down:
sqrt (2) ^ 2 = 2.0

Hence:
sqrt (2) ^ 1 = 1.4
sqrt (2) ^ 0 = 1
sqrt (2) ^ -1 = 0.7

Using this thinking, an f number of 0.95 relates to a stop of -0.148
sqrt (2) ^ -0.148 = 0.95

Thus, f0.95 lets in about 14.8% more light than f1.0, or it is 0.148 of a stop faster.
So, f0.95 is about 1.148 stops faster than f1.4

This is more than likely a marketing scheme however.

6. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

(1.4/0.95)squared = 2.17. Which is about 1.03 stops.

7. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

the big difference is how these two lenses "draw" when wide open. do a search.

8. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

More to the point, ask yourself what 1+ extra stop in aperture buys you in ISO or shutter speed?

It is "marketing" when you don't have it or need it ... but great when you need it and have it ... not unlike any fast aperture exotic lens.

-Marc

9. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

I agree with Marc. I think the marketing comes in when discussing the difference between f1 and f0.95

10. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

Originally Posted by cmace127
I agree with Marc. I think the marketing comes in when discussing the difference between f1 and f0.95
The difference between exposures with the f/1 and f/0.95 are nonexistent.

What is different is that there is no focus shift with the ASPH 0.95, and it renders like the 50/1.4 ASPH when shot at f/1.4 or above.

So, the difference between the Noctiluxes is substantial ...

-Marc

11. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

Absolutely agreed. But I will also say there are vanishingly few photos that you can't make with a 50mm f/1.4 that focuses to .7m compared to an f/1 or f/.95 that focuses to 1m unless you are specifically going after the "look" you get with the noctilux lenses. If you are just looking for a fast general purpose lens, stop thinking about the grass being greener and get a summilux. If you want to shoot between 1m and 3m at f/0.95 to f/1 (where the look will really make a difference), then be prepared to pay more than double in price, size and weight for the Noctiluxes.
Living in Iceland, I see a lot of big Land Rovers, Landcruisers and Nissan Patrols. Some are jacked up on 44" wheels, but a lot of people with those giant wheels rarely go through the rivers and mud that makes them necessary. They are a status symbol of sorts, or an insurance policy...their car is ready for anything. Yet even one of these cars with regular wheels will get you through most rivers that are vehicle crossable and over all but the most atrocious mountain trails. BUT, when you need those 44" tires, nothing else will do. It's the same with the Noctilux. You just need to decide how you are going to use it!

12. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

please what is the difference in "look" when shooting the noct over the lux between 1 to 3 meters

that is pretty much where i do most of my shooting of people so i am trying to decide if i should get the noct.

thanks for the help

13. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

It depends on the aperture you are using. If you shoot the Noctilux at wide open, it will give you a bokeh that the Summilux won't be able to produce. The depth of field is extremely shallow, so shallow that you have to be carefull as you can easily misfocus. Just by recomposing after you have focused the target may be enough to throw the focus off slightly.

In general, I enjoy using the Summilux more than the Noctilux to cover my needs for a 50mm lens. However, I am not selling my Noctilux and indeed, occassionally, I use it if I am after that special effect I am after. Stuart came up with a striking analogy between a Noctilux and a fancy 4-wheel drive vehicle. With me it is not a matter of needing but more of wanting. If you can afford it, get both and you will know what I mean.

14. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

Originally Posted by AGeoJO
If you can afford it, get both and you will know what I mean.
It might be more a question of which you can find. With the scarcity of these lenses you could buy both... shoot them for a while to determine which suits you... and then sell the other one for what you paid, or darn close to it.

15. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

anyone have any links to .95 images shot wide open?

16. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson
Absolutely agreed. But I will also say there are vanishingly few photos that you can't make with a 50mm f/1.4 that focuses to .7m compared to an f/1 or f/.95 that focuses to 1m unless you are specifically going after the "look" you get with the noctilux lenses. If you are just looking for a fast general purpose lens, stop thinking about the grass being greener and get a summilux. If you want to shoot between 1m and 3m at f/0.95 to f/1 (where the look will really make a difference), then be prepared to pay more than double in price, size and weight for the Noctiluxes.
Living in Iceland, I see a lot of big Land Rovers, Landcruisers and Nissan Patrols. Some are jacked up on 44" wheels, but a lot of people with those giant wheels rarely go through the rivers and mud that makes them necessary. They are a status symbol of sorts, or an insurance policy...their car is ready for anything. Yet even one of these cars with regular wheels will get you through most rivers that are vehicle crossable and over all but the most atrocious mountain trails. BUT, when you need those 44" tires, nothing else will do. It's the same with the Noctilux. You just need to decide how you are going to use it!
Stuart - I agree with every word, but it's worth mentioning that if you buy your landcruiser on 44" wheels you can observe it's value plummeting month by month. If you splash out on your Noctilux (surely less than 1/4 the price) you can watch the price going up over the years.

Which, of course, is no reason to buy it, but it's a good reason to be less afraid of the cost of it!

. . . however - I still agree that if you're a photographer, and you're buying the lens to take pictures, the closer focus of the summilux might more than compensate for the wider aperture of the noctilux . . .

17. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

Originally Posted by gooomz
anyone have any links to .95 images shot wide open?
I think perhaps the 50 Noctiluxes are a bit misunderstood. They are not macro lenses or particularly suited for tight head shots ... I'd suggest a 75/1.4 for a bit tighter portrait perspectives while producing Nocti like bokeh. Personally, I don't like a 50mm for head shots anyway ... a 50mm for waist up is about right to my eye.

I've used a Noctilux lens on-and-off for 20 years ... on-and-off because I found the original one to be very difficult to focus ... IMO, more difficult than the 0.95. My keeper ratio went way up after getting the 0.95. I actually had both Nocti lenses to demo at the same time for one wedding that I shot, and the difference in keepers was dramatic. I sent the original one back and ponied up for the 0.95.

The other difference with the 0.95 is that it every bit the equal in IQ to the 50/1.4 ASPH ... which the 50/1.0 is not. I used to have both a Noti and 50/1.4 ... no need for that with the 50/0.95 ... but only IF you have the need, the need for speed

Here are a few examples of the Nocti 0.95 i use at one wedding shoot. It shows the diversity of application in varying conditions. So, for me it isn't just the Nocti look ... it is the ability to use the M9 in lower light and deliver snappy "available darkness" results no matter what.

The outdoor Bridal portrait is about as close as I like to get with any 50mm for people shots ... it maxed the shutter speed to 1/4000th @ ISO 400 (I like the M9 shot at ISO 400 or higher). I now carry a 3X ND filter for really bright conditions where I want to control the subject isolation.

The two shots inside an old rural Opera house now used for storage was dimly lit by two incandescent bulbs ... my assistant's Canon AF was hunting like crazy and she had to use flash which ruined the shots. I did it @ ISO 800 with the 0.95 wide open.

The Bride sitting at the table in a reflective mood was 0.95 to isolate the subject and shows the Bokeh at that sort of distance ... f/1.4 would not be the same.

The B&W Bride shot from the side during the ceremony was @ f/1.2

The B&W of the Bridesmaid fixing the veil was the 0.95 shot at f/1.4

I use the 0.95 so much now that I dedicated a M9 to use it and the 75/1.4 ... with a Thumbs Up, Really Right Stuff ARCA base plate to use a mono-pod or Kirk Strap-Pod when the shutter speed really drops below 1/30th, and a 1.4X Mag. The Leica Mag increased the keeper ratio to almost 100% as long as I practice careful technique

-Marc

18. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

^--Wow, very nice images!

19. ## Re: .95 noct vs. summilux speed

Indeed. Really like the 5th one.