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Thread: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

  1. #1
    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    I have had many requests for pictures taken with this lens and many I could not release until now. All of these were shot at 0.95 wide open, and un-cropped. Slight processing with some skin smoothening in some images, and all shot with the Leica M9.

    I have so many more images I'd love to share but cannot as they're only for work purposes and not approved for showing, so i hope you'll be happy with these. Many of these were taken during the making of a Leica M9/noct video that never saw the light of day, and unfortunately never will

    I was using the Noct in many professional and personal applications and it has been my equally most (with VC Nokton 35/1.2) enjoyable lens to shoot, in daylight or nighttime. The most challenging thing about using this lens is to use it appropriately. While many would think it would be the focus, which is challenging (especially without the 1.4x magnifier) it is most difficult to control what applications in which you use the 0.95 aperture.

    What I mean is that it is all too easy to point this lens at any subject and try to make the bokeh the center feature, trying to turn a boring picture into something artistic. I see all too many images posted in the net attempting this style of photography and it really is a waste of time and money. For that kind of application I'd recommend the f/1 version due to the un-corrected optical formula of the lens. One thing I must add is that you're not always going to nail focus where you want it so sometimes you need to look past that in the final result and accept a good picture for being good, with a slight mis-focus, or you'll be deleting too many images. My hit rate went from 60% to 95% once I calibrated my M9 and added a 1.4x magnifier.

    I don't want to turn this into a review because I'm not a reviewer, so without any further waiting, here are my pictures- hope they help many of you understand the nature of this amazing lens...

    FLICKR Gallery here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5202851...7627144348652/



















    Last edited by leicashot; 8th July 2011 at 00:11.

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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged






    This one at f/8 i think














  6. #6
    normanchoi
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    MAGICAL images Kristian!

    I was so looking forward to your video and website and it's a bummer it didn't work out. Nonetheless, the images you have shown are some of the best 0.95 I have seen anywhere. Very well done!

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Mind Blowing Photography! Thank You!!!

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Fab-u-lous!

    So, um, er... You guys hiring?

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    Senior Member CharlesK's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Wow...superb set Kristian!!! Amazing lighting!
    Last edited by CharlesK; 8th July 2011 at 04:13.
    Charles Kalnins
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Some really inspirational shots here... truly superb work. Your comment about selecting a good image even when focus is not precise resonates with me. It's good to have that confirmed by someone who clearly knows his way around this lens. Thanks for sharing these...

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    THE BEST!!!

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    It wouldn't be enough in my opinion to simply repeat what everyone has already said (and it's certainly well deserve) but your images reflect your incredible innate ability to know this lens's unique traits and exploit it to full advantage. It's also not the only optic I've seen you do this with and maybe there's an important message in this. Namely take the time to understand the imagery that any given lens is capable of, and use it in a way that plays to it's strengths and minimizes it's weaknesses. Not so much to show off the optical signature so that it becomes the main attribute of an image, but like a delectable sauce in a gourmet dish, it complements and facilitates the main subject, not overpowers it to become the primary focus. Even something as simple as knowing what an image will look like under a wide variety of conditions or at each f-stop, goes a long way to knowing how to use a lens to ones greatest advantage. I've seen others have the same abilities and creativity with certain lenses (or even most any optic they use) and it's a wonderful "gift" and talent they have. Conversely, there are others who have this ability, not so much with a given lens, but with certain subjects or a type of imagery, such as exclusively portraits or landscapes. Two different types of creativity but neverless both important elements to a successful picture.

    In my opinion, Kristian's posted examples with the 0.95 Noct demonstraits this in an illustrious way, so that if he didn't mention anything about which lens was used, I suspect with even Leica users, attention is prominently given to the shear joy of looking at and examining his images, rather than the usual thinking to ones self, that these were taken with Noct. Simply put, lovely and well done and thanks for posting.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 8th July 2011 at 07:50.

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    Senior Member DavidE's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    A big +1 to what Dave just said.

    Just heaping on superlatives really wouldn't do justice to these incredible photos. I'm especially struck by the range of these images. I had no idea the Noctilux 0.95 was this capable over such a broad sweep of styles and content. Clearly, it isn't just the lens. Kristian, you have delved deeper into what makes this lens tick than anyone else I'm aware of.

  14. #14
    WilmerG
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Fantastic images, thanks for sharing! You are a true professional and a master of your equipment.

    The cemetery ones are my favorite.

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    I think many of these stunning pictures also demonstrate how a good model adds to the image.

    I love the look achievable with ultra-fast glass, especially this lens!

    Ciao,

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mike Woods's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Awesome, a pleasure to view - thanks for sharing.

    Mike

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    jimmy8269
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Stunned!

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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Thanks everyone, sorry for the delay. been a hectic day. I'm glad everyone enjoyed the images but more importantly I hope you all learned something from them, about the lens and work. i'm open to questions if anyone has any.

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    I'll just +10!...or, +20! Truly excellent work.

    Cheers, Matt

    http://mdriscoll.zenfolio.com

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Thanks Kristian - I really enjoyed those.
    Fine shots, and some of the models are rather grand as well.
    Excellent.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Kristian, pardon my language, but these are bleepin' fabulous...Truly amazing, impressive, and most importantly, inspiring work. Leica should hire you to promo this lens, but heck, they can't make enough as is. I seem to remember you selling this lens & your M9, but do you have it/them back now?
    Ashwin Rao
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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinrao1 View Post
    Kristian, pardon my language, but these are bleepin' fabulous...Truly amazing, impressive, and most importantly, inspiring work. Leica should hire you to promo this lens, but heck, they can't make enough as is. I seem to remember you selling this lens & your M9, but do you have it/them back now?
    Thanks Ashwin, I now have a M9-P and my favourite 35/1.2 so I'm back in the game. I can't believe I went about 6 months without a Leica M for the first (and only) time in 18 years of using M.

    I doubt Leica would ever hire me, they have enough people helping them already, plus they kinda hate me over on the Leica forum....which is fine by me.

    Hope you're well mate, and I take it you're still loving and using yours all the time!?

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Awesome shots! Totally agree on everything you said.

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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    thank you Jan, glad someone agrees ;-)

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    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    This is a fantastic series. You really have become "one with the lens." Truly wonderful!

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    All very nice.
    But many of these could have been shot with the f1 Version, as well as the Nokton f1.1 and they would be the same.

    You probably are trying too hard to oversell the f0.95.

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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    All very nice.
    But many of these could have been shot with the f1 Version, as well as the Nokton f1.1 and they would be the same.

    You probably are trying too hard to oversell the f0.95.
    You just don't give up do you?!

    These pics could have been taken with any lens and looked great, but they certainly would NOT have looked the same...or maybe better if 'you' took the pictures?

    Now thats the last bit of attention you're getting from me.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    I just saw this thread and the pictures - I must say I am overwhelmed. As an owner of a 1.0 Nocti I am now desperately looking for the 0.95 version. This lens in the right hands really rocks!

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I just saw this thread and the pictures - I must say I am overwhelmed. As an owner of a 1.0 Nocti I am now desperately looking for the 0.95 version. This lens in the right hands really rocks!
    I had more or less the same reaction. These are really great shots. Congratulations to the photographer who took them. What I find most interesting is the broad range of the shots that show the qualities of the 0.95.

    I also agree that the same shots could not NOT have been taken with the f1 (which I own), notithstanding the fact that shots with the model, the light, and the location with the f1 or the LUX 75, or the [fill in your favorite lens] would have been great as well.

    And finally, I do not for a second have the illusion that if I were to "upgrade" to the 0.95 I would be able to post something similary any time soon.

    Anyway, I most inspiring thread and thanks to leicashoot for posting them.

    Georg

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Peter, Georg
    Sure, these shots would have looked different with the f1 Nocti - but the wide open ones wouldn't have looked that different, and the stopped down shots wouldn't have looked that different from a 50 'lux asph.
    Sure - there are differences between the f1 Nocti and the f0.95 wide open (I've had both),and stopped down the 0.95 is much much better . . . but stopped down you may as well use a 50 'lux.

    these shots are surely what they are because of Kristian's skills, not because of the difference between the f1 and the f0.95 nocti (indeed there's plenty who'd say that the older lens has more character (not me however)).

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Peter, Georg
    Sure, these shots would have looked different with the f1 Nocti - but the wide open ones wouldn't have looked that different, and the stopped down shots wouldn't have looked that different from a 50 'lux asph.
    Sure - there are differences between the f1 Nocti and the f0.95 wide open (I've had both),and stopped down the 0.95 is much much better . . . but stopped down you may as well use a 50 'lux.

    these shots are surely what they are because of Kristian's skills, not because of the difference between the f1 and the f0.95 nocti (indeed there's plenty who'd say that the older lens has more character (not me however)).
    Jono, I agree that these aren't better because I used a 0.95 over an f/1. They would have been just as nice, only slightly softer, shooting wide open. But I believe the look would have been very different shot with the f/1 and that was also a strong point I made. The f/1 signature wide open is vastly different to the 0.95. If it wasn't any different, it's better to own the f/1 and Summicron for less than a Noct 0.95.

    The f/1 creates a lot of distortion in the out of focus areas and the added extra vignetting can create a surreal look, swirly in some situations when tilting down or up, especially with foliage. The 0.95 is highly corrected and minimal in this area, ensuring that out of focus objects are represented accurately. With the f/1 you can almost shoot anything and make it look a little artsy, but not so with the 0.95. Just look and compare Flickr images from both lenses and you can see an immediate difference.

    The f/1 has the 'Noct' look whereas the 0.95 is really just a faster Summilux ASPH with more isolating ability. That's probably the best way to describe the difference, IMHO

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Peter, Georg
    Sure, these shots would have looked different with the f1 Nocti - but the wide open ones wouldn't have looked that different, and the stopped down shots wouldn't have looked that different from a 50 'lux asph.
    Sure - there are differences between the f1 Nocti and the f0.95 wide open (I've had both),and stopped down the 0.95 is much much better . . . but stopped down you may as well use a 50 'lux.

    these shots are surely what they are because of Kristian's skills, not because of the difference between the f1 and the f0.95 nocti (indeed there's plenty who'd say that the older lens has more character (not me however)).
    As I said Jono - if the 0.95 is in the right hands it is a winner.

    But I also assume tat the lack of focus shift, which can be a pain in the 1.0 version, is contributing to the number of keepers.

    So this combination is a winner!

    WRT character: if people define character as a combination of optical flaws, then this is up to their liking. I for me (as you) prefer best and most advanced state of the art optical design and less flaws (character) resulting from this

  33. #33
    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    As I said Jono - if the 0.95 is in the right hands it is a winner.

    But I also assume tat the lack of focus shift, which can be a pain in the 1.0 version, is contributing to the number of keepers.

    So this combination is a winner!

    WRT character: if people define character as a combination of optical flaws, then this is up to their liking. I for me (as you) prefer best and most advanced state of the art optical design and less flaws (character) resulting from this
    Yes the 0.95 has little 'character'. What people may see as character is just the effects of super shallow depth of field. This is where the f/1 shines as it's optical flaws are what it's so famous for.

    The 0.95 although improved optically is necessarily better. Those that love the f/1 for it's character may be disappointed when using this lens. It really does take more work to make images 'pop' than using the f/1. Also, i might add that the 0.95 is very difficult to make flare. Some of the images above suffer from internal reflections caused by the use of a filter, not from sun flare. Also, I compared a high quality MRC filter from B+W and Leica and both are almost identical when shooting into the light, in the way they cause internal reflections. This is evident in the shot above with the girl in pink sitting on the pool table.

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Can you explain why all these sets show a drastic difference in image character between them?

    The fist set certainly looks like if it was shot with the f1 version (according to its mythical internet explanation) while posts #3, 4 and 5 really look like Nokton shots ("clinical" according to the internet myths).

    I will have to believe you when you say that all were shot with the same lens. But there is clearly a difference in character between the shots which really contradicts what you are trying to say about the f0.95. Can you explain why?

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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Can you explain why all these sets show a drastic difference in image character between them?

    The fist set certainly looks like if it was shot with the f1 version (according to its mythical internet explanation) while posts #3, 4 and 5 really look like Nokton shots ("clinical" according to the internet myths).

    I will have to believe you when you say that all were shot with the same lens. But there is clearly a difference in character between the shots which really contradicts what you are trying to say about the f0.95. Can you explain why?
    This I can respond to. The first set of shots were shot in the rain, literally. The inside shots , especially side on to the horse were taken through bars in a horse stall, creating a slightly softer effect. Thats pretty much it.

    No contradiction taking place, just different conditions to which the lens is operating as normal. The end results are merely an effect of the conditions, not the lens changing character.

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Incredible!!! Love it! Congrat! <3 <3 <3

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Quote Originally Posted by leicashot View Post
    Thanks Ashwin, I now have a M9-P and my favourite 35/1.2 so I'm back in the game. I can't believe I went about 6 months without a Leica M for the first (and only) time in 18 years of using M.

    I doubt Leica would ever hire me, they have enough people helping them already, plus they kinda hate me over on the Leica forum....which is fine by me.

    Hope you're well mate, and I take it you're still loving and using yours all the time!?
    Oh, Kristian...your images iwth that Nokton tempted me such that I found a chrome one...actually, I am the original owner, but the 2nd owner sold it back to me....So now I have this glorious lens, and time will tell if I can make it sing anywhere close to what you have done with it!

    Best,
    Ashwin
    Ashwin Rao
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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Great to hear Ashwin. Keep in mind it isn't as sharp or contrasty wide open as the Summilux ASPH but the rendering will hook you!

    You are more than capable enough to make this lens sing, so go take her to school!

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    +1 to both of Kristian's statements! I would just add that although one can get some interesting shots (and rendering as Kristian mentioned) with the VC 35mm f1.2 shot wide open, there is a significant increase in sharpness and contrast, simply by stopping down to f1.4 . It's at that aperture that the lens is somewhat of a closer match to the 35mm f1.4 Lux asph (except where it places the subject within the depth of field), in comparison to shots taken with it at f1.2. The lens is also fairly affected by the quality and type of light when used at the wider apertures...and in my opinion, uts significantly more so than either version of the 35mm f1.4 Lux asph lenses. So this too will have an impact on images taken with it.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 13th July 2011 at 04:58.

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Thanks, Kristian, you are too kind. I am looking forward to seeing a new rendition. Bokeh seems a bit different, more classic, and I am considering pairing this part time with my rigid cron 50 for a nice chrome kit .

    Dave, good to hear, and thanks for the advie. Given that I have the lovely 35 lux FLE II, I will have a nice comparison, and hope to use the lens wide open and at 1.4, so here's to hoping that my copy sings at those focal lengths. My primary use will be low light work, so sharpness may not be as much of an issue in those conditions....

    Thanks again, guys!
    Ashwin Rao
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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Just don't expect the Nokton to beat the Summilux. Technically the Summilux is the better corrected lens and has better handling due to its smaller size and focus tab.

    ...but I'm still confident you'll see what I see in the lens and enjoy it regardless of its size and weight. Good luck Ashwin, and be sure to show us some results soon. Maybe start a Nokton thread?

  42. #42
    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Hey Ashwin! Welcome (again) to the VC 35/1.2 club. I have a black one, which I don't use as often as my 35/1.4 ASPH v.1 due to size and weight. But I really should use the Nokton more. Whenever I shoot it, I really like the quality--it probably has the best balance of modern vs. classical look of any lens I've ever used. Maybe it's time to do some wrist curls so the weight won't bother me

    Leicashot, thanks for reinforcing what a nice lens the 35/1.2 is. As well as the beautiful work with the 50/0.95, which is making me lust after something I'm never going to have.

    --Peter

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Great idea, Kristian. I'll get one started once I have a few pics with it from my M9....

    Peter, thanks, my friend....you can use the Noct f/0.95 when we hang out and do some photography in the near future....
    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Awesome photography!

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    As Peter has said, the VC 35mm f1.2, has one of the nicest balances of modern and classic and that is one of it's special qualities. As I mentioned previously, depending if the light is of high or moderately-low contrast, the look at f1.2 & f1.4, can often take on quite different characteristics...almost appearing to be two quite different lenses.

    The one area which would strengthen it's performance, in my opinion, especially against the Leica 35mm Lux asph ver. I, is where the lens places the subject within the depth of field at the wider apertures. Whereas the Leica tends to place the subject at the rear of the depth of the depth of field, so that the OOF area starts right behind the subject and therefore gives rise to a lovely soft bokeh, the VC 35 f1.2, generally places the subject more towards the middle or front of the depth of field. Therefore the area just behind the subject is also within the depth of field and the OOF area doesn't become quite as diffused or suddenly drop off like the Leica. I've noticed this is a tendency of many fast VC lenses like their 50mm f1.1 and if VC changed this aspect, I think some of their lenses would benefit greatly. Still the bokeh of the VC 35mm f1.2 is one of the nicest within VC stable of lenses.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    ok so, posted some Nokton, but was off topic...
    Last edited by leicashot; 13th July 2011 at 21:04.

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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    may i share my favorite photo from the 0.95 noctilux here?



    btw, very inspiring photos kristian!! i'm a huge fan of your work!!
    Jerry
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Ah heck, I'm in the mood to share a few of my favs with the Noctilux...Next up, Nokton 35 mm f/1.2 thread.... The processing is a bit of hodgepodge, but too much fun here not to share



























    Ashwin Rao
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Part deux:

















    Ashwin Rao
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    Senior Member leicashot's Avatar
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    Re: Leica Noctilux 0.95 Unplugged

    Wow, well for me the first shot really emphasizes the Noct 0.95's ability to isolate but yet keep everything else looking undistorted in out of focus, if that makes any sense!?

    Nice work and I encourage others to help make this the best Noctilux 0.95 thread around

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