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Thread: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    My Noctilux looks like it will need a 3rd trip to Solms for adjustment. Before I send it again I want to be sure I am being realistic. This week I was in NYC for the Christmas cheer and I visited Leica NJ . I was able to go into the service department and watch the tests being performed on my 3 Summiluxes. Both my M8s backfocused....but this was adjusted for both the 35 and the 75 . I did some of the tests myself . We optimized the M8s for the 75 ..its a perfect 1/3 front to 2/3 back wide open ..the 35 was close enough same amount of DOF in front and behind the target. The 50 Summilux could not be adjusted due to the mount ..so its back to Solms for round 3. This one was irrefutable ..they put it on a piece of test equipment and it failed..out of tolerances. Ok thats the background ..the 50 Noctilux came back today ..the technician(Peter) has indicated that it front focuses at 1.0 but is on at 2.0 . My view is that may actually be within tolerances..for film. I plan to use the Noctilux at at 1.0 thru maybe 2.0 ..otherwise it will be the Summilux..so I think it should be dead on at 1.0 . The technician agrees but it is subjective. I think it has to go to Solms anyway as they messed up the focusing mount again..so it has a hitch at close focus. Am I shooting myself in the foot by asking for optimization at 1.0. I have tried David K s M8 and Noctilux at it is dead on at 1.0 ..so I know what its capable of.

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    I just got my Lux 50 asph back from Don Goldberg after spending 8 months trying to convince Leica it was backfocusing. Finally I got tired and sent it to Don. It is now perfect. He just shimmed it and took a a little over a week. Yes, I hate to pay for Leica's warranty work. But no sense banging my head against a brick wall. Now all but one of my lenses are focusing ok, including the Nocti and Lux 75. If I can only get my Cron 90 APO back from Solms...

    Alan

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Roger:

    I would just do as Alan did and send it to Don Goldberg. Once a shop is used to setting them up, it is a quick repair.

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Roger, it doesn't seem unrealistic to expect your lenses to function as designed. I don't think you are asking them to do something they aren't designed to do.

    Sounds like you had a good trip to Leica NJ. I bet it was interesting to be involved in testing your lenses with Leica technicians and equipment.

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Roger,
    You would think that setting a known distance, flange to film plane, flange to cam on the body would be the first starting point. Then each lens flange to cam surface of lens at infinity could be altered with incremental shims between the mount and body of the lens at infinity. Maybe it is just me, but it does not appear to be that difficult to get a mechanical connection standardized. Now after the mechanical components are set, then it is a optical alignment that needs to be addressed. Three trips to Solms sans owner is not acceptable.

    Hope you can get this cleared up once and for all.

    Al
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Thanks for the moral support. My issue on expectations ..is really strategy question...if a lenses focus point moves back when stopping down(focus shift) and tolerances result in an acceptable range of focus points (not an absolute point) then maybe having the Noctilux optimized at 2.0 is a good idea...not a mistake. If 1.4 is slightly front ,2.0 is perfect and 2.8 is slightly back maybe adjusting a little for 1.0 would actually yield better images on the average. It surely will be a matter of how far off is it at 1.0 and does it show up in typical images . My instructions were to optimize focus wide open and I was OK in accepting my lumps with focus shift until the DOF would cover it. I really want to use the Noctilux for Street photography in low light ..when 640 isn t enough. Just returned from NYC even in late afternoon ..no light due to clouds buildings etc. Just for credibility least anyone thing I am overly nit picky (should be obvious)..the evaluation on the Noctilux is from the NJ Leica Technician ..I will test it Monday when it arrives.

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    I know when I tried this lens that focusing was a bit of a bit**. at 10 ft at f1 the depth of field is I think 4 inches. That isn't a lot of leeway but the reason to buy this lens is to shoot at f1. For me the 50 Lux was a better choice.

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Roger,
    I don't think there's a single correct answer to your question, but I have a hard time believing that this lens is incapable of being adjusted so that it focuses accurately both wide open and at 2.0. When you get back to town I'd be happy to meet again for coffee and a test of my copy.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    Roger,
    I don't think there's a single correct answer to your question, but I have a hard time believing that this lens is incapable of being adjusted so that it focuses accurately both wide open and at 2.0. When you get back to town I'd be happy to meet again for coffee and a test of my copy.
    David Your copy on your M8 is the best I have seen. The less DOF the easier it is to see whats sharp. I was picking targets in starbucks at 6-15 ft ..easy to see. The issue on the focus point is fine tuning ....as the lens is stopped down the focus points shifts to the back ...this is well documented on the 35 lux ..but happens on all the luxes and the noctilux to some degree . So I believe you want your absolute focus point at 1.0 exact..that is the DOF should be 1/2 or maybe 1/1 around the target . Now at 2.0 the focus may shift enough back to cause the absolute focus point to be less than perfect. We have 3 issues working against us in addition to the shallow DOF...first the M8 makes it much easier to see the sharp area..making the apparent DOF shallower than film second ..the lens formula allows for some focus shifting ..third....the mechanical adjustment of an old lens and a new M8 is very difficult . I will know more when I get the lens Monday. It was really cold in NYC ..LOL down to 25 ...time to return to Florida.

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Thanks for the moral support. My issue on expectations ..is really strategy question...if a lenses focus point moves back when stopping down(focus shift) and tolerances result in an acceptable range of focus points (not an absolute point) then maybe having the Noctilux optimized at 2.0 is a good idea...not a mistake. If 1.4 is slightly front ,2.0 is perfect and 2.8 is slightly back maybe adjusting a little for 1.0 would actually yield better images on the average. It surely will be a matter of how far off is it at 1.0 and does it show up in typical images . My instructions were to optimize focus wide open and I was OK in accepting my lumps with focus shift until the DOF would cover it. I really want to use the Noctilux for Street photography in low light ..when 640 isn t enough. Just returned from NYC even in late afternoon ..no light due to clouds buildings etc. Just for credibility least anyone thing I am overly nit picky (should be obvious)..the evaluation on the Noctilux is from the NJ Leica Technician ..I will test it Monday when it arrives.
    I would optimize at f1.0 due to the razor thin dof. Otherwise it would be very difficult to nail it. This, of course, assumes one is going to use it at f1 most of the time. Otherwise why use the Nocti? To me, it is not a general purpose lens so I don't worry about focus beyond f2.

    Alan

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Hi Glen:

    Coming into this late, but I'll second the DAG repair. It will cost $100 and take a month to turn around, but when you get it back it will be right. (And I'd optimize for f1.0 at 2 meters, the most common people distance.)

    That said, there is no excuse for Leica not being able to get it right. The issue I'm sure is quality help...

    Best,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Hi Glen:

    Coming into this late, but I'll second the DAG repair. It will cost $100 and take a month to turn around, but when you get it back it will be right. (And I'd optimize for f1.0 at 2 meters, the most common people distance.)

    That said, there is no excuse for Leica not being able to get it right. The issue I'm sure is quality help...

    Best,
    Given Leica's typical turnaround time a month may seem rapid! <g>

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by apsheng View Post
    I would optimize at f1.0 due to the razor thin dof. Otherwise it would be very difficult to nail it. This, of course, assumes one is going to use it at f1 most of the time. Otherwise why use the Nocti? To me, it is not a general purpose lens so I don't worry about focus beyond f2.

    Alan
    Alan

    While I agree that you buy the Nocti for shooting at 1.0, paying almose $6K for a one stop lens brings a new meaning to the word "specialty." There just has to be a way to get this right. If David K's Nocti plus body is as good as they say then there has to be a method to get all of them to that point. Otherwise I would have to conclude that you should just get the Lux and get on with shooting.

    Woody

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    Re: Noctilux 3rd trip to Solms?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Alan

    While I agree that you buy the Nocti for shooting at 1.0, paying almose $6K for a one stop lens brings a new meaning to the word "specialty." There just has to be a way to get this right. If David K's Nocti plus body is as good as they say then there has to be a method to get all of them to that point. Otherwise I would have to conclude that you should just get the Lux and get on with shooting.

    Woody
    Woody:

    I see your point. In practice, I do use the 50 Lux (especially now that DAG has fixed the backfocus problem) 90%+ of the time when I want a 50mm. Yes I look at the Nocti as a specialty lens (ie toy ) Certainly would not have gotten it if not for the 30% discount. Mine focuses fine at f1, and I doubt if the focus shift problem can be fixed...

    Alan

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