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Thread: Noctilux 0.95 question

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    Noctilux 0.95 question

    I just bought a used Noctilux 0.95 last week. Although it was used, it appears brand new, no marks, perfect glass, not even any dust. However, the focus ring is somewhat stiff. It's stiffer than my old f/1 Noctilux. I can still return it if this is not typical. I know that a new lens would typically be stiffer than one that's well broken in and I'm keeping that in mind. I realize it's hard to quantify what stiff means in a way that others can relate to without actually trying it in person but please relate your experiences if you own or have owned one. Thanks!

    Rod

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    I did not compare, but I would not worry about this. Focus rings can sometimes be a bit stiff.
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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    The only sign that it needs relubricating is if you struggle to turn it, or it sticks and is not smooth through the focusing range.

    Modern helical lubricants rarely dry and the amount used in Leica lenses is extremely minimal, rather relying on brass on aluminium with high precision fitting.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Dan,
    If by struggle to turn it, you mean struggle to get it to move at all, it isn't that bad. It is a challenge to turn it quickly. It's definitely smoother than my f/1 Noct but the f/1 Noct, which was CLA'd last year, is lighter.

    I'm also somewhat surprised that it's more difficult to focus than the f/1 Noct. Maybe it's a break in period for me. I thought that the shorter throw of the focus ring would make it easier because that usually works for me. I think it probably would if the weight was lighter but as heavy as it is, I'm not getting a very good hit rate so far, no where near as good as with the f/1 Noct. Maybe it'll get better with practice.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Rod,

    I have both lenses as well. My F1 was cleaned and lubricated by Leica last year. My F/0.95 was purchased new. The F/0.95 was significantly stiffer than the F1 when new, but today after a few months of using mostly the F0.95 they are both the same. I think that your lens is normal.

    Andrew
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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Thanks Andrew. Even after 3 or 4 days use, I can tell a difference. Considering the condition, that would confirm my feeling that it was essentially unused if not technically new.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    I would go along with that assumption. Its a great lens, a joy to use! Remember to post some photo's.

    Andrew
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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    The Noctilux is a bit stiff, yes - but loosens up over time. Keep in mind how much glass you're moving around, focus throw, etc.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    At first mine was quite stiff to focus, now 8 months later it's fine and feels similar to the original Noctilux. Remember the 0.95 has the added mechanism to move for the floating element.


    Bob.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Well, with about 10 days use, I can tell a difference. Unfortunately, my focus hit rate isn't too good yet. I was much better with the f/1 Noct. When I put it on my NEX-6 though and get the focus right on, the sharpness wide open is impressive.

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    That's interesting Rod, the lens has a little field curvature but you might want to try a tripod bound test for rangefinder calibration.
    I have found with some lenses it is easier to focus from infinity down (turning the barrel clockwise) and with others from MFD up (counter-clockwise rotation) not sure why.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Actually Dan, I did try it on a tripod, first with eyepiece magnifier and then without. Also with left eye and right eye separately. I've been having trouble with pollen allergies quite a bit recently which affects my eyes among other things. What I found was that without a magnifier and with my right eye, it focused accurately. I normally use my left eye but it's been taking the biggest hit with the allergies. What was surprising was the inaccuracy with the magnifier. This lens has a peculiar uncertainty point when you get it close to focus. How much of that is the lens and how much is my eyes in unclear. Whichever, the magnifier looked more clear but then gave more out of focus results. I've also tried focusing from both infinity down and MFD up but the results there weren't decisive so I need to do it some more. My gut feeling is that it's back focusing slightly and with the narrow DOF, I'm missing unless I front focus slightly.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    I found that using the 1.25x magnifier, whilst apparently improving the accuracy of convergence in the finder decreased contrast on the patch. I love it with my 105 Nikkor, but found it counterproductive with 75 and shorter.

    One thing that is very tricky is whether the lens is calibrated for recomposing the subject into one of the thirds after focusing or not. A good test is 10 shots handheld of a subject with focus-recompose technique and then assessing if there is a consistent issue.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Good point but I'm not getting consistent accuracy even when I don't recompose.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    I don't use a magnifier - but I do use a Walter RX Eyepiece and I've nailed focus pretty much every time. Even with lenses like a 90/135mm...

    If there's inconsistency - it's you (e.g. technique). Even if the camera, lens or both are off to some degree, the misfocus should at least be consistent.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    I don't use a magnifier - but I do use a Walter RX Eyepiece and I've nailed focus pretty much every time. Even with lenses like a 90/135mm...

    If there's inconsistency - it's you (e.g. technique). Even if the camera, lens or both are off to some degree, the misfocus should at least be consistent.
    I wear contacts so the Walter Ezepiece isn't really an option.

    I mostly agree with you about the inconsistency but then comes the question of why is this lens more difficult then the f/1 Noctilux? I think there are two main contributors: my eyes in the middle of peak allergy season and the shorter focus throw on this lens means very small movement makes for relatively large adjustment. I think the stiffness of the focus ring contributes to the difficulty as well. I had a Hexanon Limited 50/1.2 that had as short or shorter focus throw and I had very little trouble with it but it had a much lighter focus ring. These are speculations of course but what I know to be true after using a number of ultra fast lenses is that some just seem to snap into focus when looking at the rangefinder patch and others seem to be very vague. This one is definitely vague to me so far.

    If anybody can shed some light on that phenomenon, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    I have both the Noctilux 0.95 and Hexanon Limited 50/1.2. I found that the Noctilux 0.95 is a bit stiffer to focus but I have no problems to achieve sharp focus. My Hexanon Limited 50/1.2 was adjusted by DAG and the focus has been spot on since then. To me, both lenses are equally easy to focus.

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Having used a Nocti f/1.0 for many years ... and more than one of them ... I was surprised by the increase of in-focus keepers on a digital M when I moved to the M 50/0.95. Perhaps less focus shift?

    So, my experience has been the opposite of yours. The 0.95 was definitely an improvement when it comes to focusing accuracy.

    BTW, I had something of the same experience with the 75/1.4 ... which I cured with a 75/2 AA.

    Of course you give up that delicious Mandler look and feel (especially the 75/1.4) ... however, I just couldn't afford to have so many near misses for paying work.

    - Marc

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    Re: Noctilux 0.95 question

    Marc,
    What's equally hard to understand is that I have a Cron 90AA and I don't have much trouble focusing it even though the DOF wide open is smaller than the DOF on the Noct wide open. I also had a Lux 75 at one time and it was difficult to focus.

    I don't completely know why the .95 Noct is harder for me to focus than the f/1 Noct but I think I figured out part of my problem at least. I wear contacts and for years, my prescription hasn't changed and has been the same for both eyes. I started using my left eye to focus in landscape orientation a couple of years ago and I feel like I hold the camera steadier that way. However, there's been s slight change in one eye, apparently my left over the last year or so. It's not enough to change my prescription and I don't normally notice it so I pretty much forgot about it. Today, I was test focusing with my right eye and getting a much better hit rate. Then it dawned on me that my left eye was a little different from my right. Since I had some spare contacts that were .25 stronger, I put one of them in my left eye and voila, I could see the focus patch much better. Tomorrow I'll run through my full test series and see if the improvement holds.

    It still doesn't explain why I didn't have the same problem with the F/1 Noct or the Cron 90 or the Hex 50 for that matter. I do think this lens has a slight back focus. It's not enough to be out of range but it's enough to make it easier to miss unless you're spot on or front focus slightly.

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