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Thread: Just asking why? ...

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Just asking why? ...

    For those of you that own or have used the Nocti, f1 or f0.95 versions, why do so many of you shoot it at f2 to f4?

    Back in the day, I owned multiple version of the f1 lens, and shot it against the Lux Pre, Lux Asph and Cron 50's (never owned the Cron ASPH). My own (humble) results showed that the Lux was better optically than the Noct across the frame at f1.4, and the Cron was better than both -- at least optically -- after f2.8. As for "signature" or "drawing" I preferred the look of the Lux up to about f4.5, whereafter I could not really distinguish them from one-another.

    I *did* like the look of the Noct wide open and at f1.2 which the Lux could not do, but focusing the dang thing was nigh on impossible wide open -- or more accurately, focusing and holding myself still enough to maintain the exact focus distance was nigh on impossible. I did use it more reliably at f1.2, but even then DoF was so paper thin (and this on the M8) that I finally sold it.

    Seriously, not wanting to incite a flame war, I am truly interested in the reasons behind using it at anything above f1.2... So for the added weight, slower focus helical, inability to use it reliably where it shines, and last of all its almost ridiculous price, I have to ask why do you bother with the Noct?
    Jack
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Jack, that is a very valid question.

    I tried a Noct for a few days once.

    Nobody was the least interested and none
    were impressed that I had a Noct.

    Sold it. Fast.

    Hired a model instead. Never looked back.
    But everyone looked at us.

    Best.
    koffee & kamera
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    On the face of it, a very good question. If you're not shooting it wider open than f/1.4 - a Summilux would be a better choice. If you own one and are out shooting however, sometimes you have to stop down (for whatever reason).

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    For Noctilux 0.95, it has been indicated by Leica's literature that, from f1.4 on, Noctilux 0.95 achieves similar performance of Summilux 50 ASPH. What Leica is saying is that having a Noctilux 0.95 is equivalent of owning a 50 Summilux ASPH plus additional f stops (1,2, 1,0, and 0.95), without considering the additional weight and size, of course.

    For me, I prefer to use the Noctilux wide open at all time, unless I have to step down few f-stops on certain lighting conditions.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Jack,

    I don't mean to hijack the thread, but...

    My own (humble) results showed that the Lux was better optically than the Noct across the frame at f1.4, and the Cron was better than both -- at least optically -- after f2.8. As for "signature" or "drawing" I preferred the look of the Lux up to about f4.5, whereafter I could not really distinguish them from one-another.
    If the difference in "signature" or "drawing" of lenses converges upon stopping down, and by f/4.5 has become near indistinguishable, which clearly is an aperture wider than that normally adopted by landscape photographers, then, besides technical characteristics of a lens, is one lens not simply as good as another?

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    I have both the 50mm Noctilux ASPH and the Summilux ASPH. I put the Noctilux in my camera bag when I intend to go out and use it wide open. If not, I'll just use the lighter, smaller Summilux. The Noctilux does allow using one lens for both the wide open look and for Summilux-like stopped down images so I never have to carry both 50s together.

    I find that I don't have too much problem focussing the Noctilux using the M viewfinder when there's some light but the EVF is a lot of help in dark situations. The difficult lens to focus is the 75mm Summilux wide open.

    In some cases, I'll stop the Noctilux down to f2.8 or 4 if I need the additional DOF, such as taking a picture of multiple people grouped together and I want to have them all in focus. In addition, I stop it down if I want maximum sharpness to the images such as if I happen to take a landscape shot with it.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    I have the Summilux Asph ... used a Cron for years ...

    I have been told that the color spectral rendering of the Noctilux 0.95 is
    much cleaner than the Summilux or the Cron...perhaps someone with the lens
    will weigh in with their impressions concerning this. Whites in particular are better.....

    Bob

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    Jack,

    I don't mean to hijack the thread, but...



    If the difference in "signature" or "drawing" of lenses converges upon stopping down, and by f/4.5 has become near indistinguishable, which clearly is an aperture wider than that normally adopted by landscape photographers, then, besides technical characteristics of a lens, is one lens not simply as good as another?
    In simple terms, if one shoots everything at f5.6 or f8 then it doesn't matter much what lens you use -- a 50 of any manufacture at those apertures is going to be pretty good and most optical anomalies that refer character are attenuated by those smaller apertures. However not all of us, even dedicated landscape shooters, shoot everything at f5.6 or f8 -- quite often I'm in the f1.2 to f4 range for my landscapes, even with longer lenses
    Jack
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Very interesting. When I saw the post of TimothyHyde in the Fun with digital M images thread (nice image btw, nothing wrong with it), I asked myself the same basic question: Why shoot the Noctilux at anything but its widest aperture especially if it's a night shot without tripod?

    If I had a Noctilux I'd simply not bother stopping down that lens. I mean if you're able to afford this particular lens, you can definitely afford a Summicron aswell for all the occasions you need or want to stop down.

    I personally like the slow lenses of the M system. IMO they yield the best performance across the field with the additional benefit of being smaller and lighter.

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    Senior Member MaxKißler's Avatar
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    In simple terms, if one shoots everything at f5.6 or f8 then it doesn't matter much what lens you use -- a 50 of any manufacture at those apertures is going to be pretty good and most optical anomalies that refer character are attenuated by those smaller apertures. However not all of us, even dedicated landscape shooters, shoot everything at f5.6 or f8 -- quite often I'm in the f1.2 to f4 range for my landscapes, even with longer lenses
    True. Even a 50mm Jupiter 8 at f5,6 looks just as good as a 50mm Summicron.
    However, I cannot completely agree: For example, the 50mm pre asph Summilux is optically just a bad lens compared to the Summicron or even the Jupiter 8. At f11 the edges of that Summilux are still horribly fuzzy while the other lenses mentioned before are much sharper.

    Don't get me wrong, Im not implying that the Jupiter 8 is better then the Lux. It is not, in fact it has lots of flaws; Enormous focus shifts, bad performance wide open and horrible mechanics just to name a few.

    Then again, all these lense are made to take images with. And I guess if the content of an image is alright, nobody will care whether it was captured with a Noctilux or a Jupiter X at a certain aperture.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    For those of you that own or have used the Nocti, f1 or f0.95 versions, why do so many of you shoot it at f2 to f4?

    Back in the day, I owned multiple version of the f1 lens, and shot it against the Lux Pre, Lux Asph and Cron 50's (never owned the Cron ASPH). My own (humble) results showed that the Lux was better optically than the Noct across the frame at f1.4, and the Cron was better than both -- at least optically -- after f2.8. As for "signature" or "drawing" I preferred the look of the Lux up to about f4.5, whereafter I could not really distinguish them from one-another.

    I *did* like the look of the Noct wide open and at f1.2 which the Lux could not do, but focusing the dang thing was nigh on impossible wide open -- or more accurately, focusing and holding myself still enough to maintain the exact focus distance was nigh on impossible. I did use it more reliably at f1.2, but even then DoF was so paper thin (and this on the M8) that I finally sold it.

    Seriously, not wanting to incite a flame war, I am truly interested in the reasons behind using it at anything above f1.2... So for the added weight, slower focus helical, inability to use it reliably where it shines, and last of all its almost ridiculous price, I have to ask why do you bother with the Noct?
    I get asked this question from time-to-time Jack … especially from photographers considering the Nocti (or other fast aperture lenses) and aware of challenges such a fast lens presents.

    It gives us a chance to discuss how DOF increases with distance, even with these fast optics.

    Usually, people think of an ultra fast lens in terms of shooting closer subjects … which is where a lot of the "difficulty of use" arises. Lenses like the Canon 50/1.2, Canon 85/1.2, Zeiss 110/2FE, M75/1.4 and M Noctiluxes (etc.) have very narrow DOF at their closest focus. Okay, IF super narrow DOF is the objective, you know exactly what you are doing and why, and have impeccable technique. I have a hell of a time with my assistants who are all gaga about their new 85/1.2 and insist on shooting people up close, wide open … so one eye is ALWAYS soft, or the nose (and not in a good way) … and that's with AF! I have to constantly remind them to stop down a bit.

    Most of the time I use the M50/0.95 @ 0.95 at a bit more distance … environmental type portraits, images with more expansive areas in the composition. Especially night scenes, evening cityscapes, or in dark venues … including in churches where flash is forbidden during a wedding. 0.95 gets me the shutter speeds I need, and still helps isolate the subject from the background better than f/1.4 at the same distance.

    I had the M50/1.4 ASPH and the M50/0.95 at the same time for awhile … while it's nice to have a smaller 50, from f/1.4 onward, the results were almost impossible to tell apart. Personally, I like the size of the 50/0.95 on the M Monochrome it balances very nicely.

    Oh, BTW one of the only reasons I bought the A7R was to use the 0.95 on it so I didn't have to spend $7K to get a few color shots occasionally. Focus mag and peaking even makes it easy to focus closer. However, even perfect focus isn't going to alter the fact that close up the DOF is next to zero.

    - Marc
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    Re: Just asking why? ...



    Here are a few 50/0.95 shots to illustrate various use of the Nocti … from f/0.95 to f/8 … depending on subject, lighting, and distance-to-subject … or distance-to-subject, and subject-to-background.

    (Color from a M9 … B&Ws from a M Monochrome).

    "Bride leaning on door" @ f/0.95 was in such low light that my assistant's 5D couldn't achieve focus with her 50/1.4. Distance to subject increased DOF enough, and the background was almost on the same plane as the subject.

    "Bride at table" was also f/0.95, but I was far enough away (and I also cropped in a little bit to frame her in post) so she is isolated front and back.

    Girl on walking beach was at f/1.2 … again further away, but the little extra aperture allowed a wee bit more DOF and a slightly faster shutter speed for a moving subject.

    "Boy and book" was at f/2.8 … which just barely got both eyes in focus at that distance.

    "Rabbi preparing for prayer" was at f/4 which provided enough DOF to capture some of the cluttered intellectual surroundings.

    "My wife and our dog" was at f/8 … which still isolated her from the background because it was so far away, yet kept a sense of where we were rather than obliterating the background completely like f/2.8 or faster would have done.

    - Marc
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    Senior Member CharlesK's Avatar
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Excellent question Jack, and I agree with Marc here.
    I have the 50 Noct f/1.0 and the 50 Lux Asph, and I find the paint like rendering with the 50 Nocti f/1.0 still is there from f/2 right up to f/4. For outside shots, I will normally have to use f/2.8, even late afternoon.

    I have attached some shots from a recent wedding, with the Monchrom and the 50 Noct f/1.0. Most of the outdoors shots were at f/2.8 to 4, while indoor most were at f/1.2 to 1.8.

    Having the flexibility of one lens, with the ability to change the DOF and rendering without changing the lens to a 50 Lux or another 50 is a bonus.







    Charles Kalnins
    Tallai, Queensland Australia.

    http://kalnins.zenfolio.com
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    I try to shoot each of my Leica lenses wide open almost all the time. Leica (and I) spent a great deal of money making sure these lenses perform better than any alternatives when wide open, and I don't want to waste that investment.
    Brad Husick

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Thanks Jack,

    I appreciate that there is no reason to not shoot at larger apertures if the photographer wishes to. It's not my cup of tea, however.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Not an owner of such exotic lenses, but I suspect they are the same reasons why anyone doesn't shoot a f/1.4 lens or f/2 lens at wide open all the time. I pay for fast lens for its versatility so that I can shoot it that wide when I need to, without the need of changing the lens for every different lighting scenarios. Once the lens is on the body, however, the aperture settings becomes a creative tool for DOF/shutter-speed control. I'm lazy and prefer not to change lens often while I'm out, so I see the benefit of being able to slap on a slightly bigger lens that is capable of wider aperture range, especially if you move between indoor/outdoor a lot.

    I wish that they can figure out a way to provide constant fully round iris so the bokeh looks nice at all apertures.
    David Young
    My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    Most of the time I use the M50/0.95 @ 0.95 at a bit more distance …

    I had the M50/1.4 ASPH and the M50/0.95 at the same time for awhile … while it's nice to have a smaller 50, from f/1.4 onward, the results were almost impossible to tell apart.
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesK View Post
    Excellent question Jack, and I agree with Marc here.
    I have the 50 Noct f/1.0 and the 50 Lux Asph, and I find the paint like rendering with the 50 Nocti f/1.0 still is there from f/2 right up to f/4. For outside shots, I will normally have to use f/2.8, even late afternoon.

    Having the flexibility of one lens, with the ability to change the DOF and rendering without changing the lens to a 50 Lux or another 50 is a bonus.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hosermage View Post
    I pay for fast lens for its versatility so that I can shoot it that wide when I need to, without the need of changing the lens for every different lighting scenarios.

    Okay, I see a general theme and it makes some sense. Good to know the new Noct 0.95 is as good as the Lux ASPH from 1.4 up -- that was data I did not have, and I understand the paint-like rendering of the older Noct up to f4 -- it's like Lux Pre at f1.4 to 2.8.

    I still have difficulty wrapping my arms around the added weights and slower focus helical (as well as for the 75 Lux or 90 APO too), but I can see where if one wants that look, it's worth the effort.

    @Max -- I suspect you may have had a defective copy of the Lux Pre? I owned a few copies over the years and they were painterly almost to f2.8 and while not Cron sharp from f4 up, mine were pretty close...
    Jack
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post

    @Max -- I suspect you may have had a defective copy of the Lux Pre? I owned a few copies over the years and they were painterly almost to f2.8 and while not Cron sharp from f4 up, mine were pretty close...
    Yep - the 50lux pre-ASPH is certainly not an "average" performing lens. The only time I prefer my 50cron is for infinity performance...

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    ...
    @Max -- I suspect you may have had a defective copy of the Lux Pre? I owned a few copies over the years and they were painterly almost to f2.8 and while not Cron sharp from f4 up, mine were pretty close...
    The copy I tested is owned by my neighbor and this black 50mm pre asph Lux is in perfect condition. It looks like new and behaves just like the copy I tested (less thoroughly though) in my local Leica store.

    There are several reasons why I don't like this lens:
    -When the lens gets stopped down its focal length changes just enough to cause focus shifts; Just like any other fast lens without correction (FLE come to mind). I hate having to compensate for this while shooting, I find it distracting when I have to focus on the shoot instead.
    -Field curvature is very prominent; The field and corners are always a bit fuzzy even when stopped down.
    -It's quite large compared to a 50mm Cron especially if you consider that you get more resolution (especially across the field and in the corners) from the Cron in a much lighter package.


    However just because it doesn't meet my demands doesn't mean anybody has to share my opinion. If you have one just shoot and enjoy it.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    At least for me when I shot the older version of it many times I hated the background effect depending on what was behind the subject. Many times the background looked so nervous I really did not like it. The one lens I did like was the older 50 lux pre asph with the slide on hood. That lens far cheaper but I liked the look better. Now the newer Nocti I have not shot so can't comment on it but the old one I would not buy.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    I try to shoot each of my Leica lenses wide open almost all the time. Leica (and I) spent a great deal of money making sure these lenses perform better than any alternatives when wide open, and I don't want to waste that investment.
    But all Leica lenses, even the Noctilux, are sharper stopped down a bit, f/4 usually. So your 'investment' is in an additional stop or two of speed, not resolution. You are wasting the prime performance of the lens for the sake of using a narrow definition of its function. Leica designed it with a selection of f/stops, that is why it is expensive, a lens with one f/stop would be pretty cheap to make in the scheme of things.

    Steve
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    But all Leica lenses, even the Noctilux, are sharper stopped down a bit, f/4 usually. So your 'investment' is in an additional stop or two of speed, not resolution. You are wasting the prime performance of the lens for the sake of using a narrow definition of its function. Leica designed it with a selection of f/stops, that is why it is expensive, a lens with one f/stop would be pretty cheap to make in the scheme of things.

    Steve
    Steve, while you may get a bit more by stopping down, the M Nocti and Lux lenses tend to out-perform most other fast aperture lenses when shot wide open. At F/1.4 an M lens is often like shooting other lenses at f/2.8 or even f/3.5 in terms of apparent resolution. So you gain light gathering without giving up a whole lot. Obviously, when the situation calls for stopping down, you do it.

    Optimizing a lens as much as possible at such wide apertures is what probably costs a pretty penny.

    - Marc

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Marc, I'm just questioning the idea that a Noctilux (and the 'others', but I don't know what they are) is carried around only to use it wide open. What happens when another aperture is needed, change to another lens entirely or another type of 50mm?

    It sort of comes in the 'HCB only used a 50mm lens' type of Leica myth bracket. The 'I only shoot fast lenses wide open' isn't something Leica ever intended as a consequence of making a Noctilux, they originate from needing a wide f/stop for slow film.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    @ Steve, FTR, HCB's favorite lens was a 50mm SONNAR, a Zeiss design made for the Leica -- I've always found that somewhat ironic since HCB is considered the pentultimate Leica shooter by many, yet he didn't use Leica glass.

    @Marc, I doubt wide aperture performance is *probably* the reason M glass is so expensive, I suspect it is T H E reason!

    @Guy, the older pre-asph Lux is what Max and I are debating here, not the older Nocts. He didn't like his, we both loved ours -- it's why I'm thinking his copy was sub-par. Moreover, I don't recall mine focus shifting much at all -- at least it was never an issue for me. It did have some field curvature, but not excessive and at least for me, I don't ever recall it being significant enough to smear a corner past f4...
    Jack
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Hi Jack.
    Interesting discussion. I think it boils down to two changes since your day with Leica
    1. the 0.95 Nocti performs like the 50 'lux Asph after f.1.4
    2. the rangefinder on the M makes focusing the Noct wide open easier than previously.

    I've got both lenses - I'll take the Nocti if I 'might' want that f0.95 and put up with the weight, otherwise I'll take the 'lux. Incidentally I don't agree with Marc that the A7 makes it easier to focus - but then perhaps that's because of the modified rangefinder in the new M? Certainly I'm not alone in finding a great improvement.

    All the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    what changed with the rangefinder?

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    I'll chime in.

    I've divested myself of a lot of my previous Leica gear, for multiple reasons. 1) I wear glasses so 35 & 28 frame lines are difficult for me. My 35 street shooting has gone to the Sony RX1r which I love. That replaced the 35 Lux FLE. 2) for 90 mm lenses there are better options than a rangefinder in my opinion.

    50 mm is the focal length that I have always loved to use on a Leica. I had started with a 50 cron years ago. That was replaced by the 50 Lux Pre-Asph. In that time frame I tried the f1 Noct. & just didn't like the difficulty focusing on the earlier rangefinders, it's inferiority at narrower aperture - requiring me to always have another 50 along, & the strange bokeh that sometimes happened - depending on the background.

    Then the 50 Lux ASPH came out & this was my dream lens for many years. I just loved the rendering at all apertures.

    Now comes the M240 with an improved rangefinder plus an electronic finder (unfortunately without eye sensor, no lag, or the clarity of the one from my RX1r - Leica PLEASE get a good EVF). Also, Leica produces a new .95 Noct. which was sharper, appeared to mimic my Lux ASPH when stopped down, & didn't have the sometimes "busy" bokeh.

    My thoughts were could this new lens give me the extra speed, great separation of subject, & replace my Lux at the same time? I've had one on loan for about a week now & have to say it's pretty amazing. Yes it's heavy, slightly slower to focus when close (2m to infinity is really about the same), plus doesn't focus as close as my Lux. However, I truly seem to have a much more versatile lens in the Noct.

    I'm truly loving it for everything that I loved in my Lux ASPH plus it's ability shoot down to .95. I do use it a lot when wider than 1.4 and not only at close distance but to gain separation of subject at longer distances. A 3 stop ND allows me to even do this in bright light. I'll also use it at 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8 as needed. Here it performs as good as my Lux ASPH. No more need to have two 50's.

    In conclusion for the type of photography where a rangefinder works, I have reduced my kit to a Sony RX1r & Leica M240 with .95 Nocti and couldn't be happier.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Crap. Maybe I'm gonna need to buy a 0.95 and an A7 for the rear lenscap.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Warning Jack... Slippery Slope Ahead Sign In Your Headlights ;=)

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Non scientific example but just a quick simple reason why I say the Noctilux is so versatile.

    Here is a shot with the Sony A7 and the FE 55/1.8 compared to the M240 and the .95 Noct.. I did a screen shot of the metadata to show everyone the parameters. The sharpness,color, and ISO performance might just surprise you.

    In this group, The A7 55 FE/1.8 combo is always first followed by the M240 and .95 Noct..

    Let me know what you guys think. I love this .95 Noct. even when not wide open.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Ooops. The shutter speed on the M240 information screen shot didn't show. Here it is again. These were handheld and quickly focusing the Noct. with the rangefinder.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Jack.
    Interesting discussion. I think it boils down to two changes since your day with Leica
    1. the 0.95 Nocti performs like the 50 'lux Asph after f.1.4
    2. the rangefinder on the M makes focusing the Noct wide open easier than previously.

    I've got both lenses - I'll take the Nocti if I 'might' want that f0.95 and put up with the weight, otherwise I'll take the 'lux. Incidentally I don't agree with Marc that the A7 makes it easier to focus - but then perhaps that's because of the modified rangefinder in the new M? Certainly I'm not alone in finding a great improvement.

    All the best
    Jono, I didn't make a comparison statement. I agree with you (and others), that the M240 rangefinder is an improved over the M9/M8. I did test a M240 demo for 2 weeks.

    I said that focusing mag/peaking on the A7R even makes it easy (not easier) to focus the M50/0.95 at closer distances … which, without mag focus and peaking would be hard on the A7R … probably harder than with a M240.

    - Marc

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    what changed with the rangefinder?
    HI John.
    It's been completely re-engineered to tighter tolerances, making it more accurate and more likely to stay in calibration - at least, that's how I understand it.
    Whatever the actual technical details, most people are finding it much better than the RF in the M9 - for example, when I had two M9 bodies I had half of my lenses focus better on one body, and the other half on the other body. Now I have two M bodies I don't need to think about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Jono, I didn't make a comparison statement. I agree with you (and others), that the M240 rangefinder is an improved over the M9/M8. I did test a M240 demo for 2 weeks.

    I said that focusing mag/peaking on the A7R even makes it easy (not easier) to focus the M50/0.95 at closer distances … which, without mag focus and peaking would be hard on the A7R … probably harder than with a M240.

    - Marc
    HI Mark - sorry to misinterpret you - I quite agree that it is easy to focus on the A7/A7r . . .

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKißler View Post
    True. Even a 50mm Jupiter 8 at f5,6 looks just as good as a 50mm Summicron.
    However, I cannot completely agree: For example, the 50mm pre asph Summilux is optically just a bad lens compared to the Summicron or even the Jupiter 8. At f11 the edges of that Summilux are still horribly fuzzy while the other lenses mentioned before are much sharper.

    Don't get me wrong, Im not implying that the Jupiter 8 is better then the Lux. It is not, in fact it has lots of flaws; Enormous focus shifts, bad performance wide open and horrible mechanics just to name a few.

    Then again, all these lense are made to take images with. And I guess if the content of an image is alright, nobody will care whether it was captured with a Noctilux or a Jupiter X at a certain aperture.
    My Jupiter 3 is among my favorite lenses. Delightful!!!!
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosermage View Post
    Not an owner of such exotic lenses, but I suspect they are the same reasons why anyone doesn't shoot a f/1.4 lens or f/2 lens at wide open all the time. I pay for fast lens for its versatility so that I can shoot it that wide when I need to, without the need of changing the lens for every different lighting scenarios. Once the lens is on the body, however, the aperture settings becomes a creative tool for DOF/shutter-speed control. I'm lazy and prefer not to change lens often while I'm out, so I see the benefit of being able to slap on a slightly bigger lens that is capable of wider aperture range, especially if you move between indoor/outdoor a lot.

    I wish that they can figure out a way to provide constant fully round iris so the bokeh looks nice at all apertures.
    One big and heavy lens is often still smaller, lighter and is always more convenient than two smaller lenses in the same FL.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKißler View Post
    The copy I tested is owned by my neighbor and this black 50mm pre asph Lux is in perfect condition. It looks like new and behaves just like the copy I tested (less thoroughly though) in my local Leica store.

    There are several reasons why I don't like this lens:
    -When the lens gets stopped down its focal length changes just enough to cause focus shifts; Just like any other fast lens without correction (FLE come to mind). I hate having to compensate for this while shooting, I find it distracting when I have to focus on the shoot instead.
    -Field curvature is very prominent; The field and corners are always a bit fuzzy even when stopped down.
    -It's quite large compared to a 50mm Cron especially if you consider that you get more resolution (especially across the field and in the corners) from the Cron in a much lighter package.


    However just because it doesn't meet my demands doesn't mean anybody has to share my opinion. If you have one just shoot and enjoy it.
    Sounds very Sonnar-like. My "fast 50s" are a trio of Sonnar-type lenses (1937 Carl Zeiss, 1963 Jupiter 3, new Carl Zeiss C Sonnar ZM) for when I want to paint with light. When I want ease of shooting and/or optical perfection its the 50 Summicron.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    @ Steve, FTR, HCB's favorite lens was a 50mm SONNAR, a Zeiss design made for the Leica -- I've always found that somewhat ironic since HCB is considered the pentultimate Leica shooter by many, yet he didn't use Leica glass.

    @Marc, I doubt wide aperture performance is *probably* the reason M glass is so expensive, I suspect it is T H E reason!

    @Guy, the older pre-asph Lux is what Max and I are debating here, not the older Nocts. He didn't like his, we both loved ours -- it's why I'm thinking his copy was sub-par. Moreover, I don't recall mine focus shifting much at all -- at least it was never an issue for me. It did have some field curvature, but not excessive and at least for me, I don't ever recall it being significant enough to smear a corner past f4...
    Now old Sonnars have a look. My absolute favorite lens. When I grab my Monochrom with just one lens, its is almost always one of my Sonnars.
    "A fella, A quick fella, might have a weapon under there. I'd have to pin his head to the panel." The Gyro Captain

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    Member Zlatko Batistich's Avatar
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    @ Steve, FTR, HCB's favorite lens was a 50mm SONNAR, a Zeiss design made for the Leica -- I've always found that somewhat ironic since HCB is considered the pentultimate Leica shooter by many, yet he didn't use Leica glass.
    There is a book that mentions HCB using a Sonnar in 1946. However, over his long career he certainly used Leica lenses. Mike Johnston writes that HCB used the collapsible 50mm Summicron from the time that it was introduced and for most of his career. There are several photos online in which HCB appears to be using the collapsible 50mm Summicron. In a 1968 photo, he appears to be using a 50/1.2 Noctilux. One commenter on T.O.P. writes that in 1975 he saw HCB mainly using the 40mm Summicron and 35mm Summilux, and that he also carried a 90mm Elmarit and 50mm Summicron.

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    The one he eventually polished the coating off of from years of cleaning it with his shirt tail as he rested at sidewalk cafes between shooting was a Sonnar
    Jack
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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    1. the 0.95 Nocti performs like the 50 'lux Asph after f.1.4
    2. the rangefinder on the M makes focusing the Noct wide open easier than previously.
    When I owned the F0.95 Noctilux I didn't find it hard to focus at F0.95, even using it on the now apparently crappy M9 RF – it is certainly less demanding than, say, the 75 Summicron at F2 (both at closest focus). The 1m minimum focussing distance of the Noctilux certainly 'helps' here. I mention that factor also because, for me, that longer minimum focussing distance makes the Noctilux noticeably less versatile than the 50 Summilux.

    Two other things I'd say about the F0.95.
    1) I rather liked it stopped down a stop or so. I'm less keen on the F0.95 aesthetic. At F1.4–F2, it worked nicely for me (for certain types of photograph) and, I think was a little sharper (where it mattered) than the Summilux at equivalent aperture.
    2) Ergonomics. It is a heavy lens (by M standards) but, surprisingly, balances nicely on the M body. The extra size meant I tended to hold the camera/lens combination more by the lens than I did the body and I quite liked it that way

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    Re: Just asking why? ...

    It was the British motoring writer Denis Jenkinson who advised that people should drive at 60%. I suppose there are occasions when 10% might be appropriate, but not many.

    I don't have any of these exotic beasts, but if I did, I'd follow Jenks' advice. I really don't see the point of f/0.95 at f/5.6—unless it's some sort of emergency. Just because you can stop down isn't a reason for doing it.

    But then, I'm influenced by the very slow films of my youth (remember the original Kodachrome?) when large apertures were so necessary. I haven't changed much, even if I can tweak the ISO.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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