View Full Version : Tom...insight on Nikon RF / F.1 compared to Noctilux
It occurred to me the other day I have never heard you read your take on the performance of the Nikon F1 50mm lenses and also any comparison to the Noctilux or ASPH 50mm F1.4 . As the Noctilux and Nikkor F.1 should be a kind of apples to apples situation.
Does the RF Nikon F.1 lens have a shine that may be the Noctilux does not?
Please offer your sage insights......Laurance
I really have very little experience with the Nikon f1.1. All in all I might have shot a couple of rolls with one, many years ago.
The Noctilux and the Asph Summilux 50 on the other hand, I have shot a lot with. Decided after 6 Noctiluxes that I really did not like it! Obviously a slow learner. I find it to cumbersome and not that great a performer - at least for what I am shooting.
The 50f1.4 Asph Summilux - on the other hand is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used. Almost clinical in its rendition. In my estimation it is probably the best 50mm ever built and that any improvements by anyone is rather wasted as neither films nor sensor can resolve suffciently to make full use of it.
When the Nocti and the 50f1.1 came out - 400 asa was a high speed film. Today we can use 1600 and 3200 asa film and get results similar to what we got with 400, so high speed lenses are less important.
I thought the fastest SLR lens made by Nikon was the 50mm f1.2 Noct-Nikkor. I did not know Nikon had ever made a f1 or f1.1 lens. I know Canon had the 50mm f1 lens for EOS cameras. Leica and Canon had the only f1 lenses in production.
I thought the fastest SLR lens made by Nikon was the 50mm f1.2 Noct-Nikkor. I did not know Nikon had ever made a f1 or f1.1 lens.
They were discussing the Nikon RF 50mm 1.1 lens which is not for the Nikon SLR.
I compared the Nikkor 50/1.1 to the Noctilux 50/1.0 and to the Canon 50/0.95. The 50/1.1 is remarkably compact for such a speed. It is no match for the Noctilux when it comes to sharpness. The lens that I used needed shimming for 100% performance.
"They were discussing the Nikon RF 50mm 1.1 lens which is not for the Nikon SLR."
OK. I get it now. My bad!
Thanks Tom....I have been out of town for a couple of days and so just walked in the door, to read your reply. I have so for not gotten a chance to try the ASPH 50 Summilux lens. I dumped my old Non-ASPH Leica lens for the Zeiss Sonnar C F1.5 and like it but the thumbprint of the ASPH Leica 50 looks tempting. Also the Zeiss 50 F2 seems another interesting winner. the reason for my interest in the 2 different F/1 lense is that the Nikon F1 seems to be getting a lot of international interest...but for all the wrong reasons.
As is collectable chic and not performance. At most you could call it "artistic"
Also one more question in passing.....the new 35mm F1.8 that is on the memorial SP Nikon RF. Do you see any difference between that and the original 35 F1.8...I found the early one very good but not a killer and some photos I have seen of the new version appear to be dramaticly better. Am I seeing things that are not there or was there a rework of that lens?
Apart from the "old" 35f1.8 being just that- and somewhat prone to scratches and internal fog. The difference is not that dramatic. The SP 2005 35f1.8 is higher contrast (new multi coated optic) and looks sharper on a print, partially because of the higher contrast. It is also less flare prone than the older version/
However, in the 50's when the 35f1.8 appeared, it was sensational. Neither Leica nor Canon had a fast 35 with this performance. The Canon 35f1.5 was at best mediocre (soft at f1.5 and prone to flare) and the Leica 35f1.4 was similar in quality. Of course. today these lenses are revered for these qualities - mainly because they have that 50's and 60's look, particularly with bl/w film.
The 35f1.8 is a very sharp at mid-aperture. I find it sharper than the 35/2 Summicron and the Canon 35f1.8 and f2. Partly, i suspect, is because of the long "throw" focus of the Nikon Rf's. It is easier to pinpoint focus with it.
Thanks again Tom....I have been wanting to try the 2005 SP with the 35 F1.8...but man those things are painfully expensive. I did have a ASPH 35 Cron and it was for me only at it's best at 2.8 or the half stop, between 2.8 and 4 . Thanks again for your time on this issue.
Hi Laurance, you might find this comment on the new Nikkor 35/1.8 (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=831319&postcount=51) by RFF member dreamsandart worth reading!
Thanks Jon...I just went and read the link with the info on the Nikkor 35. Really good stuff.
Iam currently using the Zeiss 35 F/ 2 Biogon on my Leica's....it's got some good qualities. But the Nikkor 35 F/1.8 are really in a class by it's self. I feel the same about the Nikkor 25mm that was on the RF cameras. When you consider how long ago that thing was designed and built....WOW. I sold one for a friend it brought big money on Ebay. But a new 25 that had modern coatinns and formulations of glass could be a world beater...and then some.
I think the thing that bothers me most now days is that with the digital age..software is making corrections for what should be the optics mission of perfection.
Also If Nikon should....ever build a digital "RF" like the SP or S3's then it would cause such a shift in the tidal flow of digital phoography, it would be hard to forecast the tidal wave landing on the shores of the photogrpahy world. Iam hoping that I either get a 2005 Nikon SP or get the chance to buy a digital Nikon RF...if it ever happens.
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