Rare 50mm 1.2 ASPH
Old 08-07-2011   #1
dannyt
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Rare 50mm 1.2 ASPH

Seal twittered he was out shooting with his super rare 50mm 1.2 ASPH, is this a new lens, or a one of prototype of some sort, anybody know?
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Old 08-07-2011   #2
Roger Hicks
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Aspheric, not ASPH, as far as I know. This was the first Noctilux, and it had an aspheric element. The f/1.0 redesign was faster; with common curves; and from the few comparisons I've heard, better.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-07-2011   #3
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As Roger said, it is the original f/1.2 Noct.
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Old 08-07-2011   #4
ka7197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Aspheric, not ASPH, as far as I know. This was the first Noctilux, and it had an aspheric element.
Two aspheric elements actually. And these were ground and polished by hand—an extremely tedious, error-prone, and costly procedure. The original Noctilux 50 mm 1:1.2 was produced from 1966 to 1975 in very low numbers, and is a sought-after collector's item today (not for optical performance but for scarcity). Unlike modern aspheric Leica lenses, the name of that lens did not include any hint to the aspheric elements—neither "Asph" nor "Apherical". Still, everyone knew about the lens being aspheric; it was a sensation in the lens market of the '60s. The successor model to this was the Noctilux-M 50 mm 1:1, produced from 1976 to 2007 which had no aspheric elements but still was faster and a better performer than its predecessor—this model is fairly common in today's used market.

The current Noctilux-M 50 mm 1:0.95 Asph (produced since 2008) is even faster, bigger, and better than both its predecessors. More expensive, too.

Last edited by ka7197 : 08-07-2011 at 13:05.
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Old 08-07-2011   #5
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka7197 View Post
Two aspheric elements actually. And these were ground and polished by hand—an extremely tedious, error-prone, and costly procedure. The original Noctilux 50 mm 1:1.2 was produced from 1966 to 1975 in very low numbers, and is a sought-after collector's item today (not for optical performance but for scarcity). Unlike modern aspheric Leica lenses, the name of that lens did not include any hint to the aspheric elements—neither "Asph" nor "Apherical". Still, everyone knew about the lens being aspheric; it was a sensation in the lens market of the '60s. The successor model to this was the Noctilux-M 50 mm 1:1, produced from 1976 to 2007 which had no aspheric elements but still was faster and a better performer than its predecessor—this model is fairly common in today's used market.

The current Noctilux-M 50 mm 1:0.95 Asph (produced since 2008) is even faster, bigger, and better than both its predecessors. More expensive, too.

I'd forgotten it was two: presumably they were on different elements. But as you say, it seems to be sought after for scarcity, not performance.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-07-2011   #6
ironhorse
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KEH has one in bargain condition for $15,249
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Old 08-07-2011   #7
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So funny now we're talking about lenses that Seal is twittering about using LOL

Wondering what Lady Gaga is using
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Old 08-07-2011   #8
Tom A
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I had the 50f1.2 Noctilux for several years in the late 60's. There was a lot of variance in them, from sample to sample. Some were really good - others were just passable at 1.2. When the Noctilux 50f1 came out I traded it for one of the new ones - much more even performance. Very much a collectible these days.

Some years ago I got the Konica 60f1.2 - much better lens, rivaled the 50f1.2 Noctilux easily.
Today I am very happy with the VC 50f1.1!!!!
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Old 08-07-2011   #9
hteasley
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I shot one on my M8, when I visited Youxin a year ago. He acquired the lens preparing for the Beijing exhibition. He said there were only two folks in Solms who could make the lens, at the time, so when one of them was sick or on holiday, production was halved.

It was a very nice lens.
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Old 08-08-2011   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicashot View Post
So funny now we're talking about lenses that Seal is twittering about using LOL

Wondering what Lady Gaga is using
It'd have to be Lomo.
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Old 08-08-2011   #11
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I shouldn't think there would be anyone in Solms who could make the original 50/1.2 Noctilux, as it was last done, at the time, more than 35 years ago and in Wetzlar. Interesting.
I meant two folks at the time of production. When they were in full swing producing the lens, there were two folks doing it.
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Old 08-08-2011   #12
Erik van Straten
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I don't think the Noctilux f/1was better. It was cheaper to produce. The f/1.2 was uneconomical to produce, but could have been a great lens. I've seen only a very few pictures made by it. Does anyone have some pictures made with the Noctilux f/1.2?

Erik.
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Old 08-08-2011   #13
leicashot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
I don't think the Noctilux f/1was better. It was cheaper to produce. The f/1.2 was uneconomical to produce, but could have been a great lens. I've seen only a very few pictures made by it. Does anyone have some pictures made with the Noctilux f/1.2?

Erik.
Steve Huff took a few pics recently, but really, even if it is better, are owners going to take better 'pictures' for having it? I highly doubt it.

A better lens doesn't mean better pictures, only bragging rights of "I'm using the lens that Seal twittered about" LOL
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Old 08-08-2011   #14
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It was the best of lenses, and the worst of lenses. depending on Center, 1/3rd out, 2/3rds out, and far-edge.

They probably did not have enough precision on the coefficients for the polynomial that approximated the wiggle of the aspheric surfaces. Bernie said that. He had over 40 years of experience with optical design.
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Old 08-09-2011   #15
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post


It was the best of lenses, and the worst of lenses. depending on Center, 1/3rd out, 2/3rds out, and far-edge.

.
Thank you for showing this very interesting comparison. Where is it from?

Erik.
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Old 08-09-2011   #16
PatrickONeill
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wow. no focus shift noted on the ƒ1.2. Thats pretty impressive.
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