Old 11-05-2007   #41
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very nice combination of color seen here, and, i suspect the out of focus areas enhance the color gradation, and my sense of it, as distant form deconstructs. well done Ned
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Old 11-05-2007   #42
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strange lens. sometimes it looks very interesting but sometimes it is not impressive at all. i think that 1 f stop over 1.5 zm sonnar is not worth that much money.

Last edited by nzeeman : 11-08-2007 at 04:00.
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Old 11-05-2007   #43
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I think the problem with the Noctilux is that the outrageous price tag drives off people who would actually use the lens and as far as I know Ned is the only person who frequents the forums and has ever shown the nuances and subtlety of this very special lens.
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Old 11-05-2007   #44
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Originally Posted by nzeeman
strange lens. sometimes it looks very interesting but sometimes it is not impressive at all. i think that 1 f stop over 1.5 zm sonnar is worth that much money.
Cao Nzeeman,

I'm sure you wanted to say it is not worth the price difference versus a Sonnar. I respect your opinion but if I follow your logic, even the sonnar is not worth it. The Nokton is 300% cheaper and is an outstanding performer with, if I remember correctly, TWO aspherical elements. This is as exotic as it gets.

I personally think the Noctilux is worth it. Such sharpness and cotnrast wide open at f1.0 was something unthinkable until Leitz made it real. The mistake people make is they expect something more then a lens can give. They expect the pictures to smell its subjects (like a woman I knew used to perfume herself before someone would take a picture of her). Well, no matter how "3-D" the lens' rendition is, there is no suh thing possible.
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Old 11-05-2007   #45
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Originally Posted by phatnev
I think the problem with the Noctilux is that the outrageous price tag drives off people who would actually use the lens and as far as I know Ned is the only person who frequents the forums and has ever shown the nuances and subtlety of this very special lens.
You're right about the price tag, Chris.
I also agree with you that we don't see many Noctilux contributions. This is sad and what I'm trying to do is show what this lens does in any kind of light and situation, I'll start scanning some landscape shots and probably some nudes, down the road.

Thanks...
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Old 11-05-2007   #46
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Originally Posted by NB23
Hi Rodney, Ol' internet buddy!

I agree with what you say. What I really like about the shot is the cool light temperature in the shade and warm temperature in the sunny part and they both match very well.
Ok..color temperature...agree, terms i did not think of
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Old 11-05-2007   #47
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I had a chance to buy minty copy for less than $2k not too long ago. The seller was actually willing to take my 50 Summilux plus $900. That was before the price evidently exploded. I couldn't justify it then and I damned sure can't do it now.

There are some really nice shots in this thread, but nothing that seems worth carrying around a huge, heavy and obscenely expensive piece of glass to get.

The next generation of DSLR's are going to make superspeed lenses a moot point, anyway, if the current generation hasn't already. The new Nikon D3 has the ability to shoot at iso 25k. 25-freakin' thousand! One early review says that iso 6,400 on this camera is equivalent in quality to iso 400 on earlier cameras. ( Review here: http://www.daveblackphotography.com/...op/11-2007.htm ) And yes, it needs to be said that the retail price for this astounding technology costs about the same as the Noctilux.

Canon's working on a replacement for the 5D (which is already crushingly superior to film at high iso's) and I'm sure they will show improved high iso quality as well. The point being that a lens of moderate aperture mounted to these cameras will capture clean images in light levels so low the Noctilux couldn't hope to match it, even mounted to the M8 and its already obsolete sensor.

I'm not knocking anybody's choice of gear; if you've got one and you enjoy it, then mazel tov. For a film shooter it's still a cool, if pricey, tool to have. But in this digital age, the Noctilux is an anachronism; a fine piece of engineering and craftsmanship that's been passed by time. The samurai sword of lenses, if you will.
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Old 11-06-2007   #48
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Geez, I can't wait for Nikon's and Canon's next pro Zoom lenses... 18-200mm f11-f22?
Well, if they made such a beast, I'm sure someone would buy it. I'm a prime shooter, myself. Unless it's on a tripod, I can't stand a big, heavy lens, zoom or prime. Even if it does say "Leica" and not "Canon" on the barrel.

I belong to a wedding photography site (the DWF) and I've seen sample pics shot at iso 25,000 from the new D3. It looked like Fuji 800 color neg to me, except it was, of course, five full stops more sensitive. With sensors that sensitive, even an f1.4 lens is overkill, from a light-gathering perspective. These sensors are rewriting the books about what is possible in low-light photography. They are, to this era, what super-speed primes and 400 iso film were to the 1950's: cutting edge technology.
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Old 11-06-2007   #49
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Kevin, I agree with you about new technologies. However this is entirely missing the point.

High ISO, pixels and other tech talk doesn't move me at all. I run a wedding business for a long time now and I still use film cameras and Two D2H cameras for weddings (D2H are known as the noise machines, and I just love it that way). The D3 and the other new cameras are good for newbies who won't have a chance to miss a shot anymore, getting clean shots at iso 1 000 000. My wife and grandmother are good candidates for them.

Kevin, I like a good fight in life, usually. This is why I still shoot film and underappreciate digital. I'm 32 and probably what is seen as a die-hard purist. But I've been a die-hard purist ever since I switched my old Minoltas and LeicaflexSL for a Maxxum 7000, when I was 20, in 1995.

Being able to shoot at iso 64000, 124000 and probably 1,000,000 in about 3 years from now is not something too exciting for me.

Last edited by NB23 : 11-06-2007 at 08:43.
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Old 11-06-2007   #50
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Originally Posted by NB23
Why exactly? Did you know you can shoot it in the dark and shoot landscapes with this lens and get perfect sharpness? What other lens does that?

Not the Noct-Nikkor.
Not the Canon f1.0 paper-weight.
Not the Canon f0.95.

Ah! I see! you're talking about talent and composition? You're wrongfully discriminating the Noctilux, then.

If you know your stuff, any Noctilux post is interesting because it rivals any summilux, any time. Instead of always expecting Boke and softness, expect what the Noctilux does best: all around shooting capability.
I have both the Leica 50 mm 1,0 'Noctilux' and the Canon EF 50 mm 1,0L. The Leica backfocuses - and is a short tele lens on my M8 while the 'paperweight' is dead on with my 1Ds II. With AF! I regard them both as collection pieces. For real 50 mm photography I would go for something more high contrast.
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Old 11-06-2007   #51
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High ISO, pixels and other tech talk doesn't move me at all.
Emotionally, it doesn't move me, either. But logically, I had to face facts that for available light capture of color images in ultra low light levels, digital has it all over film. Until recently I shot weddings with two M6TTL's, and I about cried when I sold them to buy a DSLR. The Canon 5D is a wonderful piece of technology, but it's also a soulless lump of plastic.

I'm still shooting film for B&W, though, and I'm dying to get another Leica body back in my bag. Maybe meterless this time.
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Old 11-06-2007   #52
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Originally Posted by Olsen
I have both the Leica 50 mm 1,0 'Noctilux' and the Canon EF 50 mm 1,0L. The Leica backfocuses - and is a short tele lense on my M8 while the 'paperweight' is dead on with my 1Ds II. With AF! I regard them both as collection pieces. For real 50 mm photography I would go for something more high contrast.
Olsen,
I've told you in the past and I'm still telling you: Your noctilux probably needs an adjustment. How can someone live with a defective 5000$ lens and be ok with it is beyond me. If you have focus issues, have it fixed.

About your constant contrast problems with your Noctilux, well that too is beyond me. The Noctilux is a very contrasty lens, even at f1.0, which is incredible.

Olsen, there is either something seriously wrong with your Noctilux or your concepts are wrong. The primary strength of the Noctilux is its contrast.
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Old 11-06-2007   #53
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Hi,

as a newbie to the Rangefinder platform I'm please that you are offering your pictures for us to view. I'm a convert from a D70 and finally D200 (still have it) and after 6 weeks of playing with my M8 I'm now only traveling with the Leica. Feeling immediately comfortable with the camera and enjoying the simple pleasure of life - it is just the easiest way to take photos.
Whilst of course I’m aware of the D3 I most definitely did not want to carry the bulk, my D200 gets heavy at the end of the day. Maybe I’m now being a little narrow minded but I really don’t care about what will be possible with some other camera, at the moment I’m content to find out as much as I can about my M8. Seeing your examples are both inspirational and informative.

Please keep the photos coming; they are simply a joy to see.
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Old 11-06-2007   #54
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I'd rather look at this thread than just about anything else around.
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Old 11-07-2007   #55
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My Noctilux just about lives on my MP, I started shooting film a little over six months ago, and doing my own developing about two months ago.

I don't profess to know a lot about lenses or characteristics, I have no trouble focusing it, or how heavy it is, I just like the pictures I get using it.
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Old 11-07-2007   #56
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While I agree that incredible new ways of looking could potentially open up with new sensor technologies, I still think there is a place for an f1 lens. Just look at films like "Barry Lyndon" (I don't know if that's how it's spelt, sorry.) The low light cinematography in that film is stunning and the shallow depth of field looks right for such poorly lit conditions. I think that low light photography is less about capturing noiseless/grainless full tonal images and more about conveying mood and feeling for a place and time. Put it this way, Jimi Hendrix wasn't the technically best guitarist on the block but he certainly conveyed more raw emotion than anyone else of the era.
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Old 11-07-2007   #57
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Sharpness of in-focus-area of this lens at such high apertures is stunning.

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Old 11-07-2007   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palker
Hi,

as a newbie to the Rangefinder platform I'm please that you are offering your pictures for us to view. I'm a convert from a D70 and finally D200 (still have it) and after 6 weeks of playing with my M8 I'm now only traveling with the Leica. Feeling immediately comfortable with the camera and enjoying the simple pleasure of life - it is just the easiest way to take photos.
Whilst of course Iím aware of the D3 I most definitely did not want to carry the bulk, my D200 gets heavy at the end of the day. Maybe Iím now being a little narrow minded but I really donít care about what will be possible with some other camera, at the moment Iím content to find out as much as I can about my M8. Seeing your examples are both inspirational and informative.

Please keep the photos coming; they are simply a joy to see.
I'm not a newbie to Leica R but certainly am to Leica M for already a year now... I decided I'd give rangefinders a try as a therapy against DSLRs. I think you said it well: "enjoying the simple pleasure of life".
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Old 11-07-2007   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semrich
My Noctilux just about lives on my MP, I started shooting film a little over six months ago, and doing my own developing about two months ago.

I don't profess to know a lot about lenses or characteristics, I have no trouble focusing it, or how heavy it is, I just like the pictures I get using it.
Your picture is outstanding. Fits my style perfectly :-)
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Old 11-07-2007   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikFive
Geeesh who wants a Noctilux anyway...... I will start my own 50 0.95 thread were me and the other poorer kids can play
Erik,
Good idea! I also feel the Canon is under documented. I've not seen much from that one and I'm curious.
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Old 11-07-2007   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJV
While I agree that incredible new ways of looking could potentially open up with new sensor technologies, I still think there is a place for an f1 lens. Just look at films like "Barry Lyndon" (I don't know if that's how it's spelt, sorry.) The low light cinematography in that film is stunning and the shallow depth of field looks right for such poorly lit conditions. I think that low light photography is less about capturing noiseless/grainless full tonal images and more about conveying mood and feeling for a place and time. Put it this way, Jimi Hendrix wasn't the technically best guitarist on the block but he certainly conveyed more raw emotion than anyone else of the era.
My second RF lens was a Canon 50/0.95 (now ErikFive's). I was motivated to pick it up by some net chatter that Alcott (Kubrik's cinematographer) had used this lens for the candlelit interiors in Barry Lyndon. Not true, turns out - they managed to find a NASA Zeiss 50/0.7 for the interiors, which they had to hand-calibrate for scale focus to the inch. Interestingly, they used a Canon 50/1.2 for a lot of the exteriors, with minimal lighting. FWIW.

Erik - would love to see that 50/0.95 thread.

I think TJV has expressed it well that these lenses are not about strictly technical low-light photography, but about capturing a unique mood and emotion. Ned's shots, and others' in this thread, do that well.

I admit I still want a Noctilux.

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Old 11-07-2007   #62
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Looking at all the stunning images posted I cant understand why there was NO company ever to release a Noctilux equivalent.

There was the Canon 50/0.95 with a proprietary mount and Canons EF 50/1.0, bulky, slow Autofocus, no spare parts for future repairs (and not usable in manual mode once the thing is broken). Thats about it.

What about Tokina, Cosina, Sigma, Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, Zeiss, etc... ?
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Old 11-07-2007   #63
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Another shot from where I took the nocti out and played around with it at night on a dark road in India.
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Old 11-08-2007   #64
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Originally Posted by NB23
Yeah right! It's only as expensive as the M8 or the Nikon D3...

Well I'm not going to be able to make a purchase like the M8 for a long time, and considering how these days my M6 to M8 ratio is like 75 to 25, well, never mind.
A Noctilux would be cool, I could have fun with it, unlike many I like how it performs even up into the higher apertures, weight wouldn't be a problem I don't mind the 75 Lux, although I've decided it has backfocus issues on my M8 (Grr)


Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I'm really glad to see more people using this lens for more then it's 1.0 aperture, and I really like the results, and, I s'pose, yeah, I do really want one.
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Old 11-08-2007   #65
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Color shots look very interesting from technical perspective. I mean this has something more than only bokeh and short dof. I don't know how to describe it, maybe it is tonality, a dimension. Flare resistance is very great thing for me because I tend to shoot against sun more and more. But damn all these praises here which also raises price of Noctilux at classifieds, Ebay. I'd be in very trouble if M9 full frame digital releases. No, I need some time and really hope that Leica produce enough a lot new lenses to buyers fast so I can get of a nice Nocti for less than $2000, lol But I made a step further. I bought M3 recently though it is still not delivered to my door yet. Now I'm more close to the dream I'm saying all this above because 50mm fov is my favorite. So even $5000 is real bargain when you're gonna shoot in whole your life. It is not about fondling or shooting of pets and wife. Only one concerning thing for me is weight issue.
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Last edited by tomasis : 11-08-2007 at 13:24.
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Old 11-08-2007   #66
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Yeah Tomas, 5000$ is damn cheap if one cares to calculate. A Noctilux lens is a lifetime thing, IMO. And nobody forces you to shoot digital. 20 rolls of Velvia can last a whole year with careful and thoughtful shooting. And you bet 100% can be keepers and unique just because of this dream Noctilux-Velvia combination. Shooting slides and BW film for a year or 2 can help you recuperate just enough to help you justify a M8 or M9 down the road.
This ideology of mine is not only good for the Noctilux but for anything luxurious and long-lasting.

Last edited by NB23 : 11-08-2007 at 13:48.
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Old 11-09-2007   #67
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Ned,

You are driving my crazy. I have just decided to give up rangefinder photography, when I come across this thread!!

Beautiful photos all 'round. I would love to see a Canon 50mm f0/95 thread also. I love large apertures.
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Old 11-09-2007   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m
The next generation of DSLR's are going to make superspeed lenses a moot point, anyway, if the current generation hasn't already.
Are you kidding me? Do you not have an imagination? If you can put a 2.8 lens on a D3 at 6400 and get better results than a 1.4 lens at ISO 1600, well then imagine what you could do with that 6400 ISO at 1.4?

I for one, have been working on a project that involves Winter landscapes from the air...in moonlight. I have been using a 5D with either a 24 1.4, 35 1.4 or 85 1.2 mounted on a gryo. I have to use it at ISO 1600 since 3200 is pushing it a bit.

If I could get the same noise levels from the D3 at 12,500, wow, that would help a lot.

There will always, *always* be a place in my tool kit for a F/1.4 or faster lens, no matter how high in ISO these cameras go.
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Old 11-09-2007   #69
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Originally Posted by NB23
Yeah right! It's only as expensive as the M8 or the Nikon D3...
Darn, I just spent my Noctilux money again!

This time it is a Nikon 200-400 VR and 1.4 converter......darn the bad luck..:-).
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Old 11-09-2007   #70
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Darn, I just spent my Noctilux money again!

This time it is a Nikon 200-400 VR and 1.4 converter......darn the bad luck..:-).
It is not too late to sell Nikon and buy Noctilux. It is not about luck You need to be just determined. Of course, it depends on what you do need for your professional tools. Just earn money by commercial shots from 200-400mm and buy Noctilux with the earned money just for leisure or the sake of Art I cannot imagine that one'd make ever good shoot from 200-400 as with fov 50. Latest Ned's example shows infinite versality of 50. You probably missed the point of kevin m. He might be ironical. Some prefer short dof. Most DLSR are a heaven for infinite dof lovers (Oly E3?). It is nothing special with that. Surely, you can get sharp shots at f1.4 but rangerfinders are already good at it for long time. Films can pushed up to iso6400 and times goes down to 1/8, 1/4 if one has good condition. Can you imagine tossing around with a brick and a "fat" Nikkor 50 1.4 to get good shots (not technically)? It is much more uncomfortable than a M3 with Nocti. It doesn't make any difference if you add a tripod to carry with a brick. The whole point is getting available shoots at difficult conditions. It is really nothing revolutionizing from digital front. Though I don't mind for a Leica M with D3 sensor, lol
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Old 11-09-2007   #71
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Lynn,
Thanks!

Tomasis,
Thanks!

KM-25,
Indeed, a waste of money...
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Old 11-09-2007   #72
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Thanks Ray!

Here's one more from the Noctilux, already posted at NC last year...

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Old 11-10-2007   #73
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Ned, the last two photos are really good again ! The subject is isolated, both have some 3D effect.
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Old 11-10-2007   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NB23
Yeah Tomas, 5000$ is damn cheap if one cares to calculate correctly. A Noctilux lens is a lifetime thing, IMO. And nobody forces you to shoot digital. 20 rolls of Velvia can last a whole year with careful and thoughtful shooting. And you bet 100% can be keepers and unique just because of this dream Noctilux-Velvia combination. Shooting slides and BW film for a year or 2 can help you recuperate just enough to help you justify a M8 or M9 down the road.
This ideology of mine is not only good for the Noctilux but for anything luxurious and long-lasting.
I can understand what you're trying to say. Personally, I can't even afford equipment at those prices, but I can make sacrifices to buy something relatively expensive if I know I am going to use it. I ate almost nothing but frozen mincemeat and cereal for a year so I could afford a used Mamiya 6 kit. When I needed money I sold the kit for a reasonable price.

If you buy a used Noctilux now you should be able to get your money back when you sell it. That is, if the bubble doesn't burst.

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Old 11-10-2007   #75
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Tell us what 'magic' brand of monitor you have that makes these pics so "3D" and special.

Seriously, these last two pics could have been taken with any lens, and this whole thread has an 'emperor's new clothes' vibe to it.

Congrats to Leica for making an f1.0 lens that's actually useable at full aperture. That's a real technical accomplishment. But razor thin DOF and swirly OOF bokeh does not art make.

I'll keep an open mind should I ever see a good print of a Noctilux shot, but from what I've seen over the years on a computer monitor, there's nothing this lens does that justifies the hype or the price tag.

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Old 11-10-2007   #76
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Are you kidding me? Do you not have an imagination? If you can put a 2.8 lens on a D3 at 6400 and get better results than a 1.4 lens at ISO 1600, well then imagine what you could do with that 6400 ISO at 1.4?
I didn't make it clear enough in my original post, but what I meant is from a light-gathering perspective, super speed lenses aren't really necessary anymore. If you like the signature of a lens, or the thin DOF, then that's still something only a superspeed can deliver. (I'll keep my Canon 85/1.2 for that purpose. ) But a useable iso 12,500 means you don't have to shoot at f1.4 just to get the shot anymore. And iso 25k in a pinch means you can shoot in the dark.

In the review on the link I posted, the photographer says that iso 6,400 on the D3 is equal to iso 400 on the older Nikon DSLR's. That's not just an improvment, that's a paradigm shift at least as big as super speed primes and Tri-X were back in the day. It opens up entirely new possibilities as to what is possible in low-light photography. Much more so than an f1.0 lens trying to wring the last bit of sensitivity out of a light dependent film emulsion.
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Old 11-10-2007   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarence
I can understand what you're trying to say. Personally, I can't even afford equipment at those prices, but I can make sacrifices to buy something relatively expensive if I know I am going to use it. I ate almost nothing but frozen mincemeat and cereal for a year so I could afford a used Mamiya 6 kit. When I needed money I sold the kit for a reasonable price.

If you buy a used Noctilux now you should be able to get your money back when you sell it. That is, if the bubble doesn't burst.

Clarence
Clarence, rule number one is "Photography is not a monetary investment". Going from that simple rule, the path is open for enjoyment and strictly shooting.

If it's all and only about money, may I suggest the now very cheap and EXCELLENT Minolta 58mm f1.2 + X700 body for about 250$. As cheap as it gets.
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Old 11-10-2007   #78
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I merely said that if low-light shooting is what interests you, then super-high iso capture beats superspeed lenses. And it is a public forum, not a private club, right, so if you're going to claim that your lens produces unique results, then I'm free to chime in with my opinion that I just don't see it.

I like superspeed lenses, myself, and I've owned quite a few. But outside of its marginally narrower DOF, I have yet to see a Noctilux shot that matches the hype one hears about this lens. Again, perhaps it simply isn't visible on a monitor, so I'll keep an open mind should I ever see a good print shot with the lens.

Last edited by kevin m : 11-10-2007 at 08:43.
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Old 11-10-2007   #79
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I for one enjoy they fact some folks post their photos for us all to see. This one is to show a particular lens, I didn't want to buy it, it simply felt too big, but never the less I'm interested to see their results.

Thanks to everyone who posted a photo (or several in some cases).
Phil.
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Old 11-10-2007   #80
MikeL
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kevin m, how many times do you need to make this point. We must all be delusional and not like you. Okay?
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