Anyone Shooting Noctilux on the M9?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by david_yang|2, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. I am very interested to see some sample images. Most reviews out on the web are based on the M8; I am interested to see samples fo the falloff (supposedly about 3 stops) at f/0.95. I am interested in picking up one of these for some emotive portraits but would sure appreciate seeing some samples of the falloff before taking the plunge. Thank you! (please spare this post of costs, etc., yes we are all aware of the price tag on this puppy . . .)
  2. I should be more specific, the current version of the Noctilux 50mm f/0.95, not the old f/1.0. Thank you!
  3. The usual is to use more than 50mm for portraits.
    But it depends on what kind of portraits you are planning to do.
    if I am not in a mistake those are the most expensive items in the leica M system, the most expensive body with the most expensive lens.
    Maybe they give good results.
  4. Yes I suppose there is a theory for expensive euipment give godo results ha ha. Thank you Brandan for your rersponse. I agree that longer focal lengths are typically more desirable for portraits, which has made the 90mm APO the most suitable lens if you shoot Leica, but I typically use a 70-200mm or a 135m f/2.0 on a Nikon with AF otherwise I am can never keep up with the models. That said, the boken on the f/0.95 is wonderful (from the samples that I have seen on the M8) and gives that dreamy look everyone is raving about. I am really tempted to shoot this puppy for a lower-paced full-body glamour B/W portraits with nothing but the eyes in focus, or foreground thrown off, etc. I've tried it with the Summilux 50mm and yes the results are terrific, but ironically I like the pre-ASPH Summilux 50mm results better than the ASPH as the former gave me a more "dreamy" look as I found the the new ASPH to be a bit too contrasty for what I was trying to accomplish. It seems that the f/0.95 may be a perfect answer to the holy grail that I am seeking . . .
  5. I've been fooling around with this combination for only a couple of days now. I think they did an admirable job of retaining the old Noctilux look with the ASPH. The M9 does a really nice job of handling the edges and corners. Original is in DNG; this is JPG extract of course. Absolutely no manipulation other than what the M9 does in camera. As far as fall-off is concerned, I can't see any difference between the DNG and extracted JPG. I took this at f/1.4 to get a little more depth of field.
  6. Another, this one taken at f/.95. Focus point is his watch dial. This is for illustrative purposes only of course. No artistic claims. :)
    Zero manipulation, right out of the camera, all settings neutral.
  7. Last one. My wife, Andie, at Thanksgiving. Taken at f/2 to get some DoF. I tweaked the levels in this one, but nothing else.
  8. Ken, thank you VERY much for sharing. This is exactly what I wanted to see. Curiously, I don't see any noticeable falloff even at f/0.95. I expected that the f/0.95 would have less falloff (when compared with the Summilux 50mm ASPH when stopped down to f/2.0 or more (as Leica's on graphs show), but did not expect the corners to be this bright at f/0.95. Of course, Leica's own charts also show about a 3 stop falloff at the corners for the Summilux 50mm ASPH when shot at f/1.4, and I never saw that either (admittedly I didn't go shoot a bunch of pictures of a white wall); this is something I also never understood because graphs don't lie . . .

    Of course falloff is not always a bad thing, but it's obviously easier to add vignette than to remove it :)
  9. I should again clarify that my experiences with the Summilux 50mm ASPH were also with the M9, not film. Perhaps there is a difference in falloff between the M9 and the film bodies? Meaning does the M9 compensate? That would be really interesting . . .
  10. I agree, I'm also surprised by the lack of fall-off. I think the M9 firmware is compensating.
    I will be trying it out with film as well, and I expect we'll see the true Noctilux corner character.
    My Summilux ASPH is off being coded. When it comes back I'll be doing a comparison with that, too.
  11. Ok. One more. Glenmorangie. M9+Notcilux taken at f/.95. Very slight straightening that doesn't affect the corners, but no other manipulation.
  12. The corner falloff is barely noticeable, if at all. The use of the book is very ehlpful to illustrate the degree of "cream" in both the foreground and background. Clearly the combination of shallow depth of field and the "cream" factor really pops out the bottle to render a very 3D effect. Thanks again!

    P.S. looks like a nice bottle of single malt too :)
  13. Ken one more thing, I have noticed that the vignette shown on the M9 LCD often does not match the image on the computer. This is another mystery to me. When I shoot the Summilux 35mm lens wide open, for instance, I see a healthy falloff on my LCD screen that seems to match what the charts indicate. However once I load the DNG on to my computer, the vignette is not nearly as noticeable. I don't think this is an issue of LCD brightness, but may have something to do with how the M9 firmware; is it possible that what I see on my LCD screen is the "raw" image and what is translated to the DNG compensates for the fall off? I don't have my computer with me (on travel) to test this more scientifically, but I intend to try turning off the 6-bit coding recognition and see whether the differences continue to exist for the DNG file, and obviously, to do this right I would need to shoot the same shots on my M6 just to see whether any differences exist. (obviousyl, I just gave myself away as a relatively newcomer to the Leica world; otherwise I would already know the vignette characteristics of these lens in "real raw.") That said, I did shoot a roll of Velvia with my Summilux 50mm on my M6 and don't recall any of the photos having any noticeable fall off, but I may not have shot any photos at f/1.4.

    If there is indeed a disparity between what we see on the LCD and what we see on the computer due to firmware, then I would consider this to be a disadvantage. While the feature is certainly welcome in many situations, I would like the ability to turn off that feature for when I want to raw vignette. PURE speculation at this point, of course . ..
  14. If the digital camera or software knows lens and the fstop used; then the computer can dial in the "anti-vigneting" :) required; to force the corners to be brighter. Thus with an uncoded fast lens; one can see vignetting; for the camera doesnt know what is on it.
  15. The M9 body has no feedback to know what actual Fstop you are using ; ie is a 50mm F0.95 is set wide open; or F2; or F8.

    One can manually set the lens using the menu. ie Menu; lens detection, set, manual set.

    Thus one could afix a plain old F2 summicron; shoot some shots at F5.6; then tell the camera it is a Noct; then shoot some more at F5.6 and see what *global* vigneting correction is being done.
  16. That's a very good point Kelly and you've identified the flaw in my speculation. How in the world can the M9 (or the M8) correct for vignetting reliably if the camera does not know what f/stop is being used? I would think that a "global vignetting" effect is a dangerous mission to take on? Also, it remains unclear to me whether, to the extent there is pre-processing (as opposed to just recording EXIF data), that the 6-bit coding affects raw DNG files or just applies pre-processing to JPEG files.
  17. Actually, the M8 and M9 can derive the f-stop information, to within a stop or so of accuracy. Close enough for in-camera correction.
    The f-stop estimate is included in the image EXIF and newer raw converters, such as Lightroom 3, will display it. (You can get it today with LR 3 beta)
  18. Jeff; makes a point; but I am not totally sure how the camera can derive/know/guess the fstop; unless the external sensor is used.

    Really thats the ONLY way too; there is no F stop linkage.

    If the iso is set to 400; and one shot is 1/250 @F1; how does the camera know/guess if the next is 1/60 at F2?
    The diaphram does not stop down automatically like a slr; thus with a Noct set to say F2; how is this guess that it is set to F2 derived?

    It has to be the external sensor; hokey but usable; really ALL one has.

    To actually to do this would require an external sensor too; which it has; thus that is maybe how the Guess-stop; ie G-stop is guessed.

    Thus the light hitting the external sensor drives the guess; and thus this is the EXIF fstop info and used to apply the anti-vignetting.

    These guesses show up in new Bridge and Lightroom; I sort of cringe because it like my old external meter on my early 1960's Nikon F with the eye.
  19. What this means is if Kens shots above have a blocked external sensor; or one with MORE light hitting it; then the G-stop (guess Fstop! :)) will be more wonky/worse; and thus the vigneting correction different with each shot. One has a situation like an Airbus jet; its doing this correction.

    (1)If one shades the external sensor some; and the Noct is set to F2; it would be faked off and still crank in anti vigneting; and maybe make the corners BRIGHTER than the center.

    (2)If the external sensor has alot of light on it via a penlite; then it might think your Noct set to F1 is really set to F8 and not crank in any vigneting corrections; ie darker corners like a film camera.
  20. Take a look at these samples with the M9 ...
    1. [Low res]:In general, they are less soft than the old f/1.0 but ... still soft. Color delineation is better and aspherical aberrations are more corrected but, resolution is not appealing to me for this price.
    2. [Not easy to focus]: In many situations, it is also user's error because it is not easy to get the focus right at f/1,0 let alone f/0,95.
    3. [Body needs calibration]: Additionally, you will probably need to send your M9 and the Noct to Leica to get it properly calibrated for each other before you can rule out misalignment.
    All these makes the Noct very unattractive to me. If it is priced like a LensBaby, I may try it but having used the f/1.0 got a few years, I decided it is not for me.
  21. Here is a shot with 1970's F1 Noct on a RD-1 at 1/239 second; iso 1600. The fridge's light is an incandescent; the kitchen is a weird mixture; I did no color corrections. Note that at F1 one does not have much in focus. The bar code was the focus point. If this was somebody's eyes note how the nearby rolls are well out of focus.
  22. The aperture setting is calculated using the Brightness Sensor located on the front of the camera next to the red dot. As I understand it the brightness sensor reading is compared to the ttl meter reading for the calculation. That's what I've heard anyway. I haven't seen anything published by Leica to answer the question.
    I didn't see any substantial difference in fall-off on the camera LCD as long as I looked at it straight-on. I'll take some more shots today - white walls, 6-bit off - to see if I notice anything.
  23. Here is the 1970's F1 Noct @F1; 1/84 second at iso 1600; under again poor mixed lighting again; and no attempt to do a white balance; RD-1 shot .
    This is my HP3310A Function Generator up on a shelf; the focus point is the vertical left bright left front panel trim; the panel is about 8 inches wide and is 8 feet away.
    Using a Noct up close is not a foregiving thing; any sway or tad of missfocus has no room for errors. It is hard enough to get sharp shots of static objects; let alone kids and adults.
    The Roto Zip box to the right; and nailer are way out of focus; and I am 8 feet away. The corners are not so dark; because the RD-1 is a cropped camera; more than a M8 too.

  24. What are those strange looking yellow and green boxes in Kelly Flanigan's refrigerator?
  25. Do Kodak and Fuji sell chewing gums these days? :)
  26. This fellow has what you're looking for.
  27. I took a couple of white wall shots of my garage door. M9+Noctilux at f/.95 intentionally over-exposed.
    Zero manipulation other than what the M9 does internally. Original DNG; this is a JPG extract.
    This first one has Lens Detection = Auto. Even with internal compensation you can see small fall-off at the corners.
  28. This is the same shot with Lens Detection = Off. I'm surprised how reasonable the fall-off is at this setting for this lens at this aperture. The left and right edge fall-off is more apparent.
    BTW, these look identical to the preview on the camera LCD.
  29. In the second shot you can also see very slight curvature at the top edge.
  30. falloff? dude, this is the best lens ever made in 135mm format. Just buy it.
  31. Thank you everyone this has been most helpful and sorry Ken for making you take pictures of white wall with a $10K lens! I went ahead and purchased the lens a day ago, as soon as I was assured it didn't do anything unpleasing on the M9. This thread has also been helpful in my additional understanding of the 6-bit pre-processing (I probably should read the M9 manual first the next time).

    Paul is right who am I to question Leica engineering on this lens, but hey a little due diligence before spending a good chunck og change never hurts :). The question now is: might you as well just put away the Summilux because you might never go back?
  32. The Summilux - that remains to be seen. When it comes back from coding I will compare the two more carefully. The Noctilux is a heavy lens, not always what I want to carry around or unnecessarily expose to evil elements like salt water spray and blowing dust. I think there'll still be a place for the Summilux and even the Summicron. Man does not live by Noctilux alone. :)
    Hope I was some help. Best of luck with your lens, David. I'll be anxious to see how you use it.
    P.S. Glenmorangie - now that's a shot worthy of an expensive lens. :)
  33. The old Noct is AMAZING on the M9 so I can only imagine how the new one is. I will have a new Noct in hand soon and will do a side by side between the two for a couple of weeks. The new 0.95 is expensive but if history is any indication, it should be worth $20k in a few years :)
  34. It's the Huffmeister! :) I enjoy reading your posts Steve, thank you. :)
    I agree with Ken that exposing the Noc to salt water or the elements is probably not the best :) On travel I prefer the Summilux 35mm; I love love love everything about that lens and would have no problem having it as my only lens if forced to choose just one. For me personally the 50mm is a great lens for manageable location compositions or photographing predictable subjects, but when I travel to places I've never been I like a little more background (and forgiveness).

    So ok now let me go off on a tangent since this thread appears to have drawn some great minds (mine not included). I also love my Elmarit 28mm ASPH. It's a wonderful SMALL lens with which I can shoot landscape; since I shoot landscape mostly during daytime I haven't found a need for the Summicron 28mm ASPH. I didn't pay much attention to the Elmar 24mm f/3.8 when it was introduced, but just the other day I looked at the MTF graph for that lens and holy cow it is supposed to be insanely sharp; it maintains high contrast AND delivers a high (and linear) resolve power. Going just by the charts, I would think that the Elmar 24mm is a fantastic landscape lens. I personally would not need an external view finder to shoot a 24mm, so that is not a factor for me. Has anyone here shot the Elmar 24mm and have any thoughts to share? I've seen review of the lens compared with the Elmarit 24mm, but not with the Elmarit 28mm.
  35. Anyone want all my Leicaflexes, screwmounts, & sole M2 with lots of lenses?
  36. Paul, what do you have in mind?
  37. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Anyone want a good deal on a nice house? :)
  38. What Paul said--This is one awesome lens! I'd keep the best lens protection filter on it.
  39. "Anyone want all my Leicaflexes, screwmounts, & sole M2 with lots of lenses?"
    Yes Paul, me, ..... but I'd rather have a Noctilux, on this:
  40. Does anyone have any links to really *great* photographers using the M9? So far I am totally blown away at the lack of talent behind this camera to date. I am talking photojournalism, killer fashion on location, etc. Thus far I have seen very, very little that rocks the house like David Alan Harvey, Sam Abell, Bill Allard, Alex Webb, etc.
    I have to wait over a year to get my M9, so I need to live vicariously though others..:)
  41. Ah Daniel-san ask very wide question.
    Yes unfortunately most M9 shots on the web have been test shots, shoot around the house kind of stuff. I have better images on hand with my M6 than I do with the M9, but I suspect after this holiday season we'll see some pretty great stuff posted (not by me as I am just not that good . . .). I can post some crappy shots when I get a chance later tonight or this week that are glorified test shots but I don't think that is what you seek. I don't think I would ever use my M9 for "killer" fashion shots cause I personally just can't focus that fast and I like shooting telephoto for fashion, but that's an excuse I know . . .

    BTW I understand there is a wait for the M9 but a year sounds excessive; where are you located? Most places I speak with indicate a 2-3 month wait at most.
  42. BTW I understand there is a wait for the M9 but a year sounds excessive; where are you located? Most places I speak with indicate a 2-3 month wait at most.​
    I am located in Kodachrome land, where the M9 would be a distraction. Once the era ends, I can get an M9, if I can afford it by then.
  43. Hi there, not very good I'm afraid I shot these the moment I laid my hands on the M9 and put the nocti on as it's my fave lens. I was to excited to even set anything lol but the ISO is 200
  44. Thank you Nataliya, beautiful children :)

    Ok everyone I am uploading some test shots of my M9 (these are not the great pictures Daniel was looking for). To make this a but of a game, please take a guess which lens I used to make these shots. I will share that information later today or over the weekend.

  45. A second one (try not to look at the EXIF if you can help it in making your guess).
  46. A third one.
  47. A fourth and final one.
  48. All of these except the first one were taken on an M9 with a Noctilux 0.95.
  49. Thank you for your guess Neil. Correct Answer: Test Shot 1 = Summicron 50mm at f/2.0, Test Shot 2 = Summilux 35mm ASPH at f/1.4 (closest focus distance, I focused with my feet after setting the lens to the min focus distance), Test Shot 3 = Summilux 50mm ASPH at f/1.4, handheld ambient light. Test Shot 04 = Summilux 35mm ASPH at f/2.0. The Summilu 35mm gave surprisingly nice bokeh, I found.
  50. Thank you for your guess Neil. Correct Answer: Test Shot 1 = Summicron 50mm at f/2.0, Test Shot 2 = Summilux 35mm ASPH at f/1.4 (closest focus distance, I focused with my feet after setting the lens to the min focus distance), Test Shot 3 = Summilux 50mm ASPH at f/1.4, handheld ambient light. Test Shot 04 = Summilux 35mm ASPH at f/2.0. The Summilu 35mm gave surprisingly nice bokeh, I found.
  51. The M9/Noct/f1 is my favorite combo. The pictures are magical
  52. The M9/Noct/f1 is my favorite combo. The pictures are magical
  53. another one

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