Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f / 0.95 ASPH

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by bernard_o'donovan, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. The World’s Fastest Aspherical Lens (35 mm camera system)
    The new LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 MM F / 0.95 ASPH

  2. The most salient feature of this lens (from the link) to me is:
    Hand assembled in Solms Germany, this lens is designed to retain its value and usability for decades.
    A new legend is born! :)
    PS: Price is (again from the link) UKP 6290. A bit lower than I expected.
  3. Will be available at photo stores, or only at jewelery shops?
  4. I am waiting the day when I see one shot when it matters. I do predict eventually seeing a pic of someone's kid or girlfriend's face by candlelight with only two eyelashes in perfect, creamy focus.
  5. Can't wait for the flood of images of peoples desks, fruit bowls, dogs, kids and cars. At these prices they should be really expensive desks, fruit bowls, dogs, kids and cars as the lens will only be purchased by people rich enough or credit addicted enough to manage the outlay.
  6. In a like matter a F1.4 lens is "not required" because one could have jsut used a F2; then one might as just get a F2.8; or F4 lens! :)
  7. PS: Price is (again from the link) UKP 6290. A bit lower than I expected.
    According to XE.com's universal currency converter that would work out to... $11,307.66 USD from today's exchange rate.
    Leica's already priced itself out of relevance as far as today's market goes, with the world economy being in the state it's in and what's being offered by the major makers. Let's now watch and applaud as they price themselves completely out of existence.
  8. And the other theoretical limit: being able to clear the viewfinder!<g> I wish it didn't read like a Leica ad, and had some proof rather than "will be's". That's a lot of light between 0.95 and 1.4 though.
  9. What is the difference between f1 and 0.95? (I'd actually like to be able to shoot at f1, I just can't afford to.)
  10. the difference between 1 and 0.95 is only 5%. But a symbolically very important 5%. People like to invent barriers connected to round numbers. Remember the millennium?
  11. El Fang - why do you (and others) insist on calculating untaxed U.S. prices from European ones that INCLUDE tax (VAT) of 19% or
    so. Just out to Swift-Boat Leica?

    The U.S. Nocti f/0.95 price already listed a few places is $9,999. Which is high enough - no need to exaggerate by $2,300!
  12. Ooops - $1,300. Sorry! (Dang those 999.95s 'sted of nice round 000s!)
  13. How can anyone put a price on a legend?

    It has already been assured that the new legend will keep its value.
  14. I might order one just so I can see the cynic's turn blue with popping veins. :)
  15. Leica is pricing itself way out of the reach of its own market. It might be producing excellent products, but smart users are not going to fall on the sword for an extra third of a stop. The ultrawide tri-elmar is another example of an awesome product at an even more awesome price. How many of these are selling? I'm sure there are happy users out there, but is Leica really moving a lot of widgets or are these destined all to become low-volume future collectibles?

    On the other hand, Leica puts out the Summarit range in an effort to price-discriminate, and maybe they get a reasonably successful line. But honestly, the new Summarit range doesn't look like much competition for the tried and true older line of Leica lenses.

    I got excited about the 50mm f0.95 Noct ... until I saw the price. If I do go for a Noct, it'll be an older f1 model.
  16. When I was a young photographer, I would just gasp at the prices of Leica gear. When I finally started using it in 2006, I
    paid about $1,500 for a classic M6 and 2nd version 35 Summicron. I loved it.

    So by last last year, I had my self a M3, M6TTL, MP3 w/ Leicavit, matching 50 aspheric, 28 summicron and 35 1.4
    asph. I paid less than $12,000. The M8 was of course a bit over $5,000.

    For what it does in the large scope of the photo world, it is a lot of money and quite frankly, my D700 and D3 are so good
    with Zeiss ZF lenses, that digital and Leica is almost an extravagance.

    But the prices now, you have got to be joking. No way I would pay the new prices on the lenses I now own and the 50
    .95 for 10K?

    I'm done with Leica as far as new purchases go.....they are nuts. I debate keeping the M8 or not as it puts out a killer file
    at ISO 640 and less....but I can't use it along side my film M's, which is why I bought it. If I thought it would stand the
    test of time like my film M's, I would just keep it and not look back.

    I'm not a collector, I am a photographer, I make images, not lens tests.

    Leica is no longer supporting the professional or the impassioned visual talent. They are catering to the talentless
    braggart or the collector and that is a shame, because I think it is going to put them out of business.
  17. The U.S. Nocti f/0.95 price already listed a few places is $9,999.
    Oh, I'm so sorry, my mistake. Yes, you're right of course, $9,999 is an absolute steal. Where do I sign up to get one?
  18. I might order one just so I can see the cynic's turn blue with popping veins. :)
    Yes, from busting out laughing at you!
  19. Its interesting to read newcomers to Leica *learning* they are more expensive. The Noct 32 years ago was 855 bucks new; the Dow was at at a high in July 12 1976 at 1011; the best between 1973 and 1982. Yesterday the DOW closed at 10,917.51; its up 10.8 times! :) whats 10.8 times 855 bucks? oh boy 9234 dollars! In Kansas City in 1976 gasoline was typically 58 cents; yesterday in New Orleans I paid $4.19; thus maybe the new Noct F 0.9 should be only 855 * (419/57) = 6285 bucks. Maybe an F2 lens in the depths of the depths of the great depression of the 1930's was considered expensive; or was the story that Leicas in the 1930's could be bought for a few Apples?
  20. Oh dear. Being laughed at would be hard to take. What oh what will I do. :)
  21. f/0.95 gets you not 5% but 10,8% more light. Photographical basics? Definately optional around here...
    (And no, the 0.95 doesn't thrill me one second, the new 1.4s do!)
  22. I really think that in order to make this thing worth the money they need to name it the worlds *most* fastest aspherical lens...
  23. Unfortunately I have to agree with Daniel. As much as I want Leica to succeed I can't see it happening with products
    priced like that. I often spend silly money on camera equipment (including amongst many a new Noctilux f1 which
    was crazy at half the price of the new one) but this bunch of new releases is in a different league of demented. I am
    sure they are fantastic but I'll stick with my film Ms and my FX Nikons.
  24. My collapsible 1:2 Summicron is looking better and better. . .
  25. Two new F 0.9 Nocts fetch the same price as a pair of good tickets for the last game at the old Yankee stadium; ie 20 grand.<BR><BR> So In which era do the folks here believe NEW Leica products were inexpensive?<BR><BR>USED Leica was cheap in the late 1960's; a IIIc body would go for 29 bucks; Dealers had a glut of them. Folks would trade in their old obsolete stuff and pay cash to get a Petri slr. <BR><BR>Before autofocus took hold a 50mm F2 or F1.8 Nikkosr was the standard starter lens for a Nion product; with its actual worth about say 65 bucks when a Summicron was eight to ten times as much. <BR><BR>The pricing of new Leica products has really not varied much; its the dollar and new folks who have just learned pricing. A new Leica in the 1930's was a years salary for the bloke trying to survive during the depression; was that considered "demented" then too?
  26. Nikon; Nikkor; not enough coffee yet! ?
  27. I would love to get one. But I think my marriage is worth more than Noctilux. What a tough choice...Not :)
  28. 'A new Leica in the 1930's was a years salary for the bloke trying to survive during the depression; was that
    considered "demented" then too?'

    I would hope so! :)

    Sure Leica equipment was always expensive - and I have been fortunate enough to buy quite a few new Leica lenses
    in the past 3-4 years - but £6000 for a 50mm lens (no matter how exotic) is beyond extraordinary. Good for Leica if
    they can find people who are prepared to do it and I hope this is the route to success they need.
  29. Leica didn't make the new Noct to appeal to Nikon or Canon or even Leica photographers. It is made for people
    with new money who think buying an Aston Martin makes them distinguished. And Leica is right in that assumption.
    As someone else said the two new WA f1.4 are decent products and price is not bad for a highend lens, if you
    don't mind to depart from $5-6k, someday.
  30. Oh dear. Being laughed at would be hard to take. What oh what will I do. :)
    Nothing! Just stand there looking like a fool with your $10,000 lens mounted to a defective $5,000 camera that can't take a better picture than a $500 digital Rebel. At least, if I bought a Ferrari I know I could accelerate, out-corner and out-brake a Camry. Hypothetical situation: How does it feel to spend $200,000 on an Aston Martin only to find out a $20,000 Corolla actually handles better and is faster? There's Leica for ya. :D
  31. margin of error in terms of focus has gotta be very small wide open...

    the price on this thing just floors me.

    can't wait to see what it can do.
  32. hmmm.... interesting el fang.
    the thing is for a "defective" camera mine seems to take pretty nice photographs?!? what gives?!?
    comparing an m8's files to a "$500 digital rebel" is a pretty clear indication that you've never printed a single photo from an
    m8 have you? it's ok, you wouldn't be the only fella condeming a camera he's never made a print from.

    i'm beginning to think you're nothing more than a troll my man.
  33. And I find the Canon 70-300m f4-5.6 IS USM to be expensive for my budget atm...

    I totally just took up the wrong hobby..hah
  34. Well, it's not a car, it's not $200,000, and I have no fear of looking foolish to others. But I gotta say Fang, you are a hoot. :)
  35. There are other valid reasons for Leica, or any other old name in cameras to build exotic lenses. Bragging rights. These types of lenses are saying "we have the skill and design acumen to build high spec equipment, so you can have confidence in our other products also" Back in the 70's Nikon built a 6mm f2.8 220 degree fisheye. The front element was the size of a dinner plate. I would imagine that only a few were ever made but just having it in the lens catalog made a statement about Nikon's abilities. Top of the line Nikons and Cannons make more money for their companies by "selling" their basic consumer models that by sales of the high end gear.
  36. >Top of the line Nikons and Cannons make more money for their companies by "selling" their basic consumer models
    that by sales of the high end gear.

    Sorry, Leica doesn't have any "basic consumer models" -- they are all re-badged Panasonics.
  37. anyone seen pictures yet? made with the lens not of the lens. would be more interesting. BTW photography is about actually taking pictures. :)
  38. John; the original Nikon 6mm fisheyes of the 1960's were mostly used for scientic use; weather; astro, recording traffic; crowds. One had to lock up the mirror on the Nikon F to use it.
  39. In actual dollars adjusted for inflation the New Noct is really not out of line comaprd to teh 1960's F1.2; or 1970's F1 releases.
  40. The high USD price some people mention is not really Leica's fault, more that Texas guy's who let the dollar sink to unbelievable (and dangerous) lows...

    Imho Leica will successfully sell his three new 2008 lenses (21, 24 + Noct) by relying on traditional markets (Europe, Japan) and by targeting NEW rich markets (China, Saudi Arabia...). USA, with its degraded buying power, will therefore be a secondary market/target. ee
  41. Kelly, I was not talking about the 6mm f5.6 fisheye, but the 6mm f2.8 retrofocus fisheye of 1972. The angle of view was 220 degrees! Holding the lens level meant you were in the photo from the knees down! It had a huge protruding front element that must have been 9 inches in diameter. google it and check the first listing. I also agree with Fred that Leica does not make consumer cameras in the same way other companies do, but they do have the less expensive summarits. I still think some products are made just to prove they still got it.
  42. John; the 6mm F5.6 has the same 220 degree angle of view; its the Father of the newer lens the F2.8 . The F5.6 lens was an expensive lens when it first came out. With a Nikon F one has to waste a frame to get the mirror up; JUST TO MOUNT THE LENS MID ROLL.
  43. The one sample (6mm f/2.8 AiS that John refers to) that changed hands in the past two years, went for >$38,000/-.
  44. The non reflex fisheyes were 350 to 500 new; the 6mm F2.8 was several grand. Its gone up since few were made. The lowest used one I can remember was about 900 bucks.
  45. How many surfaces does that lens have? Has anyone see a diagram or a statement as to elements and groups?
  46. OK per this website's cached page* "Formulé en 8 lentilles (dont 2 asphériques) et réunies en 5 groupes". So with 10 surfaces at 1% loss a piece the T-Stop of the lens is 0.999. I am impressed.

    The definition of a T-stop is T = F/sqrt(t) where F is the value
    of an f-stop, T is the value of a T-stop, t = (1 - L)^N, with
    N being the number of surfaces, and 0< L <1 being the loss at each
    surface. BTW Dante Stella has a great discussion on this matter -- however his math is needlessly overly complicated.

    The definition of a T-stop comes from the fact the light through a lens is proportional to 1/F^2 that is the area of the lens opening. The light through a lens is equal to 1/T^2, and by inserting a constant t into the f-stop expression making it an equality, and equating the two expressions, the definition is arrived at. Further, the constant t is the transmission factor of the lens. The transmission factor of this lens is 90.4%.

  47. T stops are usually measued; ie T stoping the lens for what effective fstop one is for exposure. Its wht movie folks do with oddball and unknown lenses; dirty lenses; zooms etc. A best an equation for T stops is a model; ie a guess. What matter is the measured number; ie what matters.
  48. With a fast lens its going to have vigneting; thus measured tstops are measured versus off axis angle if one is a tooler or engineer.
  49. I've already paid enough for a summicron 2/28mm asph., plus a apo-summicron 2/75mm. I added an Heliar 12mm. I didn't pay for Capture One, which can give me results very close to a 0,95/50mm. I expect to enjoy with cats'eyes and/or churches, both taken by night.
    But mainly, I do think that Leica couldn't afford the orders for such a lens if the price was 3000 euros less, which seems to me the right price, Considering that one part of the former 1/50mm was made of very special glass, this made its price high enough...
  50. You think the new Noct is expensive? Try an old one. *Bay auction number 270277301700 will show you the price.
  51. My used Noct was 400 bucks in the mid/late 1970's when a new one was 850 to 900 bucks this is for the F1 lens with 58mm filter. The Ebay auction you referenced is for the much rarer F1.2 lens; the hand figured aspheric lens that was expensive even long ago.
  52. Three years ago I bought a new Nocti from Tony Rose for about $3500 (I'm not sure of the exact amount) to go on a film M. Looking at Nocti
    prices on the bay, I wish I'd bought about 20 of them instead of poking around in the stock market.
  53. After weeks 9/11 there were several used F1 Nocts that sold for 800 to 1000 bucks on Ebay; there was also some new Hassleblad kits that went for 1200 to 1400; with body,80mm lens and A12 back.
  54. So, it has become true that, in those times of huge fall of stock markets and US economy, the Noctilux has turned
    to something one can save or make money with. Who might sell its housing to buy it ? Really hoped that GWB could
    explain it to our great nation ;)

    Any photos around, made with the brand new Nocitlux ? I did adore the bokeh of the previous lens. Is it still here ?
  55. "You think the new Noct is expensive? Try an old one. eBay auction number 270277301700" [Buy-It-Now from Hong Kong for $11,990.]

    Boy, if that lens is in "Mint-" condition with all of those silver scars on the barrel, my stuff is all "Mint."
  56. The new lens won't be shipping until maybe February. So the only reports we're likely to see on its performance will likely
    be from those who see special pre-release copies - maybe dpreview for example.
  57. Kelly Flanigan wrote "T stops are usually measued ... best an equation for T stops is a model ... What matter is the measured number" "With a fast lens its going to have vigneting; thus measured tstops are measured versus off axis angle".

    Agreed, it is best to measure the true speed of the lens. My posting above is just a good a useful approximation of the speed. Given it does not account for shape of surfaces it likely only applies on axis.
  58. I was thinking the same thing, Ralph - I think "Mint-" with a capital "-".

    Kelly, I know the auction was for an original aspheric Noct 1.2; in fact I'm hoping the 0.95 has rendering like that of the 50/1.2 Noct, which I strongly prefer to the 1.0 model. If it does, I might be tempted to start saving for an 0.95.
  59. As one contributor already put it
    "I would love to get one. But I think my marriage is worth more than Noctilux"

    There is some truth in that statement!
  60. "I do predict eventually seeing a pic of someone's kid or girlfriend's face by candlelight with only two eyelashes in perfect, creamy focus."

    ah man ... you owe me a new keyboard!

  61. I came across this thread a year later; hello everyone! I was an avid Nikon digital shooter, then for an assignment in -50 degrees F where batteries are a pain to keep up I purchased an all mechanical M6 and took with me a couple of Nikon lenese. I also took with me a Fuji GSWIII 690. From that trip I became a Leica (and film) fan for landscape. Then I started shooting people with the Leica, and I liked it too. I recently purchased a M9 and it has convinced me to give digital another chance at landscape shots.

    Has Leica priced itself out of existence? as El had suggested? As a neutral observer, I don't think so. Pricing is of couse a function of demand and supply. Leica does not mass produce, and for what it produces, especially with the M9, it seems that inventories do not last terribly long. This is especially true, a year later, for the f/0.95. I have spoken to Adorama, BH Photo, and a couple of major Leica dealers from Germany, and one from UK, and all of them confirm to me that they can never hold a f/0.95 in the inventory for longer than a couple of weeks before they are snatched up. The demand has increased since the introduction of the M9, obviously.

    So, is Leica still around and kicking? Absolutely, and they continue to raise prices (due for another raise in Jan 2010). Do I own one of the f/0.95? No. Do I want one? Hect yes!
  62. There was a mistake in my post, I took with me Leica lenses, not Nikon lenses, to match the M6. (obvously).

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