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Leica 50mm / f0.95 ASPH. (E60)
|Price:||$11,295.00 & FREE Shipping|
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- 50mm focal length
- F0.95 maximum aperture; F16 minimum
- Manual focus
- 60mm filter thread
- 1m/39.3" minimum focus
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After more than 30 years, Leica breaks its own record and introduces the world s highest-speed aspherical lens: the LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. It is the successor to the famous LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/1 ASPH., which was added to the product range in 1975. Thanks to state-of-the-art optics and mechanical technologies, Leica has succeeded in achieving substantial improvements over the previous model. With nearly identical dimensions, a noticeable increase in lens speed has been achieved. The extremely shallow depth of field (DOF) at open aperture produces portraits and detailed studies of unequalled aesthetic effect. Even when just slightly stopped down, the result is outstanding image quality, comparable to the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH, which is considered the best standard lens ever produced. When used in available light photography, the lens exceeds the perception of the human eye. Even the light from one candle can be sufficient for handheld photography. A floating element retains high image quality even in the close-up range. Vignetting and distortion have also been visibly improved compared to the 50mm f/1.
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The Noctilux has a special dreamy isolation look at 0.95 that simply can't be obtained with a Summilux or any other lens I've ever used. At f/1.4 it has the identical depth of field and clarity of the Summilux--sometimes I need to stop it down to f1.4, is f2 for instance, if I'm nearly face-to-face with a portrait subject and I want the nose, eyes and ears to be in the field of view--at close distance and f/0.95 if the eyes are in focus the nose and ears are *out* of focus. And there is no way to get the look this lens provides any other way (at least that I know of) and I’ve got Zeiss medium format 80mm f/2 (Contax—also a beautiful lens but a totally different animal), the Leica R 180mm f/2.8 and loads and loads of other super fast glass. It is the dreamy-and-sharp all at the same time. The build quality on the lens is absolutely bespoke. This thing will be around and working for my grandchildren. That said, it is my #1 tool in my toolbox and if I could only have *one* single lens for my Monochrome, it would be this lens.
The major downside of this lens (besides the price) is the weight--it is heavy and it is large. It is much larger and heavier than a Summilux or other traditional Leica lenses. It is like a medium format sized lens. Although it does it’s beautiful dreamy thing at 0.95 and even f/1.4 it actually requires stopping down to f/5.6 before the corners get tack sharp. Not crazy, not bad—just a thing it does. I’ve owned for many years now—not sure how many. It is still the #1 on “full frame” and my go-to lens for street photography portraits or studio work if I’m using natural light. It takes a crazy amount of ND filters to use it wide open in a studio if one is using any real wattage... in the studio I go medium format and use a phase one. Totally different animal—I will still use the Noctilux if I want that dreamy Noctilux thing.
I tried a knock-off made by SLR Magic--that lens is garbage and nowhere near the Noctilux in any respect--not in the feel, heft or build quality of the lens nor more importantly, in the pictures it creates. The SLR Magic version is simply fuzzy--unless stopped down to f/4 or tighter the SLR Magic lens is simply out-of-focus no matter what you do with it. Stopping it down to f/4 defeats the purpose of having a super-fast f/0.95 lens. The SLR magic was a total waste of money.
If I had it over to do again, I probably wouldn’t buy this lens again. I get a tremendous amount of pleasure out of it. But when I got it I thought it would pay for itself professionally—the fact is that it hasn’t. So although I like this lens, reality is that I just own it for my own personal pleasure—I haven’t made enough money using this lens to justify owning it—for pro gigs the focus wide open is too fussy and it just requires too much time and patience to get “that shot” with it and especially if one is working with VIP types and you only have 6 minutes or whatever with the subject this is NOT the lens I use—even with focus peaking etc—in those circumstances it is just much easier to do my job with a phase one MF or now that Sony makes a fantastic alternative to Leica (and shhh... don’t tell anyone but my M240 I bought new sux and Leica has been awful about fixing it and I’m done buying Leica full frame cameras) I will sometimes use a Sony a7rii instead) and they now make glass that is “close” but not quite the same but the fact is it is I can control light with strobes and a Contax 645 with complete predictability and I can’t do that *quickly* with the Noctilux wide open. It’s actually a hard lens to use well. And it is certainly capable of making glorious images that nothing else can make in quite the same way—this is not the lens that I would use if I only had *one* chance for *one* shot with someone special and me paying rent depended on it. That said if money were no object I’d buy it again in a heartbeat and damn the torpedos I’m making art !
I have owned one of these since it was launched. I beat it up, used it day in and out in pro situations. Needed repair twice.
It's large for a rangefinder lens but not large when compared to some DSLR lenses such as the Canon 85 1.2 or even 50 1.2L.
It's no where near medium format size.
The price is insane, $11k is just ridiculous but if you want this signature and look this is the only game in town. I have used this lens on an M8, M9 and M 240. My best results came from using it on a Sony A7s and A7II. This is fact and pretty interesting. It is amazing in the A7II and A7s. No RF to go out, no hoping you nailed focus and no worries. Just the same gorgeous color and signature that you would expect.
So with my lens needing repair twice (I now have a new one) and the cost being ridiculous why give this 5 stars? It's simple. It provides a look to your images when wide open that no other current production lens will give you. Period. If you want the Noct look, NOTHING will do it. No Canon lens, no Nikon lens, no Zeiss lens, etc. It's a one of a kind and while its not perfect (has CA and barrel distortion) it's a legend and a special lens. A lifetime lens, one to hand down to your kids.
Beautiful lens, probably the worlds most beautiful and on the A7 series it gets new life.
This lens released in 2008 as a modernization and update to the venerable Noctilux 50/1.0 which Leica released in 1966.
This lens like the original Noctilux, latin for light of the night, is the most light avid production lens on the market. Allowing the photographer to take photos hand held in very low light situations where normally a tripod and very long shutter speeds would be required. Many dedicated Leica shooters actually love this lens for daylight photography as well and use ND filters to allow for using this lens "wide open" in the daytime.
The Noctilux formula adds a lovely texture and creaminess to light, has a beautiful pattern of bokeh and can make even mundane photos look and feel special.
The price tag is high, but the lens is hand manufactured in Germany in very small batches and maintained in good condition they sell briskly on the secondary market at a price which is very close to the MSRP.
Highly recommended for serious enthusiasts and professionals who can afford it
I JUST PURCHASED THE LENS IN JAN 2016 AND I LOVE IT AND WHAT IT CAN DO.
Pro... it the best light weight lens in the market for it range.
Con.. dry up wallet and bank account.