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Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?
  
 
Arka
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


I'm using Leica lenses on a Sony A9 (with Metabones and TAP adapters), and am in love with the small size of the Summilux 50 ASPH, and have always loved its look on both my old M240 and my current A9. But my GAS has been stimulated by a few very nice copies of the Noct f/1 available right now. They have me wondering whether I should take the plunge and try one. Problem is, I don't think I can justify keeping the 50 summilux and the Noct f/1. So, do you think it's a good choice to give the summilux up for the Noct f/1? Aside from longer minimum focus distance and being larger, is there anything the Noct f/1 can't do that the Summilux can? How's the wide open performance?

I am primarily using the lenses to shoot environmental portraits and family photojournalism. I would also use it as a street/city lens travel lens, both here in L.A. and when I travel. I tested one the other day and I wasn't 100% sold on the dreamy soft rendering of faces at f/1, but love the transitions to out-of-focus areas, and the quality of the bokeh overall. Also, the DoF is so shallow at f/1 that I have to wonder if I just didn't know how to properly use the lens.

Thoughts would be most appreciated.



Oct 18, 2017 at 09:05 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Simple solution is to test a very similar lens performer compared to the Noctilux lens for much less money: $300-400 for the 7Artisans 50/1.1. From all I see in reviews and posts here on FM, the lens seems a very close performer if you are after the effect of having this fast aperture with 50 mm FL. This way you could keep your Summilux lens, too.

Alternatively if you are not too fixed just on 50 mm, you could get for less than $800 the CV 35/1.2 II lens - the fastest 35 mm lens on the market. I own it, and really like the background separation and bokeh effects caused by this lens in certain situations, for example close-ups, portraits, and night shooting.



Oct 18, 2017 at 02:48 PM
wiley.tw
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


retrofocus wrote:
Simple solution is to test a very similar lens performer compared to the Noctilux lens for much less money: $300-400 for the 7Artisans 50/1.1.


I don't agree. You can get 70% quality with 5% money, but the results are not even close (90% I mean).
I compared both 7Artisan and Noctilux 0.95 and finally bought Leica. 7Artisan is not even sharp on foucs point from f/1.1 to f/2.0 (with 50% view), but Leica is sharp at f/0.95 (100% view). That is a huge gap I think.
If you were going to shrink pictures to fit mobile facebook only, I rate iphone8 simulated bokeh 80%, higher than 7Artisan.


Edited on Oct 18, 2017 at 03:20 PM · View previous versions



Oct 18, 2017 at 03:13 PM
wiley.tw
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Arka wrote:
I'm using Leica lenses on a Sony A9 (with Metabones and TAP adapters), and am in love with the small size of the f/1

Thoughts would be most appreciated.


50/1.0 had much difference in look to 50/1.4 A. It was the old, romance feelings.
50/1.4A fits more scenarios on normal shots. The choice depends on what you favor.

For me, I bought 50/0.95A, 35/1.4A, and 50/2 AA.




Oct 18, 2017 at 03:19 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


wiley.tw wrote:
I don't agree. You can get 70% quality with 5% money, but the results are not even close (90% I mean).
I compared both 7Artisan and Noctilux 0.95 and finally bought Leica. 7Artisan is not even sharp on foucs point from f/1.1 to f/2.0 (with 50% view), but Leica is sharp at f/0.95 (100% view). That is a huge gap I think.
If you only shrink pictures to fit mobile facebook, I rate iphone8 simulated bokeh 80%, higher than 7Artisan.


I can't talk from personal experience here since I have neither of both lenses. But I disagree with your statement just by looking at wonderful photos posted online and here taken with the 7Artisans lens in this forum in the Leica thread by Desmolicious. I am sure there are differences when pixel peeping, but when you use such fast lens speed, 100% sharpness is not the most critical IMO (I can tell this difference also from my Canon 50/1.2 L lens which is not super sharp in center focus as other lenses in comparison, but it has a beautiful rendering and bokeh effect which no other lens has).
Just to see what f/1 can do, I believe the 7Artisans is an excellent option before spending $$$$ for the Leica alternative.



Oct 18, 2017 at 03:22 PM
wiley.tw
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?




Just to see what f/1 can do, I believe the 7Artisans is an excellent option before spending $$$$ for the Leica alternative.


Mikaton 0.95 was close. HyperPrime Cine 0.95 was close. On Sony.
Not 7Artisan.
For alt lens on the M Camera, I would say Voigtlander 50/1.1.

Voigtlander 50/1.1 was much better built, and under $1000. By the way, 7Artisan was f/1.1 bokeh,
not T 1.1 transmission, my test was close to f/1.4 shutter speed actually.

If you relax the 1.1 constraints to similar bokeh, there were about 20 candidates and did better jobs.
All those 50/1.2 55/1.2 55/1.4 58/1.2 58/1.4 fit the job.



Oct 18, 2017 at 03:37 PM
Donzo98
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


I use the 0.95 Noctilux on my SL all the time. The balance is perfect. Focus is crazy easy...

On an M body size camera like the Sony, I think it would be crazy front heavy.

With that said...I love the Noct at 0.95!!



Oct 18, 2017 at 04:21 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Arka wrote:
I'm using Leica lenses on a Sony A9 (with Metabones and TAP adapters), and am in love with the small size of the Summilux 50 ASPH, and have always loved its look on both my old M240 and my current A9. But my GAS has been stimulated by a few very nice copies of the Noct f/1 available right now. They have me wondering whether I should take the plunge and try one. Problem is, I don't think I can justify keeping the 50 summilux and the Noct f/1. So, do you think it's a good choice to give the
...Show more

Another thing to keep in mind is that an f/1 lens is very sensitive to differences in sensor stack thickness even in the centre of the image. See this post at lens rentals blog:

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/07/sensor-stack-thickness-part-iii-the-summary/

Given that the Noctilux f/1 was designed for film (i.e., no sensor stack at all) the A9 will have a sensor stack that is over 2mm too thick for what the lens was designed. Lenses that fast unless they are designed to account for the sensor stack are going to take a huge hit in performance throughout the frame (i.e., including the centre) and in my view that makes such a lens a poor choice for an unmodified Sony camera.



Oct 18, 2017 at 04:30 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Steve Spencer wrote:
Another thing to keep in mind is that an f/1 lens is very sensitive to differences in sensor stack thickness even in the centre of the image. See this post at lens rentals blog:

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/07/sensor-stack-thickness-part-iii-the-summary/

Given that the Noctilux f/1 was designed for film (i.e., no sensor stack at all) the A9 will have a sensor stack that is over 2mm too thick for what the lens was designed. Lenses that fast unless they are designed to account for the sensor stack are going to take a huge hit in performance throughout the frame (i.e., including the centre) and in my
...Show more

Not further advertising here the 7Artisans lens, but from what I have seen on a Youtube video, this lens can be quite easily focus-adjusted by rotation of a screw in the lens body for front or backfocus issues. And normally at 50 mm you don't have corner fringing issues with Sony sensors either.



Oct 18, 2017 at 05:50 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


wiley.tw wrote:
I don't agree. You can get 70% quality with 5% money, but the results are not even close (90% I mean).
I compared both 7Artisan and Noctilux 0.95 and finally bought Leica. 7Artisan is not even sharp on foucs point from f/1.1 to f/2.0 (with 50% view), but Leica is sharp at f/0.95 (100% view). That is a huge gap I think.
If you were going to shrink pictures to fit mobile facebook only, I rate iphone8 simulated bokeh 80%, higher than 7Artisan.


My experiences are the opposite of yours. I own the 7Artisans and it is sharp at point of focus at 1.1 viewed at 100% And printed too! I also own the Summilux Asph 1.4, which is a sharper lens than the .95 Noctilux (as is the Nokton 50 1.1 that I also own) . The 7Artisans, in the center, matches up to them wide open for sharpness. I have posted a bunch of images on this site and rangefinderforum.
I'm not knocking the Noctilux. It is an amazing lens. But I find that there may be a bit of a disservice being done by stating the 7Artisans lens is inadequate. Perhaps because it may be galling to some that you can buy thirty one of them for the price of one Noctilux?

This is coming from a user of numerous Leica, Zeiss, Voigtlander lenses. The 7Artisans is the real deal.

Shot at 1.1 on an M240:


AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-14 by desmolicious, on Flickr

I can provide a 100% crop tonight if needed.





Oct 18, 2017 at 05:56 PM
 

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Arka
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Steve Spencer wrote:
Another thing to keep in mind is that an f/1 lens is very sensitive to differences in sensor stack thickness even in the centre of the image. See this post at lens rentals blog:

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/07/sensor-stack-thickness-part-iii-the-summary/

Given that the Noctilux f/1 was designed for film (i.e., no sensor stack at all) the A9 will have a sensor stack that is over 2mm too thick for what the lens was designed. Lenses that fast unless they are designed to account for the sensor stack are going to take a huge hit in performance throughout the frame (i.e., including the centre) and in my
...Show more

This is very helpful, thanks. I'm looking at some sample images I shot with the Noct f/1 on the A9 and am wondering if the softness I see in the center is exactly what you describe. My wife and I are going to go take one more look at it, but if we can't get reasonably sharp images at F/1, we'll probably stick with the Summilux and maybe add the FE 55 instead.



Oct 18, 2017 at 06:04 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Hey Arka, you can swing by my gallery in San Pedro this Saturday and try out the 7Artisans lens if you want. Mount it, wander the neighbourhood a bit taking some test shots. I'm gonna be out of town for two weeks after that.


Oct 18, 2017 at 06:13 PM
Arka
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Desmolicious wrote:
Hey Arka, you can swing by my gallery in San Pedro this Saturday and try out the 7Artisans lens if you want. Mount it, wander the neighbourhood a bit taking some test shots. I'm gonna be out of town for two weeks after that.


Many thanks for that offer! I will likely be going up to Bishop this Saturday, but I would like to take you up on your offer after you return if that's OK.




Oct 18, 2017 at 06:25 PM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Arka wrote:
Many thanks for that offer! I will likely be going up to Bishop this Saturday, but I would like to take you up on your offer after you return if that's OK.



Sure no problem!




Oct 18, 2017 at 06:28 PM
sebboh
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Arka wrote:
This is very helpful, thanks. I'm looking at some sample images I shot with the Noct f/1 on the A9 and am wondering if the softness I see in the center is exactly what you describe. My wife and I are going to go take one more look at it, but if we can't get reasonably sharp images at F/1, we'll probably stick with the Summilux and maybe add the FE 55 instead.


in my experience (haven't shot the f/1 noctilux, but have shot the 35mm and 50mm lux pre-asph as well as the 80 lux) ultra speed film era lenses and mandler designed lenses in general don't change their behavior much on the thick stack vs thin stack (i've compare 4 different f/1.2 lenses on thin vs thick sony sensors). the f/1 noctilux is extremely glowy on film and leica bodies as well. there is a lot of detail within the glow but the glow is strong on any sensor. the glow makes it much harder to focus through an evf that a modern lens.

regarding replacing your lux asph, the f/1 noctilux is a very different look at large aperture (stopped down a ways the difference is smaller). you will not be able to get the high contrast large aperture look out of the noctilux that you can out of lux asph. on the financial side if you've got the money sitting in the bank, you probably won't lose much, if anything, by buying the noctilux, trying it for a year, and then reselling it.




Oct 18, 2017 at 07:19 PM
wiley.tw
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Desmolicious wrote:
My experiences are the opposite of yours. I own the 7Artisans and it is sharp at point of focus at 1.1 viewed at
Shot at 1.1 on an M240:

I can provide a 100% crop tonight if needed.



Hi Desmolicious,

I don't own M body and was using 42MP A7R2 thin filter camera. I tested shot with 7Artisans only in the store in a limited time that might be the difference thoughts from. I also saw your posts.
On A7R2, the EVF can be 10X magnification during focusing and 42MP redefines the sharpness. It's true that detail focus is hard to achieve in that wide aperture even using 10X EVF, that leads lots of biasing experience. I am neither offence to 7Artisan, nor going to sell Leica. But just share MY experience. I don't care about the cost, but the lens handling, sizes, weights and image quality are more important to me. That's why I went to the store and test 7Artisan, it's compact, but 700g Noctilux remains autofocus on TAP, too.

Here is 100% crop from Noctilux 0.95 ; For reference Otus can be 800% pixel peeping.
100% crop

Above crop from the shot, about 3m portrait distance
50095




Oct 18, 2017 at 11:17 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


sebboh wrote:
in my experience (haven't shot the f/1 noctilux, but have shot the 35mm and 50mm lux pre-asph as well as the 80 lux) ultra speed film era lenses and mandler designed lenses in general don't change their behavior much on the thick stack vs thin stack (i've compare 4 different f/1.2 lenses on thin vs thick sony sensors). the f/1 noctilux is extremely glowy on film and leica bodies as well. there is a lot of detail within the glow but the glow is strong on any sensor. the glow makes it much harder to focus through an evf that
...Show more

If you do the math using Brian Caldwell's chart and assuming the drop in contrast is half as big at 20 lp/mm and half again as big a 10 lp/mm, then you can see why you might notice this affect on an f/1.0 lens, but not really at all on an f/1.4 lens or even very much on an f/1.2 lens. Let me give a couple of examples, using the MTF's in Put's Leica M lenses their souls and secrets, the Nocitlux f/1.0 has 10, 20, and 40 lp/mm with 75, 58, and 30 percent contrast respectively wide open in the centre. Using Brian's chart, these should drop to 63, 39, and 11 percent contrast roughly is I am following the chart properly. I think that is likely to be noticeable. Contrast this with the 75 lux which has 10, 20, and 40 lp/mm with 82, 62, and 30 percent contrast respectively wide open in the centre. These would only drop to 77, 55, and 23 percent. Those drops are small enough you probably aren't going to notice them without careful side by side comparison and maybe not then. Even the Noctilux f/1.2 which has 10, 20, and 40 lp/mm with 82, 55, and 37 percent contrast respectively wide open in the centre, would only drop to 74, 44, and 22. This drop is likely to be not very noticeable but you could probably see it in side by side comparison. So, for me the bottom line is that you don't have to really worry about this centre performance issue even with a 3mm thick sensor stack if the lens is f/1.4 or slower. For f/1.2 lenses you might start to worry about it but it isn't likely to be hugely noticeable. I think the analysis in the blog, however, suggests that when you go to and f/1.0 lens it will start to get pretty noticeable. At least that is how I follow the argument.



Oct 19, 2017 at 01:22 AM
wiley.tw
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Steve Spencer wrote:
If you do the math using Brian Caldwell's chart


Yes, Steve is correct.

I had taken shot with Noctilux 0.95 + A7R2 NKIR thin mod v1 (1.5mm include cover glass) and results are still not good enough. You may enlarge to see.
Noctilux 0.95 test shot


Now I update to v3plus (0.75mm, removed cover glass), worked perfectly with Noctilux 0.95 ASPH designed for digital. (M digital bodies are 0.8mm filter)
I also played Noct/1.0 shot time from who sold me Noct/0.95, but Noct/1.0 was still soft. I am not sure that's the lens itself or the film design cause the results. I may say 0.95 and 1.0 are quite different at all. People called it character of lens, but I love modern sharp style on focus more.





Oct 19, 2017 at 02:04 AM
Desmolicious
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


wiley.tw wrote:
Hi Desmolicious,

I don't own M body and was using 42MP A7R2 thin filter camera. I tested shot with 7Artisans only in the store in a limited time that might be the difference thoughts from. I also saw your posts.
On A7R2, the EVF can be 10X magnification during focusing and 42MP redefines the sharpness. It's true that detail focus is hard to achieve in that wide aperture even using 10X EVF, that leads lots of biasing experience. I am neither offence to 7Artisan, nor going to sell Leica. But just share MY experience. I don't care about the
...Show more

That image is weird to me as the man on the left with the glasses looks to be sharper than your subject. He seems to be a bit behind her so not sure how that is, if it is due to missed focus or a wavy focus plane.

Anyway, here is that 100% crop I mentioned, shot at 1.1 with the 7Artisans. You can actually see a fingerprint on the glass necklace at the top. Another thing to mention is that this lens focuses down to .7m, something the Noctiliux cannot do, nor the ZM Sonnar 50 1.5. I think both those lenses focus down to 1m. That makes a big difference in real use - not pixel peeping - for portraiture.

L1001285 by desmolicious, on Flickr
AbbottKinney7ArtisansS-14 by desmolicious, on Flickr



Oct 19, 2017 at 02:20 AM
wiley.tw
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Would you replace a 50mm Summilux with a 50mm Noctilux?


Desmolicious wrote:
That image is weird to me as the man on the left with the glasses looks to be sharper than your subject. He seems to be a bit behind her so not sure how that is, if it is due to missed focus or a wavy focus plane.


No, you may click my flickr link to see 100% view. That man was behind focus (about 1.5m in fact), and softer than my subject girl.

The focal plan might be problems from my TAP. Also noticed other lens happened so. I will dig it out.




Oct 19, 2017 at 02:32 AM
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