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Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


rscheffler wrote:
That's the price point I would also expect, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Based on buying the 35 Cron replica through the RFF thread, LLL is not the same as the other recent Chinese lens makers, such as 7A, TTA, Laowa, etc. They're not competing in the general photography marketplace based on price. They're producing unique pieces aimed specifically at the Leica crowd, and will price accordingly. Right now they're building interest/hype in the lens, which will factor into determining the size of the production run, selling price, etc. Whether it will reach the same level of interest as
...Show more

The 35/2 cron 8-element currently sells for $1,100 on Ebay. Did you pay more or less when it came out? I didn't read the entire thread you started but what do you think it's the consensus on quality control? Is your lens calibrated with the rangefinder? Centered? Smooth focusing? Do you think it's well built?



Jun 28, 2022 at 10:52 AM
Dan Chang
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Per the post from RFF, the lens was offered at $499.99 per copy. However, some members who singed to purchase the lens complained QC issue and delayed delivery.


Jun 30, 2022 at 03:13 PM
genji
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Dan Chang wrote:
Per the post from RFF, the lens was offered at $499.99 per copy. However, some members who singed to purchase the lens complained QC issue and delayed delivery.


I believe that’s how Ron purchased his copy and IIRC the issues he encountered were never entirely resolved. Yet Huss (@Desmolicious) has a copy with which he seems to be totally happy.



Jun 30, 2022 at 04:29 PM
rscheffler
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Yes, I paid $500 through the special offer to RFF members. I.e. it was probably a LLL hype and marketing exercise to establish their brand outside China. My delivery was near the end of the RFF waitlist, so well into their production run. The RFF middleman apparently checked all of the lenses before shipping them out and flagged mine for some cosmetic issues, which delayed delivery by a couple months.

Something I haven’t yet been able to resolve is to gather firsthand experience with an original 35 Cron v1 as a baseline against which to compare the replica. I could only form opinions based on sample images online, therefore when I saw things I didn’t like about the optical performance of my replica, I had no way of knowing how faithful these ‘features’ were to the original. For example, my copy exhibits quite strong wavy field curvature and focus shift. Based on Cron original and also LLL replica sample images by others, such as a fairly extenisive comparison shoot of the two by Ashwin Rao, my impression was that focus shift generally shouldn’t be a problem. But it was for my copy. The MTF provided by LLL indicated that there should be an expectation of field curvature and focus shift. Yet others said they didn’t have that problem with their copies.

I sent mine back in the hopes that it could be improved, which took about 5 months round trip. Focus shift is still there, but not quite as blatant as it was before. Field curvature is also still there.

All that said, you’d think I don’t like the lens. But that’s not the case. I like its wide open character, but I also use it a lot stopped down as my regular-carry 35mm. I’ve found that sometimes the field curvature can be beneficial, otherwise I’ll intentionally front focus the RF patch to shift the field curvature for better average central and across-frame sharpness. But what I think I like the most about the lens is it’s much smaller than the VM35/1.7 and ergonomically better. As a result it’s the lens I keep on the camera most of the time while in transit.

So, for $500 I think it’s a reasonable trade off of expectations vs actual performance. I would have maybe paid $750. But would have passed if the RFF offer was over $1000 (and tried the VM35/2 v2 instead). I have the same feelings about the Elcan replica. I’d try it for $500, but not $1300 (I already have enough ‘character’ 50s!). IMO the 50/1.2 replica will be yet another character lens that I probably wouldn’t regularly use, therefore I’m even more price sensitive about it.



Jun 30, 2022 at 10:38 PM
Dan Chang
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


You probably pay more than $500, the PayPal fee and shipping will add up to $600


Jul 01, 2022 at 09:05 PM
rscheffler
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Dan Chang wrote:
You probably pay more than $500, the PayPal fee and shipping will add up to $600


Well, if you want the exact breakdown, I paid $500 for the lens, $100 for DHL express shipping and $75 for the replica lens hood (which was originally supposed to be only $25, but they jacked up the price). There might have been another 3% to cover PayPal, but I don't remember exactly how much. They covered shipping both ways when I sent it back for service.

It was still within reason and a lot less than the lens sells for now.



Jul 02, 2022 at 05:11 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


The new Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH "1966" is now available for pre-order at LLL's site:

https://lightlenslab.myshopify.com/products/light-lens-lab-50mm-1-2-asph-1966-pre-order:












Jan 06, 2023 at 11:14 PM
Malabito
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


how come these lightlenses are so expensive? Arent they just like 7artisans or the other chinese brands, but built by a smaller company?


Jan 07, 2023 at 07:04 AM
rscheffler
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


LLL is in a different league from 7Artisans and TTArtisans, etc. They're also after a different set of customers who will pay for a faithful Leica replica at a fraction of the collector's value of the original version, but still at a higher price point than the typical 'cheap Chineses' lenses available from other brands.

You can read what they state about themselves here: https://lightlenslab.myshopify.com/pages/about-us

"Founded in 2018 by Mr. Zhou in Shangrao, China, Light Lens Lab is dedicated to optical research, development, and manufacturing of high-quality photographic equipment. We develop new methods to recreate legendary optics and reveal their otherwise cost-prohibitive performance and look. Recognized by photographers for optical precision and quality control, Light Lens Lab is an upcoming leader in the manufacturing of optical elements.

Light Lens Lab currently offers exacting reproductions of history's most legendary photographic optics. The designs & processes of the original optics are followed meticulously, our lens elements are carefully crafted right down to the original chemical formulas. Our lenses are made by hand and assembled in-house in small batches to ensure the utmost build quality."

Maybe some of that is marketing-speak, but like Leica, there is also substance to their offerings.



Jan 10, 2023 at 12:58 AM
intangiblethin
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


I have the 8 Elements 35mm and I definitely don’t need to worry about anything happening to it when I take it out. I like the idea that it’s not some collectible but provides the performance I’m looking for with regards to the rendering and size.


Jan 10, 2023 at 01:23 AM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

rscheffler
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


I agree and is a reason I like the LLL 35 Cron replica. I just want to use it, like all my other gear.


Jan 10, 2023 at 05:22 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


I am getting a LLL 35/2 8E + 50/2 Elcan to try it out.


Jan 10, 2023 at 05:25 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Fred Miranda wrote:
I am getting a LLL 35/2 8E + 50/2 Elcan to try it out.


Awesome! Keep in mind that there are occasional bad apples that require an exchange. My 8E collapsable is perfect, but the regular 8E I received a few days later was a mess – at infinity, focus would start to shift forward as I stopped down from f/2 to f/8. And at f/8, everything except the center was crazy soft. So it was either a bad element in there somewhere or wasn't assembled correctly. Hopefully the 8E brass I just ordered today performs just like my 8E collapsable.



Jan 10, 2023 at 06:03 PM
jbcameradesigns
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


I love my LLL 50mm f/2 Elcan lens. The build quality is exceptional…closest to Leica that I’ve experienced. I really like the rendering on my M262.


Jan 10, 2023 at 08:59 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


jbcameradesigns wrote:
I love my LLL 50mm f/2 Elcan lens. The build quality is exceptional…closest to Leica that I’ve experienced. I really like the rendering on my M262.


I wonder if anyone knows how the LLL 50/2 Elcan compares to the Leica 50/2 Rigid in terms of resolution away from center when shooting wide open. From what I've read, the Elcan is sharp at center but shows a noticeable drop in resolution off-axis. This of course contributes to its unique rendering.

I've seen a comparison showing that the Elcan has lower optical vignetting (less swirl) compared to the "Rigid" but wonder how they compare in terms of resolution across the field and if they have a different field curvature shape.



Jan 10, 2023 at 10:21 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


highdesertmesa wrote:
Awesome! Keep in mind that there are occasional bad apples that require an exchange. My 8E collapsable is perfect, but the regular 8E I received a few days later was a mess – at infinity, focus would start to shift forward as I stopped down from f/2 to f/8. And at f/8, everything except the center was crazy soft. So it was either a bad element in there somewhere or wasn't assembled correctly. Hopefully the 8E brass I just ordered today performs just like my 8E collapsable.


So, as you stopped the lens down, the corners would go softer with your previous copy?



Jan 10, 2023 at 10:23 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Fred Miranda wrote:
So, as you stopped the lens down, the corners would go softer with your previous copy?


(*me trying to remember*) – At infinity, everything away from center at f/8 was soft – I can't remember if it was better or the same at f/2. In addition, infinity distance would get closer as I stopped down – f/2 was in focus at infinity at the hard stop, but with each successive smaller f-stop, I had to refocus closer to bring infinity back into focus. I have no idea what was going on – never seen anything like that. I have to wonder if they had an element installed backward or had two of them swapped for position.



Jan 10, 2023 at 10:35 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


highdesertmesa wrote:
(*me trying to remember*) – At infinity, everything away from center at f/8 was soft – I can't remember if it was better or the same at f/2. In addition, infinity distance would get closer as I stopped down – f/2 was in focus at infinity at the hard stop, but with each successive smaller f-stop, I had to refocus closer to bring infinity back into focus. I have no idea what was going on – never seen anything like that. I have to wonder if they had an element installed backward or had two of them swapped for position.


Similar to what Ron reported with his copy?
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625479/4#15436613



Jan 10, 2023 at 10:55 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Fred Miranda wrote:
Similar to what Ron reported with his copy?
https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1625479/4#15436613


Hard to say since he describes the issue from the POV of focusing with the rangefinder, and he's focusing at sub-infinity distances according the samples. For me the lens didn't pass my first simple tests I do, which are at infinity: 1. Is infinity at the hard stop – at f/2, yes, at f/8, no; 2. Are the corners relatively sharp by f/8 at infinity – no. It does sound like a similar issue, I just think we're describing it from different POVs.

I have to say it was really strange to watch through the EVF and see the center at infinity somewhat sharp at f/2 and watch the entire frame get successively blurrier as I stopped down. Never seen that before – usually the reverse.



Jan 10, 2023 at 11:10 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


highdesertmesa wrote:
Hard to say since he describes the issue from the POV of focusing with the rangefinder, and he's focusing at sub-infinity distances according the samples. For me the lens didn't pass my first simple tests I do, which are at infinity: 1. Is infinity at the hard stop – at f/2, yes, at f/8, no; 2. Are the corners relatively sharp by f/8 at infinity – no. It does sound like a similar issue, I just think we're describing it from different POVs.

I have to say it was really strange to watch through the EVF and see the center at infinity
...Show more

Yes, usually a broader DOF from stopping down 'masks' issues with field curvature and focus shift. I will test mine on Friday.
Is it well-known that the Leica version has strong focus shift? The field curvature seems to be the wavy type as Ron reported.



Jan 10, 2023 at 11:25 PM
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