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

  
 
highdesertmesa
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Fred Miranda wrote:
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.


I'm not sure, but I don't remember reading focus shift complaints about the original, but how many actually own one? Very few I think. If the LLL version has focus shift, it's certainly not anything that gets in the way for most people, like say the ZM 50 1.5 does. I'm not sure if Ron's findings were from it being a bad copy or if it's normal. It'll be interesting to see what you find with your testing.



Jan 10, 2023 at 11:33 PM
rscheffler
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · 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

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 Ė at f/2, yes, at f/8, no; 2. Are the corners relatively sharp by f/8 at infinity†Ė 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
Fred Miranda wrote:
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.

highdesertmesa wrote:
I'm not sure, but I don't remember reading focus shift complaints about the original, but how many actually own one? Very few I think. If the LLL version has focus shift, it's certainly not anything that gets in the way for most people, like say the ZM 50 1.5 does. I'm not sure if Ron's findings were from it being a bad copy or if it's normal. It'll be interesting to see what you find with your testing.


Sounds similar but shifting in the opposite direction from what I experienced. My copy exhibited 'normal' focus shift away from the camera as it was stopped down. It still does, but not quite as badly as originally. But even at f/8 I can still see focus shift on 24MP at 100%. It really needs f/11 to mask it.

The frustrating thing IMO was that I carefully evaluated sample images by others. For example, as I've mentioned before, Ashwin Rao posted a comparison set on his Flickr account against a copy of the Leica original. Neither the Leica nor the LLL appear to show focus shift. I asked him specifically about this after the problems I had with mine and he said he didn't see it at all, but he also had a very early production copy. So it's really difficult to say how much QC is in place. Or perhaps they were very strict about QC for the early production copies that went out to potentially prominent Leicaphiles that would influence other purchasers. Also, considering the 'bargain' price of the RFF preorder, it's possible LLL let QC slide. Others I contacted on RFF posted images with similar behavior to my copy. But other copies did not. What I really wanted to know from other RFF members (or anyone here) was if this was typical 35 Cron v1 behavior in the original. I didn't really get a straight answer on that either.

In LLL's defense, the MTF curves they provided with the lens suggest that it should have focus shift and wavy field curvature.

Knowing what I know now about the 35 replica, I can and do use it regularly and get good results with it. It's not entirely straight forward, but it works. For the price I paid, it's acceptable.

From what I've seen from the Elcan so far, it seems more straightforward. Definitely looking forward to your results with it, Fred. I already have a 50 Cron Rigid, so not sure there's much sense in the Elcan, though it's a lot smaller, renders differently and sharpness falls off more at the edges...



Jan 10, 2023 at 11:58 PM
rscheffler
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Fred Miranda wrote:
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.


Maybe you already saw this linked at the LLL site:

https://bluemooncameracodex.com/technical-reviews/50mmf2-elcan-review

This review is on file and compares against the Dual Range, which I believe is very similar to the Rigid. Not really a pixel peeping review...



Jan 11, 2023 at 12:06 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


rscheffler wrote:
Maybe you already saw this linked at the LLL site:

https://bluemooncameracodex.com/technical-reviews/50mmf2-elcan-review

This review is on file and compares against the Dual Range, which I believe is very similar to the Rigid. Not really a pixel peeping review...


Thanks Ron.
I've read that review a few days ago and enjoyed it very much. It shows off the Elcan's rendering compared to the Rigid and although both have a pleasant draw, I prefer the former's less accentuated outlining and lower optical vignetting.

I was curious about how they differ in terms of resolution off-axis when shooting wide open though.



Jan 11, 2023 at 12:46 AM
rscheffler
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


I have not seen a 50 Cron Rigid MTF, so not exactly sure. And I haven't really stress tested my copy to find out either.

But yes, based on LLL's Elcan MTFs, it appears the Elcan falls off at the edges. I guess we'll all have a better idea once you get your copy!

LLL Elcan MTF:









Jan 11, 2023 at 01:16 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


rscheffler wrote:
I have not seen a 50 Cron Rigid MTF, so not exactly sure. And I haven't really stress tested my copy to find out either.

But yes, based on LLL's Elcan MTFs, it appears the Elcan falls off at the edges. I guess we'll all have a better idea once you get your copy!

LLL Elcan MTF:







I received the LLL Elcan replica today and it performs just like the MTF chart above.

At f/2 it's sharp around the center area, followed by a significant drop in resolution towards the mid-field. It recovers a bit but resolution drops again towards the very corners. At f/2.8 the lens is more even across the field and at f/5.6-8, it's sharp all over, except for the very edge of the frame which never gets crispy even at f/8.

The lens is very well made and small for a 50mm lens (36mm length). It's all brass painted black but not shiny. It's odd that the aperture ring goes the opposite direction but the haptics are functional and the focusing ring is butter smooth. My copy's centering is just 'ok'.



Jan 12, 2023 at 12:08 AM
rscheffler
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


The review linked earlier stated the aperture ring direction was intentionally reversed to match Nikon equipment also used by the US military, for whom the Elcan was commissioned. Strange that the focusing direction wasn't also reversed to match Nikon.

LLL does make some usability modifications to their replicas, such as shorter MFD. Theoretically they could have changed the aperture ring direction back to the Leica standard.



Jan 12, 2023 at 01:45 AM
highdesertmesa
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica



rscheffler wrote:
The review linked earlier stated the aperture ring direction was intentionally reversed to match Nikon equipment also used by the US military, for whom the Elcan was commissioned. Strange that the focusing direction wasn't also reversed to match Nikon.

LLL does make some usability modifications to their replicas, such as shorter MFD. Theoretically they could have changed the aperture ring direction back to the Leica standard.


Or they could have fixed the original oversight and reversed the focusing direction! (*hides*)



Jan 12, 2023 at 11:28 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


The ring rotation does not bother me at all. I think it adds to the uniqueness of the lens. The Elcan is almost the same size as the 35/2 8E so it's a great option for a small 50mm that is sharp in the center and has pleasant 'vintage' rendering.


Jan 12, 2023 at 11:32 AM
nehemiahphoto
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


I am liking and watching this thread, though I am set for vintage 35mmís. I am hoping that LLL opts for a 75/80 Lux knock off soon.


Jan 12, 2023 at 12:56 PM
 


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Fred Miranda
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


nehemiahphoto wrote:
I am liking and watching this thread, though I am set for vintage 35mmís. I am hoping that LLL opts for a 75/80 Lux knock off soon.


LLL seems to concentrate on much older lenses (1960s and older). It could be for legal reasons.
The 75 lux and 50/1 noct were announced mid seventies and eighties and therefore we may not see replicas anytime soon.

I know you prefer faster lenses but I think you enjoy shooting with the 50/2 Elcan.



Jan 12, 2023 at 02:35 PM
rscheffler
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


nehemiahphoto wrote:
I am liking and watching this thread, though I am set for vintage 35mmís. I am hoping that LLL opts for a 75/80 Lux knock off soon.


I feel like the 75 Lux and 50/1 aren't rare enough. Compare that to the Elcan, 50/1.2 Nocti, Hologon, which are all virtually unobtainable for the average person who just wants to use them. The Leica 50/1.2 reissue is priced high enough at $7500 for it to be worth LLL's efforts, IMO, to undercut it at 1/3 the price. 35 Cron 8E is/was obtainable when it was under $2K...

In respect to 75mm, apparently they're planning a 75/2.

I'd love to see them do a Hexanon 60/1.2 replica! I think they'd be the only ones capable of, or interested in doing so.



Jan 12, 2023 at 06:14 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Fred Miranda wrote:
LLL seems to concentrate on much older lenses (1960s and older). It could be for legal reasons.
The 75 lux and 50/1 noct were announced mid seventies and eighties and therefore we may not see replicas anytime soon.

I know you prefer faster lenses but I think you enjoy shooting with the 50/2 Elcan.


lolódonít talk me into another character lens! Makes sense on copyright/legal reasons.



Jan 12, 2023 at 06:20 PM
freaklikeme
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


rscheffler wrote:
I feel like the 75 Lux and 50/1 aren't rare enough. Compare that to the Elcan, 50/1.2 Nocti, Hologon, which are all virtually unobtainable for the average person who just wants to use them. The Leica 50/1.2 reissue is priced high enough at $7500 for it to be worth LLL's efforts, IMO, to undercut it at 1/3 the price. 35 Cron 8E is/was obtainable when it was under $2K...

In respect to 75mm, apparently they're planning a 75/2.

I'd love to see them do a Hexanon 60/1.2 replica! I think they'd be the only ones capable of, or interested in doing
...Show more

The 60 would be awesome. I'd like to see them tackle the Canon LTM 35/1.5 as well.



Jan 12, 2023 at 10:02 PM
thrice
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Is there no restriction on selling lenses with lead in the glass? I read a post where someone from the company said they had leaded glass. Is that term just a catch-all for glass doped with heavy metals? Speaking of which, isn't Lanthanum banned in lens manufacture too?


Jan 13, 2023 at 07:01 AM
highdesertmesa
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica




thrice wrote:
Is there no restriction on selling lenses with lead in the glass? I read a post where someone from the company said they had leaded glass. Is that term just a catch-all for glass doped with heavy metals? Speaking of which, isn't Lanthanum banned in lens manufacture too?


No one is drinking out of the lenses, so the leaded glass is not an issue. As for manufacture, no one is making it any more as far as I know. Itís my understanding that LLL sourced original glass made back when it was in still production.



Jan 13, 2023 at 12:06 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


nehemiahphoto wrote:
lolódonít talk me into another character lens! Makes sense on copyright/legal reasons.


Well, Mandler designed it and I know you like his lenses.



Jan 14, 2023 at 12:34 PM
Dan Chang
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


highdesertmesa wrote:
No one is drinking out of the lenses, so the leaded glass is not an issue. As for manufacture, no one is making it any more as far as I know. Itís my understanding that LLL sourced original glass made back when it was in still production.


No one really know the leaded glass is true or not. Unconfirmed info said Mr. Zhou replaced with regular glass after few batches of original 8 elements lens. So many lenses have been made, the new old stock will be depleted at some point, If LLL claim leaded glass used in the lens, I have no way to conform it.




Feb 01, 2023 at 02:23 PM
Maknof
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Before the laser fix (2bucks both eyes here in italy), i used to wear lanthanum lenses on eyglasses cause they were thinner, so it is not banned (and not radioactive)

Leaded glass is still used today, even in many place it is not more used (not banned) for beverage (especially alcholic or acid especially).

Then change can happen in production due last chinese restrictions and to get more profit.






Feb 01, 2023 at 07:14 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Light Lens Lab: Leica 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux Replica


Dan Chang wrote:
No one really know the leaded glass is true or not. Unconfirmed info said Mr. Zhou replaced with regular glass after few batches of original 8 elements lens. So many lenses have been made, the new old stock will be depleted at some point, If LLL claim leaded glass used in the lens, I have no way to conform it.



They still claim this on their current Shopify description for the 8E. There initially were rumors started by forum users that it may only be the first batch that had the special glass, but LLL has specifically kept up the claim in their marketing. You can always ask them yourself if you want. They are very fast to respond to inquires:

https://lightlenslab.myshopify.com/pages/contact

From their 8E product page:

Materials Used
- Lens Body is made from solid brass, stainless steel or titanium (depending on finishes).
- Elements inside are made in-house with lanthanide and lead infused.



Feb 01, 2023 at 08:27 PM
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