Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/06

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Noctilux Questions with jpeg link
From: "Robert G. Stevens" <>
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 09:15:15 -0300


I think I have not stated myself clearly again.  The benefits of the
noctilux over other fast lens is that it is sharp, contrasty, and has
incredible shadow detail and penetration.  

In your image 50_pic3.jpg, the great flare suppression which givesgood
shadow detail, would have had your subjects white teeth visable in the
shadow of his mouth.  This shadow detail and penetration is evident on all
the noctilux pictures I posted.

As for sharpness, I did a scan of the negative and cropped for just the
eye.  If you look at the eye, you can see the iris very clearly, along with
the pattern on it. The scan does not do the original negative justice.

I guess in conclusion, the Canon lens is usually almost as expensive as a
used Noctilux, so you might as well get the real thing.  Other fast lenses
for amodern SLRs are not as good as the Noctilux either.



 At 01:07 AM 9/6/98 +0000, you wrote:
>Robert G. Stevens wrote:
>> Chris:
>> I may have mislead some people in my previous post by saying it is the
>> rendering, not the sharpness, implying it is not a sharp lens at f1.  The
>> lens is very sharp at f1.  The baby's eyes have detail in even the iris of
>> the eye.  What other F1 and F1.2 lenses have is a fast speed, but poor
>> properties wide open.  Your photo is a good argument for that.  In my
>> picture you can even see the texture of the paint on the chair, while yours
>> has an overall softness to it.
>In my original print, the areas that are in focus are pretty
>sharp actually, but the depth of field isn't enough to have him
>all in focus. The camera is angled down a bit I think, and only
>his head is actually in focus. I don't think the Noctilux can
>work miracles as far as DOF.
>There is another photo here, the original is 8x10", also taken
>with the 50/1 at f1.
>In the original print his hairs are very clearly discerned. You
>can also see subtle fibre pattern in the cuff of his sleave. His
>eyes are black because of the lighting. These photos aren't
>printed particularly well. I only borrowed the lens for a day to
>make some test shots. Overall, I feel the Canon is reasonably
>sharp at f1. It's not as sharp as a 200mm prime stopped down to
>f11, but then I kind of doubt the Noctilux is either (correct me
>if I'm wrong). Other softness seems to be caused by lack of DOF.
>DOF is about 2cm so it wouldn't seem surprising if there is an
>"overall softness". I would have thought "You cannot change the
>laws of physics" would apply here.
>I don't think we will solve which is the sharper lens until
>someone can see some real prints side by side. At f1, subject
>angle and focusing are so critical.