Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/01/15

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Noctilux fever
From: "Martin V. Howard" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 23:40:01 +0100

With all the recent ranting and raving about the Noctilux, I thought I'd
add a (sane) comment to the contrary.

I don't have the Noctilux.  I have no desire for it.  I fail to see the
reason for spending horrendous amounts of money on a lens for one more
extra stop, when using one stop slower shutter speed & bracing, or 
one stop EI faster film will do the trick. I will admit, though, that
the bokeh is *very* nice, judging from LUGgers pix.

I would welcome comments from those who use the older Leica gear. Those
with IIs and IIIs, who use 35 Elmars and Summarons, 50 Summars,
Summarits and Summitars, 90 Elmarits and 135 Hektors. Tips for using
cameras without built-in meters in poor, non-uniform lighting.  Not
because I'm anti-technology, but because I'm sure you exist and it would
be a nice balance to the discussions about high-tech, super-expensive,
exotica.  Leica, to me, is as much about being able to take pictures
where an SLR wouldn't work, as it is about quality, myth and money.

I guess it boils down to the kind of photography your interested in.
I would much rather have a III with 50 Summar and Ilford Delta 3200
than an M6HM with Noctilux and EI 100 slide film.  Of course, should
someone give me the M6HM+Nocti combo, the revenue from the sales would
buy a litter of IIIs ;-)

No doubt someone will write to "enlighten" me to the fact that the
Noctilux and Summar are worlds apart with regard to resolution,
contrast, MTF, lp/mm and whatnot.

And, by the way, yes, I am interested in "available light" photography,
and not just at noon during summer.  Still, with EI 400 film, at f2 and
1/15s or 1/30s (possible with bracing and proper breathing) you can get
wonderful shots.  With a Nocti, the same would be 1/60 or 1/125 at f1.
The difference between resting your elbows on the table or not.

I'm sure that those who have bought Noctiluxes are very happy with
them.  Still, I'm convinced that spending the equivalent on practicing
(i.e., film, developing and printing) would ultimately result in
better photographs.  At least for me.


- -- 
Martin V. Howard, Application Systems Laboratory,     | 
Dept. of Comp. & Info. Sci., Linkoping University,    | Just "DOHH" it!
SE-581 83 Linkoping, Sweden.  Tel +46 13 282 421,     +----------------+
Fax +46 13 142 231;;