Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/06/29

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Subject: [Leica] Re : Nokton v. lux again (was: Summicron 50)
From: John Brownlow <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 12:43:25 -0400

on 6/29/00 12:01 PM, Bergman, Mark A. at wrote:

> I got to look at this lens this weekend in Kansas City (the Cosina Nokton 50
> 1.5) and was told that the lens is not rangefinder coupled.  The clerk
> wasn't terribly knowledgeable but I could not see how it would be.  Is it
> rangefinder coupled?  Anybody using it?  I have a 50 Summicron now and have
> been toying with the idea of splurging for the Summulux for awhile now (at
> least 3 or 4 years anyway).  I just can't convince myself that I really need
> the extra stop.  

The Nokton certainly is rangefinder coupled. There's no difficulty with
this: it just has a helical cam on it like lots of screw lenses do. The
difference between screw and M lenses is in the mount, not the rf coupling

Opinions differ on the Nokton, I think. I bought and subsequently sold one.
I thought it was a fine lens in many respects, sharp as a tack wide open,
contrasty, well built, etc. However, I didn't like the way it rendered the
out-of-focus parts of the image, which is why I sold it and bought a mid 60s
Summilux instead, which I've been delighted with.

It all depends what you want out of a 50/1.4. If it's purely the extra
speed, the Nokton is great for the money. If absolute sharpness is your main
criterion, the Nokton is a nose ahead. If smooth gradation and great-looking
bokeh is your bag then I'd definitely go for the lux. If you buy a Exc +
chrome sixties version with clean glass you won't end up paying an arm and a
leg, and it will hold its value.

In the end I don't think either lens is 'better' than the other, they're
just very, very different... odd really, for two nominally identically
optics. I know BD is a big fan of this lens, and I wouldn't argue with him
for a moment... we just judge lenses by different criteria I think. I
personally tend to use the 50/1.4 wide open most of the time, with a tiny
part of the image in focus and most of the image out-of-focus. Consequently,
the way that blur looks ('bokeh') matters a lot to me. YMMV.

- --


Replies: Reply from Dave Stratton <> (Re: [Leica] Re : Nokton v. lux again (was: Summicron 50))
Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Re : Nokton v. lux again (was: Summicron 50))