Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/27

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Subject: [Leica] Newbie wades in, lured by the Noctilux
From: feli at (Feli di Giorgio)
Date: Wed Oct 27 21:47:11 2004
References: <001401c4bc9f$dbdbbed0$d2191d41@heidi>

I shot mine on a M4 or metered M (M6/7). All cameras were .72 and I used
the x1.25 magnifier, which turns a .72 into a .90. Made a big difference
for me when shooting in dim light at f1.0 and gives you nice and big 50
frame lines.But there are plenty of people that shoot it on a straight

I also have an M2, which uses a spool like the M3. Reloading isn't a big
deal, if you are just shooting casually , but if you are under the gun,
it will slow you down. For those occasions I have a spare spool that I
pre-load and just have top drop in. From the M4 on up the M has the
'film tulip' and loading is very fast and easy. Rewinding with the
'stick' is slower, but if you find it to be a pain, you can always get a
rewind lever. No big deal.

If you get one of the older M cameras, you should get it cleaned and
adjusted. Focusing is very critical with the Noct at f1.0 and some
people have the rangefinder dialed in to match their Noct.

Look here:

DAG, Golden Touch, Leica NJ and Kinderman are well known on this list.

I had the second version of the Noct, with the clip on hood. Optically
they are all identical. I preferred the clip-on hood, over the current 
model with the collapsible hood. The clip on hood offers far more impact
protection, than the collapsible hood, which doesn't lock into place. I
found the Noct to be totally flare proof, no matter what the situation,
so you really only need the hood for physical protection. But, when I
wasn't juggling more than one body I left the hood off and went Ted
Grant style, hoodless and filterless.

The shop listed in the Leica FAQ that rented the Noct is out of
Sammy's Camera has one in their catalog for rent, but can't find it.

Keep in mind that the Noct is a unique beast. 

Ted Grant has been shooting with one professionally for 30 years. He loves it
and uses it as his standard lens. 

I sold mine after a year and got a Summilux, because I simply couldn't
get used to the weight (nearly 600g), long focus throw and found the Noct 
fingerprint to be too sterile for my taste. 

Shooting at f1, close up in  particular, takes practice. At 1 meter and f1 
have about 2cm of DOF, which means that if you get the eyes in focus the ears
will already be soft. There's not a lot of margin for error. Close up I 
would mostly 
shoot at f1.4, for the extra DOF, and save f1 as an ace in my pocket, to get 
the shot when everyone else had gone home.

On the other hand the Noct produces the most crystal clear low light shots I
have ever seen, because the lens is totally flare proof. Once I was on a 
shoot and shot directly in to a 20,000 watt movie light. The frames show
no flare.

Other complaints have been that it's heavy (almost 600g), big by Leica 
has a log focus throw (for accurate focus) and costs as much as a used car. 
Some people
have questioned the practicality of shooting close-up at f1.0, because of 
the extremely
shallow DOF, but it does deliver a look that is unique.

That said it's one hell of a lens. Nothing else like it out there. Sometimes 
I miss mine.
But I would strongly suggest handling or renting one before you decide to 
buy one.
The good news is that the Noct has tremendous resale value.

Here is a Noct shot I made.

f1 @ 30th Agfa APX100 in D76. Looks great as a 11x14 print.



In reply to: Message from sleighteem at (The Sleighteem) ([Leica] Newbie wades in, lured by the Noctilux)