Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/28

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Subject: [Leica] Newbie wades in, lured by the Noctilux
From: grduprey at (
Date: Thu Oct 28 06:52:17 2004

First off you will find the Lug would really like a name and not a moniker 
for ID at the end of the post. ;-)  Second, being a bit Looney is a 
prerequisite for owning Leica, the price alone is evidence of this. ;-) On 
the other hand the quality and performance is worth it.  My recommendation 
for camera body is the M6 series, preferably the M6TTL.  My reasoning is 
this, it may cost a bit more but the hot shoe, with TTL Flash capability, 
the larger shutter dial with proper turn direction for the meter diode 
correlation are well worth the extra money in my opinion.  I would also 
get the MP viewfinder upgrade, especially if you get the .85 viewfinder. 
If you are intending on shooting with wide angle to normal lenses, then I 
would tend to get the .58 or the .72 finder, (the .72 is the standard 
finder for all except for the M3).  Sorry, I do not have any experience 
with the Noctilux, but you will certainly get responses here on the LUG on 
it.  It is loved by most, but hated by the rest of those who have used it. 
 Just remember it has a paper thin depth of field at f1.  Last, where in 
the mid-west are you?  I'm in Iowa.

Welcome Aboard,


After reading numerous Leica FAQ's and M guides, I submit the following:

I believe I'm what you'd call a budding Noctilooney.  I have never used an 
M camera, but right now I'm deep in my Web researches to select and buy my 
first one solely to harness the Noctilux.  I'm the first to admit that I'm 
smitten and not exactly rational.  Here I am poised to spend upwards of 
three-thousand dollars just so I can create images which appear as though 
they were made by a large format camera.  Is shallow depth of field really 
something to loose your head over?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I find it 
intoxicating, others find it nausiating (Nausilux).  All's I did was look 
at some Noctilux image galleries on the Web and my quest was born.  If 
this is folly, would you snap me out of it?  Otherwise, could I trouble 
you to read my questions below and offer some advice?

First, the body:

The M3's stand-out EBL makes it a contender, but the improvements to the 
M4 make it more desirable to me.  Am I missing something important?  I 
think I'm willing to sacrifice some EBL to gain the rewind crank and the 
speedier film loading.  I thought I'd sooner have the 4 than the 4-2 or 
4-P.  I would have to add a hot shoe, but I'm willing to do that just to 
have the slightly better (?) VF/RF.  Yes, I see the 6 Classic and TTL 
bodies are practically clogging eBay these days, but I thought the 4 could 
still be had for less.  My prior RF experience is limited to Graflex press 
cameras, stereo cameras, and the Texas Leica (Fuji's GS690).  I have 
always preferred SLR's, but I'm willing to give up their framing/focusing 
convenience just to shoot the Noct.

Next, the Noct version: 

I'm chasing the first incarnation 'cause it has the slightly smaller 
filter size.  I have this notion that overall barrel could be a tad more 
svelt than that of the subsequent versions (why I think that, I'm not sure 
- if all of them have the same glass, shouldn't they all have the same 
dimensions?).  Will I end up paying a premium for the first Noct?  Perhaps 
the bargain specimens tend to be the second version.  Can you confirm 
this?  I read that a retailer in LA will rent you a Noctilux for the 
weekend for a cost of $100.  That seems reasonable, but I live in the 
midwest.  As crazy as it sounds, I may just have to buy a whole outfit 
just to experiment with this lens.  But I wouldn't call it pure 
extravagance 'cause I look forward to shooting the 35/1.4 and the 21/3.4 
also [some day]. 

Lastly, if anyone has a body or lens to lend (sell) to my cause, I would 
love to hear about it.

Thanks for your attention, and thanks in advance for any/all advice!

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