Image comparison of Nokton 50mm f1.1 vs 35 Summilux asph.

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
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Jul 18, 2008
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OK,

NOTE: I know they are different focal lengths so no flaming for the schoolboy error the point I am making here is the Summilux doesnt gather less light and it is WAY better image quality as you would expect. Also the aperture doesnt read accurately on the Ms with the Nokton.

To help someone avoid wasting their time on a cheap lens. I bought a Nokton 50mm f1.1 for use on Leica M9 and MM cameras. I was hoping it would be good enough for use in low low light, just giving me that little edge that making it possible to use the cameras in super low light more easily.

The lens arrived and to say the least I was disappointed. It was too soft, too hard to focus not because of the thin DoF, but because of the horrific back focus. It is built like a tank and feels lovely. Finder blockage on the rangefinder is funny, I thought it isnt too bad until I took a portrait oriented image then realised that my focus hand was right in front of the viewfinder because of the diameter of the lens barrel. However, as I own 50 and 35 Summilux lenses, then I accept I am maybe spoiled with wide open performance.

So, this is not a scientific test by any stretch, obviously they have different focal lengths (because I forgot to pop the 50 on the MM before heading out. I took these images on two consecutive evenings at roughly the same time. I dont know, maybe someone will find value in this, maybe not but holy crap! the Summiluxes earned their keep in my mind.

I will say though that the Nokton has a helluva nice colour profile... I think if I hadnt had the joy of the Summiluxes beforehand, I would have been happier.

Anyway, for brain food, enjoy the pictures.


1. Church door, focussed on the door handles.
First up, Nokton 50mm @f1.1
L1002890.jpg by Ken OHagan, on Flickr

2. Light, focused on the cross bar of the light
Next Summilux 35 @f1.4
L1002901.jpg by Ken OHagan, on Flickr

Nokton 50mm @f1.1
L1002891.jpg by Ken OHagan, on Flickr

Summilux 35mm @f1.4
L1002902.jpg by Ken OHagan, on Flickr

3. Cabinets, focused on the top right corner of the first cabinet
Nokton 50mm @f1.1
L1002883.jpg by Ken OHagan, on Flickr

Summilux 35mm @f1.4
L1002897.jpg by Ken OHagan, on Flickr
 
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Hughmac

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Feb 4, 2012
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I see what you mean, the Nokton is quite soft if you zoom in on the pics.

However, I would persist with this wonderful lens, and send me the cheap and nasty Summilux as it's obviously not up to the job ;)

Seriously, if the Nokton ain't up to it; as well as being not so sharp it seems to give more grainy photos, and you have a 50mm Summilux as good as the 35mm the choice is made for you.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 

kenoh

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Jul 18, 2008
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I see what you mean, the Nokton is quite soft if you zoom in on the pics.

However, I would persist with this wonderful lens, and send me the cheap and nasty Summilux as it's obviously not up to the job ;)

Seriously, if the Nokton ain't up to it; as well as being not so sharp it seems to give more grainy photos, and you have a 50mm Summilux as good as the 35mm the choice is made for you.

Cheers :)

Hugh
Yep it went back yesterday. Lol... Trust me it would be no contest against the 50 lux. If I were to suggest the best 50mm I have owned it would be the 50 lux. It is just a thing of beauty.

I posted this then looked at the images. I do think that had I not had the summiluxes, I would have been happier. It is not a rotten lens. I have had worse. Any of the f8 mirror lenses I have tried for example are just shockingly bad. At £375 used it was just too much to have sat there for those feeling artistic moments. Looked great on the camera too. And when wide open it looks awesomely big and clear! But nope sorry... Not for me.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
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Thanks @kenoh - great idea for thread, and a masterclass.

Nevertheless, you don't have to preach the virtues of the summilux to me - or persuade me of how good they are, because - as a convert and passionate devotee - I already have two of them.

And that is the problem with the summilux - once you get used to this level of precision, control, capacity to shoot in low light, and stunning build quality, there is no going back.

I would have liked to have seen a summilux 50 though, to compare and contrast more completely.

(An aside, have you ever shot with, or handled, the legendary noctilux?)

Having said that, my go-to lens is the 35mm summilux - that is almost always on my camera.
 

kenoh

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Thanks @kenoh - great idea for thread, and a masterclass.

Nevertheless, you don't have to preach the virtues of the summilux to me - or persuade me of how good they are, because - as a convert and passionate devotee - I already have two of them.

And that is the problem with the summilux - once you get used to this level of precision, control, capacity to shoot in low light, and stunning build quality, there is no going back.

I would have liked to have seen a summilux 50 though, to compare and contrast more completely.

(An aside, have you ever shot with, or handled, the legendary noctilux?)

Having said that, my go-to lens is the 35mm summilux - that is almost always on my camera.
So I will go back and shoot the 50 lux, same subjects. Once I get chance afterall, they are basically the church where my daughter goes to brownies so I have opportunity. Once the Ms are back from the Leica infirmary that is. They have both developed sensor corrosion so they have been sent to Solms for some TLC.

Yes I think the Summiluxes are just amazing bits of kit. The 35 I have is not the FLE version but I still love the draw from it. Saying thay, shot the MM with the 28 elmarit yesterday and loved that too. Zone focused and went pointing and shooting. Great fun but I always come back to 50mm subject isolation.

Noctilux, I have felt the weight which I don't mind, it feels a bit naff getting it out of its satin lined box and putting it on the camera. At the time I held it, I only had a Sony A7 and the Leica shop wouldn't let me try it on that :-(

I just cannot bring myself to spend that much on a lens. My fear of course is as I know I am so weak, if a Noctilux and my M9 ever meet, I reckon I will be living on potnoodles that month!
 
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Scepticalscribe

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So I will go back and shoot the 50 lux, same subjects. Once I get chance afterall, they are basically the church where my daughter goes to brownies so I have opportunity. Once the Ms are back from the Leica infirmary that is. They have both developed sensor corrosion so they have been sent to Solms for some TLC.

Yes I think the Summiluxes are just amazing bits of kit. The 35 I have is not the FLE version but I still love the draw from it. Saying thay, shot the MM with the 28 elmarit yesterday and loved that too. Zone focused and went pointing and shooting. Great fun but I always come back to 50mm subject isolation.

Noctilux, I have felt the weight which I don't mind, it feels a bit naff getting it out of its satin lined box and putting it on the camera. At the time I held it, I only had a Sony A7 and the Leica shop wouldn't let me try it on that :-(

I just cannot bring myself to spend that much on a lens. My fear of course is as I know I am so weak, if a Noctilux and my M9 ever meet, I reckon I will be living on potnoodles that month!
They say that homemade noodle dishes are cheap, nutritious and very, very tasty.
 
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kenoh

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They say that homemade noodle dishes are cheap, nutritious and very, very tasty.
Please don't be cruel. I am easily led astray and my wallet strings are weak. I know my local dealer - by local they are 450 miles away in London BTW - my local dealer has a couple in stock but seriously I have to resist. I am not skilled enough to use that much lens.
 
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Scepticalscribe

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Please don't be cruel. I am easily led astray and my wallet strings are weak. I know my local dealer - by local they are 450 miles away in London BTW - my local dealer has a couple in stock but seriously I have to resist. I am not skilled enough to use that much lens.
Ah, but, even used? I'll grant that new, the price is.......um, kind of ludicrous.

And - like summiluxes - they do hold their value.......

And they are built like a tank.

And - from what I can gather - the light reading is off the scale.....
 

kenoh

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Ah, but, even used? I'll grant that new, the price is.......um, kind of ludicrous.

And - like summiluxes - they do hold their value.......

And they are built like a tank.

And - from what I can gather - the light reading is off the scale.....
£8k new.... £5.4k used... i would like one.... yes the glass transmission index is astonishing but for that i could get a set of Zeiss lenses for the Sony....
 
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£8k new.... £5.4k used... i would like one.... yes the glass transmission index is astonishing but for that i could get a set of Zeiss lenses for the Sony....
I know.

However, I will say that - having acquired my little summiluxes - I am not sure I could ever go back to anything else.

When funds allow, I might make the leap to digital - finally, the M10 offers what I think I have been waiting for.

But - a legend.....and a legend which - moreover - actually, holds - and even increases - its value........
 

kenoh

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I know.

However, I will say that - having acquired my little summiluxes - I am not sure I could ever go back to anything else.

When funds allow, I might make the leap to digital - finally, the M10 offers what I think I have been waiting for.

But - a legend.....and a legend which - moreover - actually, holds - and even increases - its value........
You make very good points... I too like the look of an M10.

You are bad.... Encouraging me...
 
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MacRy

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Step away from the thread Ken.......no one's wallet needs to get hurt......just walk away slowly.....ignore the bad lady over there with the cloven hooves and forked tail.........walk slowly towards MacRy and don't look back....your family love you very much Ken......come to them now.........OK JUMP ON HIM LADS!!!
 

oblomow

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Step away from the thread Ken.......no one's wallet needs to get hurt......just walk away slowly.....ignore the bad lady over there with the cloven hooves and forked tail.........walk slowly towards MacRy and don't look back....your family love you very much Ken......come to them now.........OK JUMP ON HIM LADS!!!
Bad lady? I think almost every person with GAS or spreading the infection is male. I agree that in general ladies are the ones that bring out the worst in us, but not in this case.
Mrs. Kenoh, Mrs. Macry ( and Mrs. Oblomow ) are doing their best to keep us financially sane.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
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You make very good points... I too like the look of an M10.

You are bad.... Encouraging me...
I am bad. Very bad. Agreed.

Step away from the thread Ken.......no one's wallet needs to get hurt......just walk away slowly.....ignore the bad lady over there with the cloven hooves and forked tail.........walk slowly towards MacRy and don't look back....your family love you very much Ken......come to them now.........OK JUMP ON HIM LADS!!!
Bad lady? I think almost every person with GAS or spreading the infection is male. I agree that in general ladies are the ones that bring out the worst in us, but not in this case.
Mrs. Kenoh, Mrs. Macry ( and Mrs. Oblomow ) are doing their best to keep us financially sane.
Ah, @oblomov, I believe that I am "the bad lady with the cloven hooves and forked tail" - in question - and, while we are at it, I also seem to be in possession of what some might consider to be "a most persuasive pen or tongue".

By the way - I keep seeing this acronym (in very recent days) - GAS - and urban dictionary is of no assistance whatsoever. What on earth does it mean?

This is one of the (relatively few) times I miss teaching - not just the captive audiences, and flicking the switch on in healthy inquiring young minds - but, my students kept me up-to-date on contemporary slang.

Yep the MacRumors widows are the real heros for sure.
I'm not a MacRumors widow; but anyone who is fool enough to become entangled with me and my life might well run the risk of becoming a MacRumors widower.

However, - I will say that ever since Leica launched the M8, I have been watching their digital (rangefinder) offerings closely. None came close to what I thought a Leica digital rangefinder should have, until now.

When I find some mad place - as I tend to describe the places where I have worked to the amusement of (local) colleagues (who - with gasps of smothered laughter, tended to agree with me) - on and off over the past twenty years - which wants to pay me appropriately silly money - I might contemplate the M10, as it does seem to be the digital camera I have been waiting for.

Now, on "bad ladies" and "bad gentlemen", it was, of course, @Apple fanboy who sent me a link a short while ago about the release of the M10. I hadn't even known that it was being developed.
 
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MacRy

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@Scepticalscribe - GAS is Gear Acquisition Syndrome. It applies across all hobbies and the only cure would appear to be a lack of funds to feed it.

You are also, indeed, the bifurcated appendaged lady I was referring to ;)
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
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@Scepticalscribe - GAS is Gear Acquisition Syndrome. It applies across all hobbies and the only cure would appear to be a lack of funds to feed it.

You are also, indeed, the bifurcated appendaged lady I was referring to ;)
Ah - thank you for the clarification re the acronym - (and yes, I had absolutely no doubt that I was the individual thus referred to, cloven hooves, forked tail, and persuasive tongue included).

Agreed, that most who are afflicted by GAS are male; as a Daughter of Eve this manifests itself slightly differently with me; cough, I only want the best......not lots, just the best...
 
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oblomow

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I am bad. Very bad. Agreed.





Ah, @oblomov, I believe that I am "the bad lady with the cloven hooves and forked tail" - in question - and, while we are at it, I also seem to be in possession of what some might consider to be "a most persuasive pen or tongue".


This is one of the (relatively few) times I miss teaching - not just the captive audiences, and flicking the switch on in healthy inquiring young minds - but, my students kept me up-to-date on contemporary slang.
"healthy inquiring young minds"

Flattery! A silver tongue won't help you here.
All of us are 44+ and can't deny it.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
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"healthy inquiring young minds"

Flattery! A silver tongue won't help you here.
All of us are 44+ and can't deny it.
Ah, I was writing of my students........

But, yes, the more mature mind can also play an admirable questing - and questioning - role in the classroom (I write as someone who used to teach evening degree students as well, and they had many, many questions) - most of the 'mature' students had very pointed and thoughtful questions.....
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
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I am bad. Very bad. Agreed.





Ah, @oblomov, I believe that I am "the bad lady with the cloven hooves and forked tail" - in question - and, while we are at it, I also seem to be in possession of what some might consider to be "a most persuasive pen or tongue".

By the way - I keep seeing this acronym (in very recent days) - GAS - and urban dictionary is of no assistance whatsoever. What on earth does it mean?

This is one of the (relatively few) times I miss teaching - not just the captive audiences, and flicking the switch on in healthy inquiring young minds - but, my students kept me up-to-date on contemporary slang.



I'm not a MacRumors widow; but anyone who is fool enough to become entangled with me and my life might well run the risk of becoming a MacRumors widower.

However, - I will say that ever since Leica launched the M8, I have been watching their digital (rangefinder) offerings closely. None came close to what I thought a Leica digital rangefinder should have, until now.

When I find some mad place - as I tend to describe the places where I have worked to the amusement of (local) colleagues (who - with gasps of smothered laughter, tended to agree with me) - on and off over the past twenty years - which wants to pay me appropriately silly money - I might contemplate the M10, as it does seem to be the digital camera I have been waiting for.

Now, on "bad ladies" and "bad gentlemen", it was, of course, @Apple fanboy who sent me a link a short while ago about the release of the M10. I hadn't even known that it was being developed.
Guilty as charged!
 

TheDrift-

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
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Well after my recent bad experience of a canon 50L, i have decided to see how this other half lives...and placed an order for an M10 and 50Lux the sticker shock is real....as for the nocti thats the stuff of dreams for me!
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
Jul 18, 2008
5,477
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Glasgow, UK
"healthy inquiring young minds"

Flattery! A silver tongue won't help you here.
All of us are 44+ and can't deny it.
I can deny it!


I would be wrong in doing so... but I can deny it nonetheless... :)
[doublepost=1488890555][/doublepost]
Ah - thank you for the clarification re the acronym - (and yes, I had absolutely no doubt that I was the individual thus referred to, cloven hooves, forked tail, and persuasive tongue included).

Agreed, that most who are afflicted by GAS are male; as a Daughter of Eve this manifests itself slightly differently with me; cough, I only want the best......not lots, just the best...
We only want the best too.... thats why I sent the Nokton back... :)
[doublepost=1488890590][/doublepost]
Guilty as charged!
You are always guilty!
[doublepost=1488890716][/doublepost]
Well after my recent bad experience of a canon 50L, i have decided to see how this other half lives...and placed an order for an M10 and 50Lux the sticker shock is real....as for the nocti thats the stuff of dreams for me!
Mwuh ha ha ha ha.... and here it begins...

next it will be a 28 summicron or a 75 Apo... then... then... then...

Nothing will be the same ever again. All will be judged against this new benchmark. You have no idea what you just did to yourself... :)
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
52,187
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The Far Horizon
Well after my recent bad experience of a canon 50L, i have decided to see how this other half lives...and placed an order for an M10 and 50Lux the sticker shock is real....as for the nocti thats the stuff of dreams for me!
Ah.

Well, speaking from experience here - all I can say is that once you get used to what the summilux will do for you (is 50mm your preferred range?) there is no going back.

Having said that, let me know what you think of the M10.

And - do make sure that you use them and enjoy them.

.......
Mwuh ha ha ha ha.... and here it begins...

next it will be a 28 summicron or a 75 Apo... then... then... then...

Nothing will be the same ever again. All will be judged against this new benchmark. You have no idea what you just did to yourself... :)
Exactly.

This is the new standard by which everything else will be judged.
 
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