Nov 242009
 

noknoctfettit

DING DING!

This is a title match between the classic Leica Noctilux 50 F1 lens vs the new kid on the block, the “budget” Voigtlander Nokton 50 1.1 lens as shot on a full frame Leica M9!

The Leica Noctilux has been around for many years and has even been replaced by the new $10,000 Noctilux F0.95, the worlds fastest camera lens in production today. MAN oh MAN is that a beautiful lens. One I will never own, but nevertheless it is gorgeous.

Before the new .95 version the Leica F1 version was known as the KING of NIGHT. A masterpiece and a lens that allowed users to create pieces of art. Its swirly creamy bokeh is legendary but some dislike it due to its cost, larger size, heavy weight and long focus throw.

Much to the happiness of Leica M shooters, this year Voigtlander released the new 50mm Nokton F1.1 lens in M mount. Finally, some competition for the classic Leica. Coming in at $1100 NEW, it was about $4k cheaper than a used Leica Noctilux!

When I reviewed the Nokton last week I was dying to see how it compared to the old Leica. I used to own the Leica and have missed it dearly ever since I sold it many years ago. I knew that it had some magic to it that I was not seeing in the Voigtlander but maybe I was wrong? I knew the Nokton was probably sharper at 1.1 than the Leica at F1 but what about the character of the lens? The color rendering? Was it worth spending so much for a used Leica if the Voigtlander was just as good or even better?

Noctilux F1 USED – $4500-$5000 – NEW IN BOX – $6800-$7200 – Voigtlander Nokton 1.1 NEW – $1100.

Well, just as I was pondering all of this I get an E-mail from Leica dealer Ken Hansen. He was letting me know he had 4 of the new Noctilux F.95 lenses IN STOCK and he also had one NEW IN BOX Noctilux F1 Classic as well as a used Noctilux classic. I succumbed to my desires right there and told him I wanted the used Noctilux. He sent it off and we agreed that if I was able to sell my Lux I would buy his Noctilux. If not, he told me to check it out, review it and send it back. Ken is such a GREAT guy and amazing Leica dealer. If you are interested in the old or new Noctilux, email him here and ask about price.

So here I am. I have both lenses in hand. The Leica F1 Noctilux and the Voigtlander Nokton 1.1. Keep in mind that this article will just feature some side by side test shots and I will have a real world review of the Classic Noctilux soon with better images! This test was whipped up just today as I know many are curious about these two lenses.

sideside

DING DING! ROUND 1: First impressions of the Leica compared to the Nokton…

The Leica Noctilux Classic F1: It is built quite a bit better than the Voigtlander and feels more solid in the hand. Great shape and nice pull out hood. This one is 6 bit coded and is in perfect condition. I attached it to my M9 and tested focus. It was spot on perfect. Awesome! But it i slow to focus with a loooong focus throw. Focuses to 1m so it will not focus as close as a Summilux 50 ASPH.

The Voigtlander Nokton 1.1: Built well, nice looking and focus is smoother and faster than the Leica. Not as well built as the Leica and the hood is a metal screw in. I can see this being used as an everyday lens due to ease of focusing. Focuses to 1m, same as the Leica.

ROUND 1 – WINNER – TIE – The Leica is built better and feels better but the Nokton has faster and smoother focus with a short focus throw.

“3D Green” – Noctilux at F1

NOCTILUXF1

ROUND 2: Out of focus highlights.

I took them both out for an hour or so just to grab some quick test shots to see which lens is sharper and if I could find any of that Noctilux magic that I remembered so well. I walked over to my Mothers house hoping to get some portrait samples. NO GO! She was fresh out of bed with no makeup on so that was NOT going to work. She gave me the stink eye when she saw me show up with my camera so I settled for getting some pics of her Xmas Stick (tree). This was actually a good thing as I always loved how the Leica Noctilux rendered these lights in the out of focus background.

First shot, the Noctilux at f1. Ahhhh, looks so nice and pleasing doesn’t it? Notice the lens still vignettes on the M9, even though its a coded lens.  I enjoy this slight vignetting and I feel it is partly to blame for giving this lens its look at f1. But if anyone thought it would be corrected with coding on the M9…nope. But the lights look just as I expected. Gorgeous (to my eye anyway).

NOCTILUXBIRDHOUSE1

Now the Nokton at 1.1…

NOKTONF1.1BIRDHOUSE

Do my eyes deceive me? Does the Nokton render the lights in the same way? Wow, I thought for sure the lights would be more pointy. They look smaller but are still oval shaped. Nice.

But here is what I noticed and why I prefer the Leica version. Both were shot at 1/90th at ISO 640. I think the OOF transitions of the Leica lens are smoother and also feel like the (Leica) shot has a more pleasing look. But, I admit…they are CLOSE and at this point do not feel the Leica is worth the extra $4k for IQ alone. These images were shot at the minimum focus distance so I snapped one a little farther back just to see if anything would change.

Here is the Leica with a 100% crop of the highlights:

NOCTILUXLIGHTNow the Voigtlander Nokton at 1.1 with crop:

NOKTONLIGHT

STOP!!!!! Well, it almost looks like a stop sign but there it is, just what I was talking about. See how round the Leica highlights are? The Noktons rendering in this test image is a bit rougher and honestly, a bit ugly when viewed next to the Leica image.

ROUND 2: WINNER – LEICA NOCTILUX – It just looks a bit better to my eye with its smoother look and gorgeous highlights.

“Fall Cleanup” – Noctilux at F1

RAWLEAVES

ROUND 3: Sharpness wide open

I spotted this old fire truck and the weather was dreary, gloomy and grey. I knew the color would suffer but I had to get a shot. Here is the Noctilux at F1, straight from camera.

NOCTILUXFIREENGINE

Now for the Nokton version, shot at F1.1…

NOKTONFIREENGINE

Again, not too much difference. I do see different tones and the Noctilux image looks a little better to me. The Nokton image looks a little bit flatter but again, they are close. These are untouched straight from camera images. No processing so you can see the color differences from the lenses. Would you be able to notice a difference in a print? Nope. But how about sharpness with each lens being wide open? here are some crops:

100CROPFIRETRUCKNOCTILUX

100CROPFIRENOKTON

Yep, the Nokton does seem sharper but the Noctilux has a little bit of a lighter tone. If you want sharpness you may be better off with the Nokton. It has the more “modern” look. But, here is one more test I did and I even threw the Leica 50 Summilux pre-asph in this time. Here is the full frame scene (this one with the Noctilux) and then crops from each lens.

NOCTSINKFF

100CROPNOCTF1

100CROPNOKT1.1

100CROPLUX1.4

Here you can see that the Noctilux is the lens with the least amount of contrast. The Summilux has the most and the Nokton is in between. What you can also see is that the Noctilux has a little glow (look at razor handle) and a dreamy look. In these samples you really can not see any sharpness superiority. But, they were handheld in low light so that is probably why.

ROUND 3 WINNER: Voightlander Nokton - It really is the sharper lens (if that is your thing) but not by that much. It is more like a Summilux than a Noctilux in sharpness/contrast/subject separation.

“McPic” – Noctilux at F1

MCD

ROUND 4: BOKEH

This is the big one and the most important test for me. The Leica has a reputation for having a dreamy, surreal out of focus rendering (Bokeh) and Voigtlander usually has a rep for harsh bokeh. I had a feeling the Leica would be kicking some serious ass here, but maybe I was wrong?

First up, the Noctilux at F1. Just as I remembered it!

noctiluxatf1100cropleavesfull700

Now, let’s see that “harsh” Nokton Bokeh:

noktonatf1100cropleavesfull700

OK. at first glance and to some people these may look IDENTICAL.  But I see the differences and I know many of you will as well. Some of you may not. The Bokeh of the Nokton is a bit harsher and not as smooth as the Leica. Still, the Nokton does much better than I expected. When you look at the 100% crops you can see the differences a little easier.

NOCTILUX F1

noctiluxatf1100cropleaves

NOKTON F1.1

noktonatf1100cropleaves

The differences are there with the Leica being gentler and smoother. The Nokton is harsher but is this worth the cost premium? I prefer the rendering of the Leica in this shot but to some the differences will not even be noticeable.

How about focus fall off? Here is one more set with both lenses wide open:

NOCTILUX AT F1 – ISO 500 1/40 SECOND

40f1

NOKTON AT 1.1 – ISO 500 – 1/30 SECOND

nokton1.1table

There is a little bit of that “dreamy” focus fall off of the Noctilux. If you look at the image at the top of this page you will see each of these split in half and side by side. You can easily see the difference in that image. I much prefer the Noctilux version here but I can not honestly say it is worth a $3500-$4000 premium! I could easily live with the Nokton but I have a soft spot for the Noctilux as it was my dream lens for years and when I had one I took some superb images with it. Yes, I have fond memories of the Noctilux. Plus, these are all silly test shots that I normally hate doing! I expect to get some very cool images with the Noctilux once I can get out and shoot with it.

Here is one more set where there seems to be little difference in Bokeh, BUT I did find the Leica seemed  to have a tiny bit more magnification that the Nokton, and the color from the Leica seems a little more pleasing. Remember, these are unedited images and the color was a bit off due to the odd grey skies coming in through the windows.

noctiluxf1norahcd

noktonf1.1norahcd

ROUND 4 WINNER – Leica Noctilux. It has the smoother, creamier more classical bokeh.

So far in the image quality department they are closer than I thought. Still the Leica edges out the Voigtlander by a hair for that magical quality, but the Nokton IS the sharper lens wide open. The Nokton is looking like a deal of a lens at $1195.

ROUND 5: PORTRAITS WIDE OPEN

While writing this article my son came home from school and he volunteered for a quick comparison. I had Xmas lights in the background to check the background out of focus area one more time. I also converted these to B&W since this was indoor under tungsten light and the color versions are not that great looking. This was LOW LIGHT folks at 1/6 of a second and wide open!

LEICA NOCTILUX – F1

brandonnoctilux1

VOIGTLANDER NOKTON AT F1.1

brandonnokton1.1

Basically the Nokton is a little bit more “crisp” and the Noctilux is a bit more “dreamy”. Both lenses vignette on the M9 and the Noctilux vignettes all the way through 2.8. Personally, I like the Noctilux rendering here. Keep in mind all I did was process the RAW with default settings and then I converted each image to B&W with the standard Silver Efex pro setting. I resized and posted them here. How about a “split” side by side:

SPLITBRANDON

The Noctilux portrait seems to have a little more something special. Does this mean that I am finally going to say that the Noct is worth the $3500 to $4000 price difference over the Nokton 1.1? Well…no. I do not feel the Leica is worth the extra cash in this case, but if you HAVE the cash to spare I would say the Leica is the more unique and beautiful lens to own. Also it seems that either the Leica is a 53mm or the Nokton is a 47mm as the shot above was taken on a tripod that did not move between shots. You can see the Noctilux shot has more magnification like it is a little bit longer than a 50. I have heard that the Noctilux can range from 50-53mm so this may be the case.

UPDATE 11/25/09 – Took one more set of comparisons today with my wife and you can clearly see the difference in the way the lenses render:

minanoctf1v2

MINANOKTON1.2V2

Again, the Leica Noctilux F1 puts out a very dreamy look. The Nokton at 1.1 gives you a sharper image and reminds me quite a bit of the Leica 50 Summilux. I also see some of that Leica “glow” in the Noctilux shot.

ROUND 5 WINNER - Leica Noctilux. Again, it is slight but puts out a more pleasing look to my eyes.

The Voigtlander is nice and can give you the same effect in some cases but its Bokeh is a little harsher and it has a more “modern” look. I said it in my Nokton review and I will say it again here. The 50 1.1 Nokton has the look of a 1.4 lens. The Leica Noctilux F1 has the look of a classic F1 lens, which it is. The Leica has a little more brilliance, a little more glow and nicer out of focus rendering. It is also built quite a bit better. I think some will prefer the look of the Nokton and others the Noctilux. Just depends on the look you like.

THEY ARE BOTH WINNERS!

Both are great lenses but I do feel the Leica is one of those “lifetime” lenses that will last you forever. In the coming days I will post more with the Noctilux as the shots in this article were all just quick silly test shots. I have not yet gotten out to do some real shooting with it and the weather was horrible today so most of what I did was limited to inside. Hopefully I can get out this week to shoot more.

Also, I will have the new Noctilux .95 in a couple of weeks where I will do a side by side in my full review for that lens. I suspect the new Noct will be pretty special. I can not wait!

But for all of you who have been wondering about these two lenses I hope some of this was helpful and fun to read through! If you want to buy a Leica Noctilux F1, email Ken Hansen as he has ONE BRAND NEW ONE IN BOX!! If  you feel the Nokton would suit you then here is the link to the B&H Photo Nokton page and as of this writing it is in stock (it seems to go out of stock quite often). The Nokton is $1195.

More from the Noctilux at F1.

JACKBATCAVELUX1

ISO 400

BONLINE

M9 – ISO 2500 – F1

MINAANDWINNY


  54 Responses to “Leica Noctilux Classic F1 vs Voigtlander Nokton 1.1”

  1. Re: Stop signs. Is there a hint of that in the Noctilux shot of Brendon on the portraits wide open section?

  2. [...] For those interested I just posted a comparison between the Noctilux F1 and Nokton 1.1! Leica Noctilux F1 vs Nokton 1.1 | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS __________________ My Leica reviews & M9 Daily Diary! http://www.stevehuffphoto.com My M9 [...]

  3. Steve, VERY well done, I am looking forward to seeing more of your Noct images.

    Bo

  4. Very interesting comparison between Noctilux and Nokton, both are good lenses, but Leica is still the best in my honest personal opinion.

  5. Your blog is getting greater everyday. Great article, I read it with much interest. Even if I can’t afford a Noctilux ! ;o) Keep up the good work. Regards.
    Cedric

  6. Hey Steve,

    This is an excellent side-by-side lens comparison. You are doing a GREAT JOB with your new site and product reviews!! I hit http://www.stevehuffphoto.com every morning as part of my wake up routine. Thanks for the effort and enthusiasm you put into your photography and reviews. A break of fresh air for all and super helpful, practical info. I also agree with your Leica Dealer recommendations. Ken Hansen and B&H are the best of the bunch. Top notch and trustworthy. Keep up the good work!

    Chris V

  7. Thanks, Steve for another informative side by side test. The more I see of other lenses, the more I think I’ll go out and shoot my tiny little Zeiss 50mm C-Sonnar.
    Thanks, again.
    Larry

  8. Larry,

    That Zeiss is a magical lens! I should be trying it out again soon, but on the M9. I have been hearing it is not as nice on the M9 but I have a hard time believing that. I will re-review it on the M9 soon.

  9. Steve,
    I don’t know about an M9, yet, but on my M8.2, the C-Sonnar is great. Mine is set for f1.5 and with my old eyes looking at a 24″ iMac, it works for all f-Stops. The color is luscious. I use the 35 f2 ASPH for images that I plan on converting to B&W. I can see a Zeiss 25mm, in my future, for color as well as Infrared.
    Is it possible, permissible, to include images in these comments? If so how?
    Thanks, again for the ‘Real” reviews. I’m interested in your thoughts about the Zeiss 50 Planar on the M9 especially for B&W.
    Larry

  10. Hi Steve,

    Nice review again. Must say again and again ‘Chapeau!’ for Cosina/Voigtlander for delevering such a lens for 1100$, much harder to do than to deliver a slightly better lens for 6000$!….how long will Voigtlander keep this price level ?
    If they ask 2500$ it is still a steal !
    The new Noct = 10000$, for which you can Buy a ne M9 + Nokton 1.1 and keep a 1000 $ left to make your wife happy…

    Keep on smiling
    Hans

  11. Wonderful reviews here Steve! Checking out your website is now my daily routine :) after stirring my heart with the summilux 50mm e46, now you are doing the same with the noctilux :P.. Keep up the great photos!

    How i hope to see you get the chance to test some rare lens like the hexanon 35mm, hexanon 60mm and the canon 50mm f0.95 on the m9 :) !

  12. Thanks for the test. The problem with both the Noctilux and the Nokton is the bulkiness. I prefer smaller and lighter lenses on a rangefinder camera anytime.

    I´d love to see the Zeiss C-Sonnar 1.5/50 thrown into comparison. It´s a bokeh king for me.

  13. Thanks for the review…hit exactly where it itches (for me) once again. I can finally see that Noctilux does produce nicer portraits, but only when compared side by side. I wish there would be more direct comparison such as this one because of the tremendous educational value they offer. High on my wish list is a side-by-side comparison between “Leica look” vs. normal photos

  14. Steve, I’m with Johnny, lets see the Zeiss 50 1.5, though that might be another side by side with a 50mm lux.?

  15. Very interesting comparison, almost priceless. When compared as in the Norah Jones cover on the table, the conditions are identical and the reflection are even the same – but done slightly different from one lens to the other.

    They got it close, they did. But one would always dream of the Noctilux ;-)

  16. I won an ebay auction on a demo Noctilux f1 6bit two days ago….I was also considering the Nokton… Man am I glad I landed on the Noct for my M9! I have been shooting with my 35 summilux for a week now, and I must say it is an amazing lens. I can´t seem to be able to choose between 35 an 50 mm.

    Can´t wait till it turns up..

    Thanks again for a terrific site, Steve! I am so impressed on the “nerdy” details you bring in to your reviews. They are important to us all!

  17. steve,

    i really enjoyed this one, but i must say it’s one of your more biased ones. ;)

    morten,

    how much did you pay for the noct on ebay? just curious.

    -morgan-

  18. Thanks for all of the comments guys, and for reading this comparison. As for the Zeiss, I do not have a Sonnar in hand but will soon. As soon as I do I will be re-reviewing that lens on the M9. As for the Noct, I just posted a few more samples from today in my M9 Diary!

    Steve

  19. Steve, thanks for another highly informative review. Your site is getting better every day. I had some issues with the Nokton (I had a tough time with min distance focusing, and the bulkiness seemed a bit too much) but maybe I was too quick to render a judgment. After your detailed review here, it might be worth another look.

  20. hi steve,
    i just got the noctilux f1,0 yesterday. i did check your review, thought a lot, and decided to get the leica-lens. i know, that in one years time, as soon as i would have forgotten the money, i would have regretted not to get the classic-noctilux. i have found a used one, for a very acceptable price… and i am quite happy with it.
    thanks for your review,

    falk

  21. Morgan,
    I payed 5600 for it. It is almost brand new.
    Just hope Norwegian customs don’t hit me too hard..

    Rgds,
    Morten

  22. morten,

    høres ut som en bra deal. har veldig lyst på en selv.

    ettersom den er brukt, bør du ikke bli rammet hardt i det hele tatt. ;)

    -m-

  23. GREAT review! More and more I am feeling compelled to buy an M9 because of your reviews and pictures, though I’ve ever shot with a rangefinder before! The only caveat is pricing…. I need to sell all my gear to by a M9 and one lens… perhaps in 2 years a second-hand M9 will have it price decreased significantly, like all things digital.

  24. I’m one of those people who can slightly notice the difference between the two, but I settled for the Nokton based on price.

    One thing I’m curious about though: On the b/w portrait of your son with the Nokton you state that there was minimal processing on the RAW image. Yet on my LCD screen I can see a faint (but clearly defined) circle that sometimes can occur when a vignette is added in post…I haven’t found that my Nokton vignettes that much. Is it possible that the default settings added this in? It doesn’t appear to be there on the Noctilux shot.

  25. Wolf,

    No vignetting was added to those at all. Those are straight out of cam. I only converted to B&W as the color was so off due to the indoor lighting. Thanks

    Steve

  26. the stop-sign-crop must surely be stopped down beyond 1.1? those are aperture blade-shapes after all?

  27. Great review Steve. Although, I do have one curious comment. I shoot with both Voigtländer and Leica lenses on my M8.2 and I would agree that in general terms, the Voigtländer’s bokeh is more ‘nervous’ than the Leica. But I wonder how much of this harshness is amplified by the higher contrast rendering of the 50/1.1 Nokton. Have you done any experimenting by reducing the contrast from the output of the Nokton so that it visually compares comparably to the Noctilux? BTW, I really enjoy your reviews and website. Cheers. -Norm

  28. On film the Noctilux f/1 produces very dark corners, the Nokot f/1.1 does not. This is why I prefer the Nokton, as I am a film shooter.

  29. [...] Verdict On VC 50 mm F1 Noct? Or try here: Leica Noctilux F1 vs Nokton 1.1 | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS [...]

  30. Steve thanks for the review,

    I have the VC F1.1 and am very happy with it. I can see the different in your shots but in my book it’s not worth 5X or 10x the cost, in real life photos most of my shots are view on my screen and some 8X10 prints and I don’t look at 100% crop pictures

  31. Hello everyone.
    I did my comparative test between the Light King Noctilux 1:1 and the new Kobayashi lens Nokton 1:1,1
    If you are interested this is the link to my tests.
    http://www.leicapassion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16584
    I apologize for any mistakes in my English translation but I hope that everything is still understandable and I hope that my little work may be useful (few pictures speak more clearly than many words).
    Thanks and regards
    Roberto Piero Ottavi
    Leicapassion © Admin

  32. You know what Steve? First of all , thank you very, vry much for your brilliant reviews and second you convinced me; I just ordred the Nokton for my M9 (I already have a summicron…).. I just sold my Zeiss 1.5 so difficult to focus at full aperture with its shift.

  33. Emmanuel, great! Enjoy the lens. I think I may buy one for myself soon as well to have a faster lens to go with my Summicron. Let me know how you like it!

  34. Steve, I just received it.. Waouhh! As you can imagine I tried it and shot a few things low light.. I’m impressed. First, weight is not an issue; I have 2 silver crons (35 and 50) and if they are a little lighter the difference is not that big, nothing to worry about.. Results at f/1.1 are quite sharp (and outside at 4, 5.6 even equal to my cron) and I love the contrast (better than expected) and the colors. They are some chromatic aberrations but it seems normal given the light. I was a bit afraid of focusing difficulties but it’s very, very easy to be perfectly focused (even with my glasses). No focus shift and I do prefer this lens to the Zeiss 1.5 (I sold it last month). Too much focusing problems. Thank you very much again for that discovery… It might not be a noctilux but, man, this is a piece of a lens.. Cheers..

  35. Hi Steve.

    My boss at work told me about your site yesterday, and I was thinkin of buying the Leica Noctilux F:1.
    But after reading (and looking) at this test I think I might go for the voigtlander for my M9!

    brilliant webpage!

    Best regards Truls / Norway.

  36. Truls, glad you like the lens!

  37. Cheers Steve.
    Well done!
    I tend to agree with you especially on the OOF rendering. I was wondering if that can be attributed to different DOF?

    According to an online calculator, a 53mm @ F1.0 has 23% less DOF than a 50mm @ F1.1.
    Did you have similar findings regarding OOF rendering at similar apertures (ex: F1.4)?

  38. A head and heart battle decision won over by the wallet? I went to buy a Nokton thinking I’d never see let alone afford a Noctilux, but one turned up and I moved heaven and hell to find the money and sold everything digital. Surely a heart decision. Great article as always from you Steve ! Thanks !!

  39. Hallo Steve, thank you for your web site. I bougth a Nokton one month ago. Some years ago I had a Noctlux. Now I have a M8.2 and ONLY the Nokton. I think the “defect” of it is that is signed Voigtlander (Cosina) – made in Japan – and not Leica, made in Germany. For me, it is incredible how good is this lens. But my great astonishment has been when I printed my first photo taken with it. I made 50x70cm enlargement (from fine JPEG file, not RAW) and it’s incredible the tridimesionality, the quality of image at f1.1 aperture. Best regards. Domenico – Italy

  40. [...] – kann das… Moin, hättest du auch mal irgendwo nen Beispiel? Ich habe zwar inzwischen hier was gefunden, aber ich glaube, für das Pflanzenbild hat er das Nokton abgeblendet… Ich hätte da [...]

  41. [...] Nokton 1,1 really THAT bad? Here is an interesting comparison between the Noctilux and Nokton Leica Noctilux F1 vs Nokton 1.1 | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS Steve __________________ [...]

  42. I think your “dreamy” is the lack of contrast and sharpness that you tested. It seems that you’re willing to accept a lack of sharpness and contrast in your subject in order to achieve a look you like in the out of focus background. IMO of course. ;)

  43. [...] ich mit Interesse gelesen habe. Ich weiss jetzt nicht, ob dieser Link hier schon bekannt ist: Leica Noctilux F1 vs Nokton 1.1 | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS Teilweise stellt er auch Crops ein. Um ehrlich zu sein: dieser winzigen Unterschiede sind mir den [...]

  44. great site Steve. I read your review of the Nocti/Nocton and bought a Leica F1. The images it produces in the dark are other worldly, eeryly luminous. To paraphrase a previous poste, in a years time I’ll have forgotten the price and be glad I chose the boss.

  45. Anyone have any experience with the VC Nokton 40mm f1.4 ? I am going to buy one in HK in a week’s time and I was wondeing how this compares with theNokton f1.1, except for th obvious f-stop difference. The price is around HKD 2800, a fraction that of the Noctilux or the Nokton 1.1

    Perhaps I will put a review on here when I get it.
    I will be using it on my E-P2.

  46. I do not wanna sound stupid but what I can see from these pictures is …I do not know what.

    IS the Leica M9 really so powerfull cam? Or is it just expensive body ..

    Please, let me know – I have no experience with it.

    Thank you

  47. Steve, I love you site and reviews – BUT (there’s a but, sorry) you take a pic with each lens of the “Do Drop Inn”-image at the top of the review, and you always tell how “you are a real world reviewer of lenses” which means pixel peeping isn’t for you (noor for me). But the you do crops to show that the OOF shapes are more round of the Leica than the Voightlander. This is not real world when in the full size images you can not see any difference of the shape of OFF. Come on this is pixelpeeping trying to favor the Leica! It’s 4k more expensive and apart from cropping, the voigtander is almost as good. Say it out lound and credit where credit’s due. For the price Voigtlander is cleaning the floor with Leica – even if the price difference was only $1000.

    Your review here was not unbiased towards Leica and I had to say it out loud. Sorry! :-)

    All the best and keep up the work,
    Mads

  48. Very interesting and objective review, steve! I know that the nokton is of GREAT value of money, but it leaves you craves something more , isn’t it? After all, it’s this very same noctilux f/1.0 that made me craves for the leica system. You just can’t get that dreamy, swirly bokeh on ANY lens but that noctilux f/1.0.

  49. Quite nice lenses both of them – however, why on Earth are you all discussing “dreamy looks” from the LW lens…! This is nonsence; – it is clear to everyone, that the Voigtländer lens is capable of delivering much more true-to-nature images. The “dreamy-look” you are so much impressed by, simply originates from poorer optical-engineering from Leitz. I can assure you all, that they are working very hard in Wetzlar to reach the sharpness of the competition. During the years Leitz had their lenses (and cameras) built in Portugal/Canada, reduced the high-end staff in Wetzlar. This is the reason, why Leitz is now some feets behind other originals… But I guess, that in a few years, they will come back. So please wait a while. Maybe in 8-10 years from now, Leitz-Wetzlar will regain the position of number 1.

  50. Having just received my Nokton, I think it’s quite a lovely lens. I could never justify a Noctilux because of price, it does require a different mind set for the focussing. There are always going to be reasons to buy one lens of the other. Unless I won the lottery I would not dream of spending that much on a lens, I bought the Monochrom because I’ve always loved BW images. But I’m rambling…

  51. Is it me or the Noctilux isn’t near the word sharp? I prefer the look of the Nokton… Portraits you took with the Noctilux always look out of focus and I’m sure they are in focus, it’s just it looks way too soft for me.

  52. I have bought the nokton f1.1 50mm and a m8 after reading Steve’s review. I also have a 35mm summicron and a 90mm summicron. All I can say is that the nokton f1.1 is one hell of a lens for the money, the color, contrast and shadow detail are all there….it’s got the leica look or the ccd look with very sharp images whilst retaining beautiful soft mid tones. I am not sure why other reviewers bag this lens so much. Luckily I bought the nokton before reading the reviews otherwise I would have spent a lot more money and missed out. Bokeh is not the best under certain background conditions but other than that it performs well.

Don't just sit there! Join in and leave a comment!

© 2009-2014 STEVE HUFF PHOTOS All Rights Reserved