Then comes Noctilux F1.0 {Portraiture}



I’ve heard people paying crazy prices for lenses. But nothing is more ridiculous in price than the Leica Noctilux, trumped only by other limited edition of noctiluxes. The day came when i just have to have this lens and see for myself all the hearsays i have heard and the images i have seen about this lens. Is the legend true? Is its a lens worth spending usd 10k on.




Initially i went thru the same struggle that some folks did, should i go for the F1 or the new and modern Noctilux 0.95. After much consideration and the fact that i lost the bids in ebay, it seems fated that the F1 is the better option. For one, manufacturing of lenses have become so good and precise that we are getting just more and more of those clean, smooth bokeh images.

The F1 existed in the days when only the best craftmen and manual precision could produce the lens. It has some spiral feel to its bokeh and beautiful painterly colors that blends in the images.


As luck would have it, i got the lens yesterday thru ebay and decided to bring it to office. Later in the evening, i was surprised that Ramona dropped by the office and so it was an unplanned candid photo tryout at the nearby cafe.


Focusing on the rangefinder is not easy at all, its more like you can never tell if you focused correctly given the small margin for sharpness on the Noctilux F1. I am pretty sure this lens would produce super sharp images on the Sony A7/s lineup, but i only have the Leica ME and have no plans to acquire any further camera body, to me the search for camera body ended in one full circle when i returned to Leica.


I don’t find the size big at all, if anything i find it perfect for my use since i have small tremors on my hands and a good weight renders my photos less shaky. I read that some folks shoots the Noctilux at f4 or 5.6 and that is just pure silly. You don’t buy the noctilux to shoot it at any other aperture other than the biggest one, F1/F0.95.

There are also folks that claims you needed an ND filter to use on the noctilux, this is actually a rather subjective solution. I tried shooting in the morning today and F1.0 was fine even at 1/1000 in decent light. If you have to put your model or subject in harsh light whereby you can’t use base ISO and F1, i think you clearly have put the model in the wrong light.


Overall i am very happy and impressed with this Noctilux F1. Buying it via Ebay is pretty risky, but then there isn’t much choice since i cant really find a decently priced item in Malaysia. Is the lens worth it? I leave the images and my further upcoming project for your own evaluation.

r-L1002257 copy r-L1002267 copy

I hope you have enjoyed these images as much as i have made them. I am very lucky indeed to have own this perfect copy of V3, F1. All the best to your search.



6 thoughts on “Then comes Noctilux F1.0 {Portraiture}

  1. Not crazy about the odd shape of the unfocused lights and can’t see anything remarkable about the image quality to justify the alluded high price. Definitely not a candidate for admission into the legendary lens league. Love your work however.


    1. legendary lens are just that, legends ;-). U can get similar images with the Nokton 1.1 and 10x savings, but its those “unfocused” lights or bokeh that makes this lens a what it is. Noct was never about image quality when it comes to MTF chart, its the inspiration it gives you, the boldness to try take that everyday common shot in whatever lighting and believe that it will grant those images some magic. To some its an investment…its annual price is better than savings ha ha


  2. lovely shots in the cafe, IQ is not too bad i think some more practice will see some better in focus samples, i would like to see some slightly stopped down shots to see how it sharpens up 🙂 a little soft an dreamy reminds me of my rokkor 58 1.4


    1. i might need get one of those magnifier x1.25….or put it on a sony. yeah i have that rokkor, pretty amazing lenses and resurrected due to Sony A7/s lineup.
      i wont be shooting noct at anything except 1.0 though, thats gonna means i have to do a lot more shooting to improve…


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