Few Words on the Noctilux F1 And What’s Coming Soon

Few Words on the Noctilux F1 And What’s Coming Soon

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays!  I know, there are a lack of posts here recently, so I wanted to give you a quick update as to what’s been going on.  I have a lot of stuff coming soon.  I’ve been working hard in the background.  I still have my Leica X review coming…sorry it’s so late!  There were a few other things that came up that occupied my time but I am actually almost done with it.

I started a new Instagram account where I post different photos than the ones I post here on my blog, and if you’ve seen a couple of the pics, then you’ll know that I’ve also been shooting with a Leica Noctilux F1.  I know it’s an older lens but I just really wanted to shoot with it, and thanks to Bob at the Leica Boutique in Bergen County Camera, I was able to borrow his demo.  I will definitely be writing up a review for it.  But don’t worry, for those who want to read reviews of more current lenses, I also have plans of writing up those and plans to add some non-related Leica stuff to my blog as well.

Leica Noctilux F1:

But I just wanted to talk about the Noctilux real quick because I’m quite excited about it.  I borrowed the Nocti a few years ago, and I didn’t really like it.  While the pictures from the Noctilux are truly unique, I thought it was huge on the M and I just didn’t want to carry it around.  One of the great things of the Leica M system is it’s compact nature and portability.  The lenses are optically excellent but they are also so compact.  There is no denying that the images from the Noctilux are downright cool but at the same time, it’s so large for an M body.

Well, this time around, my experience with the Noctilux is quite different.  I don’t exactly know what changed; maybe the rowing I did over the summer when I went fishing built up my arms muscles, who knows haha but the Noctilux doesn’t feel as big as it once did before on my M.

So, beside the fact that I’m actually more comfortable with this lens, what else makes me love the Noctilux so much?  For me, when I use a lens like this, it’s not about the perfection of the optics.  It’s the uniqueness that it brings to the photos, and this lens has gobs of character!  My favorite lens is still the 50 Lux ASPH.  The Lux offers everything I want in a lens: it’s compact, it’s fast, it’s has incredible character, and it’s optically excellent.  But I think one day, I will have to add a Noctilux to my arsenal of gear because it’s just incredible what it can do.  Last time I borrowed the Nocti, I didn’t click well with it but I’m really relating a lot better with it now.  It could also be because when I borrowed it the first time, I had just bought my M 240, and I was still getting the hang of it, who knows.  I should be posting some sample pics but I just wanted to post my thoughts real quick and give you all an update as to what’s been going on, and I haven’t finished post processing any of my photos.  I’ve just been out shooting a lot.  Sorry but I’ll post some photos soon.  As always, I appreciate you all for stopping by!

11 comments… add one
  • Elderin

    Hi Patrick,

    i am much interested in the older nocti because the new one might be better in most regards but it is also double the price. i also value character more than optical perfection and i always loved the results i have seen so far. I only saw images made by others, never held one in my hands.

    I think this lens needs more time spend with it before you understand it and get the most out of it. it is not easy to use and that is not only for its weight. but i can imagine that once you got the hang of it, one will love it. at first it must feel awkward i guess. takes some time to learn to love it 🙂

    cant wait for some more shots and your final thoughts.

    greetings elderin

    • Patrick

      Hi Elderin!

      This lens has plenty of character! As you said, this is not an easy lens to use and you really need to spend some time with it but once you get used to it, you can focus it pretty fast. It’s actually a lot easier to use than my 75mm Lux. Also, when you stop it down, it’s quite good. It will give you very similar results to a lens like the Summicron. But I don’t shoot with it much stopped down because if I was going to do that, I might as well take the Summicron instead because it’s lighter :).

      But in terms of size, while it is heavy, it actually balances pretty well on an M body and when compared to the newer Noctilux, it’s slightly smaller. I think you would love this lens :). I’m definitely sold; I think this will be my next Leica lens although I better start saving now. I will post pics soon and definitely a review in a few weeks.

      Best regards,


  • Marco

    Hey Patrick!

    I hope you get this lens! The Noctilux gives a very unique look, which is only matched by other super-speed 50mm primes. Shooting at f1.0 is so extreme, I’m not sure any improvements even the current 0.95 version would make much of a difference. Which makes the Canadian f1.0 Mandler lens a great value.

    I owned two of them, over 10 years ago. Same Mandler optical formula, but one of them had the retractable hood, the other had a separate, vented hood. Both are a bit tricky to handle: the retractable version doesn’t lock in position, so it can retract at the most inconvenient times.

    The separate vented hood bayonets on and locks. But in practice, I found it can sometime pop off, even when locked in (at least, on the copy that I had).

    Either will give you that amazing, razor thin DOF wide open though. A unique and very special look!

    Best regards, Marco

    • Patrick

      Hi Marco!

      I wish but it’ll take me a while to save up for this beauty. I got a few things on my list that takes priority over this lens and unfortunately, prices are rising. I still remember it being around $2,000 new in the old days haha!

      Yes, I wished the retractable hood locked. I used the new one before, and if I remember correctly, it does lock with a twist like the Lux ASPH. Surprisingly, I found this lens easier to use than my 75mm Lux. The Noctilux obviously has a long focus throw, which you need for a lens like this but I estimate the distance between me and the subject before I shoot, which speeds things up.

      Bottom line is I really got to get one of these soon!

      Take care,


      Bottom line is I’m having a blast using this lens!

  • Elderin

    Speaking of raising prices, here in Cologne both our local dealers pushed the prices up beginning this year. A 50 Summilux (black) asph. costs 3430 instead of 3200 for example (Euro). Some other dealers from other parts of germany have not raised their prices but i think it is just a matter of time…

    • Patrick

      Hey Elderin,

      Sorry for the late reply. I think there was a talk about raising prices here in the US but I guess that didn’t happened since there’s been a discount on cameras and lenses that I believe go till March. Right now, I’m very happy with my lens collection but I still have a wish list for the future 🙂 : 50 Noctilux ASPH, 35 Lux FLE, and the 24 Super Elmar. Lenses on the used market that I would like are the 90 Tele Elmarit and the 50 Elmar. I had a chance to buy the 50 Elmar new when it was still in production but chose to purchase the 50 Cron instead, which is okay because I think the Cron is a better lens. But I’m a 50 guy, and I always wanted a collapsible 50 in my collection :).



  • Hello Patrick,

    Happy new Year of 2015 :), IT has been sometime since I last drop by and this lens is one very fast lens :). I am sure you enjoy till you have no time to post photo,haha
    Have good start for the year 🙂

    • Patrick

      Happy New Year Meng! It’s great to hear from you, and yes, this lens is very fast :). I think you would love it on your X-E1. I’ve been going out almost everyday with this lens but unfortunately, it’s been so cold out that it’s hard to stay out for long periods of time. I hope things are going well with your site and photography!



  • Elderin

    After reading yours and others thoughts about the Noctilux f1.0 (Thorsten Overgaard vor example in his comparison to the new aspherical version) i was shure that this would be the right lens for me. I went with the V2 though. Still E60 (to avoid problems occuring with the 58mm lens and ND filters) but without the build in hood (should be optically not much of a difference to the one you tested and is a bit more compact). Can`t wait what you have to say in your final review and thanks for the inspiration.

    • Patrick

      Hi Elderin,

      Congratulations on your new lens purchase! It’s seriously one of the nicest M lenses out there. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share any images. As you mentioned to me before, it’s a lens that will make you work hard but is also very rewarding in both the images that it will produce and just the pleasure from using it. I still have a few days left with it, so I am just using it as much as possible right now :). This lens will be sorely missed when I have to return it.

      All the best,


  • Markus

    Hey Marco,

    thanks for bringing in the Canadian Mandler F1.0 to the the discussion. It is exactly what i own now.
    I am really impressed by the optical performance as well as the overall condition of this 30 years old lens. Looks and feels like new 🙂

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