Introducing the Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH. A conversation with Leica's Head of Optics Development, Peter Karbe

Leica Noctilux-M 75 f_1_25 ASPH_2

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  • Sounds exciting. Now it would be good to have a Monochrome 246 version of the new Visoflex electronic viewfinder for the M10, which I love. The 240 type Visoflex is OK but since I have the new one, I miss it for the 246.

  • I have examined samples made with 75/1.2 Noctilux on Leica’s website. They display worst ever image quality I have seen from a Leica lens. A cat-eye light bokeh rendering? Milky, washed out, unsaturated colour? And almost nil acutance? These are persistent in all sample images. Something went wrong in the optical design of that lens, and 1kg of glass may be the culprit? Lens diagram confirmed my fears – 75mm Noctilux is choke full of glass, which in such a design and at such focal length acts not as a light receptor, but as a resistor. Similar design mistake was done by Nikon, in their Chinese-made 105/1.4 Nikkor lens. Samples from both Nikkor 105/1.4, and Noctilux 75/1.2 lenses, resemble tremendously, share same cat-eye light bokeh, and bleached out (milky) unsaturated look, that require lots of post processing to make look acceptable. The results in both are disastrous. Similar mistake did Zeiss with their Otus lens, also choke full of glass, a lens in which the micro-contrast and colour saturation are virtually obliterated. Some things should never be attempted: following ill- trends of overcorrected, super-fast aperture lenses is not healthy. Unfortunately, Leica have fallen victim to it. Whilst the Summilux 50/1.4 was one of best modern lenses on any camera, output so rich, magical and life-like, Noctilux 75/1.2 is the opposite of it. Please send my condolences to Mr Karbe.

  • Congratulations with another great lens! It would be my first choice if I ever could afford it!

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