Noctilux 50mm

B

beowulf

Hi. can anyone tell me if the Noctilux will reduce or eliminate the need for fill-in flash in outdoor events during midday shots?i am referring to photos of people sitting in the shadows of shade trees during full sunshine.or is the need for a Metz inevitable?
 
M

mikes

Hi Everyone

Does anyone know if I can use standard 60mm B+W filters on the Noctilux? Is there something special about the thread or anything on Leica E60 filters?

I understand that use of filters is not reccomended on this lens - presumably due to vignetting - but I am unhappy about continuously using a lens with such an large and exposed front element without a UV filter.

Mike
 
H

hektor

Mike, I do not have a Noctilux and cannot speak from personal experience, however I gather that if a filter is to be used with this lens it should be the "thin" variety without a female thread at the front. Have fun. Justin
 
M

mikes

Thanks Justin. I see B+W list a thin 60mm UV, I will try that.
Mike
 
M

mikes

Thanks for your comment Joe. Do you mean dangerous to the image quality, or is there some risk of physical damage to the lens?

Mike
 

pelizza

Member
No, it is dangerous for the lens itself! Leica strictly reccomand do not use any kind of filter with this lens, bracause the front part may be scratched by the filter.
joe
 
M

mikes

Thanks again Joe. I had heard that Leica do not recommend filters with the Noctilux. I did not realise it was because of the risk of damage.

Mike
 

sridley

Member
Mike,

There is no physical danger to the Noctilux by using filters. In the Leica specification, the lens includes an E60 filter thread and if you look at the engineers drawing (or just look at the lens itself) on the spec PDF you can see the the back face of a filter would come nowhere near the front element to cause damage. The thin 60mm B&W are fine and protrude so little that they don't really add any discernable vignetting.

I can tell you this from experience as I have had a Noctilux for many years and at first was terrified of the large front element. I used to cover it with a UV filter! I since realized that in the last 10 years I haven't noticably scratched a lens and if I am going to damage one it is more likey that I wil drop it (and then cry a great deal). So the filter came off the Noctilux!

Leica wouldn't have put the thread on a lens that retails for over $3000 if their consumers were going to damage the lens by using it.

The link to the page of M lens spec pdf's on the Leica website is:-

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I use the Noctilux rarely, but enjoy it when I do (I have to confess I often admire it and then leave it at home).

BTW if you want to see a large front element check out the Canon 50mm F 0.95 for the Canon 7. I have one and it makes the Notcilux look quite compact.

Happy shooting

Steve
 
S

sinclair

Steve - You say that you used to have a UV filter on for ten years ("!"). If I had to choose a filter to do the covering up, wouldn't the UV be a good choice, you mean? I'm curious since I just bought a Leica lens (and as you all know they're expensive) and want to cover it up so I don't go there, fingering with my little fingers...
 
M

mikes

Steve, I see the clearance on the drawing. Out of interest I have measured the lens and I make the gap between the bottom of the filter thread and the highest point of the lens to be +2mm, confirmation that there is no chance of contact between the lens and the rear of a filter glass.

Like you, I don't recall ever scratching a lens (or damaging a filter on the lens) so perhaps I am being unduly nervous, it is just that this is a very costly piece of glass and Murphy's law says that if you are going to damage any lens it will be the most expensive.

Many thanks for your advice.

Mike
 

pelizza

Member
Should I use filters?

A hotly debated topic, this one. Any filter in front of the lens will add one additional airspace and two additional surfaces. So by definition image quality should be degraded. How visible will this be? One obvious case: when strong light sources are shining directly or obliquely into the lens + filter, severe flare and secondary (ghost) images will be detected. Even when we are taking pictures in situations where contrast between dark and light areas is very strong, some degradation can be expected.
These effects will also be stronger when we are using the wider apertures. Stopped down the flare will be less noticeable, but the ghost images will still be visible. If this is objectionable to you depends on subject matter and your own criteria.
A filter will be useful for protecting the lens surface. Leica front lenses are hardcoated, but not invulnerable to dust and chemical reactions. So I prefer to use a filter when I am sure image quality is not degraded by its use. In sensitive cases I just remove the filter. In low-contrast situations. landscapes, reportage etc, everywhere when the use of a filter is acceptable from an image quality view and helps to keep the front lens clean and protected I use a filter. When using B&W some filters must be used to get the correct tonal reproduction. (TechPan for instance).
You should realize that the degrading effect of a filter is much lower, in most situations,than using a shutter speed of 1/15 sec. Many Leica users feel no inhibition to use slow shutter speeds, but are afraid to use a filter, bcause ofiits impact on image degradation.
Stopping down to f/11, or using a speed of 1/30 or an inaccuracy of rangefinding aproduce more disaster than a filter (except the cases first mentioned of course). Let us keep the things in perspective and first attack the big causes of image degradation before going to the smaller evils.
(Erwin Puts)
By Joe
 

pelizza

Member
Filter use.

The factory advises againt the use of filters. We have a UV filter premanently in front of the lens to protect its large front glass and do normally not notice any adverse effects. In strong backlighting the reflections can become a disturbing factor. When the best image quality is needed, you are well advised to take the filter off.
(Erwin Puts Leica M test report)
 

pelizza

Member
At full aperture the natural vignetting is clearly visible. Transparancies taken in clear daylight at f/1,0 show a circular darkening at the outside of the picture area. The magnitude in the extreme corners is 3 stops under exposure. It is impossible to neglect this fall off and certainly it is severe. Leica itself is honest enough to warn you for this phenomenon. From f/2,0 it is gone completely. In most situations where the f/1,0 aperture is really needed (creative sharpness or non-available light) the fall-off will occur in image areas that are pictorially not relevant.
(Erwin Puts)
And you want to use a filter with a f/1, what for?
Joe
 

wilsonlaidlaw

Well-Known Member
I very recently had a Zeiss Lens (Vario Sonnar 35-70) rebuilt and recoated by Malcolm Taylor in the UK. After some discussion we decided to recoat with Leica coating rather than Zeiss. Our thinking was as follows: The very latest Leica coatings are now the equal of Zeiss T* multi coating. In addition the Leica coatings are substantially more robust and resistant to lifting, blistering, scratching and rub/cleaning marks. This has meant that, in most circumstances, I feel free to dispense with a front UV or haze filter to protect the front element on this lens and therefore, no longer need to be so concerned about flare. I also have not bothered to buy a UV filter for my Digilux 2, not least, as with its 69mm filter thread, the only quality option is Leica at 69 pounds each. On the other hand, I would not dream of dispensing with the filter on the front of my Planar 85mm f1.4, which still has the relatively fragile Zeiss T* coating on its very large and almost protuberant front element. Wilson
 

sridley

Member
Vincent,

I'm a little confused by your post.

What I said is I can't remember damaging a front lens element (on any lens) in the past 10 years. So I took off all the purely protective UV filters in front of my lenses.

If you put another piece of glass (whatever the quality or coating) and an air gap infront of your lens it will produce a detrimental effect. The relative effect is very well descibed in Joseph's post.

Equally a huge great scratch on the front element of your $3000 lens isn't going to enhance your image (or your temper) either.

A more interesting discussion would be given a 50mm Summilux at f1.4 pretty much gives you f1.4 edge to edge whereas a Noctilux at f1 gives a f1 to f2.8 range edge to edge. Which is the better low light shooter. Maybe the $1000 saved over the Noctilux could be put to better use?

Best wishes

Steve
 

sridley

Member
Mike,

I agree having looked at mine it is around 2mm clearance. You've made me pop it on a camera to use tomorrow!

Kind regards

Steve
 
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