LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

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LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

Postby Bob Andersson » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:45 am

Hi folks,

After a couple of false starts it seems as though we may soon be able to buy the LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH.

      Image

From the press release:

      LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

      The F1.2 Ultra High Speed Portrait & Medium Telephoto Single Focal Length Lens

    Panasonic is proud to introduce the new LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-NS043) interchangeable lens for the LUMIX G based on the Micro Four Thirds System standard. (35 mm camera equivalent: 85 mm). This incredible lens not only has a maximum aperture of F1.2, but it also incorporates optical image stabilization (POWER O.I.S.) along with full time Auto Focus. Certified by the world-renowned LEICA, exceptional high image quality is guaranteed as well as its sophisticated metal design. The name "NOCTICRON" was newly defined by Leica Camera AG for this lens that achieves a remarkably fast F1.2 aperture among Micro Four Thirds digital interchangeable lenses.

    The new lens system is comprised of 14 elements in 11 groups and uses two aspherical lenses, one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and one UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens. The aspherical lenses suppress spherical aberration and distortion. The ED lens enables sharp, high contrast description without color bleeding to the corners while the UHR lens enables high optical performance that renders an image with uniformed descriptiveness from center to edges as well as downsizing of the lens unit.

    The popular 42.5 mm medium-telephoto focal distance (Equivalent to 85 mm on a 35 mm camera) is perfectly suited for portraits with rich stereoscopic effect. Together with the high-speed aperture, users can utilize the beautiful soft focus for more impressive, creative shots. Nine blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings. It also captures landscape with an extremely natural perspective. In addition, the aperture ring on the lens barrel allows direct, intuitive control over aperture settings.

    Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating technology has been adopted to the NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. Reflection is dramatically minimized at entire visual light range (380nm-780nm) by applying the extra-low refractive index coating with nano-sized structure on the surface of the lens. It results in a super clear image with dramatic reduction of ghost and flare.

    Due to the shallow depth of field which is unique to the large aperture lens, even a slight handshake can potentially cause images to be out-of-focus. However, the POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) which is integrated in the LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm effectively compensates for not only small, fast movement but also large, slow movement, making it easy to capture super clear shots even when shooting in low-lit situations such as in night time or indoors.

    It incorporates superior inner focus system, which enables excellent resolution and contrast from close-up to infinity. The inclusion of newly developed stepping motor makes the focusing action smooth and silent for use in both still and video recording. Notably the performance of Auto Focus is far superior to the phase-difference AF when a fast lens with smaller F value is used. When mounted on LUMIX G cameras, users can take advantage of the high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF system.

    The sophisticated metal design of LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S., including the hood, deserves to bear the prestigious LEICA name. A highly reliable metal mount is durable enough for repeated mounting of the lens.

But at a reported price of $1,599/€1,499/£1,299 this would not only have to be a stellar performer but you'd have to have a serious need for it unless money were no object. Definitely one for my fantasy list but maybe that's where it will have to stay. :)

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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Re: LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

Postby kimchi » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:43 pm

The Olympus 45mm is a quarter of the price and is optically excellent and bright enough for almost everyone. At this price, I can't see the Leica being popular.

Also, at this price, why isn't it weather sealed?

It's nice to have this glass as part of a system though.

Due to the shallow depth of field which is unique to the large aperture lens, even a slight handshake can potentially cause images to be out-of-focus. However, the POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) which is integrated in the LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm effectively compensates for not only small, fast movement but also large, slow movement, making it easy to capture super clear shots even when shooting in low-lit situations such as in night time or indoors.


Somebody from marketing needs to revise this. OIS isn't going to help missed focus due to a shallow depth of field
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Panasonic G3: 9-18mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm
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Re: LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

Postby Maestro » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:15 am

I just ordered a Voigtlander 42.5mm f0.95 in light of this announcement. I'd be happy to pay a few hundred dollars more for AF and OIS (and sacrifice a half stop in speed), but not $600! Heck, I could also buy a black Oly 45mm f1.8 to complement my silver one and still not spend as much as the Pany lens costs!

My 2¢ - Mark
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Re: LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

Postby Bob Andersson » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:07 am

Hi Mark,

I'm with you - I'll stick with my (silver) 45mm f/1.8. I'll be interested to hear what you think of the Voigtländer.

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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Re: LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

Postby Bob Andersson » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:27 pm

Hi folks,

Looks like Gordon has been having fun. Check out his Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 sample images.

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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Re: LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

Postby Maestro » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:26 am

Cool pics! The one of the Jazzmaster gives me an idea -- maybe when I get my Voigtlander, I'll shoot a similar pic of my '65 Fender Jaguar.
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Re: LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

Postby Bob Andersson » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:12 pm

Hi folks,

Gordon has now finished his Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 review.

Do I want it? Badly.

Can I justify it? Unfortunately no, not at the moment.

Oh well. :(

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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Re: LEICA DG NOCTICRON 42.5mm / F1.2 ASPH

Postby Maestro » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:54 am

Nice review. Although the currently listed summary would seem to be more appropriate for the Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens.

Summary

Good points
Superb image quality. Sharp right into the corners at f4.
f1.8 focal ratio ideal for shallow depth of field (relative to MFT lenses).
Great value for money.
Incredibly small and light.
No compatibility issues to report on Panasonic or Olympus bodies.

Bad points
Modest closest focusing distance of 0.5m means it's no macro lens.
Lens hood not supplied as standard - it's an optional extra.
Lack of optical stabilisation may be an issue for Panasonic owners.
No weather-sealing.

The Nocticron does seem like it's well suited to professional concert photography, tho - Mark
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