Thorsten von Overgaard's Photography Website
  Get Newsletter & Free eBook  

 
 
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25 FLE (Type 11676) Review and Sample Photos - Page 2
      Thosten von Overgaard on Facebook Thorsten von Overgaard on Twitter Thorsten von Overgaard on Instagram Thorsten von Overgaard on Google+ Thorsten von Overgaard on Leica Fotopark Thorsten von Overgaard on LinkedIn Thorsten von Overgaard on BlipFoto Pinterest Thorsten von Overgaard on Flickr Thorsten Overgaard on YouTube Thorsten Overgaard video on Vimeo Thorsten Overgaard on Tumblr Thorsten von Overgaard on Exposure Thorsten von Overgaard on 500px
Bookmark and Share Clip to Evernote
leica.overgaard.dk    
Leica 75mm Noctilux-ASPH f/1.25 FLE (type 11676)
 
Fred Chauffier portrait. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard. See the full-size portrait further down the article.
   
 
   

The Leica Noctilux 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25 FLE
Page 2

<-- Continued from on Page 1
Alse read Interview with Peter Karbe further down in this article -->

By: Thorsten Overgaard. July 4, 2018. Updated May 27, 2019.

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

   
   

A good face loves the Leica 75mm Noctilux

 

There is nothing which develops an understanding of a lens like handling it in action. This is an article on the perfections and imperfections of the 75mm Noctilux after having traveled the world with it, for three months

There can be only one. That was sort of my idea when I started out with the 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. There can only be one Noctilux in my household, and the question was, will it be the 50mm or the 75mm?

 

London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

Before I became an addict of the Leica 50mm Noctilux f/0.95, I used the f/1.0 version. Once the f/0.95 arrived, it was clear that this was taking over and there was no need for the f/1.0 as well. They look very alike in the overall image, only the contrast, micro detail rendering and overall color clarity is improved. The 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 is the next step up in lens design.

 

The Oaks cafe in Hollywood. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The Oaks cafe in Hollywood. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Leica 75mm Noctilux video review

 

 

The short conclusion

The 75mm Noctilux has a lot of perfection, which makes it a great lens. See the images and specific samples of perfection throughout this article. But it also has less of a “Noctilux look” because the Noctilux is not about perfection but about living on the edge of the dreamy look: If pushed a few microns, it would all become a milky white image without much sense.

With the 75mm Noctilux, Leica Camera AG climbed to a safer point further from the edge. But if you want perfection, the new Leica SL lenses, or the Leica S lenses, offer a new level of image quality. And there are other alternatives such as Phase One which I will cover later in this article.

 

Hollywood Boulevard by the Duran Duran star, Los Angeles. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Hollywood Boulevard by the Duran Duran star, Los Angeles. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


The 75mm Noctilux is very much a lens between two chairs. It wants to be extreme, but it also wants to be perfect. It reminds me of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper that he had to paint on a wall and leave space for a doorway in the bottom of the painting. Also, he decided he didn’t want the rush of making it a fresco (wet in wet painting where you have to finish before it all dries), but wanted three years to finish the work, so he went with more traditional means; which made the painting start deteriorating already 25 years later (none of the original painting is left, it’s all renovation and remake).


Ms. Kolner with the red Leica Q in the Brussels Workshop. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Ms. Kolner with the red Leica Q in the Brussels Workshop. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

All that is wrong or odd about the Last Supper didn’t prevent it from being (one of) the most important and most admired paintings of all time. The same is true for the 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 which stands as a statement of daring lens design, without losing a beat in terms of what is possible to obtain in image quality.

Even if never used for anything, the 75mm Noctilux will stand on the shelf as a proud statement of excellence in design. The 75mm Noctilux perhaps has too much perfection, too much control of everything, and too bulky a posture to become a real soulmate for a Leica M shooter.

 

Early morning on Rua de Fernandes Tomás in Porto, Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Early morning on Rua de Fernandes Tomás in Porto, Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

             
 

Buy the new eBook
"Composition in Photography"
by Thorsten von Overgaard

 
             
 

Composition in Photography
- The Photographer as Storyteller

This book will inspire your photographic eye and make you wonder about all the possibilities you can now see.

In this exciting new book Thorsten Overgaard expands and simplifies the subject of composition. It's elevated from geometric patterns to actual storytelling by practical use of space, rhythm, time, colors, emotions and intuition in your photography.

- The Basics of Composition.
- Composition in the Third Dimension.
- Picture Stories.
- Accenturating with Light.
- Photograph as a Melody.
- Which lens are you?
- Fear of sharpness?.
- Vanishing Point.
- The most important
element of composition

- What is the unknown secret
why it is you mostly can't get
the Rule of Thirds to work?

- How does a camera see
differently than the eye?

- What does quantum physics and
photography have in common?

- What's the greatest adventure you can
set out on in photography these days?
- A Sense of Geometry.

Only $398.00.
Order now. Instant delivery.

864 pages. 550 Illustrations.

 

"It’s your best work so far"

"I’m being gently led"

" I love this book!!!"

Compisition in Photography

"The book is incredible"'

"It’s like therapy for the human spirit."

"Beautiful and inspiring"

"Full of practical advice
and shared experience"

'I love how hands-on and
laid back Thorsten's witting style is"

"Inspiring"

"Intense and thought-provoking"

 
  Add to Cart View Cart   100% satisfaction of money back.  
             

 

 

The 75mm Noctilux has less of “the Noctilux look” which has made the 50mm Noctilux a legend. The depth of field is given, which I will address a bit further down. What makes a Noctilux a Noctilux, is the dreamy way of handling light that results in a bokeh (shape of out-of-focus areas), that makes the viewer believe they are subject to magic.


President Donald Trump in Washington DC. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
President Donald Trump in Washington DC. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The history of Noctilux lenses

If you ever wondered what made the super low-light lenses like the Noctilux 0.95, the Canon 0.95 (and let’s just include) the Canon 85mm f/1.2, so dreamy; it’s moving the design so close to the edge that it gets really dangerous.

 

My daily bicycle photo, in Brussels. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
My daily bicycle photo, in Brussels. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Still, due to the perfection in lens design and assembly, the 50mm Noctilux stands out amongst all the daring low light lenses as superior in clarity, control, details, contrast and “an overall grip of the picture”. All super low-light lenses have the dreamy look we admire, but only the Noctilux maintains high image quality at the same time. Canon climbed on safer ground withe their 85/1.4, but still offers the 85/1.2.

Traditionally, low light lenses have been made by opening up a lens to more light than the lens (and the lens designer) was able to handle. Back when low-light lenses became extreme and a must-have for any reportage photographer and war photographer about 60-70 years ago, the lenses simply became more light-strong by opening the aperture wider; but the result would mostly be a proportional degrade of quality or lack of “grip of the picture”. Contrast was lost, colors became milky and one could even get a yellow or purple cast. The focus wasn’t exactly optimum. Micro-details were gone in a blur. But you could use it in less light, and that was the mantra back in that period.

 

Ms. Lauren out and about in my Los Angeles workshop. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Ms. Lauren out and about in my Los Angeles workshop. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The first Leica 50mm Noctilux f/1.2 (1966) was a breakthrough as it was a low-light lens that made extraordinary progress in image quality. Today it’s a collector’s item, which is why it sells for $20,000 - $30,000. It’s certainly not for its sharpness or image control, which was impressive back in 1966 on a film camera, but doesn’t impress mush today on a digital sensor. The f/1.2 was a breakthrough lens, but with fuzzy edges and a lack of details, non-existent micro-details.

 

Porto in Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

The next Noctilux f/1.0 (1976) was a great improvement not only in more light through the lens, but also in having a grip on image quality to a degree that you didn’t really see the step from the 50mm f/1.4 standard low light lens (1960) to the extreme f/1.0.

 
  The Noctilux 50mm family: From bottom and clockwise, the 50/1.2, the 50/0.95 silver, the 50/1.0 and the 50/0.95 in black on the camera.
   

With the Noctilux f/1.0 something else also happened: We got a lens that performed as a standard lens, but had a look like nothing else. I don’t know what the lens designers thought about it, or what was said inside the factory. But I’m sure they must have wondered what people would use this lens for. Such a strange dreamy look, but a terrific lens for low light!

 

 

The Grove in St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The Grove in St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


Only two lenses from Leica have had the description in the brochure, that “it requires a professional to utilize this lens”. One was the ‘terrible’ 80mm Thambar f/2.2, the other was the 50mm Noctilux. In other words, this is the internal lingo for lenses that are so far away from the traditional ideal that they may become subjects of either eternal love or eternal scrutiny. Still, 80 years after the Thambar came about, nobody seems to be able to decide if it’s genius or terrible.  

 


My Von 24hr Jetset bag on the trolley. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

As history tells us, the Noctilux became “The King of the Night” and has a really unique position: No other lens, from any producer, does what it does, with so much dreaminess or rock’n’roll, and with so much technical control and excellence at the same time.

Nothing exists like it.

 


Portugfal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Portugfal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

With the f/0.95 (2008), the fingerprint of the 50mm Noctilux was unchanged, but the contrast, micro detail, overall clarity, and the color accuracy were improved visibly; even if the lens was made a bit more light-strong.

The daring move to 0.95 (which is an 11% increase of light and a somewhat 300% more difficult lens design to control) probably was both an attempt to excite the lens designers themselves, as well as a (successful) attempt to produce a 50mm f/0.95 that is perfect where nobody else has been able to do this (by which I refer to the Canon f/0.95 50mm which could be classified as an ‘exiting disaster’ – daring, funky and fun, but by no means able to produce a high-quality optical result at f/0.95).

 

The post office in Hollywood. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The post office in Hollywood. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


The 50mm Noctilux life-line from 1966 until today thus shows an improvement over time of contrast, color accuracy, details and micro details. At full aperture they all display vignetting (darker corners), light rays traveling seemingly at their own determinism, and a few other odd things – which have all become part of what makes a Noctilux an amazing and unique lens that defies any simple characterization.

The 75mm Noctilux is a further development towards excellence in lens design. Gone is the vignetting and purple fringing, and what remains stands crisper and more detailed. The question then is whether there is any of the Noctilux left in it.


Joy Villa. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Joy Villa. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The new Noctilux lineup

The 75mm Noctilux was maybe originally a project of making an updated 75mm f/1.4 (1980-2007). But then somebody in the lens department started having dreams at night about doing more and better, which is never a bad thing. Then, maybe inspired by the success of the Noctilux, and the consistent request from Leica users for a 35mm Noctilux, Leica Camera AG ended up making an f/1.25 Noctilux.

I get tired at the idea of finding explanations as to why it became a 1.25, and why it is called a Noctilux. This lens is so much a lens between two chairs that I can’t come up with any logical reasons as to why it isn’t an f/1.2, or (for god’s sake) a real f/1.0 Noctilux.

 

Business as usual, in Los Angeles. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Business as usual, in Los Angeles. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

I like the idea of strengthening the Nocilux lineup, which is my favorite lens by far (the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95). It is a unique lens and masterpiece, confirming Leica the position as the best lens-maker in the world.

I have a clear and present sense that what the lens designers wanted to make, and what the marketing department wanted to sell, didn’t align in this case. But I wouldn’t know.

 


Young performer. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Young performer. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Last time the lens designers at Leica were allowed to live out their dreams was the 50mm APO-Summicron, and despite all predictions about how bad that would turn out in terms of sale, it proved a milestone in lens design, and a commercial blockbuster.

In any case, a 75mm f/1.25 is what we got, so let’s deal with what it does and how it does it.

(Footnote: If the 35mm Noctilux has a smaller aperture than f/1.0 I will paint the front glass of it with silver and use it as a mirror for nose hair trimming).


This sweet prototype of a f/0.85 75mm, or very limited edition made for the US military, was sold on auction for 4,000 Euro in 2008. I should have bought it.
This sweet prototype of an f/0.85 75mm, or very limited edition made for the US military, was sold on auction for 4,000 Euro in 2008. I should have bought it.

 

London nights in Soho. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
London nights in Soho. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

History of fast lenses

Here are some of the extreme light-strong lenses introduced over time.

  Rangerfinder lenses SLR lenses and other lenses  
  Zunow 1.1/50mm. 1953    
  Fujinon 1.2/50mm 1954    
  Nikon 1.2/50mm 1956    
  Canon 1.2/50mm 1956    
    Carl Zeiss 50mm f/0.7 (NASA/Kubrick) 1960  
  Canon 0.95/50 1961    
  Leica Noctilux f/1.2 (1966)    
    Canon 58/1.2 for SLR 1971  
  Leica Noctilux f/1.0 (1976)    
    Nikon 50mm Noct 1.2 SLR (1978)  
    Nikon 1.2/58mm SLR 1983  
    Canon 85mm f/1.2 SLR 1989  
  Konica M 1.2/60mm 1999    
  Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 (2008)    
  Fujinon 56mm (80mm) f/1.2    
  Leica 75mm f/1.25 (2018)    
       

 

Brussels poet. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Brussels poet. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

         
  New from Thorsten Overgaard:
Leica M Video Masterclasses
 
         
 

Thorsten Overgaard Leica M10 Video Masterclass

Enjoy this easy to use video class with
Thorsten Overgaard going over the Leica M10. More than one hour one-on-one with Thorsten on the camera, the menu, shooting outside, focusing and more.

For computer, iPad, smartphone and Kindle.

Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M10 Masterclass Video Course

Only $398.00

100% satisfaction or 100% return.

Add to Cart

Order now. Instant delivery.
#1801-0917

 

Thorsten Overgaard Leica M24 Video Masterclass

Enjoy this easy to use video class with
Thorsten Overgaard going over the Leica M 240. Almost two hours one-on-one with Thorsten on the camera, the menu, shooting outside, focusing and more.

For computer, iPad, smartphone and Kindle.

Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M 240 Masterclass Video Course

Only $398.00

100% satisfaction or 100% return.

Add to Cart

Order now. Instant delivery.
#1844-1017


 
 

 

Buy both and save $300.00

Leica M10 Video Masterclass and Leica M240 Video Masterclass
ONLY $498.00

Add to Cart

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The need for speed

In this day and age of high ISO performance, there is no need for the speed of low light lenses. You can buy a Leica Summarit f/2.4 lens and you hold in your hands the most perfect lens design for just $1,995.

But it’s never going to deliver the extreme depth of field and dreamy look that a real well-designed low-light lens does, such as an f/1.4 or f/0.95.

 

Chick Corea. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Chick Corea. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Since around 1990, the Leica approach has been to deliver lenses with optimized performance over the full aperture range and with a strong emphasis on the wider apertures. Hence the saying that Leica lenses are optimized for wide open use.

The 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 is optimized for being used at f/0.95, and stopped down to f/2.0, it performs same as, or better than, the APO-Summicron f/2.0. Not that this makes us not own both lenses.


Chick Corea Electric Band. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Chick Corea Electric Band. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 
   
   
         
   

New Lightroom Survival Kit
for only $498

270 pages on how to set up a photography workflow, from calibrating the screen to editing in Lightroom, and printing. How to deal with Lightroom CC vs. Lightroom CC Classic. How to organize files, back up, clouds, use DAM (Digital Asset Management) catalogs and Photoshop.

Read more here

Video tutorials, image test files, presets, checklists, definitions, tutorials of Lightroom and Photoshop that boils down years of experience to a workflow you can implement in less than one day.

10+ years experience in one package

Why spend years figuring out the smartest way to do things when you can tap into the best way of doing things? My workflow has been refined through years of field work.

Thorsten von Overgaard editing on Eizo
Professional workflow experience made simple, logical and easy to use.

Update for only $198

Update your Lightroom Survival Kit to the new
Lightroom Survival Kit for only $198.
You get a complete new installation. Order here.


 

 

 

Only $498.00

Add to Cart

Order today.
Instant delivery.

Now comes with
FREE Leica Presets
for Lightroom
by Thorsten Overgaard
($68 value)

 

 

Full satisfaction
or money back.

 


Compatible from Lightroom 1.0 to Lightroom Classic CC version 8.2.

 
   
   
   
   
   
         
 

 

 

How perfect is the 75mm Noctilux?

Recently I compared the 101 MP Phase One images of David Shedlarz with the 24MP images of the 75mm Noctilux.

In the below images you can see the full image, as well as the close-up of the perfection the two lenses produce. The Phase One with 101 MP back is a $70,000 camera, the Leica M10 with a Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25 is a $20,000 lineup.

 

Street portrait in New York by David Shedlar. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 David Shedlar.
Street portrait in New York by David Shedlar. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 David Shedlar.

 

75mm Noctrilux 24MP detail:

 


Cuba portrait by David Shedlarz with Phase One 100 MP IQ3 digital back, 80mm Schneider. © 2018 David Shedlar.

 

Phase One 100 MP detail:

  

 

 

Thorsten von Overgaard by David Shedlarz. New York, June 2018 . Phase One 100 MP IX3 Panchromatic. © 2018 David Shedlarz.
Thorsten von Overgaard by David Shedlarz. New York, June 2018 . Phase One 100 MP IX3 Panchromatic.
© 2018 David Shedlarz.

 

         
  The New
"Capture One Pro Survival Kit 12"
By Thorsten von Overgaard
 
         
 

Capture One Pro Survival Kit by Thorsten von Overgaard

430 pages easy-to-understand
workflow logics, as well as tutorial
of Photoshop and Digital Asset Management.

Packed with help and tools for all questions on digital photography workflow.

Read more ...

 

Thorsten von Overgaard by Ray Kachatorian
Thorsten von Overgaard

 

 

The complete workflow of Thorsten Overgaard,
made easy with pre-flight checklists and step-by-step instructions on how to set up and use the professional
photo editing software Capture One Pro.

Laid out in a way that is easy to understand
and everyone can apply.

The Capture One Surival Kit 12 also includes
simple and to-the-point tools on how to use select tools as catalogs, Photoshop, how to do backup and how to organize pictures archives so they don't get lost and doesn't have to be reorganized again and again.

Also: Specialized first-help chapters on how to sync your entire photo archive with the smartphone, how to
escape Apple Photos, how to empty photos out of an iPhone, how to get out of Lightroom CC, what to do with
iPad editing ... and more on how to not survive the digital age and perhaps even outsmart it.

Now comes with Overgaard
Leica Styles for FREE

Special black & white conversion, better skintones
and a CMOS sensor color correction.
(Value $48.00. FREE with this kit).

Thorsten von Overgaard
Capture One Survival Kit 12

For computer, iPad, smartphone and Kindle.
Buy Today. Instant delivery.

Price $598.00

100% satisfaction or money back.

Add to Cart   View Cart

Already got the Capture One Survival Kit?
- and want to update to Version 12
* Buy the update here*

 
     

 

 
         
 


Capture One Styles

You can download a number of film styles, matte styles, black and white styles and more to use in capture One. Capture One Styles
download page

 


Capture One Pro
Software App

You need the desktop software application "Capture One Pro" to utilize my Capture One Pro Surivival Kit and to edit pictures in Capture One. You can download both Capture One Pro software and software updates:
Capture One download page

 
         
  #1816-1218      

 

 

Depth of Field

Any low-light lens will have the exact same narrow depth of field, because a lens’ focal length and its aperture is what gives the depth of field. It’s a physical rule and can be predicted, just as the speed of a coin thrown out from the 75th floor window can be predicted.

 

Silky bokeh and smooth handling of light. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Silky bokeh and smooth handling of light. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


You as the photographer can use the dept of field “in a Noctilux way” by choosing long backgrounds that will blur out (the further away, the blurrier). You can choose highlights in the background that will create interesting Noctilux-looking bokeh. You can move close to your subject, by which the dept of field becomes even more narrow. In other words, if you want, you can make an f/2.0 lens look like it was a Noctilux lens.

By that I also imply that photographing using a Noctilux is a way of seeing and creating photographs, rather than simply a lens.

 

50mm Summicron table decoration looks like a Noctilux photo. Thanks to a long background with sparkling light and close focus at 1 meter (3 feet), the depth of field is extremely narrow and is amplified by the distance to the background objects. To me, this confirms that the Noctilux look is to a large degree a way of using a lens, just as much as it is the lens producing the effect. Leica M9 with Leica 509mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II.
50mm Summicron table decoration looks like a Noctilux photo. Thanks to a long background with sparkling light and close focus at 1 meter (3 feet), the depth of field is extremely narrow and is amplified by the distance to the background objects. To me, this confirms that the Noctilux look is to a large degree a way of using a lens, just as much as it is the lens producing the effect. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II.

 

Another 50mm Summicron shot as Noctilux. Good distance to the background, sparkles, and close focus at about 1.2 meter. Leica M9 with Leica 509mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II.
Another 50mm Summicron shot as Noctilux. Good distance to the background, sparkles, and close focus at about 1.2 meter. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II.

 

The 75mm Noctilux at closest focus distance 70 cm. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.The 75mm Noctilux at closest focus distance 70 cm. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The Leica 75mm Noctilux has some of the qualities, such as crispness and high contrast in common with the 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 (which is basically an APO design; meaning that it captures colors really well).

The 75mm Noctilux has very little in common with the 75mm Summilux f/1.4, other than that they are both 75mm lenses. As far as the drawing of the picture, they are entirely different. The 75mm Summilux is soft but detailed with low overall contrast; the 75mm Noctilux is crisp and detailed with high contrast in the focal plane.

 

 

My daily bicycle photo, in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
My daily bicycle photo, in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The need for 75mm and 90mm lenses

A portrait lens is generally thought of as a short tele lens, for example a 75mm or a 90mm. To me, the reason 90mm was labeled “a great portrait lens” is due to the advertising back when the first 90mm lenses came from Leica about 90 years ago.

 

St. Louis cafe. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
St. Louis cafe. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Back then, a 50mm lens was typically an f/2.8 or smaller aperture, resulting in a great deal of the background being visible. When the 90mm came out, the background would be out of focus and the subject isolated in the portrait. Hence, a great lens for portraits, providing a different look than what was seen with the eye.

Today, a 50mm lens at f/0.95 or f/1.4 makes it possible to blur out the background and isolate the subject.

 

St. Louis back garden. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
St. Louis back garden. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

Another reason for choosing a short 75mm or 90mm tele for portraits would be to avoid that the nose becomes too big due to distortion (the face changes shape because the nose and things closer to the lens becomes proportionally bigger than the rest of the face), but that’s really not a concern until you go to wide lenses such as the 35mm and 28mm.


President Donald Trump in Washington DC. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
President Donald Trump in Washington DC. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

So, what are we going to use our 75mm and 90m lenses for? That’s a really good question as I use my great 90mm APO for 3% or less of my photos, and my “classic” 75mm Summilux for less than 1% of my photos.

“Could a 75mm Noctilux change my pattern?” was the question I posed myself when I took on the 75mm Noctilux.  And I’ve used it consistently for the last three months, throughout Europe and North America, so by now you should think that I know.

 

Holiday in Brussels. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Holiday in Brussels. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 

A portrait lens

I’ve been through this experience numerous times in my life:

A 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 produces crisp sharpness, much more than the 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. With the 50mm Summilux, it continues to amaze me and others, how crisp every hair and texture detail stands out. The colors of the 50mm Summilux are outstanding due to the fact that it’s a sort of APO tele lens design applied to a normal 50mm focal length (but at the time of launch, lens designer Peter Karbe felt it was a weird thing to label the lens APO).

If you go to the 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0, also known as “the world’s best 50mm lens”, it gets even better. You get a lens that is a real APO design: The colors are exact, the detail level of skin and texture details is exquisite.


Fred Chauffier portrait. Leica M10 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Fred Chauffier portrait. Leica M10 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

     
 

Ups...

When I choose the picture of Fred above for this article, I thought it was one of the coolest 75mm photos, and every time I looked at it, I became more and more decisive that the 75mm is a really cool lens. A day later I rememeberd that I did two days of shooting in this location, and the second day I had used the 50mm Noctilux. So this photo "I really like how the 75mm does that", turned out to be with the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. A Freudian slip, I guess.

 
     

 

 

Feel, don’t look

Then you look at the Noctilux f/0.95 and it just feels better. The Summilux and APO-Summicron may look better, but the Noctilux photo just feels better.

 

This espresso bar in London used to be old ladies serving lunch. No more. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
This espresso bar in London used to be old ladies serving lunch. No more. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


This may not be true for everybody. We all have our own standards and things we look for in a pictures. But I’ve done countless shoots with the Noctilux and the Summilux or APO as the second lens, and in 99% of the cases, it’s the Noctilux photo that wins. It’s always easy to see that the APO-Summicron or the Summilux has more crisp details and micro-details, but the Noctilux has the better feel.

 

The chef working at the Confluence Kombucha Japan-inspired vegan restrautant in St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The chef working at the Confluence Kombucha Japan-inspired vegan restrautant in St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

Mind you, not everybody appreciates seeing details and micro-details of their face reproduced with excellence. Sometimes the personality is the overall impression and not the micro details.

Hence my slogan, “Feel, don’t look”.

 

Vintage Ford Galaxie 500. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Vintage Ford Galaxie 500. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


The 90mm APO-Summicron ASPH f/2.0 is a step up in color clarity and texture feel, but down in micro details in that it maintains the traditional “soft but crisp” Leica look. It treats the skin details softer than the 50mm APO and the 50mm Summilux, but with a clarity so you really sense the wetness of the skin.

 

A good beginning. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
A good beginning. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

The 75mm Summilux f/1.4 … well, people ask, and here is the answer: The 75mm Summilux is beautiful soft, but the lens is long, has a slow focusing thread that seem to travel forever around the barrel before you reach focus. It may or may not work magic on a monochrome sensor, and it can look magic on film cameras. It has its magic and awesome moments, but a workhorse for street photography and portrait work it is not.

 

How most days end. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
How most days end. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The 75mm Summilux was the favorite of lens designer Mandler, and it is an admirable lens in so many ways. But in practical use … well. I have this habit of looking back at numbers when I compare which lenses I admire, and which ones I use. Comparing how many of my photos were made with which lens, the 75mm produces around 1% of the photos that I ever use. So a workhorse you bring with you it is certainly not. The size, the slow focus and the lack of great photos produced with it makes it a great piece to have on the shelf. I love that lens, but I don’t use it.


Old but still moving. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Old but still moving. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Now, get this: Speaking of portrait lenses, the good old 50mm Summicron f/2.0 “rigid” from the 1960’s is a great portrait lens. And why is that? Because it is soft and detailed; and the more soft, the less shadows and wrinkles you have in the face. Soft perfect skin, isn’t that what we all dream about?

This was what the whole Hollywood look was about. Vaseline on the lens to soften the image, but still sharp enough to appear as a good photo of an actress with seemingly perfect skin.

 


The mews (back alleys) of London . Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The mews (back alleys) of London . Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 “rigid” is so soft you must add contrast when editing the photo, to obtain what we in current times consider correct contrast. But the end result is less heavy than a modern lens with high contrast. When you increase contrast and add black during editing of a portrait, which you will want to do to make it crisp and sharp, you also add years and tiredness to the face.

This is where the photographer gets to test his devotion to making the subject look beautiful, versus his devotion to make the photographer and his equipment look beautiful.

 

Harmony in St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Harmony in St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


Let’s not omit the excellent 75mm Summicron f/2.0 lens which from birth was deemed “too sharp for portraits” because it showed every wrinkle in the face. This might be one of my next projects, because if you light a face with soft light so it makes the skin look soft and doesn’t accentuate unwanted details in the face, a high-contrast 75mm Summicron-M f/2.0 will not be “too sharp for portraits”. At least it’s an experiment worth doing, I think. It’s a grossly under-estimated and under-used lens.  

This brings us to the 75mm Noctilux, which clearly is an amazing lens design deploying precision, lens coating, exotic glass and assembling par to nothing seen before.

 

Cafe Englen in Denmark. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Cafe Englen in Denmark. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


It’s great in many ways for street photography in that the image quality and clarity is outstanding. You can capture details that I’ve only seen in the best R lenses, S lenses and SL lenses. It has a lot in common with the 90mm APO-Summicron, but with even more clarity and overall control of the light and colors.


Chuck out and about in the London workshop. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Chuck out and about in the London workshop. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

So, what’s not to love about it? Well, it’s a drag to carry, and when I look back at my images, they are perfect photographs, but something I could likely have done with the much smaller 50mm APO-Summicron, or with a the 75mm or 90mm Leica SL lenses.

In terms of portraits where I work closer to a subject, the difference between the 75mm Noctilux and the 50mm Noctilux is less outspoken. The 75mm Noctilux’ qualities in clarity and detail is less needed, and the depth of field (out of focus backgrounds) is about the same: No matter if I use a 50mm or 75mm, I will want to frame the person so I include shoulders and a little extra space on the sides. The framing will be the same, and thus a 50/0.95 and a 75/1.25 will result in the same.

 

Seond-hand shop in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Seond-hand shop in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

But there is another reason why I usually use a 50mm and not a 75mm or 90mm lens for portraits, and that is mainly to work closer with the subject. A 90mm puts me 10 feet or so from the subject, whereas a 50mm puts me just in front of them.

I have a 50mm on the camera most the time, so if I do street, interior or portraits, it’s the same lens. It works for me. The 75mm Noctilux also works for me, but at larger distances on the street and in the portrait situation.


Proud mother and son. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Proud mother and son. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

I haven’t found much use for close-focusing the 75mm Noctilux to 70 cm. A feature that is unique for this lens as the Noctilux 50mm only goes as close as 100 cm.

It’s the weight, size and the look it comes down to.

The 50mm Noctilux clearly wins on the weight and size, and then the question simply seems to be: Do you want perfection in optical performance, or a magic look?

In other words: Is your priority the feel, or the look?


Dick Miles in Forest Park, St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Dick Miles in Forest Park, St. Louis. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The Faculty of Bokeh

Considering how little knowledge, or defined terms, there exist to describe bokeh (the out-of-focus areas of a photo), it's astonishing how beloved a good bokeh is. Where the iPhone-stick-tourist can't ignore a good sunset, a Leica photographer can't walk by a good bokeh lens without buying it.

Bokeh is basically what (seemingly) can't be controlled in a picture.

It's the out-of-focus areas and how they randomly look when the lens doesn't hold them in a tight focus grip.

 

Waiting for the train at the station in Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Waiting for the train at the station in Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Faces loves the 75mm Noctilux

You could say that the 75mm Noctilux ASPH f/1.25 is razor sharp ,but that would only be in lack of other words. Skin details and eyes comes alive, and the overall image is relaxing to look at as a Norwegian river. I don't mean sharp as in edge-sharp, but alive and detailed as in human skin like you could touch it with your fingers and it would feel alive. The wetness of the eyes.

This is the essence of the Leica look, or quality. Sharpness can be clarity or edge sharpness. Say you photograph a book page. Edge-sharpness would be sharp letters. If enhanced, it will result in a contrast-edge that looks like an outline around the letters.

Clarity would be that you can sense the texture of the paper, and the texture of the ink. That is what I mean.

The 75mm Noctilux produces this, the extreme tactile touch without the ugly edge-sharpness.

 

Joy Villa in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Joy Villa in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The Art of the Noctilux

The application of science is an art. That's what distinguish the computer-designed lenses made for machine-assembly from the the lenses where excellent lens designers have applied their own aesthetic vision to the "optimum calculation" and thus comes up with lenses that have soul.

I remember I spoke with lens designer Peter Karbe one day in the canteen at Leica Camera AG, and I realized I was talking pictues and he was talking design. I was talking about light effects I remembered in pictues, and Peter Karbe was making drawings of MTF charts and calculations on a paper. We used different ways to describe the same phenomens and characteristics.

"When we read the MTF, we try to imagine how the picture will look", as Peter Karbe said.

 

 

Focusing the Leica 75mm Noctilux

I’ve met people who say they can only focus the Leica 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 using the EVF, and I expected to feel the same in the beginning.

But I realized it’s easy to focus, actually. I’ve used the 75mm Noctilux consistently with just the rangefinder of the Leica M10, and to my astonishment, it’s been very easy to nail the focus.

 

My mother, Jytte von Overgaard. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
My mother, Jytte von Overgaard. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

The difference between using an EVF and the built-in rangefinder is – apart from the smaller size of using a Leica M10 without the EVF – mainly that working with the rangefinder is intuitively fast. Also, I believe that working with the rangefinder, you create the picture more, than if you “see what you get” using the EVF.

But even then an EVF is not a guarantee for perfect results. We tend to focus the lens using the EVF, but then forget that between focusing and releasing the shutter, the subject or the photographer may move slightly. And there goes your accurate focus.

 

Preparations inside a restaiurant for Pride in Brussels, Belgium. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Preparations inside a restaiurant for Pride in Brussels, Belgium. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

There is no universal truth of this. I feel that anyone who have a Leica M10 should try an EVF to see what it does for the eyesight, taking photos in the dark and overall precision in results. Then you can decide if it’s for you or not. You can’t rule out the EVF just because it’s not “the classic way” of using a Leica M. You have to try it first.

 

Wall above Highway 101 in Los Angeles. . Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Wall above Highway 101 in Los Angeles. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

         
  My other Leica M10 articles  
         
 
The Force Awakens
 
Leica M10 in the Rain
 
         
 
Sexy Stuff for the Leica M10
 
Leica M10 Masterclass (video on-line course)
 
         
 
The Leica M10 Video Review
 
Leica M10 Goes to Cuba
 
         


 

Light handling and excellence of clarity

The 75mm Noctilux handles light excellent, except when the front glass is covered in strong sun from the side. Then it tends to milk out, as most modern lenses with coating technology seem to do (this is true for the 50mm APO as well).


Watching the workshop from Burritos and Margaritas in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Watching the workshop from Burritos and Margaritas in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

One can spend many hours admiring the 75mm Noctilux’ image quality in detail. I’ve been astonished time after time of the crispness and clarity in details of the photograph.

It is as if you boosted the 24MP sensor of the Leica M10 so you can easily crop and still have an excellent high-resolution photograph. The 75mm Noctilux has much in common with the 50mm APO in this aspect.

 

Tourists on Peter Street in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Tourists on Peter Street in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

Leica M10 with 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 in detail:

 


 

Should I get the 75mm Noctilux?

You can read this article any way you want. If you look for an excuse to get the 75mm Noctilux, you have my blessing. There are plenty of reasons to get one. If you read this to avoid spending $12,500 on the 75mm Noctilux, you got that too.

You may also read it as science fiction about a first world super-pro lens out of reach economically. Then read the part about the 50mm Summicron again. Besides what a lens does for the image quality, even more important is what it does for the creator of the photograph.

On the other hand, if you are still undecisive, then “get one to get over it”. That’s my advice on any craving for equipment. You cannot spend years wondering if you should get one. If you keep thinking about it, it’s because it’s meant to be. Should you get one and realize it isn’t for you, then you know why it wasn’t, and you’ll never miss it for a moment when you sold it again.

 

Cafe in Brussels. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Cafe in Brussels. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The street photographer and the Leica M

The Leica 75mm Noctilux (as well as other recent adventures with Leica TL lenses) have made me realize how fortunate we are to use the Leica M system. It was originally coined “the littlest camera” when first introduced almost 100 years ago, and it is in fact the smallest camera with the best lenses in the world.


Cafe in Porto, Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Cafe in Porto, Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

There seem to be a devotion to making lenses “big enough to be perfect” at Leica currently. The TL lenses, the SL lenses, the S lenses are all huge lenses in comparison to the M lenses. And so is the 75mm Noctilux, though in this case the reason is more the glass than the optical construction and the need for auto focus.


Biker babe. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Biker babe. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The Leica M was designed with small lenses, because the lens sits close to the sensor. Other more flexible systems have the lens sitting further away from the sensor, which require larger lens designs to cover the sensor. The Canon 85mm f/1.4 is a huge lens in comparison with any Leica M lens, but is as small as possible for that kind of system.

 

Ms. Mays on Carlton Way in Hollywood. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Ms. Mays on Carlton Way in Hollywood. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.



The Leica SL system introduces new lenses as if size was no consideration; which again opens the possibility for lens designers to design the best possible lenses without size restrictions and assembly restrictions.

The Leica M is a testament to the fact that if you have to, you can make it work. Seen from a lens design viewpoint, small lenses are not a good idea. Yet, Leica M lenses represent the best optics in the world, and the Leica 75mm Noctilux is one more added to that lineup.

 

Farewell kiss on the train station in Porto, Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Farewell kiss on the train station in Porto, Portugal. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

Which brings us back to what it is all about: You want the right feel or the right look?

I hope this article inspired you and makes you rethink your use of your lenses.

 

Derek loving the Leica. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Derek loving the Leica. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 
 

 

 

Joy Villa in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Joy Villa in London. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

       
 

Buy the Best-Selling eBook by Thorsten Overgaard:

"Finding the Magic of Light"

"I have just been reading your eBook last night, which opened my eyes for more than
I have been thinking about before. You have a great sensitivity that I feel
connected with, and I enjoyed every word."

"I am reading your book, Finding the Magic of Light. Exactly what I crave."

"I find your books very helpful and thought-provoking."

"A must have. Personally useful for street photography."


     
 

Finding the Magiv of Light by Thorsten Overgaard

Also available in German:
"Die Magie des Lichts Finden"
DEUTCH DE

 

In this easy to read and apply eBook, Thorsten Overgaard takes you on a journey to see, understand and simply use light.
"One of the most important ways to get an aesthetic and pleasant picture is to find the good light."

"Finding the Magic of Light"
New 2nd edition (April 2015)
eBook for computer and iPad
.
(87 pages)
Only $47

Add to Cart

View Cart

Order now - Instant delivery.
(Note: If you bought the first edition of this book, this new edition is free. Simply send an e-mail for your free update).

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

 
 

 

Manuel C. Studer trying to love the 28mm. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Manuel C. Studer trying to love the 28mm. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 

 

Interview with lens designer Peter Karbe
on the Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25

By: Thorsten Overgaard. February 26, 2019.

I had a talk with lens designer Peter Karbe about the Noctilux lenses and the philosophy of Leica design in the future. This is second part of the interview with Peter Karbe. You can find the first part of the interview here: "Small Cameras, Large Prints (and Large Lenses)".

 

 

Peter Karbe. © Thorsten Overgaard
Peter Karbe. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

The 75mm Noctilux and 'Rock and Roll' lenses

People have all sorts of ideas about what Peter Karbe is working on, and I’m sure it would be fun to know about. But in this talk, we just try to talk about what is already out so as not to reveal any secrets.

Overgaard: As you know, I bought the Leica 75 Noctilux f/1.25 and I really like it. There’s an overall feeling to the 75mm Noctilux that I really appreciate, and it’s surprisingly easy to focus on a Leica M with just the rangefinder.

     

I consider it part of the new era of Leica lens design, which the 50mm APO-Summicron f/2.0 spearheaded, and which all the Leica SL lenses seem to exemplify: Much higher resolution of details. I can crop out a part of the 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 photo, and it still looks perfect (see photo to the right, which is crop of the one above).

 
     

What I don’t appreciate that much is its size, and I find it a little too perfect. I know that if I used it on the Leica SL, the size would balance better, but I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t use both the Leica SL and the Leica M system when all I use on them are M lenses. I use M lenses on the Leica M cameras, as they’re supposed to be used, so to speak.

 

The lack of purple fringing

 

I really like the optics, and especially the fact that I have no purple fringing at all. When I go back to the Leica 50mm Noctilux f/0.95, I have purple fringing again. I know that the last time we talked, you said that we cannot get rid of purple fringing, because that's just how it is.

Why is it that there is absolutely no purple fringing on the Leica 75mm Noctilux f/1.25?

 

Karbe: “It's a longer focal length lens, and it's f/1.25”.

 

Overgaard: That's it?

 

Karbe: “Yes, that's the simplicity of it. We could invest more into low dispersion materials (less spread of light). With the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 we had to implement more high-refractive index glasses (more control of light rays) to keep it at a reasonable size. Not small, but reasonable.

“So we had to accept more color aberrations because if we look at the glass materials available for... hmm.
“Sorry, I started the wrong way:

“If you need high refractive index to keep the size small, you need to accept that the dispersion goes the wrong way, so to speak.

"Traditionally we have used index 1.9 glass for the Noctilux. For the Noctilux f/1.0 designed by Dr. Mandler, he used this 1.9 glass. In principle, it's the lowest dispersion you can get with this high refractive index, because there is no glass material here. This caused more color aberrations.

“With the 75mm Noctilux we could balance it a little different. So, because the focal length is longer, the refractive power of each lens element is not that high, and the color aberration is directly connected to that.”

 

 

         
  New from Thorsten Overgaard:

Preorder
"The Portrait Book"
 
         
   

Questions answered in this new eBook:
- What’s the secret behind Mona Lisa?
- How do you make anybody look beautiful?
- What is the right timing for portraits?
Waht do you say to the person?
- How do you photograph your spouse?
- How to edit portraits?
- What is the one right thing in all portraits?
- How to do research for portraits?
- What is the secret to light in portraits?
- Which lens to use for portraits?
- What is the composition rules for portraits?
- How to photograph children?
- Who should I photograph?
- How to do street portraits?
- and more...

Preorder Now. Only $198.00
280 pages.

Add to Cart   View Cart
 
  #1905-0119   100% satisfaction or money back.  
         

 


Overgaard: So how do you do this focal length, times this, and this 1.9, and ...?

 

Karbe: "In principle, the equation is: Phi divided with Nu, phi1 + phi2, needs to be equal to zero, then aberrations are zero.

“But to make this a reality, you need certain values. It is not possible with 50mm f/0.95 to get this equation. It’s more realistic with 75mm. Secondly, the F number of the 75mm Noctilux is only f/1.25 and not f/0.95. This is the reason why we could balance better between size and color aberrations with 1.6 glass.

“The idea behind the 75mm was to take the concept of the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95. In principle, we copied the structure and changed it a little bit. We had a lot of trouble with the elements relating to the size, in order to center them and all those things, and that's the reason why we were a little late, or behind on delivery.”

 

 

 

Overgaard: When you use the same principle, what do you mean with that? It sounds as if you did a copy of the 50mm and then...?

 

Karbe: “Yeah. Okay, so scale up. The idea is the f/1.25, the reason for that is ... 75 divided by 1.25 is equal to 60mm. This is the entrance pupil diameter. The diameter of a lens defines the filter size and is limited for the M system, so you can use the rangefinder. If it becomes too big you can't use the rangefinder. This is the reason.
“And of course it's the weight and the size. It's bad enough as it was”.

 


Focusing the 75mm Noctilux


Overgaard: There's the pictures of the Elcan 90mm f/1.0 they did at Leitz Canada. It was a crazy one, a dream lens for me I would say. There was also a 75mm f/0.85 made.

 

Elcan-M 90mm f/1.0 was sold at Christie's auction in London for 20.900 £ a few years ago (with a Leica KE-7A from 1972 included). A similar lens was offered for sale by Arsenal Photo in 2008 for 23,000 £. 
Elcan-M 90mm f/1.0 was sold at Christie's auction in London for 20.900 £ a few years ago (with a Leica KE-7A from 1972 included). A similar lens was offered for sale by Arsenal Photo in 2008 for 23,000 £.
 

 

This sweet prototype of an f/0.85 75mm, or very limited edition made for the US military, was sold on auction for 4,000 Euro in 2008. (I should have bought it).
This sweet prototype of an f/0.85 75mm, or very limited edition made for the US military, was sold on auction for 4,000 Euro in 2008. (I should have bought it).

 

Karbe: The entrance pupil of the 90mm f/1.0 is defined (as 90mm diameter). You can't ask for a smaller lens overall with that f-number.

“For the 75mm, I think that f/1.25 is sufficient, in terms of shallow depth of focus. We had a lot of worry about if it would be possible to work it with the rangefinder. To be honest, I like your pictures, I'm very happy that you can show that it's possible to use a camera like you use it.

“There are some who tend to get very critical. They take a tripod, put it on, and they test, ‘Does it match or not’ ...

“In principle, if you focus and move a little bit – just take a little more pictures! With the rangefinder, there are some limitations in terms of accuracy, even though we put a lot of effort into the system to get a very high level of accuracy.

“But it this is not a laser rangefinder system. And the user, the photographer, is more unstable than the system. The user moves slightly, and the focus changes.”

 

 

The Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Overgaard: Yes, that is right. If you do portraits, you have two people moving: The photographer and the subject. Everything moves, you know. Some of the photos you nail, some you don’t. When I have a rangefinder slightly out of adjustment, I can still nail the few I need because everything moves.

 

Karbe: “Sometimes the expectations from some customers are too high. We need to find better accuracy and all these things. But be ralistic ... please.”

 

Overgaard: I've noticed with myself that when I put the EVF on the Leica M10, I tend to get less pictures in focus than when I just use the rangefinder. And I mean with all lenses. During the delay between seeing it and taking the photo (200 ms), things move, and what you thought you nailed the focus on, moved before the photo got taken. I like the intuitive way of working with the rangefinder, taking chances and just take more photos.

 

Karbe: “Yes, The most important thing is to get the specific moment. That's my thing. You do this, and I appreciate it. If you look at Henri Cartier-Bresson and you look at his pictures in more detail, you see most of them aren't sharp … But the expression is, the picture tells a story.

“I don't want to ask people to do the same pictures as Henri Cartier-Bresson, but please ... Stay cool, and don’t stick your attention on accuracy and all these things while you forget to take pictures! You want to get the equipment to perform the best, but there are some limitations.'

 

 


A new 50mm Noctilux


Overgaard: So, one thing I want to ask you: It's not a trick question or something, but if Dr. Andreas Kaufmann or Leica, or somebody, asked you to make a 50mm Noctilux without purple fringing, would it be possible? Could you do it?

 

Karbe: “In principle, yes, it would be possible.”

 

Overgaard: So how would you do it?

 

Karbe: “The size would have to be bigger because we have to invest more … so again; you need a high refractive index to realize performance with one lens element. If I go down, I need to implement two lens elements, then I can realize that. I can get better results. But it enlarges the size. That's what would happen.”

 

Overgaard: But how much are we talking about? Like, if we were to keep it f/0.95, and we say ‘I want to get rid of purple fringing’ and I can use whatever glass coating, and whatever magic glass you can find or make?

 

Karbe: “Glass coating will not help it. I would expect 30% more size.”

 

Overgaard: In length?

 

Karbe: “In length, yes.”

 

Overgaard: Not in diameter?

 

Karbe: “10% more diameter … hmm, 10% would be possible.”

 

Overgaard: On the current 50mm Noctilux f/0.95, I have the impression that the lens barrel is shaved as thin as possible, so it's not like you can actually make the material of the lens barrel thinner? So, it is going to be 10%? But then the weight would be the same or more?

 

Karbe: “The weight would be more, 25%-30% or so more I would say, based on our experiences with the 75mm Noctilux.

“My interpretation of your question and your comment is that, when you saw that the 75mm had no purple fringing, this raised the question, how do we get the same on the 50mm?”

 

 

The Leica 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 in black and in silver on Leica M10. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The Leica 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 in black and in silver on Leica M10. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

The unique perspective of the 75mm Noctilux

 

Overgaard: Yes, we always look for the next lens. You give us a 75mm Noctilux that is perfect, and then of course the next question is, can you make the 50mm Noctilux (and everything else) just as perfectly?

The thing I also realized when using the Leica SL, or the Leica TL2 with the 75mm Noctilux, is that the Leica M lenses are actually unique in that they are so small.

The 75mm and 90mm are kind of large, but when I use the 90mm APO for a bit, it's fine. Most of the Leica M lenses are special lenses, the 35mm FLE for example, but the 75mm Noctilux just falls outside the Leica M style and sizes, because it's... I can't walk around in the city with it like I can with the rest of the Leica M lenses.

I can walk with it, of course I can, but it doesn't feel right. People notice me, like as if I had a large dSLR camera with a zoom lens. I'd go into a fancy hotel in Los Angeles, and they would say, ‘No, you can't have a camera with you in here.’ I never had that problem with a 50mm Noctilux, or any other lens. So apparently it just gets a little bit too big with the 75mm Noctilux. It’s the way that it balances and hangs on the side of my body.

That's it, I thought. I'm gonna go 50mm Noctilux because that works. It's an intuitive lens, and a 75mm is just too much to carry, too much for security people and other people.

 

Karbe: “I made the proposal to do the 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 lens because you can take pictures with such a lens, never seen before.

“That's the only point. Use it wide open, as I always say.”

 

Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 

Overgaard: I was excited that with the 75mm Noctilux, you can go closer than one meter (which is the closest focus distance of the 50mm Noctilux). Then I never used it because it didn't make any sense, I mean, you can go as close as 65cm, but it never made any sense to use it because it was too close for portraits. And for other things, the depth of field became so narrow it looked like macro photography. With macro, I find that a narrow focus doesn’t work that well. You usually need to stop down for it to make sense in the final macro image.

 

Karbe: “I took some pictures to try it up close, and I think outside in nature you can take some pictures with this lens. But this is not your style, so ... but others might do it.”

 

Overgaard: You showed me, it must have been in the summer of 2017, that you were doing macro in the woods, of flowers and insects. I know it was a Noctilux. What led towards that, was it a study for the 75mm Noctilux?

 

Karbe: “No, that was a different kind of macro. I did macro with the M lenses, with the macro adapter. This has nothing to do with sharpness or anything. It's a soft focus, but you can take clear pictures. It was not just the 50mm Noctilux, I took the 90mm APO and other lenses, like the APO 50, for example. I had a lot of fun with that during my summer holiday.”

 

Overgaard: So, when you say you can do pictures with the 75 that you never could before, do you have certain styles of picture where you hope people would do that? The way they would utilize the 75?

 


Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Karbe: “So, perhaps you can remember when we introduced the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95, there was a picture we showed of a boxer. I liked it very much. When you see that photo, you see how a photographer wants to express the eyes of the boxer in focus and the rest is background information.

“The 75mm Noctilux, you can have a different perspective. It's the same situation and you can ... well, you can tell a story, a better story with sharpness and unsharpness. You are in that style, you are very familiar with it.
“What I see are some people who bought the Noctilux, and they walk around and stop it down to f/8 and f/11. This will not help appreciate the lens nor sell more of them. It's not the way to do it.

“I don't like to talk about ‘the available light lens’, because in the past, of course, the first low light lenses were ‘available light lenses’ and you could always read it in the brochure, ‘Please put down two or three stops to get the best performance’. No! For me, an ‘available light lens’ stopped down two or three stops to get this performance is a complication in this world. Today, there is no need for available light lenses because you can go to 3200 ISO or 6400 ISO. There is wide open lenses.

“I always use Auto ISO myself so that I can play with the aperture and define one by 1/250th seconds or faster. But to think, as I always say, ‘never step down’ if you don’t need to get the types of photos where you have lots of sharpness throughout the field. So we need to concentrate on that to see which pictures are possible with that open aperture.

“Many photographers only copy what they have seen before, and with the 75, you can now take pictures we never saw before. That's an important point for me."

 

 

Leica 75mm Noctilux-M AsPH f/1.25. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M AsPH f/1.25. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

'Rock and Roll' lenses

Overgaard: I agree. There's another thing in 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 that I want to talk about. It’s hard to express it but the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 is more ‘rock and roll’, because it's kind of like … it's a magical lens! The 75mm Noctilux f/1.25, is much more controlled.

It's a bit like the perfection that you see in more modern lenses also. You see it in the 90 APO-Summicron-SL f/2.0. You have the amazing clarity, and then you have this fact that the bokeh is so silky smooth. It’s too perfect. There's no rock and roll, it’s too controlled to be fun, there are no surprises or quirky things to play with.

 

Karbe: “It’s too perfect?” (with a smirk on his face).

 

 

David LaChapelle. Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
David LaChapelle. Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Overgaard: Yeah, in a way you could say that. The 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 is unique because it's out of control, but it's controlled. It's so controlled that there's nothing else like it. You are balancing on what is impossible, and yet it has the focal plane, details and contrast under control. But that’s all that is under control.

Then you get the 75mm Noctilux f/1.25, and there’s so much control. So I think, if you like the qualities in the 75mm Noctilux f/1.25, then why don't you get a Leica SL, with a 90 APO-Summicron f/2.0 or something?

 

Karbe: “Do you think it's the same?”

 

Overgaard: No, I don't think it's the same. The 50mm still has bokeh in a long background; the background’s going to be completely blown out. Then you see that with the 75mm you can do the same, without that long of a background. But I can take a 50mm f/2.0 and can shoot it like a Noctilux because I deliberately choose an even longer background. If I add some sparkling light, then people think, ‘Oh the Noctilux is beautiful.’ Well, it's the 50 f/2.0, it's just because I wanted that look, so I arranged things.

 

Karbe: “It always depends on the background, how far away. That's important. Each and every professional photographer puts backgrounds far away so you do not need to care about the f-stop. You can stop it down to f/11 and then take pictures. But to take street photography or take pictures of the real world, that's why you need this wide open lens, and that's a point.

“An image can be very flat. My newer lenses have a very fast drop down in contrast of the out-of-focus area. In older lenses which are just not in focus, but relatively same contrast, there’s the circle of confusion (optical spot from highlight in the out-of-focus background). We’re working on the part out of focus, to lessen the contrast. That’s what we're focusing on. You can say one is ‘rock and roll’, and this other is maybe ‘too scientific’ or ‘too clear’ or ‘too perfect’.”

 

View this post on Instagram

75mm Noctilux portrait by #thorstenovergaard

A post shared by Thorsten von Overgaard (@thorstenovergaard) on

 

Overgaard: I want both, I think. How can you take this perfect lens and move it onto the edge? With the old 50mm Summicron f/2.0 II ‘rigid’, you can get flare and you can do everything, and sometimes it just goes totally wrong. It goes milky (low contrast and overflow of light) and the colors go off. Or you get flare but you get something that's rock and roll. With the 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 it's really difficult to do anything wrong with it. You try to throw it off, but it just doesn't work!

 

Karbe: “Usually we want to get rid of flare.” (looking like an impatient finance director who just made a point about not spending too much money).

 

Overgaard: Yeah, I know.

 

Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II "Rigid". © Thorsten Overgaard.
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II "Rigid" on Leica M10. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 


Flare from the Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II "Rigid" on Leica M10-P. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Karbe: “We did a lot in that direction, especially for the SL lenses. I tried to provoke flare, but with the sun, and I couldn't find it. So I concluded we did a good job.

“But on the other side, if you want to have it within your pictures…” (Karbe looks thoughtful as if he is scrolling through MTF charts, prototypes and models they dropped on the floor for his inner eye).

 

 

The post office in Hollywood. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The post office in Hollywood. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 

Overgaard: It's not so much the flare alone, but to think you're operating on the edge of what is possible, and then you move on the edge, and you get something that is really crazy looking. That’s the moment of creation. If you move over the edge it just doesn't work anymore. But there is this moment of working towards and so far over the edge that it surprises you. The 75mm Noctilux f/1.25 – and many of the new S lenses and SL lenses – is so controlled it's like you can't move it towards the edge because the whole lens is just so well controlled; it's always gonna have the same look.

So what ... the 75mm Noctilux has depth of field, it has extreme clarity, magnificent control of details and colors, of contrast … And all that is all great, but there's no playing ground. With the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 there's a playing ground and there are things that are extremely well controlled. You can push it, you know, but this one, the 75mm you can't push.

It seems like you wanted bokeh, and you have higher and greater contrast, but it seems to me like the overall theme is, ‘How can you get control and perfection’?

 

Karbe: “Controlled imperfection?”

 

Overgaard: Yes! Do some things with controlled imperfection. I don't like the Thambar. It’s out of control and doesn’t have much of anything in control. But the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 is a good example of controlled imperfection.


Karbe seems speechless for the first time. I look at him and I’m sure he will say something wise about this in a moment. While he is grumbling about this, we move onto something slightly different...

 


A scene from "Mission Impossible" that was shot to a large degree with wides angle lenses (so as to be "in the fight" very close to the actors in fighting scenes, on motorbikes and in helicopters) and anachromatic lenses (creates blue lines, flare etc).


DP and director of Mission Impossible trying to figure out how to get some visual 'rock and roll'.

 

'Rock and Roll' and making old lenses again

 

Overgaard: One thing, speaking of the cine lenses, is that they want rock and roll in their lenses. Any filmmaker picks the lenses for that specific movie project, and they do cinematic color grading of the footage to get a certain look. Take the new Mission Impossible, it’s not a display in optical perfection, but in a visual language. The DP talks about the classic, softer look using Panavision’s C-series and E-series anamorphic lenses, and that shooting 35mm film would accentuate their aberrations. Another example of less optical perfection and more of a style is The Favourite where DP Robbie Ryan uses  a 6mm fisheye lens for much of it!

 

From "The Favourite" that was largely shot with a 6mm Panavision fisheye lens.
From "The Favourite" that was largely shot with a 6mm Panavision fisheye lens.

 

Karbe: ‘Yes, they also take the Noctilux f/0.95 and such things and use it to get a special look. So yes, if we are asked to produce old lenses, we can do. No problem.”

 

Overgaard: Like with the Thamber that was remade. I think there is a difference in the old and the new Thamber in terms of resolution?

 

Karbe: “No. It's the same. We implemented coating (single layer coating), because we don't want it to leave our system without coating. It's a little different, but in principle it's taken out of the box, as if it was never used since the 1920’s. It’s all as it was then.”

 

 

             
 

Buy the new eBook
"Composition in Photography"
by Thorsten von Overgaard

 
             
 

Composition in Photography
- The Photographer as Storyteller

This book will inspire your photographic eye and make you wonder about all the possibilities you can now see.

In this exciting new book Thorsten Overgaard expands and simplifies the subject of composition. It's elevated from geometric patterns to actual storytelling by practical use of space, rhythm, time, colors, emotions and intuition in your photography.

- The Basics of Composition.
- Composition in the Third Dimension.
- Picture Stories.
- Accenturating with Light.
- Photograph as a Melody.
- Which lens are you?
- Fear of sharpness?.
- Vanishing Point.
- The most important
element of composition

- What is the unknown secret
why it is you mostly can't get
the Rule of Thirds to work?

- How does a camera see
differently than the eye?

- What does quantum physics and
photography have in common?

- What's the greatest adventure you can
set out on in photography these days?
- A Sense of Geometry.

Only $398.00.
Order now. Instant delivery.

864 pages. 550 Illustrations.

 

"It’s your best work so far"

"I’m being gently led"

" I love this book!!!"

Compisition in Photography

"The book is incredible"'

"It’s like therapy for the human spirit."

"Beautiful and inspiring"

"Full of practical advice
and shared experience"

'I love how hands-on and
laid back Thorsten's witting style is"

"Inspiring"

"Intense and thought-provoking"

 
  Add to Cart View Cart   100% satisfaction of money back.  
             

 

 

Reflections in lenses

 

Overgaard: On coating and light; With the 50 APO and 90 APO, if I take a photo where I’m not photographing straight into the sun, but I do have sun hitting the front glass and maybe further into the lens from the edge, the light seems to travel inside the lens and milk out the photo, wash it out with overflow of light.

I have this super well, controlled lens, it does really well, but as soon as it gets lighting from the side, it just ... milks out. And I wonder why, is this an APO thing? Or what is it? Is it just because it would flare, but then you stop the flare and get a mostly white-looking effect?

 

Karbe: “I need to see the picture so I get the exact phenomena. There are some effects within the camera, the light touches the wall and comes back. But it’s not an APO thing.

“Sometimes the sensor has a cover glass, and if you hit it with sun you're reflecting on that surface, and there’s some interaction with the concentric surface that reflects it in total. So it comes back and it goes back and reflects, and you have a very bright reflection. It can happen and then you have it three times, on the sensor itself, and on the cover glass.”

 

Cuba. Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
Cuba. Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

 

 

Overgaard: I had the same with the 35-70 zoom, the f/2.8 for the R system. I was also trying to provoke some flares when I got it, like 10 years ago, and I didn't get flares, but it milked out instead”.

 

Karbe: “There is always a question of the interaction between the first reflection and the second reflection. And sometimes it makes a flare, sometimes you have a spot. But this has nothing to do with APO."

 


Leica 50mm APO-Summicron.

 

Overgaard: I will try to make a photo with the 50 APO one day and the 50mm Rigid of the same. And see what the 50 APO does when the 50 Rigid produces flare. Could be interesting to get your take on that.

Speaking of which; If I asked you to make a ‘rock and roll lens’, a lens that flares and makes funny things. High quality lens, but it produces flare. Would that be possible to do these days?

 

Karbe: “Possibly. We can reduce the coatings, the performance of the coatings and then you would have the flare. There's no problem. Flare reduction is done with the coatings. That's it. We always try to be better and better."

 

Overgaard: But could you make it ‘worse’ somehow? Find some glass that makes it more extreme? I know a guy who buys old Leica lenses, and he gets them fully restored. So he has this special look of old lenses, but they are like new, and they’re usually not that expensive. It’s a different look you can’t get with new lenses.

The 50mm Rigid has colors that milks out in sunshine, it's just hopeless. As long as you have shade and soft light, it's actually nice. If you have low contrast, you can add it in editing, nowadays. But I like the concept of high contrast in the focus area and that it falls down the out-of-focus area. That's genius.

 

Karbe: “With higher contrast or higher resolution.”

 

Overgaard: In movies these days, they add fake flare. Sometimes it’s like, ‘Come on that's too much’, but they add it because they like it, that’s the thing. It's more dramatic. It would be fun to do a 50mm f/1.4, like the old one, but maybe improve the colors and contrast, but then go extreme on the flare.

 

Karbe: “It's possible yes, no problem. We can go back to the old things.”

 

 

To be continued ...

With this, we concluded our talk. I feel that Peter Karbe and the folks in Wetzlar have all their focus on perfection and L-mount lenses where there are no limitations on size. I wonder - with a silent hope - that I might have shaken him a bit with the idea that small and imperfect lenses is still in demand. Maybe we will see some like that, one day.

Essentially, photography should be 'painting with light', rather than 'recording light'.

 


Portrait artist Dick Zimmerman in his studio. Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Portrait artist Dick Zimmerman in his studio. Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

As some of you know, I bought a 7artisan 50mm f/1.1 some time after this interview, which is a relative cheap lens ($398.00) that try to perform a Noctilux look, with a lot of built-in imperfections and abberations. For more on that lens, read my article "The disruptive 50mm low-light lens from the Far East".

To understand more about the "perfection and large lenses' mindset, read the first part of this interview with Peter Karbe, "Small Camera, Large Print (and Large Lenses)".

 

 

 

Was ist das?

A walk-through of the Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25 FLE.

f/1.25

The aperture ring for the Leica 75mm Noctilux features an f/1.25 as the widest opening. Simply for space reasons the 1.25 is placed to the left of 1.4 and the actual position on the scale is marked with a white line.

Aperture normally goes from f/1.0 to f/1.4 to f/2.8 and so on, with each step reducing the light to half of the previous step.

f/1.25 is mid-way between f/1.0 and f/1.4; a "half-stop".

Aperture ring is sometimes called diaphragm ring (dia=through, phragma=fence) as it controls how much light comes through the lens.

 

f/1.25  The aperture ring for the Leica 75mm Noctilux features an f/1.25 as the widest opening. Simply for space reasons the 1.25 is placed to the left of 1.4 and the actual position on the scale is marked with a white line.   Aperture normally goes from f/1.0 to f/1.4 to f/2.8 and so on, with each step reducing the light to half of the previous step. f/1.25 is mid-way between f/1.0 and f/1.4; a "half-stop".   Aperture ring is sometimes called diaphragm ring (dia=through, phragma=fence) as it controls how much light comes through the lens.

     

Infinity-symbol ()
and distance scales

The manual focus scale goes from 2.8 feet / 85 cm to "infinity", which is marked with the ∞ symbol.

The focusing barrel has two scales. An orange for feet and a white for meters. Before 1950, some Leica lenses had only one scale, so there were models for some countries shown in meters and other models for other countries shown in feet. At some point some genius figured both scales could be on the lens.


  Infinity-symbol (∞)  and distance scales  The manual focus scale goes from 2.8 feet / 85 cm to "infinity", which is marked with the ∞ symbol.   The focusing barrel has two scales. An orange for feet and a white for meters. Before 1950, some Leica lenses had only one scale, so there were models for some countries shown in meters and other models for other countries shown in feet. At some point some genius figured both scales could be on the lens.
     

Depth of Field Scale

The many lines "meeting in the center" shows how deep a field will be in "acceptable focus" at any given f-stop and distance.

At closest distance, the 1.25 lines shows that basically a hair-line will be in focus at f/1.25.
At closest distance, if the aperture is set to f/16, the area from 75cm - 90cm would be in focus.
As the subject in focus is further away, a greater depth of the field would be in focus: If you look at the picture above, at f/16, everything from 10 meters to infinity would be in focus. In other words, the closer you move to a subject, the more critical (thin) becomes the focus. You want the background more blurred? Go closer!

By the way, the ∞ symbol is infinity. If you stop down the lens to f/16, the midst of the ∞ symbol would be above the f/16 line (which would make the distance from 4 meters to infinity in focus). Take a lens and play with the depth of field scale to grasp it easily.
"Acceptable focus" is a term from the film days and basically means this area will look really sharp.

 

  The many lines "meeting in the center" shows how deep a field will be in "acceptable focus" at any given f-stop and distance.   At closest distance, the 1.25 lines shows that basically a hair-line will be in focus at f/1.25.  At closest distance, if the aperture is set to f/16, the area from 75cm - 90cm would be in focus. As the subject in focus is further away, a greater depth of the field would be in focus: If you look at the picture above, at f/16, everything from 10 meters to infinity would be in focus. In other words, the closer you move to a subject, the more critical (thin) becomes the focus. You want the background more blurred? Go closer!  By the way, the ∞ symbol is infinity. If you stop down the lens to f/16, the midst of the ∞ symbol would be above the f/16 line (which would make the distance from 4 meters to infinity in focus). Take a lens and play with the depth of field scale to grasp it easily.  "Acceptable focus" is a term from the film days and basically means this area will look really sharp.

At close focus there is a great distance from 1 - 1.2 meters on the focusing ring, whereas the distance from 5 to 10 meters is relatively short. When you bring the depth of field scale lines into this, you see that the depth of field becomes more narrow the closer you go.
At close focus there is a great distance from 1 - 1.2 meters on the focusing ring, whereas the distance from 5 to 10 meters is relatively short. When you bring the depth of field scale lines into this, you see that the depth of field becomes more narrow the closer you go.
     

Focal length marking

In recent years, all Leica lenses have gotten an orange marking on the barrel with the focal length so the user can see which lens is mounted on the camera. In this case a 75mm lens.

  Focal length marking  In recent years, all Leica lenses have gotten an orange marking on the barrel with the focal length so the user can see which lens is mounted on the camera. In this case a 75mm lens.
     

Serial number

The serial number of most Leica lenses is engraved on the front. In some cases, lenses have the serial number on the side of the lens barrel.

You can refer to my  Leica Lens Compendium for what year a lens (approximately) was produced (down towards the bottom of the page).
  Serial number  The serial number of most Leica lenses is engraved on the front. In some cases, lenses have the serial number on the side of the lens barrel.   You can refer to my Leica Lens Compendium for what year a lens (approximately) was produced (down towards the bottom of the page).
     

Twist lens hoods

When you turn the built-in lens hood it extrudes. It's very easy to move the hood out.

Below you can see the difference between the hood in and out.

Besides offering a natural protection for the glass against bumps, it shades for light from the side that eventually would cause unwanted reflections in the lens, which would cause the image to "milk out".

 
     

 
     

Lens release/lock

The silver button on the camera, next to the lens bayonet, is the release button. You press it and turn the lens counter-clockwise until the red dot is above the silver lock. Then you can take it off.

Red alignment button

The red button goes straight above the release lock when the lens is mounted, then you twist the lens clockwise until the lens "clicks" into lock (see below).

  Lens release/lock  The silver button on the camera, next to the lens bayonet, is the release button. You press it and turn the lens counter-clockwise until the red dot is above the silver lock. Then you can take it off.   Red alignment button  The red button goes straight above the release lock when the lens is mounted, then you twist the lens clockwise until the lens "clicks" into lock (see below).
     

Bayonet lock

On the back of the lens you can see the small tab that the camera locks into to make sure the lens stays on the camera.

Bayonet lock   On the back of the lens you can see the small tab that the camera locks into to make sure the lens stays on the camera.

The three small holes you may be able to spot on black part of the lens back is for mounting in the factory (special tools, don't try this at home).

 

Bayonet lock   On the back of the lens you can see the small tab that the camera locks into to make sure the lens stays on the camera.

 

 

 

6-bit code

The white and black lines on the back of the lens bayonet is not a message from aliens. It's the individual code on each lens model that tells the camera which lens is mounted.

This is how you can see on the display of the camera which lens is mounted; and the information is also recorded in the EXIF data of each picture.

The lens profile in the EXIF data allows Lightroom and other software programs to apply lens corrections to the file (straighten lines, etc.).

Older lenses from before 2003 don’t have a bit code, but it can be engraved by Leica Camera AG.


  6-bit code  The white and black lines on the back of the lens bayonet is not a message from aliens. It's the individual code on each lens model that tells the camera which lens is mounted.   This is how you can see on the display of the camera which lens is mounted; and the information is also recorded in the EXIF data of each picture.  The lens profile in the EXIF data allows Lightroom and other software programs to apply lens corrections to the file (straighten lines, etc.).  Older lenses from before 2003 don’t have a bit code, but it can be engraved by Leica Camera AG.
     

Lens model

On the 75mm Noctilux the model number is really well hidden.

Mostly the model number of a lens is engraved on the outside of the barrel, on the bottom, closest to the camera.

The Noctilux model number (which is Type 11676) is tiny and almost below the lens. But it's there!

  Lens model  On the 75mm Noctilux the model number is really well hidden.   Mostly the model number of a lens is engraved on the outside of the barrel, on the bottom, closest to the camera.   The Noctilux model number (which is Type 11676) is tiny and almost below the lens. But it's there!
     

Tripod mount

Below the 75mm Noctilux is a 1/4" tripod mount that you do not mount the lens on! You use the accessory enclosed (see next picture below).

The instruction manual on the lens say it is "not permitted" to use the lens thread. Offenders go to prison and the lens goes back to Leica.

 

  Tripod mount   Below the 75mm Noctilux is a 1/4" tripod mount that you do not mount the lens on! You use the accessory enclosed (see next picture below).   The instruction manual on the lens say it is "not permitted" to use the lens thread. Offenders go to prison and the lens goes back to Leica.
     

Tripod accessory for Noctilux

To make a perfect balance of camera and lens on a tripod, the tripod accessory is attached to the lens. It further stabilizes the whole set and prevents the lens from being damaged. Leica traditionally always has tripod mounts on larger lenses.


The tripod accessory is free with the lens and is enclosed the box in a protective leather pouch.

  Tripod accessory for Noctilux  To make a perfect balance of camera and lens on a tripod, the tripod accessory is attached to the lens. It further stabilizes the whole set and prevents the lens from being damaged. Leica traditionally always has tripod mounts on larger lenses.
Nice tripod adapter for optimum stabilization when doing video or ling exposures.
     

E67 filter thread

The front of the lens says E67, which is the Leica designation for 67mm filters.

For a 1.25 lens one should get a 3-stop Neutral Density filter (ND-filter), which works like "sunglasses" for the lens so you can use it in sunshine.

A 3-stop ND-filter reduces the light going through the lens 3 stops, so wide open at f/1.25 it will take light in as if of f/3.4 but remains the narrow depth of field of f/1.25. I recommend "X4-ND" 3-stop filters from Breakthrough Photography.

The manual specifically says the 75mm Noctilux is optimized for f/1.25 and using the aperture to stop down should only be done for depth of field control.

  E67 filter thread  The front of the lens says E67, which is the Leica designation for 67mm filters.  For a 1.25 lens one should get a 3-stop Neutral Density filter (ND-filter), which works like "sunglasses" for the lens so you can use it in sunshine.  A 3-stop ND-filter reduces the light going through the lens 3 stops, so wide open at f/1.25 it will take light in as if of f/3.4 but remains the narrow depth of field of f/1.25. I recommend "X4-ND" 3-stop filters from Breakthrough Photography.  The manual specifically says the 75mm Noctilux is optimized for f/1.25 and using the aperture to stop down should only be done for depth of field control.
Highest quality "X4-ND" 3-stop filter from Breakthrough Photography in san Francisco ($149).
     

Lens engravings

Almost all Leica lenses have the vital information engraved on the front:

Brand name, focal length, aperture and name of the lens. Usually also the filter size (E67 = 67mm).

Leica lens names go like this:

Elmarit: f/2.8 lenses.
Summicron: f/2.0 lenses.
Summilux: f/1.4 lenses.
Noctilux: f/1.0 lenses.

  Lens engravings  Almost all Leica lenses have the vital information engraved on the front:  Brand name, focal length, aperture and name of the lens. Usually also the filter size (E67 = 67mm).
     

 

Family mother. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Family mother. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Leica 75mm Noctilux user reports and reviews:

Jono Slack: "Testing the Leica Noctilux" (February, 2018)
Reid Reviews: "Leica 75/1.25 Noctilux ASPH & Leica 75/2.0 APO Summicron ASPH"
Leicarumors and John Buckley : "Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH lens review" (March 2018)
Leicarumors and Jerry Bei : "Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH lens review" (April 2018)

Leica 75mm Noctilux video reviews:

Red Dot Forum: Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH Unboxing and Overview
(Very informative video as of March 2018)

 

Making prints. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Making prints. Leica M10 with Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 


To be continued ...

I hope you enjoyed my article on the 75mm Noctilux. I will be writing more on other cameras and lenses, so sign up for my free newsletter to stay in the know.

As always, feel free to email me any comments, suggestions or questions.

 

 
 

 

 

 

Leica Definitions:

AF = Auto Focus. The idea is that the camera does the focusing itself (the word auto comes from Greek "self").

Aperture = (also written as f/) = The metal blades inside a camera lens that regulates how much light passes through the lens. On a f/1.4 lens, the lens is "fully open" at f/1.4. At f/2.0 the aperture inside the lens makes the hole through the lens smaller so only half the amount of light at f/1.4 passes through. For each f/-stop (like f/4.0 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11 - f/16) you halve the light. The f/ fundamentally means "f divided with": The aperture of the lens is basically the focal length divided with the f/-stop = size of the hole (50mm divided with f/2.0 = the hole is 25 mm in diameter, or 50mm at f/1.4 is 50mm divided with 1.4 = the hole through is 36mm. ). ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.

The aperture blades inside the lens is clearly visible in this photo.
The aperture blades inside the lens is clearly visible in this photo.

 

 
  The camera in Aperture Priority Mode
   

Aperture Priority Mode. When the shutter speed dial on top of a Leica camera is set to A, it is short for “Aperture Priority” and allows the user to set a specific aperture value (f-number) while the camera selects a shutter speed to match it that will result in proper exposure based on the lighting conditions as measured by the camera's light meter. In other words, you set the aperture as priority (f/1.4 for example), and the camera calculates a shutter speed (1/250 of a second) that matches that. If you change the aperture to f/2.0 by changing the aperture ring on the lens, the camera will re-calculate the speed to 1/125 so as to get the same amount of light to hit the sensor (f/2.0 is half the light through the lens as f/1.4 and 1/125 if twice the amount of light on the sensor as 1/250).

ASPH = stands for "aspheric design". Most lenses have a spherical design - that is, the radius of curvature is constant. These are easy to manufacture by grinding while "spinning" the glass. This design however restricts the number of optical corrections that can be made to the design to render the most realistic image possible. ASPH lenses, however, involve usually 1 element that does *not* have a constant radius of curvature. These elements can be made by 1) expensive manual grinding, 2) molded plastic, or 3) Leica's patented "press" process, where the element is pressed into an aspherical ("non-spherical") shape. This design allows Leica to introduce corrections into compact lens designs that weren't possible before. Practically, the lens performs "better" (up to interpretation) due to increased correction of the image, in a package not significantly bigger than the spherical version. Sphere: ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French espere, from late Latin sphera, earlier sphaera, from Greek sphaira "ball".

     
Normal spheric lens (grinded)   ASPH (note the shape of the glass as result of pressing rather than grinding)

Auto- means “self”. The idea is that when a camera has auto-(something), it does that (something) by itself.

Bokeh = The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens: It's a matter of taste and usually photographers discuss a 'nice' or 'pleasant' bokeh (the out-of-focus area is always unsharp, which is why the quality discussed is if one likes the way it renders or not by a particular lens). The closer you get to something, the 'more' bokeh' you get (in that the focus becomes less for the background and foreground at close distances than at long distances). ORIGIN from Japanese 'bo-ke' which mean 'fuzzines' or 'blur.'.

Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Camera - is today’s short name for Camera Obscura (meaning “a dark room”). Camera means Chambre and was used only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers’ rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”. In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”. Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.
Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

Contrast - The degree of difference between tones in a picture. Latin contra- ‘against’ + stare ‘stand.’

 
  Lens distortion looks like this. The lines are not straight. Our eye uses distortion correction. Lens designers can design lenses so they have very little distortion, or they can make less complicated lens designs and "fix" the distortion in software.
   

Distortion = In photo optics/lenses: When straight lines in a scene don't remain straight because of optical aberration.

Lens designers can correct for distortion to a degree so the whole image field is perfect corrected and all lines remain straight. In modern lens design many designs rely on Software Distortion Correction (SDC).

The eye adjusts for distortion so we always see vertical and horizontal lines straight when we look at things. Even when you get new prescription glasses (if you use such), you will often experience distortion in your new glasses. After a few days they eyes have adjusted for the glasses and the distortion you saw to begin with is now gone. Software Distortion Correction (SDC) is far behind what the human eye can perform of adjustments. (Also see my definition on Perspective for more on the eye and optics)

DNG = Digital Negative, an open standard developed by Adobe. It is a single file that contains the raw image data from the sensor of the camera as well as date, time, GPS, focal length, settings, etc.
The alternative is a RAW file + XLM file where the RAW file contains the image information and the XML contains the rest of information about where, how and when the picture was taken.
A Camera Raw profile (that is specific for that camera) in the computer helps the software program, for example Adobe Lightroom, to translate the RAW data into the image.

A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.
A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.

DOF = Depth of Field. This is how much of the image will be in focus. Shallow DOF is a generally used term in photography that refer to lenses with very narrow focus tolerance (which can be used to do selective focus; for artistic reasons or for specific storytelling, like making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catch the viewers eye).

Depth of Field: The trees and buildings in the background is very much out of focus, and the handrail you can see behind, in the bottom of this photo is slightly out of focus. Princess Joy Villa. Leica TL2 with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Depth of Field: The trees and buildings in the background are very much out of focus, and the handrail you can see behind, in the bottom of this photo is slightly out of focus. Princess Joy Villa. Leica TL2 with Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm.
Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm.

 

Depth - Distance between front and back. Distance from viewer and object.

Dynamic range. The grade of ‘contrast range’ (or number of tones) a film or sensor, or simply a photograph, possess between bright and dark tones. The human eye is said to have a dynamic range of 10-14 ‘stops’ (but because we scan area by area and compile a concept of the overall scene, they eye is often thought to have a much higher dynamic range), Film used to have 7-13 ‘stops’ and some modern sensors have up to 15-17 ‘stops’.

Elmarit = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f2.8 . The name is obviously derived from the earlier (and slower) "Elmar" designation. Not every f/2.8 lens is called an "Elmarit" though, the most obvious current exception being the 50mm f2.8 Elmar-M collapsible lens which for nostalgia and marketing reasons has kept the original 1930's Elmar name (the 50mm f3.5 collapsible Elmar, manufactured 1930-59, was one of Leica's most famous and popular lenses). Vario-Elmarit is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses.

EVF = Electronic ViewFinder. The Leica M10/T/TL/TL2 uses the Leica Visoflex model 0020. The Leica M240 and M246 uses the Leica Visoflex EVF-2.

f/ (f-stop, also knwn as aperture).

f- (focal length).

f/1.25 is the size of the "hole through" the lens, the aperture. f/1.25 means focal length divided with 1.25. In the Leica 75mm NoctiluxM ASPH f/1.25, the "hole through" the lens at f/1.25 is 60mm in diameter. At f/1.4 the "the hole through" is 53.5mm in diameter. At f/4 the "hole through" is 18.75mm in diameter.
Each step smaller from f/1.4 to f/2.0 to f/2.8 to f/4.0 and son on is a reduction ofthe light to half for each step. The Noctilux f/1.25 therefore lets 50% more light in through the lens than a 75/1.4 Summilux.

Flare = Burst of light. Internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. Mostly, flare has a characteristic "space travel" look to it, making it cool. Particularly in older lenses with less or no coating of the glass surfaces to suppress this, it can be a really cool effect. In newer lens designs, the coatings and overall design try to suppress flare and any reflections to a degree, so that there is seldom any flare to be picked up (moving the lens to pick up a strong sunbeam), but instead a "milking out" (or "ghosting") of a circular area of the frame; meaning simply overexposed without any flare-looking flares.

 

Sunlight creating flare in the bottom right quadrant of the image.

  The camera moved slightly to avoid the flare.
     

Focus, in - Sharp and clear in appearance. Focus - “The burning point (of a lens or mirror)”. In Latin the word focus meant fireplace or hearth. The word was probably first employed outside of its Latin literal use as “the burning point of a lens or mirror” in optics, and then came to mean any central point. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler first recorded the word in this sense in 1604.

 
  A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
   

Focal length = (also written as f-) = On the Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4 it is 35mm and originally referred to the distance from the sensor (or film in older days) to the center of focus inside the lens. Nobody uses that measurement, except those who construct lenses! For users of lenses, focal length refers to how wide the lens sees. The viewing angle, which is often given in for example 90° viewing angle for a 21mm lens, 74° viewing angle for a 28mm lens, 6° viewing angle for a 400mm lens, etc.
Each human eye individually has anywhere from a 120° to 200° angle of view, but focuses only in the center.
The Leica TL2 has a APS-C sensor, which "crops" the traditional focal lengths with 1.5X, reducing the angle of view of view with 1.5X.

 
  Full Frame is "king of photography"
   

Full Frame (FF) = The size of the sensor is 24 x 36mm which is the format Oskar Barnack and Leica Camera AG invented with the first Leica that was introduced in 1925. Many other formats invented since, such as APS, APS-C and all usually refer to Full Frame ratio, by which it means what size they have compared to Full Frame.
The 24 x 36mm Full Frame format is so "king of photography" that it has continued to be the ideal for all cameras. Besides this, there exists Large Format cameras such as 4x5" (100 x 125 mm) and Medium Format 6x6 (60 x 60mm amongst other sizes in that area).

Ghosting = Secondary light or image from internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. The reflected light may not always be in focus, so overall it looks like a "milked out" image. A subject in focus has brightened patches in front of it that come from reflections inside the lens. the most elementary look of ghosting is when you look in a rear-view mirror in a car at night and you see doubles of the headlights behind you (a strong one and a weaker one), because the headlights are reflected in a layer of clear glass on top of the mirror glass.

   
Degrees of ghosting from strong sunlight entering from outside the frame. To the right the outside light has been shielded with a shade.

ISO = Light sensitivity of the camera sensor is given in ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It's a standard that was used in film and is now used in all digital cameras also. The base ISO for the Leica TL2 sensor is around 100-150 which means that this is what the sensor "sees". All other levels are computer algorithms calculating the effect as if the sensor could "see" more (hence noise at higher ISO levels).
ISO goes in steps of doubling: When the ISO is raised from 100 ISO to 200 ISO, the camera only need half the amount of light to make the same picture. For each step in ISO to 400, 800, 1600, 3200, etc. the light sensitivity is doubled for the sensor (and the camera sensor only need half the light of the previous ISO to record the same image).

6400 ISO photo from Hollywood at night. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
6400 ISO photo from Hollywood at night. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

JPEG = A standard for picture format made in the 1990's by Joint Photographic Experts Group). Mostly referred to as JPG as in L1003455.JPG which would be the name for a JPG file from the camera.

Leica = A compound word derived from " (Lei)tz" and "(ca)mera". Apparently they were originally going to use "LECA", but another camera company already used a similar name in France, so they inserted the 'i' to prevent any confusion. Before that the brand name was Leitz.

Lens - A piece of glass or similarly transparent material (like water or plastic). It has a shape so that it can direct light rays. The word “Lens” is used both for single piece of glass as well as a camera lens with several lenses that works together. From ‘lentil’ because similar in shape.

Lens hood = A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.

Light = Tiny particles called photons that behaves like both waves and particles. Light makes objects visible by reflecting off of them, and in photography that reflecting off of subjects is what creates textures, shapes, colors and luminance. Light in its natural form (emanating from the sun) also gives life to plants and living things, and makes (most) people happier. So far, nobody has been able to determine exactly what light is. The word photography means “writing with light” (photo = light, -graphy = writing). Read more about light in my book Finding the Magic of Light.

Live View = This is the ability to see the image the sensor see, live, via the screen, or via an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

MACRO = Macro lens. The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.8 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc. as well as a near focus macro. The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’

 

The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.9 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc as well as a near focus macro. © Thorsten Overgaard.
The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.8 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc. as well as a near focus macro. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Maestro II - A processor developed first as Maestro for the Leica S2 and upgraded to Maestro II for the Leica S (Typ 007). The Leica Q has a Mestro II (Leica Q edition) processor developed by SocioNext Inc. based on Fujitsu's Mibeault architecture.

mm = millimeter(s), as in a 50mm lens. (Earlier in lens history lenses focal length was given in cm = centimeters; as in a 5 cm lens). For anyone used to centimeters and millimeters, it’s no wonder. But if you grew up with inches, feet and yards, you may have had a hard time grasping what a 50mm lens was. But as lenses were designed first in Europe, the metric system with centimeters and millimeters was used to describe lenses.
The reason a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is that there is 50mm from the focus plane (the film or sensor) to the center of focus inside the lens. When photography was a young subject, it was engineers who made it all, and the users were expected to understand. The engineers were so into the making of the lenses, that it apparently never dawned upon them that today’s users would think of a 21mm lens as a wide angle lens rather than a lens where there is 21mm from the sensor to the center of focus inside the optics.

Noctilux = Also known as "King of the Night" because "Nocti" means Night and "Lux" means Light. The f/1.0 lenes from Leica are named "Noctilux". The first Leica Noctilux lens was the 50mm Noctilux f/1.2 which shortly after it's introduction was improved to the 50mm Noctilux f/1.0. In the current model the f-stop has been improved further to f/0.95.
"Noctilux" refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.0 . "Nocti" for nocturnal (occurring or happening at night; ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus ‘of the night,’ from nox, noct- ‘night.), "lux" for light. The Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 is famous for enabling the photographer to take photos even there is only candleligts to lit the scene. See the article "Noctilux - King of the Night"

Optic = Eye or vision. From French optique or medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos ‘seen.’

Perspective - The way objects appear to the eye; their relative position and distance. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of perspective (also see Three-dimensional). A wide angle “widens” the perspective and makes objects further away appear smaller than they are to the eye, and objects nearer, relatively larger than they are to the eye. A tele lens will “flatten” the perspective and often objects further away will appear relatively larger than nearer objects, compared to sizes in real life. A 50mm lens is the one closest to the perspective and enlargement ratio of the human eye.

Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

S = Single image. When the ring by the shutter release on top of the camera (or in the menu of a digital camera in case it does not have this ring on the ourside) is moved from OFF to S, the camera takes only one photo at the time (Single). The other possibility is Continuous (see above).

SDC = Software Distortion Correction. A correction of lens distortion (not straight lines) applied in the camera and which is part of the DNG file. In Lightroom the SDC of the camera file is applied automatically (and cannot be removed), in software like AccuRaw one can open the DNG file without the SDC correction. Sean Reid Reviews have written a good article on what SDC is and does in "Software Distortion Correction".

SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off. If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.
SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off.
 If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.

Sensor = A device that detects a physical property (like light) and records it. A camera sensor is a plane plate with thousands of small “eyes” with a lens in front of each, which each individually records the amount of red, green and blue light rays that comes through the lens. together Red, Green and Blue form all colors of the spectrum. From Latin sens- ‘perceived’.

Saturation: How colorful, intense or pure the color is. Less saturation would be less colorful, more saturation would be more colorful. In today’s photography, desaturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full desaturation would make it into a black and white photo.

Sharpness - See “Focus”

Shutter speed dial - The dial on top of the Leica M where you can set the shutter speed manually. It can also be set to A which stands for Aperture Priority (where the camera suggests a shutter speed; or when you move the dial away from A, the camera will show arrows in the viewfinder, suggesting which direction to change the Aperture to, to get the correct exposure).

SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off. If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.
Shutter speed dial set to 1/1000 of a second.

SLR = Abbreviation for Single-Lens Reflex; the lens that forms the image on the film/sensor also provides the image in the viewfinder via a mirror. The Leica Q has no traditional viewfinder and no mirror. the image seen in the EVF is what the sensor sees.

Summicron = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/2.0 . There are many guesses how this name came about, a popular one being that the "summi" came from "summit" (summit means the highest point of a hill or mountain; the highest attainable level of achievement) while the "cron" came from "chroma" (ie. for colour). Not so: The name (Summi)cron was used because the lens used Crown glass for the first time, which Leitz bought from Chance Brothers in England. The first batch of lenses were named Summikron (Crown = Krone in Deutsch). The Summi(cron) is a development from the orignal Summar (the 50mm f2.0 lens anno 1933). Vario-Summicron is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses f/2.0 as the one that is on the Leica Digilux 2.

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In Leica terminology a Summilux is always a f/1.4 lens and a Summicron is a f/2.0 lens.

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. In photography and lens design, three-dimensional effect is also the perception of even small micro-details; the texture of skin can appear flat and dead or three-dimensional and alive. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of depth. Also see Perspective.

 

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Vario- is the Leica Camera AG name for zoom lenses. Vario-Elmarit and Vario-Summicron and so on.

Viewfinder a device on a camera showing the field of view of the lens. Also known as the German word "Messucher" (or Meßsucher).
1) A built-in viewfinder in a camera that simply show the frame you get when you look through the viewfinder.
2) A rangefinder viewfinder which is also used to focus the lens. In Leica M cameras two pictures has to meet and lay 'on top of each other' for the picture to be in focus.
3) An external viewfinder, usually on top of the camera in the flash shoe, so as to show the field of view of lenses vider than what the built-in viewfinder can show (15mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm etc viewfinders exist)
4) Very simple "aiming-devices" on top of a camera that is simply a metal frame without any optics. Just a frame, as for example very old cameras (the original Leica), or when using cameras in diving where you can't look through the camera.

 

 

See my Leica 50mm Noctilux review and user report here -->

See my Leice 75mm Noxtilux review page 1 here -->

 

 

Comments or ideas?

As always, feel free to send me an e-mail if you have questions, comments or suggestions.

 

 
 

 


   

 

- Thorsten Overgaard
#1881-0618

 

    Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3                                  
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1         Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5   Leica CL: 1 2             Books
   
   

 


A Life With Leica from Northpass Media.

   
leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M10   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder    
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Cine Lenses:
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder    
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
    Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
History and overview:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica History   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica Definitions   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica Digilux 1
Leica Camera Compendium   Leica X
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Leica Sofort instant camera
    Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
    Leica CM 35mm film camera
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Quality of Light   Overgaard Lightroom Survival Kit for Lightroom CC/6
Lightmeters   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love    
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
X-Rite   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
Case in Point    
The Good Stuff  
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
Leica OSX folder icons   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
   
Leica Photographers:  
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr    
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston    
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram
More than 100 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Thorsten Overgaard on Twitter
    Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook
Leica Forums and Blogs:    
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog
The Leica User Forum   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr
LeicaRumors.com (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Jono Slack
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   Ming Thein (blog)
  I-Shot-It photo competition
 
 
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:    
Hardware for Photography   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for older Leica 35mm/1.4 lenses
Mega Size Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
Mega Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Medium Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Small Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide   Ventilated Shade for 50mm Summicron lenses
Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Vintage Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarti-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 75mm Summicron (coming)
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
    Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated ShadeE60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
 
     
   
     
     
     
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
   
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
     
   
     
   

 

   
     
     
   
     
   

 

   
     
     
   
     

Above: Fred Chauffier portrait. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard. See the full-size portrait further down the article.


 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

 

 

 

Quick links:

Interview with Peter Karbe on the Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25 and the future of lens design.

 

 

 

 

Thorsten von Overgaard by Markus Iofcea.
Thorsten von Overgaard by Markus Iofcea.

Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Ventilated Shades by Overgaaard
Leather Camera Straps
Camea Bags
Calfskin Camera Pouches
iPad and Computer Clutches
Leather Writing Pads
Books by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica Definitions
Leica History
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon f/3.4
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz Cine lenses
7artisans 50mm f/1.1
Leica Digilux 2

Leica M10
Leica M10-P
Leica M10-D
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 for video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262
Leica M Monochrom
Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL
Leica SL2
Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica R9 dSLR
Leica Q
Leica Q2
Leica CL
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
Lightroom Survival Kit
Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Capture One Survival Kit

Capture One Styles by Overgaard
Signed Original Prints by von Overgaard
The Story Behind That Picture
"On The Road With von Overgaard"

Von Overgaard Masterclasses:
M10 / M9 / M240 / Q / TL2 / S1R /

 

 

 

 

Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

 

     
Buy eBooks by
Thorsten Overgaard
     
"Finding the Magic of Light"   "A Little Book on Photography"
Add to Cart  

Add to Cart

     
"The Leica Q Know-All eBook"   "The Moment of Emptional Impact"
Add to Cart  

Add to Cart

     
"The Freedom of Photographic Expression"   "Composition in Photography - The Photographer as Storyteller"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
Extension Courses
     
The New Photography Extension Course"   "New Inspiration Extension Course"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
"Lightroom Survival Kit 7"   "Capture One Pro Survival Kit"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
Video classes
     
Leica M9
Masterclass
  Street
Photography
Masterclass
(Preorder here)   (Preorder here)
     
"Leica TL2 Quick-Start Video Course"   "Leica Q Video Masterclass"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
"Leica M10 Video Masterclass"   "Leica M 240 Video Masterclass"
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
LR Presets
     
Lightroom Presets Leica M10   Lightroom Presets Leica M9
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
Lightroom Presets Leica TL2   Lightroom Presets Leica Q
Add to Cart   Add to Cart
     
Lightroom Dutch Painters Presets by Thorsten Overgaard    
Add to Cart    
     
"Hollywood Film Presets"
Add to Cart    
     
Hemingway Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
Add to Cart    
     
Leica Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica Styles for Capture One by Thorsten Overgaard
Add to Cart   Add to Cart

 

 

 

 

 


     
     

Join a Thorsten Overgaard
Photography Workshop

I am in constant orbit teaching
Leica and photography workshops.

Most people prefer to explore a
new place when doing my workshop.
30% of my students are women.
35% of my students do
two or more workshops.
95% is Leica users.
Age range is from 16 to 83 years
with the majority in the 30-55 range.
Skill level range from two weeks
to a lifetime of experience.
97% use a digital camera.
100% of my workshop graduates photograph more after a workshop.
1 out of 600 of my students have
asked for a refund.

I would love to see you in one!
Click to see the calendar.

     
     

Hong Kong

 

New York

Shanghai

 

Boston

Beijing

 

Washington DC

Tokyo

 

Toronto

Kyoto

  Montreal

Taipei

  Québec
Seoul  

Seattle

Jakarta

 

San Francisco

Bali

 

Los Angeles

Manila

 

Las Vegas

Singapore

 

Santa Barbara

Kuala Lumpur

 

Santa Fe

Bangkok

 

Austin

Sydney

 

Clearwater

Perth

 

Miami

Melbourne

 

Cuba

Auckland

 

São Paulo

Napier

 

Rio de Janeiro

Moscow

 

Cape Town

Saint Petersburg

 

Tel Aviv

Oslo

 

Jaffa

Malmö

 

Istanbul

Stockholm

 

Palermo

Aarhus

 

Rome

Copenhagen

  Venice

Amsterdam

  Wetzlar

Frankfurt

  Mallorca

Berlin

  Madrid

Münich

 

Barcelona

Salzburg

 

Amsterdam

Vienna

 

Paris

Cannes  

London

Reykjavik   Portugal
    Milano
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 
           
  · © Copyright 1996-2019 · Thorsten von Overgaard


 

© 1996 - 2019 Thorsten von Overgaard. All rights reserved.

 

Web Analytics