A Milestone in Photography History
Carefully adapted in line with modern lens design, the Leica Noctilux-M 50 f/1.2 ASPH. marks the return of one of the most famous lenses made for the Leica M-System. The reasons for the enduring appeal of this iconic lens have been its speed (which is impressive even today), elaborately constructed aspherical lens elements, and high rendition quality with a unique aesthetic at open aperture. The original Noctilux 50 f/1.2 was produced from 1966 to 1975 at a volume of 1757 units.
Photographer Milan Swolfs is best known for his burlesque and vintage-style fine art portraits that bring to mind the unforgettable Hollywood glamour of the 1920s and 1930s.
Rather than looking to the work of other photographers, Swolfs draws inspiration from old movies, timeless works of art, and the way in which Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer utilised light in their paintings. The photographer, who is also the owner of a vintage Noctilux 50 f/1.2, has taken the new Noctilux-M 50 f/1.2 ASPH. on a thorough field test. His findings confirmed that the original’s distinctive look at open aperture has been retained in the new model. In addition, the Noctilux-M 50 f/1.2 ASPH. delivers an extremely sharp rendition when slightly stopped down – making the new lens suitable for everyday shooting scenarios across the board.
1966: the first Noctilux lens
In 1966, the Noctilux 50 f/1.2 astounded expo visitors and the trade press with its positively revolutionary optical attributes. The lens offered a maximum aperture that was enormous by the standards of the time, in conjunction with an exceptional optical performance. This was partly due to the fact that the Noctilux was the world’s first serially produced lens to feature two aspherical elements. Their purpose was to reduce spherical aberration at maximum aperture and improve rendition quality. To re-issue this iconic lens, the original calculation and construction were only minimally changed, and carefully adapted to the glass types and production methods available today.