Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Noctilux project

When it comes to photographic tools, for some photographers cameras are what fascinates. For me and for many other photographers it's lenses that are the magical part of photography. One of the legendary lenses of all time is the Leica f/1.0 Noctilux. This lens is designed to work with M series Leicas. Think about what f/1.0 means. Most folks these days shoot with f/3.5 to f/5.6 zooms. An f/1.0 lens is 5 full stops faster than an f/5.6 lens. Two stops faster than even an f/2.0 lens. This means that with an f/1.0 lens you can use a fine-grained ISO 100 film where with an f/2.0 lens you'd need to use ISO 400 film. Probably more than any other Leica lens, and possibly more than any lens period, the Noctilux is an object of fascination. Here's a few examples of what the lens is capable of at f/1.

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