Canon 50mm f1:0.95 "Dream Lens" vs Leica 50mm f1.1 Noctilux

Discussion in 'Canon' started by News1, May 18, 2004.

  1. News1

    News1 Guest

    Recently, I have noticed a number of people comparing the Canon 50mm
    f.95 lens and the Leica Noctilux lens. I have been involved in
    photography since 1966 and have owned or used most cameras and lenses,
    since that period. Having used both the Canon 50mm f0.95 and the
    Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.1, the Canon f.95 seems to be a better lens
    for several reasons. As far as sharpness is concerned, it seems that
    the Canon f1:.0.95 and the Leica Noctilux are about the same, however
    when it comes to flare, my experience was that the Canon did a better
    job than the Noctilux. I also felt that the Canon lens seemed to be
    better constructed, and I had the sense that the Canon was a more
    durable lens than the Leica, though this might be a value judgement
    and others may think otherwise. It should be noted that the Canon
    f.95 is almost half a stop faster than the original Noctilux. Some
    of these statements may seem hard to swallow for Leica diehards, but
    it should be remembered that the Canon 50mm f1:.95 was developed in
    1961, at a time when Canon was floating in an ocean of money and
    clearly had the funds to put into R&D, for a quality lens. Further,
    rangefinders were still the norm and accepted by professional
    photographers in the field. On the other hand, Leica came out
    with the Noctilux f1.1 in 1971 (released in early 1972), at a time
    when rangefinders were all but forgotten and had lost out to the
    SLR's. At this point in time, Leica was probably under pressure to
    jazz up their camera and lens line. I will speculate that though
    Leica did an excellent development job to design the first Noctilux,
    that they probably did not have the resources that Canon had ten years
    before. A year later, Leica was effectively sold to Minolta which
    resulted in a new marketing concept as well as a lower priced camera
    sold both under the Leica and Minolta name (the CL) and, at least in
    the case of the Minolta, was manufactured in Singapore, if I recall

    The Canon I owned was the Canon 7 and the Leica was the original
    Leica M5 with the Noctilux 50mm f1.1. Leica later produced another
    Noctilux f1.0. I do not have first hand experience with the Noctilux

    When comparing rangefinder cameras and lenses, it is very important
    to remember that the rangefinder finder should be checked for focusing
    accuracy, every once in a while. Unlike an SLR, a rangefinder can
    and do get out of calibration, both in terms of focusing accuracy as
    well as framing. If the focusing accuracy of a rangefinder is off,
    the lens will never produce razer sharp images.
    News1, May 18, 2004
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  2. News1

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Canon 50mm f1:0.95 "Dream Lens" vs Leica 50mm f1.1 Noctilux
    The original Noctilux was an f/1.2 not an f/1.1.

    Canon's f/1.2 for its rangefinder (which I owned was flarey and nowhere near
    the color renditon or clarity of any Leica optics so it is doubtful that their
    0.95 lens could match the f/1.0 Noctilux.

    It was Rollei (35mm SLRs) that was made in Singapore, not Minolta's SLRs in the

    There was a Leica/Minolta collaberation in the '70's and '80's - Leica was not
    effectively or ineffectively sold to Minolta, nor was it sold to Sigma or
    Angeneiux or Schneider when they used some of their lenses to supplement the
    line. Some excellent Minolta (16 fisheye, 24mm) and Zeiss (15mm) designs still
    remain in the SLR line, however Leica is still its own company regardless and
    has not been sold in any sense of the word to any other manufacturer.

    Since I have not used the Canon f/.95 I can't comment directly on its
    performance, however the tone of your post (whoever you are) if not meant as a
    troll, seems more like a fantasy love poem to Canon rangefinder gear than
    having annything to do with reality.
    Lewis Lang, May 18, 2004
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  3. News1

    MXP Guest

    I far as I have heard the 50/0.95 is a collectors item only and is not able
    to produce a sharp image......especially not at 0.95 .....and this
    information is from
    a person which has the lens in his collection. But there could be sample
    I am quite sure the Canon 50/1.0 is far better.....or the 85/1.2.

    MXP, May 18, 2004

  4. AAAAARRGH!!!!

    What Sigma lenses did Leica rebrand?
    (Nightmare where I discover that the 35mm Summicron is really a Sigma...)

    Chris Loffredo, May 18, 2004
  5. News1

    Nick J Guest

    nah don't be silly, it's a Phoenix ;-)
    Nick J, May 18, 2004
  6. I understand Sigma actually demanded Leica claim ownership of that lens,
    being unwilling to apply their name to any such shoddy goods.

    Martin Francis, May 18, 2004
  7. As far as I recall, it was one zoom, a 28-something. The replacement
    is sourced from Kyocera.

    "The Vario-Elmar-R 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 lenses (the #11364 and earlier
    #11265) are Sigma built and don't have an amazing reputation for
    mechanical or optical performance. (See Dr Joseph Yao's remarks

    from <>.
    Stephen H. Westin, May 18, 2004
  8. News1

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Leica took Sigma's 28-70 design or actual lens and had it made to their
    specs/coatings and/or whatever. I'm not sure if its in the current line up any
    more, though...
    Lewis Lang, May 19, 2004
  9. News1

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: Canon 50mm f1:0.95 "Dream Lens" vs Leica 50mm f1.1 Noctilux

    I wonder if its (the Leica is) the same design as the current 28-70 f/3.5-4.5?
    for the Contax manual focus SLRs...
    Lewis Lang, May 19, 2004
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