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Old 11-07-2007   #23
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Originally Posted by tajart
i know they are different lenses, but i'm curious if anyone has compared the 35 lux with the nokton 40/1.4 - in terms of image making, physical objectness, and handling? just curious

I own and use both of these lenses. The 35mm Pre-ASPH summilux on a Leica M, and the 40 Nokton (singe-coated version) on a CLE - so I don't think I've ever shot them back-to-back on the same roll of film.

Still, a general comparison can be made. Both lenses are small for their wide aperture. The focus on my summilux is smoother and a bit easier than my Nokton, but the Noktons aperture ring is easier to find with the fingers, especially since I ALWAYS have the hood on the Summilux and NEVER on the Nokton. But in general, I find both lenses handle well ergonomically for me - i.e., no big issues there.

The picture characteristics of the two are quite different to my eyes. I'll start by saying that I like both, and plan to keep both. The nokton gives pictures with a clean, "modern" look, nice color rendition, is flare resistant, and sharper than the Summilux in the f/1.4 to f/2.8 range. I never had any complaints about the bokeh of the CV Nokton. My only criticism of it, is that sometimes the pictures from it are clinically razor sharp, but lack a little.... character!

Enter the Summilux and why I keep both. My summilux I think is typical from what I've seen and read (it's a late-ish one with seris VII hood, but not very late) - it's not the sharpest in the wide apertures, but by f/4 is as sharp as any 35mm I've ever used (35mm summicrons, Canon 35/1.8, Konica UC-Hexanon, CV 35/1.2). Wide open, the results are somewhat more "hazy" looking, but nothing that ruins a shot in my experience, and nothing that a bit of contrast boosting in Photoshop can't deal with. The bokeh of the Summilux is very pleasing to my eye, a tad nicer than the Nokton. I pretty much shoot the 35mm Summilux with B&W film, so can't say anything about color rendtion.

SUMMARY: both lenses are nice, but the NOKTON, IMHO, represents what must be the ALL TIME BEST BARGAIN fast, small rangefinder lens! Unless, you don't like the 40mm focal length...

...for example, if I didn't have a CLE, I probably wouldn't own the Nokton. I know that many people happily use their Noktons on Leica M's with no 40mm framelines, but for some reason this just doesn't feel comfortable for me.

'Hope this helps.
Film for B&W, digital for colour
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