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Testing Out Leica’s $12,800 Ultimate Portrait Lens, the 75mm f/1.25


Photographer Matt Granger has been testing out the Leica NOCTILUX 75mm f/1.25 lens, which retails for a whopping $12,800, and in this 9-minute test video he shares his initial thoughts about using it.

Granger took the Leica 75mm, the most expensive retail Leica lens, out to shoot at a harbor with his model Steph. He worked to “obliterate” the background with the incredibly shallow depth of field allowed by the f/1.25 maximum aperture.

The $12,800 Leica NOCTILUX 75mm f/1.25 lens.

While the amount of light let into the camera by this lens is a huge boon, focusing properly becomes a critical (and sometimes challenging) task. The Leica’s built-in peaking feature can help to determine the precise areas of the scene in focus, but any slight movement of the camera can throw things off.

“At f/1.25, it’s really getting shallow,” says Granger.

Here are some sample photos Granger shot with the Leica Noctilux 75mm f/1.25 (you can download the sample files here):

Sample photo #1
A crop of sample photo #1
Sample photo #2
A crop of sample photo #2
Sample photo #3
A crop of sample photo #3

The Leica 75mm has a minimum focus distance of 2.8 feet (0.85m), and an aperture range of f/1.25 to f/16. It has two aspherical elements with low dispersion glass and is a completely manual-focusing lens.

“The only thing I’m worried about is insurance,” says Granger. “This is a pretty nice car I have in my hand right now in terms of value.”