noctilux

The Most Expensive Camera Lenses You Can Buy Right Now

Whether you are a working professional or a weekend hobbyist, the thrill of using truly exquisite gear is unmatched. We all work with what we have while salivating over what we cannot, and no matter how old we get, fancy toys never lose their luster. Do we need them? Probably not. Will we ever purchase them? Not likely. Will we spend hours staring at them? You bet. Nothing is as intoxicating to a photographer as good, outrageously expensive glass.

Bokeh Battle: Leica Noctilux f/0.95 vs Nikon Noct f/0.95

If you're a total bokeh maniac, two of the lenses you've probably looked at with yearning are the Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 and the Nikon Noct 58mm f/0.95. But how do these actually very different lenses compare to one another when you shoot them side-by-side?

Justifying the Noctilux and Its Place in My Workflow

I have gone through the gear of almost every major brand during my early photography journey, buying my way through cameras and lenses until I arrived at my current setup, which has remained more or less the same for my entire professional career. Despite settling on a brand known for its high price point, I have been comfortable with all of my camera and lens choices except one, which is what I’ll be discussing here.

This Rare Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1 Lens Comes with Its Own Humidor

Here's one way to identify a pricey lens: it comes with a dedicated luxury humidor for humidity control. Back in 2008, as Leica was ending a manufacturing run of its Noctilux 50mm f/1 lens, the company decided to release the last 100 units as a special edition. Each of the lenses was shipped with a special humidity control box crafted in Paris, France, by Elie Bleu, which makes high-end humidors for cigar aficionados.

Meanings and Origins of the Trademarks Used on Leica Lenses

Unlike many camera lens lines, Leica's lenses are group into categories under well known trademarked names. Mention the word Noctilux, and a Leica shooter will immediately know that you're referring to a f/1 lens that's geared towards shooting in low-light environments.

Photographer Thorsten Overgaard has been working on a definitions page that explains the origins of the various terms -- the explanations go beyond what the terms refer to, and include why they were given those names.

Spotted: A Leica-Branded Pen and Coffee Cup, and a Pentax Q10 Watch

Canon started quite a fad back in 2010 by handing out novelty lens mugs at the Vancouver Olympic games. Within two years, it seems like everyone is making and selling lens-shaped coffee mugs now. If you thought Leica had stayed out of the craze, think again. Leica Rumors spotted the pen and coffee cup above being sold on eBay last week. The luxury Caran d'Ache pen carries the familiar red dot, while the cup features Noctilux lens markings.

Canon 5D Mark II Goes Under the Knife, Emerges as a Wannabe Leica

San Diego-based photographer Robert Benson had a curious problem a while back. He had a $6,500 Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1 lens, but no camera to use it on. Not being able to afford the Leica M9 at the time (and unsure if he wanted to ever buy one), he decided to make massive modifications to his Canon 5D Mark II so that it would accept any Leica M lens without needing an adapter. The frankencamera above is what emerged from the brand-change operation.

Photog Bling: A Leica f/.95 Noctilux Ring

When Matthew Harrison (aka The Leica Guy) got married recently, he was given the awesome gift of a f/.95 Noctilux ring:

As is tradition, the bride and groom exchanged gifts prior to the wedding. While Matthew purchased Emily the watch that she had always wanted. Emily commissioned a custom ring for Matthew’s shooting hand (as opposed to for his wedding band). This one of a kind band has the depth of field scale from his favorite lens, the .95 Noctilux. On the sides, the ring features both Matthew’s name and The Leica Guy moniker on one side, and the Lens information including name, filter size, and serial number on the other. [#]

You can find the website of the jeweler who made the ring here.