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Leica M240

50/2 APO vs Noctilux (M240, Dana Meadow / Kuna Peaks)

June 2013 lens sample, which suffered from poor flare control.

The Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH is perhaps the most highly corrected lens in the Leica M lineup, but its character at wider apertures (f/2 and f/2.8) is substantially different than the Noctilux: vignetting, correction of aberrations, and general bokeh all differ. And of course the Noctilux offers two more stops of light gathering power.

The foregoing qualities might be decisive factors on their own, but for those contemplating the 2013 50/2 APO ASPH, the question arises: can a stopped-down Noctilux deliver similar quality levels specially in the f/5.6 - f/11 range? That would make the Noctilux a large and heavy but useful all-rounder.

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Diglloyd Guide to LEICA contains in-depth coverage of Leica M system cameras and lenses, with additional coverage of Leica M Monochrom, Leica Q.

Special emphasis is placed on Leica M lenses and certain Zeiss ZM lenses.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
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  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

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Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH , Leica 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH
(not to scale)

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