To Nokton or NOT to Nokton that is the question

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 Post subject: To Nokton or NOT to Nokton that is the question
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:52 pm 
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I've had the feeling recently, don't ask me why, that I need a 50mm lens with a super wide aperture. Now we would all like a Noctilux, but unless I sell the grandkids or win the lottery I'm unlikely ever to be able to own one, so I'm looking for an alternative, hence my question.

The CV Nokton 50mm f1.1, is reasonably priced and available either new or preowned, but I've read a lot of bad reviews regarding back focus and focus shift. Looking at the sample picture on this forum (and others) I must say that I am impressed, but still can't make up my mind.

I would be grateful for any advice from users who own or have used this lens as to what they think about its usability.

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 Post subject: Re: To Nokton or NOT to Nokton that is the question
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:59 am 
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It gets a bit of a bad rep, mostly, I think - because people want to compare it directly to the Noctilux. Which is fair of course, but a Noctilux it's not - fast, yes. But it lacks that Noctilux mojo wide open and the bokeh is a little unpredictable. Still, it's a decent lens especially stopped down even a little.

As for the focus shift, I never really notice it in day-to-day shots. It happens mostly from f/2.8 to f/4 - and at closer distances. Of course, this is a pretty popular zone for shooting. If you scrutinize, you can see it in some shots. If you're trying to nail focus on something thin it could be an issue, but more three dimensional subjects not so much. Of course, a fast lens like this is often shot closer to wide open where it's a total non-issue.

Check out my gallery from the Mermaid Parade 2011 in Coney Island. I shot it entirely with the 50mm f/1.1 Nokton on the M9. Despite the apertures listed, the majority were at f/4 except the obviously thin DoF shots which were mostly f/1.4.

Honestly, unless you plan to shoot this lens closer to wide open more often than not, there are probably better lenses out there - not so much optically, but size wise. It's not a small or light lens. It also blocks a fair bit of the viewfinder.

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