Leica Noctilux-M 75mm makes photos (and budgets) pop with crazy wide f/1.25

Leica Noctilux-M 75mm
Leica
Leica is iconic for that red logo and the background bokeh and the company’s latest lens is promising an “unmistakable Leica look.” On Wednesday, November 29, Leica unveiled the Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH lens. The Noctilux 75mm is a modern redesign of a 1966 lens with a “hair-thin” depth of field, manual focus — and a $12,795 price tag.

The Noctilux lens family launched in 1966 with a 50mm f/1.2, eventually leading to the still-available 2008 50mm version with an f/.95 aperture. The series, Leica says, is designed to push the envelope in both image quality and aperture, with exceptionally wide apertures to really separate the subject from the background.

“All Noctilux-M lenses to this day are special for their rendering and aesthetic when shot wide-open, yielding a three-dimensional “pop” that separates its subjects from the background like no other lenses,” Leica said in a statement. “The out-of-focus areas behind the subject is smooth and pleasing to the eye, giving a lovely soft background even in the darkest of lighting scenarios.”

So what does the new 75mm bring to the table? The longer focal length helps create an even shallower depth of field than the 50mm because of the longer focal length, while the minimum focus distance of about 2.7 feet allows the photographer to fill the frame with many subjects.

The lens uses 11 aperture blades to create soft bokeh in that background. The lens is constructed with nine elements in six groups. The glass, Leica says, is designed from a material with high anomalous partial dispersion and low chromatic dispersion. The company says that combination reduces aberrations to a “hardly detectable” level.

With that f/1.25 depth of field, Leica uses a floating lens element to ensure that sharpness at close-up levels is identical to the performance at infinity. That means the lens is sharp throughout the focus range. The floating element means that the rear lens element doesn’t move at the same speed as the other pieces, allowing the lens to adjust for optimal sharpness at different focal points.

Focusing an f/1.25 lens will be tricky. Leica said the Noctilux-M 75mm is designed for “all ambitious Leica photographers with the expertise to utilize this creative potential for their visual expression.” The lens is designed for the Leica M system and in particular, cameras with a focus peaking system to get that sharp focus manually.

The Noctilux-M 75mm will go on sale at the start of 2018 at Leica stores, boutiques, and dealers.

Product Review

The Huawei Mate 20 is the Stephen Baldwin of smartphones, and that’s OK

The Huawei Mate 20 exists in the shadow of its more desirable sibling, the Mate 20 Pro. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time though, and it actually has some features that are more preferable than those on the Pro.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Social Media

Instagram’s new Close Friends List lets you decide who should see your Story

Have a story to share, but don't want to send it to everyone? Instagram now offers a close friends list that will allow users to share stories with only the users included on that list.
Photography

Photography News: Tiffen launches portable LED, COOPH designs heated photo vest

In this week's photography news, Tiffen launches its first LED in the portable, robust Lowel light line. And this odd photo vest by COOPH has a built-in heater controlled via smartphone.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high-tech and low-budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Photography

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.
Photography

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.
Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.