Photography

Leica "pulls out all the stops" on fastest-ever 75mm aspherical lens

Leica "pulls out all the stops...
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens is a high-end portrait lens
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens is a high-end portrait lens
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens offers 85 cm minimum focusing distance
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens offers 85 cm minimum focusing distance
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: high end portrait lens
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: high end portrait lens
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens is a high-end portrait lens
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The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens is a high-end portrait lens
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: a decent-sized piece of glass
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: a decent-sized piece of glass
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: good luck manual focusing at f/1.25
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: good luck manual focusing at f/1.25
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: US$13k imaging beast
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: US$13k imaging beast
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: not for the poorly-heeled
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: not for the poorly-heeled
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: weighs 1,055 g (2.32 lb)
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: weighs 1,055 g (2.32 lb)
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: fitted to the M10 rangefinder
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: fitted to the M10 rangefinder
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: nine elements in six groups, one floating element
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: nine elements in six groups, one floating element
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
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Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
View gallery - 24 images

Leica gear has never been for the masses, but this takes exclusivity to a new level. For the price of a year-long backpacking trip around the world, you can now own the fastest-ever 75mm aspherical lens. The Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 is a US$13,000 piece of glass with a monster aperture and a razor-thin depth of field to deliver dreamy out-of-focus bokeh.

Leica's new portrait lens uses nine elements in six groups, including a floating element, and can focus as close as 85 cm (33.5 in) away while offering impressive low-light performance and extreme sharpness on a super-thin focal plane.

Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: nine elements in six groups, one floating element
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: nine elements in six groups, one floating element

"We pulled out all the stops we had at our disposal in the creation of this lens," Leica's head of optics development, Peter Karbe, said in a blog post on Wednesday. "Our predominant purpose in designing fast lenses is to give photographers the ability to achieve distinctive compositional effects with the aid of a shallow depth of field. The 75mm focal length makes it possible to fill out the frame when shooting from a sufficient distance, while emphasizing parts of the image through a conscious application of the depth of field, depending on the subject and creative intention.

"This is what the aperture is for – its purpose should not, by contrast, be to control the exposure. Also, there is no need to stop down in order to increase the imaging quality: our lenses are essentially designed to offer maximum performance at fully open aperture."

Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: fitted to the M10 rangefinder
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: fitted to the M10 rangefinder

As an M-series lens, it will fit to the Leica M10 digital rangefinder body, but it's also well-matched to the US$7,450 Leica SL mirrorless for those who wish to preview the look they're getting out of that super wide aperture. The lens weighs 1,055 g (2.3 lb), is 91 mm (3.6 in) long and is 74 mm (2.9 in) at its widest point.

Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image
Leica Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 lens: sample image

The US$12,795 price tag will put it well out of reach for most shooters, but it's going to be responsible for some stunning images in the hands of the pros.

Check out our gallery for some examples of what the lens is capable of.

Source: Leica

View gallery - 24 images
5 comments
TheSplund
Not the fastest ever - Leitz made a 75mm f/0.85 - http://gmpphoto.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/the-fastest-leica-lenses-ever-leica-has.html
Fast Eddie
Wow....that photo looks almost as good as an iPhone 7 Portrait Mode shot!
ikarus342000
Your comments are a bit besides the point. Try to make photo 15 with any other lens, no luck. A pity that the lens is so cheap
TomFullery
Hmm I'm a bit underwhelmed as my Olympus 75mm f1.8 is not far behind in performance and is only $750 new.
MartinVoelker
I downloaded and enlarged the portrait of the woman: it seems to me that the rim of her hat is in better focus then her eyes. And that's the thing: razor thin focus is incredibly hard to place exactly where the photographer wants it. I own an old Minolta lens of similar aperture and have struggled mightily with that inherent issue.