2008 Photokina Tradeshow
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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.


The world’s fastest aspherical lens

The new LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. launched by Leica Camera AG, Solms, represents a milestone in lens design. It is the successor of the famous NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/1 marketed by Leica for over 30 years, beginning in1975. Due to state-of-the-art optical and mechanical technology, Leica has now been able to make substantial improvements to the predecessor product. It is now possible to “break the optical sound barrier” of a lens speed of 1:1.

The LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. offers a unique performance spectrum: A noticeably higher lens speed has been achieved without any major alterations to the size of the lens. The characteristic rendering of the previous 50 mm f/1, valued by many users as a means of creative photography, has been retained with extremely shallow depth of field at full aperture. However, when stopped down, the lens performs comparably with the LEICA SUMMILUX-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. launched in 2004 which was regarded as the best standard lens ever produced. On top of this, the vignetting and distortion values have again been improved on the predecessor model.

“The LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. is not only a unique high-performance lens in the M system, it also combines extremely high speed with imaging performance that can easily bear comparison with the other top lenses currently on the market. It is made of high-quality materials and intricately assembled by hand at the Solms factory to give a particularly reliable product that will retain its value for decades. The combination of state-of-the-art technology and meticulous craftsmanship based on skill and experience ensure the constant quality of every single Leica lens, once again widening the creative potential of Leica M photography”, says Stefan Daniel, Product Manager for the Leica M system at Leica Camera AG.

The new LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. can be used for a particularly wide range of applications. At full aperture the lens features an extremely shallow depth of field, allowing incomparably esthetic portraits or detail studies, for example. The lens is also useful for available light photography, even surpassing the speed of the human eye. In normal light, it can be unhesitatingly used as a universal lens, and the extremely natural effect of the 50 mm focal length enables a true-to-life rendition of the subject.

The LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. integrates eight elements arranged in a double Gauss design symmetrical to the aperture. To ensure high imaging performance, two aspherical lens surfaces are used, which, due to their size and shape,  are manufactured in a complex grinding and polishing process at the Solms factory. Five of the glass elements exhibit partial anomalous dispersion, three of them are extremely highly refractive and therefore exceptionally expensive (the price per kilogram of this glass is roughly twice that of silver). An outstanding performance in the close-focus range is also guaranteed by a floating element, the last lens group of which changes its relative position to the rest of the system during focusing. Despite its higher speed and imaging performance, the LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. is still equipped with an E60 filter thread and a telescopic lock-on lens hood. Like the new SUMMILUX-M 21 mm and 24 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lenses, the new NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. has to be manufactured to extremely narrow tolerances, and new methods for centering and adjusting the lens elements were developed for this purpose.

The LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. will be on sale at authorized Leica dealers from February 2009.

Angle of view (diagonal, horizontal, vertical)
For 35 mm (24 x 36mm)

47°, 40°, 27°

Angle of view (diagonal, horizontal, vertical)
For Leica M8 models (18 x 27mm)
36°, 30°, 20°
(equivalent to ca. 67 mm focal length for 35 mm picture)
Optical Structure
No. of lens elements / groups 8 / 5
Aspherical surfaces 2

Position of entrance pupil

46.9 mm (related to the first lens surface in light direction)
Focusing Range
Working range 1 m to ∞
Scales Combined meter/feet scale
Smallest object field / Highest reproduction ratio
(For 35 mm)
ca.: 406 x 608 mm / 1:16.9
Smallest object field / Highest reproduction ratio
(For Leica M8 models)
ca.: 305 x 456 mm / 1:16.9
Setting / Type Clickstop settings (including half stops)
Smallest aperture 16
Bayonet Leica M quick-change bayonet mount with 6-bit barcode lens recognition for digital Leica M models
Filter mount Internal thread for screw-in type filter E60, non-rotating
Lens hood Built-in, telescopic and lockable
Viewfinder Camera viewfinder
Finish Black anodized
Dimensions and Weight
Length to bayonet seating approx. 75 mm
Largest diameter approx. 73 mm
Weight approx. 22.2 oz

(First posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 at 19:02 EDT)

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