Nokton 1.1 50mm my first take on this fast lens.

I didn’t spend as much time with the Nokton 1.1 as I wished I could have. But here are some first shots taken on the M8 no IR filter and just on fine jpeg.

The lens feels good to shoot with and mechanically is superb. Like anything well made the lens becomes a part of you and you forget it’s there.

All are shot at 1.1 and 160 iso on jpeg fine no adjustments made. Stopped down? I’m sure its great!

Part one outdoors:


St Thomas rest park. You can see some fringing along the fence top.

Click on the images for full size.


Local coffee shop early morning.


A nice quiet place to take some pics… and look for ghosts!


100% crop of above image shot on 1.1…

Well so far… I see this lens displays a similar bokeh to the 35mm 1.2. As you open up to 1.1 there certainly is a contrast drop and that is to be expected. The lens is surprisingly sharp wide open and while the out of focus areas display some coma and I managed to get some purple fringing though this seems to depend on the lighting situation and subject. Overall for the time I invested in shooting with the lens just on the M8’s average jpeg compression setting, I was very happy with the results and even got a few keepers.

Now once we start stopping down the lens becomes sharper and sharper. There are no issues what so ever stopped down it is sharp and displays good contrast. With a lens like this I think it all about the magic of wide apertures and then the bonus of having great performance stopped down. No need for carrying another lens.

Yet one thing we must remember is that any super fast lens is pushing the optical design limit even the Leica 0.95 Noctilux which therefore means they all will show some strange behavior or issues when used wide open. Plus for many of us it will take time to learn to use such lenses and get good results from them. It is not just the lens but about you too!

So if you wish to shoot in low light conditions or just be able to play around being creative with depth of field and light or you want more control of depth of field on a digital body. Then I can recommend this lens especially at the price it is. You are probably going to have alot more fun making images (digital or film) with this lens than many others out there. Though I rarely use 50mm or longer lenses I actually found myself enjoying the longer focal length on the M8 whose crop factor makes it a 65mm.

Oh did I mention that this lens looks way cool on the camera… I was asked twice in the park if I was a professional photographer!

In summary my review so far is:

Le Good:

Mechanically excellent.

1.1 focus point is sharp.

Out of focus zone aka the bokeh is very nice and has got character!

Stopping down a few stops still gives great bokeh but without any fringing or coma issues.

Stopping right down gives crisp crystal clear stunning images.

Lots of creative fun to be had here.

Le Bad:

Some purple fringing at 1.1 ( but hey you are going to shoot raw right? and it can be removed easily).

Coma ( circles of chromatic aberration) in out of focus zone. You either like them or hate them it seems that is personal taste.

Almost too much depth of field at 1.1!

Part two low light (lets go for some darkness):

I am travelling to Tibet to photograph the inner monastery of the Chong Ra Temple with this lens! Only candle light is permitted there.

Chong Ra temple (aka my lounge room)

I’m back already… Image shot in complete darkness iso 160 hand held at 1.1  100% crop!

Need more then here is what others are saying:

Here is a link to a discussion on Photo net about the lens… plenty of opinions and images… and of course the rangefinder forum

A more detailed film based review from P.Lynn Miller is expected in the next few days.

One thought on “Nokton 1.1 50mm my first take on this fast lens.

  1. Oh man! Another big expense for the ZM coming up!…

    From what I’ve seen so far the bokeh on this one is stuning in b&w and not as much – although still good – in colour.

    Funny enough, it feels like the one on the CZJ Sonnar 180/2.8, a lens I am absolutely in love with.

    Looking forward to put it through its paces on the ZM later this year. Gotta sort out a few expenses first, then I’ll come in for a visit.

    Stay cool, Scott.

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