Nocticron thoughts

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by pdk42, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I took a few shots with the Nocticron on my E-M1 at The Photography Show earlier this week. Like most of us I guess, I've been aware of this lens for a while and have seen sample shots from it. But you know, my little 45/1.8 does a great job and I really couldn't see me spending Nocticron money on something that is just a little bit better. But... I'm really very impressed with what I'm seeing from the test shots I took. It's sharper for sure and the DOF is shallower, but there's something more - a certain "je ne sais quoi" about the images from it. There is a life-like look to them which is quite arresting. I don't know whether it's just the DOF that's giving it "pop", or the exceptional micro-contrast - but either way I like the look.

    So, I'm considering getting one. Before I do though, I'd love to hear from anyone who has upgraded from the 45/1.8 and whether you think after a period of use and sober reflection whether it's been worth it. If anyone has upgraded and then gone back I'd be interested too.

  2. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I briefly owned one and couldn't convince myself to keep it while also owning Olympus 45mm and 75mm.
    The size and weight didn't play in Nocticron's favor either..

    PS: oh, and that cat's eye bokeh was really not to my liking.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  3. Boneyard

    Boneyard Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 5, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    I made that transition.

    I loved it off the bat. I saw a marked difference from my O45, which might have just been the addition of stabilization (Panasonic shooter), but it hasn't seen as much use due to some other additions (PL15 & 45 Macro) as I would have thought. I also question the size being a deterrent.

    Every time it is on the camera though, that "something about it" really shines through. It makes me want to shoot more. Which is why I bought it in the first place.

    It would probably be the last lens I would sell, even if I can get 85-90% of its output with something cheaper and lighter.

    For me it has been worth it.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  4. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I could never afford such an expensive lens so I used the Oly 45mm and was extremely pleased with that lens. This year a dear older friend moved into an assisted living facility and do to failing eyesight gave me a gift of his P/L 15mm and P/L 42.5mm! Both of these lenses are superb but the size of the 42.5 bothered me a bit but the images it produced have a magical quality that is difficult to explain. So good that I returned my Oly 45mm and despite the size issue kept the 42.5mm. For easy carry I always have the Oly 12-40mm mounted on the E-P5 with the Panny 8mm FE and Oly 75mm in my compact bag but if I anticipate any portraits the 75mm comes out and this lens goes in its place. If you have the funds and love portrait photography I highly recommend this superb lens.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  5. sootyvrs

    sootyvrs Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 6, 2015
    I have purchased both recently and agree with what has been said above....

    Images just have that bit of magic or pop to them that O45 (and other good lenses) just seem to lack... It's something subjective rather than technical as the O45 is technically great (especially for the money)

    I found the same thing when I was a Canon shooter where they have excellent prime lenses 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 100/2 for which I owned and got great images but as soon as I got my hands on the L lenses 35/1.4, 50/1.2, 85/1.2, 135/2 the images just seem to have something extra... some magic, some extra pop... maybe it's the micro contrast, maybe that slightly shallower DOF, maybe it's the better bokeh rendition...

    To be fair, I got the O45 lens first and was very happy with the results and thinking that the Nocticron was too big and heavy (for M43) and too expensive but an offer came my way that I couldn't refuse on the Nocticron that I knew that if it wasn't special enough I could sell it for the money I purchased it for so I guess it was a no brainer really! So far it has matched if not exceeded my expectation!

    I will decide a little later if I decide to keep the O45 as my main reason for moving to M43 was to have something very portable and light... all said and done the Nocticron is capable of producing those "special" images in a way similar to my previous Canon L primes (even though DOF is increased) so I don't see myself ever selling it any time soon!
  6. JDK504

    JDK504 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 28, 2013
    I was in the same boat you were in about 6 months ago. I came across a killer deal and I never looked back! Nocticron has that magic about it. The way it makes you feel when you shoot it, touch it, manually focus it.
    I love the bigger older style lenses. I love the Nocticron is metal and larger than most of M43 lenses. I love how easy it is to manually focus it for video and I love it being stabilized. The stabilization is great! It was great on my Panny, but now I upgraded the EM5 II. Somehow the images I'm getting with the EM5 II makes the Nocticron sing even more than it has in the past! It has breathed new life into my photos and videos! Even the Panny 25 1.4 looks better than it did on the Panny (G3).

    If you have the extra coin I say go for it. Its great quality and something you will love to hold and use. Don't get me wrong the 45 1.8 is/was marvelous, but the Nocticron has that little extra that just makes you smile
    like a little kid whenever you see it or use it! Get over the $ and enjoy what you are getting for your money. Worse come to worse you could always sell it. They go like hotcakes on this forum.

    Good luck,

  7. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    You guys start to sound like bunch audiophools about warm tube sound and how $1k speaker wires have opened you the new world of music...

    ps: at least you could support your claims with some pics.. or did we have this discussion with Leica lenses character already?

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Damn you - those other posts almost had me clicking the buy button!! ;)
  9. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    Eh I think it's nice but not worth it. I would want to be paid a lot to justify such a lens.

    I used the 85mm F1.4 Nikon and that to me just pops more. The 42.5mm is sharper at the corners wide open yeah but that's the only thing I could give it bonus points to.

    I'll probably end up getting the 42.5mm F1.7
    • Like Like x 1
  10. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    If “money ain’t a thing” then I suppose I’d be considering purchasing this, but with my own financial responsibilities and retirement a fair way off plus the fact that I shoot for a hobby, cost is something I definitely have to consider. In addition to the Oly 45, I also have the 75 which lets face it, is stunning. And what of the Oly 45 when compared to the Nocitron? The 45’s may not be better, but is it still excellent? Yes, I think so. A lot of people will find this good enough and if it’s not, full frame may be a better alternative for you (or maybe get a real Leica). For about $2,000, which is what the Nocitron costs here in Australia, I can buy a full frame camera and lens. Alternatively, I could buy a top of the line fixed focal length APS-C camera and an extremely high quality m43 lens, with a different focal length to the already owned Oly 45. For these reasons, I suspect a lot of people may feel there is little justification for purchasing the Nocitron, or at least if it was to be purchased it would have to be for a better reason than offering something different/ having a certain subjective character/ “ Leica look”/ etc, given the high quality of cheaper m43 lenses available which suit us non professionals just fine.

    This is certainly not a complaint or criticism of the Nocitron, I can see that the lens is excellent, just stating the thought process a lot of people may have when considering it.
  11. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    Valid points above about the expense of this lens. The Oly 45 is a wonderful lens and I'd bet money, if I had any, that the upcoming Panny 42.5 will be a winner too. The reason I haven't posted images here is that I'm a mediocre photographer and wouldn't do this marvelous lens justice.
    I'm sure there are much better photographers capturing much better images with the 45 than I could with the P/L 42.5!
    Please forgive an old mans rambling but I recall way back in the 60s I once saw a video of the Beatles and my friend who was also watching was a guitarist. He yelled in astonishment "Look at Lennons' guitar, it's an Epiphone!". John Lennon was on stage with the greatest rock band in history playing what was basically (from my expert guitarist friend) a Wal-Mart guitar! (actually it was a K-Mart guitar but that chain is gone). They sounded fantastic and just proves the old saying 'It's not the tool, but the craftsmen'.
    PS, I still love my P/L 42.5!
    • Like Like x 5
  12. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Just curious, as I own the Oly 75, but since you've acquired the 42.5, what do you use the 75 for? I consider mine my portait lens, and at the focal length haven't found much by way of other applications for it.

    For the overall discussion, as my primes tend to collect dust I've decided that I generally prefer the pro zooms, so if I were to own primes they would have to be really special in performance, and occupy a specific niche. The 42.5 certainly qualifies by what everyone says, so I've mulled replacing my Oly 45 with the 42.5, but my usual style of photography doesn't use a lot of mid focal lengths, so I just can't justify it. In fact, I plan to sell the 45 as well.
  13. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I still use the 75 for portraits and also for general stills where I want the compression and isolation that a super sharp mid telephoto can produce. To me the 75 equals the 42.5 but with a longer reach. The 42.5 is almost always used for portraits but I'm gradually starting to use it more for stills for it's superb subject isolation (flowers, wildlife, landscape detail). I think I'm not using the 75 so much for portraits anymore is that the 42.5 renders faces a little better as that focal length is more natural looking as far as faces are concerned. Generally shooting light I carry the 12-40 mounted on my E-P5 with the Panny 8 FE for wider and the Oly 75 for longer shots in my compact bag, unless I know I will be shooting portraits then the 75 comes out and the 42.5 goes in.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, I decided to sell both my Panasonic zooms (12-35 and 35-100) since TBH they weren't getting as much use as I'd have liked and I've put the funds into a Nocticron. In the end I decided it was an itch I had to scratch. Maybe it's the wrong decision but hell, that's part of the journey isn't it?
    • Like Like x 1
  15. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    Congratz. Im coming to the convo late but I had to try the Noc myself too and never have looked back. It and the 75mm are by far the best lenses in the M43 lineup. My opinion of course. And I don't mind the size at all. I have even used it on the GX7 pretty regularly. Its become my goto lens. Its easy to discount this lens because of size and price but I think if you really are looking for something 'special' with AF and a modern build, its your lens. Its so much fun too!

    A few posts I have made with it.
  16. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    To an extent it can pretty much justify its price because it is an incredibly versatile lens. The focal length is incredibly useful and probably the best for portraiture. A combination of f1.2 and image stabilisation makes it the best autofocus lowlight/indoor lens in the system. It is sharp wide open and incredibly sharp stopped down. So I actually sold my 45 1.8 and 75 1.8 after getting this lens and this lens does get my use than something like my 35-100 which is another US$1k lens.

    And here is a photo...
    333 (1 of 1).jpg
    • Like Like x 4
  17. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Not that I own any of these rarefied lens (sigh), but 75mm is a very useful focal length for critters, for landscapes, for architectural details, for candids. Unless you're capturing a huge, scenic vista, I find many landscape images can benefit from a telephoto, because you can focus on the details that you might not ever be able hike out to and isolate them. Or, in the case of really grandiose scenes, having a sharp telephoto lets you appreciate the scale of a mountain, because it lets you actually make out all the tiny little trees on the side of it...

    I very much enjoy the flexibility of my 14-140mm walkaround, and I find I end up using almost all the focal lengths at one point or another.

    Aside from all that, I think that if I had the 75mm, I'd find excuses to use it. What a beauty...
  18. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Definitely! And it is not like you cannot swap back later. These are not rare one-of-a-kind items.

    Honestly, I seem to take my best photos right after I get different lenses because the excitement of new toys gets me out shooting and experimenting.
    • Agree Agree x 1