Panasonic Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH Announced.... Again

dolbydunn

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I am somewhat amused by all the caterwauling over the announced price of the new Leica Nocticron by people who have in their "gear list" many Thousands of Dollars worth of camera stuff.

I believe the reason this lens has caused such commotion is that MANY m4/3 users would LOVE to have one, we just don't want to pay for it. We like that it is branded "Leica". It would be NICE to have a lens which would retain it's value through the years, (as electronic camera bodies come and go), but Leica doesn't deserve to profit from the GREAT name they have made for themselves.

In my many years experience, (beginning as a camera repairman in 1972), Leica branded products were ALWAYS beyond the budget of the hobbyist photographer. ONLY the WEALTHY or the most highly motivated snappers owned Leica cameras and lenses. Apparently that hasn't changed.

What HAS changed is that NOW, mediocrities trash and malign Leica for producing the best, rather than quietly hoping to someday own one.
 

T N Args

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those are prices from the same store:
Canon 85mm F1.8 350€
Canon 85mm F1.2 2000€ (this lens is 1650€ overpriced, i did the maths ;)

Canon 50mm F1.8 II 100€
Canon 50mm F1.2 1440€ (and this is way too big and heavy compared to the wonderful 1.8!!! Who would pay for that one!)

Nikon AFS G 85mm f1.4 1400€ (useles!!!!)
Nikon AFS G 85mm f1.8 440€

Nikon AFS G 58mm f1.4 1640€ (for the rich kid!)
Nikon AFS G 50mm f1.8 180€

Morality... sell the toys, be in debt and stop whining!
Thank you. That is exactly right. We should be proud that such a showcase lens is available for us. The pricing is in perspective, as you show us. I think I have read enough whining about the price now.
 

T N Args

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I am also glad to see this high end lens finally up for sale, but it is ridiculously overpriced. I just don't believe the $1600 price tag is justified when there are so many less expensive alternatives right now that will probably delivery almost as good, if not just as good, results. Damn that Leica name, that's probably where the extra $$ is made up in just to have that branded on the lens.....at most, this Nocticron should really sell for no more than $1200 if they want to be competitive and not greedy and milking customers just for the Leica branding which I believe the $400 extra which this lens is overprice by comes from.
Hang on a minute, I think you are being unfair to these Leica Panasonic lenses. IIRC -- Leica design the optics and some mechanicals, Panasonic do the AF and OIS, then Panasonic build it to Leica specifications. You suggest that Panasonic have just built a cheap lens of their own and paid Leica $400 to put a word on the front. That is very far from the truth.

I'd save the $600 and get a Voigtlander 42.5 f0.95 instead.. sure it's manual, but the build quality is exceptional, the IQ is pretty damn impressive,
Sure, the Voigtlander is to µ4/3 what the Samyang 85mm f1.4 is to full frame.

I had the Oly 45mm f1.8 and for under $400 (Less than 1/4 of this Nocticron), it is a damn fine lens with nearly as much brightness and bokeh
...and the Oly is like the Canon 85mm f1.8... a perfectly fine lens for the average user.
 

beanedsprout

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Well, that sucks. Oh well. Time to sell the car or something. $2600 in the hole, plus whatever I gotta shell out to upgrade my GH3 to an EM1. Maybe with all this expensive gear, it will make me a better photographer and make me money.:biggrin:
 

RoadTraveler

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I do understand how $1,600 is a lot of money for some/many users, and it is for me too, but I'd not call it steep Leica pricing…more like inexpensive Leica pricing. German stuff is expensive for a variety of reasons. Most new Leica lenses, at least the all manual rangefinder glass, is often much more than $1,600, only a few lenses are under $2k, and many substantially above.

I'm glad I bought my M lenses when I did, they were much less expensive then, but of course those dollars bought more too. While I was thinking I would/should sell my remaining Leica M glass I'm rethinking this, particularly the 90mm f/2, because once gone I likely won't want to buy another for $4,000.
Plus, where else am I going to get a fantastic quality, f/2, 180mm FOV, compact lens for my m4/3…at any price.
 

JamieW

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What HAS changed is that NOW, mediocrities trash and malign Leica for producing the best.
I don't understand people getting upset and lashing out at people not wanting to buy... well, anything. My default state for all lenses is don't buy it. That's why there are a few thousand I don't own. This is just another one to add to that list. :)

People are interested in this lens because it's the fastest portrait lens available for M4/3 and people love shallow DOF portraits. I doubt it has anything to do with the brand names stamped on the lens. I would have been just as excited by it if it was made by Olympus, and just as disappointed when I saw the price if it was $1600.

To buy this lens I'd have be very committed to the M4/3 for my studio work, and I don't think I'm there yet because the M4/3 system doesn't support tethering. I'd also have to convince myself that somehow a $1600 lens that produces less subject isolation than a $400 F1.8 lens on full frame cameras is a good idea. Then I'd have to have to decide if it's worth $1200 more than the Oly 45 1.8.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkuehn1/11156274386/in/pool-1759398@N21/
(not my photo)

For some (most, all?) of us our decision not to buy this lens has nothing to do with trashing Leica. It's just basic economics. Everyone has different needs and budgets.
 

T N Args

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I doubt it has anything to do with the brand names stamped on the lens. I would have been just as excited by it if it was made by Olympus, and just as disappointed when I saw the price if it was $1600.
Even if it was made by Leica, in Germany, and 1/3 the price of their other lenses? Disappointed?
 

edmsnap

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Looking through the Lenstip sample photos, I'm quite disappointed. Splotchy, unattractive bokeh and insane amounts of CA at large apertures. The only lens I have that'll produce CA that bad is my 43-year-old Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 which can be found for $250ish dollars these days and provides way nicer bokeh. The Panasonic seems to behave and perform much better by f/4, but you don't buy this lens for its f/4 performance. Formal testing should prove very interesting.
 

tosvus

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I don't understand people getting upset and lashing out at people not wanting to buy... well, anything. My default state for all lenses is don't buy it. That's why there are a few thousand I don't own. This is just another one to add to that list. :)

People are interested in this lens because it's the fastest portrait lens available for M4/3 and people love shallow DOF portraits. I doubt it has anything to do with the brand names stamped on the lens. I would have been just as excited by it if it was made by Olympus, and just as disappointed when I saw the price if it was $1600.

To buy this lens I'd have be very committed to the M4/3 for my studio work, and I don't think I'm there yet because the M4/3 system doesn't support tethering. I'd also have to convince myself that somehow a $1600 lens that produces less subject isolation than a $400 F1.8 lens on full frame cameras is a good idea. Then I'd have to have to decide if it's worth $1200 more than the Oly 45 1.8.
..
For some (most, all?) of us our decision not to buy this lens has nothing to do with trashing Leica. It's just basic economics. Everyone has different needs and budgets.
Well, I think some people are a bit brand-fixated, and it is the people standing up and defending Leica now. The funny thing is that nobody is angry with Leica. The fact that the lens is Leica branded means squat at this point. I have camcorders, pocket-cams etc, all decent stuff, Leica branded by Panasonic. I have the Panasonic Leica 25 which probably is closer to Leica than most of their stuff, and while somewhat expensive compared to the competition, I enjoy the picture quality, and the fast aperture compared to the rest. I don't care if that lens was designed with/approved by Leica. I like the lens itself. I think most people were hoping for a similar approach from Panasonic this time around. Nobody is thinking this was going to be a $300 lens, but considering previous Leica branded stuff, there was an expectation that they arrive at a price around $1000 at the most. Instead, Panasonic has gone for even better quality than what we perhaps expected, and while that is cool, it leaves the people that want a faster lens, especially with OIS (since Panasonic up until recently did not put IBIS in any cameras) out in the cold. I would be perfectly happy if the lens had the exact same picture/build quality of the Olympus, OIS and rated f1.2, and I think *many* more agree with me on this, than the ones that will buy this lens with a smile and scoff at people that complain about this being too expensive. I suppose if you are a m43 owner (especially Panasonic body) realizing you are stuck with a small sensor (compared to FF), and want very shallow DoF w/OIS/AF, or low-light performance that at least can approach other systems, realize only a select few can expect that. I suppose us "average users" will just live with the limitations of the Olympus 45mm 1.8..

How about Olympus and Panasonic sit down and figure out their gaps in the "medium" segment (some decently fast ultra-wide primes, portrait lenses faster than 1.8 etc), and THEN worry about producing the ultimate lenses.

Even if it was made by Leica, in Germany, and 1/3 the price of their other lenses? Disappointed?
Are you saying you really think this lens is made by Leica, in Germany??
 

Livnius

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I too think the price is high...but purely because $1600 is a lot of money. Is the lens WORTH the $1600 asking price ? ...different matter entirely.

I know I could sure use a lens like this, no I'm not a portrait or studio photographer, I'm just a hack enthusiast, but something like this f1.2 Nocticron would simply be so much FUN to use...I'd find ways of using it :) ...but before I or anyone passes judgement on anything there is still a bunch of reviews and tests still to come before we really know too much about this lens, early indications are that Panasonic has thrown so much good glass into this thing that it's going to be a bit special.

I'll sit patiently on the side lines for bit, read as many reviews and view as many samples as I can before deciding whether this lens is worth it TO ME....I will say this however, I paid about $1000 AUS for my Oly 75mm as soon as it was available here and despite the fact that I totally adored the lens I sold it off....lots of character, super sharp, fast, great looking, wonderful creative potential...BUT...just too long for frequent use, I really struggled to use it in any situation where I didn't have a lot of room...bars, parties, crowded festivals...it was just a little too long and as such got only infrequent use.....I remember thinking then that I would have gladly forked out a few hundred more if only it was 40mm-50mm, a focal range I could use so much more often and so much more comfortably.......well, here we are, not only is the Nocticron within my focal 'comfort zone' for the type of shooting I do, but I have the added bonus of it being a stupendous f1.2 rather than just an f1.8 !! ...like I stated, early indications are that this lens, much like the Oly 75mm may be a bit of a special lens...if it is, then I just may take the short term financial hit.
 

G1Reflector_949

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I'm just saying if other companies could put out a nice lens of about the same quality for $1k or less, it doesn't completely add up right this lens should be that much more.

I'm not saying I wouldn't want to own a lens like this, I just think it sucks it'll cost so much to actually do so. I Have no idea what the actual performance of this lens is right now, but from what I've seen so far, it is really nice, but not necessarily anything that is leaps and bounds above what is already out now. With that in mind, I don't think the high price, and it is priced respectably much higher than anything that exists to date for mft system of this type of lens, necessarily reflects the proportionate gain in performance and image quality over existing well performing lenses for $1k or under.
 

JamieW

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Even if it was made by Leica, in Germany, and 1/3 the price of their other lenses? Disappointed?
I don't understand the question. Like I said, it has nothing to do with the brand name, or where it was made. That's not how I make my lens purchases.

If you want the lens, go right ahead and get one. I'm not judging anyone. If people are mad because I said I'm not buying the lens, I don't really know what to say to that.
 

T N Args

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Are you saying you really think this lens is made by Leica, in Germany??
No!! Are you saying you really think I said that? Apologies if English is not your native tongue --- I was challenging JamieW's claim that the brand on the lens is irrelevant, by using a hypothetical.
 

tosvus

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No!! Are you saying you really think I said that? Apologies if English is not your native tongue --- I was challenging JamieW's claim that the brand on the lens is irrelevant, by using a hypothetical.
I don't think it is my grasp of the English language that is an issue, your hypothetical bit didn't make a lot of sense, especially without the full context. The brand IS irrelevant. I could understand higher production costs if the lens was produced in Germany, but I would rather have Panasonic produce it in Japan, China or wherever they are actually doing it to keep the price down. I don't want the lens because I think it is some small percentage *better* than other lenses, but because I want Panasonic to produce a lens with it's features (faster, AF, OIS) to a wider range of people. If they came up with a lens without much help from Leica that could compete with the Olympus 45 1.8 in IQ and Build Quality, but at a 1.2f, with OIS, and sold it for $900 without sticking the "Leica" on there, I'd be perfectly happy.
 

T N Args

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Wow, if I may just say something here.

I have never owned nor will I ever own a German Leica lens.

I do not particularly like Leica as a brand. I am more likely to attack Leica than defend the company.

So, I am a bit shocked to see it suggested that I am 'defending Leica', or 'brand-fixated'. Or to say that I am mad at a fellow member for not buying the Nocticron....! Then I had better be mad at myself, because I am not about to buy it either. :redface:

My comments have been entirely in relation to the stream of negativity about the price, as if a premium-grade, complex, fast, completely new lens designed by Leica, is massively overpriced at $1,600. It could be a screaming bargain, for all we know: the amount of care and precision put into the production of a single element of optical glass can vary from near-zero to thousands of dollars worth of man-hours, optical materials, and precision equipment. We don't know where the Nocticron lies on that scale, and we never will. It might cost double to produce it compared to the Fuji, or it might cost the same or less -- we will never know. We can make wild assumptions, but that will say more about us -- whether we are cynical, or gullible, or whatever -- than about the lens, but without this unobtainable information there is nothing conclusive that we can ever say about the price.

The only fair thing to assume, for now, is that in terms of brand vs brand, let's assume both lenses are priced on a cost-plus basis, and so the Nocticron is 60% more expensive to produce than the Fuji. Anything else is unfair, unless you have some solid insider information.

60% more expensive to produce. It must be getting spent somewhere in the process. Hmm, interesting. What a beast of a lens!

In terms of value, I believe in the principle of diminishing returns, so the cheapest well-made option is always best value per dollar spent. This lens is not meant to compete on value -- that is where we shop for the Oly 45 if we want value per dollar -- I did.

cheers
 

dolbydunn

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Many people here have expressed near outrage against Panasonic/Leica for pricing the new Nocticron 42.5mm lens @ $1600. While perhaps the most expensive lens in the m4/3 system, (at the present time), the Nocticron 42.5mm lens is NOT expensive for a Leica lens. Not by a mile.

Leica, the world's most respected lens maker for the past 75 years, should be a welcome contributor to the m4/3 format even if we can't afford a particular lens at a given price point.

Fact is; Ordinary photographers and hobbyists NEVER COULD afford Leica products. Leica cameras and lenses have ALWAYS been priced/valued, well beyond the reach of the masses. In the 1960's and 70's, mostly the WEALTHY owned Leica and mostly NOT for picture taking. During that era, wealthy men bought and COLLECTED Leica products as a hedge against inflation. Ordinary picture snappers couldn't even touch one.

ACTUALLY, the fact that we can even breathe the vapors of the great Leica heritage is a testament to the partnership between Panasonic and Leica. Only Panasonic has been able to offer Leica quality within the reach of enthusiasts photographers.
 

dolbydunn

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Comparing the Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 lens vs Olympus Zuiko 12-40mm f 2.8 lens.

Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 zoom extremely useful "Dream" lens for all m4/3 photographers. $1000.
Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 a niche lens appealing to a select upscale market. $1600.

The Olympus 12-40 zoom lens is currently experiencing severe mechanical failure issues and would likely have been a more worthy product if a higher premium had been placed upon build quality rather than market price point.

If only a lens as important as the 12-40mm f2.8 zoom HAD been manufactured to Leica's standards of excellence. It's higher price would have been justified due to it's functionality as an ONLY lens (for 90% of pictures); Olympus should have designed this lens rugged enough to stay mounted to the camera permanently.

As a side note: Resale value of the Olympus "bump" lens is dropping. As early adopters lose faith in this lens, they find the value of their investment has fallen precipitously. Most Leica "investors" don't have that worry. Anyway this example offers proof that bottom line price shopping can be false economy.

Many people have opined that the Leica "badge" is irrelevant. Well, If Leica had anything to do with the design of the Zuiko 12-40mm zoom lens, it would NOT be falling apart in people's camera bags, and yes, you would pay a little more for it.
 

JamieW

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Sir, this conversation has become circular. I have failed to find a way to express why I don't want to buy this lens in a way that doesn't get you upset, and you haven't offered any new information that has changed my mind about wanting to buy it. This conversation doesn't benefit either of us, and it only serves to get you more upset, which was not my intent.

I hope you find great enjoyment in this lens. I can't wait to see your photos.

Cheers!
 

tosvus

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Comparing the Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 lens vs Olympus Zuiko 12-40mm f 2.8 lens.

Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 zoom extremely useful "Dream" lens for all m4/3 photographers. $1000.
Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 a niche lens appealing to a select upscale market. $1600.

The Olympus 12-40 zoom lens is currently experiencing severe mechanical failure issues and would likely have been a more worthy product if a higher premium had been placed upon build quality rather than market price point.

If only a lens as important as the 12-40mm f2.8 zoom HAD been manufactured to Leica's standards of excellence. It's higher price would have been justified due to it's functionality as an ONLY lens (for 90% of pictures); Olympus should have designed this lens rugged enough to stay mounted to the camera permanently.

As a side note: Resale value of the Olympus "bump" lens is dropping. As early adopters lose faith in this lens, they find the value of their investment has fallen precipitously. Most Leica "investors" don't have that worry. Anyway this example offers proof that bottom line price shopping can be false economy.

Many people have opined that the Leica "badge" is irrelevant. Well, If Leica had anything to do with the design of the Zuiko 12-40mm zoom lens, it would NOT be falling apart in people's camera bags, and yes, you would pay a little more for it.
With all due respect, you are cherry-picking to support your notion that this is a Leica, and even then failing to realize you are comparing with a lens that is;
a) far cheaper
b) far more versatile
c) has a design/manufacturing flaw that needs to be corrected.

You could have picked most any other lens for m43 and they have sufficient build quality. You can also find other manufacturers that produce equally solid lenses for much cheaper.

In any case, I am glad you think you are getting a Leica lens (especially since it does seem to matter a great deal to you). As JamieW says, looking forward to seeing the photos. I don't doubt for a second that it is a lens that will provide you years of enjoyment and very nice image quality.
 

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