Anyone else think there's quite a bit more than they would expect? Now, when I consider the size of the kit, and the way the light has to travel through it, I'm not surprised, but it wasn't something I considered before I bought the camera.
I suppose if you like your cars and women fast and cheap you might like the Noktor. Personally I'd pass on it unless I found it DIRT cheap somewhere. Steve Huff has a pretty detailed review of this lens:
"The NOKTOR 50 left me feeling a bit cold. Yes, it’s a superfast 0.95 aperture lens but it is really hit or miss when using it at that aperture. From its softness and low contrast to it being very hard to focus accurately when wide open I am not sure sure that it is worth the hassle. The fact is, this lens is sort of like what a Leica Noctilux F0.95 would vomit out if it were sick. It’s technically not a very good lens and many will consider it unusable until it is stopped down to F2, and at that aperture you have other choices in a 50mm lens for your m4/3 camera."
Personally that doesn't look bad to me. Now as to price.. I never said anything about that. If I were willing to pay anywhere near $800 for it I would have bought it already. Instead I spent $20 on my Canon 50mm ƒ/1.4 and deal with the same things specified in the Noktor review. Soft wide open, sharpens up at ƒ/1.7 razor sharp at ƒ/2.
Personally I think that super wide apertures like ƒ/1.4, or in the Noktor's case, ƒ/0.95 perform MUCH better when they are softer. They are PERFECT for black and white photos when like that, and I am annoyed when they are razor sharp at such wide apertures.
When taking photos I would much prefer a gradual change from sharp, in focus to blurred, out of focus. When it is sharp, immediately out of focus, I find that there are very limited circumstances that I can use that effectively and in those types of situations I'm better suited stepping down to ƒ/2.
Being said, I will put my $800 towards groceries thank you.
Well, it all comes down to taste. I agree that sharpness isn't everything, but certainly it can make or break the shot in some cases. Personally I just haven't seen many photos that I like that were shot with this lens. Besides the softness, I find it's OOF areas very distracting. They're oddly busy and have a strange, artificial quality about them. Not surprising I suppose, considering it's basically a closed circuit TV (security camera) lens. And considering that it is manual focus on m4/3, and even manual aperture control, I think it's actually quite expensive for what it is. If it were a $300 lens, OK, I might just give it a go. But certainly a person can do a lot better in this price range for fast glass, just not quite as fast, and not with an m/43 mount. It's only really "cheap" in the rarefied world of ≤ f/1 glass.