The Equanimity Game – Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH Noctilucent

The Equanimity Game - Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH Noctilucent


The Equanimity Game – Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH Noctilucent

Leica M2 with LLL 50mm f/1.2 ASPH
LLL 50mm f/1.2 ASPH (left), Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 ASPH E49 Reissue (right)

Last month, in late February, I brought the Light Lens Lab Noctilucent 50mm f/1.2 ASPH “1966” version to Tokyo. The version I have is made of black-painted brass. I’ve now had an intensive 8-day shooting experience with this lens. I think there will be other reviews focusing on the unboxing and specs of the lens, so let’s dive straight into my experience and the reasons why I bought it.

Reflx Lab 800, Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH, Tokyo

Some of you may know that I had the Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 ASPH Reissue, and I still have this remake with me. If you haven’t already read it, you can refer to this post. I decided to keep it and make the best use of the lens, finding my inner joy with it. To clarify, this is not a sponsored post, and Light Lens Lab did not provide a lens for review. I purchased this lens with my own money. From the title, you probably already know that I had given this purchase a lot of thought, and its price tag was initially a deterrent. Why not keep the Leica remake but buy a copy from someone else? Sharpness. The way this lens reaches its sharpest point is different from the reissue, and by the reissue, I mean the Leica remake. Of course, I had some concerns about the ‘onion-ring’ bokeh, which Jim kindly helped me with by sharing many images before my purchase. I struggled with whether the onion ring would be distracting or too noticeable. The clear answer from the sample images below speaks for itself. It is noticeable. Do I like it? The onion ring was not the significant reason I decided to keep the lens. Rather, the weight is a concern for me. It’s a lot heavier than the Leica remake due to its brass body. I have noticed some differences: flaring is quite easy without the hood, and adding the hood makes it a mission to bring this lens with me every day. Additionally, the aperture ring and focusing ring on the Leica remake are much rounder and smoother to handle.

Reflx Lab 800, Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH, Tokyo
Reflx Lab 800, Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH, Tokyo
Reflx Lab 800, Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH, Tokyo
Reflx Lab 800, Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH, Tokyo

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I don’t own the original Leica Noctilux 50/1.2 ASPH 1966 or any other version, so I can’t comment extensively on it, as my experience with that lens was brief. What I really enjoy is the focusing scallop; it feels more ‘edgy’ when you put your fingers on it. LLL replicated it like the original, while the Leica remake has a flatter scallop than the original, feeling like the Leica Summilux 50mm f/1.4 V2 Silver version. Moreover, the out-of-focus swirl is really appealing because the ‘cat eye’ bokeh looks so similar to the original. The color cast is also different; the original Noctilux 50/1.2 tends to be greener, while this one is cooler.

Reflx Lab 800, Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH, Tokyo

Despite the weight issue, overall, I am positive about the lens. I don’t want to review this lens based on a few test shots with my digital M and jump to conclusions. I’ve shot with Leica M10P, Kodak Ektachrome E100, Vision 3 250D, 500T, and Reflx Lab 800 so far. I’m going to develop some Rollei 400S black and white film this weekend to see how it goes. I will share more thoughts on the handling, the good and the bad, in my full review. If you’ve bought this lens, share your thoughts—I would love to learn more. Don’t forget to subscribe to the mailing list so you won’t miss it!

LLL 50mm f/1.2 ASPH
Reflx Lab 800, Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH, Tokyo
Reflx Lab 800, Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH, Tokyo
Reflx Lab 800
Reflx Lab 400D
Reflx Lab 500T (120)
Square hood for 28/35 Leica Lens

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