Goodbye Leica Noctilux Reissue, Hello Light Lens Lab 50mm: A Lens Comparison

Goodbye Leica Noctilux Reissue, Hello Light Lens Lab 50mm: A Lens Comparison

Lens Review

Goodbye Leica Noctilux Reissue, Hello Light Lens Lab 50mm: A Lens Comparison

leica-noctilux-50mm-1.2-f1.2-asph-reissue-e49-remake-goodbye-light-lens-lab-noctilucent-LLL-lens-leica-rangefinder-m-mount-coating
Leica (left) and Light Lens Lab (right)
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Fujifilm Fuji Color 400, Leica Noctilux 50/1.2 ASPH Reissue

When was the last time you repurchased a lens you had previously sold? I’ve done it plenty of times, but the Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 ASPH reissue definitely tops the list. There’s something about this lens that I can’t let go of. From the excitement of the announcement to unboxing my very first brand-new Leica lens, the experience was thrilling. Looking back, I feel I didn’t give my first copy enough time. I traded the second one with a local in Hong Kong for a Leica Summilux 24mm f/1.4 ASPH, which I absolutely love. After spending a vast amount of time viewing images online on platforms like Flickr and Instagram, and talking to current owners, I was compelled to buy it back, driven by curiosity.

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Fujifilm Fuji Color 400, Leica Noctilux 50/1.2 ASPH Reissue

I also purchased the Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH 1966 in black paint. Despite some initial doubts about the ‘onion ring’ effect, build quality, and its price, it exceeded my expectations. Yes, it feels a bit extravagant to spend so much on a Chinese-made lens, but it’s solid and noticeably heavier than the Leica. It truly won my heart during a seven-day trip in the Tokyo area, where I used it with my Leica M10P and on film. I’m excited to shoot more with it and share more samples.

leica-noctilux-50mm-1.2-f1.2-asph-reissue-e49-remake-goodbye-light-lens-lab-noctilucent-LLL-lens-leica-rangefinder-m-mount
Leica (left) and Light Lens Lab (right)
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Leica (left) and Light Lens Lab (right)
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Leica (left) and Light Lens Lab (right)
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Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222, HC110, Leica Noctilux 50/1.2 ASPH Reissue

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Reflx Lab 800
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Air Clicker Soft Release - Titanium
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Metal Square Hood for Leica 35mm
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Metal Hood for Nokton 28/35/40/50mm
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Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222, HC110, Leica Noctilux 50/1.2 ASPH Reissue

Before I close this chapter and move onto the next, I want to share a brief comparison between the Light Lens Lab 50mm f/1.2 ASPH 1966 and the Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 ASPH reissue. The Leica produces images with higher contrast and a warm magenta shift, while the LLL 50mm displays a cooler colour tone with some green cast, and the bokeh is very sharp and distinct. All shot with the Leica M10-P digital camera without adjustment straight out of Capture One.

Do you notice the difference? Feel free to comment below if you favour one over the other, or share your experiences with either lens. I would love to learn more.

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Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 ASPH Reissue (E49)
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Light Lens Lab Noctilucent 50mm f/1.2 ASPH 1966
comparison-leica-noctilux-light-lens-lab-50mm-f1.2-1.2-asph-reissue-noctilucent-1966-m10p-leica-digital-m10-leica
Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 ASPH Reissue (E49)
comparison-leica-noctilux-light-lens-lab-50mm-f1.2-1.2-asph-reissue-noctilucent-1966-m10p-leica-digital-m10-LLL
Light Lens Lab Noctilucent 50mm f/1.2 ASPH 1966

Is the Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 Reissue a special lens? Absolutely, though it’s not for everyone. It performs exceptionally well from f/2.8 onward, delivering undeniable sharpness. However, I was seeking the unique mood and sharpness (like the original Noctilux) it offers at f/1.2. I gave it one last try during a trip to Osaka and Kyoto with friends and finally decided to sell it. So, what’s next? The Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 APO, a perfect 50mm lens that I intend to use primarily for landscape rather than street photography.

Here are some of the last photos I took with the Reissue in Japan, using Kodak Eastman Double-X at 250, Fujicolor 400, and Reflx Lab 800 pushed to 1600.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I have the reissue and the aluminium LLL 50/1.2. I didn’t shoot as extensive as you did but I felt the Leica was sharper at the centre whereas the LLL’s sharpness was more consistent across most part of the frame. Like you, I have sold and repurchased the reissue but has yet decide which one (or both) I should keep as of today.

    Your images and thoughts were definitely helpful. Thanks again!

    • Thanks Dennis. That’s a very valid point about the sharpness. Leica has better centre sharpness but due to the field curvature, LLL is more consistent across the frame especially when I focus and recompose my image.

  2. Great article! Enjoyed the details and opinion gleaned from lots of use in different settings. Just curious how you would compare the LLL to the Noctilux F1 that you reviewed before (and still own?).

    • Thanks Glen. To honest, they are quite different and to answer your question. I still have the Noctilux f/1 E58 and V4. If you want a creamy, not too serious flare and clean background go for the f/1. However, if you want little bit swirl, compact sized lens and moody character, LLL 50/1.2 probably a good option without breaking the bank. Overall, I still love my Noctilux f1 over the LLL 50/1.2 because that extra bit of aperture value does its job.

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