Australian ProPhoto

Leica Revives Famous Noctilux Lens


The latest addition to Leica’s Classics range of M-mount lenses is a reprise of one of its most famous. The new Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH is a re-issue of the original NoctiluxM 50mm f1/1.2 made between 1966 and 1975, and was the world’s first interchang­eable camera lens to employ aspherical elements. And, of course, at that time, aspherical elements had to be cut and then polished by hand, a process that took in the order of 40 hours. In fact, this is the way Leica still makes its aspherical lens elements.

Essentiall­y replicatin­g the original optical design, the new Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2

ASPH is available in two versions. Before the introducti­on of the original Noctilux in 1966, silver was the customary colour for M-mount lenses – with the exception of a few specialedi­tion models aimed at photojourn­alists that were given a discreet black finish. The Noctilux marked the start of the company’s transition to black-anodised lenses. Prior to releasing the Noctilux on the market, Leica produced just five silver-finish prototypes. They now count among the most coveted and highly-prized M lenses in existence. And only 1,757 examples of the serial production, black Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 were produced. As a result, any wellmainta­ined model is also a very highly soughtafte­r collector’s item.

The black anodised variant of the new Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH. with an aluminium lens barrel is now available at specialist retailers The lens comes in packaging inspired by the original box, and is complement­ed by the same lens container that was provided with the original Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 for safe keeping. The silver chrome variant is limited edition of just 100 units. This model has a brass lens barrel, a front ring engraving that reads ‘LEITZ WETZLAR’ (instead of ‘LEICA’), and is presented in packaging that bears an even closer resemblanc­e to the original.

The Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH joins the previous re-issues of the Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 (from 1955), and the Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 (from 1935).

The black anodised version is priced at $11,100 in Australia. To learn more, visit

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