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An Optical Heavy-Weight

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Describing the Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 as a ‘heavy-weight’ rings true on more than one level. For one, it weighs in at over 900g, and is the first M lens to be equipped with an actual tripod collar. Yet the term also applies in the figurative sense. When developing the 75mm Noctilux, Leica pulled out all the stops to achieve its unique compositional trait: a wafer-thin depth of field that creates the most extraordinary plasticity without any loss of image quality.

The 75mm Noctilux comprises nine elements. Two aspherical surfaces and specialist glass types with a high refractive index ensure the almost complete elimination of monochromatic flaws, even at open aperture. Glass elements with anomalous partial dispersion serve to limit chromatic aberrations. While small traces of lateral chromatic aberration may still be visible in high-contrast areas of the image, they are easy to remove in digital processing.

Despite its extraordinary image quality, not everyone might embrace the proportions of the voluminous 75mm Noctilux mounted to an M camera. Those who favour a more harmonious exterior may, therefore, prefer to use the lens on the Leica SL, whose dimensions are perfectly compatible.

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